Timing Belt Needs Replacing
The timing belt is an internal engine component. Its a rubber strip that rotates the cam and crankshaft in your engine at the proper time.
If it fails, your cars engine wont function. You may hear the starter motor engage but not turn over or even hear a ticking sound from under the hood.
This is a lesser-known issue, but a timing belt can break while the cars engine is running, damaging the engine.
What can you do about it?
The only solution to fix a broken timing belt is to get a replacement done by a mechanic.
Note: Some cars come with a timing chain instead of a timing belt. It usually lasts longer than the rubber belt. However, if a timing chain breaks, youll still have to to get it fixed.
Replace The Fuel Lines
Car Not Starting Here Are Common Reasons Why
When a car wont start, most people will instinctively point a finger at the battery, and many times they will be right.
Batteries do wear out to the point they cant hold a charge, and they are a good place to begin when diagnosing a no-start situation. But if the battery doesnt have enough juice to start the engine or repeatedly needs a jump start, the problem may originate elsewhere, and jumper cables or even a new battery wont solve the problem.
Here are eight possible reasons your car wont start.
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Car Wont Start With New Battery But Cranks #: Check The Air Filter Intake And Maf Sensor
The fuel and spark are fine, and the final thing your car needs is air. Open your air filter housing and check if the filters are dirty. Also, check inside the air intake tube for any evidence that a small animal may have gotten in there. If the filters are clean, and there are no animal droppings inside the intake tube, then lets move on to the Mass Air Flow intake sensor.
The MAF sensor analyzes how much air is being pumped into the engines cylinders. If its faulty, then it may be preventing your cars ECU from understanding just how much air the engines getting. To test it, you will need a multimeter and find the MAF connector and unplug it. Heres how to test them:
If the MAF sensor is faulty, then you will need to change it. Theyre usually around $240 $350 to replace.
Car Wont Start With New Battery Alternator Symptoms #: Growling Or Whining Noise
As mentioned, the alternator is powered by your engine via a drive belt. Over time, this belt can become loose. When it does, it will create a growling or whining noise when the car is running. If you hear this noise, this means the belt is slipping and the engine cant power the alternator properly. Resulting in less than the optimal output from your alternator.
The sound will usually come on when you turn on the AC. This is because your cars HVAC system runs off the same belt system as the alternator. Turning on the HVAC puts more load on the belt resulting in noise.
It might go away after a while, especially once your car warms up. But this means your drive belt is worn out and you should replace it. Sometimes your alternator should be fine in this scenario, and you only need to replace the belt.
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How To Test Alternator
To test your cars alternator, youll first need to have your car running. If the batterys dead, then jump-start it to begin testing the alternator. First, grab a multimeter and connect the red probe to the positive terminal of the battery. And, the black probe to the negative terminal. The multimeter should be reading somewhere between 14.2 and 14.7 volts. This is indicative that the alternator is charging your cars 12-volt battery just fine. However, with the engine running, if the voltage reading drops to about 13 volts or lower, then this is a sign that the alternator is too weak to charge the battery.
How To Test A Car Battery
Before you begin testing a cars 12-volt battery, its a good idea to inspect it visually first. Begin by checking to make sure that the terminals and connectors are free of any corrosion. And, that the connectors and cables themselves are seated firmly, without any looseness. Also, ensure that the battery doesnt show any physical signs of wear, such as a bloated battery. Finally, you can begin testing the battery using a multimeter red probe to the positive terminal, and the lack probe to the negative terminal. If it reads anywhere below 12.6 volts, then the battery has a weak and low charge. Ideally, we want to see at least 12.6 volts with the engine off.
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Determining If It Is The Battery Starter Or Alternator Without A Meter
Most often, we have car starting issues when we are out and about and do not have special tools with us like a multimeter. I do recommend keeping one with your tool set and you can see all of my other recommended tools on my other page, but how do we check the alternator and battery and starter without a multimeter?
Here is a personal real story to explain a good way to figure it out without any tools.
I once drove my car full of friends to an outing where we rented a couple motorboats. We parked in the boating parking lot and after several hours of fun came back to our car to get some food. The car would not start! In fact it didnt make any noise at all.
As I tried to think what the problem might be, I thought of the symptoms exhibited.
The car wasnt slowing down as I drove up not the alternator
No lights were left on so it did not drain the battery probably not battery but still possible
The final clue was we tried to jump start the car and nothing happened.
