Updated at: 13-08-2022 - By: Lucas

Your automobile’s ignition system is powered by the battery, as you probably already know if you own a car. If your car’s battery dies, you’ll be unable to start it. A functional battery can be confirmed by its ability to power lights and a radio.

This isn’t totally accurate. This means that if your car won’t start but the radio and lights are working, a dead battery can be to blame for the problem.

In addition, a number of additional components must operate in concert in order for your vehicle to be started. Your automobile won’t start if one or more of the components fails.

How Does Your Car Start?

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Your car’s ignition system is one of the most complex. In order to get your car to start, there are a number of components working together. Many individuals believe that a functioning battery is sufficient to start a vehicle.

You can’t start your car if any of the parts aren’t working properly. The fuel in your engine is burned during ignition. Your car begins to run as a result of this.

Among the components of the ignition system are the ignition coil and the distributor. The ignition coil creates the current that is transferred to the spark plugs once the fuel has been fed to the ignition chamber. Start your car by igniting the petrol that’s in the tank.

The battery provides all of the necessary power. As a result, starting your car is a must. However, just because your battery is functional does not ensure that your automobile will start.

Is Your Battery Dying?

The most typical cause of a car that won’t start is a dead or decaying battery. If you assume your battery is in perfect condition because the lights and radio are working, you’re wrong. You cannot draw the conclusion that your battery is functional based on this observation alone.

In the event that a battery dies, it will no longer be able to store energy. While functional, it is unable to generate sufficient current. A small quantity of power is needed to run the radio and the light bulbs. Only 30 amps of power are required for operation.

Engines require 10 times as much electricity to start as compared to this. Your battery may be charged, but it may not be enough to start your vehicle.

How To Check Whether The Battery Is Functioning?

The fact that your lights and radio are still working indicates that your battery is still holding a charge. As such, this is to be applauded. A physical examination should be the initial step. Examine the batteries for any signs of damage, corrosion, or leaks of any kind.

Damaged or leaking batteries are difficult to fix. Battery replacement is the greatest solution in this situation. It’s possible to remove the corrosion from the terminals using sandpaper and then attempt starting your car.

Your battery’s current flow can be affected by rust on the terminals. You may only need to remove the rust to get your automobile running again.

You can’t tell if your battery is dying based on a visual inspection alone. As a result, using a multimeter to verify that your battery is functional is the only way to be sure.


The first step is to get yourself ready for the job. Do not wear any jewelry or other conductive materials. When working on your car’s electrical components, make sure your workplace is dry.

Set the voltage on your voltmeter to 20 volts (V) at this point. Connect the red probe of the multimeter to the battery’s positive terminal. The multimeter’s black probe is connected to the negative terminal of the battery.

As a result, the multimeter’s readings are now shown promptly. Your battery isn’t functioning properly if the voltage is less than 12. 6 volts. This means that you need to replace your battery.

In order to start your car, you’ll need a lot more electricity than this generator can supply, which isn’t sufficient.

Why Your Car Won’t Start

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If your automobile won’t start for any number of reasons, you’re not alone. The engine or the ignition system may be the source of the issue. Nonetheless, by analyzing the symptoms, you can limit down your list of possible perpetrators. If you’re wondering why your car won’t start but the radio and lights work, consider the following possibilities.

Check The Battery

The most likely cause of your car’s failure to start is a dead battery, as previously stated. Unlike other car parts, batteries don’t have a long lifespan. As a result, your battery’s ability to produce enough power to start the engine diminishes with age.

A working light or radio is frequently misconstrued as a functioning battery. Once they’ve exhausted all other possibilities, they tend to go down the rabbit hole again.

Faulty Fuses And Ignition Switch

The fuses and the ignition switch should be checked if your battery is functioning properly and generating enough power to start the engine. The fuse box can be found in a variety of places, depending on the model of car. When looking for the fuse box, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Look for damage in the fuse box when you’ve found it. Corrosion and damage to the wires can occur. This could be the cause of your car’s engine not starting. It is necessary to replace blown fuses.

After checking the fuses, check the ignition switch next. There is a bit more work involved in accessing the ignition switch than the fuse box. When you turn your key, an electrical switch called the ignition switch is engaged. It’s in the heart of the building. When you turn the key to start the engine, this switch is activated.

The entire system will be rendered inoperable if the switch is tampered with. For your battery to receive power, the circuit must be complete. In other words, even if your battery is fine, your car won’t start if the ignition switch is bad.

Indicators that your ignition switch is on its way out include a number of the following. It will have a direct impact on your car’s power supply.

