Why Your Car Won’t Start and How To Fix It

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Are you stuck into an emergency that has appeared abruptly like a dead engine in the car that is not starting no matter what you do? You are almost giving up, and you might have to call for the towing services.

You can do that, or you can try some of the solutions given below. Some of them are tricks that certainly work. Don’t call for the towing services yet, first, try these solutions.

Understanding The Problem

Firstly, you have to calm down and start by understanding the problem. Use the ignition key and twist it. Try to see where the problem is. There are two things that you can find with this process:

  • If your engine cranks, then the problem is usually related to the fuel system.
  • If your engine doesn’t crank, it is related to the power system.
    Sometimes the car engine will crank, but there wouldn’t be the clicking, indicating a problem in the power supply.
  • Make sure that you do not try to turn the key for more than 15 seconds; otherwise, you may potentially damage the engine of the car. In cold weather, people tend to twist the car keys too much, and for an extended period, this results in the engine declining. It does not heat up your engine but lowers its quality.

Fuel System Of The Car

A fuel system of the car tends to have the most problems in cold weather. Significantly, if you didn’t opt for regular maintenance of the car by changing filters and replacing oil, then the engine might not work to its best capabilities.

These are the problems with the solutions you can try:

Empty Tank

An empty tank means that you do not have fuel. It might be due to not finding any gas station, or perhaps your fuel gauge was malfunctioning. A malfunctioning fuel gauge will show you that there’s still fuel in the tank, but you might have run out of it.


  • The only solution to this problem is to find gas. Perhaps ask someone to provide you with some gas. You might have to make a run for a container to carry the gas.
  • Carrying pipes to help in transferring the gas can work. If you ask politely, or even pay for the extra gas, you can easily get enough to get you to the next gas station.
  • Alternatively, carry an emergency fuel can in your car for these scenarios. An emergency gas tank can easily fit in the storage of your car with other necessary tools.


Your fuel line might have jammed without proper filtration, or frozen in intense cold. Make sure that your fuel-filter was replaced at the right time. There is a certain life-time of each filter in the fuel system. They need proper replacement. If not, then the problem will persist.


The solutions you can try are:

  • Swap the fuel pump relays and see if it works. Yanking might be required. Sometimes, blowing inside the fuel pipe can also work.
  • If you can smell fuel around, then your engine is most-likely flooded. A flooded engine means excessive fuel supply. To solve this problem, use the accelerator when starting the car.
  • You might have to smack the fuel tank in case there is a jam inside the tank. Sometimes, a good old smack works for almost everything. It might work, but don’t overdo it.


The lack of spark may mean your engine is cranking but not clicking. Spark is important to burn the fuel. It is not much you can do when the spark is the primary problem of the car. Correlatively, you might have to try the starter key technique, mentioned below.

Power System Solutions

Empty batteries remain the primary cause of car starting problems. You might have left the lights or headlights on. The car might not have a proper run, so the battery ran out. Similarly, it is possible that there isn’t enough water inside for it to work properly, among other problems.

Here is the list of solutions you can try related to different parts of the power system in your car:


The best way to check for dead batteries is by turning the headlights on. If you hear a click of the engine, but it didn’t start, the problem is most likely related to the battery. When you try to start the engine and headlights completely shut off, it means the battery is weak.

  • Always carry jumper cables; they will provide an adequate kick-start to your engine.
  • Alternatively, check the terminals of the battery. If there seems to be corrosion or too much ‘junk’ accumulation, use something to smack and rotate the terminals enough to provide adequate electrical supply. A shoe is a good selection for smacking purposes.

Starter Inspection

If you heard the clicking, but the engine didn’t start, it might be related to the starter. The starter is located under the hood of the car if you do not have the manual to test starter:

  • Simply use your shoe or perhaps the tire iron (one of the tools in the car) to smack onto the starter. Don’t be too hard on it; just provide it with a little smack to reconnect the electrical supply.


If your headlights are turning on and there seems to be no restriction or cut in the flow of power, then your batteries are fine. The problem lies in the ignition. You can only hope to use a fully charged battery to kick-start the ignition. It is similar to the sparkling problem and most likely requires a mechanic to examine the system.
Some Helpful Techniques

The above-mentioned procedures are not the only solution. Here are some wild cards or aces in the hole. You can rely on these techniques in the most desperate situations. These are helpful techniques that you can use whenever you run in a problem where your car won’t start:

The Starter Key Technique

This is a technique used for any of the above-mentioned problems. It is your last resort. If any of the solutions didn’t work, use this. If this one doesn’t work, then you need to call the towing system or a mechanic.

Steps for Starter Key Technique

● Turn the key to start the engine. Do it for around ten times. However, make sure that you are not turning the key for more than five seconds at a time. As stated, doing it for more than 15 seconds that negatively affect the engine.
● After ten repetitions, if the car does not start then wait for five minutes
● By now, your terminals and the engine might have warmed up. Your battery has also accumulated enough charge for a strong kick, and ignition is ready with power.
● You only get one shot, so twist the key again and hope for the engine to start.

If this fails, then you can try to do it again, but pair it with the solutions below.

Use The Shifter

Using the shifter can help in achieving the electrical connection that your engine might be missing. Deactivate the shifter level and apply the brakes in substitution. Then reapply the shifters and release the brakes. At this point, it should help with re-assigning the connection of electric transmission to the car. Try to start the engine again.

The Air Or Fuel Mixture

Modern cars have a computer or sensor system that could malfunction or offer wrong insights. If your engine is cold and the air to fuel ratio is too thin, your engine might not start. The best way to kick-start your engine is by using the half-pressed accelerator and twisting the key. This is the final option.

Maintain A Strong-Performing Car

Always have routine checkups and maintenance for your car. Car services are essential to ensure the long life and optimal performance of the vehicles. Replace the filters and batteries according to the timeframe to avoid these problems.

By keeping things like a gas tank, jumpstart cables, and fuel transfer pipe in your car’s storage, you will be prepared for virtually any situation. If you take good care of your car, it will return that by performing impeccably well for you.

However, if none of these solutions worked, it is time to call for a mechanic or car towing services.

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