What to do when your car won’t start

Posted in Auto

Car gauge with maintenance alert

You’ve grabbed your coffee, found your car keys and herded your children out the door. Everyone’s buckled up and ready to go – on time. (A small miracle!) But when you go to turn on your car . . . nothing.

Here’s what to do when your car won’t start:

1. Cover the basics.

  • Make sure your car is in Park (P) or Neutral (N) when you try to start it. Also, try pushing the brake pedal.
  • Look at your fuel gauge. Do you have fuel in the tank?
  • What’s the temperature today? Engines are a little harder to start when it’s cold outside, especially when the temperature drops into the negative degrees.

2. Check your battery.

  • If the lights won’t turn on or they are noticeably dim, that’s a good indication that the issue is your car battery.
  • If you have a multimeter, you can use it to verify your battery is at or above 12.4 volts.
  • Make sure battery cables are solidly connected after recent engine maintenance.
  • Look for corrosion on the battery cables. It looks like fluffy green-white deposits, or even glassy.
  • Try jumping your car and see if that fixes the issue.
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3. Call for roadside assistance.

  • When you’re still at a loss, it’s time to call an expert so you can get back on the road.
  • Wait for roadside assistance in a safe location. In extreme temperatures, take shelter inside your home or a nearby public building, like a gas station. If you leave your vehicle, lock it and put a note on your windshield with your phone number.
  • When the technician arrives, explain what you SEE and HEAR when you try to start your car to help him or her diagnose the problem faster.

If you have Grange auto insurance, you can call for roadside assistance using the phone number on the back of your insurance card or by tapping Roadside Assistance in your Grange Mobile app. If you haven’t already, consider adding Roadside Assistance coverage to your Grange car insurance policy to help cover the costs of unexpected roadside maintenance.

This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. If the policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies. Grange Insurance offers Roadside Assistance coverage in select states that can be accessed during a roadside emergency through its Grange Mobile app or a toll-free phone number. Talk to your local independent agent to learn more about Grange’s auto insurance and Roadside Assistance coverage.

- Advanced Auto Parts

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