Car Won't Start?
There are few things more frustrating than going out to your car, only to find that it won't start. There are a number of things that could be causing this.
Perhaps the most common reason for cars not starting. If you turn your key but hear only a rapid clicking sound, it is likely that you have a dead battery and will need a jump (see below).
Corroded Battery Terminals
If, when you turn the key, absolutely nothing happens, then pop the hood and take a look at your battery terminals. If they are covered in corrosion, there is a good chance that a thorough cleaning of the posts will get your car started back up again.
Car won't turn over
If your engine cranks but won't start, it could be one of two things. Either you need more fuel, or, if you have enough gas, then you might need service done on you fuel injectors or ignition system to get them working properly again.
To safely jump start, follow these steps:
1. Take out your jumper cables. It's a good idea to buy a set of jumper cables and keep them in the trunk compartment. If you don't have jumper cables, you'll have to find a Good Samaritan who not only is willing to assist you but has jumper cables as well.
2. Place both cars in Park or Neutral, with their ignitions shut off and their emergency brakes on.
3. Connect the cables. The positive cable has red clips (+) at either end, and the negative cable has black clips (-). It's important to attach them in the following proper order:
How to check the battery
A discharged or dead battery is one of the possible reasons for a car not to start. Sometimes we just forget to turn off the dome light or something else, or it could be some faulty component of the vehicle electrical system that drains the battery down. Sometimes, if the battery is old, it could just die one day, even if the day before it was OK. In either case, if the battery is low on charge, it won't have enough power to turn over the engine: you may hear some clicking noise or the starter may turn very slow when attempting to start the engine.
Here is a simple way to check if the battery is discharged:
Turn the ignition on. Without starting the engine, turn the windshield wipers on. If they move very slow, much slower than usual, the battery is probably low on charge.
1. First, attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of your battery (it has "POS" or "+" on it.
2. Attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the Good Samaritan's car.
3. Attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal on the Good Samaritan's battery.
4. Attach the last black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn't near the carburetor (if your car has one) or battery.
Figure 1 shows how both the positive and negative cables should be connected.
Figure 1: Make sure to connect jumper cables in the proper order.
5. Try to start your vehicle (Do not have the Good Samaritan's car running. If your car has electrical issues it could damage their car as well). If it won't start, make sure that the cables are properly connected. Then try to start your car again. If it still won't start, your battery may be beyond help.
6. Disconnect the cables, thank the Good Samaritan, and resume your life.
Don't shut off your engine; drive around for a while to recharge your battery.
NOTE: Improper Connection of Cables can damage either or both vehicles charging system