Starting Your Car & Your Day

When someone has a little trouble starting their day, usually a cup of coffee, some exercise or a good breakfast can start their engine. If it’s your car, well I wish my car ran on coffee. Sometimes starting your car can be a caffeine-free headache.

It’s spring, time for the two (or more) car owners to rev up the good weather rides and show off the slick beauty they’ve been keeping under wraps all winter. Convertibles, antiques, luxury autos can usually count on being in storage for at least 3-4 months while the roads are covered in salt, sand and snow. Most owners know to make sure the cars are started on a regular basis and kept running to that the battery and the rest of the moving parts stay in good working order.  In case you’re dealing with a car that won’t start, take my advice and keep the coffee for yourself.

There’s more than a few reasons a car won’t start, let’s list a few here:

Fuel System Issues

Two possibilities are the fuel pump and the filter. If the filter is partially clogged, the car can hesitate and stall repeatedly. If it’s completely blocked or if the fuel pump has failed, the engine will crank but it won’t start.

Bad Ignition Switch

No spark in your life? It could be you ignition switch. If it’s gone bad, the dash lights can flicker, the radio and other electrical accessories may not work or you may have a hard time turning the ignition key.

Faulty Starter

If hear a high-pitched screech or a clicking sound when you turn the key, then you’ve got a bad starter or a ghost. (it’s probably the starter!) When it goes bad, the starter motor actuates but doesn’t spin, so it can’t create the spark needed to get the engine going.

Dead Battery

If the engine is ghostly (there’s that word again) silent when you turn the key, the most likely cause is a dead battery. A battery can drain and die due to a bad alternator or if you leave the lights or any accessories on for a long time. But you should be able to jump-start and recharge it. If the battery is past its expiration date, though, you’ll need to replace it to get the engine going again.

Bad Alternator

An alternator powers the car while you’re driving. It recharges the battery too. Typically you’ll have some warning that it’s going bad. Dimmer lights, lower power accessory operation and a lit dashboard indicator will let you know. If it fails completely, the battery will drain and the car simply won’t start.