Why the car won't start: causes, possible breakdowns
Why the car won't start: causes, possible breakdowns

Quite often, drivers are faced with the fact that the car refuses to start. This problem can happen both before and after work. As a rule, everything happens at the most inopportune moment. But you should not panic ahead of time, because often the problem can be fixed on the spot. What to do if the car won't start? We will talk about this in this article.

How to prevent breakage?

First of all, I would like to talk about regular maintenance. Often, breakdowns are due to the fact that many parts and assemblies work at the limit. The owner tries to ignore it for as long as possible. As a result, the "iron horse" refuses to take its owner to work or leisure. In addition, malfunctions of active safety or control systems can be fatal.

car won't start
car won't start

For this simple reason, it is advisable to service your car on time. For example, every 20,000 kilometers, check the condition of the brake system, change sensors and wear parts of the engine in time. It is impossible to completely eliminate a breakdown, but it is quite possible to minimize the likelihood of its occurrence.can. High-quality and regular maintenance is the right way to long and trouble-free operation of the vehicle.

Car won't start: starter doesn't turn

This problem is one of the most common. Many drivers have found themselves in a situation where nothing happens when they turn the key in the ignition. There is no click signal from the starter solenoid relay. In 90% of cases, the battery is to blame. To start the starter, its charge is not enough. The symptoms are as follows:

  • dim glow of car lights;
  • lack of reaction of the internal combustion engine to turn the key in the ignition lock;
  • no lights on car dashboard;
  • battery terminals loose.

As you can see, determining the cause of the malfunction is quite simple, so if the car does not start (does not turn the starter), then you should not worry. The problem is not critical. To eliminate it, it is usually enough to clean the terminals and establish a strong contact or charge the battery.

Another possible reason is the presence of an immobilizer. The principle of operation of the anti-theft is to interrupt the circuits to the starter. Usually there is a malfunction on cars after 2008 of release.

Car won't start in cold weather

But this problem is very common. And in many cases, practically nothing depends on the technical condition of the car. For example, a stable -20-30 degrees is already a serious problem for a diesel engine. To leave for work in the morning, you need to installsystems that heat diesel fuel, batteries and engine oil sump.

Much worse when the gasoline power unit refuses to work. But there are only two main reasons that are the culprits. First, there is no fuel supply to the injectors. Secondly, it does not ignite.

does not respond to key
does not respond to key

Well, then there are many factors, each of which plays a certain role. It all starts with poor quality fuel and ends with faulty sensors and clogged fuel pump filters. It is quite difficult to determine the cause on the spot, but much depends on the experience and professionalism of the driver. By the behavior of the car, you can at least roughly understand where to start. For example, if gasoline does not burn, then the problem lies in the candles, wires, MAP sensor, MAF, MAF.

Ignition system malfunction

To begin with, let's deal with the most common problem of cars of the VAZ family. Car won't start? In this case, the first thing to do is to pay attention to the ignition. If the car is an injection type, then the search should start by checking the coil, wires and candles. The latter are recommended to unscrew and look at their condition. If they smell of gasoline and are wet, then this indicates that the fuel does not burn out in full and flies out into the exhaust pipe. There may be several reasons:

  • Insufficient battery starting current.
  • Distributor failure. The starter turns but the engine does not catch.
  • Damage to the insulation of high-voltage wires. RevealThe problem is easiest at night, when a spark is visible at start-up, going to the engine head.
  • Timing sensor malfunction. In this case, it is unlikely that it will be possible to start the car, and it will not work to solve the problem in the field. The only option is to clean the sensor with carb cleaner or WD-40.
checking wiring with a tester
checking wiring with a tester

More reasons

What else is worth paying attention to? For example, the car does not start after washing the engine. In this case, the problem definitely needs to be looked for under the hood. Often water gets on bare wires and causes a malfunction. The first thing to do is to check all the wiring. It is advisable to start with armored wires and spark plugs. Moisture on the battery terminals can also be a cause. Therefore, it is better to inspect and wipe them.

