Reasons Why a Car Won't Start - Service Information to Know from Hanson KIA

May 29, 2019

In order to start running, an internal combustion engine in a car requires four things: air, fuel, a spark to ignite them and a little bit of initial help turning over the engine. When you turn the key on a car that's working, fuel from the tank is injected into the cylinders, air flows in from the intake, the starter motor spins the engine's flywheel to kick things off, and the spark plugs start to fire, so that the engine can begin running under its own power.

If your Kia vehicle didn't start up smoothly this morning, it likely has to do with one of these four things! We can help you identify which one has caused your car's problem on this page. When it's time for a repair, the folks at Hanson Kia have the right tools, the quality parts and most importantly the know-how to get your car starting up strong once again.

These spark plugs have been stained with wear over time, and they'll need to be replaced.

4. No Spark

When your car doesn't start right up, plenty of drivers are quick to blame a dead battery -- and that could indeed be the cause. If your battery is dead, there won't be enough power for the ignition coil to generate a spark or turn the starter. But that's not the only reason your engine may have lost spark. You could have worn-out spark plugs, or spark plugs that have been coated with oil and won't fire. On an older car, you could even have problems with the distributor, distributor cap and spark plug wires.

This fuel tank has been exposed, showing the fuel lines -- the fuel pump on many cars is inside the tank.

3. Not Enough Fuel

If there's no fuel in the engine, then nothing can combust and the engine will have no power. Most of the time, this is caused by clogged fuel injectors. They may need to be replaced or simply cleaned. However, it can also be caused by a bad fuel pump, leaking fuel lines and other issues. On older vehicles, this could even be a problem with the carburetor, though modern-day Kia vehicles are no longer equipped with carburetors.

This is what a car starter looks like, showing the teeth on the gear that spins the engine's flywheel.

2. Not Enough Air

Believe it or not, a clogged engine air filter can keep your engine from starting up! Your engine needs air from the intake to mix with the fuel. If your engine's air filter is blocked by leaves, debris and other road grime, that can cause your car to struggle to start. Or, you could have sensors like O2 sensors or the Mass Airflow Sensor dirty with carbon build-up sending bad data to the engine's computer. This can lead to an overly rich fuel ratio in the engine, making starting difficult.

1. Bad Starter

If the right amounts of fuel, air and spark are all present inside the engine, but it just won't start up, you probably have an issue with the starter. When you turn the key, the starter motor engages with your engine's flywheel, giving it an initial impulse that turns the engine over. At that point, the process of combustion can begin in the engine's cylinders, and it'll start running on its own power.

If your car runs fine after a jump-start, but simply can't be started with a turn of the key (or a push of the start button), you might have a faulty starter that needs to be replaced.

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  1. Hanson Kia

    2300 Carriage Loop SW
    Olympia, WA 98502

    • Sales: (877) 816-5820

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Hanson Kia

2300 Carriage Loop SW
Directions Olympia, WA 98502

  • Sales: (360) 339-5079
  • Service: (360) 339-5079
  • Parts: (360) 339-5079