There's nothing worse than turning the key only to find out that your car won't start. If your car has decided to take a break from the action today, you'll want to do some troubleshooting. Often, a few minutes of troubleshooting will save you some time and money. Here are four things you'll need to do if your car won't start.
Check Your Gas Gauge
If your car won't start, the first thing you need to do is check your gas gauge. While this might seem like an over-simplified suggestion, it's quite common to overlook your gas consumption when you've got a busy schedule. If your tank is empty, or too low to start your car, you've got an easy fix. Add enough gasoline to get your car started, and then head to the gas station for a fill up.
Test the Battery
If your fuel level is fine, it's time to test your battery. There are a number of battery issues that will prevent your car from starting. In fact, even a weakened battery can stop your car in its tracks. Check the terminals. You'll want to make sure that the cables are secure. You'll also want to make sure that the terminals aren't corroded. If there's corrosion – a white powdery substance – you'll need to clean the terminals before you try to start your car again. Next, give your battery a jump. Often, giving your battery a jump will give it enough power to get it started. If jumping your battery doesn't work, you may need to have it replaced.
Inspect Your Fuses
If your battery is fine and your gas tank is full, inspect your fuses. A blown fuse will prevent your car from starting, especially if it's the fuse that controls the ignition switch or the fuel system. Locate the fuse panel for your car and take a look. If you're not sure how to identify a blown fuse, look for one that appears to be burned or that has a broken metal strip around it. If you locate a blown fuse, replace it and try to start your car again.
Hand Off to the Mechanic
If you've reached this point, and your car still won't start, it's time to have your car towed to your local automotive repair shop. Your mechanic will be able to isolate the problem and get the repairs taken care of quickly. Once you have your car towed to the repair shop, let the mechanic know what steps you took to try and identify the problem. That way, they can start from where you left off.