Car doesn’t start: troubleshooting car ignition

You are in a hurry – and at that very moment your car won’t start. If your car doesn’t start, many problems can be responsible. Some are quick and easy to fix, while others require more effort. In this home tip, you can find out why your car won’t start.

Car doesn’t start – the most common causes

The fact that your car does not start does not necessarily have to have something to do with the year of manufacture. New cars also sometimes have problems starting. Often just a few simple steps are enough, but if there are serious problems, all you have to do is call the breakdown service or visit the workshop. The most common causes are listed here.


The battery has a certain charging capacity. Especially in winter, cold temperatures put a strain on capacity. You can recognize an empty battery by the sound of the starter: either you hear no sound or you hear a very minimal one. In this case, the battery voltage is no longer sufficient to start. You need a different battery or car to bridge.


If the battery has no problems, the starter may be damaged. Then you have to have the old starter replaced and insert a new one. The exchange is easier and cheaper than a possible repair.


Rarer than an empty battery or a defective starter is damaged electronics. This can be broken cables or corroded contacts. If you do not notice any obvious cable breaks when opening the hood, you should have this checked by a specialist. Every car can be affected by a cable break, which can also have been caused by a marten.


It sounds banal, but is often one of the main reasons: too little fuel. In the hustle and bustle, it happens to many people that you park your car with too little fuel. Since the cars indicate too little fuel through warning lights, many people no longer pay attention to the fuel needle. If the lamp is defective or there is a problem with the signal transmission, you will suddenly be standing on the roadside in the tank without fuel. The type of fuel may also have been switched.


If you can rule out damage to the cables and the starter and have a charged battery, you only have to go to the workshop to remedy the fault. With a special device, the workshop can read out the fault memory of the vehicle to find the problem.

Tip: When driving in winter, only switch on the large consumers such as rear window heating, seat heating and heated exterior mirrors after a certain driving time. If you switch on the consumers mentioned directly at the start of the journey, the battery will be overloaded. The removed charging capacity cannot be restored on short distances and the battery is then too weak to start the car.

Author: Nabeel K

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