When the engine of your car fails to roar into life after turning the keys, what comes to your mind? Let’s guess. You open the bonnets first and take a look at your battery; a hard look actually to know if the battery is dead. You also do some other checks even the ones you may not be familiar with.
I once attended an event with my boss; the West African Automotive Show at the Landmark Centre Lagos. On the final day of the exhibition, the car we came with refused to start as we turned the keys. It was a moment of panic as darkness was already pressing down on us like an anvil. The thought of abandoning the car at the event and using alternative means of transportation doesn’t sit quite well with anyone.
After troubleshooting, we discovered the battery was weak amidst other things. So, here’s what to do when your engine fails to kick.
1, Check the batteries
Sometimes, the problem lies in the battery. If it’s totally dead, obviously the car won’t start. Even if a battery is weak, you will probably experience a slow sneezing sound of the starter. As the battery voltage drops, you’ll stop hearing that sound and even the lights on the instrument panel will dim upon turning the key.
The first thing you need to check is the battery terminal cable connections. If they are corroded, you may try forcing the point of an insulated screwdriver between the terminal post and the connector and lodge it more firmly. If this works, your cables definitely need to be replaced and it’s not a battery issue.
If you turn the key but experience only clicking noise, make sure you check whether the connection cables between the battery and the starter are connected firmly.
A temporary solution is jumpstarting the engine, but once you do that, you should head to our Auto Service centre and get your battery checked by our mechanics or replaced if need be.
2, Alternator and Starter
Nothing might be wrong with your battery but you may not say the same thing about your alternator and starter. If you have a faulty alternator, that means the battery doesn’t get charged during driving. While we’re at it, a worn accessory drive belt might be the main culprit.
If your starter is faulty, it may also give you an illusion that the battery is dead or weak. It will just spin slowly and draw more power than it actually needs.
If its drive gear has damaged teeth, you will hear a grinding sound, similar to the one that occurs when you try shifting gears with no clutch engaged.
In a situation where the starter cranks normally but the engine simply won’t run, your battery, alternator, and starter are usually fine and you need to look for the cause elsewhere.
3, Empty tank
Even though it may sound a little bit too obvious, but maybe you’ve simply run out of fuel. Check the levels on your instrument panel. If this is the case, you can relax and just get more gas.
If this isn’t the case, maybe your car has a weak fuel pump. Often the culprit might be a failed fuel pump relay. In these cases, fuel can’t reach the engine and that’s the reason why it won’t start.
Turn to the key to the “on” position and listen closely to the in-tank pump running. If you can’t really hear anything, it’s time to pay a visit to a mechanic and get your fuel pump fixed.
Older cars may suffer from frozen fuel lines during winter, but that doesn’t occur on modern cars
4, Security System Glitches
Faulty security systems on your car may also prevent your engine from running. This might be related to remote starting devices and remote keyless entry gadgets. If you have done any of the above and your car refuses to start, then the problem is beyond you.
In the market for a new car? or you’re simply trying to fix the old car that you have, simply visit our Auto repair center at 2nd Avenue 203, Beside Area E police command Festac Lagos