Engine Starting Trouble After Lockdown? Try This Method
Parked your vehicle for a prolonged time due to the coronavirus lock-down, and it is giving you engine starting trouble? Then, try this simple trick at your home. Due to prolonged inactivity, the automobile engine fails to start quickly or does not start at all. There are many reasons for this. Let’s look at some of the possible causes and their solutions in this article.
Always Check The Battery
When you try to start your vehicle, it either doesn’t crank or starts on its own. Read here on why the engine does not start. Firstly, see if the vehicle has sufficient fuel & if it is cranking or not. When you switch on the ignition, the lights on the meter should turn ‘ON.’ Especially, the battery indicator light should turn ON, and it lights bright or stays STRONG, indicating that the battery is in healthy condition. Alternatively, you can use a multi-meter to check the battery voltage. It should be above 10 volts at least to provide enough power to crank the engine. Also, check the engine oil & coolant level is upto the mark as specified by the manufacturer.
If the battery indicator light is NOT strong or if it is flickering, it means that the battery is very low. In this case, DO NOT attempt to crank the engine as this will create excessive load on battery. If so, then, you will need to charge your battery through external means such as battery charger or use jump start. You will need to take help of local mechanic or service center to charge the battery.
Engine Starting Trouble: Scenario 1
If the battery indicator light is strong and battery voltage shows above 10 volts, then try to crank the engine. In addition, you might need to turn ‘ON’ the choke to supply rich air-fuel mixture in case of a carburetor fuel system in your vehicle. In case of fuel injection system, you just need to crank the engine. Try to crank the engine a few times to see if it starts on its own. If it does, it’s well and good. You must run it in idle for at least 10-15 minutes before you can take the vehicle to drive. This 15 minutes period is necessary to ensure that engine support systems such as the cooling system and lubrication system are up and running smoothly.
Now, the battery indicator light on the dash should go ‘OFF’. This means that the battery charging system is working correctly. Then, see on the dash if any other warning lights such as the ‘low engine oil pressure’ or ‘high engine temperature’ are turned ‘ON’. If so, then immediately turn ‘OFF’ the engine and call for professional help or a mechanic to look into the issue. After 10-15 minutes, the engine fan will turn ‘ON’; indicating that the engine reached its operating temperature. If there are NO warning lights showing on the dash, then you can safely drive off your vehicle.
Engine Starting Trouble: Scenario 2
If you are able to crank the engine, it means that the battery is OK. Now, try to start the engine by cranking it. In case it shows the engine starting trouble after cranking for a while, then it indicates that there is some issue with either fuel system or ignition system. In most cases, the issue could be of the fuel system. Since, the vehicle was inactive for a long time, the fuel in the system has dried up or its quality has degraded. The fuel quality is NOT upto the mark. The fuel starts to lose its quality after three weeks after filling up. So, this might be the case.