When your car doesn’t start, this is one of the most dreadful moments when dealing with your car. It’s even worse when your car makes no noise. This almost eliminates any hope that the car might start.
So what are you supposed to do when your car doesn’t start and makes no noise? Don’t stress; I’m here to help.
In this post, I will go over some of the potential causes and solutions when your car doesn’t start.
Let’s get started.
1. Dead or Dying Battery
A dead battery is one of the most common reasons your car will not start or make any noise. A dead battery is also one of the most common reasons people assume when their car doesn’t start.
This is a perfectly logical assumption since the battery provides your car with the electricity it needs to start. Without the power source, your car won’t start. You won’t hear any noise in many cases because there isn’t enough voltage to power any other part of your vehicle, including the alternator, starter, or spark plugs.
If your car doesn’t start, your battery may be dead or running very low.
Fortunately, testing car batteries is easy. There are effective and inexpensive battery testers that you can purchase online.
If your battery is not giving you a proper reading after both situations, this is a sign that your battery is dying, and you should test further.
A good battery should read between 12.2 and 13 volts when the car is off.
If the car is running, your battery should read between 13 volts and 14.8 volts.
If you experience anything outside of these ranges, this is a sign your car battery is draining and not being replenished.
It’s important to note that if your engine is reading higher than the range for a good battery, this is a sign of a faulty battery or issues with the alternator.
There are two typical solutions to a dead battery:
- Fix the battery and recharge it
- Buy a new battery
This will likely depend on the age of your current battery and your budget for the repair. If your battery is relatively new, you can recharge the battery, and it will likely work just fine moving forward. However, older batteries might have a harder time holding a charge and are often better off replaced.
2. Corroded or Damaged Battery Terminals
If your car doesn’t start, there is a high chance that it has something to do with your battery. This doesn’t mean that your battery is dead; this can mean you have issues with your battery terminals.
The battery terminals are what transfer electricity from the battery to the rest of the car. So even if your battery is in perfect condition, if your battery terminals are corroded, damaged, or not on properly, your car won’t get the electricity it needs.
This will cause a very similar effect that a dead battery would. Your car will not make any noise when it starts because there is no electricity to start the alternator, starter, or spark plugs.
If your car doesn’t start, the first thing you should do is inspect your battery. The battery terminals should be corrosion-free and should not have any damage on the lines.
A corroded terminal is one of the most common issues. Corrosion can begin to form between the battery terminal and the electrode. This will prevent any electricity from reaching the rest of your car.
If there is corrosion, you want to clean it off. If your lines are damaged, you want to replace these to ensure a safe and secure transfer of electricity.
3. Loose Battery Cables
If your car doesn’t start, it doesn’t mean that your battery is dead. Sometimes even the smallest things can cause your car not to start.
Loose battery cables are often overlooked when a car doesn’t start and makes no noise. If your car doesn’t start, you always want to inspect your battery.
Your battery cables must be secured properly to the electrode and not loose. If there is any give in your battery cables, this can prevent a proper transfer of electricity.
You also want to make sure that the opposite end of the battery cables is properly attached as well. The cable attached to the negative terminal typically attaches to the engine, while the cable connected to the positive terminal typically attaches to the fuse box.
4. Locked Steering Wheel
If your car is not starting because your key doesn’t turn, this is a different issue. In most cases, if your key isn’t turning, it’s because your steering wheel is locked.
To solve this issue, all you typically need to do is unlock your steering wheel. To do this, you want to move your steering wheel from left to right while you try and turn your key to the start position.
This process sometimes requires some force and patience until the steering wheel unlocks.
Once your car turns to the start position, you should have no issues starting your vehicle.
5. Faulty Ignition Switch
The ignition switch is the switch where you insert your key to start your vehicle. This part of your car experiences a lot of wear and tear over time. As a result, it can stop working a lot more often than people realize.
If you turn your key and there is no sound as all, especially a click coming from the steering wheel column, this is a sign of a faulty ignition switch.
If the ignition switch is not working properly, it will not signal the battery or the starter to turn the car on.
If you suspect there is an issue with an ignition switch then you should have your car taken to a professional mechanic. Diagnosing and repairing a faulty ignition switch is not an easy job and should only be done by experienced enthusiast or professionals.
