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Car Cranking But Won't Start? What to Look For in Your Fuel System

If you're already late for work, a car that refuses to start is more than just a nuisance. Perhaps it's been a long time since you scheduled a visit to your mechanic for a service and this is a reminder. However, until you can get there, what are some of the things you should be looking for right now to get you on your way?

What Are the Symptoms?

Assuming that you're able to crank the engine over, what can you hear? Does it sound as if the starter motor is working okay and that the engine appears to want to start? If it sounds like it's almost there, this indicates that the starter is doing its job but that you don't have any petrol.

Loose Connectors?

A fuel injection system has a large number of electrical connections attached in order to make it function. Have a look at the fuel injectors, which are placed on top of the cylinder head. Each one of them has a connector and you should identify a pair of them for each cylinder. One is on the cylinder head side and the other one is near the air intake. Check each one of them to make sure that they are tightly connected.

Pump and Fuse

Next, get a circuit tester (which is a gadget everybody should have on hand in their garage anyway) and attach it to the positive side of your fuel pump. Check to see that current is being delivered. You need to be sure that the ignition key is switched on for this to register. If you don't find current here, then it could be that the fuse is bad. Check under the dashboard to see if this is the case next.

Filter Blockage

If your fuel pump is getting electrical power but you're still not out of the woods, check to see if the fuel filter is clogged with gunk. These are supposed to be replaced at every major service, and if it's been a long time since you had one then it could be the cause of your issue.

Hopefully these measures will be enough to get you on your way to work. However, this is a warning sign that you need to go in for car repairs and servicing to make sure that you're not late for work again sometime in the future! Or worse yet, stuck on the side of the road.