Monterey Collision & Auto Repair

Robert's Collision & Repair(831) 373-1535
Mon - Fri: 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Why Won't My Car Start?

There are many reasons why a car may not start. To really know, you’ll want to bring your vehicle in to Robert’s Auto Repair for a thorough inspection, but here are some of the top reasons your car may be unable to start:

Electric Fuel Pump Failure /Fuel Filter Restriction

One of the most common no-start problems we have seen is the failure of in-tank electric fuel pumps, primarily due to lack of proper scheduled maintainance. If the fuel filter is not changed at the proper intervals, they may clog up and not allow fuel to get where it needs to go. Another cause for premature fuel pump failure is allowing the fuel level to get to below ¼ tank and below for extended periods or running completely out of fuel running out of fuel allows the electric fuel pump to run “dry” which nearly immediately ruins the pump.

Timing Belt Failure / Timing Belt Tensioner failure

Timing belts are designed to last approx. 40,000-60,000 miles under normal use. Not changing the timing belt before it “breaks” can result in expensive engine damage in some vehicles, such as Honda, Acura, Nissan, and Mitsubishi. Always have the timing belt changed a little before the recommended change interval, and check the tensioner. Replace it if questionable. Timing belt tensioner failure is common.

Distributor Failure / Including Ignition Control Modules

We have seen many distributor failures on Hondas, especially due to bearing failure.

ECM/ PCM Failure (computer)

Unfortunately, computer failure happens. The good news is that our diagnostic tests can detect these issues fairly quickly.


Alternators are used in modern automobiles to charge the battery and to power the electrical system when its engine is running. If your alternator is not working, chances are your battery is dead, too.

Cam Sensors

The cam sensor tells the computer where your cam is in it's rotation. The info is used to determine spark timing and fuel delivery. if it's bad, you'll run rough or not at all.

Batteries/ Cables /Clamps

Many neglected corroded Batteries find their way to our facility. Batteries do not last forever! Poor Maintenance practices cause many battery failures which often lead to other problems.

Electrical Problems

Many problems associated with day-to-day drive-ability are caused by voltage variations and must be the first step in troubleshooting any problem. This is due to the use of computerized controls in most cars these days and even quite minor voltage changes can alter the controls. Your car's electrical system must be load tested to certain standards, which can be simulated by turning on all the accessories and lights for simple voltage drain but that is not an all-inclusive test.


Vehicles out of fuel due to inaccurate fuel gauges.
Engines locked up due to lack of oil.
Plugged Exhaust systems (catalytic converters).

If your car won’t start, contact Robert’s Auto Repair immediately at 831-373-1534. We’ll be happy to bring your vehicle in for repair, and get you back on the road as quickly as possible. We’re here to help!


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