Having issues with your vehicle not starting? You may be able to diagnose the problem on your own! If you are not mechanically inclined and have to take your vehicle to a shop to have something replaced this guide still may be able to help you out with having to pay for a tow bill.
If your vehicle will not turn over at all and you hear a clicking noise from under the vehicle the most likely problem is the solenoid for the starter (most are built in on the starter while others are external from the starter.) I will begin with the solenoid build on the starter, you will need a hammer or some sort of object that you can hit against the starter. After you have found an object have someone try to start the vehicle while you hit the starter if it starts you will need a starter. For vehicles with external solenoids the easiest method is to take a screwdriver and put it from each of the large posts on the solenoid and if your vehicle starts you will need a ‘starter solenoid’ which is very cheap and easy to replace. To replace this first disconnect the battery then just replace. When jumping the solenoid with a screwdriver make sure the key in the ignition is in the run position and that the vehicle is in park and preferably the e-brake is applied if applicable.
If you hear nothing when trying to start or if the vehicle turns over slower than normal the most likely cause is the battery (it may need to be jump started.) If the vehicle starts after jump starting you may want to drive the vehicle to the local auto store or wal-mart or sears and have them come out and test the battery. Most auto stores or local chains who do auto services will have a battery tester to test your battery for free. Although if you have a battery light that lights up on your instrument cluster you may have a charging system concern.
If your vehicle turns over but will not start you may have a fuel pump issue, look in your auto manual to see if you have accidentally hit the ‘inertia switch’ with your foot. If its not in a spot that you may have triggered it then you may have a fuel pump issue. To see if your fuel pump is going bad the quick test is to take a rubber mallet or your shoe and hit the bottom of the fuel tank while someone is turning the engine over, If it starts you will need a fuel pump.
Keep in mind these guidelines are to address a issue with a stuck solenoid, you may still have an issue with these components but a lot of times hitting it with a little force will bring it back to life for a short amount of time to allow you to drive it to a shop or allow you to be able to diagnose it.