Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car not starting

asked by on

My car isn't starting.

A: Hi, what happens when you turn the key? Bat...

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: Is there a difference between AWD and FWD control arms on a 2008 Ford Taurus SEL?

Claimed by Mia Bevacqua

Q: Car stutters when you start it

It does sound like the battery is due for replacement. Slow cranking and dimming lights are a telltale sign. I highly doubt it is the starter or the alternator, especially since your vehicle has such low mileage. However, a trained...

Q: The automatic light aren't working

The fault may be in the light sensor. It is a photoelectric sensor that senses light. The sensor may be defective and not sensing light or dark. If that happens, then the automatic headlight feature will not function. Another possibility...

Related articles

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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...