6 Reasons Cars Won’t Start After Driving (Solved)

Are you wondering why your vehicle can’t start after it actually drove for a while? Don’t sweat it. We have done some research to find some top reasons why your car can’t start.

Let’s take a look at some of those reasons

Here are six reasons your car won’t start after running for a while 

1. Fuel Pump Malfunction

Picture this: One moment, you’re pleased and looking forward to being on a road trip. The next minute you are miserable and terrified because your car won’t start because you’re out of gas.

Any driver should expect this to be an unfortunate experience. Your gas runs out when you drive a long distance without filling up your tank. Once your gas runs out, your car is not likely to start.

The same happens if your vehicle’s fuel pump is not working properly.

Debris from the tank may block gasoline from flowing to the engine from the gas tank. The residue may also clog petrol filters and prevent your car from starting.


Check the fuel pump to make sure it’s working properly and examine the car for any leaks between the tank and the engine.

Also make sure you fill the tank with gas, especially if traveling long distances.

2. An electrical problem

Another possible reason your vehicle won’t start is an electrical issue.

Electrical problems that may lead to your car not starting include a flat battery or electrical components such as an alternator.

Battery cables and a fuse may also cause your car not to start.

So it’s not easy to determine the electrical problem. Hence, we advise that you contact a qualified auto electrician to come and diagnose the cause.

Most modern vehicles will forewarn if one of the electrical components is malfunctioning. So always pay attention to those warnings.


Don’t ignore any electric fault warning that flashes on your dashboard. Book your car for service immediately when you see them.

Note: EVs don’t have alternators (Electric Cars)

3. Overheating alternator

An overheating alternator is one of the common problems that can make your car not start.

If you drive your car despite having an overheating alternator, that will likely cause severe problems to your vehicle. For instance, if you’re on the road, an overheating alternator may blow your gasket, eventually making your car not start.

It’s always advisable to pay attention to those signs.

Common signs of a malfunctioning alternator include the following:

  • Your alternator will start providing erratic voltage readings on the volt gauge.
  • Your alternator may have trouble charging your battery. In some cases, it may charge the battery slowly.
  • The alternator may stop charging your battery altogether. Once you stop the car, you may need to jumpstart your vehicle. Or even kickstart it by pushing it.


A couple of things may make your alternator overheat. But the main cause normally stems from overcharging the battery. When you overcharge your vehicle’s battery, its output current usually exceeds the alternator’s charging capacity.

Hence, you should avoid overcharging your car battery. If you notice that your battery is too old, replace it with a new one.

Another possible cause of an overcharging alternator is lack of maintenance.


To avoid this problem, ensure that once in a while, you disassemble your alternator. Then clean or replace faulty or worn-out parts.

While at it, ensure you avoid using low-quality parts on your alternator.

Otherwise, you’ll have trouble starting your car. If you can’t clean your alternator yourself, take it to someone who can clean it for you.

4. Engine problems

There are also engine problems that may leave you stranded on the side of the road. Causes of engine problems range from a spark plug, dirty engine oil, or even lack of compression.

Every engine needs fuel, spark, and compression.

Without those key things, the engine won’t function properly. For instance, if your engine has low compression, your vehicle won’t start. The car may have a compression problem when a gasket.


Various things may cause problems to your engine. When your crankshaft has worn out, your vehicle won’t start. Sometimes

The same happens if your car doesn’t have enough spark to begin the combustion. That spark has to occur at the right time; otherwise, if the spark happens too late, this may cause your car not to start.


Book your vehicles in for a service. A mechanic will check your car. And if any engine parts may cause your not to start.

A mechanic will replace it. A mechanic will recommend whether you should overhaul the entire engine.

5. A flat battery (Electric Cars)

If you are driving an electric car (EV), it’s always essential that you continually recharge your car battery. Unfortunately, EVs don’t charge while driving.

The driving ranges of most EVs can only cover a couple of miles. After certain miles, your vehicle will need to be recharged.

Experts recommend that you don’t charge your battery fully. According to experts, you should try to keep battery power between 20% and 80%.

6. A flat battery (Engine cars)


Suppose you drive an engine-powered vehicle, then leave your lights on at night. The headlights will stay on and deplete the power of your battery, especially if your car doesn’t turn its lights off automatically.

Your battery may also die because the connection cables are too loose. Or because power cables have corroded, therefore incapable of transferring power to the starter. If your car has an alternator problem, this may also affect the batter.

Sometimes, the power of your battery may go down because you haven’t driven your car for quite some time.

Signs that your battery is flat:

  • Your car won’t start.
  • Your starter will make a rapid clicking sound.
  • Your headlights are dim.
  • Your vehicle has a slow crank.
  • Your battery is causing intermittent sparks.


First, make sure that you use only quality car batteries. If your car is gas-powered, avoid leaving electrical components that can drain your battery.

For instance, don’t leave your headlights on, especially if you’re driving an old car. Next up, if your battery is pretty new, then consider recharging it.

Should your battery become flat, you can either put your battery on another idling car. Or ask another driver to jumpstart you.

Then drive your vehicle at least for 30 minutes to allow your alternator to recharge your battery.

While charging your battery, avoid using your radio, lights, or anything that will make recharging your battery difficult.

On average, most quality car batteries last for three years. Care and maintenance significantly affect the quality of your battery. So consider replacing your car battery if it is older than three years.

6. A dysfunctional immobilizer

Your vehicle may not start after traveling for a while because of a faulty immobilizer. This typically happens when specific components of the immobilizer are too old and can’t start your vehicle.

Sometimes, immobilizers may not function because you need to replace the batteries on your key fob.

However, this is not the kind of problem that you will diagnose and resolve. You’d need to be tech-savvy to know this.


We recommend that you replace the old batteries on your key fob with new batteries. Then try to start your car. If you can’t still start your vehicle, you can call an auto electrician to look at your immobilizer.

You’d also have to ensure your vehicle isn’t among the popular cars without immobilizers.

The technician will tell you if your car will need a new immobilizer.

And how much it will cost to replace it. Technicians use cutting-edge tools that enable them to detect any electrical faults.

Final Thoughts

Lastly, it’s always essential to take your car in for service.

Regular servicing allows your mechanic to pick any faults that may cause your car not to start.

Problems such as a jammed ignition or faulty spark plugs can be taken care of before they leave stranded on the road.

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