Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car not starting

asked by on

My car isn't starting.

Hi, what happens when you turn the key? Batteries tend to wear out around the 5 year mark so if this is still the original battery it probably needs replacing. The best way to check the battery is to hook up a voltmeter to the positive and negative terminals and see how many volts it is putting out. You want the voltage as close to 12 volts as possible, anything below about 9.6v and there is pretty much no chance of starting the engine.

There is also a chance that the alternator isn’t supplying enough power to the battery so over time the battery voltage gets lower and lower until there isn’t enough to start the motor. The car isn’t too old however, so the alternator should still be okay. You should have a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect the battery and alternator to further diagnose why your car is not starting.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Could i have caused an engine modulation?

We have all at one time or another crossed spark plug wires. To date, it has not caused a problem other than the misfire from the crossed wires. So rest assured, it is highly unlikely that this caused any lasting...

Q: Car will not start after replacing battery and alternator

The support bracket is a structural element and therefore must be installed to maintain proper alignment of the alternator. However, as far as its temporary omission being a possible cause of the no start, it has nothing to do with...

Q: Can't get to bat terminal bolt on starter

Hey there. Thanks for writing in. My knuckles feel your pain, as I had this same problem a few weeks ago with an Acadia. In order to get to the starter bolts I had to remove the left side catalytic...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...