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Starting problems? Top 9 reasons why your car does not start

Cars fail to start faster than they used to because of various reasons. It is a common symptom associated with various problems within your engine. But one thing to be glad about is that these problems are repairable.

However, it might be challenging to diagnose for inexperienced individuals who have not been around cars long enough to know the cause of the problem when they see it. You might be having a faulty engine component, which may need replacing. In this case, it is wise to buy original (OEM) second-hand parts from Here, you will get authentic parts suited for your type of vehicle.

Read more: Best tips for setting up your own home car workshop

Top 9 reasons why your car will not start

1. Faulty ignition switch

The purpose of the ignition switch is to send signals to the battery. These signals tell the battery to start the engine. Similar to any other electrical component in your vehicle, the ignition switch might malfunction due to overheating.

If you have a malfunctioning ignition switch, your car will not start even after turning the key. Hence, it is essential to keep a close eye on the dashboard light and observe whether they turn on and off as intended. When the switch malfunctions, the engine keeps cranking, and the lights stay off.

2. Defective starter

The starter is a small motor that gets its electrical current from the battery to start the engine. If a starter breaks down, the most common symptom is that you will hear a clicking sound when turning the ignition key.

On other occasions, the problem might be loose connections; thus, your car will not start. The best solution is getting another starter from car breakers and installing it. However, the easiest solution might be jumpstarting your car. But this has no guarantee of working.

3. Dead battery

This might be the most obvious cause why your engine will not start. When was the last time you had a battery change? The battery is crucial because it supplies electric power to all the vehicle’s electrical components. Some of these components are the door locks, lights and the radio.

If you leave the lights on for too long, this will deplete the battery’s juice. In addition, if there is an electrical problem, this will drain the battery completely. However, batteries can also fail due to age.

The easiest way to know that your battery is failing is to note if the dashboard lights turn on when you turn the key in the ignition. If they do not, then you need to replace the battery.

4. Damaged spark plug

The spark plug ignites the compressed fuel mixture for the car to start and go. However, spark plugs often overheat, suffer mechanical damage, or get dirty from dust or debris. If this happens, then they will not function as they should. If they do not function, that means the engine will not start.

Lucky for you, if spark plugs are the issue, they are easy to purchase and replace.

5. Error in the fuel pump

Fuel is what powers the car. If your vehicle does not pump it, then it will not start. This is often caused by the lack of pressure resulting from wear and tear or blockage within the fuel lines. In addition, when you let your fuel tank run dry, your fuel pump will age rapidly.

Furthermore, the lack of frequent maintenance plays a role in fuel pump failure.

However, some signs indicate that the fuel pump is failing; they include the engine jerking at high speeds and an abrupt loss of power. You may also experience a reduced fuel economy.

6. Blocked fuel filter

If the fuel filter is clogged, the fuel does not have a clear pathway, and it will therefore not reach the engine consistently. Your car will thus have trouble burning the fuel that it needs to move.

It is crucial to note that you should change the fuel filters after 15,000 to 20,000 kilometres. It is, therefore, a great idea to swap the fuel filters the next time you get the car serviced.

7. The gas tank might be empty.

This might be too obvious, and you may feel a bit silly knowing your car is not starting because the reserve has no fuel. However, this is a common occurrence, especially when you drive all the time. You may forget to get a refill.

Therefore, it would be best to get a refill to be on your way. Nonetheless, if you get more gas and your car still does not start, then you may have a faulty fuel pump or clogged fuel filter. Have a professional check it out.

8. The alternator might be defective.

If you ignite the car, but the interior light starts bright but eventually dims, the alternator might be defective. Furthermore, you may see the battery symbol on the dashboard or notice a burning smell. These are signs that the alternator is faulty and needs checking.

The alternator works with belts. Therefore, there is no quick fix around this. It would be best to get the car checked out by an expert to determine the best course of action. In severe scenarios, it might have damaged the battery.

9. A bad timing belt.

The timing belt rotates the crankshaft and cam in the engine. It is a rubber strip that may fail. Common signs to look out for are that you might hear a ticking sound from under the hood, or the starter motor will engage but does not turn over.

Timing belts rarely break down, but it can be terrible when they do. Usually, they malfunction when the engine is running.

Modern vehicles are now fitted with chain belts and not rubber ones.

Wrapping up

It is vital to get used car parts from reputable car breakers when replacing faulty car parts. is a reputable original car parts seller who is experienced and has precisely what your vehicle needs. All you need to do is log on to the website, view the parts and compare prices. It is easy and convenient.

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