Archive for the ‘Service Tips’ Category
Most of the time, starting your vehicle is simple. Key goes in, key gets turned, engine turns over, and off you go. But what happens when that process goes awry? What should you do if the engine doesn’t turn over?
Clicking usually indicates a dead battery. Leaving the lights on after the car is stopped, as well as good old-fashioned time can run out this vital part. Keeping a set of jumper cables and a cheat sheet in your vehicle’s trunk or storage area is the first step toward helping yourself or a fellow traveler out of this jam. This guide from Via, the AAA magazine, and this diagram from the auto section of dummies.com are both detailed resources.
Silence could mean the battery’s cable connections have corroded past usefulness. If the car starts after you wedge a screwdriver (be sure the handle is non-conductive!) between the connector and terminal post, then your cables may need to be cleaned or replaced.
Dying after it starts is a serious problem, either with your fuel injector or the carburetor (whichever your vehicle has). If you have a carburetor, check the choke to be sure it’s opening and closing. If you have a fuel injector, take your car in for service immediately.
The vehicle cranks but won’t engage could indicate a fuel or spark plug problem. Check that fuel is reaching your engine and that your spark plugs are good.
Not starting on rainy days could mean engine trouble every day in an Oregon winter. If this is happening to you, check your distributor cap for moisture. Using a clean solvent – not gasoline, as it’s flammable and so are its fumes – turn the cap upside down, spray the solvent inside, and then dry it as best you can with a lint-free cloth.