What To Do If Your Car Won’t Start
Did you know that heat can be more damaging than cold temperatures when it comes to car batteries? Here’s what to do if your car doesn’t start this summer:
Listen to your car. If you turn the key and the engine doesn't crank at all, the problem most likely lies with your battery. If this is the case:
- Turn on the car lights. Are they dim? If so, you may have poor battery connection or a dead battery.
- Find someone with a working vehicle to help you jumpstart your car. This should establish a charge in the dead battery that will let your vehicle run for around 30 minutes — use that time to get to your local auto repair shop. Mechanics will be able to properly test your battery to see if you need a new one.
If your car cranks over but doesn't start:
- This may be a sign of a serious problem. In many cases, this is due to a bad fuel pump, a broken timing belt, or even an inoperative crank sensor.
- Call your local auto repair shop to let them know what’s going on, and have your vehicle scanned for codes with a proper code reader or scan tool.
Road Trip Safety Quiz
1. When you see these signs along the road, what should you do?
- A. Merge into the other lane
- B. Yield to oncoming traffic
- C. Slow down and prepare for a sharp curve
- D. Exit immediately for snacks
- A. Swerve your car to avoid bumps in the road
- B. Winding road ahead.
- C. Slippery road ahead.
- D. Dance!
3. True or false: You should let your engine warm up for a few minutes before driving.
4. True or false: Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. That is enough time to travel the length of a football field.
Answer Key: 1. C. 2. B. 3. False. Modern engines warm up more quickly when they’re driven. The faster that happens, the sooner they reach maximum efficiency—which means the best fuel economy and performance. 4. True. Cell phone distractions cause around 1 out of every 4 of car accidents, and you are 23 times more likely to be in an accident if you’re texting while driving!