How to Fix Your Car's Electrical Problem When You Don't Have Any Time to Spare

13 July 2019
 Categories: Automotive, Blog

There's no such thing as a "convenient" time when it comes to a broken-down car. However, this may happen when you're on the way to an important meeting or going to collect your child from school and you really cannot afford the inconvenience. At times like these you will want to find any shortcut in order to restore functionality, and the good news is that there are a couple of things to try if you're having problems starting the car.

Battery Bypass

Many auto electrical issues are associated with a dead battery, and almost everyone will come across this issue at some stage or another. The battery is, of course a replaceable item and should be well cared for when it is in service; otherwise, it could lose both its charge and its ability to start the engine.

If you can see from the lights on your ignition that you have no juice in your battery, then you may be able to "jump" the car to get it going. If you're sitting on a slight incline this is better, but otherwise try to get a neighbour or two to help you out. Sit in the driver's seat with your foot on the clutch, the ignition switched on and the car in second gear, and ask them to push you down the road. Once you have picked up a bit of speed, let your foot off the clutch sharply and this should force the engine to start.

Starter Motor Solution

On the other hand, you may have turned the key in the ignition and all you can hear is a single click and nothing else. You've tried this several times and get the same result, so it looks as if the starter motor is jammed against the flywheel. As you may know, when this unit receives power its motor will turn a small gear which will, in turn, force the flywheel to move. Usually this will crank the engine, but if the motor is jammed, nothing will happen.

To try and fix this right now, put the vehicle in second gear and, so long as it is safe, stand outside and grasp the door frame firmly. Rock the vehicle backward and forward and this may be enough to turn the flywheel slightly and release the starter motor.

No Time to Be Complacent

If you are now back in action and can head off to your appointment, all will be well. However, these issues may be a sign of a greater auto electrical problem and you will need to take action as soon as possible. Your starter motor may be on the way out and an internal issue may have caused it to jam against the flywheel. Alternatively, your battery may need to be replaced or another part of the ignition system may be generating a fault. Either way, schedule a visit to your mechanic now or you may end up in trouble again.