How to Fix 2 Big Auto-Electrical Problems Without Any Tools

Do you have an older car that may have seen its better days, but have no intention of swapping it out for a newer version? For one reason or another, you may have fallen in love with your mode of transportation and are used to its idiosyncrasies. In any case, you've no intention of taking a second mortgage out on your house to get the latest model! While this is very fair and reasoned, you must also be prepared for the odd breakdown and should be on the lookout for symptoms, so you can apply some shortcuts if necessary and get you back on the road.

1. Dealing With a Bad Starter Motor

For example, what would you do if you were to jump into the car, turn the key in the ignition but only hear a dull "clunk?" You may try to start the car several times with the same result and not know what to do.

It sounds as if the starter motor may be jammed. A gear on the end of this component is supposed to engage with the engine's flywheel to initiate the process. Sometimes, however, the gear may become jammed against the flywheel and in this case, you will need to disconnect it.

Assuming that this is a manually-operated car, select second gear and then get out of the car, making sure that you are on a flat surface and everything is safe. Gently try to rock the car in a forward and backward motion while second gear is engaged, and this should help to disconnect the starter motor from the flywheel.

2. Manual Start With a Dead Battery

Alternatively, you may find that the vehicle will not start due to a dead battery. You can quickly check to see if this is the case by trying to turn on the headlights or windscreen wipers for confirmation. If you don't have access to a pair of jumper cables, then you can still start the car so long as you have the help of one or two other people.

You should sit in the driver's seat, engage second gear and turn the ignition key all the way to "on." Disconnect the parking brake, put your foot on the clutch pedal and ask the other people to push your car along the road. Again, make sure that you do this in a safe environment and ideally with a gentle slope ahead of you. After a few moments and when the car has built up some forward motion, let the clutch out sharply -- this should force the engine to start.

As you can see, you don't always need the help of a mechanic when you can employ one of these tactics. Still, it's a good idea to take the vehicle into an auto electrical shop in any case. If you have started to develop starter motor or battery issues, other problems may also be on the horizon.

About Me

Secret Admirer - Confessions About An Auto Obsession

G'day. Prior to meeting my wife, I had very little interest in autos. I wanted a reliable car that got me from A to B and nothing more. My wife runs her own business which involves putting a special coating on vehicles to prevent scratches. Over time, after seeing the high-end autos in her workshop, I started to understand why people become obsessed! Some of the massive shiny trucks that she works on can literally take my breath away. There are always motor magazines and brochures lying around the house that I can't resist reading. My wife doesn't know how much I like autos now. She always tells friends that I have no interest and I am too embarrassed to admit otherwise. Rather than come out of the closet, so to speak, I have created this blog to celebrate the world of autos. I hope you enjoy my humble jottings.




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