6. Blown Fuse or Damaged Wiring
A blown a fuse or damaged wiring is another thing that can cause your engine not to start and not to make any noise.
A blown fuse or damaged wires inside or leading to the started will stop your car from starting. Likewise, any damaged or blown fuses that lead to the battery will also prevent your car from starting.
Any damaged or blown fuses will not allow the proper electricity to reach the key parts that start your vehicle. Without electricity or proper wiring, your car won’t start or make any noise.
Diagnosing this issue is typically difficult and requires professional assistance since there is no easy way of detecting a blown fuse other than testing and inspection.
Many people might think they can resort to an ODB, but oftentimes, an ODB reader will not detect blow fuses or damage to electrical wiring.
7. Faulty Starter or Starter Solenoid
A faulty starter is typically the second thing that most people think of when their car doesn’t start. As the name suggests, the starter’s main job is getting your engine to turn over.
The starter is an electric motor that is powered by the battery. When this electric motor turns on, it rotates the crankshaft allowing the engine to turn over. When the engine turns over, it will begin to suck in air, and the spark plugs will ignite to start the combustion process.
When the starter is not working properly, your starter won’t have the power to turn over the engine. In most cases, the process of the starter dying is gradual. Once it fails, the starter will not make any noise when trying to start the car.
Testing Your Stater Solenoid
There are a few things that you can do to test the starter yourself. The easiest thing to do is to test the starter solenoid. The starter solenoid acts as an electromagnet relay that works to engage the starter. The starter solenoid is attached directly on the starter.
To check the starter solenoid, you can do a visual inspection of the wires. If all the wires are not damaged and connected correctly, you will need to test the voltage.
To test the voltage, you can use a simple multimeter or a circuit tester. If the multimeter or the circuit tester doesn’t show any voltage or light up, this is likely your starter’s issue. This means that the starter is not receiving the electricity it needs to start.
If the solenoid passes the test, then the issue is likely with the starter itself. Checking and testing the starter is not an easy process. I recommend you take your car to a professional to inspect your starter unless you are an experienced car enthusiast.
Why Won’t My Car Star With No Noise But The Lights Work?
If your car doesn’t start, and it doesn’t make any noise but the light works, this doesn’t mean the issue is not with your battery. In some cases, the lights inside your car can turn on even if your battery is low.
The batteries inside your car don’t require much electricity to turn on. In some cases, they can even operate with a dead battery. However, even a dead battery contains a small amount of electricity remaining will allow the lights to turn on.
Typically, your light won’t operate for very long, and if you try to turn on your headlights, they may not turn on at all. If your headlights turn on but then turn off shortly after, your battery has an issue.
If your battery is fully functional, other issues are causing your car not to start. This can include:
- Corroded or Damaged Battery Terminals
- Loose Battery Cables
- Locked Steering Wheel
- Faulty Ignition Switch
- Blown Fuse or Damaged Wiring
- Faulty Starter or Starter Solenoid
Car Won’t Start Makes No Noise and Lights Don’t Work
If your car doesn’t start, it makes no noise, and the lights don’t work, there is an issue with your battery. The most common reason is if your battery is dead or can’t hold a charge.
Your battery can be in working condition, but the issues may be with the other components that facilitate the transfer of electricity from your battery to the rest of your car.
Some common issues that might prevent your car from starting, making no noise, and the lights don’t work include:
- Corrosion on the battery
- Corrosion on the battery terminals
- Damaged battery cables
- Lose battery terminal or cables
- Faulty alternator
How To Check If Your Battery is Dying or Draining?
To check if your battery is draining or dying all you need is a multi-meter.
With a multi-meter you can text the voltage of your vehicle.
To determine if your battery is draining you need to test your car at different time
- After it’s been resting for several hours. I recommend fist thing in the morning.
- After a drive that is at least 30 minutes long.
If you’re battery is not giving you a proper reading after both situations this is a sign that your battery is dying and you should test further.
A good battery should read between 12.2 and 13 volts when the car is off.
If the car is running your battery should read between 13 volts and 14.8 volts.
If you experience anything outside of these ranges this is a sign your car battery is draining and not being replenished.
It’s important to note that if your engine is reading higher than range for a good battery this is a sign of a faulty battery or issues with the alternator.