Having a car that won’t start is perhaps the worst possible issue. If your gasoline meter is accurate and you have refilled the tank, there shouldn’t be any reason a car won’t start after getting gas. Well, let Driverevolve shed some light on the situation with 7 proven causes of the situation.

Car Won’t Start After Getting Gas: 7 Root Causes

Dead Or Corroded Battery

If you fill up with petrol yet your vehicle still fails to start or runs sluggishly, it could be due to a dead battery or loosened/rusted connectors.

When buying a used car, we might overlook the battery’s age. Most owners don’t look into how long their batteries have left until they have trouble starting or keeping a charge.

Keeping lamps on for a long time and draining the batteries completely can both lead to voltage loss. Avoid doing the latter because if your batteries die, your motor won’t start and your alternator won’t charge. Searching for a passing automobile to jump-start yours might be a problem, too.

Hitting your battery terminals using a hammer or other metal component might knock off some rust and allow the batteries to deliver electricity to the motor and other electrical components as usual.
A dead battery might be why your car won’t start after getting gas. – Autowise

Batteries usually only last from 3 to 6 years. So, if you think the car won’t start after being filled with gas because the batteries are dead, you can rule that out by charging the batteries and checking the alternator. Then, see if it can charge at a higher voltage than 12V.

This would get two things done at once. You can now eliminate the possibility of a weak battery or broken alternator. More importantly, it prevents unnecessary battery changes without having to clean your battery’s terminals or remove the batteries.

If the problem is really your battery, try one of these 8 dead car battery tricks to revive your automobile.

Broken Alternator

If your batteries are fine, your alternator is the next possible culprit. An alternator produces electricity and saves any surplus in your batteries so that your car can start immediately when you require it.

It also powers your vehicle’s other electrical features, such as the headlamps, windshield, stereo, wiper motor, heating element, and heated seating. It’s the part of your car that charges your battery.

These rotating electromagnets yield alternating current (AC), which is afterward routed to the rectifier of your alternator. This same rectifier transforms the alternating current electricity into direct current electricity, which powers your vehicle's electrics.
The alternator’s another potential culprit.- Auto-Howstuffworks

Although reasonable that a dead battery would result from a faulty alternator, this is not always the case. If your batteries aren’t getting charged and your alternator isn’t working right, it could be because your accessory motor belt is broken or getting loose.

The alternator’s power is weak if your starter takes a long time to turn over, the headlamps are blurry, and a warning light comes on. There might or might not be an alternator indicator on your vehicle’s dashboard. Either way, you should use a reliable voltage meter to check your alternator and ensure it produces around 14 volts.

Bad Starter Motor Or Circuit

A starter motor is a device that mechanically turns over the engine, causing it to ignite. And among these, issues with your starter motor are typically followed by clicking noises when starting the car, making them easier to discover.

Since the starter motor draws electricity from the vehicle’s batteries to turn over the engines, a low cell may be the issue’s root. There could be a problem with the ignition system, the starter’s circuit, or the microprocessor if it won’t run at all.

A defective starter will produce different noises that indicate something is wrong.
A bad starter will make “weird” sounds. – Car Treatments

If your starter motor doesn’t click or click repeatedly when turning the engine’s cranks, your starter isn’t making contact with your flywheel. Rusty cogs on your starter’s driving mechanism or your engine’s flywheel are the culprits, and the first noticeable sign is that “my car starts sometimes, and sometimes it doesn’t.” 

No amount of gas will help an automobile with a faulty starter motor. The cost of a new starter can range from $150 to $350.

Lack Of Spark

Your spark plug is responsible for igniting the motor’s air-fuel combination and gasoline. Engine misfires can occur if the spark plugs or ignition coil are not in excellent condition (for example, oil in spark plug well).

Remember that faulty spark plugs aren’t the only cause of ignition failure. Possible issues include broken ceramic insulators, damaged leads, a wet motor, and malfunctions in the igniting unit, circuits, or switches. Additionally, plugs deteriorate over time.

oil in spark plug well
Bad spark plugs also cause starting troubles. – Mechanic Base

Check the arcs of all spark plug wires or ignition coils using a spark gauge that you may adjust to measure 40KV, 30KV, and 10KV. Examine the outlet cover (if present) for signs of problems, such as a lack of tightness, dampness, fractures, carbon residue, or other anomalies as well.

