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Why Won't My Vehicle Start? | Chicagoland Jiffy Lube®

Have you ever gone to start your vehicle, only to find that it just won’t turn over? While there are a number of different things that could be the cause, in most instances it ends up being one of two culprits: your battery or your alternator. Knowing which one it is can help you to get it started temporarily, or to at least have an idea of what to expect when you get to your participating neighborhood Jiffy Lube® for repairs.

Signs of a Bad Battery

Batteries are essential for your vehicle to start and operate properly. While they typically last 2-5 years, harsh winter temperatures can shorten their lifespan. A bad battery may show signs that it is on its way out for a few days before it goes totally dead, and it may simply die without warning. Here are the most common signs that your battery is bad an in need of replacement:

  • No sound or lights when you try to start your vehicle
  • A clicking noise when you turn the key in the ignition
  • The engine that turns over slowly
  • Dim headlights
  • Backfiring

If it is your battery that is causing your vehicle not to start, the good news is that, with help from a friend, you can at least get your vehicle running long enough to get to your neighborhood Jiffy Lube® for a replacement. Simply jumpstart your vehicle, let it run for a little while to ensure it isn’t going to stall, and head to your destination. As soon as you turn the vehicle off, however, it is unlikely to restart, so try to avoid shutting the engine off if at all possible.

Signs of a Bad Alternator

If you attempted to jumpstart your vehicle and it did not work, the issue may instead be your alternator. The most common signs of a bad alternator include:

  • Malfunctions in your vehicle’s electronics
  • The vehicle stalls after it starts
  • Whining noises from beneath the hood
  • A burning smell
  • Flickering headlights
  • Alternator warning light is on

If you notice these symptoms, but are still able to keep the vehicle running, you should head to your participating neighborhood Jiffy Lube® right away. This ensures that you can get the issue addressed before it becomes a major inconvenience.

What do the Battery & Alternator Do?

The battery in your vehicle supplies the electrical charge that your engine needs to start, by turning over the gears. When a battery is wearing out, it isn’t able to supply as much of a charge as the vehicle needs to start properly. That is why, in some cases, you may find that your car doesn’t start as quickly when the battery is on its way out.

Once your vehicle is running, the alternator works to supply power to your vehicle’s electronics, as well as charge your battery. If you drive too long with an alternator that isn’t functioning properly, it can cause damage to your battery by not supplying the correct amount of charge.

Jiffy Lube® Can Help If Your Vehicle Won’t Start

At your neighborhood Jiffy Lube®, our highly trained technicians know exactly how to diagnose vehicle starting issues. Our free battery inspections mean that we can let you know if your battery isn’t functioning property. Participating locations can help with the more complex diagnostics and repairs involved with alternator problems. Stop by your neighborhood Jiffy Lube® anytime, and let us help you keep your vehicle running strong for years to come.

Jiffy Lube® recommends following manufacturer recommendations, where applicable, for maintenance schedules and service intervals.

Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center for specific services offered.

Go to for services and locations in Chicagoland, Rockford, Northwest Indiana and Southeast Wisconsin.

Jiffy Lube® Service Centers are owned and operated by independent franchisees.