If your vehicle is 20 years old or older with 100,000+ miles on it, having problems is probably something you should get used to. But what if you own a vehicle that is fairly new and gets regular maintenance?
If you own a vehicle that theoretically should never have a problem starting-up and it happens right out of the blue. Chances are it is nothing serious, because most vehicles that have serious problems show signs that you can hear and feel leading up to a problem that will cost you a lot of time and money.
If your vehicle has been running fine, but for some reason has just decided not to start with no warning, here are the 4 most common problems you might be experiencing.
Just because your vehicle ran fine when you shut it down, does not mean your battery can’t have problems the next time you start it up. People commonly leave their lights on or leave their dome light running. Any type of power-draw from the battery while the vehicle isn’t running will run the battery down.
Bad weather also plays apart in how your battery performs. It can cause corrosion around the connections that can cause it not to start or just cold weather all together can stop your battery from performing.
The best thing to do is keep something called a “Jump-Box” handy. This is even better then jumpier cables because you won’t need another running vehicle to help you out. If you turn the key to your vehicle and absolutely nothing happens, not even dashboard lights or radio power, it’s probably your battery. All you have to do is attach the Jump-Box to your battery (positive to positive and negative to negative) and turn it on, give it a couple minutes, turn the key of your vehicle to start and you should be good to go. When you do get it started, the alternator in most cases will recharge the battery while it’s running.
This happens a lot, you are low on gas but you don’t want to stop. Your vehicle runs fine even with the needle buried, but the next morning or a few hours later it doesn’t start. It’s very common for your vehicle to run on fumes and seem fine, but once the car comes to a stop and sits for a while, the last bit of fumes can evaporate and leave you stranded.
The best thing to do is either keep your gas tank filled with at least a gallon of gas at all times or carry a small gas can with you so when you have to walk to the gas station you have something to carry your gas back in. It’s simple math, five minutes at the gas station now or who knows how long you will be stranded later.
One other possibility is your gas gauge could be off. If you know your gas gauge indicated you had plenty of gas and you still ran out, then you need to go to the dealership and explain your problem to get it fixed.
Is Your Car in Park
It is a silly reason for your car not to start, but it happens. It doesn’t even have to be in a gear, it could be just a few centimeters out of park, as long as it does not make a connection, your car won’t start. So if everything else seems to work fine e.g. radio, power windows and so on, you might just need to give your shifter a little tap in the right direction to connect with the safety switch and your vehicle could start right up.
If you own a vehicle that has a safety feature that can stop the vehicle from being started without the correct authorization, this could be what is stopping your vehicle from starting. Usually, you can over-ride the system by resetting it which you will have detailed information in the instruction manual of the alarm system on how to do that, or if the alarm system came with the vehicle then you will probably have received information from the dealership on the alarm system.
Resetting the alarm system is only a temporary fix. Regardless if you can get the vehicle started or not, the last thing you want to do is let this problem go without attending to it, because the problem will only come back again and again. Take it to the dealership, explain the problem and let them handle it. This is the only way you can make sure you don’t get stranded somewhere again.
More Serious Problems
More serious problems usually come with tell-tail signs. Loud noises coming from the engine, loss of power while driving, unexplained vibrations; basically problems that would not go without a normal person noticing. The problems above are simple problems that don’t cause serious damage, but can wreck your day.