Why won’t my car start?

Have you ever had your car “die” on you, you try to start it and it just won’t start. You end up calling a tow truck and paying those hefty towing bills, and to make matters worse, the tech at the shop tells you it’s going to cost hundreds of dollars to get it running again, is that true? Maybe, maybe not.

I own and work as a Diagnostic Technician here at Ace Automotive in Lakewood Wa and I can tell you from experience that just knowing a little more about how their car works could save some people a whole lot of money. For example, say you run your wipers and heater, lights and radio on at night you notice the headlights getting dimmer and dimmer, soon the vehicle “dies” and now won’t start. The most likely cause is that the alternator has failed, not the battery, because if the battery failed, the alternator would still be powering the vehicle until you turned it off, then it would not restart.

You drive for a while and the car just “shuts off”, all the instrument lights come on, but when you try to start it just turns over but won’t start. Firstly it depends on what type of car this happened to, if it was an import such as ) you should be able to tell if when trying to start the engine it sounds different than it would just “run free” faster than normal. This is bad as most of the mentioned import cars cause expensive damage to the engine if the timing belt breaks.

If your vehicle is a domestic Chevy Ford etc, wait a little, maybe 30-45 minutes and try to start it, if it starts, hooray! But it will “die” again once it’s hot enough again, share this valuable information with your local technician and ask about any parts they replace to fix your vehicle so they know you have a thing too know the car.