If you turn the car key and your car won’t start, don’t give up. Starting problems can be very frustrating because there are so many things under the hood that can keep a car from starting. Before you call for a tow, try these simple tricks to get your car started again.
Check the Battery
A discharged or dead battery is one of the possible reasons for a car not to start. When attempting to start a vehicle with a dead battery, a few key signs will be noticeable. Slow cranking is a telltale sign of a dead battery, as is any dimming of the lighting or display on the gauges and dashboard. An ailing battery will also tend to show significant dimming of the headlights during start up. If the battery is low, try starting the engine with another battery or a charger.
Key Won’t Turn in the Ignition
This often happens when the steering is locked by the ignition lock with the front wheels turned aside or when one of the front wheels is pushed against something. Your car has a steering lock that clicks into place when you take the car key out of the ignition. This prevents thieves from being able to steer your car if they hotwire it. Sometimes the wheel is turned to just the right place to keep your key from being able to disengage that steering wheel lock. In this case, try turning the steering wheel left and right while gently jiggling the ignition key – this might help to release the steering lock.
Check the Fuel
Check if you have fuel in the tank. Fuel injected cars are very sensitive to proper fuel pressure. If the pressure is off, even by a few pounds, it will cause noticeable performance problems, or a no-start condition. To check for proper fuel pressure, use a test gauge to make sure you have sufficient fuel supply. If your Anti-Theft light is flashing, the anti-theft system is disabling the fuel pump to prevent the engine from starting.
Check the Fuses
It might be a simple problem like a fuse malfunction which might be causing the car not starting. Fuses are often placed alongside the starting systems for protection purposes and if the fuse blows up at any point, it would make the entire system useless. Not all cars have a fuse that is connected to the starting system, but a simple check of the fuses can rule this cause out quickly.