Top 3 Easy Car Fixes for Non-Starting Issues

Easy Top 3 Fixes!

Over the past 20 years on 2CarPros we have identified the top three problems that are easily fixed. This can save you a trip to the repair garage or calling a tow truck and get you back on the road quickly. Before beginning any repairs, please ensure you're equipped with gloves and safety eyewear for protection. Please keep the parking brake on so the car doesn't move. We have categorized common vehicle starting problems by symptoms for easy navigation.

Common Solutions for Non-Start Issues

#1 Poor Battery Connection

Raise the hood to located the battery, it should be either a the right or left front or right rear of the engine compartment. Some cars will have the battery in the trunk or under the rear seat. Once located and while wearing gloves/protective eyewear inspect the positive battery cable terminal for corrosion and try to move it. If corroded or loose this will be the problem. To repair the issue clean or tighten the battery cables, repeat this process for the negative cable. (Do not pound/strike on the battery with a shoe or other means). Wash your hands immediately anytime you work with a battery.

Clean battery post terminal Cleaning battery terminal connections.

#2 Weak/Old Battery

This issue will present itself when you notice the dash lights will not come on, or the dash lights go out when the key is turned, or the starter is producing a machine ticking kind of sound. It is common for the battery to go bad every four to five years. This is an easy repair which can be done with everyday tools. Please use this battery replacement guide, you can get a new battery from the local auto parts store such as AutoZone.

New car battery Replacing a car battery.

#3 Neutral Safety Switch

This can apply to automatic, manual, or paddle shift transmission cars. The neutral safety sensor/switch feeds data to the engine computer (PCM) and will allow the engine to crank over and start and run safely. To check this turn the ignition switch/system on, then move the gear selector to the natural gear or position and then try to start the engine. If the engine starts you know this sensor has gone bad and needs replacement. For standard transmission cars pump the clutch pedal down five times, holding it down on the last while making sure the floor mate is not under the pedal. If the engine starts the neutral safety sensor needs to be adjusted or replaced.

If you have gone over these steps and still have a problem we will need to go a little deeper please check our advanced engine no start guide.


Guide knowledge base was created by the 2CarPros Team, overseen by Ken Lavacot: Automobile repair shop owner and ASE certified master automobile technician of over 30 years.

If you have question or need help please ask one of our experts we are happy to help. Please visit our 2CarPros YouTube Channel.

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