Why won't my classic car start

If you are using your VW or Porsche daily, you want it at its most reliable in the winter (walking, cycling and public transport are a little more bearable if the sun is out!) Sadly hand in hand with the cold weather and weeks of rain comes electrical gremlins which start to show up, instantly sapping the fun out of your classic commute or weekend blast. ‘Why won’t my classic car start’ … is a phrase muttered by many an enthusiast over the years – probably punctuated with a few profanities! Panic not though, here are a few helpful hints to try and fix your headache.

Three things to make it go…

There are of course are a number of reasons why your beloved car might be refusing to start. Going back to basics you will need fuel, ignition and compression for your engine (providing it is petrol-powered) to function; but before all of that, you’ll be needing to turn the ‘old girl over to get the pump pushing fuel and the coil producing volts.

Nothing from the key

Twisting the key and nothing happens? Double-check your battery has some juice in it by flicking the wipers or turning the radio on. If your car fails this test you’ll be needing jump leads or a new battery to get you going.

Wiring Woes

If you have power elsewhere, your mind might be telling you the starter motor has given up the ghost, but it could just be the wiring between your ignition switch and solenoid that’s had it. The starter motor could well be fine. This advice is presuming that you don’t have an immobiliser installed!

Fact: Starter motors are one of the most returned items in our warehouse with supposed faults… We test each one, and almost all of them work fine!

Make your classic car start again!

To fix the problem we suggest installing our ‘Hard Start Relay‘ kit. You don’t need to be an electronics whizz to get this working as we’ve done all the hard work for you. Basically this takes the load away from the ignition switch, leaving it to trigger a relay which passes the power from the battery to your starter motor. Don’t take our word for it though check out this insightful online review we received.

After experiencing intermittent starter problems this gizmo seems to make the starter motor much more gutsy and responsive to turning the key in the ignition switch. Try it before buying a new starter motor as well as cleaning up the gearbox/chassis earth strap” said Heritage customer John Chaplin.

So.. next time your classic car fails to turn over, give this gadget a go before splashing out on a new starter motor, it could save you a few pounds… In fact, you could install one now and skip the heartache later on!


Heritage Parts Centre delivers quality parts for VW and Porsche enthusiasts worldwide. Check out our car parts website here www.heritagepartscentre.com and follow our fun with #driveheritage on social media.

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