One of the most frustrating problems that can come about with a car is when you attempt to drive and your car won't start. Ignition problems may be relatively mild in nature, or they may be symptoms of severe underlying problems with the vehicle. Regardless of the scope of the problem with the ignition system, however, if there's anything the matter that prevents your car from starting, you'll be stuck until you're able to fix it. If you experience an ignition problem, check the following things first in order to repair the damage and get your car started again.
1 - Fuses
While fewer cars today make use of a fuse system to light the ignition, there are still fuse components in many ignition systems. Look underneath the dash of the car for a fuse that is associated with the ignition (your vehicle owner's manual can help you to locate these fuses) and be sure that they are all working properly and that none of them require any repair or replacement.
2 - Battery
Another common cause of ignition problems in vehicles is problems with the car's battery. The battery of your car is designed to replenish itself as the vehicle is running. However, if you leave the lights, radio or other electronic systems of the car on for an extended period of time while the vehicle itself isn't on, or if your battery loses charge faster than it replenishes it, you may end up with a dead battery and a vehicle that will not start. Test the battery with a voltmeter in order to see if you need to jump it or to replace it in general.
3 - Starter Connection
The starter for your engine is a delicate system that takes the spark from the plugs in the ignition system and converts that into the power to start up the engine. While these systems generally work very well in vehicles, they can come out of alignment as well. If this problems, the ignition system itself may work well but the engine may not be able to be started up. In these cases, you'll have to replace part or all of the starter system in order to get your vehicle to start up again.
4 - Timing Belt
The timing belt on your car helps to ensure that all of the various parts of the engine work in the proper sequence and with the necessary timing to operate correctly. If there is damage to the belt, or if it is destroyed, the engine will not start because the sequence will be off.
There are a wide variety of other issues which may contribute to or cause your car to not start up properly when you attempt to start it. These are the most likely to cause this problem, but if it turns out that none of them are the case, continue to search for the culprit, either at home or with the help of a mechanic.