- The car refuses to start or the engine just stalls while driving - this is a real nuisance, although there is no reason to panic. It is more than likely that the malfunction is caused by a minor defect. However, finding the cause requires a thorough knowledge of how the car works. Read all about what can cause a car to stop in this guide and how you can help yourself in such a case.
- What does a car need to drive?
- Vehicle Won't Start - Fuel Failure
- The car repeatedly refuses to work - failure of the belt drive
- Ignition does not start - power failure
- Car no longer starts suddenly - air supply failure
- Car won't start - oil and water supply failure
- What to do if the engine has stalled
The car refuses to start or the engine just stalls while driving - this is a real nuisance, although there is no reason to panic. It is more than likely that the malfunction is caused by a minor defect. However, finding the cause requires a thorough knowledge of how the car works. Read all about what can cause a car to stop in this guide and how you can help yourself in such a case.
What does a car need to drive?
An internal combustion engine car needs six elements to keep it moving. It:
|Fuel: petrol, diesel or gas.|
Drive: belts tuning moving components.
Energy: electric ignition current to operate the starter.
Air: to prepare the air-fuel mixture.
Butter: for lubricating moving parts.
Water: for engine cooling.
If only one of these elements fails, the entire engine stalls. Depending on which system is damaged, the vehicle is either very easy to get back to working order or requires a lot of work to repair.
Vehicle Won't Start - Fuel Failure
If the car does not start or stalls, the first suspicion falls on the fuel supply. If the car rattles but refuses to start, the fuel tank may be empty. If the fuel gauge shows fuel, the tank float may be stuck. This can be checked by pouring some gasoline into the tank and trying to start the engine again. This requires some patience, as a completely empty fuel system must lose its temper first.
If the tank empties unusually quickly, be sure to check for the smell of gasoline. Possibly a fuel line leak. Otherwise, the fuel pump may be defective.
The car repeatedly refuses to work - failure of the belt drive
Belt drive failures are often fatal. If the timing belt or chain is broken, the engine stalls and will no longer start. Often in this case, the engine suffers significant damage and expensive repairs are required. This can be checked by removing the belt or chain cover. If drive components have come off, the cause will be found. Repair will require not only the replacement of the belt. In this case, the engine must be completely disassembled.
Ignition does not start - power failure
The most common reason for an engine not starting is a power failure. Electrical current is generated in the alternator, stored in the battery, and supplied to the spark plugs in the engine through the ignition coil and distributor. Current always flows in a circuit. If the circuit is broken, there is no power. The return current to the alternator always passes through the body. Therefore, the generator, like the battery, must ground , that is, connect to the body with cables.
Corrosion can always occur between the cables and the body. If this is not noticed in time, starting the car becomes increasingly difficult until it stops starting at all. The solution is very simple: ground cable must be removed, sanded and lubricated with pole grease. Screw the cable back on and the problem is solved.
The ignition coil converts the 24 V current supplied by the alternator into a 10 V ignition current. The cable runs between the ignition coil and the ignition distributor. In older vehicles, the distributor cable could disconnect . This is the most obvious reason that the car refuses to start: a simple cable connection allows the machine to keep moving. If the cable is in place but sparks, the insulation is damaged. This may be the result of a rodent bite. An emergency measure is to wrap the ignition cable with electrical tape.
If the car now starts, it should be checked for further rodent damage. A gnawed coolant hose poses a risk of severe engine damage.
The problem with the power supply may be related to the starter. This element consists of an electric motor and a relay with an electromagnetic drive. Over time, the starter may wear out or its connecting contacts may corrode. A starter failure makes itself felt with a buzzing sound. The solenoid cannot completely disengage the starter drive when the motor is running. With luck, this defect can be corrected. Very often replacement is the only way out.If the alternator fails, the battery will not charge. This is indicated by a permanently lit signal lamp on the instrument panel. If this is ignored for too long, sooner or later the ignition coil will stop receiving ignition current. In this case, you must first charge the battery, and then check the generator. As a rule, alternator defects are minor: either the drive belt is faulty, or the carbon brushes are worn out. Both can be simply repaired at little cost.
Car no longer starts suddenly - air supply failure
It is rare for a car to stall due to an air supply failure, although it is theoretically possible. If a foreign object enters the intake tract or the air filter is clogged, the engine receives insufficient oxygen for the air-fuel mixture. This error is often reported by increased fuel consumption and a hot engine. Replacing the air filter and checking the intake tract should usually get the car working again.
Car won't start - oil and water supply failure
Stopping the coolant or oil supply can cause serious engine damage. Scary piston jamming is the result of a lack of one of these two components. If this happens, the car can no longer be repaired by household means and a thorough revision of the engine is required. Therefore: If the engine warning lights or the coolant or oil pressure warning lights come on, switch off the engine immediately!
What to do if the engine has stalled
The following checklist allows you to narrow down the causes of a stalling car:
|Did the car stall while driving?|
- No more gas.
– Faulty ignition contacts.
- Engine damage.
|Now the car refuses to start?|
Starter rattles: Belt drive OK, no gas or ignition wire.
– Check the fuel indicator
– If the tank is empty: top up.
– If the indicator shows enough fuel: check the ignition cables.
– If the ignition cable is disconnected, reconnect it.
– If the ignition cable sparks when starting: the insulation is damaged. Wrap the cable with electrical tape and replace it as soon as possible.
– If the ignition cable is OK, add fuel.
– If the vehicle does not start despite sufficient fuel: start the vehicle by pressing.
– If the vehicle is kick-startable: check the alternator, earth cable and ignition coil.
– If the vehicle cannot be kick-started: check the ignition contacts.
|The starter does not make any sounds: The engine is damaged, the engine is blocked.|
|The car won't start in the cold.|
- The car is completely stalled , the light is off or the light is very weak: The battery is completely discharged. A dash is required.
( In this case, the battery often needs to be replaced. )
– Starter rumbles when cranking, vehicle refuses to start: check fuel supply, air supply and ignition cables.
– The starter does not make sounds: the starter is defective or the engine is damaged. Try starting the car by towing. ( Attention: Diesel vehicles cannot be started by cold towing! )
– The vehicle does not start despite being towed and the wheels are blocked: engine damage, immediate repair required.If all these measures fail, there is another possibility before driving to the garage: check all the fuses, especially in diesel vehicles. Glow plug fuses may be defective. If everything is in order here, the car must be checked in the garage.