What To Do When your Car Wont Start

What To Do When your Car Wont Start


When your car wont start, you want to learn how to fix your no start condition and get your car back on the road. Although you might be frustrated the last thing you want to do is get upset. In fact when your car wont start there’s a simple process to troubleshooting your vehicle.

Today I’ll be showing you how to break down the issues behind why your car wont start. Most of the time when a car has trouble starting or wont start properly, it’s the battery. Chances are you left your lights, or heater or radio on, or maybe there’s another electrical issue that caused your battery to drain.

Troubleshooting when your car wont start

When your car wont start there’s a few symptoms that can help you recognize what the issue is.

This guide will help walk you through and help you find out what the issue is. Before going through this handy guide, make sure to check your battery first.

So if your car wont start, these are just a few of the steps you should take to track down the problem. Because your car may not start for any number of reasons, it’s best to save time by using this tutorial. This guide will track down the common wont start problems and what action you can take to try to fix your car wont start issue.

Steps to take when your car wont start

You can tell a lot about your car problems when you go to turn your ignition but your car wont start. Here’s just a few of the steps you can take from that point onward.

Car makes no sound – If your car doesn’t make any noise at all when you turn the ignition, it’s a clear sign that something is wrong with the battery. Begin troubleshooting by opening your hood and inspecting your battery terminals. Check to see if they are loose or maybe so contaminated by corrosion that your car isn’t getting the voltage it needs.

Try rolling your windows up and down or turning on a interior light. If these seem to work there’s something wrong with your ignition switch. Replace it with a new ignition switch to start your car.

There might also be a problem with one of your engine sensors. You can check this by turning the car to the “ON” position and looking for a check engine light. To read what code is stored in your OBDII vehicle, you will need the proper scan tool. Failure of your crank angle sensor can prevent your car from starting.

Car makes a clicking sound – When you turn your ignition and the car makes a clicking noise, it’s a sign that your starter is the issue. Check the wiring that leads to your starter and inspect the starter for proper operation. You can also check for continuity by using a digital multimeter.

What To Do When your Car Wont Start 1While you’ve got your multimeter out, check your battery to make sure there’s enough juice to turn the starter over. You may or may not need a jump to get your car started if your battery is the culprit.

Car Cranks but Wont Start – Your engine operates on three basic ingredients. Air, fuel and spark, and you can check each one of these easily. You can check your fuel pressure at your fuel rail by installing a gauge or disconnecting the fuel pressure regulator temporarily. If you have fuel pressure but your fuel injectors aren’t firing, you can test your injectors individually using your multimeter. You can check for spark by unplugging a spark wire and testing it against your valve cover.

If you happen to own a car with a carburetor, check your adjustment screws and see if your choke is closing properly. For more information on how to troubleshoot your carburetor make sure to subscribe to My Pro Street.

Car misfires and dies – There are several possible causes to this kind of car wont start issue. One of which is to check your firing order on your spark plugs. If your car is equipped with points or a non electronic distributor, check and inspect the cap, rotor, points and spark plug wires for any damage.

If your vehicle has a carburetor make sure to check the accelerator pump as well as the idle speed.

Car wont start on rainy days – If you have a vehicle equipped with an ignition distributor, take off the cap and inspect for any moisture. This condensation can cause your ignition to struggle on rainy days. Pick up some mechanic solvent from your local auto store and clean the ignition cap and rotor. Dry the cap as best as you can and reinstall to solve your car wont start issue.

Jump Start your Car – When your car wont start and you are sure it’s the battery or the cranking power of your battery that’s causing the issue, you’ll need a jump. If you own a vehicle that cannot be jumped without the right hardware, stop now and call a mechanic or tow truck.

If you are sure you can safely use jumper cables, you’ll need to use someone’s car to help you jump start yours. It’s usually a good idea to carry around a set of good jumper cables just in case of this happening to you.

How to Jump Start your Car

  1. Take out your jumper cables.
  2. Put both cars into PARK or NEUTRAL
  3. Engage parking brakes
  4. Leave both cars turned off
  5. If you are using batteries that are not sealed, remove the caps. Unsealed batteries produce hydrogen gas which can be explosive.
  6. Connect your jumper cables –
    1. Put the red positive lead on the positive terminal of your dead battery. Connect the other red lead to the jump car with a good battery.
    2. Connect the black lead to your dead battery, and complete the connection to the car belonging to the Good Samaritan who is helping you.
  7. Try to start your car now

If your car won’t start, turn on the jump car and let it idle for a few minutes. Then try to start your vehicle again. You can also carefully increase the engine speed in the jump car to try and give the jump car battery some extra boost. If your car wont start even after having the jumper cables in place for a while, your battery may be beyond help.

Once you do get your car jumped drive around for a while so that your alternator can recharge your battery. Have any questions about our car wont start guide? Leave us a comment below and let us know!


  1. After reading your post, I think my car must be having issues with the injectors. It wouldn’t start yesterday, and I tried a lot. It came close to turning over a few times. So, I towed it to the car shop and they started it right up. Should I ask them to look at the injectors?

    • James, did you check your battery and for spark as well? Typically problems with your injectors wouldn’t cause the weird starting and non starting issues you describe.