The dreaded day a car fails to start puts many of our customers in a panic. Every auto mechanic at Hy-Tek Truck & Auto Center, LTD has addressed the no-starting issue. Fortunately, the cause is easily diagnosed and customers normally receive their cars back on the same day as the repair appointment. Here are three likely explanations for why your car will not start, courtesy of an auto mechanic in Norwalk, OH:
- Dead battery: The battery is the least expensive replacement, so we try to rule that one out first. Car batteries are expected to last four to five years, with variance on that timeframe due to extreme weather or frequency of use. They are not made for the long term, so even if you find a seven-to-10-year battery, do not be surprised if it does not last that long. As batteries age, their inner workings corrode and make it impossible to hold a charge. If you hear a whining sound as you turn the key or the car dies if you turn it off right after a jumpstart, it is likely a battery problem. The repair merely involves replacing the battery.
- Failed alternator: The alternator charges your battery. If your battery lasts for a shorter period, like two years instead of four, its demise may be the first sign of your alternator failing. When alternators do not work, batteries need to compensate for the lack of a full charge and wear out more quickly. Before it goes out, your alternator will make a growling sound, and you may smell burning rubber as wires overheat. Dash and headlights flicker, too, while your gauges behave strangely. The final sign is your car dying right after it is jumpstarted, even though you do not turn it off. Since this can leave you dead in the road, have us address it immediately.
- Broken starter: The starter only has one job, but if it cannot do it, you will remain in your driveway or parking spot. When you turn the key, the battery sends a jolt of electricity to your starter, which makes your engine turn over. If the starter is reluctant or merely clicks in response to your turned key, it has likely failed and needs to be replaced. Also, since your battery remains working in this case, you will find the dash lights work but the car will not start. Jumpstarting will not work in this case. As with an alternator failure, this requires a new starter. These parts work together, so it only takes one failing to leave your car immobile. Also, in cases of a dead alternator you likely need to replace the battery, too. That is due to all the pressure placed on it while the alternator slowly wore out. Fortunately, the starter does not usually take any other parts with it when it dies.
To address your starter, battery or alternator issues with a reliable auto mechanic in Norwalk, OH, call Hy-Tek Truck & Auto Center, LTD today to schedule an appointment.