7 Common Reasons Your Car Won’t Start
Updated: Apr 28
We’ve all been there. You go out to your car, ready to go, you turn the key and nothing happens. Or maybe your car sputters and then cuts off.
There are many reasons your car won’t start, some more complicated than others.
As a local Maryland mechanic, we have years of data and experience and we put all that knowledge together to give you the 7 common reasons your car won’t start:
The most common reason cars don’t start is because of battery problems. Maybe you left a light on in the car overnight? Or maybe your battery simply needs to be replaced. Battery problems can be limited to the actual battery, or could be caused by corrosion on the battery’s connectors. If the actual battery is the problem, jump starting the car should get it running until you can get to the store or mechanic.
Another issue with the battery has to do with the alternator. If the alternator isn’t doing it’s job, it won’t charge the battery enough to start the car. An alternator issue should turn on a warning light on your dashboard, so you should know there is a problem with it.
Faulty spark plugs can cause your car to not start, and are an easy fix. Spark plugs have a long lifespan however, so it’s unlikely this is the issue, unless your car has over 100k miles.
Gas, or lack thereof is another common reason cars won’t start. Maybe you glided into your neighborhood on empty and planned to get gas on your way to work in the morning, maybe you misjudged. A car without gas won’t run, so if you were on empty when you last drove, try some gas first.
Along those lines, a fuel line problem can cause your car to not start. For example a frozen fuel line during extreme temperatures or an eroded fuel line which finally cracked.
In addition to your car needing fuel to properly function, it also needs oil. If your car is out of oil it may not start up as it should. Check your oil level if you can’t seem to find any other obvious reasons the car won’t start.
And finally, sometimes cars have security features which keep them from starting. In some cases cars have a security feature that utilizes a locking mechanism in the wheel. If you try to start the car and can’t get the wheel to move nor the key to go in the ignition, you likely have a wheel lock issue that can easily be resolved by wigging the wheel. If you have a remote entry system in your car, sometimes these can also present issues with the car’s security system, and ignition.
There are many reasons why your car may not start, but here are some common reasons you can check for and eliminate. If you are still having trouble starting your car after checking the obvious things, give your Maryland auto mechanic a call today! We’ll quickly diagnose and repair your car, to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.