Home / News / 10 Reasons Your Car Wont Start

10 reasons your car won’t start

15th March 2023

We’ve all been there, a moment of panic when you turn your key in the ignition and your car doesn’t start. If you’re not sure why youhave problems starting your car, just find your closest Merityre Specialist branch and we can help to diagnose the problem. In this guide, we’ll explain the top 10 reasons your car won’t start.  

1. Battery failure 

Battery failure is one of the main reasons that stops your car from starting. The main symptom of a dead battery in a car that doesn’t start will be a rapid clicking sound when you turn the key in the ignition.  

If you suspect battery failure we recommend visiting your local Merityre Specialist branch for a free car battery health check 

2. Corroded battery terminals 

Similarly to a flat battery, a corroded battery terminal can interfere with the connection between your engine and the battery charging system. It can stop your engine from starting and in some cases can stop your battery from charging, causing battery failure. 

If you spot corroded battery terminals, you should be able to clean the area to remove the corrosion.   

3. Ignition switch failure 

The signs of Ignition switch failure include having trouble turning the key in the ignition. Or, if you turn the key, and nothing happens at all, then this can also be a sign of ignition switch failure.  

If you are concerned about ignition switch failure contact your local branch to diagnose the issue. 

4. Alternator failure 

Your alternator keeps your battery charged, so any failure with your alternator will ultimately lead to a flat battery. Some of the signs to look out for that could mean there is a problem with your alternator include dim or overly bright lights, trouble starting, stalling or the battery warning light appearing on your dashboard.  

If you have any worries about your electrical system then it’s worth contacting your local branch.   

5. Low oil 

Driving after your low-oil light has come on can cause serious mechanical failure. Oil helps to lubricate the engine, and without it you’ll hear clunking, ticking, and grinding noises coming from your engine, before it completely stops functioning.  

When you bring your car in for its annual service we’ll change your oil and filter, but we recommend checking the oil level in your car at least once a month.  

6. Low fuel 

Some cars won’t start when there’s a very low amount of fuel in the tank. Therefore, we recommend not driving around regularly while you’re low on fuel. Running your car regularly when low on fuel can also lead to a clogged fuel filter which can stop your engine from starting.    

7.Broken timing belt 

Your timing belt is responsible for turning your engine’s camshaft in line with the crankshaft, which controls your internal combustion engine. If this breaks or wears out, your crankshaft and camshaft will fail to rotate properly. If this happens when you’re driving it can cause you to break down. Or, it can stop your engine from starting completely.  

Your vehicle manufacturer should advise on how long your timing belt will last, but in general, they need replacing every 40,000 miles.  

8. Starter motor failure  

The starter motor is responsible for getting your vehicle started. If it fails, then your vehicle is unable to start. Simply, the engine won’t turn over when you turn the key in the ignition or push to start. You could also have smoke coming out from under your hood if your starter motor fails.  

If you suspect starter motor failure, contact your local branch to diagnose the issue. 

9.Engine Control Unit (ECU) failure

ECU failure can cause trouble with starting your engine, other symptoms include your engine lagging or surging. You might also find that before your car fails to start, that your car stalls more often than usual and your check engine light comes on.  

If your engine check light comes on it’s a good idea to get booked into your local branch. 

10. Spark plug failure 

Some of main signs of spark plug failure include engine misfire and a jerky ride along with trouble starting your engine.  

Your spark plugs are checked and replaced as standard when using our gold service package. Otherwise, you should change them every 30,000 miles. 

If you have any worries about your vehicle, find your local Merityre specialist today. Or, if your vehicle is due a service, find out about our range of servicing options now.