When you turn the key, you may discover that not all of the vehicle’s electrical systems are activated as they should be. If your ignition switch is malfunctioning, your automobile may even stall while you’re driving.

Starter Motor Problems

This is the most likely culprit if all of the electrical components in the vehicle are working properly. The battery powers the starter motor, which spins the engine by delivering torque when the engine is first started.

Once the engine is running, the starter motor is no longer necessary. However, a starter motor is required to get it going.

Grinding noises are often heard when the stater motor is going to fail. That’s when you’ll want to engage your vehicle’s ignition system. The starter motor may continue to crank after the engine has started if it is ready to fail.

When you turn the key, you may hear a whining sound. This could be caused by a faulty starter motor.

Wear is frequently to blame. Rather than engaging the engine flywheel, the pinion gear inside the motor wears out and begins to spin freely. Freewheeling is another term for this.

Identifying the problem with the starter motor is relatively straightforward. With the hood popped open, let someone else turn on the ignition while you remain close to the engine. Observe the noises that are made when the key is switched on You can tell if your starter motor is working properly if you hear clicking noises.

If, on the other hand, you hear only a single clicking noise or none at all, your starter motor’s solenoid may be malfunctioning. Using a voltmeter to see if the solenoid is working is the only way to find out.

Are You Out Of Gas?

I know it seems ridiculous, but it’s actually not that uncommon. Often, individuals fail to see the obvious. Be sure to check your fuel level first before blaming the vehicle’s engine or battery.

The dash-mounted fuel gauge gives you a good picture of how much gas you have left. If your tank is empty, you should be alerted right away because this shows the level of fuel in your tank. However, is your fuel gauge accurate? ‘

It’s not unheard of for fuel level sensors to malfunction. Incorrect readings could be caused by an electrical problem.

A dipstick is the only way to check the fuel level if your car does not have a fuel gauge. The first thing you should do if your car won’t start is to check its fuel level.

Bad Fuel Pump Lines

There is a possibility that you have a full tank of gas. Having said that, are you certain that the gas is making it to the engine? As a result of the fuel pump, a supply of fuel is delivered from fuel injectors directly into a vehicle’s engine. If your automobile won’t start, it could be because of a problem with the gasoline lines.

The fuel pump and other components of the fuel line often endure for more than 100,000 miles before needing to be replaced. They’ve been known to go over 200 thousand miles on one charge. Maintenance is the key, however.

If the fuel pump and fuel injectors aren’t taken care of during maintenance, a well-maintained vehicle can last up to 100,000 miles before failing.

So, how can you check to see if your gasoline lines are running properly now?

It’s a cinch. Your key must be in the ACC position to start. The fuel pump will be activated by this. When the engine isn’t running, the fuel pump may be heard plainly.

If you notice a hum coming from the rear of your vehicle, that’s a good sign that your fuel pump is working properly. If the gasoline pump is functional, check the bottom of the vehicle for fuel leaks. You may have a fuel leak that is preventing your engine from receiving the fuel it needs.

Fuel may freeze in cold climates. When this happens, the engine will not be able to use it. As a result, before you can drive your automobile again, you must allow the fuel to re-solidify.

Injectors can be checked by measuring fuel pressure, which is the most accurate way to do so. Make that the fuel pump is pumping the correct amount of pressure. It’s fine if the pressure is between 40 and 45 psi.

Faulty Spark Plugs

When the fuel in the piston is ignited, the spark plugs are what do the work. Because of this, if your car’s spark plugs fail, it won’t start.

However, it’s a very rare occurrence. The failure of a large number of your spark plugs must occur simultaneously in order for this to be the root reason. This could happen if you disregard the warning symptoms of a bad spark plug.

When one of your spark plugs fails, your engine will typically misfire. It’s dangerous to try to drive an automobile that’s having problems starting. Because of this, if your car misfires, you should have it checked out.

In order to fix the misfires, you need to replace the spark plugs that are faulty. In other words, your spark plugs may stop working as a result of this, and you will be unable to start your vehicle.

A multimeter is required to check the resistance of spark plugs for functionality. A faulty spark plug must be changed immediately after a diagnostic test.

Bad Ignition Coil

Spark testing your ignition coil is the quickest and most straightforward method of verifying that it is functioning properly. This will determine if the coil is capable of generating a spark.

A coil-on-plug method is the most common in today’s vehicles. A coil on plug spark tester can be used to verify this.

If your automobile won’t start, here are the most typical causes.

