What Should I Do If My Car Won’t Start?

Reasons A Car Won’t Start

An automobile is a complex piece of machinery, with hundreds of components all working in unison to get you where you need to go. Even the simplest problems can keep your vehicle from starting, and it often takes an expert eye to determine exactly why your car isn’t running. Here are some common reasons that a car won’t start.

Dead Battery

A dead battery is one of the most common reasons that a car won’t start. Batteries can lose their charge for any number of reasons, and it’s important to rule out the possibility before moving on to other potential problems. If you turn your key and nothing happens, or if your lights seem dim, then your battery may have died. This is especially likely if you’ve left your lights on or don’t drive your car for a few days at a time. To jump start a dead battery, refer to the owner manual of the car with the good battery and follow their instructions.

Bad Starter Motor

The starter motor is what turns the engine over and gets it started. Your car’s battery sends a current through a solenoid that then engages the starter to crank the engine. If your car doesn’t seem to be cranking as fast as it normally does, or makes strange noises while turning, then there could be a problem with the starter motor.

Bad Alternator Belt and/or Alternator not charging

Your car alternator is what recharges your battery once your engine is running, so it’s important that it’s working correctly. The belt that runs between the alternator and the gears can wear out or break, which can result in the battery having a hard time holding its charge.

Bad Alternator

If your car doesn’t seem to be charging and you’ve checked all the other potential problems, then it may be that your alternator is bad or has gone bad. A professional should diagnose this problem before attempting to replace a part that could be working fine.

Should You Fix a Non-Starting Car?    

The car won’t start! What should you do? This is the most common question asked by car owners everywhere. Without some knowledge of how your car works, it’s hard to be able to determine if a given problem is serious or not so you can make an informed decision about what to do with your non-starting vehicle.

First of all, if your car is just very slow to start or is taking extended cranks before starting, don’t panic. This could be the sign of a much bigger problem that will require serious repairs, but it may just need a tune up. See if you can find someone with the skill and knowledge necessary to help you figure out what’s wrong.

Of course, if your vehicle will not start at all, this is definitely a problem that requires some attention.

Here Are The Most Common Reasons For Non-Starting Cars:

Bad battery

A bad or dying battery can be the cause of non-starting. If your car has been having trouble starting, get a jump from someone or get a new battery. It’s possible that your battery is fine and you’re experiencing other problems, but this will at least get your vehicle going again.

Bad starter

This is another common cause of vehicles that won’t start. The starter, which cranks the engine to get it running. May need some work. It may be as simple as a bad connection or as serious as needing replacement parts. If you haven’t experienced problems starting your car but now it won’t start at all, this could be the problem.

Bad fuel pump

The fuel pump sends gasoline to the engine and, if it’s not working, you won’t be able to start the car. If your vehicle is having trouble starting but has recently had work done on the fuel system by a mechanic, this could be the cause of problems. Get them over to have a look at your non-starting car.

Corroded battery terminals.

This problem is not quite as serious as a bad starter or bad fuel pump. Corroded battery terminals can be cleaned, but if they haven’t been addressed in the past, you may need to replace some parts. Determining whether you can fix your non-starting car yourself depends on how much work needs to be done. See if you can find an auto repair manual with instructions on how to clean battery terminals and try the job yourself. If it’s a tough one, take your vehicle to a mechanic.

Bad ignition switch.

A faulty ignition switch may prevent you from starting your car. If there is power going to the starter but no response from the engine, this could be the problem. Many ignition switches can be bypassed by jumper cables so you can start your car, but you will need to have the switch replaced as soon as possible if this is the cause of your non-starting vehicle.

Bad spark plugs .

If a bad spark plug prevents your engine from turning over, it won’t start. This problem is easy to diagnose by a mechanic if you don’t know much about cars, but it is also something that can be looked at in person or with the help of an auto repair manual. If you have some knowledge of how your car works, this may be one of the problems fixable on your own.

Bad fuel injection system.

A faulty fuel injector can stop you from starting your car. If your engine turns over, but the car doesn’t start for some reason, this could be the problem. This is another issue best handled by a mechanic if you don’t know much about cars. For more information on diagnosing and fixing this problem yourself, please check out the links to online resources in the paragraph above.

Bad computer.

If your car doesn’t start and you have no idea what’s going on, it’s possible that a bad computer is preventing your engine from turning over. If you have been having issues with non-starting before but now your car won’t start at all, this could be the problem. This is another issue for which you will probably need to take your vehicle to a mechanic or auto repair shop.

How Much a Non-Working Car is Worth?

You’ve got a non-working car, or maybe one that is barely working. So how much is it worth?First of all

Here’s What Your Insurance Company May Offer You For The Car:

Let’s say your car needs about $2000 in repairs. Insurance companies often won’t pay what they consider to be full value but will instead pay 60% of the market value for that car. So most likely, they’ll only give you $1200 at most.

The Detail:

If your car is just a few years old and has very low mileage (less than about 100,000 miles), the insurance company may pay what’s called actual cash value (ACV). Which is the depreciated value of the car based on the year and mileage. For instance, if your car was worth $30,000 new but yours has just 10,000 miles on it. And is five years old, then its ACV might be $15,000. Insurance companies often pay this amount for newer cars with lower mileage.

If your car is in much worse shape, the insurance company may give you what’s called a salvage title or a junk title. In that case, they will pay much less for it. Usually about $500 to $1000 for older cars worth much less when new. The reason is that they can sell this car for  parts and make a profit while still turning in a better number than if they paid you the ACV of the car.

If your car is older (more than 10 years old) and has over 100,000 miles on it, then your insurance company may give you what’s called “totaled” or “condemned,”. Which means that they won’t pay anything at all for it. You’re better off just selling the car as a used car to someone else and taking whatever price you can get for it as opposed to using your insurance company as a middleman.

If your car is newer, less than 10 years old, and has less than 100,000 miles on it. Then the insurance company may give you what’s called a diminished value of your car. This is a lower price than they will pay for your car because it has been in an accident. And will depreciate faster than a car without any damage to it. In this case, you’re better off selling the vehicle yourself if its value is greater than the diminished value offered by your insurance company.

How to Sell A Car Yourself

When you sell a car yourself, you will want to keep the receipt that your insurance company gives you. Because it has all of the information on it that is required for you to sell the car. That includes:

  • VIN (vehicle identification number)
  • Make and model of the vehicle
  • A year and make of the engine

Where to Sell a Car That Won’t Start

First of all, you should try to determine if the battery itself has gone bad. The easiest way to do this is to take it somewhere and have it load tested.

Most junkyards will test your battery for you before buying it. So that should always be the first question out of your mouth. When someone asks where to sell a car that won’t start. If it turns out that your battery is the culprit. Then junkyards are always willing to buy good used parts (and bad used parts, too).

If your car is relatively modern but still won’t start, junkyards are still definitely an option. There are some junkyards that specialize in newer models, so you may have to do a bit of research ahead of time to find junkyards around me. When you take your vehicle there. The only thing they’ll want is for it to turn over when they try to start it. And they’ll immediately know what they want from you.

If your car won’t even turn over, then junkyards don’t usually buy totaled cars that were involved in an accident. However, if your vehicle was damaged when the engine ceased up without warning (and there aren’t any fluids on the ground) the junkyard will be able to tell if it’s repairable.

If your car’s engine won’t even turn over, then junkyards don’t usually buy totaled cars that were involved in an accident. However, if your car was damaged when the engine ceased up without warning (and there aren’t any fluids on the ground) the junkyard will be able to tell if it’s repairable.

One of the junkyards biggest and most important assets is that they provide a way for people who don’t want cars anymore to get rid of them.

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