Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Tom asks: I have a 2010 Kia Forte Sx. My car wouldn’t start at all so I replaced the battery. I haven’t looked at the alternator just yet, so I’ll do that tomorrow. But when I try to start the car, it’ll turn on, but won’t turn all the way over. And I get the smell of gasoline as well. Any thoughts?
My reply: The alternator is a separate issue; even with a bad one, if you have a good battery – and starter/solenoid/other relevant parts – the engine should turn over/start. If the alternator is bad, it will not charge the battery – but (again) that is a separate issue.
If – with a fresh/known good battery – the engine will not spin when you try to start it, the most likely problem is either the starter or the solenoid. Possibly, both. There may also be some issue with the ignition switch/button. One easy/cheap thing to try is to tap the starter with a hammer; believe it or not, this sometimes helps free a “sticky” one. You can also test to see whether current is getting to the solenoid (to trigger the motor). This is often doable without physically removing the starter/solenoid. Assuming you can reach the contact points!
On the gas smell: This suggests another problem. Your car has port fuel injection and a vapor recovery system. There should be no fuel smell, ever. Unless there’s a leak. This is potentially serious and ought to be looked at before you drive the car as a high pressure fuel leak can easily lead to a fire.
Hope this was helpful!
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