The Car Won't Start Right After Turning Off - 6 Main Reasons (2023)

It can be frustrating when you’re getting ready to go to work in the morning, but you might feel anxious when your car won’t start after driving short distance.

Whether your car is old or new, you’ve probably experienced this kind of frustration from time to time.

However, you do not need to worry because the most common cause of a car not starting or having difficulty starting the engine is quite simple.

This article will show you why your car won’t start right after turning off and how to solve it.

6 Reasons Why Cars Won’t Start Right After Turning Off

The Car Won't Start Right After Turning Off - 6 Main Reasons (1)

Empty Gas Tank

The engine will not run without fuel. The starter (engine) needs a spark, fuel, and compression of the fuel mixture to work.

If the fuel in the tank is too low, the car wont start after running for a while. The engine will still run, but no fuel burn will occur, so the vehicle cannot run.

Driving until the fuel runs out is still common, and many people believe it is acceptable. But in fact, it is extremely risky because the gasoline and the fuel filter will be impacted.

As a result, when driving on the road, you need to pay attention to the fuel needle and replenish when the gasoline tank is less than two-thirds, so the car won’t start right after turning off.

Clogged Fuel Filter

Clogged fuel injectors can result in fuel not getting into the engine. This case is similar to the case of running out of fuel.

The engine will not be able to operate. The cause of a clogged fuel system can be due to dirt in the pipeline.

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When the vehicle reaches 15,000–20,000 kilometers, the gasoline filter should be replaced. So consider changing the fuel filter when taking the car to the car repair system.

Faulty Starter

Damaged starters can be caused by malfunctioned gears or bearing (mechanical) during use.

During starting, if you turn the key off, or leave the headlights on and then turn on the Acc/On position. If you see your headlights dimming, you need to acquire a new starter right away.

The starter is a battery-powered electric motor. Its job is to make the engine (piston, crankshaft, etc.) move when the ignition switch is turned on.

If the starter is damaged, the engine will not spin properly or may not turn when you turn the key.

Faulty Alternator

When the car’s alternator has a problem, the car usually has the following signs:

Car Is Hard To Start

When you find that the automobile is challenging to explode, the battery is likely weak or exhausted. There are various reasons for this; the most common is a malfunctioning generator that will not charge the battery.

When encountering this situation, you should turn off unnecessary electrical equipment such as entertainment screens, speakers, car air conditioners, rotating machines, etc.

Then quickly take the automobile to the garage to check; otherwise, it will be easy to see the car won’t start right after turning off.

A Battery Indicator Light Comes On

The indication lights on the control panel should switch off after starting the engine to indicate that the systems are running normally. If the vehicle is moving, but the indicator light does not turn off, this is a sign that the system is malfunctioning.

When the battery is low, damaged, or the battery charging system has a problem, the battery indicator light will light up continually to inform you.

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Car Lights Are Weak

When the alternator (automotive) has a problem, the battery is not fully charged. So, the electrical equipment on the vehicle is also affected.

The most obvious is that the headlights will be dimmer than usual; there is a phenomenon of flickering lights at dawn.

Car Has Strange Noises

There are various reasons why an automobile’s engine compartment creates unusual noises. If the automobile rattles, it is likely that the belt (mechanical) or the generator pulley is damaged.

Damaged belts or pulleys can cause the generator not to work properly.

Electrical Or Wiring Problems

Another reason why the car doesn’t start right away is because of electrical engineering or the wiring problem. Problems with the fuse box, the battery cable, or the vehicle control unit are examples.

Be warned that some rats can build a nest beneath your automobile’s hood and gnaw on the wiring, causing the system to fail and resulting in the car doesn’t want to start.

Bad Battery Symptoms

One of the main factors affecting the battery’s performance is the charge. When electromagnetism drops too much, it won’t be enough to start the automobile.

Furthermore, even when the car’s engine is turned off, several electronic types of equipment aboard the vehicle continue to operate in the background, resulting in the battery charge on the vehicle being reduced.

However, battery shortages are not a rare occurrence. Just one generator will help recharge the battery with all its fuel to operate.

But for automobiles that move less, the loss of battery charge will cause the automobile not to start. So at this point, you will have to work harder to open the capo and find the battery to charge it.

How To Fix This Problem

The Car Won't Start Right After Turning Off - 6 Main Reasons (2)
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Try: Cycling The Key

You need to open the switch button to check, use the short wire, and remember to press the brake pedal with the model “press the brake to start” to try.

