Engine does not start – Possible causes and solutions

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    The car that does not start or the engine does not start while driving is a real nuisance, but you don’t have to panic immediately. It is very likely that the effect is caused by an insignificant defect. To find the reason, however, you need a good knowledge of the operation of the vehicle. In this article you will read all about the causes of the problem and you will understand what to do in this situation.

    What does the car need to drive?

    The car with the combustion engine needs six elements for propulsion.

    If at least one of these elements is missing, the engine will not start. Depending on the damaged system, the problem can be solved immediately or the repair will be very difficult.

    Engine does not start – problems with fuel supply

    If the car does not start or stops, the first suspect falls on the fuel system. If the car makes noise but refuses to leave, it is possible that the tank is empty. If the indicator shows the presence of fuel, the tank float has probably blocked. You can check it by adding some fuel to the tank and trying to start the car again. It may take some patience because the completely empty fuel supply system must first be vented.

    If the tank empties unusually quickly, check for the smell of oil. The fuel line is likely to be damaged and gasoline will leak. Or the cause may be the malfunction of the fuel pump.

    Auto does not start repeatedly – belt drive failure

    Transmission malfunction often has fatal consequences. If the belt or drive chain is damaged, the engine stops and no longer starts. In this case, the engine has often suffered serious damage and expensive repair is required. To check this, remove the belt or chain cover. If the components are detached, the cause is identified. The repair in this case will not only concern the replacement of the belt, the engine must be completely disassembled.

    Ignition does not take place – power failure

    The most common cause of problems with starting the engine is the failure of the power supply system. Electricity is produced in the generator located inside the battery and reaches the spark plugs in the engine via the coil and the ignition distributor. The current always creates a circuit. If it is interrupted, the power is no longer present. The return of current to the generator always takes place through the bodywork, it means that the generator, as well as the battery, must have an earth connection, that is, be connected to the bodywork with cables.

    Rust is often formed in the space between the cables and the bodywork. If the problem is not noticed in time, starting the car becomes increasingly difficult, until the engine no longer starts. The solution is very simple: the earth cable must be removed, sanded and lubricated with pole grease. Fasten the cable again and the problem is solved.

    The ignition coil transforms the 24 Volt current supplied by the generator into the 10,000 Volt ignition current. The cable is located in the middle between the coil and the ignition distributor. In older cars the distribution cable may come loose . This is the most obvious cause of ignition problems: if the cable is reconnected, the car will be able to start. If, on the other hand, the cable is in place but sparking, the insulation is damaged, it has probably been reddened by a rodent. An emergency measure in this case is to wrap the ignition cable with insulating tape.

    If the car is now leaving, it is advisable to check for damage caused by rodents. The gnawed coolant tube can cause serious engine damage .

    The problem with the power supply can be the starter. This element consists of an electric motor and an electromagnetic relay. Over time, the soft starter may wear out or the connection of the contacts may corrode. The starter failure makes itself heard with a buzzing sound. The electromagnet cannot completely disconnect the starter drive while the electric motor is still running. With a little luck it is possible to repair this defect. Most often the only option in this case is replacement.

    If the generator breaks, the battery does not charge. It is indicated by the warning light always on on the dashboard. If the fact is ignored for a long time, sooner or later the ignition coil will no longer receive power. In this case the battery must be charged and then the generator must be checked. Generally, the generator defects are not serious, even if it is the defective belt or worn carbon brushes. Both can be repaired at low cost.

    Car does not start suddenly – problems with the air supply

    The engine that does not start due to the failure of the air supply system is rare, although theoretically possible. If a foreign object lands in the inlet section or the air filter becomes clogged, the engine does not receive enough oxygen for the air / fuel mixture. This error is often highlighted by the increase in fuel consumption and the hot engine. Usually replacing the air filter and checking the inlet section should help solve the problem.

    Engine does not start – problems with oil and water

    If there are problems with the coolant and the oil supply, the engine could be seriously damaged. Piston seizure is a result of a deficiency in one of these two components. In this case the car cannot be repaired with home remedies and careful inspection of the engine is mandatory.

    So if the engine control lights or the oil and coolant warning lights come on, stop the engine immediately!

    What to do if the engine protests?

    The following list will help you identify the reason for stopping the engine:

    Did the car stop while driving?
    – Gasoline is out.
    – Ignition contacts are defective.
    – Damage to the engine (engine does not start).

    Does the car refuse to leave?
    The starter makes noise: the belt is in place, there are no problems with the petrol cable or the ignition cable.
    – Check the fuel gauge
    – If the tank is empty, fill it.
    – If the gauge shows sufficient fuel, check the ignition cables.
    – If the ignition cable has been disconnected, reattach it
    – If the cable sparkles at the moment of ignition, the insulation is damaged. Wrap the cable with insulating tape and replace it as soon as possible.
    – If the ignition cable is ok, add fuel.
    – If the car does not start despite the tank being full, start the car by pushing.
    – If the car allows push start, check the generator, the earth connection cable and the ignition coil.
    – If the car does not start pushing, check the ignition contacts.

    The starter does not make any noise: damage to the engine, the engine stuck.
    Engine does not start in cold conditions.
    – The machine does not react in any way, the lights do not come on or little lights: The battery is completely empty. Quick start is required.
    In this case the battery often needs to be replaced )
    – The starter makes noise with the quick start, the car does not start: check the supply of fuel, air and ignition cables.
    – The starter does not produce noise: the starter is defective or the engine is damaged, try to start the car by towing. ( Attention: diesel cars cannot be towed in cold conditions )
    – The car does not start even with a starter and the wheels lock: damage to the engine (engine does not start), immediate repair is required.
    If all these measures have not taken effect, there is only one possibility before visiting the mechanic: check all the fuses, especially in diesel cars. The glow plug fuses may be defective. If everything is fine here, the car must, without a doubt, be checked by the mechanic.

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