What to do if your car doesn't start (4)
Step 4: Knowing when to say "I Give Up!"
Apart from the electricals and fuel feed system, there are a thousand other things that could go wrong and prevent your engine from firing up. If the culprit is the engine itself, there isn't much that one can do on the roadside, and towing the car to a garage is the only way out. From a blown head gasket to a broken crankshaft, from fouled injectors to ECM failures, from seized pistons to snapped timing belts, anything can make an engine dead and leave you stranded. Of course, it's another matter that the engines of today are far more reliable and robust than those manufactured even 20 years ago, but catastrophic failures are still not unheard of. Some of the reasons may be poor compliance with maintenance schedules and / or use of sub-standard spare parts. Here's a word of warning:
If you hear strange / unusual noises coming from your engine when trying to restart it, or if your engine stopped running after making weird noises, do NOT attempt to restart. The same applies if you find smoke pouring out of the engine bay or tailpipe, or if the engine overheated and stopped.
Jump Start Cables:
Having a pair of jump start cables around might help you, a neighbour or a friend. The cost is marginal and it's a good idea to park a set in your car or garage (Image Source : Ebay.com). A basic tool kit & spare fuses are other essentials, while a jerrycan and tow straps can come handy.