Tech

Why Your Car Won’t Start Even Though the Lights Work

Check these 3 things before going to the mechanic

If your car won’t start but the lights and radio are working fine, it could be one of several problems. For example, your car battery may be dead. The reason why radios, dashboard lights, headlights, and other electronic devices consume electricity, and the engine has nothing to do with how much power each device consumes and what hinders it.

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Check the battery

It is not excluded that the battery will be drained due to the operation of some electrical components. Batteries can sometimes use low-power electronics. Headlights, radios, and other automotive electronics draw very little current, typically no more than 20 to 30 amps. On the other hand, the starter motor draws up to 300 amps at a time, which is too much power for a weak battery.

Car battery attached to the frame

pixar bay

If the battery on the hydrometer is low or fails the load test, it should be charged. The problem will be resolved if you accept the charge or jumper from another battery and start the vehicle. If it doesn’t start, it could be a blown fuse, a damaged ignition switch, or a damaged starter motor.

Check fuses, fusible links and ignition switch

If the battery is OK, check for a blown fuse or fuse. Refer to your owner’s manual to locate the fuse box and open it. If the vehicle has no power, check the fuse for a metal wire. If the wire in the plastic case is cut or damaged, a blown fuse will prevent power from flowing to the starter relay or solenoid.

You may need a fuse puller to remove the correct fuse and a light source to see the internal components.

jeep fuse box

pixar bay

If the fuse is good, the ignition of the car is faulty. The ignition switch is not a mechanical part that you insert into your car’s key; it’s an electrical switch that operates the mechanical part. In some cases, the ignition switch provides power to the vehicle’s electrical components, but not the starter motor.

Diagnosing and repairing a broken ignition switch is more complicated than finding a blown fuse. A good rule of thumb is that if the dash and dash don’t light up when you turn the ignition key to the second position (between off and on), there may be a problem with the ignition switch.

If you have a manual transmission, a faulty clutch pedal position sensor can prevent the engine from running while keeping the electronics working. The purpose of the clutch position sensor is to only allow the vehicle to start when the clutch pedal is depressed, so if it doesn’t work, the car is going nowhere.

Check the starter motor

The starter motor sometimes (but not always) clicks when not turning. If you turn the key in the ignition and hear a click, the starter motor may be bad. However, sometimes beginners die quietly. Don’t rule out a launcher just because you don’t hear anything.

car starter motor

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There are other signs of a malfunctioning starter, such as engine smoke, a damaged solenoid, or submerged engine oil at the starter. To be on the safe side, hire a mechanic.

Content

Why Your Car Won’t Start Even Though the Lights Work

Check these 3 things before heading to the mechanic

If your car won’t start but the lights and radio work fine, it could be one of several problems. For example, your car battery could be dead. The reason why the radio, dash lights, headlights, and other electronics draw power while the engine doesn’t has to do with the amount of current each device draws and what may be interrupting the path.

sykono / Getty Images
Check the Battery

Don’t rule out the possibility of a dead battery just because some of the electrical components work. Batteries can sometimes run electronic devices on a low charge. Headlights, radios, and other car electronics draw very little amperage—usually no more than 20 to 30 amps. On the other hand, engine starters pull up to 300 amps all at once, which is too much power for a battery with a low charge.

Pixabay

If the battery tests low with a hydrometer or fails a load test, it must be charged. The problem is solved if it accepts a charge or a jump from another battery and the vehicle starts. It may be a blown fuse, a broken ignition switch, or a bad starter if it doesn’t start.

Check the Fuses, Fusible Links, and Ignition Switch

If the battery is in good shape, check for a blown fuse or fusible link. Check your car’s manual to find the location of the fuse box, then open it. With no power running in the vehicle, inspect the fuse for a metal wire. If the metal wire inside the plastic casing is severed or damaged, a blown fuse is preventing power from reaching the starter relay or solenoid.

You may need a fuse puller to remove the correct fuse and a light source to see its internal components.
Pixabay

If the fuses are in good shape, the car’s ignition switch is faulty. The ignition switch isn’t the mechanical part you put the car key into; it’s the electrical switch that the mechanical part operates. In some situations, the ignition switch delivers power to the car’s electrical components but not the engine starter.

Diagnosing and fixing a broken ignition switch is more complicated than checking for a blown fuse. A good rule of thumb is that if the instrument panel and dashboard do not light up when the key ignition is moved to the second position (between off and on), there may be a problem with the ignition switch.

If you have a manual transmission, a bad clutch pedal position sensor can prevent the engine from turning over while allowing the electronics to work fine. The purpose of the clutch position sensor is to allow the vehicle to start only when the clutch pedal is depressed, so if it fails, the car won’t go anywhere.

Check the Starter

Starter motors sometimes, but not always, make clicking noises when they fail to work. If you turn the key in the ignition and hear a clicking sound, you may have a broken starter. However, sometimes, starters die a silent death. Don’t rule out the starter just because you don’t hear anything.

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There are other signs of a broken starter, such as smoke billowing from the engine, a broken solenoid, or oil soak beneath the engine on the starter. To find out for sure, hire a mechanic.

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Tài Chính Kinh Doanh

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