Auto Repair Help
Auto Repair Help – Quick Fix Tutorial Series

Auto Expert John MoskoCar Will Not Start — No Sounds
by John Mosko

General Description of Problem:
You turn the ignition key to the start position and the vehicle does not respond with any sound of cranking or turning over.

Probable Explanation:
The vehicle is either “dead” meaning the battery does not have enough charge to start the vehicle, or the shift selector is not in Park (or neutral) where it must be to start the vehicle.

1. Confirm that the shift selector is in Park and try to restart the vehicle.

2. If the vehicle is in Park, check for signs of “Electric Drain” such as headlights left on, the interior light on, or other common drains such as a trunk, mirror, or glovebox light, that may have been inadvertently left on if these items were not closed. Though the headlights are by far the most common source of battery drain, the other items mentioned can drain a battery if given enough time. If you find any of these common drains, turn them off and boost your battery. You will need to either “Get a Jump” from a working vehicle, or have your battery placed on a charger to rectify the situation.

3. If you haven’t found any lights on and the vehicle is in park, you likely have a slightly more complicated problem. You will need to do a quick visual inspection of the headlights, and then possibly take a look at your charging system under the hood.

To start, turn on the headlights and look at them outside the car. If they are dim or have an “orangish” hue, you have a partially discharged battery and will need to charge or “Jump” the battery to start your car. If however, the lights come on bright and clear as usual, your problem is no longer with the charging system, but likely a problem in the starter or ignition switch which most likely requires a trip to the mechanic.

If you have no headlights you now need to take a look under the hood to see how your connections look at the battery. Find the battery under the hood, and notice where the cables connect to the terminals. If you have built up corrosion, or a loose connection, this may be the cause of your problem. Make sure the headlights are turned off, and tighten or clean the cables and terminals as necessary.

As always, anytime you start a vehicle from a “dead” or discharged battery, allow the vehicle to run a minimum of 20 minutes before turning it off so it can “recharge” the battery and eliminate the need for a boost the next time you start the car.


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2 years 19 hours ago

car will not start with the key I have to jump start it