- The most common reason a car engine cranks but won’t start is due to lack of fuel coming into the cylinders. It is also possible that there is no spark, which is often caused by bad spark plugs or ignition coils. In more rare cases, it can be a lack of compression.
What causes a car to crank but not fire?
Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor Too late or too early and the air/fuel mixture won’t entirely combust, reducing performance and potentially failing to start the engine entirely. One of the reasons your spark plugs might be firing incorrectly is due to a faulty crankshaft position sensor.
Can spark plugs cause a car to crank but not start?
If your spark plugs are degraded or malfunction completely, your car can fail to start. If this is the issue, turning of the key will result in clicking but you will not hear the car trying to start up – it simply cannot, because the fuel is not being lit.
How can you tell if an ignition coil is bad?
Signs of a Bad Ignition Coil
- Illuminated Check Engine Light. With most modern vehicles, a faulty ignition coil is enough to turn on the Check Engine Light.
- Misfiring Engine. If an ignition coil is not working properly, your engine will likely misfire.
- Hard Starts.
- Worsening Gas Mileage.
- Diminished Power.
- Sudden Backfires.
What sensors can cause a car not to start?
A bad Crankshaft Position sensor is a common cause of no starts. The signal from this sensor goes to the PCM or ignition module that switches the ignition coil(s) on and off. If you have an RPM signal, a bad ignition module or PCM may not be switching the coil(s) on and off.
What does it mean when your car starts but wont stay on?
This issue could be caused by an insufficient amount of fuel reaching the combustion chamber. For fuel issues, start by checking the fuel pressure. With too much air in the engine after the MAF sensor, the engine runs so lean it can’t properly combust the fuel air mixture, and it stops operation.
What would cause an ignition coil not to fire?
There are a few reasons for no spark, new coil pack could be defective, crank sensor, ignition module or bad wire in primary circuit, faulty ECM/PCM. You may have to have a good technician have a look, diagnose and estimate repair.
What are the signs of bad spark plug wires?
The following are common signs that your spark plug wires have issues.
- Visible Damage on the Spark Plug Wires. Spark plug wires may start to dry out over time, so look for cracks in the insulation.
- The Engine is Idling Rough.
- Engine Hesitation.
- Engine Misfiring.
What are signs of a bad distributor?
Bad Distributor Cap Symptoms
- Trouble Starting. As the distributor cap gets worse, you are going to have trouble starting the engine.
- Shaking. If you are experiencing intense vibrations or shaking in your car, it could be due to the distributor cap causing misfires.
- Squealing Noises.
- Check Engine Light.
4 Causes of a Car Engine That Cranks But Won’t Start (and How to Fix)
The most recent update was made on November 17, 2021. Almost everyone who owns a car has dealt with the aggravating dilemma of a car that cranks but won’t start, despite several attempts to turn the ignition key in the right direction. Deter in mind that desperation should not keep you from trying to figure out why your vehicle cranks but won’t start regularly in the first place. Are you looking for a reliable online repair manual? The top five choices may be found by clicking here. Related: 7 Reasons Why a Car Starts But Then Stops Right Away
Reasons a Car Cranks But Won’t Turn Over
By cranking the automobile, you are activating the starter, which then energizes the engine. When everything is operating properly, the starter causes the flywheel to revolve, which in turn causes the crankshaft to rotate. It’s possible that this procedure will be disrupted when there is a glitch in the system, and the automobile engine will not continue to operate after it has “turned over” or “cranked.” In order for the engine to start normally, it must have sufficient fuel pressure, a spark that is properly timed, and normal compression levels.
The following are some of the most typical reasons of an engine that cranks but doesn’t start, as well as some troubleshooting strategies to help you figure out what’s wrong.
1 – Spark Problems
A faulty ignition module, a faulty crank position sensor, a flooded engine (which can occur in older or high-mileage vehicles), bad spark plugs, or a problem in the ignition circuit, such as the wiring, security system (the fuel flow may have been shut off to prevent theft, or the chip in the key may be faulty), or a malfunctioning ignition switch can all cause a lack of spark. In the event that there is a problem with the timing system, an incorrectly timed spark might be generated. A timing light is a valuable instrument for checking that all of the cylinders are firing exactly when they should be.
Visually inspect the distributor cap (if your car is equipped with one) and the spark plug wires to discover whether there is a problem with the spark.
It is necessary to use a spark tester to ensure that each spark plug wire or coil produces a correct arc.
The following is related: Symptoms of a Hydrolocked Engine
2 – Lack of Fuel Flow
Trouble with fuel flow can be caused by several factors, including a damaged fuse for the fuel pump, a poor fuel pump, improper or contaminated gasoline in tank, a malfunctioning or clogged fuel filter or injector, or simply a completely depleted fuel tank (the fuel gauge is not always accurate). It is critical to have the proper fuel pressure in your automobile engine in order for it to start and perform properly, especially for fuel-injected engines. As you switch the ignition to the “on” position, pay attention to the sound of the gasoline pump buzzing for a few seconds.
It should be noted that certain petrol pumps only flow when the car is revving, which results in some automobiles not emitting an audible buzz.
