What to Do When Your Car Won’t Start

Do you know that awful feeling when your car doesn’t start? You turn the ignition key and nothing happens! The car just won’t fire into action. There really is nothing worse than having to be somewhere and your car not starting.

So what could it be, and what should you do? At EAC Telford we want you to be driving a car that you can trust so we’ve put together this short article so that you can be prepared should this happen to you.

What to Do?

There is a complexity to the engineering that goes into modern cars that puts a lot of people off working on them themselves. But there are a few simple things you can do for yourself to see what is wrong prior to reaching out for EAC Telford. Here are some of the most common problem areas to think about.

  • The car’s battery is a common cause of a car not starting. If its charge is low it can cause the engine not to turn over or to do so too slowly to start.
  • Automatic cars that are not left in Park or Neutral may not start until the setting is corrected.
  • At EAC Telford, we too often find people are having problems because they are using a spare key that hasn’t been programmed and so won’t start your car.
  • We’re also aware of drivers being frustrated by filling the car up with the wrong fuel.
  • Malfunction Indicator Lamps indicate the cause of a car not turning over maybe down to one of the car’s electronic systems misbehaving.

Let’s take a look at each of those in a bit more detail.

Check the Battery

To check your battery, begin by seeing if the car will at least turn over. If it does so at a suitable speed then it’s unlikely that the battery is at the root of the problem. But, if the engine doesn’t come to life move on to the next test.

Wet the windscreen with the washers and try the wipers. If they move slowly across the screen it could well be your battery and you may need to consider recharging it or using jump leads to start the vehicle from a slave battery.

How to “Jump Start” a Car

To jump-start your car you will require a set of jump leads and another vehicle or another battery.
Connect the flat battery to the live one, and give them 10 minutes for their two charges to equalise, and then try starting your car.

Never do this without thoroughly reading and applying the manufacturers instructions. Otherwise, you may wrongly connect the jump leads and miss the specific procedure laid down for the equipment. There are quite a few cases in which the connection is not direct to the battery and failing to follow the appropriate instructions may trigger an unfortunate fault.

When you believe your battery is flat and you want professional help, simply call us and we will take care of this for you.

Tackling an Immobilised Vehicle

Transponder immobilisers play a key role in car anti-theft systems. Modern car keys are fitted with these transponders in the form of tiny coded chips.

When you present a key to your car, a sequence of events is triggered that checks a transponder’s data to establish you are using the correct key for the car. When it is, the car is effectively allowed to crank. If it’s not, then a light similar to the one pictured may illuminate.

When you suspect an immobiliser issue check the key. If it’s different from the one you regularly use then revert to the original key. If the car starts, get the other key checked and corrected.

If the key is good, but the car still won’t start, then try positioning the key closer to the key reader. The best position for the key should be identified in the owner’s manual.

If neither of these quick tips are successful and you still have problems starting your car, contact EAC Telford where our technicians will find a solution.

Dash Lights

If the dash lights fail to light up or the wrong ones are illuminated there could be one or two different faults to blame.

The immediate thing to do is to check the vehicle’s fuses.
Fuses protect electrical systems and are built to “blow” when any fault occurs. Blown fuses commonly don’t allow cars to start.

The owner’s manual not only shows where fuse boxes are on a car but it will also provide an outline of what each fuse is there to protect. When the faulty fuse is located and replaced with another of the same rating the car may start.

However, when a fuse keeps blowing when you switch on the ignition then a professional diagnosis is in order.

If all the fuses are sound but a Malfunction Indicator Light is illuminated it means there is an electrical system malfunction that may cause the car not to start.

Specialist equipment and trained technicians are required to accurately get to the bottom of these issues. At EAC Telford we have both, so give us a call and we’ll get you back on the road in a car you can trust. Give us a call as we’re here to help on 01952 980566