Everything was going so well until then … And here one fine morning, your car refuses to start! Starting a car is like a chain, some links of which can be capricious: when it gets stuck somewhere, the whole system goes off the rails.
However, some failures are easy to identify, and you can start (almost) as if nothing had happened. Here are 5 points to check before calling the tow truck.
This article is summarized in 20 seconds in the video below.
The battery discharged?
Headlights on all night, forgetting the key in the ignition, etc., these reasons can prevent the vehicle from running. Indeed, the battery is discharged and therefore unable to supply the energy necessary to start the car. Sometimes the worn out battery needs to be replaced.
But how can you be sure that the battery is the cause of the failure? Just check these 2 elements:
- if the headlights are poorly lit;
- if certain indicator lights on the instrument panel come on (for example, test the radio).
Two scenarios appear when you activate the contact:
- if the engine is running normally, the battery is out of the question;
- suddenly, the battery is weak, it needs a recharge.
Oxidized battery terminals?
Oxidation, due to humidity and temperature changes, loves to land on the battery terminals, and prevent the passage of current. If nothing, or almost nothing, is heard when you turn the ignition key, and your battery is charged (have you checked?), The problem will be with the two clogged terminals.
Normally, they come in a metallic gray color. If this is not the case, here is the procedure to follow to fix it:
- scrape them with an iron brush or sandpaper;
- drop a knob of thick fat there.
Starter motor tired?
Your starter – the small electric motor used to start the engine – may show signs of fatigue at first contact. However, to avoid costly troubleshooting, it is possible to boost it and extend its service life. Before anything else, consult your vehicle’s manual to locate the starter.
Two techniques are presented to you:
- Give a few shots on the front (the pointed part) of the starter. This will have the effect of taking off the coals and therefore allowing the passage of current.
- Push the vehicle downhill and use the clutch pedal in seconds. The engine races and eventually starts.
Immobilizer properly disabled?
An electronic device supposed to prevent the theft of the vehicle, the immobilizer comes in several forms. In all cases, the starter should operate normally when you turn the key. However, the engine may refuse to start. Here are the different types of immobilizers and common problems:
- With a 4-digit code : do not get the code wrong, otherwise after three unsuccessful attempts, the vehicle will freeze for half an hour.
- With a transponder in the remote control : check the condition of the battery and replace it if necessary.
- With an impulse provided by the remote control (Renault): press the button to open the doors of the remote control and start (sometimes the car does not identify the remote control at the first try).
It’s cold, and you tried to start your petrol car by pumping the accelerator pedal several times. The engine does not turn, but a strong smell of gasoline is felt. Two solutions are available to you:
- Wait about 20 minutes for the natural evaporation of the surplus gasoline in the engine.
- If you have a candle key at hand, disassemble the candles and bring the flame of a lighter to the electrode to burn this gasoline.