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Why My Car Won’t Start But The Radio And Lights Work? [Solved]

Just imagine, it is a beautiful sunny day and you are planning to go on a long drive with your friends. But the moment you step into your car and start your engine, it doesn’t start. Probably your worst nightmare right? I understand. You may wonder, my car won’t start but the radio and lights work. I know it sounds scary, but do not worry as we are here for your rescue. So let us begin.

Why My Car Won’t Start But The Radio And Lights Work?

You might be thinking that there is something seriously wrong with your car and it might be the time to ditch your car and get a new one. But do not worry as all you need to do is spot the issue, troubleshoot it and you are good to go. While there can be several reasons and their intensities may vary too, a few of the most prominent issues are listed below for your help along with their solutions.

1. Drained Out Battery

One of the most prominent reasons behind your car’s system failure is an expired battery. You might be thinking that if the battery is dead then why is the radio working. Let me tell you that it may be because your car’s battery is not completely dead yet and is just low on battery. It is so low that only the lights n radio will work rather than the whole system since they require very less amount of power. For instance, the radio and headlight only require around 30A to run whereas taking a turn requires around 350A. So they are the last ones to stop once your battery is drained out and the turnover volunteers first.


What you can do is go to a mechanic, and get your battery checked by a hydrometer. If found faulty, make sure to replace it as soon as possible with a new branded one. Alternatively, you may also try charging it if it works. In most cases, the first one is most suitable as not all batteries can be charged effectively. But if you are lucky enough, the second one will be the best to choose.

2. Blown Fuse

In case your car battery is not found guilty, maybe you should check for any faulty or broken fuses, fusible links, or probably the ignition switch of your car. Chances are you will end up finding a blown-up fusible link or fuse. You just have to spot the location and position of the fuse and check visually for any damage. If any disconnection is found, it may be the main reason that your car won’t start since the power connection is cut midway.


If you spot this issue, do not panic and take professional help to get it repaired. Make sure to not alter anything yourself if you are a novice as it may damage the transmission even more.

3. Faulty Ignition Switch

This is another common cause for the car not starting. This may occur due to the corrosion of the interior contacts of the ignition switch. If your vehicle is still operating with the key without any delay, you may mark it’s not turning sleekly every time you try to start it. You may feel that the key is stuck inside the keyhole. It means that there is some serious deterioration in the ignition switch and it requires your concentration before matters get worse. If your car has ignition switch problems, you may not be able to start the car at all. Ignition switch problems can also cause various issues on the road, such as unforeseen cessations or electrical quandaries out of nowhere.


 For this problem, all you need to do is after ensuring that the rest of the internals of the electrical system is perfectly intact, such as the fuses and circuits, repair the ignition switch, or replace it with a new one. This solution is the easiest on the list.

4. Debris Stuck

Another most ignored cause that can obstruct your car from starting is a dirty starter cable with debris stuck inside it. This is the cord in your car’s electrical system which is responsible for leading the most current. As such, it is also very sensitive to wear and tear. If your starter cable is anyhow worn out, it can be washed rather simply. Remove each end of the cables attached to the battery and starter. Clean the adjuncts with a cable brush and also the battery. A corroded or inadequately united ground cable can also restrict the car from igniting. Clean ground wires and connections as well.

Frequently Asked Questions:

So, here are some of the frequently asked questions about why won’t my car start, what to do if your car won’t start but lights come on?-

Why Does My Car Not Start But Radio Is On?

If it is faulty, the car won’t start, yet the radio and lights will remain operational. Fuel pump problems can occur when the pressure in the fuel transmission system is low. This can happen as a result of wear and tear, blockages, or leaks in the lines.

Why Does My Radio Not Work When the Lights Are On?

Often, this issue is caused by a dead battery. When a dead battery is the cause of the problem, all accessories in the vehicle, including the radio and lights, won’t work.

Why Won’t My Car Start?

A car needs fuel to go. If the fuel level is extremely low, it may prevent the car from starting at all. When this happens, the lights and radio – as well as other accessories – will still work, as the battery isn’t the source of the problem.

What To Do If Your Car won’t Start But Lights Come On?

If you find that your car starter is the issue of why you have the “car won’t start, but lights come on” situation, you need to replace the starter in your vehicle. A mechanic can do this, but you can save some money by doing this replacement yourself if you have the tools and knowledge.

Why Won’t My Car Turn Over Or Start?

If the lights in your car are working, but the car still won’t turn over or start, there could be a variety of reasons why. Since lights in the car are powered by a battery, we can eliminate the battery as the source of the problem.


If you observe that your car won’t start but the radio and light work, their several concerns maythe accused. Possibilities are that if your vehicle won’t start, the difficulty lies somewhere within the list mentioned above. That was all in today’s article and I hope you like it. Let me know in the comments what issues have you encountered ye regarding this issue.

Thank you

Happy Driving!