If you turn the key to “Off,” leave the headlights on and then turn the key to “Acc/On,” you’ll get the best results. While you see the headlights fade, you need to repair or replace the starter.

Try: Swapping Relays

Turn the key to the “Run” position with the radio off and listen for the buzzing sound for two seconds. That is the phenomenon of the primed fuel pump for the injection system.

If you don’t hear any sound, either the fuel pump relay is damaged, or the pump may be on its last leg.

To start the starter, you can follow the steps here:

  • Check the owner’s manual or the caption on the fuse box lid under the hood for the position of the fuel pump relay.
  • Make that the fuel pump relay is in good working order.
  • Look for another relay with the same vehicle parts number and replace it with the gasoline pump, which will force it into the socket.
  • Try starting the engine.

Try: Smacking The Fuel Tank

If your car wont start after running, tap the bottom of the fuel tank several times with the heel of your shoe to get the engine pumping. Then try to start the automobile.

Try: Tapping on the Battery Terminals

Cleaning corrosion electric battery terminals is impossible when you don’t have the right tools.

A simple way right now is to strike each battery terminal with the heel of your shoe to rotate it around the battery post if the car doesn’t start up right after running slightly. Then try starting the engine.

Try: Smacking The Starter

Try striking the starter motor with the tire iron from your automobile jack if you have access to it.

Electrical contacts can become stuck at times and dislodged by tapping on them.


The Car Won't Start Right After Turning Off - 6 Main Reasons (3)
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Can I Disconnect The Battery While My Car Is Running?

Obviously, you shouldn’t do that. When a car’s battery cable is disconnected while the engine is running, millisecond voltage spikes can harm sensitive electronics in the vehicle’s starter solenoid components.

Furthermore, if the battery is a semiconductor and is accidentally switched on, unplugging the battery can destroy the ignition points and radio.

Is It Bad To Start Your Car Right After Turning It Off?

The answer is yes when you drive for a short distance. If you keep doing this and don’t let the engine warm-up completely, you may be damaging your automobile’s battery or starter.

Moreover, the fuel injection engine can be turned on and off multiple times without causing damage to other car artificial objects.

They’re made to give ideal fuel regardless of the weather, as long as it’s not too hot or too cold for normal driving circumstances.

How Long Should I Wait After Starting My Car?

Regardless of engine temperature, you can begin driving within 15 seconds of starting the automobile. Before pressuring the engine, let 15 seconds for the oil to circulate.

You don’t need a long warm-up time with modern vehicle technology and multi-viscosity oils. Oil flows and lubricates nicely even when it is cold.

Warming your engine longer than needed won’t harm it but waste energy and money.


This article explains why your car won’t start right after turning off, as well as some quick fixes for when you’re on the road.

Of course, there are many reasons why your automobile won’t start that you can’t fix yourself.Manufactured goods of automobiles are diverse.

So you should take it to a service center so that mechanical engineering can change suitable hardlines (retail) and ensure your automobile’s safety.

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Why does my car not start right after I turn it off? ›

If your vehicle won't start, it's usually caused by a dying or dead battery, loose or corroded connection cables, a bad alternator or an issue with the starter. It can be hard to determine if you're dealing with a battery or an alternator problem.

What are the main reasons behind engine not starting? ›

Dead car battery: A dead battery is the most common reason why a car won't start. If you have a battery tester, check your battery to see if it's weak. If you don't have one, try to jump start your car with jumper cables.

What are the most common engine starting problem? ›

A dead battery is the most common reason why engines fail to start up. A common reason for batteries to fail is drain. Your car's battery typically expends a small portion of its storage to start your car up, and then recharges from your alternator as you move.

What are the common faults in starting system? ›

6 Common Starter Motor Faults
  • Sticking key switch.
  • Battery issues – such as low voltage, or poor connection.
  • Cable connections are corroded or broken.
  • Excessive oil or paint on the starter mounting surface (in which case it might just need a good clean)
  • Incorrectly wired or faulty neutral safety switch.
31 Oct 2017

Can fuse affect car starting? ›

A blown fuse in the starter circuit could be the cause of a no-start problem. Broken or corroded wiring – Damaged or dirty wires to the battery or to the starter solenoid (or wires that are loose) can prevent sufficient power from reaching the starter.

What are 3 symptoms of a problem in the starting system? ›

  • Grinding noise. When the starter drive gear is worn out or not engaging properly, it will often produce a grinding noise. ...
  • Freewheeling. ...
  • Intermittent issues starting the vehicle. ...
  • Starter stays on after engine started. ...
  • Smoke. ...
  • Batteries.
22 Feb 2018

What happens when fuel filter is dirty? ›

A clogged fuel filter causes low fuel pressure that results in a lean fuel condition and engine misfire. This can result in poor fuel mileage, rough idling and possibly cause the check engine light to come on. Once that light is on, it's time for a trip to the repair shop.

