Intermittently, my car won’t start. Battery ok, so is alternator. Is there a history of problems in the ignition or steering column? Thought it would be the starter but after towing to mechanic, he wouldn’t replace starter because the car fired up every time for 2 days. Yesterday, I stopped & started 5 times and on 6th car wouldn’t turn over.
Need to clarify: “turned over” means the starter motor worked, so the crankshaft rotated, the pistons went up and down, etc. “Fired up” means the engine turned over and then started to run even after the starter motor disengaged. When you turn the key, does it sometimes fail to turn over? Or always turns over, but sometimes fails to fire up and run?
Sorry! Both mean the same, turn the key and the car starts like there is no problem
When it won’t start, there is nothing…no turning over, clicks no grinding, lights, radio on, etc ok.
So when it doesn’t start, it is not turning over, so it can’t fire up and run? Your second sentence is not clear.
Are you saying at those times there are also no lights (headlights? instrument panel lights? dome light?) When you turn the key to On/Run, not all the way to Start, the instrument panel’s indicator lights should be on, and if the radio’s on it should work. Is that happening?
When you turn they key all the way to Start, the engine should turn over and fire up and run. For those moments when the starter motor is turning the engine, the dash lights and radio may go off, by design. If you have your headlights on, they may dim while the starter motor is running. If the starter motor does not turn over the engine, the problem could be in the ignition switch, the starter motor or its attached solenoid, or the battery and its connections.
If the radio and lights are on but the engine isn’t turning over, try moving the shift lever to neutral, put your foot on the brake and try to start it. If it starts right up, you may have a safety switch that is sticking or needs adjustment.
Agreed. I forgot to mention the neutral safety switch as a possibility - if the problem is engine not turning over. It would not be involved if the problem is engine turns over but does not fire up and run. Your owners manual may tell you about this in a “what to do if it doesn’t start” discussion.
OK! thanks for the tip!