There are a number of reasons why you the car cannot start – although commonly, it is due to a weak battery, other circumstances may result in your vehicle not being able to start its engine.
We usually ask these questions over the phone with customers who call up, so that we can determine what is the best course of action for him or her to take to solve the issue. It would be a frustrating indeed to have waited for a battery replacement service to arrive only to find that it was due to another problem altogether.
So here are the questions we usually ask, and you can also try answering these to figure if you need a battery replacement or not.
Did your remote key unlock the doors of your car when you tried to enter?
indicates presence of voltage from the battery – go to Question 2
indicates battery is likely dead, try to unlock the car with the physical key now often hidden in the remote control (battery replacement likely required). However, if the car alarm goes off when you unlock and open the car door, the battery is still alive and it is probably a car remote (remote battery is low or flat) or security system issue. Note: in this case, engine may not start due to security system issue.
Do you see any lights on the dashboard when you switch to Position 1 (electrical accessories on)?
indicates presence of voltage from the battery, but note if the display lights are dimmer than usual – go to Question 3
indicates battery is totally dead, below even the minimal voltage required to light up the dashboard (battery replacement likely required)
What happens when you try to crank the engine to start it? (Key turned to Position 2)
Engine cranks weakly or slowly –
not enough energy to start it – indicates starter motor is working, battery is weak – battery replacement required. Contact us for onsite battery replacement.
Engine does not crank at all –
clicking sounds heard from the driver’s seat and or the dimmer than usual dashboard lights flicker – indicates that battery is too weak to crank the engine at all, health of starter motor not confirmed but we can confirm this for you on site – battery replacement required. Contact us for onsite battery replacement.
Engine does not crank at all –
no clicking sounds heard from the driver’s seat, dashboard lights remain bright, as if there is sufficient power (or may go dark but back to fully lit when you stop trying to crank) – indicates that battery may have sufficient power, but starter motor or its relay may not be working, not likely a battery issue. To confirm, you need to measure the battery voltage with a meter. If you measure 12.3V and above but have these symptoms, it is likely not the battery but a starter issue. However, if you battery is above 18 months old, we recommend you change as although it may have voltage, but it may have insufficient CCA (cold cranking amps) to start the engine. As a battery ages, the CCA falls. We recommend calling us to replace the battery.
However, if your battery is less than a year old, we recommend towing to your preferred garage for repairs.
Engine cranks well and with usual strength –
however, does not start or starts but dies off immediately – indicates working battery and starter motor, and that the failure to start may be due to other factors such as the weak spark or lack of fuel from a faulty fuel pump or other causes. In this case, replacing the battery will not help to resolve th situation. We recommend towing to your preferred garage for repairs.