What are signs of a clogged fuel filter? ›

  • You have a hard time starting car. If the problem is the fuel filter, and it isn't changed soon, you may find that your vehicle won't start at all.
  • Misfire or rough idle. ...
  • Vehicle stalling. ...
  • Fuel system component failure. ...
  • Loud noises from the fuel pump.

What are the top 5 signs of engine trouble? ›

  • 5 Signs Your Engine Needs a Checkup. Share. ...
  • Check engine light comes on. A check engine light that stays illuminated on your dashboard after starting your vehicle is an early sign of an issue. ...
  • Hard starts. ...
  • Stalling. ...
  • Rough idling or acceleration. ...
  • Reduced gas mileage.

What sensors can cause a hard start? ›

Hard start symptoms and starter failure may NOT be caused by the starter, but could actually be caused by the crankshaft position sensor. If your vehicle is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, the crankshaft sensor may be at fault.

How do I know if my engine is serious? ›

If the check engine light illuminates, it will either blink or remain constantly illuminated, depending on the problem. A blinking light, or in some cars a red light instead of a yellow or orange light, indicates a problem that needs immediate attention. Either way, you should have the vehicle checked by a mechanic.

How do I check my start system? ›

To check the voltage reaching the starter, connect the voltmeter to the starter feed terminal and earth it on the starter casing. Test the voltage reaching the starter. For a negative-earth system on a car with a pre-engaged starter, connect the positive lead of the voltmeter to the feed terminal on the solenoid.

What kills a car starter? ›

Car starters can fail for several reasons, and age isn't usually as critical a factor as overheating. Engine mechanical problems can overload the starter motor, leading to overheating. Oil leaks can cause overheating because the starter can't cool off.

What else could be a starting problem besides spark plugs? ›

No spark from ignition coil

Your engine may not start if an ignition coil isn't firing up a spark plug. It could be a faulty coil, a poor connection to the ignition coil, or a control module that's causing the problem.

How do I know if my main fuse is blown? ›

Remove the fuse from its holder. In some cases you may need a small screwdriver to unscrew the fuse holder cap. Look at the fuse wire. If there is a visible gap in the wire or a dark or metallic smear inside the glass then the fuse is blown and needs to be replaced.

How do I know if my starter relay is blown? ›

If your starter relay has gone bad, the electrical signal will never make it from the battery to the starter motor. As a result, your engine won't turn over - no matter how many times you turn the key. A faulty relay often produces an audible clicking sound when you turn your car.

Can a relay cause a car not to start? ›

Car not starting: Another symptom of a faulty ignition relay is a no power condition. If the relay fails it will cut off power to fuel pump and ignition system, which will result in a no power, and therefore no start condition.

Why is my car not starting but the battery isn't dead? ›

Broken or Damaged Ignition

If your headlights can turn on, but your car won't crank, that means that your battery is charged, but either the starter or ignition is the problem. If the starter or ignition is the problem, a starter engine can be jumped by using a charged battery.

Where is the starter relay fuse located? ›

Starting relay position

The fuse box (also called the power box), the instrument panel under the fuse panel, or the right fender are all possible locations. In most cars, it will be under the hood, in a large box with a black lid. This is where car fuses and relays are installed. It is also called a fuse box.

How do you diagnose a car not starting? ›

Diagnose: Why Won't My Car Start (updated)
  1. How old is your car battery? ...
  2. Is the engine cranking? ...
  3. Check the trouble code memory. ...
  4. Check the crankshaft/camshaft sensors. ...
  5. Check the fuel pressure. ...
  6. Check the spark from the ignition coil. ...
  7. Check if the injectors are opening. ...
  8. Check the crankshaft/camshaft timing.
19 Sept 2022

How do I know if my starter is bad? ›

Common Signs of a Bad Starter
  1. The engine won't turn over. The most common signal that your starter has a problem is if nothing happens when you turn the key or push to start.
  2. Unusual noises, such as clinking, grinding and whirring. ...
  3. Intermittent problems starting the car. ...
  4. Smoke coming from under the hood.
30 Aug 2021

How do you tell if its your starter or your battery? ›

When you attempt to start the vehicle, is there a clicking sound, but it won't turn over? That may be a good sign. If a jump gets the car running, but won't turn over again once it's shut off, a dead battery is likely the cause.

