If you ever climb into your car and find it won't start, you could be in for a frustrating and inconvenient experience. You might have to miss an appointment or arrive home late as you wait for roadside assistance. You might even need expensive auto repairs. However, before you panic, consider the possibilities below. Cabarrus Import Service, a respected import car repair shop in Concord, NC, offers some troubleshooting tips that could help get the car started.
What to Do When Your Car Fails to Start
When the Lights Are Dim
One common reason a car won't start is because the battery is dying and doesn’t have the charge necessary to turn over the engine. If the starter cranks only once or twice and dies, open the car door. If the interior lights are dim and the "door ajar" chime sounds weak or slow, you probably just need a jumpstart. A friend or neighbor with a vehicle and jumper cables can help you get your car started. Afterward, you should have an auto repair professional inspect the battery immediately, or you could find yourself in the same position again.
When the Starter Clicks Rapidly
If the car won't turn over and the starter only makes a series of rapid clicks, the problem could be a poor battery connection. Pop the hood and check the cables connecting your battery to the engine. If one or both of the connections are loose, the battery may be fine, but the poor connections mean it can't provide enough energy to crank the engine. Remove the loose connector and — using a screwdriver — scrape away any corrosion on the inside of the connector and on the battery terminals themselves. Replace the cables, tighten the connectors, and crank the key again.
When the Engine Turns Over But Won't Start
If the engine cranks but simply won't engage, it could be a number of problems. First, check the fuel gauge to make sure you haven't run out of gas. If that's not the issue, the problem could be a flooded engine. The best remedy for this is to turn off the car and wait for 15 to 20 minutes as excess fuel evaporates. Try the key again, but without depressing the accelerator. If this doesn't help, you may need to have the car taken to an auto repair shop.
These tips will help you diagnose some of the most common minor auto repair issues and get your car back on the road. However, if you need the help of a reliable mechanic — whether for complex engine repairs or a simple oil change — contact the team at Cabarrus Import Service. They've been serving clients throughout Cabarrus County for nearly a quarter century and have a long record of successful service. Visit their website to view a map and business hours, or call (704) 793-4122 to make an appointment. You can also find the company on Facebook.