How To Fix A Car That Won’t Start?

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Because of this, it is important to realize that there are numerous reasons why your car may not start. It’s not going to be easy to start a car that won’t start.

To begin with, use the procedures listed above to figure out exactly why your car won’t start. Start with the most likely cause and work your way down to the least likely. You’ll learn more about what went wrong along the road.

You must replace the defective component as soon as you discover it.

Replacement Cost

When a component fails, the cost of replacing it will vary. Troubleshooting and replacing the defective component is the only choice if you’re wondering why my car won’t start but the radio and light function. It might cost as little as $100 to as much as $2,000.

The ignition system can be replaced for about $300 if it is the failing component. The cost of the transition was between $100 and $200. For labor, you should anticipate to pay an additional $100 or more.

The cost of repair may be higher if your starter motor has failed. It costs between $400 and $600 to replace a starter motor. Repair prices will be higher if the flywheel is destroyed. The cost of repairing a flywheel can run up to $1,500.

Spark plugs and ignition coils are among the simplest and least expensive auto parts to replace. These are simple tasks that you may complete on your own.. In this way, you can save some additional funds.

Around $300 is the cost of ignition coils. If you hire someone to handle the work, plan on spending about $150. The average price of a spark plug is roughly $20. Everything’s even less expensive if you buy it all at once. Mechanics aren’t required for this repair, either.

Fuel line failure is the worst-case scenario The cost of replacing the filter is approximately $150. A faulty gasoline pump is considerably more expensive to fix. It would cost about 800 to replace.

The most expensive part to replace is the fuel injectors. It could cost as much as $1200 to replace it.

First and foremost, make certain that your car’s battery is functional before attempting any of the above-mentioned repair work. If this is the case, you should have it replaced prior to taking your vehicle to a mechanic. Or perhaps all you need is a little extra oomph.


Many people wonder, “Why won’t my car start, but the radio and lights work?”

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Battery?

The cost of the battery may vary depending on where you live and the make and model of your car. Typically, the cost of a new car battery is $200 to $400.

How Long Does A Battery Last?

Many factors influence the battery’s lifespan. The battery will oxidize over time. Terminals are covered in a white powder, which may be seen here. This must be cleaned on a frequent basis. Just one little part of keeping one’s battery in good condition. With proper care, a battery can live as long as six years.

How To Dispose Of A Car Battery?

The best place to recycle old automobile batteries is at a facility that is well-equipped. This means that you should take your old batteries to a junkyard, garage, or recycling facility and dispose of them properly.

In most cases, you can return your old battery to the store where you purchased the new one.

How To Jump Start A Car?

You can jump start a car with a dead battery to get it running again. If the battery is good, jumpstarting and driving your car will recharge your battery. You can use the jumper cables to start your automobile if necessary.

First, you need to choose a good pair of jumper cables. Choose a heavy-duty cable that is thick and pliable. Locate the battery by opening the hood.

The other ends should be connected to a good working battery. Another car would be deal. Park the other car in front of yours but leave enough room to move around between.

Now connect the red cable to the positive terminal of your battery and the other end to the positive terminal of the working battery. Do the same with the black cable as it connects to the negative terminal.

Let the car with the good battery stay idle for a while and then try starting the car with the dead battery. Once the car starts, leave it idle for a while so that the battery can charge.

Is It Dangerous To Jump Start A Battery?

Jump starting is slightly hazardous to the battery. The better alternative is to use a jumper pack also known as a booster pack or a juice pack. The battery in the jumper pack provides power to the dead battery at an appropriate voltage.

This is the best way to protect the electronics in the car while still providing enough energy to jump start the car.

How To Identify A Dying Battery?

There are some symptoms that you keep an eye out for to identify when you need to replace your battery. The engine will start to crank slowly and you might hear clicking sounds when you turn the key.

The electrical system of your car will also be affected. The light will be dimmer and you might have problems with other electronic accessories. Above all, the battery warning light in the dash will illuminate.


Your car’s ignition system is one of the complicated systems in your car. A lot of components need to work in sync to fire up your engine. All these components need to function properly so that you can start your car. It depends on a lot more than a functioning battery.

Just cause your radio and lights work doesn’t mean that your battery is fine. Starting the car requires 10 times more power than the power required for the lights and the radio. So, there is a chance that a dying battery is why your car is not starting.

Other than the above, there are many other reasons why your car might not start. All these are unique. The symptoms they emit will allow you to correctly identify the failed component. Once you correctly identify which part needs replacement, you can take step towards fixing your car.