Vehicle Left Sitting and Your Car Cannot Start its Engine? These Might be the Culprits.

With more than 67% of Malaysian companies encouraging remote working among their employees, many would find no more reason to endure the dreaded morning jam to work anymore. If your car has been going through a dry spell of sitting too long on your porch, you might have issues with the car won’t start when you need it to. Even if you’re not going anywhere, it is actually beneficial to start and leave your car idle from time to time to make sure all the vital components are still working. Here are the main causes your car won’t start:

Car cannot start from dead batteryDead Battery 

Did you know that your car can drain its battery even if it has been sitting unused for a long time? Even when parked, electrical components like its internal clock, computers, and alarm system continue to run albeit on minimal capacity standing by. While this is perfectly normal on all vehicles, another way battery drain occurs is when the rubber casing on the electrical wires gets worn out and exposed, causing power consumption from the battery higher than usual. This term is known as parasitic drain on our vehicles. 

One way you can test out a dead battery at home is with a multimeter. It can be bought from any hardware store. If the cause of your car is the dead battery, you may need to find someone with a running car and some jumper cables to jump-start it. Jump-starting your vehicle is fairly easy as long as you have the proper tools for it. Furthermore, a dead battery that makes your car crank but won’t start is usually where most of the problem lies.

Read More: Keep Yourself Safe With These Items From Car Accessory Stores

Car cannot start from faulty fuel pumpFaulty fuel pump 

Fuel pumps as the name imply supply fuel to your engine in order for combustion to happen. That’s because modern fuel injection systems operate under high pressure that needs constant maintenance. Currently, there are two types of fuel pumps available in the market – Mechanical and Electrical Pumps. The difference between the two is – mechanical pumps rely on moving parts to pump fuel into the engine while the other uses electric-powered pumps. 

In older cars, mechanical pumps are more prevalent but auto manufacturers are transitioning to electrical ones on more modern vehicles. The downside of electrical fuel pumps is they are more sophisticated than mechanical ones and are harder to diagnose. Moreover, electrical pumps have too much wiring and small motors to take apart if it needs servicing. If your fuel pump is found to be faulty, consider changing to a mechanical one as they are more reliable. The first sign of a soon-to-be-malfunctioning fuel pump would be hard starts or none on your vehicle, or there’s a Check Engine light on your dashboard. 

Read More: When to Replace Your Fuel Pump

Car cannot start from clogged air filterDust Accumulation in Air Filter

Dust can also do a number to your vehicle. A clogged air filter is going to give your engine a rough start as fresh air is needed for fuel combustion to happen in the engine. Often, you can hear the engine misfire, rough idling, and hard starts happen when dirt and dust get mixed together with your fuel. If the filter isn’t clean or replaced, soot will form and accumulate on the spark plug, prompting even more, heftier replacement parts on your vehicle! 

Your vehicle’s air filters are easily located in the engine bay after opening the bonnet. Depending on the manufacturer, they’ll come in either a flat-board-like design or a cone-like shape. Fortunately, air filters are easier to replace and clean. When performing basic maintenance at home, do give your vehicle’s air filter a deep clean from time to time. Make sure the filter and vehicle are cold enough before you start cleaning.

Car cannot start from faulty starter relayCar Won’t Start Due to a Faulty Starter Relay

Another factor to check if your car crank but won’t start is due to a faulty starter relay. It is an ignition system designed to send power from the car battery to the car’s solenoid. Once activated, it turns a shaft that carries a small pinion wheel that engages the flywheel, then the car is started. A failed starter relay can be attributed to the electrical motor getting short-circuited from exposed battery wiring, corroded circuits, wet relays, or simply old wiring that needs to be replaced. 

If you hear audible rapid clicks coming from the engine, it’s a sign that the starter relay isn’t being engaged by the key or push-start ignition, or it could simply be just a dead car battery. A starter relay is also fairly simple to diagnose at home; all you need is a test light or test pen. The starter relay is usually located around the positive terminal of the car battery. Look out for a fuse box where cables and wires are plugged in. Then, make contact with the test pen while having someone else start the car. The test pen lights up if it’s really the fault of a damaged starter relay. 

Car cannot start from expired gas in gas tankExpired Gas in Your Gas Tank

The average lifespan of a vehicle’s gas is usually up to a month. When your car is left sitting for a month, it could be the fault of the remaining gas inside the tank. If gas is left sitting for too long, the octane mixed in the gas will start degrading. Octane mixed in the fuel is what makes our gas combustible and also makes it volatile. Hence in Malaysia, RON97 is preferred by high-performance vehicles as it is a high-octane fuel. 

Generally, cars can still run on old gas if the vehicle can still be started. However, you won’t be getting much performance out of your fuel. In addition, old fuel can damage your engine from prolonged usage. If you have a car that has been sitting for too long, consider siphoning the old gas that has been left sitting in the vehicle and top it off with fresh gas. 

Read More: Do Engine Oil Treatment & Fuel Additives Really Work? Here’s All You Need to Know

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