There is nothing more frustrating than going to start your vehicle and nothing happens. There are many different reasons why your vehicle won't start. If you're not sure what to do when this happens, here are some common causes and solutions for them.
If Your Vehicle Won't Turn Over
When you go to start your vehicle, it will make a clicking sound when you turn the key to the on position, and then it starts when you push the key further. The sound it makes when you turn it on is "tuning over". Knowing if it is turning over or not is the first step to figuring out why it won't start.
If your vehicle isn't turning over, flip on some of your car accessories. These include your radio, lights and, heater, or anything else you can turn on inside of it. If the lights are dim or won't turn on at all, there is likely a problem with your battery.
If you think you may have left a light on or something that has drained the battery, you can try to jumpstart your vehicle. Using a jump starter is the best way to do this. Using someone else's vehicle to connect the batteries together can harm both of your batteries in the process. If you want to test your battery you can take it to a local auto parts store. Many auto parts store will run a load test on your battery for free. This is a test that will tell you if the battery is still good or if you need to buy a new one.
Another reason why your car may not start is simply the connection to the battery. Sometimes the wires that connect to the battery get loose. Often, a build-up occurs around the battery terminal. Disconnect and battery and clean the surface of the battery with a rag and some water or a battery terminal cleanser. Wipe the battery dry and reconnect the wires. Make sure everything is tight and try to start your car again.
The last common reason why your vehicle won't start is there is something wrong with the starter itself. You can test your starter yourself if you have a multimeter. You can attach the multimeter to your battery and try to start the vehicle (if you know your battery is good). If your battery is good, but you aren't reading a voltage of at least 12 on your multimeter, there is an issue with your starter.
If Your Vehicle Turns Over
You'd think that turning over is better than not turning over when it won't start, but that's not necessarily true. This just makes things a lot more complicated. Here are a few common reasons why this may be happening.
Usually if your fuel pump isn't working, the car will try to rev up but not start. When your fuel pump is broken, it can't pump fuel through your vehicle to make it run. If you're at this point, chances are you ignored some signs along the way. Think back to when you were driving recently. If your vehicle engine sputtered at high speeds or ever died while you were driving, your fuel pump was going out. You will have to take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic to have it replaced.
Your relay controls power flow through your vehicle. If your relay is bad, your vehicle isn't going to start. If you're lucky, you will only need to change the relay fuse. If that doesn't work, you can test the relay to see if there is another issue, or have a mechanic look at your vehicle for you.
If your car isn't turning over, that's a good sign. It means the problem may be easy for you to fix. Hopefully you only need to jump the battery or buy a new one. If your vehicle is turning over, the possibilities are endless. It could be a bad fuel pump or relay, or something else entirely. If it's not turning over, your best bet may be to get your vehicle to the shop to be professionally repaired at a truck repair service shop.