Steps to Take if Your Car Just Won't Crank

Do you ever have one of those days where your car just won't start? Sometimes it's a quick fix, and sometimes it can be a little more challenging than just wiggling your key.

Your best bet is to start with your battery. A dead battery is the most common reason for a car that won't start. You can check the strength of your battery with a battery tester or you can try jump-starting your car. If your car turns on, you simply need a new battery. If it still won't turn on, it's time to dive a little deeper.

For these instances, we've comprised a series of symptoms, potential diagnostics and solutions for you.

The Symptoms

There are a vast number of parts that make up your car, which means there is a variety of reasons why your car may not be starting.

  • It could be your battery or your starter.
  • Making a clicking noise, but won't start
    Your battery might just be dead. If you have reason to believe that this is not the case, check out the wiring to and from the starter to see if there is a loose connection.
  • Silent when you turn the ignition
    Check the battery and look for the status of the terminal cable connections. If they appear to be corroded, you may need to clean or replace your cables.
  • Not starting in the rain
    You may need to check inside the distributor cap to see if there is dampness - refer to your car's manual to find its location. To evaporate any dampness inside the distributor cap, turn the cap upside down and pour or spray some solvent into it. Swish it around and pour it out. Then dry the cap as best you can with a clean, lint-free rag and replace the cap.

Tips for the DIYer

  • Cranking, but won't start
    Check to see if the electrical spark is getting through to your spark plugs. When you open the hood of your car, you will see a series of wires that lead to different points on the engine compartment. The spark plugs are located at the engine's end of the wires. If this seems okay, check the fuel supply to your engine.
  • Engine misses and/or hesitates during acceleration
    Check the accelerator pump, spark plugs, the distributor and the timing.
  • Engine is knocking or pinging
    Check your timing belt, the octane rating of the fuel you are using and the coolant system and do a compression check on the engine cylinders.

    Battery Replacement Options

    Visit Toyota of Greenville for a battery test and to shop our wide selection of batteries. You can also find tons of great products to help you get your car running smoothly. If you need help diagnosing and fixing your vehicle, schedule an appointment with our professionals today.