There are few things in life that are more disappointing than running late to get out of the house, jumping in your MINI, and finding your engine will not start. Determining exactly why can be a complicated ordeal, since there could be at least a dozen different causes. The following 12 most common reasons are listed for your quick reference.
If you try turning the key and you do not hear the engine turn over nor see the dashboard lights come on, there’s a good possibility that your MINI’s battery has died. Another sign of a dying or dead battery is headlights that are dimmer than usual or that don’t come on at all. Some modern vehicles may actually flash a battery symbol on the dashboard, which makes the diagnosis that much easier.
Bad Battery Connection
While a dead battery is among the most common possible causes of an engine that won’t start, a poor connection between your cables and your battery could also be at fault. You could try jiggling the cables a bit to see if they move. If the terminals do move, you might just simply need to tighten them. If the terminals are dirty or show any signs of corrosion, you may need to clean or replace them. If you are not familiar with safe practices when dealing with metal tools and electricity in your battery, have a professional deal with this instead.
A bad battery isn’t the only cause of a MINI not running smoothly. If you find that your car will start but the engine stalls or the interior lights begin to dim, it is possible that you’re dealing with a bad alternator. In some vehicles, a bad alternator may result in the battery symbol on your dashboarding warning system, as the alternator powers the battery. Another symptom might be a burning rubber smell coming from your alternator belts. Over time, a bad alternator can also cause your battery’s power to die.
Not in Park
Vehicles are designed to only start when they are in park or neutral. If your vehicle doesn’t start, check the gear right away. If your car starts while in park but not in neutral or vice versa, you may have an issue with the neutral safety switch. If this is the case, it could be very dangerous, as your MINI could roll forward or backward if it slips out of gear. Seek an expert’s assistance right away.
Bad Ignition Switch
If you find that your vehicle’s lights and radio come on but it will not start, there is a good chance that your ignition switch is failing. The ignition switch is responsible for carrying power from the battery to your vehicle’s various components. If there is no power going to the ignition system or the starter motor, then your vehicle won’t start. Your best next step is to schedule to have your vehicle inspected by a professional. Also, you may want to consider possible causes of an ignition switch going bad.
Dead Battery in your Keyfob
A lot of modern vehicles are now equipped with a push-button system and can even start your engine from your remote keyfob. If you press the button to start your engine from your fob but nothing happens, it’s possible it has a dead battery. Check your MINI’s user manual to see what battery it needs for replacement. If you are not comfortable doing this, we are here to help you with a quick visit to check your fob and replace its battery for you.
As implied by its name, the starter is a pretty important component to begin the ignition process of your engine. If you turn the key or push the button and your engine doesn’t start but you hear a clicking noise instead, it could be a bad starter causing you problems.
Timing Belt Issues
The timing belt is a strip of rubber that rotates the engine’s crankshaft and cam at the right time. If it fails, your engine will have trouble starting and/or running. Another indicator of a bad timing belt is a clicking noise or the sound of the starter motor engaging but not turning over.
Professional Automotive will Diagnose and Fix Your MINI’s Starter Issues
If your vehicle is either having trouble running or not starting at all, the best way to find out why and to fix the problem is to get your car into a licensed automotive shop. If you live in Marlborough, MA, your best option is Professional Automotive.