What to Do If Your Car Gives You the Silent Treatment

Do you believe that silence is golden? If you are sitting in your car, you're in a hurry to get to work and nothing happens when you turn the key, then the answer to that question will be a resounding no. While your car may well be reliable ordinarily and has served you well, it is nevertheless very frustrating when it doesn't cooperate. However, you shouldn't despair and may be able to diagnose the problem and effect a quick fix in some cases. To do this, you need to listen carefully first.

Begin the Process of Elimination

Whenever a car fails to start in this way, it's very rare for there to be no noise at all. If you really can't hear anything when you turn the key, then the problem may not be as bad as it could be, believe it or not. In this case, it's likely that the battery is completely dead and this can happen in a number of different situations. For example, you may only use the car for very short journeys and this may not allow the battery to charge up properly, or some internal electrical components may have drained the battery to this point.

However, sometimes you will hear a clicking noise when you turn the key in the ignition. In this situation you should initially suspect the battery again and should have a look under the bonnet at its general, physical condition. Is there a build up of corrosion around the terminals, or are any of the connections loose? If so, tighten or clean them with baking soda and a soft brush.

Once you've done this, check to see if you get a good connection and can start the car. If not and if you suspect that the battery is completely dead, knock on your neighbour's door and see if they will help you to jumpstart it. If you find that everything is okay then you can make your way to work, but remember to have the battery tested and replaced if needed.

If the car does start but then stalls and won't restart, this indicates that the alternator is faulty and will need to be replaced. If the battery appears to be okay and you still get that annoying click whenever you turn the key, this indicates that the starter motor has gone and you need to find a new one.

Still Frustrated?

If all else fails and you are still sitting there in silence, speak up and call your friendly mechanic, to help you get mobile once again.