It is possible to eliminate the buzzing by placing a flathead screwdriver on top of each injector (with its handle near to your ear) while the car is cranking and turning it off.
If the injectors are not firing, you will hear a faint ticking sound from each injector.
You should consult your owner’s handbook if your vehicle has recently been involved in an accident to see whether or not this function is available, and if so, how to manually activate it so that fuel may flow again. What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down is a related article.
3 – Low compression
Each cylinder requires compression in order for the engine to work properly. Each stroke of the piston results in a comparison of the highest cylinder volume to the minimum cylinder volume, which is known as the compression ratio. The lack of compression in one or more cylinders causes air from the combustion cycle to seep past the piston rings, reducing the amount of work that cylinder can accomplish to turn the crankshaft. A damaged or loose timing belt or chain, as well as a shattered overhead camshaft, can all result in compression difficulties in your vehicle.
Check the compression in your automobile with a compression gauge or tester to check if there is an issue with the compression.
In the event that you are not comfortable performing these checks and examinations yourself, a professional technician can do it for you at a cost.
4 – Power Supply Problems
Another possibility is a faulty starting motor, which consumes a large number of amps to crank the engine and then has insufficient power to turn on the fuel injectors and ignition system once the engine has been started. It is likely that when you attempt to crank the engine, you will notice that the starter makes an odd noise or that the engine will not turn over at all in this situation. It is also possible that weak or corroded battery cables or an aging battery are contributing to the situation.
It should have more than 10 volts.
If they appear to be in excellent condition, leave them in place.
The automobile should be turned off and the air inlet tube attached to the throttle body removed if the engine cranks but won’t start after that. Once the engine has been slightly opened with the throttle, spray a little amount of starting fluid into the engine. After you’ve completed this step, try starting the engine again. If the engine starts but then shuts down after a few seconds, this indicates that the engine has run out of gasoline but that the spark and compression are still working properly.
Avoid continuously revving the automobile engine in an attempt to get it to start since this might wear out the starter or exhaust the battery’s power.
It shouldn’t take more than a few of seconds per try to determine whether or not the problem has been remedied.
The simplest method to accomplish this is to use a scan tool, which can be obtained at most auto supply stores, to check the car computer for codes (faults in the electrical system). The majority of these issues will result in the check engine light being on, but not all of them will do so.
Does Your Car Crank But Won’t Start? Here’s The Fix 
As a result of technological advancements, starting a contemporary automobile is frequently as simple as pressing a button. However, things don’t always work out as planned, and the automobile will occasionally turn over but not start. A variety of factors, ranging from faulty spark plugs to an insufficient compression ratio, might be at play when the engine cranks but the car won’t begin to run. In this article, we will look at the most prevalent reasons of this issue, so that you can have the problem resolved as quickly as possible.
Why Is My Car Cranking But Not Starting?
The ignition system is in charge of igniting and starting your vehicle’s engine. Despite the fact that it just takes a few seconds for the engine to begin to run, the ignition system is made up of a number of components that all operate together. Your car’s starter, which is driven by electricity, rotates the engine when you turn the key or push the start button. A cranking sound may be heard when the engine is turned. The distinctive sound you hear when you first start your automobile is caused by the crankshaft and pistons rotating, which marks the beginning of the engine’s combustion cycle.
Usually, when you hear your automobile repeatedly cranking, it is not the starting motor that is at fault, but rather another component.
- Fuel flow, spark plugs, crankshaft, compression ratio, and battery are all discussed.
Next that, you’ll learn how to test all of the probable causes and how to resolve them in the following parts.
Bad Fuel Flow
To get the engine up and running and to perform effectively, gasoline must be fed to the combustion chamber through the intake manifold. The engine will not be able to start if the required amount of gasoline is not delivered. The three most common reasons of poor fuel flow are problems with the gasoline pump, problems with the fuel injector, and simply an empty fuel tank.
Bad Fuel Pump
In order for the gasoline to be delivered to the injectors, it must be pumped from the fuel tank to those devices. If you believe that the fuel pump is the source of the problem, there is a straightforward technique to check it. The fuel pump should be activated and create a little buzzing sound as soon as you switch on the ignition (without starting the engine). In certain vehicles, the fuel pump engages at the same time as the engine begins to crank, making it considerably more difficult to hear the fuel pump when it is engaged.
Bad Fuel Injector
The fuel injector is in charge of delivering the fuel from the fuel pump to the combustion chamber as it is delivered by the fuel pump. If your vehicle is equipped with a throttle body fuel injector, you may visually check the fuel spray for problems. If your vehicle is equipped with an electronic fuel injector, the easiest approach to determine whether it is functioning properly is to listen to it. You may perform this using either a cheap mechanic’s stethoscope or even a screwdriver, depending on your budget.
Inspect the injector with a stethoscope or a screwdriver, and listen for a clicking sound as you move the tool around the body of the device. The sound you should hear is the valve opening and shutting, which is presumably audible.
Empty Fuel Tank
Unsurprisingly, if there is no gasoline available, the engine will not be able to start, no matter how hard you attempt to start it. It may be that your situation necessitates the simplest of the solutions on our list: fill up your automobile with gas. Check to see that there are no leaks that might have caused the empty gasoline tank and that all of the fuel lines are in good working order.
