Skip to content

Troubleshooting a Car That Won't Start

Did you ever consider those wonderful days when your car won't start? If you left your lights, radio, or some other electrical gizmo on after you parked the car, you know what the trouble is: Your battery is dead. Of course, there are other possible reasons that your car won't start.

Won't-start symptoms



Your car may not start for a number of reasons. The following list outlines the most common circumstances and tells you what action you can take to try to remedy each situation:

The car is silent when you turn the key in the ignition. Check the battery terminal cable connections. (See How to Check Your Car Battery.) If they look very corroded, force the point of a screwdriver (with an insulated or wooden handle) between the connector and the terminal post and twist it to lodge it firmly. Then try to start the engine. If it starts, you need to clean or replace your cables.

The car makes a clicking noise but won't start. This sound usually means a dead battery. If not, check the wiring to and from the starter for a loose connection.

The car cranks over but won't start. Check the fuel supply to your engine. If that's okay, check whether the electrical spark is getting to your spark plugs.

The engine starts but dies. If your car has a carburetor, check your carburetor adjustment and your choke to see whether the choke is first closing and then opening. If you have fuel injection, you'll need professional help.

The car won't start on rainy days. Check inside the distributor cap for dampness. If you find moisture, get some mechanic's solvent from your friendly service station — they use it to clean car parts — or buy an aerosol can of it at an auto supply store. To evaporate any dampness inside the distributor cap, turn the cap upside down and pour or spray some solvent into it. Swish it around and pour it out. Then dry the cap as best you can with a clean, lint-free rag and replace the cap.

Use only clean solvent; even a tiny speck of dirt can foul the points. Gasoline won't do because a spark can ignite gasoline fumes and cause an explosion or a fire.

The car won't start on cold mornings. For vehicles with carburetors,check the choke. Is it closed? Does it open? If you have fuel injection, you'll need to have a professional diagnose the cold-start problems.

The engine misses while idling. Check the points (if your car has a non-electronic distributor) and the spark plugs. (How to Remove Old Spark Plugs explains getting bad spark plugs gone.) Also check the fuel pump, fuel filter, and carburetor, if you have one. (If your fuel filter’s the problem, check out How to Change Your Vehicle’s Fuel Filter.)

The engine misses or hesitates during acceleration. Check the accelerator pump in the carburetor (if equipped), the spark plugs, the distributor, and the timing.

The engine knocks or pings. Check your timing; also check the octane rating of the fuel you're using. The owner's manual can tell you whether your vehicle needs regular unleaded or premium gasoline. Check the cooling system. (which The Essentials of Checking and Maintaining Your Vehicle’s Cooling System explains) Do a compression check on the engine cylinders. (Check out How to Check an Engine’s Cylinder Compression.)

Jumping a start

To safely jump a start, follow these steps:

1. Take out your jumper cables.

It's a good idea to buy a set of jumper cables and keep them in the trunk compartment. If you don't have jumper cables, you'll have to find a Good Samaritan who not only is willing to assist you but has jumper cables as well.

2. Place both cars in Park or Neutral, with their ignitions shut off and their emergency brakes on.

3. Remove the caps from both batteries (unless they're sealed). Batteries produce explosive hydrogen gas, and a spark could set it off. If the caps are open, you can avoid such an explosion. (Sealed batteries have safety valves.)

4. Connect the cables.

The positive cable has red clips at either end, and the negative cable has black clips. It's important to attach them in the proper order:

1. First, attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of your battery (it has "POS" or "+" on it, or it's bigger than the negative terminal).

2. Attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the GS's car.

3. Attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal on the GS's battery.

4. Attach the last black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn't near the carburetor (if your car has one) or battery.

5. Try to start your vehicle.

If it won't start, make sure that the cables are properly connected and have the GS run his or her engine for five minutes. Then try to start your car again. If it still won't start, your battery may be beyond help.

6. Disconnect the cables, thank the Good Samaritan, and resume your life.

Don't shut off your engine; drive around for a while to recharge your battery.

