4 Common Reasons a Car Won’t Start: A Guide for Those in Auto Mechanic Training

There are few things more frustrating and inconvenient than a vehicle that won’t start. Unfortunately, this problem is often more complicated than an empty fuel tank or a dead battery. When drivers are unable to diagnose the problem themselves, they’ll have to take their car into the repair shop to determine the issue. If you’re currently training to become a mechanic, it will be your job to examine a vehicle that won’t start, make a diagnosis, and implement the solution. Throughout your career, it will be helpful to have some background knowledge of the possible reasons behind this issue in order to conduct an accurate assessment. 

Read on to discover four of the most common issues that can prevent a car from starting. 

1. As an Auto Service Technician, it’s Important to Check the Starter

The starter, which is connected to the battery, is an electric motor that gets the engine going after receiving a signal from the ignition switch. If a vehicle’s starter is broken or corroded, the engine won’t be able to start, as the starter’s main function is to activate the engine. During your auto service technician career, check to see whether a clicking sound is heard when the ignition key is turned. This sound may indicate a problem with the starter, which you can confirm by examining the starter motor itself. Typically, this component can be replaced to quickly resolve the issue and get the vehicle up and running again.

When a vehicle won’t start, check to see whether the starter is malfunctioning

2. If a Car Won’t Start, the Battery Might be the Problem

For most people, a dead battery is the first thing that comes to mind when they think of a car that won’t start. While a battery can die due to a mistake such as leaving the headlights on, there are plenty of other, more complicated reasons for a dead battery. 

If an attempted jump start doesn’t fix the problem, a vehicle’s battery might have expired, could be suffering from bad conductivity, or may contain a loose wire. In the case of a more severe issue with this component, replacing the battery is often a driver’s best bet.

3. A Clogged Fuel Filter Could be the Culprit

Even if the fuel tank is full, a clogged fuel filter will prevent gasoline from going into the engine. While fuel filters block plenty of contaminants from reaching the combustion chambers, these components can become vulnerable to debris buildup, reducing their effectiveness. As any automotive repair technician likely knows, the engine needs a certain amount of fuel in order to start when the ignition is turned on. With that in mind, if the fuel filter is clogged, it should be replaced in order to promote sufficient flow of fuel to the engine. 

If the fuel filter is clogged, the engine won’t receive the amount of fuel needed to switch on

4. In Today’s Vehicles, Technology is Often to Blame

Modern vehicles are equipped with much more advanced technology than those of the past. While these electronic technologies usually serve to make drivers’ lives easier and keep them safe on the road, a malfunction within a vehicle’s computer system has the potential to result in problems that can prevent it from starting. For example, if a vehicle is protected by an advanced security system, broken wiring within this system could cause an error that results in a car that won’t start. As an auto service technician, the only possible way to fix a technology issue is by performing a diagnostic scan and checking the security codes to identify the problem. 

While it can be an annoyance for drivers when their vehicle won’t start, your ability to quickly resolve the issue during your automotive career will make their bad day a little better. So remember to refer to the above list of potential causes the next time you service a vehicle that won’t start!

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