Bad Spark Plugs
The fuel-air combination in the combustion chamber is ignited by the spark plugs. Because if the fuel-air mixture does not ignite, the engine will not operate. Spark plug failure has the greatest impact on your engine when driving, since the engine is more prone to misfiring, has a rough idle, is more difficult to accelerate, and so on. If you were experiencing any of these symptoms prior to your inability to start the automobile, it is possible that the spark plugs are the source of the problem.
You should also check to make sure that the ignition coils are not the root of the problem.
When the engine is functioning, the crankshaft plays a critical part in the coordinated actions that take place throughout the engine. The crankshaft is most likely to blame in this circumstance, and the problem is most likely caused by a defective crankshaft position sensor. A signal from the position sensor is sent to the ECU, which in turn allows the spark plugs to ignite at precisely the proper time. As a result, a defective sensor would result in inefficient combustion, which would result in insufficient power output to keep the engine running (or to start it).
Insufficient Compression Ratio
As previously mentioned, a low compression ratio that is insufficient for complete combustion of the air and fuel combination will result in an outcome that is similar to that of a defective crankshaft sensor. In this particular instance, leakage produced by faulty seals and gaskets is most likely to blame for the lack of compression. It is also possible that the problem is caused by a defective timing belt. Piston rings, valve seals, and anything else that might be preventing a sufficient compression ratio from being achieved should be changed in order to resolve this issue.
As previously stated, the starter is a critical component of the engine’s starting process and is powered by electricity to do so. Because the engine is not running, all of the electricity must come from the battery, rather than the alternator, to power the vehicle. A defective starter is typically accompanied by a grinding noise. If you hear this, you should immediately stop attempting to start your automobile since you might do catastrophic damage to the flywheel if you continue. It is possible that the starter will not receive enough power to start the engine if the battery or starting are malfunctioning.
It would be difficult to start the automobile with a faulty battery since it would be unable to supply electricity to all of these components at once.
Faulty power supplies can also be caused by an issue with a blown fuse, which is another probable cause. It is simple to check the fuses by starting up the vehicle, then looking for any current using an inspection light.
If your car’s engine cranks but won’t start, it’s likely that something is wrong with the ignition system. The system is made up of several components, any of which might be to fault for the system’s inability to get up and running. Unless the automobile makes a loud grinding noise, it is unlikely that the starter is the source of the problem. Fuel flow, spark plugs, the crankshaft, compression ratio, and the power supply are generally the components that are to blame in the majority of cases, with the exception of the power supply.
Some are reasonably simple to test, whilst others take a significant amount of experience to determine where the problem resides.
In many situations, the defective component has been out of service for an extended period of time.
Engine Cranks but Car Won’t Start – How to Troubleshoot
Everything you need for the day is in your possession, including your coffee and breakfast, and it’s time to get started. You get into your car, turn the key in the ignition, and the engine cranks but doesn’t come to life. It appears like your engine is cranking, but the automobile will not start. It wasn’t the best way to start the day, but things like this happen from time to time. So, what precisely is the problem with your vehicle? We’re here to assist you in determining what’s wrong with your vehicle, as well as determining what repairs may be necessary and more.
- The most common reasons
- Cost estimates
- And the final conclusion
Common Reasons Why Your Engine Cranks but Car Won’t Start
In this case, the starting motor is functioning properly and the engine is “spinning over,” but it is unable to cough up enough power to start and drive the vehicle. First and foremost, the word “turn over” refers to the fact that your engine will crank but will not turn on when you turn the key. Despite this, many people continue to believe that the word “turn over” refers to the engine turning on and running, but technicians describe this term as the engine cranking. In any case, this is frequently caused by a problem with the ignition, but there are other factors that might contribute to this.
If this is the case, you can learn more about it and how to detect it by reading our article on poor starter symptoms.
1. Your Car is Out of Gas
Yes, it is possible to make things as easy as this. When was the last time you topped off your gas tank in your car? The majority of individuals will not forget to fill up their automobile with petrol since they have a fuel gauge that tells them how much gas is left in their tank. However, your fuel gauge may provide an inaccurate reading, in which case the gauge indicates that the car still has gasoline while in fact the car has run out of petrol. For example, several Nissan Rogue model years were affected by this problem.
Unfortunately, the transmitting unit is supported by a gasoline float mechanism, which is now found in almost all current automobiles.
If, on the other hand, you are certain that you have just filled up your car’s petrol tank and that it has not run out, then something else is keeping your car from starting.
In any event, if you suspect that your fuel gauge is giving you inaccurate readings or is otherwise acting abnormally, you should investigate and solve the problem. You may either identify the problem yourself or take it to a reputable technician.
2. Faulty Fuel Pump
When it comes to pumping gasoline into your engine, a fuel pump is responsible for pushing fuel to your fuel injectors and ultimately into your engine. The gasoline pump can become worn down over time, with most automobiles experiencing this after around 200,000 kilometers. The engine can, however, die at 100,000 miles or even earlier if the vehicle is not properly maintained. If the gasoline pump in your vehicle has failed, it will be unable to effectively pump the fuel. The ignition process, which is what makes your engine run, can’t begin if your engine isn’t getting the gasoline it need to function properly.