Can fuel filter stop car from starting? ›

The most common sign of a clogged fuel filter is trouble starting the car, since it depletes the oil supply going to the engine. Although a dirty fuel filter leads to ignition difficulty, a fully-clogged filter will fail completely, and the engine won't start at all.

How do I know if I need a fuel pump? ›

One of the clearest indications that your vehicle's fuel pump isn't working as it should is engine jolts and stutters while you drive at a steady speed. This stuttering occurs when the pump struggles to provide an adequate amount of fuel to your engine, causing the engine to have difficulty maintaining a certain speed.

How do you unclog a fuel filter? ›

How To Clean Car Fuel Filters
  1. Locate The Fuel Filter. ...
  2. Ensure No Fuel Is Exposed To The Spray. ...
  3. Prepare A Container Under The Filter. ...
  4. Start Cleaning the Fuel Filter. ...
  5. Tapping Filter Surface. ...
  6. Spray Again and Dry. ...
  7. Install the Filter Back. ...
  8. Replace the Filter If Needed.
4 May 2021

Can you unclog a fuel pump? ›

If your vehicle has an electric fuel pump, you can use a fuel system cleaner to clear any sediment buildup or blockage. If you have a manual one (usually found in older model vehicles), you can actually open the pump to clear debris out of its internal filter, though that isn't an option in most modern vehicles.

How do you fix a clogged fuel injector? ›

The only guaranteed way to unclog a clogged injector properly is by removing the injectors from the engine. Once removed, the injectors can be dropped off or mailed to a professional injector cleaning service such as Injector RX.

What damages an engine the most? ›

The most common way that engines sustain major damage is from overheating. When an engine runs too hot, it can cause gaskets and seals to leak, can cause metal components to bend and warp and can even cause metal parts to fuse together and seize the engine if things get really, really hot.

How do you know if your engine is weak? ›

Aside from your check engine light, here are some additional signs that your engine performance might be in trouble:
  1. Power loss. Internal combustion engines convert fuel into the power required to move a vehicle. ...
  2. Unusual or excessive noise. ...
  3. Poor gas mileage. ...
  4. Engine Stalling. ...
  5. Odd smells. ...
  6. Engine run-on. ...
  7. Engine runs rough.
19 Jan 2017

What are the symptoms of a camshaft sensor? ›

A glowing check engine light, stalling, poor acceleration and bad fuel mileage are all possible signs your camshaft position sensor may be failing. Gone are the days of carburetors and distributors, replaced by a variety of sensors that help a car's computer get the maximum performance out of the engine.

Why does it take 3 times to start my car? ›

Hello - most likely, your hard starting is caused by a malfunctioning fuel pressure check valve, or fuel pressure regulator. The fuel system is supposed to hold a small amount of residual pressure in the system for faster starts.

What happens when crank sensor goes out? ›

If your crankshaft sensor is not working properly, the motor control unit in your vehicle won't be able to execute the changes to the fuel injection or to the spark timing whenever the engine speed climbs.

How do you know if your engine is fried? ›

Suspicious Noises
  • Knocking. If it's a knocking or thumping type of noise, chances are the rod bearings have worn out or they've gotten too loose. ...
  • Squealing. ...
  • Grinding. ...
  • Blue Smoke. ...
  • White Smoke. ...
  • Black Smoke. ...
  • Check Engine Light. ...
  • Oil or Fluid Under the Car.
19 Jul 2017

Will a blown engine still run? ›

This might mean the block is cracked, the pistons are destroyed, the valves are damaged, the engine blew a gasket, or a number of other things. Essentially, a blown engine means your engine is completely unsalvageable, dead, or incapable of running.

What parts make a car start? ›

4 Components That Start Your Car From The Hanson Subaru Service Team
  1. The Fuel Pump.
  2. The Flywheel. ...
  3. The Starter. ...
  4. The Battery. The battery stores a charge that gives your starter enough power to turn over the engine and get it running on its own power. ...
24 Mar 2020

When I try to start my car nothing happens? ›

If turning the key in your car's ignition switch doesn't turn on the engine, the issue can come from a weak battery. Other problems that may lead to an engine or ignition failure are loose battery connections and engine leaks.

What happens when your starter dies? ›

A dead starter produces a clicking sound when you turn or press the ignition button. The clicking sound resembles the sound you hear when you have a dead battery or loose terminals. The clicks are meant to signify insufficient power transmission from the battery to the engine through the starter.