With that, I knew I should have checked the most obvious first. The battery terminal connections. These battery terminals has an odd screw mechanism that was difficult to tighten but as soon as I disconnected, reconnected and tightened the battery connections, bam! The car fired right up.
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Car Wont Start But Battery Is Good Repair #: Starter Motor Replacement Cost
The cost to replace a cars starter motor will vary depending on your cars make and model. To give you a rough estimate, most cars will cost you around $180 $300 for a starter motor kit, excluding the labor cost.
Needless to say, if you have a luxury or exotic car it will cost you more. For example, a starter motor kit for some Mercedes-Benz models is anywhere between $400 $800. As for the labor cost, its usually between $50 $100 per hour.
Keep in mind that these are rough estimates and just for your starter motor. If your flywheel has been damaged, it can lead to more repairs and higher costs. Which could bring your total repair cost to around $1500, depending on your cars make and model.
This is why you shouldnt ignore grinding noises when you start the car, as they could damage your flywheel.
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What Do I Do If My Car Wont Start
Depending on the reasons behind your car failing to start or turn over, you may be able to fix the issue yourself or with the help of a fellow driver.
However, some issues arent quite so easy to fix, including those not on this list such as such as faulty components, electronics, mechanical failure – so for complete peace of mind consider RAC breakdown cover that includes home start assistance.
If its a reoccurring issue, you might want to use the RAC Approved Garage Network to find a local garage thats guaranteed to provide quality work and exceptional customer service, giving you complete peace of mind.
And just in case the worst should happen out on the roads, make sure you have the correct breakdown cover in place.
Common Symptoms Of A Bad Ignition Switch
If you have a bad ignition switch, you wont hear the starter motor working to start the engine. You also might experience some electrical issues since the ignition switch effectively activates your cars main electrical systems. Flickering or dying dashboard lights are a prime example. You may also have difficulty turning your key in the first place.4
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Reasons Why New Battery But Car Wont Start Without Jump
There might be several other problems and reasons why the car might not turn on. However, if you are experiencing the problem of new battery but the car wont start without jump. This problem is usually caused by a faulty alternator or a damaged starter. Here are some of the most common symptoms or reasons why the car wont start or what you can do to troubleshoot these problems.
Car Wont Start With New Battery But Cranks #: Check The Spark Plugs
The combustion process that happens in your engine requires three things: fuel, air, and a spark. Now that we know fuel isnt the issue, lets check the spark. First, lets check the spark plugs.
Spark plugs are devices that create a spark inside your engines cylinder that combusts the fuel and air mixture inside. Not enough spark means the mixture wont combust and the engine cant run.
Remove the spark plugs and then visually inspect them. If theyre all black at the tip, then you probably need to replace them. But you can test them with a multimeter first before you decide to buy new ones:
If theyre bad, then you should change them and you should change the entire set. They should be around $10 each to replace, but you can get better ones for about $20 each.
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Car Remains Silent When Turned On New Battery But Car Wont Start Without Jump
Usually when the car would not respond when the key is turned, is because of a problem in the wire connection. Alongside the car not turning on, any lights on the dashboard will also not light up. The primary thing to check is the terminal cable connection to the new battery and make sure that there are no loose cables.
Damage between the connector and the terminal post might also be the reason causing this problem. If the car starts when you are on the engine, you might need to check the new battery cables.
Faulty Starter Will Prevent Your Car From Starting Even With A New Battery
Starters do go bad and you can tell if the starter is bad if the battery is charged and all electrical systems work except the battery. Such as the headlights are bright, the horn and key fob work, but when you turn the key nothing happens. This very well may be the starter.
Before doing the work to check if the starter is the problem, inspect the battery terminal connections. A loose battery terminal connection will prevent power from being able to turn the starter over even if the lights and other electrical items that draw less power still work.
The Starter Solenoid Is Most Likely What has gone bad in the Starter
If you are stuck out somewhere with this issue, there is a chance that the starter solenoid is the culprit and if it is you can fix it!
It is a very simple fix to resolve a stuck starter solenoid. They get stuck in place from high current arcing and sticking the contacts together. Simply tap on the side of the starter with a hammer and try starting it again! The simple tapping on the starter housing can free up the starter solenoid.
The last way to test if it is the starter, run a wire directly from the battery and touch it to the starter . If it turns, then of course the battery is not the culprit.
