What You Should Do If Your Car Won't Start

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You keep on turning the key but your car just won't start. Maybe its clicking, perhaps its whirring or its might not be making any noise at all. Now what? Before you panic and imagine the worst, try troubleshooting the problem. What seems like a big deal could be something that only requires a minor repair. Learning some common reasons a car will not start can help you pinpoint or rule out the issue and maybe even fix it yourself.

Give It Some Gas

A seemingly broken down car could simply have an empty gas tank. A car out of gas will attempt to turn over when you switch on the key. Check the fuel gauge, but don't rely completely. Gauges can stop working, especially in older vehicles. If you suspect the tank is dry, add a gallon or two and try again. Refer to your owner's manual, as you may also need to prime the motor or press a fuel injection reset button.

Assess the Battery

A dead or dying battery can certainly prevent your car from starting. Look at the battery cables and posts. If you see a lot of corrosion, cleaning off the build-up can help. Frayed or damaged cables can prevent a solid connection as well. Jumping the battery using cables connected to another car is worth trying, but you will likely need to replace your own battery right away, even if you are able to start it.

Unlock the Wheel

When your vehicle is parked on a slope or at an odd angle, your steering wheel may lock. This will prevent you from being able to turn the key in the ignition. Make sure your parking brake is on and your transmission is in park. Generally, the wheel will only turn in one direction. Attempt to turn the key in the ignition while turning the steering wheel in the direction that has some give until the wheel unlocks and the car starts.

Get an Expert Opinion

Professional mechanics can help identify the problem with your car. Turn to a pro who provides auto diagnostic service. They can give you the information you need to help you decide what to do next, such as the cost and time required for repairs. A reputable mechanic will tell you all of your options and even help you create a plan to get your ride up and running at the lowest cost.