What to do when your car won’t start…

You’ve grabbed your coffee, found your car keys and herded your children out the door. Everyone’s buckled up and ready to go – on time. (A small miracle!) But when you go to turn on your car . . . nothing.

Here’s what to do when your car won’t start:

  1. Cover the basics.
  • Make sure your car is in Park (P) or Neutral (N) when you try to start it. Also, try pushing the brake pedal.
  • Look at your fuel gauge. Do you have fuel in the tank?
  • What’s the temperature today? Engines are a little harder to start when it’s cold outside, especially when the temperature drops into the negative degrees.
  1. Check your battery.
  • If the lights won’t turn on or they are noticeably dim, that’s a good indication that the issue is your car battery.
  • If you have a multimeter, you can use it to verify your battery is at or above 12.4 volts.
  • Make sure battery cables are solidly connected after recent engine maintenance.
  • Look for corrosion on the battery cables. It looks like fluffy green-white deposits, or even glassy.
  • Try jumping your car and see if that fixes the issue.
  1. Call for roadside assistance.
  • When you’re still at a loss, it’s time to call an expert so you can get back on the road.
  • Wait for roadside assistance in a safe location. In extreme temperatures, take shelter inside your home or a nearby public building, like a gas station. If you leave your vehicle, lock it and put a note on your windshield with your phone number.
  • When the technician arrives, explain what you SEE and HEAR when you try to start your car to help him or her diagnose the problem faster.

By Grange Insurance

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