Car Diagnostic

What Causes A Car Not To Start? Top 5 Common Reasons

Mike Cross
Updated Sep 11, 2017

If a car won't start then chances are the problems could be battery related. Almost everyone who has owned a car has experienced this problem especially if you have been driving the automobile for a long time.

1.Click Sound

When you hear this sound while trying to start your car, chances are the battery is dead. The No.1 cause for No-Start is a dead battery and is ideally the first thing you should be looking at before everything else. Even if the battery is not completely dead, you are likely to experience the slow starter. A quick jump starting will suffice for the short-term but is important you examine the root cause of the dead battery to avoid a similar occurrence. You can test your battery to assess the condition and charge it if it is necessary.

In such a situation, heavy-gauge jumper cables comes in handy. The cables becomes heavier as the gauge number reduces. If there is no sound at all, chances are it is a dead battery.


This could be another indication why a car won't start. You might think it is your battery that is the problem while in hindsight it is the  starter. If the car makes the Gr Gr, sound, then chances are high that the problem is emanating from the starter. The other indication is when the starter won't turn. In such circumstances, the ignition could be the problem or the relay may be short. You can also know when the starter is the problem if the power windows work several times up and down and the dashboard is not dim.

3.Fuel Pump

Not a very common problem with car starting failures but still can't be ruled out. This usually happens when the fuel pump has failed thus preventing the fuel from reaching the engine. If you have been driving for a while and know your way around a vehicle then you should be able to hear the sound when the pump runs for a few seconds when you try starting the car. You car might also be out of gas. This can easily be determined by checking the needle.

4.Spark Plugs

Not a common occurrence with today's vehicles but it still happens. A car can go for 100,000 miles before the spark plugs are replaced. Such a scenario makes it hard to remember to replace them and this can cause a no-start.


This is another common culprit for no-start. It may be the cause of the problem but sometimes it is loose accessory drive belt. A warning light will illuminate if the belt breaks or the alternator fails. Be on the lookout for that. In some cases, the alternator may fail to recharge during short distances in the event that most car functionalities like the heater and the radio are on.

Mike Cross
Life is too short to drive with stock audio

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