There's Nothing Like That Sinking Feeling When You Turn The Key In The Ignition and Nothing Happens
Since a vehicle is a big group of complicated systems -- with each one connected to several other systems -- it can be daunting to know where to start. Fortunately, there are a few common reasons and these are a good place to start.
Here Are A Few Of The Top Reasons Why Your Car Won't Start
Immobilizer. Many vehicles are equipped with immobilizer devices and those devices are engaged and disengaged through computer chips embedded in the key or a key fob. Unfortunately, those chips aren't always durable when they're jammed into your pocket with your cellphone, chewing gum, and coins. Check to make sure the immobilizer light isn't flashing.
Fuel. You have enough fuel in the vehicle, right? And it's not in a big pool under the vehicle, right? That might seem like a silly question to ask but it's a good first place to check. If you've tried starting the vehicle and you smell fuel -- but there isn't any under the vehicle -- it's possible that the engine has been flooded (by inadvertently pressing the gas pedal too soon).
Transmission. Sometimes, it's as simple as your transmission isn't fully in "Park" (even though the stick shift seems to be). Put on the parking brake, turn the key slightly, put the transmission in neutral and try again.
Battery. Like any other battery, your vehicle's battery carries a charge and can lose its power over time. This can be hastened by leaving lights on. Try turning on your headlights and seeing if they come on. If not, you might need a jumpstart.
Connections. Canadian roads can be rough and winters can be harsh, so wires that connect one part of the vehicle to another can loosen and corrode. Lift your hood and check to make sure everything is connected and that each connection is clean.
Fuses. You're probably familiar with fuses in your house. If you plug too many things into them at once, they can blow. The same thing can happen to your vehicle. Pull out your owner's manual and check those fuses.
If you're still not sure what it could be, try lifting the hood so you can watch, listen, and smell what's going on. Your senses could give you a clue as to what the problem might be. Of course, there are many reasons why your car may not start, and if none of these work, seek the help of a professional mechanic to analyze and fix the problem.