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Troubleshooting Guide for Engine Can’t Start

Your car suddenly can’t start, check the battery, fuel pump, spark plug… can help you fix this problem.

Usually, there are 3 places that can be checked if you want to proactively discover why the car is so bad, and then you can also fix the problem by yourself. First, you immediately think of the electrical part: the battery and the starter system. Second is the fuel system. And finally the Spark plugs – often the most common culprit.

1. Battery and starter

When the car cannot start, it is necessary to think of the battery and the starting system first if you want to quickly find the cause and fix it.

Turn the key ON, turn on the headlights, see if it lights up? Strong or weak light or completely off. In case it is completely off, the battery is completely damaged or the electrical connection is lost somewhere. In case of low light, perhaps your car battery has lost power, dead a few battery cells …

At this point, we need another good car, or a backup starter.

Tools and equipment: Jump starter cable; multimeter; good cars (with someone’s help).

Step 1: Bring both cars close together: Put the helper’s car closer to your car, so that the engine compartments of both cars are close to each other and most suitable, then open the hood of both cars.

Step 2: Fasten the starter cable clips to the battery terminals:   Pay attention to turn off the ignition in both cars. Please perform clamping of each cable in turn.

Red clamp cable to the positive terminal, black clamp cable to the battery negative terminal of both vehicles. Note that you have to do each cable one by one: for example, the red cable connects to the positive pole of this car battery and then continues to connect the positive pole of the other car battery; then continue to the black cable for the negative terminal.

Step 3: Start the helper vehicle:   Proceed to start the helper vehicle, paying attention to turn off all other ancillary equipment to ensure there is no power interruption.

This action is necessary to ensure that a good vehicle does not run out of battery power when starting a vehicle with a starting problem.

Step 4: Charge the dead battery:  Let the helper car’s engine run for a few minutes to charge the faulty car battery.

After a few minutes, proceed to turn the emergency vehicle key to the ON position, making sure all devices are off.

Step 5: Start the receiver:  Start your car and let the engine run. Have someone else remove the battery cable.

Important Note: Remove the negative cable terminals first and then remove the positive cable terminals.

Step 6: Drive for about 15 minutes:  Continue to drive steadily for 15 minutes, and minimize unnecessary switching on electrical equipment. Doing so will help keep your car battery fully charged.

Step 7: Check the battery:   Please check your car battery after it has been started (Jump-Start). To ensure the car battery you need to replace or not.

To check if the battery is good or not, you need a test tool, you can take your car to a garage with specialized tools. In case your car battery is still very good, then the culprit is definitely the starter system.

2. Fuel and fuel pump

Step 1: Check the fuel in the car. Turn the key to the “ON” position and observe the fuel gauge. In most cases, this will tell you how much fuel your car has left.

Sometimes the fuel gauge is not working correctly. If you are in doubt, add more fuel. If the car can start, it is because the fuel is out and the gauge needs to be repaired.

Step 2: Check the fuel pump:  Remove the fuel tank cap, turn the key in the ON position, listen to the sound of the fuel pump working. Ask someone else to turn on the key for you to hear.

Sometimes hearing the pump work is very difficult. You may need a pressure gauge. Most cars today have a fuel pressure gauge. If the pressure is zero, then the fuel pump has a problem that needs repair. If there is a pressure indicator, you need to compare it with the standard of each model.

3. Ignition system – Spark plugs

Step 1: Check the spark plugs. Once the battery, starter and fuel are OK, you need to check the spark plugs as the next step. Open the engine cover, check the spark plug cable.

You will need a special spark plug removal tool to remove the spark plug and check it. If the spark plug is cracked, or the igniter is worn, you need to replace it.

Step 2: Replace spark plugs and test start on new spark plugs.

Insert a new spark plug into the cable, place the spark plug metal in any metal part of the body, start engine to see if there is a spark. If there is spark then OK, install the spark plug in the engine. If there is no spark, then the bobin is damaged.

This is a basic guide for you to temporarily fix the problem of your car not starting. It is recommended that you take the car to the garage for a technician to check, accurately diagnose and fix it completely.

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Written by Fields Nguyen

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