There is a good chance that you have a fuel pump problem in your automobile if it has traveled more than 200 000 miles or if you haven’t examined your fuel system in a while.
3. Frozen or Bad Fuel Lines
Speaking of the fuel system, it’s possible that your gasoline line is the source of the problem. An issue with the line from your gasoline tank to your engine, which prevents the fuel from reaching your engine, might be causing this problem. This, like the gasoline pump issue, will prevent the ignition process from commencing, resulting in your automobile being unable to be started. Another problem that you can encounter is frozen gasoline lines, which varies depending on where you reside. If you reside in an area where it gets unbearably cold, it is possible that your gasoline can freeze.
If this is the case, you will first need to thaw out the system before you can begin using it.
If you have no option but to park it outside, try not to let it idle for lengthy periods of time and turn it on and off every few minutes to keep the fuel lines from being iced up.
4. Bad Ignition Coil or Spark Plugs
Unless you drive a diesel vehicle, your automobile is equipped with what is known as an ignition system. The ignition system, which uses a spark to ignite the gasoline and air combination in your engine, is required for the operation of your vehicle. This will result in a controlled explosion within your engine, which will power the pistons and crankshaft, and in turn, the automobile will be powered. If your ignition system fails, the gasoline and air mixture will not be able to ignite, and your automobile will not be able to start.
The ignition system is made up of several components, the two most important of which are the ignition coil and the spark plugs.
In the meanwhile, the spark plugs use the electricity from the ignition coil to generate a spark at the tip of the plug.
If you’re interested in learning more about ignition systems, we discovered an excellent video from Donut Media that you should check out: Coils for ignition systems have an average lifespan of 100,00 miles before they need to be changed.
Spark plugs, on the other hand, should be replaced approximately every 20,000 to 30,000 miles. In the event that you haven’t changed your spark plugs or ignition coils, you may be experiencing this problem.
Engine Cranks but Car Won’t Start: Troubleshooting
To this point, we’ve determined that there are four typical reasons why your engine will crank but will not begin to run. The majority of the issues have to do with the ignition and fuel system. In addition to faulty ignition timing and compression loss, there are a variety of additional possibilities. We’ll now walk you through the process of troubleshooting an engine that cranks but won’t start.
Checking the Ignition Coil and Spark Plugs
You will need an Ohm multimeter as well as a spark tester to complete this task. The spark plugs should be checked first, which means you will need to remove the spark plugs from the engine in order to perform this procedure. Once the spark plugs have been removed, the resistance of the spark plugs may be measured using an Ohm multimeter. The following is how to test a spark plug: If the spark plugs are faulty, you will need to get them replaced immediately. If, on the other hand, they are satisfactory, it is time to check the ignition coil.
Depending on the kind of ignition coil installed in your vehicle, there are two methods for testing it.
In order to test this sort of ignition coil, you will require a spark tester.
Testing a Distributor-Type Coil
- Connect the “female” end of the wire to your spark plug and the other end to the wire or cable that connects to your spark plug. Start the engine and let it run. If the tester illuminates, it indicates that the cable or coil still has sufficient spark. Repeat the procedure for the remaining cylinders.
Testing a Coil-on-Plug System
Meanwhile, the procedure for testing a coil-on-plug system differs somewhat from the previous one. The coil-on-plug system, often known as the pencil plug system, is found in the majority of modern automobiles. This type of coil does not require a distributor and instead sits directly on top of the spark plugs, as the name implies. A coil-on-plug spark tester will be required in order to verify this sort of coil. The following are the measures to take:
- Removing the ignition coil you wish to inspect and connecting it to the tester
- Connect the ground wire to the engine’s ground terminal. Start the engine and check to see whether there is a strong spark on the tester
- If there is, continue. Repeat the procedure on the remaining coils.
Listed below is a video tutorial on how to inspect a coil-on-plug system: We’ve put up a detailed reference on ignition coils, including everything from how they operate to how much they cost to repair. If you want to understand more about ignition coils, you should take the time to read it. But if your coils are in good condition, it’s time to move on to the next step of our troubleshooting and inspect the other components.
Checking the Fuel System
First and foremost, you’ll want to inspect the gasoline pump (sender). Because the gasoline pump is placed near the rear of the vehicle, it is difficult to reach when driving. This implies that in order to remove and check it, you’ll have to remove the gasoline tank first. Instead, you may turn your key to the “ON” position and listen for a hum to see whether it is present. If you hear a hum coming from the back of the car, it is the sound of your fuel pump operating. You should check the fuse and voltage of the fuel pump if you do not hear the fuel pump operating properly.
You’ll then want to check the fuel pressure, which will necessitate the purchase of a gasoline pressure gauge, which shouldn’t cost you more than $30. The following are the measures to take in order to check your fuel pressure:
- In order to use your fuel pressure gauge, connect it to the Schrader valve. When you turn your key to the “ON” position, the gasoline pump will begin to operate
- Pressure in your gasoline tank should be between 40 and 45 psi. The fuel pressure regulator and the gasoline filter should be checked as well if it is less than that
- Else, the engine will not start.