If you’re having trouble with your engine’s synchronization, use a timing light to ensure that all of your pistons are igniting correctly.

What if you smell gasoline underneath the hood and suspect the motor floods rather than faulty spark plugs? Try removing them, letting them air dry, reinstalling them, and starting your motor again. If all of your engine and igniting parts are good, yet it still doesn’t work, you should take the car to a repair shop.

Restricted Fuel Filters/Injectors

My car struggles to start but runs fine? It might be because of restricted fuel filters or injectors.

You can take a few different diagnostic approaches to determine if this is the root cause. It’s also possible that fuel is not reaching the pistons if your car starts then dies quickly.

Particles in the reservoir can turn into motor gunk and stop fuel pressure from building up. This could be a contributing reason. Driving on empty also causes the gasoline filters to become clogged.

An obstructed fuel filter can make your car challenging. It eliminates impurities and thus gets jammed over time, causing your pumps to run out of gas. See all the signs of a clogged fuel filter, check it yourself, and see whether the problem lies there. If yes, schedule a service.
A dirty fuel filter. – Motoring Junction

If your automobile’s engine doesn’t start when you start it up, something else in the car’s fuel distribution mechanism may be at fault.

The gasoline pipe leading to the pumps of a fuel-injected car should have the Schrader valves. By turning on the ignition and moving the fuel lines with a screwdriver, you can quickly find out if these valves prevent your car from starting. When you squeeze these valves, gasoline should shoot out.

If you’re only seeing a trickle or nothing, your gasoline filters/injectors, fuel pumps, or fuel pressure controller are likely to blame. You can narrow down the cause by performing further checks. These include making sure the gas pressure is at the level recommended by the carmaker and using a nod lamp to see if the injectors are getting the signal from the microprocessor.

Damaged Fuel Pump

Your vehicle’s fuel pumps supply your motor with the necessary gasoline pressure for starting, which is extremely important with a fuel-injected engine. Whenever your engine operates, it works relentlessly to maintain gas flow from the reservoir to the combustor (even when the car is idle).

Simply, your pumps carry a higher mileage than your automobile and, as a result, are more likely to malfunction over time. A faulty or broken gasoline pump leaves your car stranded, even if the reservoir is still full of gasoline.

If a fuel pump stops working, your engine may operate with fewer valves and, if one is locked open, reduced gasoline pressure.
Bad fuel pumps might also make your car stop after being turned on. – The Drive

After switching on the engine, a few drivers might “hear out” or wait for a buzzing or sputtering sound. Many car owners automatically think their fuel pumps go bad if they don’t notice anything from within the car or behind the gasoline tank’s filling valve.

This idea has some validity, but it does not apply to all cars because some don’t make a noticeable buzzing or in-tank noise, and others use fuel pumps that only release gasoline while the engine is running. 

Either way, you might have trouble using the ‘hear out’ technique. The same holds for fixing a malfunctioning gasoline pump; having a professional do it is preferable.

Faulty Security System

The motor lock is an anti-theft device that can help prevent your car from being driven away. If the microchip in this mechanism malfunctions or dies, it could accidentally cut off the gasoline supply or ignition. A security alert on your dashboard may help you figure out what to do if you’re feeling concerned.

Once you power the engine, the key icon on your vehicle's center console indicator light should disappear. If not, lock and unlock the vehicle to reconfigure it. If it remains, your automobile key might malfunction, requiring experts’ help.
Check to see whether your anti-theft system is on. – Mechanics Directs

A diagnostic scanner can help you determine what’s wrong by giving you trouble codes. This is where having the guidebook for your vehicle can come in handy 

However, unless you possess the necessary tools in your house, you will be unable to address security concerns. For those who don’t, finding a local auto service is advisable.

Wrapping Up 

My car won’t start after getting gas – we know how annoying it is! Nevertheless, don’t keep trying to start the vehicle by cranking the starter over and over. Try running a diagnostic check or any other method to discover the issue with the power left in your batteries.

If you must crank the engine more than once, wait at least a few minutes between each attempt to avoid completely draining the batteries or burning the starter motor. Ultimately, don’t hesitate to ask for professional help.

For similar content, head to our Fun Driving section.

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