Car won't start

The common symptoms and solutions

Car advices: Car won't start

In winter or rainy days the car simply won't start. The engine is dead, you hear no sound, or it starts but it turn off quickly. Here are some symptoms and possible solutions when car won't start.

The most common symptoms when car won't start are:
If you drove the car from a moderate to cold climate and it either starts to lose power or won't start after being parked between an hour to overnight.
If you parked the car when the weather was moderate and now it is quite cold and the car won't start.
If the car is silent when you turn the key in the ignition.
If the car makes a clicking noise but won't start.
If the car cranks over but won't start.
If the car won't start on rainy days.
If the car won't start on cold mornings.
If the engine misses while idling.
If the engine misses or hesitates during acceleration.
If the engine knocks or pings.
If you parked the car in moderate conditions and fired it up once it got really cold to warm it up and make sure everything was OK then later the car won't start.
If the car was parked in a heated garage or a garage much warmer than ambient and you drive to your destination then cannot start the car a few hours later.

If you have any of thiese symptoms this is what you should do or check. If you have an ordinary fuel-injected vehicle, you may just need a car battery with more cold-cranking Amps. Check the car battery terminal cable connections. If connections look corroded (rusty), force the point of a screwdriver between the connector and the terminal post and twist it to lodge it firmly. Then try to start the engine. If it starts, you need to clean or replace your cables, if it not start this means a dead car battery. Also check the fuel supply to engine. If that's look OK, check the sparks.

If the engine starts but it turn off check if your car has a carburetor. If it have a carburator, check it's adjustment. Choke it to see if it is first closing and then opening. You'll need mechanic help if you have fuel injection.

If the engine won't start on rainy days you should check the distributor cap for dampness or moisture. If you find dampness clean it and dry the distrubotor cap and spray it with WD-40. Turn the cap upside down and pour or spray some solvent into it.

Cold mornings is the most common trouble for starting the car, so if you have car with carburator check the choke, but if you have fuel injection you'll need to have a professional mahanics help in reliable service.

Other solutions:

Check the points, spark plugs, fuel pump, fuel filter, and carburetor (accelerator pump in the carburetor) if you have one, timing, cooling system and compression check on the engine cylinders.


This is uncommon problem but check the octane rating of the fuel you're using. (You should have the owner's manual for your car).

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Follow this advice on your own risk. Advices presented on this page are tips for long running car.
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