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Why the car won't start: possible causes and solutions
Why the car won't start: possible causes and solutions

If you own a car, you probably know from your own experience how unpleasant sudden breakdowns in the engine or chassis are. But it's even worse when the car just won't start, or starts and immediately stalls. Causes of malfunctions, how to fix them and other useful information can be found in this article.

Reasons why the car won't start

A car is a complex mechanism, and there can be many reasons why it refuses to start. If you find yourself in a situation where the car will not start, we recommend that you first check a few of the simplest and most common causes that cause this problem:

  • Not enough fuel. Perhaps you forgot to stop at a gas station, or you ran out of gas at the most inopportune moment. In this case, the ignition system cannot start the internal combustion engine due to insufficient fuel. Even if the level is not at zero, this may not be enough to start the car, for example, in winter. To avoid suchunpleasant situations, it is always better to carry a small can of gasoline in the car.
  • Battery problems. How to distinguish this reason from many others? It's simple - if you turn the key in the ignition, and the indicators on the dashboard glow dimly or are not visible at all, then there is a problem in the car's battery. To begin with, it is worth checking the terminals - sometimes they move away, and as a result the car will not start. If this does not affect the final result, then the battery needs to be replaced.

The reasons why the car does not start well can be much more serious. They are difficult to diagnose on your own, so in some cases you may need the help of an experienced car mechanic.

why vaz car won't start

Electrical problems

The reason that the car will not start may be damage to the ignition circuit. Due to mechanical stress or metal corrosion, this part often fails. Sometimes, to solve this problem, it is enough to clean the contact terminals and wires.

In addition, malfunctions in the car can occur due to blown fuses, a malfunctioning ignition switch, and incorrect operation of the ignition coil. In vehicles with a carburetor, problems with the starter may be due to the accumulation of moisture under the distributor cap.

The more complex the car, the more breakdowns associated with electrical equipment, it can be. In most cases, only a professional can determine the reason why the car does not start with a starter usingspecial equipment and careful inspection.

why is the car hard to start

Problems with the fuel system

Often, drivers are faced with such a problem - when the key is turned in the ignition, the starter turns, but the engine is silent. This may be due to damage to the integrity of the wires that feed the injection system with electricity. In this case, fuel is simply not supplied to the engine and the car will not start.

The cause of the malfunction may also be hidden in the fuel pump. Most often, due to insufficient vacuum, in the event of corrosion or other damage, the discharge or suction pipe fails and stops pumping fuel. If any part of this system does not work correctly, the whole car and your time may suffer.

The answer to the question why the car does not start, maybe the fuel filter. But it should be noted that in practice such cases are quite rare. If the filter is clogged, the fuel simply cannot get through it into the internal combustion engine, and the car does not move.

why won't car start when it's cold

Starter problems

After the battery, the most common cause of a car not performing its function is the starter motor. There may be several options for breakdowns. Why won't the starter start the car?

  1. Elements of the starter contact group failed.
  2. The anchor of the retractor relay is stuck. If the starter does not react in any way to turning the key in the lock, then most likely it does not receivevoltage. The relay responsible for reducing the starting current may stop working and in this case will not be able to conduct electricity to the starter terminals. An experienced driver will be able to solve this problem on the spot on their own: for this, it is enough to replace the faulty relay with another element, for example, the rear window defroster relay.
  3. There was a short circuit between the turns in the winding of the traction relay. Damage to the gear and wear of its teeth can give a picture similar to that described in the previous paragraph. It is indicated by the characteristic sounds that can be heard in the starter. Metallic ringing and crackling indicates a problem at the junction of the flywheel and gear. Sometimes, to eliminate the trouble, it is enough to clean the parts of the retractor relay from corrosion, in other cases, the entire part or some of its parts must be replaced.
  4. why the car won't start

The reasons why the starter does not turn are not so many, but they are all rather unpleasant. Part wear occurs due to the natural aging of mechanisms or due to improper operation of the vehicle. Choosing the wrong oil can also have a negative effect on the ignition system of the car.

