No matter what kind of car you drive, there will eventually be times when the vehicle will not start, is running poorly, or needs some auto repair. In many cases, this means taking the car to a shop, but if the vehicle does not start, there are some things you can check before you call a tow truck to take your vehicle in for repairs.
Check the Battery
One of the most common reasons for a car to not start is a discharged battery. There are a lot of ways the battery in your vehicle can get run down, and often it is an interior light that is on all night or headlights that get left on, but no matter the reason, once the battery is discharged, it will not start the car.
You could have the car towed to an auto repair shop for a dead battery, but changing the battery is not difficult for most vehicles, and if you are not sure if the battery is the issue, you can take it out of the car and most auto parts stores can test it for you free of charge. If you have some basic tools, you can disconnect the cables from the battery and mounting bolts, then have it tested.
If the battery is bad, you already have it out of the car, and the auto parts associate can help you select a new one. If you are not comfortable removing the battery, the auto repair shop can test and replace the battery, but you will have the added cost of labor and potentially a tow charge to deal with as well.
Consider the Starter
If you are trying to start your car and the light comes on, but all you hear when you turn the key is a single, loud clicking noise, you may have a starter that is not working. If you know your way around cars, you might be able to replace the starter yourself, but this is when the auto repair shop you use can test the starter for you to be sure that is the problem before they replace it.
Sometimes a starter problem is nothing more than a loose wire or a battery cable that is not tight, and the start does not need replacing. The tech at the auto repair shop can check all the possibilities for you, and then if the starter is faulty, replace it with a new one. Some cars have a starter motor that is very difficult to reach as well, so they require a tech that knows what to remove to get to the starter to replace it.