Providing that the fuel pressure is satisfactory, the next item you should inspect is the fuel injectors. Ideally, you should use a mechanic’s stethoscope, but if you don’t have one, you may easily use a screwdriver. The fuel injectors should be checked by first locating the injectors and then touching the screwdriver to the fuel injector. Using the screwdriver’s opposite end, squeeze your ear against it while having a friend spin the engine. If you hear a rhythmic clicking sound when the engine starts up, this indicates that the fuel injectors are functioning properly.
Engine Cranks but Car Won’t Start: Checking Your Engine’s Compression
The next item you’ll want to look at is the compression in your engine. An automobile parts store or online retailer can provide you with a compression tester, which you can either purchase or rent for this purpose. The following is the procedure for doing a compression test:
- Ensure that you have removed all of your ignition coils (or spark plug cables, if you have a distributor-type coil) and all of your spark plugs. Incorporate the hose of the compression tester into the spark plug hole
- To test the automobile, have a buddy crank the engine four times while totally depressing the accelerator pedal. Steps 2 and 3 should be repeated for each cylinder.
It is safe to assume that your cylinder has healthy compression if the compression gauge/tester registers 90psi. It’s possible that a variety of difficulties are causing it if it’s lower than that. For example, defective piston rings, a bad valve, or a fracture in your engine are all possibilities. We recommend that you take your vehicle to your trusted technician for a diagnosis because determining the specific problem might be difficult.
Engine Cranks but Car Won’t Start: Other Things to Check
Another thing you may examine is the air intake and ignition timing of your vehicle; these are both important factors to consider. These factors might also contribute to your vehicle’s inability to start up. We discovered a fantastic video from ChrisFix that explains how to diagnose your automobile if the engine cranks but won’t start. We highly recommend viewing it:
Engine Cranks but Car Won’t Start: Checking Your Car’s OBD
Okay, this is definitely the most straightforward technique, and we should have started here. The problem is that unless your check engine light was up in the first place, this approach may not be effective in finding the reason why your engine cranks but won’t begin to run. Anyway, the On-Board Diagnostics (also known as OBD) system in your automobile detects and reports on any problems with the vehicle’s electrical system. When the OBD detects an error code, it will often illuminate the check engine light on the dashboard.
An OBD scanner will be required in order to accomplish this.
Although the cost of an OBD scanner varies, a simple one for personal use may be purchased for roughly $100.
- Locate your vehicle’s OBD port, which is normally located below the dashboard and requires the removal of a panel to be accessible. Please keep in mind that certain automobiles have their OBD port located in the engine bay. Connect your OBD scanner to the port and turn it on to begin using it. It is possible that you may be required to input certain information such as the make, model, and VIN. Following that, look for error codes. If you have a more advanced scanner, it may be able to display the meanings of the error codes that are generated. As a last resort, jot down the codes (if any) and cross-reference them to figure out what they imply.
The OBD port is normally located below the dashboard, and you will need to remove a panel that is concealing it before you can access it. Please keep in mind that certain automobiles have their OBD port in the engine compartment. Turn on your OBD scanner by plugging it into the port. The brand, model, and VIN of the vehicle may be required to be entered. Check for error codes after that. If you have a more sophisticated scanner, it may be able to display the meaning of the problem codes.
As a last resort, jot down the codes (if any) and cross-reference them to figure out what they indicate;
Engine Cranks but Car Won’t Start: Repair Cost Estimates
Because there are so many different reasons why your engine cranks but won’t start, the cost of repairing it varies based on the specific problem. They may cost anything from $100 to as much as $2000. According to the nature of the problem, the following are some preliminary estimates and costs you might anticipate to bear in mind:
1. Ignition Coil and Spark Plug Replacement
These replacement tasks are among the most affordable options available on our list. Ignition coils are often available for purchase for roughly $300. While the labor cost is typically around $150, the total cost of your ignition coil replacement will be approximately $450 in most cases. Spark plugs are significantly less expensive, typically costing no more than $50 for a whole set of four. In contrast, labor costs will range between $40 and $100, bringing your total cost to around $150. If you have the necessary equipment, we recommend that you complete these two replacement projects yourself to avoid having to pay for the labor charges.
Even though it is very basic to replace a spark plug, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s specifications while gapping the new plug and installing the new spark plug.
2. Fuel Pump, Filter, and Injector Replacement
If you’re experiencing problems with your fuel pressure, it’s likely that the problem is with the pump, the filter, or the injector itself. The cost of replacing a gasoline pump, which includes labor, is normally approximately $800. While replacing the gasoline filter will typically cost you roughly $150 or so, there are some exceptions. The fuel injector is the most costly component in our list, with prices ranging from $1,200 to $1,500 depending on the make and model of your vehicle. The work is really rather inexpensive, ranging between $200 and $250, but the cost of the fuel injector itself often starts at $600.
