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Troubleshooting No-Start Vehicle Problems
There is nothing more infuriating than getting into your car only to find out that it would not start. As with other vehicle problems, the causes could range from a mere nuisance to major repairs. However, every driver must know the root cause of the problem and to give it a timely solution.
Murphy’s Law describes all about such situations: whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time. No start problem could happen when you are already late for work or the car is 200 degrees below zero out. Now, that makes you even more infuriated and you realize that indeed anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Troubleshooting no start problems would be easy if drivers know its causes. There are common causes and reasons behind the problem. The first reason is the failure of fuel pump failure or the restriction of fuel filter. This is the most prevalent cause of no-start problems in recent times. This is primarily due to the negligence of vehicle owners to enforce scheduled maintenance. Said negligence could be mirrored in part by not having the fuel filter changed at right intervals. Some fuel filters cost 0.00 however in vehicles like the Jeep Grand Cherokees which was built in the late 90s, replacement of fuel pump could cost about 0.00! How many times do you want to spend that much?
One significant cause for premature fuel pump failure is when the driver allows the fuel level to go lower than ¼ tank for extended periods or running completely out of fuel. This will make the electric fuel pump to run dry, which eventually destroys the pump. GMs Vortec engines - 4.3L, 5.7L with the CPI fuel injection system – fail in many ways. Some of the ways include plastic tubes leak, fuel pressure regulator leak, and when poppets get plugged.
No start problem could also be attributed to timing belt failure or timing belt tensioner failure. Basically, timing belts are engineered to last approximately 40,000-60,000 miles under normal use. If these belts break, it could result to engine damage. But for vehicles manufactured by Acura, Honda, Mitsubishi, and Nissan brands, the repairs would not be so costly. Moreover, it is recommended that the timing belt be changed at regular intervals. The tensioner should be replaced if questionable.
Another root cause of no start problems is distributor failure. When your vehicle breaks down without any warning - that could be an indication of the problem. Other symptoms include history of intermittent breakdown and intermittent failure to start from cold, which may be caused by security system failure. Mitsubishi electric distributors in the Ford Probe and Mazda vehicles have a high failure rate.
Electrical trouble is another cause of no-start problem. Ford ignition switches, manufactured in the early 90s, have been known to cause fires. Hence, every driver must check them regularly to shun future bother. One should not only focus on Volvo distributor rotor or Land Rover brake pads; he must inspect every auto part to ensure that it is in working condition.
Batteries, clamps and cables could also cause no start problems. Drivers and owners alike oftentimes neglect corroded batteries. The fact is, batteries do not last forever; do not confuse them with diamonds. Moreover, poor maintenance could result to battery failures that lead to other vehicle problems.
ECM/ PCM failure is also a no-start cause. This problem is common to GM products manufactured on mid 80s. Other causes include inaccurate fuel gauges, lack of oil, plugged exhaust systems, bad fuel injectors, and worn flywheel.
About the Author: Glady Reign is a 32 year old is a consultant for an automotive firm based in Detroit, Mi. she is a native of the motor city and grew up around cars hence her expertise in the automotive field.