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Dead engine

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Updated: 3/28/2003 1:53 pm
A car that won't start is one of the most frequent causes of road emergencies. Most of the time, it's the fault of a dead or undercharged battery. If the engine won't turn over, or does so very slowly, chances are it's the battery. Use your headlights to confirm it. If they won't light up at all, the battery's the prime suspect. Usually a jumpstart will do the trick. If the headlights come on but dim when you turn the engine over, the problem could be the battery connections. Clean them off with a wire brush terminal cleaner and try again. If the headlights don't dim, the problem may be in the starter. If that's the case, a jumpstart won't help anything. A tow may be necessary, unless a mechanic can test the starting system on the spot.

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