Faults in the injector

Why won't my car start? The injector in the car has a complex device with many elements, so it can be difficult to determine the cause of an inoperative ignition switch. What should be checked first?

  1. Gasoline pump. If the starter turns while turning the key, and you clearly hear the sound of a running pump, then everything is fine with it.OK. If there is a suspicion of its malfunction, then it is worth checking the candles of the car. If they are completely dry, then it's the fuel pump. In this case, you should carefully check the wires leading to the fuel pump, or replace the part itself.
  2. Lower pressure in the fuel rail can cause the engine to not start. Sometimes this is due to a dirty fuel or air filter.
  3. In other cases, the problem is due to a faulty crankshaft sensor. In this case, the engine will not start at all.
  4. If it's the injectors, the car will start after a few tries. The engine will then run worse, but will quickly return to normal after repair.
  5. start the car

Why the car does not start from auto start

In modern cars equipped with autostart, there may also be such a problem as the lack of engine start. Before trying to find all the above problems with your machine, we recommend that you eliminate the most common causes of this problem:

  • Incorrect operation of the immobilizer or its loss. If you accidentally left part of the key at home or something broke in it, the car's electrical system will automatically block the fuel pump and it simply won't start.
  • The problem is in the autorun key. This part may also break. In order to check this problem, just try to start the car with a regular key.
  • Alarm. As a rule, it is part of the autorun system. sometimes happensclosure of the external circuit due to temperature changes and the occurrence of condensate. To eliminate this problem, it is enough to remove moisture and check the integrity of the wiring.
  • Why won't the car injector start?

Car won't start in cold weather

In summer, autumn and spring, your car starts like clockwork, but in winter problems begin. Familiar? Often this is what owners of Russian cars ask. So, why does a VAZ car and other brands not start? Often the cause is low-quality or old engine oil. Modern lubricants allow you to start the engine "cold", but for this you need to carefully select the brand and composition. Synthetic motor oils with a viscosity of 5W40 or 10W40 are the most optimal for starting in winter in used cars with high mileage.

Why won't my car start when it's cold? The problem may be hiding in low-quality fuel, which contains too many impurities and sediments. In this case, it is difficult to start the car even in good weather, not to mention frost. Many cars with old batteries have the same problem. In this case, you can start the car either from the pusher, or by “lighting up” from another motorist.

why does the car start and stop

Car starts and stalls

Another problem that motorists face is that the engine stops working after it has started. Why does the car start and stall?

The idle valve may fail and cause a shutdownpower unit. If the valve parts are clogged with slag due to the combustion of low-quality fuel, the electronic control unit may begin to receive incorrect data. Cleaning the valve or replacing it with a new one can solve this problem.

The car can also stall and not start due to a clogged valve in the exhaust gas recirculation system. Due to the use of low quality fuel, carbon compounds are deposited on the valve in large quantities. If you operate the car in difficult conditions, it is recommended to clean the valve every 100 thousand kilometers.

How to solve problems yourself

Where should you start solving the problem if you decide to figure everything out on your own? It is better to start with the most common oversights - check the battery and the amount of fuel, and then you can proceed to more serious reasons. If the starter spins, but the engine does not catch, the spectrum of problems is the same. If the starter does not react at all to turning the key, then the circle of possible breakdowns is significantly narrowed. Often, to fix the problem, it is enough to light the battery or change the oil to a more suitable one. If this does not solve the problems with the car, then the service station will help you find the cause. Car diagnostics can detect many problems "in the bud", so do not neglect this procedure. Experts recommend diagnosing once a year.

Expert Tips

What can experts advise those who often face the problem of poor engine starting? If you leave your car on the street,in winter, you may need a fuel filter heater to start it. With it, the chances of starting the engine “cold” increase significantly.


Unfortunately, most drivers face the problem of difficult engine start. Knowing the main causes of problems and how to fix them, you can independently deal with the problem in a short period of time. This knowledge gives great confidence on the roads, because in the event of a breakdown, you will at least have a rough idea of ​​​​what is its cause.

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