We’ve all been there. We get in our car in the morning ready to head to work, but it is struggling to start. Maybe it takes a few tries to get it going or perhaps the engine won’t fire up at all. Either way, it’s a sign that there may be a mechanical or electrical problem somewhere between the ignition system and the engine itself.
If your vehicle is struggling to start or the engine shuts off on you at any time while idling, you will want to get it checked out by a professional auto shop like Fox Run Auto in Northern Delaware. A skilled mechanic can inspect everything and determine the source of the problem. Usually, it narrows down to the following common culprits:
Obviously, if your car battery is dead or close to dying, you will experience all sorts of electrical issues. This will likely include having a hard time getting the vehicle started, especially on a cold morning. It might be time to get that battery replaced.
If you have a failing alternator, then power won’t be properly recirculated from the engine back into the battery. A dead/dying battery could be the result of an alternator problem, so it is worth getting checked out.
Ignition System or Starter Problem
Different types of cars might have different types of starters or ignition systems. Certain components can fail and that will make it difficult to turn over the engine. There could be a wiring issue or a bad part such as the starter motor, ignition coil, distributor cap, ignition switch or spark plugs.
Damaged Timing Belt
When the timing belt is faulty, the engine won’t run smoothly and you may experience trouble getting it started sometimes. It could be slipping, frayed, torn or damaged in some other way that is significantly throwing off the timing of the engine.
Fuel System Issue
Another common problem is when there is an issue within the fuel system. There could be a damaged/leaking fuel line or a clog in the fuel filter, in which case it will need to be replaced. Your vehicle also won’t start if you are out of gas, though that should go without saying!
Anti-Theft System Malfunction
Some anti-theft systems are complex and some are less complicated, but all are prone to problems just like any other mechanical or electronic component. Sometimes a wheel-lock system may prevent you from turning the key in the ignition. If you have a push-button starter, your key fob has to be within a certain vicinity to start the car and the key fob itself has a battery that might need to be recharged/replaced. There are various other reasons why a security system may give you hassles, so you will definitely want to get the vehicle looked at by an expert.
Most of the above are targeted issues that can usually be diagnosed and repaired without too much complication. The biggest concern is if there is actually internal engine damage that is causing your car to struggle. No potential engine problems are to be taken lightly, so at the first sign of the vehicle running abnormally in any way, you will want to get it inspected by a professional and repaired sooner than later.
These are just some of the most common causes for when an engine struggles to start. If you are in the Northern Delaware area and experiencing any of these issues or something else wrong with your car, call Fox Run Auto today at (302) 597-9205 or book your service appointment online.