Car Having Trouble Starting: Why and How To Fix It

Car batteries can lose their charge over time and then will need to be replaced. A dirty or corroded battery connection could also cause problems. And your engine may have overheated if you’ve been driving in stop-and-go traffic.

In this blog post, we’re going to tell you about a few of the most common reasons why your car may be having trouble starting.

mechanic checking engine with flash light

Why is your car having trouble starting?

The car battery is the main source of power in any vehicle, so if it’s dead, it won’t start. But even if the battery has some juice left in it, anything from corroded harness connectors to a faulty starter motor could keep your car from turning over.

If you’ve given your car’s battery plenty of time to recharge but it’s still unresponsive, the car’s alternator could be worn out or faulty. A weak or defective alternator also won’t keep your battery charged properly—and if it doesn’t produce at least 12 to 14 volts, other components like stereos and power windows will stop working too.

engine maintenance

A starter motor is an integral part of getting any engine to turn over, but a faulty starter motor can’t actually hurt the battery or the alternator. In fact, an inoperable starter typically points to a bigger issue with either the engine’s solenoid or its wiring.

An obvious sign of a bad starter is when your car fails to start at all and you hear nothing when you turn the key in the ignition. But if your engine cranks for too long without starting, that’s another sign that there’s something wrong with the starter motor—and you could end up ruining your battery on account of excessive cranking.

Another possible culprit is a blown fuse. If one of the vehicle’s fuses blows, it will need to be replaced before the car can start.

CVT Transmission Reliability

What if your Car Only Starts Briefly

If your engine cranks for a brief moment and then stops, that’s a sign that there’s an issue with either the fuel pump or the sensor that controls it. If the fuel pump is contaminated—say, with water or dirt—it won’t produce enough pressure to force gas into your engine, so your car won’t start.

The fuel pump is part of the vehicle’s electric system, but there are many other components that can affect whether or not it works properly—including corroded wiring connections and faulty sensors that measure fuel pressure or relay information about engine speed to the pump. Any of these issues could prevent the fuel pump from working, which means your car won’t start or keep running.

These are just a few of the most common reasons why your car has trouble starting. Fixing these issues will help you get back on the road and enjoy trouble-free motoring for years to come!

What to do if your car just won’t start?

If your car fails to start, you should either call a mobile mechanic or follow these steps:


Check to see if the engine has enough power. If it does, then the vehicle’s battery and starter motor must be in good working order.


Next check all of the fuses for signs of damage or corrosion.


If the fuses are okay, check to see if your engine has enough electrical current. You can do this by turning the headlights on and off or simply by listening to any unusual noises coming from the car’s electrical system.


If there is no current, check the battery cables and wiring for visible signs of damage. You can use a voltmeter to check the car’s voltage. If it is below 12 volts, then your battery is defective and must be replaced.

mechanic servicing a car engine


If there is current but the engine still won’t start, try jump-starting the vehicle from another car or a set of booster cables. Then turn on the headlights again to see if they light up. If so, the problem lies with the vehicle’s electrical system and not the battery itself.


Once you’ve determined that your battery is actually working fine, it may be time to get a mechanic out to look over your car.

Depending on where you’re located and how urgent your need for a ride is, you could call a mobile mechanic or simply wait and have your car towed later.


If cars have trouble starting or staying on, there are many possible reasons. The most common is a faulty starter motor, but you should also check the vehicle’s battery and alternator before you call for help.

If your car starts fine again but you hear loud clicking, clunking or squeaking from the engine while driving, it could be an indicator that timing belts replacement is needed.

There are many other components on cars that control how well the fuel pump operates as well—so don’t rule out any possibilities until you have checked them all!

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