Q: Car won't start

asked by on January 05, 2017

My car wouldn't start a couple weeks ago. I turn the key into Aux and I can hear the fuel pump starting but it sounds like the car turns over, then quits a second later. Normally when I turn my key my fuel gauge shows me how much fuel I have shown by the needle. But I know when my car won't start because the needle never rises. I turn my key into Aux and the needle stays although the lights on the dash come on. The engine does not make a clicking sound, and the light turn on, so I was told it was not my battery. My car started a couple days after with no issues at all. Then a couple days ago it wouldn't start. It was also showing signs of my battery being dead so I got a jump from a friend. While hooked up to her car, my car was showing the same signs as before. Engine sounds like it turns over, then dies. Fuel gauge needle not showing gas properly, etc... I know the battery is bad and I'm getting a new one, but I wanna know what this other problem is. Thanks a bunch in advance.

My car has 101000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello there, many faults will cause your 2003 Oldsmobile Alero to not start. You have done well in determining the battery needs replaced, when the battery begins to die it can cause strange intermittent electrical problems before it dies fully. Replacing the battery could solve the issues you are having. If it does not then other potential causes are the fuel pump, starter, ignition switch, fuel filter, battery cable, or a wiring harness fault. A qualified Technician such as one from YourMechanic will be able to diagnose your starting issues and make any repairs required.

Was this answer helpful?

Hello, thank you for writing in. With no response from the fuel system, it is safe to say that there is at least an issue with the level sending system. Considering the fuel level sensor, pump, and filter are all part of a module, you will have to replace everything anyway. There are several tests you can do, but by the time you pay for diagnostics, you might as well just replace the pump considering the age of the vehicle. Make sure the exterior fuel filter gets changed at the same time. There are at least two. One is inside the tank, and one is before it enters the engine. For more diagnostic help, contact our service department to schedule an appointment.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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

Id like to purchase a car but i want to know how much it would cost to get the timing belt fixed on the vehicle.

Hello. Unfortunately if the timing belt brakes it is not usually as simple as just installing a new one on this vehicle. Most of the time when the timing belt brakes on this engine the pistons will contact the valves...

When shifting from reverse to drive or drive to reverse I hear a clicking noise.

Hi there. There is a gear train issue with your transmission or a bad CV Shaft that is causing the transmission to shift had into gear. Since it shifts harder in reverse than forward, I suggest that the gears inside...

Jerking/studdering problem

Hi, thanks for writing in. This is a common sign of a failing mass air flow sensor. This is a unit that regulates the air flow into the engine as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into...

Related articles

How to Start a Car in Cold Weather
Battery, oil, and fuel problems can make a car difficult to start in cold weather. Find out how to prevent starting issues related to weather.
The Most and Least Expensive Cars to Maintain
Luxury cars, such as BMWs, are the most expensive and Toyotas are the most cost efficient. Driving style also affects car maintenance costs.
Oldsmobile Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Car Program
If If you are in the market for a used Oldsmobile vehicle, it may be that you have considered a Certified Pre-Owned, or CPO, vehicle. CPO programs allow owners of used cars to drive with confidence, knowing that their vehicle...