car starter issues

Are you facing car starter issues and not sure what’s the problem? Are you concerned about the mechanic ripping you off with the repairs?

Running late for work only to find that your car won’t start can be quite frustrating. Car starter issues usually occur when there is a problem with your car’s battery, starter, or alternator.

However, the most daunting part here is identifying which part is the root cause of the car starter issues. All these parts work simultaneously to power your car’s mechanism, making it challenging to determine the underlying problem for inexperienced drivers.

In this article, we will cover some of the major car starter issues and how you may be able to fix them.

Main Car Starter Issues And their Fixes

Let’s go over some common vehicle starter issues, how you can identify them, and their fixes.

Battery Issues

signs that Car Battery needs replacement

When your car doesn’t start, the first thing to check is whether the car’s battery is working. Old or drained batteries can cause starter issues.

Car batteries tend to get weak and fail over time with excessive usage. Although sometimes you may get warning signs on your car’s dash, that’s not always the case. Besides excessive usage over time, if you’ve left on the lights overnight or turned the radio on and forgot about it, you’re definitely waking up to drained batteries.

If you have a jump starter in your car or house, it can be helpful to get some juice in your battery. You can also jump-start your car if it’s a manual transmission vehicle. Once you’ve got it up and running, head to a local garage for a new battery.

Defective Alternator

Another possible reason for your car not starting is the defective alternator which affects the battery. Alternators are responsible for charging the battery while the car is turned on, and when they get faulty, the battery cannot receive the required charge to operate.

Generally, when the alternator is near to fault, you will see warning signs such as cranking sounds from the engine or dim lights. Plus, if the serpentine belt is worn off or starting to slip, it will not supply power to the alternator, leading to a dead battery.

You will need to check the voltage output to identify whether the issue lies in the alternator. The ideal range should lie from 13.5 to 14.5, and if the damage seems quite severe, it is best to refer to a mechanic to avoid more issues.

Empty Gas Tank

filling gas on car

The most common car starter issue is an empty fuel tank. Usually, the fuel indicator will show you the warning sign if the tank gets empty. However, sometimes the gauge gets faulty and does not show any signs.

Also, if you live in a cold area where the temperature is usually low, your car may not start. A simple way to fix such issues is to refill the tank and make sure you are using the right fuel for the tank.

Starter Problem

A car starter can also be the reason your car will not start. It is a small, battery-operated motor that transmits power to get the engine running. Hence, if the starter is faulty, your vehicle will not start.

It usually happens over time that the starter gets damaged or worn out. However, it does not occur as a surprise. Generally, you will see some warning signs, including grinding noises, dim interior lights, burnt smells, and cranking engine sounds.

To inspect whether the starter is working or not, first, open the hood and check. Next, try to tap it with a solid object but don’t apply too much force. Doing this will usually bring the starter back to life. Lastly, you may need to inspect the transmission and fuel gauge.

Faulty Ignition Switch

car Ignition

Faulty ignition switches may be the cause of your vehicle not starting. The starter is also working if the battery is fine and has a charge. However, the engine may still not turn due to the faulty ignition switch.

Potential warning signs for this issue include a lack of engine noise or flickering dashboard lights. In addition, if the ignition switch is the root cause, you may not be able to turn the key at all.

The best solution for this problem is to get it fixed by professionals, especially if you are unsure about your skills.

Damaged Timing Belt

Timing belts also play an essential role in the functioning of your car. It is a type of rubber belt that consists of teeth and notches that control and balance the valves’ movement.

If the timing belt is worn off, you may see various symptoms, such as oil leakage, vibrations, engine misfiring, and squealing sounds.

Replacing the timing belt over time is necessary because it wears off easily, especially if you drive under harsh conditions.

If you are skillful in changing the car parts, you can easily use the instructional manual from your car’s manufacturer and, if not, get it changed by the mechanic.

Defective Spark Plug

Spark Plug

Another cause of your vehicle not starting is the damaged spark plugs. You won’t face spark plug issues if your car is new, but if it is old and has traveled around 100,000 miles, it is best to replace the spark plugs.

Some common signs of faulty spark plugs include trouble accelerating, rough idling, bad fuel efficiency, or misfiring.

If this is the primary cause, it is best to replace the spark plugs to get your vehicle moving again.


Car starter issues can happen anywhere, anytime. From a dead battery to a defective alternator, spark plug, timing belt, and many other causes, diagnosing car starter issues can be challenging.

The best way to start a car starter issues diagnosis is by checking the batteries before going to other steps, which is one of the most common problems many car owners face.

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