What To Do If Your Car Won’t Start

Many of us have experienced that moment when our car won’t start and it brings a halt to our day and potentially stops us from getting where we need to be. Here are some of the possible reasons your car may not be starting, giving you an idea of what car services you can anticipate.

Why Isn’t My Car Starting?


The most common reason for a car not starting is a dead or defective battery, which is responsible for starting the engine. While this can be inconvenient and often require a battery replacement, as a temporary solution you can jump-start your car to get it to where you need to be. You should be sure to familiarize yourself with the process of jumping a car and keep jumper cables in your car at all times.


A bad alternator often can happen in conjunction with a battery issue since the alternator is what charges the battery. It also continues to manage the car’s electronics once the car is running. Bad alternators need to be replaced by a company like All County Automotive as soon as possible, so be sure to keep an eye out for signs of a bad alternator including dim interior/exterior lighting, growling noises, and a smell of burning rubber.

Ignition Switch

Your ignition switch plays a key role in starting your car the moment you turn the key. The ignition switch is responsible for routing the power from the battery to the engine and allowing the other processes to happen. You can identify this issue most easily by listening when you start your car. If you don’t hear the engine attempting to turn on when you turn the key, you may have a bad ignition switch. You may also notice sporadic other electrical issues such as malfunctioning dashboard lights. 


If there is something wrong with the starter motor, which receives the electrical signals to start, your car may not even respond to the turning of your key. You can identify an issue with your starter by turning the key halfway to see if the lights come on. If so, you can continue turning to see if the car attempts to start. If not you may have an issue with your starter.

Quick Fixes

Key Cycling

If you believe your battery is dead or nearly dead, you can try key cycling. This process involved heating up the battery and other starting elements by turning the key 10 times to attempt starting the car, resting for a few minutes, and then trying again to start the engine.

Tapping Battery Terminals

If terminals are damaged, this will require service for a permanent fix, but you can use your shoe to hit the battery terminals to try to jar a better contact. Once you’ve done this try starting the engine again. 

Moving the Shifter

If you don’t hear your car attempting to start, place your foot on the brake and move the car into neutral. Attempt to start the car, and if it does not work move it back into park and try again. This can help reestablish weak electrical connections.

Contact All County Automotive

No matter what issue you are having, these temporary fixes should all be followed up with an automotive professional like our team at All County Automotive. If you have questions or concerns about the health of your car contact us today!

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