5 Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Start

As the owner of a vehicle, there is nothing worse than the moment of dread when you hop in your car, put the key in the ignition, and your car won’t start. Unfortunately, this happens to people every day, as it usually happens at the worst time. Like when you are late for work, or about to head out on a road trip. Depending on your situation, at first, you might simply be annoyed and frustrated that your plans were ruined. But once the realization that your car really won’t start sinks in, you may begin to panic and become concerned thinking “why won’t my car start?”. 

The reason behind why your car won’t start can vary, but knowing some of the most common reasons a car won’t start could help you quickly identify the problem and ease your level of stress and concern. Thankfully, some of the most common problems even have simple solutions, allowing you to quickly address the issue and get back on the road. In this article, our goal is to review 6 of the most common reasons your car won’t start and what you should do to fix the issue. As a rule of thumb, we always recommend having your vehicle professionally looked at but if that isn’t an option at the time your car won’t start, we hope that this article will help you stay in control of this dreadful situation. 


The most common reason why your car won’t start is due to a dead battery. A dead battery can be caused by a variety of things but the most common reasons are accidentally leaving your car on, the battery being too old to hold a sufficient charge, corrosion, or a broken/loose connection. Depending on the issues, this can sometimes be resolved with the “quick fix” of jumping your car. Using another car and jumper cables, you may be able to jumpstart your battery and get your car started.

However, it’s possible that your battery needs to be replaced altogether and a jumpstart won’t do you any good. If you can visually see corrosion on the battery connectors, you might fall into this category. Most bar battery manufacturers recommend that you replace your car battery every 4-5 years, so if you can’t remember the last time you replaced your battery, you are likely way overdue. That said, it might be worth getting it replaced instead of constantly having to fix it with temporary solutions that will become more and more stressful each time. 


If you’ve already ruled out your battery as being the issue, it’s possible that your ignition switch is to blame. You can test this by trying to turn on your headlights. If your car won’t start but the lights come on, it is likely not an issue with your battery so it’s time to turn your attention to your ignition switch.

A failed ignition switch won’t be able to supply power to the starter motor, ignition system, and other engine controls, preventing the engine from starting. A failed ignition switch is commonly caused by fuse or wiring issues, so it’s important to get your vehicle checked out by a technician who can properly address these mechanical issues.


Another possible reason why your car won’t start even though your battery is in good condition is due to an issue with your starter motor. The starter motor is connected to the battery and has the vital role of actually getting the engine to fire. Oftentimes when your car won’t start, you might be hearing a clicking noise when you turn the key. This can be a sign that your engine won’t turn over, due to the starter motor failing. Below are some reasons why your starter is acting up and may need to be replaced.

  • Loose, dirty, and/or corroded wiring to and from the starter
  • Battery corrosion
  • Damaged or worn-out parts in the starter system
  • Oil leaks
  • Bad relay or fuse



Your car’s timing belt is an extremely important part of the engine. It helps to ensure that valves in the engine open and close at the right time. If you are dealing with a failed timing belt, the engine will not be able to run smoothly if it is even able to run at all. Unfortunately, the timing belt is often an overlooked maintenance item for your car’s engine, but failing to replace the timing belt promptly could result in having to replace your engine altogether.


This might sound a bit silly to call out, but believe it or not, it happens all the time. The last time you drove your car, your gas tank could have been close to empty and running on fumes, but you just didn’t realize it because you made it home safely without any problems. Or your gas gauge could be malfunctioning leading you to believe you had more gas than you actually did.

Then, you hop in the car the next morning, your gas tank is on E, and your car won’t start! Thankfully, depending on where your car runs out of gas, this is an easy one to fix. You’ll just have to get more gas. If an empty gas tank was truly the issue, once you add more, your car should now start without a problem.


If you are certain you have enough gas in the tank but your car still won’t start, you might be dealing with a fuel pump issue. The fuel pump is the system that moves the fuel from your gas tank to the combustion chamber. If the pump isn’t working or is weak, the fuel may not be able to get from your tank to the engine – resulting in the inability for it to start.

The easiest way to tell if you have a fuel pump issue is to listen closely for the pump to start running before you start the car. While having the key in the “on” position, before turning it all the way to start the car, you should hear sounds of the fuel pump starting. Although it can sometimes be difficult to hear, if you know what you’re listening for, you might be able to pick up the sound and successfully diagnose the issue. Regardless, we always recommend that you have your car inspected by a professional mechanic that can help properly address the issue.

Now that you know what might be causing your car to not start, it’s time to get help from a professional. Although some of the issues above can be easily fixed by you at home, for more serious issues, you will want to ensure the issue is properly addressed by an experienced mechanic. There is nothing worse than thinking you fixed the issues, just to have your car not start the next morning. Avoid further complications by giving us a call at GT Automotive so we can help identify the problem, fix your vehicle, and get you on the road again in no time!