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My car won’t start, what should I do?

My car won’t start, what should I do?

Your trusty car won’t start… What could be wrong? And what should you do? We take a look at some common reasons for your car not starting – and possible solutions.   

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
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Posted 24 JANUARY 2020

Check the battery

Is there only a faint click or complete silence when you try to start the engine? There are many different things that could be wrong if your car’s not starting. But the most likely reason, in this case, is that your battery is flat or faulty.  

So taking a closer look at your car battery should be job number one. You may need to tighten and/or clean the connections. If this doesn’t work, then the next step is to try to jumpstart the engine with the help of jump leads – but only if you know what you’re doing. A mistake could lead to injury and/or damage to your car’s engine.

Remember, most batteries will need to be replaced after about five to seven years. 

Check your starter motor

A faint click when trying to start your car could mean something is wrong with the battery, but it could also hint at a problem with the starter motor. A poor wiring connection or faulty solenoids are the most likely culprits. A problematic starter motor is difficult to fix yourself, so you may need to phone a friend to tow you to a garage. 

Check your fuel

If it’s especially cold outside, more fuel will be needed to start your car. If you’re already running low, this could mean that the engine has trouble starting. A simple top-up should solve the problem. 

Check your oil

Without enough oil in your car’s system, there’ll be more strain on the battery when starting the engine. If it sounds like your car is really trying to get started but keeps falling short, your oil levels could be running low. An oil top-up might be the easy solution. 

Check the weather

If it’s particularly chilly outside or your car’s spent some time in the snow, you may have a frozen fuel line. This happens when water collects in the fuel line and is more likely to occur when your tank is on the empty side. Because of this, experts recommend keeping your tank at least half full at all times during the winter months. If your fuel line isn’t at fault, you may have damp spark plugs.

Breakdown cover 

No matter what the cause of your breakdown, you’re likely to need help when it happens. That’s when breakdown cover comes into its own… 

Compare the Market is here to help you find car insurance and breakdown cover at a price that’s right for you. Start a quote today to see if you could save on your car insurance.

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