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car starting issues
What to do if your car won't start...

Starting problems...Car won't start?

Get your vehicle back on the road again... today!

At Everything Automotive we usually save a little room for emergency jobs. If your car won't start and you have tried to get it going or don't have the time call us immediately on (07) 4054 6661 and we can organise a tow truck for you to bring it in so we can take a look at it for you and get you back on the road quickly without the hassles. If you would like to try getting yourself back on the road please refer to our simple diagnosis guide below.

Fast & inexpensive towing organised in just minutes!

We have several towing companies that we use on a regular basis. We can call them for you and have them deliver your vehicle directly to us without any fuss. We will even streamline the payment process for you and simply add the value of the towing to your invoice along with the receipt from the towing company. We know how busy you are, so with our service you only have to pay once when the job is done and we will take care of the rest.

How to diagnose the problem

Most of us have had to deal with this situation at least once in our lives. You rush out the door to get somewhere and the car just won't start. It is always at the worst time as we never figure into our planning that the car may not work when we get into it. So we are stressed, in a rush and have to deal with something most people know very little about. Well, the first thing you need to do is take a few deep breaths and calm down, because no matter what you will most likely be late, now it's just a case of how late.

Diagnosing why your car won't start is a step by step methodical process starting at the most likely and basic problems first. Most commonly it is one of two systems that are failing you. Either battery/power issues or something to do with fuel delivery. Follow the simple steps below and we can at least find out what the problem is, then perhaps we can take the appropriate steps to getting you back on the road and to your appointment.

Some simple steps to diagnose why your car won't start

  • When you turn the key, does anything happen?
  • If you turn on the ignition and there is no sound, try turning on the radio and see if it works. If nothing happens then there is a very good chance that your battery is dead, or the power from the battery isn't reaching any of the systems in your car. If you hear a clicking sound when you turn the key and perhaps the radio works, then you most likely have a battery issue and the battery doesn't have enough charge to turn the starter motor. You will require a jump start if you have an automatic or perhaps you can manage a push start if you have a manual... and a good friend! Make sure you take your car to a mechanic to check why your battery was flat.

  • Check the battery terminals
  • After you have established that the most likely culprit is the battery or in any case a lack of battery power, make sure you check the terminals and leads from the battery. There is a chance that the battery may be absolutely fine and it may be a broken or faulty connection to the battery. Sometimes corrosion around the battery terminals can be the problem and they will have to be removed and cleaned. Hot water will usually do the trick. If not, you may need a wire brush or tooth brush to remove the corrosion and in some extreme cases the wires are completely caked and corroded as well, in which case you may need to trim them back to a point where there is little to no corrosion. Please make sure you have more than enough length to do this before you even think about cutting your wires back as some battery cables are only just long enough and do not have any extra length to play with. Cleaning them is the best option unless they have corroded to the point where they won't hold a current. If your wires are fine then you may need a jump start, or perhaps a new battery.

  • The engine turns over but the car won't start
  • If the engine is turning over then there is enough power getting to the starter motor and the issue is not battery related. The problem is most likely one of two things. There is a lack of fuel or a lack of spark. Please note that even though your battery may be fine at this point, you cannot go cranking the car forever without it running flat, so try to detect and fix the problem before this happens. If your engine starts to turn over and gets quicker but then won't start you may have too much fuel in the chambers and it can be flooded or perhaps not enough fuel and the engine cannot fire up. Try starting without the choke or foot on the accelerator or check the fuel filter for any blockages.

  • The engine starts then dies
  • This is similar to the last section, but you know you have spark so the problem is generally the fuel or fuel delivery to the cylinder. If you have fuel injection then perhaps you need to call your local mechanic as the injectors may be blocked. There is also a chance that your fuel line or filter is blocked, so checking these may be a good idea as well.

  • If your car won't start after the rain or on rainy days
  • Sometimes moisture can build up in the electrical components of your car like the distributor cap or spark plug leads (if you have them). This can be remedied by taking the leads off one at a time, removing the moisture and replacing them. If you have nothing else try blowing the water out with your mouth. Make sure you have the key out of the ignition when you take the distributor cap off. Make sure you place it back on correctly.

If you still can't figure out what your problem is after following these steps then it may be best to call a mechanic to come out or tow your vehicle in to your local mechanic. Alternatively you can organise roadside assistance with RACQ or NRMA and they will come out and get you going or tow your vehicle for you. If you don't have roadside assistance, give us a call and we can recommend a good, inexpensive towing service.

A corroded battery terminal
A badly corroded battery terminal
fuel filter
A replacement fuel filter
Distributor cap
Moisture in the distributor
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