What sensors can cause no spark? ›

No Spark From Distributor to Plugs: 6 Potential Causes
  • Dirty Or Corroded Distributor Cap. The distributor cap is a good starting point. ...
  • A Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor. ...
  • An Issue With The Ignition Control Module. ...
  • Issues With The Pickup Coil Inside The Distributor. ...
  • A Bad Ignition Coil. ...
  • A Faulty Ignition Switch.

What sensors can cause misfire? ›

If an oxygen sensor or mass airflow sensor is failing, it could give incorrect data to your engine's computer, causing the misfire. When a vacuum line is broken, it can cause a fuel-injected motor to misfire.

Is it normal for a car to not start after sitting? ›

A difficult start could be due to a number of things, from a dying battery to a faulty starter. But if your vehicle has a hard time starting after sitting for just a few hours, it can cause an extra layer of confusion. When this happens, one of the most common causes is low fuel pressure.

How do you tell if your car needs a new battery or alternator? ›

If the engine starts but dies immediately, your alternator probably isn't keeping your battery charged. If a jump starts and keeps your car running, but the car can't start again off of its own power, a dead battery is probably your answer.

How do I reset my car starter? ›

Press the Lock button on your remote car starter. Within five seconds of turning it on, turn your key back to the "off" position (or press the start button again). Repeat the on-off cycle three more times—you'll do four in total.

What is the best way to test a starter? ›

The easiest way to check the starter on the vehicle is to use jumper cables to bypass the vehicle's electrical system. With the ignition turned off and the transmission in "park" -- and with all due care -- connect one end of the red/positive jumper cable to the positive terminal of the battery.

How do you tell if it's a dead battery or alternator? ›

Jumpstart your car. If you can turn the engine on, but it dies shortly thereafter, your car alternator likely isn't able to charge the battery. On the other hand, if you jumpstart the car and later on it fails to start on its own, it's likely a dead battery.

How do I know if my fuel pump is dirty? ›

Is My Fuel Pump Going Bad? Here Are 8 Signs It Is!
  1. Fuel Tank Noise. A damaged fuel pump might make a loud, whining sound that you'll hear from your gas tank. ...
  2. Difficult Starts. ...
  3. Sputtering Engine. ...
  4. The Actual Stall. ...
  5. Power Loss. ...
  6. Surging Power. ...
  7. Lower Fuel Efficiency. ...
  8. Dead Engine.
1 Jul 2020

Can clogged fuel filter cause no start? ›

The most common sign of a clogged fuel filter is trouble starting the car, since it depletes the oil supply going to the engine. Although a dirty fuel filter leads to ignition difficulty, a fully-clogged filter will fail completely, and the engine won't start at all.

What causes a car not to start if the battery is good? ›

Your car needs the right air-fuel ratio (fuel pressure) and the spark to initiate the combustion system. If you have a good battery and enough fuel in the gas tank and your car still won't start, chances are you have a bad spark plug. Why? A bad spark plug will prevent fuel ignition, and the vehicle won't move.

What can drain a car battery when the car is off? ›

What may drain a car battery when it's off are things such as interior lights, door lights, or even bad relays. While your engine runs, the alternator recharges the battery — which is why you typically don't have to worry about the battery dying while you're blasting the radio on your drive to work!

What to check when starting a car that has been sitting? ›

Properly starting a car after it's been sitting for years or decades requires:
  1. Making sure that the engine is free to rotate.
  2. Clean oil.
  3. Lubricating the cylinder walls.
  4. Clean air.
  5. Clean fuel.
  6. Clean coolant.
  7. Intact fan belt.
8 Apr 2019

How can I tell if I have a bad alternator? ›

7 Signs of a Failing Alternator
  • Dim or Overly Bright Lights. ...
  • Dead Battery. ...
  • Slow or Malfunctioning Accessories. ...
  • Trouble Starting or Frequent Stalling. ...
  • Growling or Whining Noises. ...
  • Smell of Burning Rubber or Wires. ...
  • Battery Warning Light on Dash.
24 Aug 2020

What happens when your car clicks but wont start? ›

It might be a faulty starter.

One of the symptoms of a bad starter is a single clicking noise when you turn the key or push the start button. Tapping the starter can sometimes get it going again, but no guarantees. Most likely, you'll need to get your starter repaired or replaced.

How can you tell if your alternator is good? ›

With the engine off, battery voltage should be between 12.5 and 12.8 volts. If it's below that, charge the battery with a battery charger before you conduct the test again. Then start the engine and check for increased voltage readings. If you see higher readings, chances are the alternator is good.


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