3. Air Intake Issues
As seen in the video by ChrisFix, your vehicle may be experiencing problems with the air intake system, which is preventing the vehicle from starting. If the problem is simply a clogged air filter, changing it should not cost more than $80 for the majority of vehicles. The opposite is true if your Mass Air Flow sensor (MAF) is malfunctioning, in which case you might be looking at a $400 cost (which already includes labor). If the problem is with your intake manifold, it will cost you between $400 and $600 to replace it, not adding the cost of the work.
4. Compression Loss: Repair Cost Estimates
This is when things start to become a little worrisome for your money account. Compression loss is frequently caused by something not working correctly or by damage to the internals of your vehicle’s engine. As previously stated, this includes faulty piston rings, faulty valves, a burst head gasket, and a variety of other potential causes. Even though the component costs for the most of these parts are not prohibitively costly, the labor costs are likely to be much higher than the costs of most other replacement projects.
The reason for this is that these components are integral to your engine’s internal workings, and replacing them will necessitate your mechanic dismantling a major piece of your engine. The following steps must be completed by your technician in order to repair a blown head gasket, for example:
- Empty your engine of any remaining oil and coolant
- A large piece of your engine, including the camshafts, cylinder heads, and the ruptured head gasket itself, should be removed
- Clean the engine block and bolt holes down to their bare metal surfaces. Put back together the new head gaskets, the cylinder heads, and everything else that has been taken apart previously
- Set the camshafts and timing gears back to their original positions, ensuring that your automobile operates as smoothly as it should.
As you can see, it’s a time-consuming and labor-intensive operation that can take several days or more to complete. This is why a head gasket replacement procedure might cost as much as $2,000 in some cases. In contrast to the relatively low cost of a head gasket set (about $500), the labor cost can be as high as $1,500.
5. Ignition Timing Adjustment
A timing belt is used in your automobile to ensure that the camshaft and the crankshaft are in sync with one another. When they are not in sync, the cylinders will not fire properly, and your engine will not start. It is possible that the timing is wrong simply because the timing belt was a little slack, causing the camshaft gear to skip teeth and causing the timing to be off. This is the situation, in which case you should watch the video from ChrisFix to diagnose and resolve the problem. A mechanic, on the other hand, would often charge you $70 to reset the ignition timing if you don’t feel like doing it yourself.
Engine Cranks but Car Won’t Start: In Conclusion…
The feeling of getting into your automobile, all geared up and ready to go, only to discover that it won’t turn over is never nice. It may take some time to diagnose and resolve this issue because there are several reasons why your car would not start even when the engine is turned on and the key is in the ignition. There’s nothing wrong with hiring a technician and paying them to diagnose your automobile if you don’t have the time or energy to do so.
These tools have been tried and tested by our experts, and they are suitable for repairing your automobile at your convenience.
4 Reasons the Engine Turns Over but Your Car Won’t Start
Assume the following scenario: you switch on your car’s ignition key or push the start button, you hear the typical cranking, and then. nothing happens. The cranking continues, but there is no sound of the engine screaming to life, as is customary in this situation. If this occurs to you, it is likely that the problem is not with the starter. Instead, it’s most likely because your engine isn’t obtaining at least one of the four key components it requires to start: gasoline, air, spark, or compression, all of which are essential for proper operation.
In order for combustion to occur, a specific combination of fuel and air must be present. Despite the fact that it is not extremely prevalent, a shortage of air may be causing the engine to fail to start. An excessively clogged engine air filter may be to blame, and in many cases, merely changing the filter would resolve the problem. There are a few more options, such as a vacuum leak, to consider as well.
The engine not receiving enough fuel is a much more likely scenario than the engine not receiving enough air. This might indicate that there isn’t enough fuel in the tank, in which case refueling the vehicle may be necessary. If, on the other hand, the lack of gasoline is the result of a leaking or broken gas tank, you should have the car towed instead. However, an empty fuel tank isn’t the only reason an engine could be unable to acquire the gasoline it requires.
It is possible that the gasoline filter has become clogged, or that the fuel pump has been damaged. In these situations, the gasoline would not be able to make it from the tank to the combustion chambers in a timely manner. Alternatively, you might have blocked gasoline injectors.
If your vehicle is equipped with a gasoline engine, it is the spark that allows the fuel and air mixture to combust. Spark plugs, as you might expect, are responsible for generating this spark. When a spark plug is ignited, a little spark is formed in the space between the electrodes of the spark plug assembly. Each spark plug fires at least hundreds of times per minute, thus a spark plug that isn’t operating properly is a major problem for the engine. Your engine may be lacking the spark it requires if one or more of its spark plugs are not functioning properly.
But there are problems that can occur in addition to the spark plugs themselves that might result in their not firing, and components such as the distributor could be to blame.
Even though gas engines do not need compression to ignite the fuel in the same way as diesel engines do, compression is nevertheless an important element of the combustion process in gas engines. Engines that have low compression in one or more of their cylinders may have difficulty starting up. Various factors, such as a sloppy timing chain, a faulty head gasket, a jammed valve, or faulty piston rings, might contribute to this problem. It’s better to have it checked out by a professional, regardless of the cause.
