It is really frustrating and annoying when your car breaks down and you soon realize how much you rely on a set of wheels to get you around.
If your car is starting to prove unreliable and it’s not the first time that it has stopped working you might decide that the best thing to do is search for junk car buyers near me and use the cash to buy something more trustworthy.
Meanwhile, here are some pointers to guide you on what to do when your car stops working and some suggestions on what to check to see if you might be able to fix the problem for now.
If you break down on the road
It might be that your car started fine when you began your journey but decides to break down while you are driving along.
If this happens to you your number one priority is the safety of you and your passengers and the need to warn fellow motorists that you have a problem with your vehicle.
Before you set to work on trying to do a simple diagnosis of what the problem is it is essential that you carry out some basic safety procedures.
Try to get the car to a safe place by the side of the traffic if it is possible to coast along the shoulder of the highway. Avoid stopping on a bend or where a curve in the road could prevent oncoming traffic from seeing you in time.
Get everyone in the car to a safe spot and then take a look or call for roadside assistance.
Try this with your key
If your car is an older model it will probably still use a key to start the engine and there is a method known as key cycling that you could try to see if that works the oracle and sparks the engine back into life.
Although you should not attempt this maneuver on a regular basis, try turning the key up to ten times in quick succession to see if the battery and starter decide to cooperate.
If it doesn’t work, you will have to leave your engine alone for about ten minutes after your key cycling attempt, as this will give it an opportunity to recover.
It might be the starter
If your car simply won’t turn over despite the fact that there is plenty of life left in the battery it could be that the starter motor might have got jammed.
Again, this is not something you should be doing on a regular basis, but if you can see the starter to give it a bit of a light tap with a hammer or similar tool it might just free up the motor and get the engine running.
Can you smell gasoline?
There are a couple of clues to suggest that the problem with your car might that the engine has flooded.
If you can easily detect a strong smell of gas coming from your car and if there is some smoke coming out of the hood there is a good chance that the engine has flooded, which will mean that your car won’t start while it’s in that state.
One of the best solutions in this scenario is to open the hood to allow the fuel to dry quicker, then walk away, grab a coffee or take a time out, before returning to the vehicle after at least ten minutes have passed.
With older cars, a good trick to try is to hold your foot down on the accelerator pedal while turning the engine over.
Check your plugs
There are a number of things to have on your checklist when you are trying to work out why your car is not working properly and somewhere near the top of that list is the need to have a look at the condition of your spark plugs.
Your spark plugs need to be clean and in good condition if your engine is going to be able to perform properly.
The bottom line is that your car will not start or work properly if the spark plugs are not up to standard so it should be one of the first things to check if you can.
Look for clues
Sometimes the problem with your car could be staring you in the face and as well as putting your head under the hood it would be a good idea to take a look around the outside of your vehicle to inspect for any obvious signs of damage.
It is never a bad idea to have a quick look at the state of the bodywork and how much tread or damage your tires have and it might just offer you a clue as to why your car is not working.
Always check the dashboard
Some modern cars resemble the cockpit of an airplane and even older models have enough dials and warning lights to help you figure out what might be wrong with your car.
There are several standard warning lights to check such as oil pressure, water temperature, and engine management system.
If any warning light is lit up on your dashboard and doesn’t go out while you are driving along it is not something you should ignore as it could soon lead to a bigger problem if you don’t get the issue checked out.
There are some drivers who choose to motor on regardless of whatever warning lights have lit up the dashboard but if the “check engine” light refuses to extinguish and you are one of those that try to put it out of your mind, it might turn out to be an expensive decision.
Many motorists are a bit wary of looking under the hood and if you are someone who doesn’t have much mechanical knowledge it could be the excuse you are using for not checking your car.
It is not too difficult to learn a few car maintenance basics and the alternative is not so easy on your wallet, as it might mean an expensive repair bill or a trip to the junkyard if your car stops working.