If you do not wipe the terminals, then over time, plaque forms at the contact point, increasing resistance and worsening contact. Gradually, the situation is only getting worse. It is also advisable to dry the candles and wells, since moisture on these elements will lead to difficult or even impossible starting of the internal combustion engine. Based on the foregoing, we can draw certain conclusions that the ignition system suffers the most, since the ingress of moisture negatively affects the contact.

charging a dead battery
charging a dead battery

Unable to start the internal combustion engine hot

Despite the fact that electronic injection is considered to be more reliable, the system needs careful and regular maintenance, because the failure of one of the componentswill lead to certain problems. For example, very often there are problems with sensors. In this case, you can determine the breakdown using diagnostic equipment. It is difficult to identify and fix the problem on the spot. You can remove, clean and reinstall the sensors. In some cases, this will help fix the problem. If you have a multimeter at hand, then you can use it to measure the resistance of the sensors and, based on the data obtained, draw certain conclusions. But again, you need to know the maximum permissible parameters for a particular brand of car.

For example, a failure of the coolant temperature sensor will cause the electronic control unit (ECU) to receive incorrect data. And since for a hot engine the mixture formation is different from a cold one, the start-up, although it will be possible, will be difficult. There may be other reasons as well. Car won't start? The fuel injectors may be leaking. They leak fuel even when closed, so the mixture is too rich. As a result - flooded candles and a bad start.

Gasoline pump and electronic control unit

Constant pressure in the fuel supply system must be maintained regardless of the ambient temperature. If the pump is not able to create, for example, 6 atmospheres, but gives 3-4 atmospheres instead, then problems will immediately arise not only with starting, but also with driving at high speeds. The fuel pump may be serviceable, but the fine and coarse filters are dirty. In this case, the required amount of fuel will not pass through the highways, therefore, the car will"stupid". This also applies to the moment of launch.

The electronic control unit is the brain center of the car. It is this block that sets the duration of fuel supply, the amount of air and gasoline supplied to the combustion chamber. It is easy to guess that any electronic malfunctions will lead to the fact that the car will not start. But since the ECU receives all the initial data from the sensors, they must be checked first of all, this also applies to wiring, which over many years of operation can partially fail due to oxidation or old age. As a rule, the ECU works without problems if moisture does not get on it, but when it is in an unfavorable place, it is better to protect it additionally by installing a plastic casing.

loading a car onto a tow truck
loading a car onto a tow truck

Stalls on the move - what to do?

If you were driving quietly to work, and suddenly the car stalled, turns but does not catch, then it is best to contact the service station. The fact is that often the problem lies in the engine or gas distribution mechanism. For example, insufficient compression in the cylinders, which is especially noticeable at low temperatures. It will not be possible to repair the vehicle in the field. You need to tow the car to a technical center where the problem will be solved. The malfunction is often associated with the natural wear and tear of the power unit and is typical for internal combustion engines that have traveled 150,000 kilometers or more.

If the problem appeared after a major overhaul, then there are only two options - incorrectly set thermal clearances or the timing is not installed according to the marks. Anyway without helpspecialists are indispensable.

trouble on the road
trouble on the road

Some good advice

If the car starts and stalls, then it is worth checking the condition of the fuel pump filters. Especially if it's cold outside. For example, dirt and water freeze - the permeability of fuel through the highways decreases. In this case, it is recommended to turn the ignition on and off several times, pumping up gasoline. Often times, this sort of thing helps. However, with such a malfunction, it is not recommended to drive for a long time. Also, before starting the car in frost, it is advisable to turn on the high beam headlights for 3-5 seconds. This will allow the battery to warm up for a smoother start.

Resource of units and assemblies

It is necessary to understand that all the parts that are used in the construction of cars have a certain resource, having exhausted which there are no guarantees for further uninterrupted operation. For example, if the car does not start, it turns, but does not catch, and at the same time you have never changed the distributor or candles, then you should pay attention to these particular nodes. This applies to everything else as well. A striking example is the MAP sensor, which is actually the main sensor in determining the vacuum in the combustion chamber, and therefore is responsible for high-quality mixture formation. Also, the fuel pump must produce constant pressure, have clean coarse and fine filters. It hardly makes sense to talk about the need to replace high-voltage wires and spark plugs. In the passport of the technical tool, the terms for checking and replacing are indicated, they must be followed.

no visibledefects
no visibledefects


With proper maintenance, any car will delight its owner with trouble-free operation, regardless of weather conditions. But each machine needs care and timely replacement of components and assemblies. It is also recommended not to save on sensors. For example, Chinese cheap substitutes may initially be defective and will only cause trouble for the owner. In order not to pay twice, it is better to buy a proven brand right away.

If the car stalled on the move or simply did not start in the morning, then there is no need to panic. Nothing bad happened. You can go to work by bus or taxi, and tow the car to the nearest service station. If you manage to deal with the problem yourself, then it's just fine. But not always everything depends on us, so sometimes it is worth entrusting complex technical work to specially trained people.