The engine cranks but won’t start. Common problems
The most recent update was made on July 9, 2021. In this guide, we are going to look intono-start problems when the engine turns over (cranks), but won’t start. If your engine won’t crank at all, or cranks very slow,or the security light stays on, check the first part: Troubleshooting tips for why your car won’t start. If your car has a push button start system, read this guide: When using the push-button start system, you may experience no-start issues. If your engine cranks normally but does not start, you can be confident that your battery is in good condition and that the starter motor is operational.
Read more about common causes below.
Research common problems with your make, year and model
If your car won’t start, there is a significant probability that someone else has experienced a similar problem with a vehicle of the same type and has already discovered a solution to the problem. In addition, there are websites where you may look for typical problems that have been reported by other owners: Safercar.gov- go to the ‘Vehicle Owners’ section and then to the ‘Search Complaints’ section. Carcomplaints.com allows you to look for common concerns. In the case of the 2002 Chevrolet Impala, for example, a search on Safercar.gov for NHTSA complaints relating to the “Passlock” function will turn up a number of no-start complaints relating to the “Electrical System.” Google “Passlock” and you will find a lot of postings at various places that describe the problem and how to cure it, so take use of that.
Engine is flooded
This is a frequent problem, especially in automobiles with a lot of miles on them. The car starts, but then it stops and won’t start again for many minutes. When tapping the gas pedal softly when beginning, it may be possible to get it to restart in some instances. Extra gasoline clogs spark plugs and washoff oil from piston rings, resulting in a reduction of the piston’s compression. Your mechanic may recommend that you replace or at the very least remove and dry out the spark plugs, and that you re-charge the battery if the battery is weak.
As soon as the spark plugs are removed, the remaining gasoline evaporates. If there are no additional issues, a fully charged battery and clean spark plugs should be enough to get the flooded engine running again. Check out these YouTube videos to find out more.
Bad fuse, main relay, fuel pump or other relay
In some cars, failures of the fuel pump relay, fuse, or main relay (module) are typical occurrences. In many Honda vehicles, a faulty PGM FI Main Relay might result in the vehicle failing to start. In select Chrysler and Dodge automobiles, a faulty ASD relay was frequently the cause of a no-start condition. In some Ford automobiles, a faulty FPDM module might be the source of the problem. It is also possible that corrosion at the relay/fuse box (TIPM module) in select Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep automobiles will cause the vehicle to not start.
It is possible that an overheated fuse F27 in the battery junction box (BJB) of some Ford F-150 cars will cause the vehicle not to start.
Occasionally, the fuel pump control module (FPCM) is located below the truck, next to the spare tire, in select GM trucks.
For example, we discovered this excellent video outlining the problem.
Bad fuel pump
Fuel pumps have also been known to malfunction. One day, a fuel pump simply stops operating, causing the engine to crank but not to start due to a lack of gasoline supply. We highly advise that you leave any fuel-related issues to a certified technician owing to the potential fire threat associated with the fact that the fuel pump is often located inside the gas tank. When you bring your car to the shop for repairs, your technician will need to perform a number of tests on it. The fact that the automobile won’t start because no fuel is being delivered by the injectors is not difficult to determine.
High-pressure fuel pump
One of the most common causes of no-start and extended cranking troubles is a high-pressure fuel pump (HPFP). Direct fuel injection is achieved by the use of a high-pressure fuel pump, which is placed on the engine. When it fails, a car initially experiences a loss of power and requires more cranking time before the engine will turn on, and eventually it will shut down altogether. If you search for HPFP difficulties in a BMW 335i or 135i, you will discover a plethora of results.
Failedmass air flow sensor
Sensor for measuring mass air flow In many automobiles, a failing mass air flow sensor might result in the vehicle not starting at all. The automobile can start for a split second before stalling out completely. Mechanics frequently utilize a known-good mass air flow sensor to determine whether or not the engine will start. It has been reported that some mechanics have tried removing the mass air flow sensor to check if the car will start without it.
The replacement of a mass air flow sensor is simple and inexpensive ($30-$160 for the item + $50-$120 for labor). More information about the mass airflow sensor may be found here.
The engine cranks but won’t start after replacing the battery
When the throttle body of a vehicle with a lot of miles on it becomes extremely unclean, it may cause the vehicle to not restart after the battery has been changed. It is possible that an automobile will only start if the gas pedal is barely depressed. However, when the throttle body becomes filthy, the engine computer re-learns the idle position of the throttle body and makes appropriate adjustments. When the battery is unplugged, the engine computer’s learned throttle body idle position is deleted, as is the learned throttle body idle position.
Bad crank or cam sensor or sensor wiring
A crankshaft position sensor (also known as a crank sensor) is a critical piece of equipment for sensing engine RPM and tracking the crankshaft position. If the crankshaft position sensor does not function properly, the vehicle will not start. It is possible for the crank sensor to fail, or for its wiring to get damaged. Depending on how bad the situation is, the automobile may stall or refuse to start. This occurs frequently on an irregular basis. A scan tool or a multimeter can be used to check the condition of a crankshaft sensor.
The camshaft position sensor, also known as the cam sensor, operates in a similar manner, with the exception that it detects the rotation of the camshaft.
The cam and crank sensors in many automobiles, particularly older Nissan and Chrysler models, are prone to malfunctioning at any time.
