There is no doubt that we take our vehicles for granted – although most of us have, at some point in our lives, had a car that required a little wish and a prayer before turning the key in the ignition, most of the time, we just assume that it’ll work first time. Which is why it can come as a big surprise when it doesn’t. Last week we looked at the top three reasons why a vehicle won’t start – the obvious ones. This week, we go a little bit more in-depth and take a look at the next most likely, less obvious reasons, why your car is not playing ball.
While the battery provides the power, the starter motor enables the engine to turn over and get started, which gets the engine going in the first place. If your battery is flat, you are likely to hear nothing when you try to start your vehicle. If you know that your battery is charged, but when you turn the key in the ignition you hear a clicking noise, it is usually down to one of two things: faulty wiring or a faulty starter motor.
Replacing your starter motor is a fairly simple process, so if you notice that your vehicle is sluggish to start, or more noisy than usual, head to your local garage, who will be able to help.
As cars become more advanced – safer and more secure – they inevitably become more complicated. Most cars with key ignition now have chips in them that deactivate the immobiliser. If your immobiliser stops recognising your key, the engine just won’t start. This may be as simple as a flat battery in your key – if the key doesn’t work for the central locking either, then that is likely to be the case. Try changing the battery or using a spare key until you can get the battery replaced. If the spare key doesn’t work, you may need to reprogramme your immobiliser – your handbook will tell you how to do that. If all else fails, contact your local car dealership for advice or assistance.
If your vehicle has an alarm which tells you when your key battery is low, don’t ignore it! Replace your battery as soon as you can.
Clogged fuel filter
If your fuel filter is blocked or clogged, fuel won’t be able to get to the engine so – not surprisingly – your vehicle won’t start.
If you know that you are not out of fuel and everything else seems to be in order, call your local garage or check your log book to see when your filter was last changed. If in doubt, call for roadside recovery.
Your fuel filter should be changed every 15-20,000 miles, so make sure you double check when you get your vehicle serviced.
Nine times out of ten your vehicle problem will be something pretty obvious. The trick is not to panic, and to avoid breaking down by making sure that you take care of your vehicle and get it regularly serviced. For more guidance, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.