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Car Starter Problems: A Car Dummy’s Guide To What Is Going Wrong
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If you go out to your car, you expect it to start as soon as you turn the key in the ignition. Face it, when the car does not automatically roar to life, we get a little testy and we do things like continue to crank the car’s ignition switch until our biceps cramp up, maybe throwing in a little foot on the gas, pumping action while we are at it. If that is effective, count yourself lucky and nothing more. You are more likely destroying your starter with the excessive heat which is building up. The starter is not a large part and is meant to engage, transfer power to other parts and that is that. Continuous cranking equals high heat and eventual damage.

Most people have limited knowledge of the parts of their car with even more limited knowledge for how those parts work together to get the car started and then to keep it running. If your car started fine last week and then the temperature bottoms out and now Mr. Car’s get up and go has got up and gone it is not likely to be a starter issue. Before you race off thinking you know the other potential cause, wait just a second. In the cold weather, it is possibly an issue with a weak battery but that is not the only cold weather problem. It can also be caused by ignition switches and wires or in the fuel system as well.

Most people get bundled up, head out the door, try to start the car a few times and surmise that they have car starter problems or choose to believe that the problem is with the battery. The first thing they will choose to do is to grab a set of jumper cables and try to breathe some life into their car like Frankenstein with his awful creation. And just like Dr. Frankenstein should have known better, so should you. Before you ever try fixing car starter problems with a set of jumper cables, you have to know what you are doing and why you are doing it.

Hop in the car, turn on your headlights and then try to start the car. If there is nothing but a click, leave it go, turn off the headlights and go back to square one. If there is more than a click, listen to the quality of the cranking effort as well as watching the lights. If the lights go out when the car is cranking, you are facing a poor connection with the battery rather than car starter problems. Tighten those connections and try again.

If the lights stay on and the car continues to crank, the problem could be switches, circuits or fuses. Your car starter problems can in fact be caused by the battery so if you have dimming lights and a rather sluggish sounding crank it is time to check the battery itself.

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