Why Won't My Car Start When It Rains?

by David Flask

A car engine refusing to start can be any number of issues. A car that won't start in the rain can still be any number of issues, but it gives you a place to start looking.

Spark Plug

The most common reason for a car not starting in the rain is found in the spark plugs. Wire insulation can wear thin and this causes the voltage to arc to the metal of the car engine rather then going into the spark plug. You can check for this visually by opening the hood when it's wet outside and trying to start the car. You might be able to see an arc from the spark plug wires.

Distributor Cap

The second most common issue is the distributor cap. Take a good physical examination of your distributor cap for any signs of a cracks. Also remove the distributor cap and check the inside of it for moisture. If you find any, wipe it clean; it won't work while wet.

Other Issues

If a check of the spark plugs and the distribution cap has not solved your problem, then you have a bigger issue. There are dozens of other reasons a car won't start, from battery corrosion to a fuel filter issue keeping gas from reaching the engine. Though few of these other issues will only affect your vehicle during the rain.

About the Author

Based in Orange County, David Flask has been writing since 2005, starting with his local college paper. He studied English for two years at DeAnza College and is working toward a Bachelor of Arts in screenwriting at Chapman College.