If your alternator light stays on or the gauge on the dashboard continues to point to "Discharge" after your car's been running, make sure that your fan belt is tight enough to run your alternator properly. If your battery keeps going dead, have a professional check both the battery and your alternator.

In any case, never drive around with a light or gauge that reads "Trouble"; have it checked out immediately — that's why those gauges are in there!

click for source http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/troubleshooting-a-car-that-wont-start.html

What Is Better, Diy Or Professional Wheel Repair?

Everything from curbs being too high to pot holes on the road to careless driving can easily damage car wheels especially the alloy ones which are quite prone to scuffing. At some point in the life of a driver, he or she will have to deal with the necessity of wheel repair. Now this is something that can be done in a DIY fashion or with the assistance of professionals, depending on the degree of damage.

Special wheel repair kits can be bought over the counter these days and are ideal for light scratches. A kit like this will usually come with several pieces of light-grain sand paper, some filler, primer, and of course, matching paint. Although not part of most kits, it would be advisable to apply a coat or two of lacquer on the wheel after the repair work for added protection.

When a wheel is repaired at home, it is important for the car owner to be as patient as possible because there are several steps involved in preparing the wheel prior to the actual sanding and filling. Slow and steady motions are also required for the priming and painting part because any sudden and hurried strokes will cause the paint to run. And then there is also the issue of having to look for the kind and shade of paint that is an exact match to the vehicle.

In some cases, when the scuffing is too severe to repair at home, professional services from reputable establishments like streetwheelsandtyres.com.au should be considered.

Especially when a wheel is bent out of its original alignment due to deep pot holes, a DIY-er will not be able to effectively manage the required work. Doing so may easily lead to even more damage being done to the wheels leading to more expenses at the end of the day.

Aside from the scratches caused by curbing, bent wheels, corroded finishes, and other types of wheel fractures can also be dealt with by the pros as they have the expertise for such work and the necessary equipment to manage the repairs.

Although this option comes with a rather significant cost, car owners are assured of a job well done. Repairing wheels is also cheaper than having to purchase a completely new set of matching ones. Depending on the severity of the damage, repairs can be accomplished by experts within a day or a weeks time on average.

The Perks Of A Gps Fleet Tracking System



In today's dynamic trucking industry, a GPS tracking system allows the company to get a real-time, pinpointed view of the location and condition of every vehicle, no matter where the are.

While it is important for the dispatcher to know where all of the vehicles are geographically, there is much more in the way of information that can be very helpful, if not vital to a more profitable and efficient deliver of the truck's contents.

A GPS tracking system tracks and monitors vehicles by satellite which will display whether the truck is moving or static, and many other types of information as well. The system can also monitor such items as fuel efficiency, time of travel, length of time of stops, routing of vehicles if there are incidents of trouble or accidents along the way, and mechanical details of importance.

By utilizing up-to-date dispatcher to driver communications, the driver can see a map of an assigned route with voice communication in most instances. If there is a hazard ahead, the system can alert the driver, and offer an alternative route. This can help save time and provides a safer situation for the driver and the shipment.

The system can also offer a totally electronic logging system to eliminate paperwork and keep track of the driver's mandatory rest periods and miles driven in order to meet the new compliance requirements.

TIGTrack's GPS fleet reporting also offers a composite of the entire fleet of truck in a real-time environment so that everything that is going on in the entire fleet. Everything from vehicle diagnosics, arrival-departure times per vehicle, vehicle maintenance reports, time carding solutions, PTO and non-PTO reports, speeding reports and many other types of data that are pertinent to an efficient and well-run fleet.

Accountability can be enhanced with historic playback features which cannot lie as they are created from real time monitoring conditions. Either a driver is speeding or he is not. Either he is driving in a safe manner or he is not.

Reports can be scheduled for specific times so that different managers and fleet consultants can view them a a prearranged time so they can be evaluated as a team and the analysis can be broken down to the point when the team is together.

There is no doubt that knowledge is power when it comes to running an efficient and profitable trucking business, and a good GPS tracking system is a big help in making that happen.