Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car was working fine yesterday, and now it won't start.

asked by on

Yesterday my wife vacuumed our 2010 Mazda 6 using a handheld vacuum that plugged into the cigarette lighter/power source that is built into the car. She at one point had started the engine in order to back the car out of the garage and she said it started up fine -- no issues. Last night I went to drive the Mazda and it will not start. It tries, but it will the engine will not start. I did notice a slight smell of gas as I tried a few times to fire it up and this caused me to think the engine was flooded, and I tried pressing the gas pedal to the floor as I turned it on to nip avail. Next I suspected a dead battery but I hesitated at this thought because the interior lights and headlights seemed to be functioning at their normal capacity. I then tried jumping the car battery using our 2001 Toyota Camry solara, again with no changes in sound or noticeable effort on part of the engine. Any ideas as to the likely culprit would be appreciated. Thanks so much.

My car has 55000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: Hi there, thanks for writing in. There is a...

Hi there, thanks for writing in. There is a possibility that the vacuum may have drawn too much power from the accessory plug causing a short, although this is unlikely. You should have a check engine light on which would have registered some kind of fault codes in the car’s computer. The smell of fuel would be normal if it were cranked several times without starting. This also indicates that there should not be a fuel supply issue, which leaves the issue of spark or ignition, which could be many possibilities. I would recommend having an expert from Your Mechanic come to your home to diagnose and repair the issue by using a scan tool to download the trouble codes from the car’s computer.

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

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: my eps light is blinking

Your vehicle's electronic power steering system (EPS) relies on a computer-controlled electric motor to operate the steering rack. The control module for the EPS system has detected a fault in the system. If you request a diagnostic the responding certified...

Q: Head lamp stays on

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2010 Mercedes-Benz R350. Have the control module under the driver's seat checked to see if any water was introduced and has gotten it wet. If it has, then the A/C drain hoses...

Q: Burning oil

I am not sure how adding oil can increase your compression. However, if two of the cylinders are producing 25psi less than the other two, I would consider this to be a piston ring issue. This would involve a complete...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...
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...