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My Car Won’t Start? Is It The Battery, Alternator, Or Starter? Why Your Car Won’t Start

A variety of possible catastrophic issues pass thru your mind when your call will not start.

But, Before you panic, try to see if a faulty battery, alternator, or starter is the problem. These three parts of a car work together, so it can be hard to tell which one has failed. Below, we'll describe how to diagnose which of the three is faulty.

Finding Out Why Your Car Will Not Start

When you check these three, always start with the battery. Its most often the part that failed, and its also the cheapest part to replace.

The Battery

A car battery should last about 4 to 5 years depending where you live. Its not made to hold a charge for that long, so it gets recharged by the cars alternator while you drive. Over time, the internal metal parts of a battery corrode, reducing its ability to hold a charge and recharge. A battery is vital to your car or truck, as it provides power to the starter and electrical system while the cars not running.

Signs the Battery is Dead:

  • When you attempt to start the car, there is a low whining or clicking sound.

  • If jump starting your car gets your engine started and running, but the car will not start again once you turn it off, the battery is probably the problem. In this case, the alternator is doing its job of keeping the battery going once it has been jumped, but the battery can't hold a charge when the alternator is shut off.

The Alternator

A dead battery is the first sign that something might be wrong with the alternator. If your battery is good and your alternator isn't working, the battery will still lose its charge because the alternator isn't keeping it charged. So you'll want to check for the signs below to determine if its just the battery or if its the alternator.

Signs the alternator has failed:

  • You can often hear a growling sound right before the alternator goes out.

  • The smell of burning rubber or hot wires can come from your alternator overheating.

  • You notice your headlights or your dash lights flicker or get extra dim or bright. Or that your gauges are behaving strangely.

  • If you jump start your car and it will start, but the engine dies right after the jump then its most likely the alternator.

The Starter

Your starter is vital to your car because it is responsible for starting the engine. The battery sends a jolt of electricity, which the engine uses to turn the engine over and get it to start.

Signs the starter has failed:

  • A broken starter will make a clicking sound when you turn the key.

  • The car wont start, but the dash lights are on.

  • Jump starting your car of truck does not turn the engine over at all.

If your car will not start and you have a bad battery, we be happy to jump start your car or truck and get you back on the road.

Lock-n-pop Car Lockout Service & Car Jump Start Services

Call Now - 720-620-3366

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