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Broken Distributor Cap Or Bad Spark Plug
If you have a good battery, enough fuel, and everything else looks fine, and your car wont start, you could have a faulty spark plug.
Your car requires the correct air-to-fuel ratio and spark to start the combustion system.
If broken, the spark plug may prevent fuel ignition, and the vehicle may not move.
Signs of a bad spark plug include:
- Engine misfires
What Does An Alternator Do
Alongside the battery, the alternator is one of the most important parts of a vehicles electrical system. When your car is turned off or when it needs to store any excess electricity, this is where the battery comes in. However, at some point, a cars battery would very quickly deplete if its kept running all the time. Thats why a vehicle should also feature an alternator. The alternator is essentially a generator, which is powered by the engine. It would then use this power to generate electricity, which it could then use to charge up the battery while the engine is running. While youre driving about or are idling, most of your cars electrical and electronic accessories are powered directly by the alternator, with the battery serving as a backup.
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Causes For Car Not Starting Without A Jump
If you think you have got everything figured out, and the main component of your car is taken care of the battery then you have to look into other causes for the car not being able to start without a jump. Before you immediately panic, think of the three main things that can cause this situation faulty alternator, starter, or battery.
Car Cranks But Wont Start
If you hear noises, but your car still wont start, then you need to check the fuel supply to your engine by analyzing the fuel filter, the fuel lines, and the fuel injector to ensure they are all working properly. If they are all in good condition, check the spark plugs and see if they send the necessary electrical sparks and timing to your ignition to spur the internal combustion.
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Ecm Lost Stored Parameters
In some car models, its possible that the control modules lose their settings and calibration when you remove the battery cable. This should not happen on most car models though, because the control modules should store the information without the battery.
However, it is still a possibility and to fix it you need to visit a mechanic or someone with the right tools for a calibration. It could also be an issue with missing information to the immobilizer.
Loose Or Dirty Battery Terminals
While your battery may not actually be dead, it might be something as simple as loose or dirty battery terminals. When your car wont start, open the hood and ensure the clamps attached to the battery are tight and secure. If they are a bit loose, tighten them up and then attempt to start your car again. Additionally, corroded terminals can weaken the connection making starting difficult. Check for corrosion such as white or greenish buildup on or around the battery posts. Cleaning the corrosion off the area may be all you need to do to get your car started again. While wearing gloves to protect your hands from battery acid, mix one tablespoon of baking soda to one cup of water and stir. Using a wire brush and the baking soda mixture, scrub to remove all buildup. Once complete, wipe the area down with a damp rag. In the event that the corrosion has come between the cable and battery post, the cable will need to be removed and cleaned properly. You can prevent this from occurring with your vehicle by keeping the cables clean.
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It Could Be A Ground Cable Wiring Problem
Also known as the negative battery cable, ground strap, or ground wire, the ground cable is a heavy black battery cable connecting the negative terminal of the car battery to its body.
This cable is the foundation of your vehicles entire electrical system, as almost every electrical component of your car flows through it.
If there is something wrong with the ground cable, your car cant start because it cuts off the power flow.
To check if your ground cable is faulty, check for the following signs:
- Defective fuel pump
- Clutch slipping in the AC compressor
- Damaged throttle or cables
- Electrical devices turning on and off
Bad Fuel Pump Or Fuel Lines
A fuel pump, as the name suggests, is responsible for pumping fuel to your fuel injectors and then into your engine. The fuel pump can wear out over time, usually after about 200,000 miles for most cars.
However, it can fail at 100,000 miles or even earlier if the car isnt properly maintained. If your fuel pump has gone bad, then it wont be able to pump fuel into the engine. If your car has done more than 200,000 miles or you havent checked your fuel system lately, then you may have a fuel pump issue.
To check this, simply turn your key to the ACC position to turn on the fuel pump. If you hear a hum from the back of the car, this means your fuel pump is running just fine. If it is, check for fuel leaks beneath the car.
Your fuel line may be damaged and the engine isnt getting enough fuel to start itself. If you dont hear the fuel pump working, then you should check the fuel pump fuse and voltage. This might be the reason why your fuel pump isnt functioning.
Additionally, if you live in colder areas, your fuel may freeze and isnt flowing into your engine. In this case, the fuel system needs to thaw out first before you can start the car. To prevent this in the future, park your car indoors if possible so its less exposed to cold weather.
If you have no choice but to park it outside, try not to leave it off for too long and turn it on every once in a while to prevent the fuel lines from freezing.
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