My car or truck won't start, now what?
The beginning is the hardest part to go off in the wrong direction, you can waste alot of time and troble. does the key turn normally and do the normal light's and somes happen? If they do good, Let's start as if they don't. The turn of the key produces a click under the hood or many clicks and the engine doesn't turn, try it several times to see if many tries helps. If it still just clicks the Battery and or it's connections are in the light of repair. ( the most common cause of "no start,no crank") loose or dirty battery cable connections and the battery low or dead. You can't look at the connection and tell if it's good ,you got to get busy and take the cables off and clean them and then put them back on tightly, just tighting a loose cable and it works OK isn't a good way to do things, Your brock down and why risk being broke down again right away. On cars that are aged some they may have been fixed before you got to see it. Sometimes to repair the cable an (emergency) repair end has been installed. As the name inplies it's a temporary repair and can last along time. But it's not designed to just get you going again. You cut off the old cable end, strip the wire back, put the wire into the clamps bolt together holder and the tighten up and install on the post of the battery. This bolted together connection and the connection to the post does'nt last long and these the temporary part of the repair. You might be in a bind (time, Money ) and have to get running right away. Take it all apart and scrach all the crud off the best you can with what you have. and tighten it all back up and try it again. Do the headlights blaze? or are they dim or not coming on at all? May be a jump with booster cables will work, Hooking them up right is a good idea, hooking them up wrong can be very bad, Some cables have a tag on them that tels you the best way and it goes like this. Frist identify the positive and negative terminals on both cars and be sure don't guess. A + (plus) sign on the battery is the best way, often times the positive cable is red but there are repaired cars that have both cables red or black, or even the wrong way. so watch for the Plus right on the battery just to be shure. hook the red booser cable to the positive post on the dead car first then hook up the red cale on the live car positive post. The live car needs to be running. now hook up the ground(Negitive) to the dead car, rock them around a bit to get the claw of the cable to scrach it'self a good connection do this with the positive cable too. Last keep unnessary peaple out of the way and hook up th ground on the live car. You might notice a spark and the live cars engine change as it takes up the load of charging the dead car. The dead car should be completely turned off as this connection is made, If the spark is bright or kills the live car disconnect right away and recheck positive and neg, if you know your right and it still makes a large draw ( drain on the live car) remove the battery and take it to an auto parts store or other repair shop that can test and charge the battery. If you have a volt OHM meter ou can test the battery yourself. Most cars have 12 volt batteries except those built new before 1955, and even those cars may have been upgraded to the 12 volt battery as it's a big improvement over 6 volts. The volt meter on a 12 volt battery will read over 12 volts if the battery is charged 12.6 volts is normal resting baterry no loads and it's not been running somthing soon. A good battery can be higher13.2 volts even mainly if the test is right after the battery was in a running car or right off a battery charger. A good battery in a running car with a good car is 14.5 volts. There's exceptions to this and anything over13.2 volts will work and some cars that's all they do. 12 volts or less and the battery is dead, ( it can still be good and chargeable but dead as far as starting cars go). This battery may even start the car if the car starts really easy and the battery is low but good. once started though it shoud go to 14.5 volts and never over 15 volts. Gronding and charging system problems are indicated if it goes too high and a good battery will go bad if it's charged tooo high for very long. A battery thats 8 volts has what they all a dead cell it may still start the car but when the altenater tries to charge this dead cell battery it'll try too hard to charge the battery and being it's trying as hard as it can it'll burn up after awhile as it can't work as hard as it can too long. Oncwe the cables are good and the battery is known to be good and the car still does'nt crank over, and just clicks the cables can be bad on the places they attach to the starter or the engine block but this doesn't happen very often. If the starter clicks and doesn't turn the engine the starter can be bad. With someone retrying over and over to start the car knocking on the starter with a block of wood or other hard object may rattle it into connection and it might start right up or begin to turn the motor and stop and buzz the engine may be too hard to turn and then your in real troble if it turns out thats why is not starting. if the motor will turn with a wrench or you see other reasons that the motor will turn over then the starter may need to be repaired or replaced. if it starts after knocking on the starter it may start again or maybe not it's a good sign that the starter is worn out and needs to be replaced.
on Jun 07, 2010 | Chevrolet Caprice Classic Cars & Trucks