13 Car Won't Start Checklists Infographic

Mornings unfold in a frenzy as we prepare for school, work, daycare drop-offs, or crucial appointments, our minds overwhelmed by an ever-expanding to-do list. Amidst this rush, discovering that your car refuses to start can abruptly bring everything to a screeching halt. While emergency roadside assistance is a fallback option, we present a comprehensive checklist addressing the most common causes of car-starting issues. The guide not only outlines these issues but also provides insights into recognizing them and offers solutions to expedite getting back on the road.

1. The car is in gear.

The vehicle’s exclusive starting modes are Park or Neutral. Shifting to Park and retrying is imperative if it’s in another gear.

2. The key won’t turn.

The steering wheel may lock as part of the anti-theft system. Gently shifting the steering wheel side to side should unlock it. Finding this “sweet spot” allows for successful key turning.

3. Your key fob won’t work.

A depleted key fob battery can hinder engine startup due to the anti-theft system. Placing the fob directly against the starter or replacing the battery or using the spare key are suggested remedies.

4. The gas tank is empty.

Oversight on gas levels, especially with newly licensed drivers, may result in an empty tank. Options include towing services for fuel delivery or a DIY solution using gas cans from a local station. After refueling, a jump start may be required to restart the car.

5. The car makes a rapid clicking sound.

This indicates a potentially dead battery. Checking the battery for a secure connection and cleaning any corrosion or loose wires is advised. For those hesitant about battery maintenance, a car jumpstart service can provide assistance.

6. You jumpstarted the car, but it died

A failing alternator, responsible for charging the battery while driving, may be the issue.

7. The car lights turn on, but the engine won’t start.

If lights function, the battery is likely operational. A malfunctioning starter, responsible for starting the engine, may necessitate towing to a repair shop.

8. You turn the key and see or smell smoke.

This could indicate a blown fuse. Accessible fuses can be replaced based on the car owner’s manual instructions.

9. The dashboard has flickering lights, and the engine doesn’t crank.

An issue with the ignition switch requires professional attention.

10. The engine cranks, you hear clicks, but it won’t turn over.

This suggests a need for spark plug replacement. Obtaining spark plugs and the necessary tool from an auto part store or opting for a tune-up from a repair shop are recommended.

11. Your car misfires.

A mechanic should inspect the distributor cap and timing belt.

12. The car has been running rough and getting worse gas mileage than normal.

A clogged fuel filter may lead to difficulty starting. Changing the fuel filter every 30,000 miles is advisable.

13. The AdBlue light is on.

Adding at least 4 liters is necessary to extinguish the light and resume regular car function.

In conclusion, we recommend printing this checklist and storing it in your glove compartment. This ensures that whoever is behind the wheel has immediate access to vital information for resolving common car-starting issues. For assistance in Utah, call Roadside Rescue at 801-803-4900.

source: https://roadsiderescueinc.com/the-ultimate-car-wont-start-checklist/


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