It can be worrying if your vehicle is having trouble starting but it doesn't always mean that there is a serious problem. Sometimes a simple electrical fault in the wiring to the battery can be to blame and it's important to understand the different reasons why a vehicle won't start to know how to diagnose it and when to seek maintenance immediately.
Some of the most common causes of a vehicle having trouble starting include:
- Electrical fault
- Failing battery
- Faulty alternator
- Faulty starter motor
- Defective ignition switch
- Clogged fuel filter
Electrical Faults and Failing Batteries
A battery that is beginning to fail can make it difficult but not impossible to start your vehicle. There may be corrosion or damaged contacts to blame for this and you should check the physical condition of your vehicle's battery to see if there's any indication of this.
Another related problem is a fault in the electrical system of your vehicle and this might trigger the electrical fault warning light too. A fault in the wiring and components that deliver electricity from the battery can result in your vehicle not starting. Both electrical faults and failing batteries should be repaired or replaced quickly to restore function and avoid not being able to start your vehicle at all.
The alternator sends electric current back towards your vehicle's battery during operation. This keeps the battery charged so that it can be used to start the engine. When the alternator is faulty, the battery won't be recharged and will gradually discharge and will prevent you from starting your car.
Starter Motor and Ignition Switch
The ignition switch activates the starter motor, which starts the engine. If the battery is fine but your car's engine still won't start, this could be due to either the ignition switch or the starter motor not functioning properly.
Either problem will prevent the engine from starting when you turn the ignition, but if the problem is in the starter motor you'll potentially also hear clicking when the ignition is turned.
Clogged Fuel Filter
Problems in the fuel system can also be a common cause of a vehicle having trouble starting. The most likely issue is a clog in the fuel filter and this can make it difficult for fuel to reach the engine. Your vehicle will suffer from reduced performance and may not start at all.
A reliable vehicle is a necessity and it can be worrisome if your vehicle won't start. If you're having trouble starting your car, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today!