When you're ready to zoom off to work in the morning and your vehicle won't start, it's common for concern to set in. Here are some possible reasons that your vehicle isn't starting up for you so that you can have a better idea of what sort of repairs to anticipate.
Many times when a car or truck won't start up, the battery is the reason. While batteries in vehicles are charged by other engine components, over time the batteries themselves need to be replaced. If the battery is the reason for the problem, you might see the interior lights or dashboard lights blink; the radio and other controls may not work as well.
Even if the battery itself is not the problem, the cables and battery leads can be damaged or corroded. Popping the hood and looking at the battery should reveal whether that is the case. If so, the leads may need to be cleaned and the cables replaced by a professional.
If you've had the battery tested and it is fine or you've recently replaced the battery and the vehicle's engine still won't start, the alternator could be causing the problem. The alternator works to charge the battery; so if the battery doesn't power the car, the alternator could be the reason why. In many cars and trucks, if there is a problem with the alternator, you will see a warning light illuminated. Typically this light says "ALT," but on many vehicle models, it looks like a battery, which makes many people wonder if there is a battery problem when it's the alternator that needs attention. Ensure that you read your vehicle's owner manual to find out what light corresponds with the alternator for your particular model.
If you've had the battery tested and have been told that it's fine, there could be an issue with the starter mechanism. A sign that the starter could be the culprit is that you'll hear a fast clicking noise whenever you attempt to start up the car or truck. Typically one of the components in the starter mechanism, the solenoid, will need to be replaced because it is disengaging before the vehicle can turn over. If it sounds like something is grinding when you make an attempt to start things up, the driver gear component of the starter could be damaged.
With all the information in this article, you can do some investigation to determine which repairs you may need and an approximate cost for any repairs. Get your vehicle towed to a qualified mechanic at a shop like Leo's Automotive as soon as you can to get the situation resolved.