If you're in a situation where your Hyundai's engine won't crank when you turn the key to start the vehicle, there are a number of things that could be causing the problem. If you can discover the problem and fix it yourself, you could save hundreds or thousands of dollars in costly repairs that would otherwise have to be done by a mechanic. Regardless of what year or model Hyundai you're driving, the troubleshooting steps are the same.
Things You'll Need
- Adjustable wrench
- Wire brush
- Jumper cables
- Fuel pressure test gauge
- Socket wrench
Locate and inspect the battery. While the exact battery location will vary based on your specific Hyundai model, the battery will be located in one of the four corners of the engine compartment. Check the positive and negative cables attached to the battery terminals. If they are loose, tighten them with an adjustable wrench and attempt to start the vehicle. If the cables are covered with corrosion, that residue could prevent enough energy flowing from the battery to your vehicle. Clean off any corrosion with a wire brush and attempt to start the vehicle again.
Attempt to jumpstart your Hyundai off of another vehicle, which could solve the problem if you have a weak or dead battery. Some Hyundais have remote jump start terminals, and others require the jumper cables be connected directly to the battery. Consult your owner's manual for jumpstarting instructions for your specific vehicle.
Add a few gallons of fuel to your Hyundai's tank to verify it has fuel. In some cases, the float in the fuel tank may be stuck and giving you a false reading on the dashboard's fuel gauge and you may actually be out of gas. You should also verify your Hyundai has adequate fuel pressure. To do so, connect a fuel pressure gauge to the fuel line before the fuel pump and crank the engine while someone else takes the reading on the gauge. If you have low or no fuel pressure, your fuel pump is bad and should be replaced. If you have adequate fuel pressure, test it again, this time in the fuel line after the fuel filter. If you have low or no fuel pressure, then the fuel filter is clogged and should be replaced. The mileage intervals for changing the fuel filter varies from vehicle to vehicle and you should consult your Hyundai's owners manual for the specific maintenance schedule.
Remove the starter and inspect the teeth on the vehicle's flywheel and the drive gear on the starter. If either are chipped or damaged, they can prevent your Hyundai from starting, and would need to be replaced. While the starter is out, you can also take it to a local auto parts store and have it tested. They will be able to perform a bench test and make sure the starter is operating properly.
Try to turn the engine by hand by using a socket with a long handle. Failure to manually crank the engine means it has seized due to a major mechanical malfunction.
Use a spark plug wrench to remove the spark plugs on your Hyundai. Look into the cylinder and on the tip of the spark plug to see if there is any coolant present. If you spot coolant, your Hyundai has a blown head gasket and will need to be repaired. Depending on your specific Hyundai model, you will have to remove either four, six or eight spark plugs to do a thorough inspection.
Tips & Warnings
- Recommended fuel pressure varies greatly from vehicle to vehicle. If you are unsure of the recommended pressure range for your Hyundai, you call your local dealership and they will be able to provide that information based on the year and make of your vehicle.
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