Faulty ignition coil pack
An ignition coil pack has been known to fail in several vintage vehicles, notably those manufactured by General Motors and Volkswagen. It would frequently occur during wet weather or after cleaning the engine. The coil pack may be tested by your mechanic. The component is not prohibitively costly. Nowadays, the majority of automobiles use individual ignition coils for each cylinder. Despite the fact that they are prone to failure, they will not prevent the engine from starting. More information about ignition coils may be found here.
Car won’t start due to incorrect timing
This is a common problem that occurs after a timing belt or timing chain has been replaced. If the automobile does not start after this repair, it is necessary to double-check the timing. In vehicles equipped with a timing belt, an old belt may jump or skip a few teeth, causing the timing to be altered. If the timing chain tensioner breaks or if there is insufficient oil in the engine, a tooth might be skipped in some automobiles equipped with a timing chain. During operation of an interference engine, if the timing belt or chain skips, especially at high speeds, there is a possibility that the valves will be bent.
Before investing money on a new belt or chain, your technician may recommend that you check to see if any valves have been bent.
Replacement of a timing belt (or chain) with associated parts and reset of the timing in a non-interference engine could be sufficient to resolve the issue. More information about the timing belt may be found here.
Low compression in the engine
It is possible for an engine to lose compression in the cylinders as a result of excessive overheating or if the timing belt or chain is damaged. In this particular instance, replacing an engine may be a better alternative than fixing it. An engine replacement with a secondhand one can cost anywhere from $1400 to $3300 depending on the cost of parts and the difficulty of the task. Finding a used engine today is not difficult, thanks to the well-developed network of car recyclers that exists today.
Problems with the engine computer (PCM) or PCM power circuits
A defective engine computer, also known as a PCM, is extremely unusual, however some vehicles have been known to have problems with them. Models such as the Nissan Sentra and Ford Escape from the past are examples. It has happened to us that a shorted PCM circuit or a blown fuse has occurred after recharging a dead vehicle battery. If the “Check Engine” symbol does not glow when the ignition is turned on in some vehicles, this indicates that the PCM is not functioning properly. It has been reported that a corroded wire at the PCM fuse in the fuse box of some older Mazda vehicles might cause the vehicle to not start.
❤️ 6 Reasons Why Cars Crank But Won’t Start & How To Fix It ❤️
When it comes to automobile purchasers, car owners, and automotive lovers, there are a variety of dreadful sounds to hear. A frequent sound that may cause most drivers’ ears to perk up and their wallets to tremble is the “cranksputter” of the car, which occurs when the engine is not revved. In this research, conducted by Car Cash Buyers, we will get down to the nitty gritty of this highly sought-after subject matter. Our experts will provide answers to issues such as “how do you fix a car that cranks but won’t start?” and “what does it signify when your car cranks but won’t start?” Following the dissection of these more current questions, we will attempt to identify six precise reasons, as well as cautions, so that you will be aware of how to avoid the terrible cranking sound from your beloved car in the future.
Continue reading and let’s get started!
My Car Cranks But Won’t Start: What Does This Mean?
What a great question! We are delighted that you inquired. Now comes the difficult part. There are a plethora of reasons why this may be happening, but let’s go back to the beginning. Let’s look at what is causing the “cranking” sound and eliminate some of the possible possibilities from the equation to begin to understand it better. It is important to understand that when you hear that cranking sound coming from your car, it should alert you to three potential possibilities. The first problem is that your engine is having problems developing a spark.
In the third place, your engine is producing compression.
If you do not have all three of these components operating together, you will begin to face troubles with your engine, notably the “crank, but no start” condition.
Having decoded the fundamental assumption of what these sound alarms are informing us about our vehicle, let’s dive into the specifics of the six most prevalent reasons why your automobile will crank but not start.
Six Reasons Why Your Vehicle Cranks But Won’t Start
According to the information provided below, there are several possible causes for why your car is cranking but not starting. There is no specific sequence in which they are mentioned. Following our list of the top six causes, continue reading to learn about some timely solutions to this all-too-common automotive dilemma.
1. Old or Dead Ignition Switch
If you try to start your engine but just hear a click or a crank sound, this is one of the first indicators you should be aware of. Your ignition switch might be outdated or even dead, which would indicate that it is time to replace it. An ignition switch is a switch located in the control system of a motor vehicle that is responsible for activating the vehicle’s principal electrical systems, such as the radio, lights, and other accessories. Consider it in terms of a domino effect. Because of the way the ignition switch is designed, once it becomes faulty and no longer functions effectively, it will begin to have an impact on the other elements of control system that make up the body of your car.
Depending on the results of that test, you will be able to proceed with the diagnosis you have discovered.
2. Your Car Is Out Of Gas
We’re well aware of the situation. This may appear to be a ridiculous explanation for why your vehicle would crank but not start, but believe us when we say it genuine. This is a much more prevalent motivation for auto theft than most car enthusiasts would like to think. As we discussed previously in the article, in order for your vehicle’s engine to function effectively, it requires gasoline, a spark, and compression. Fuel, which refers to gas in your fuel tank, will cause your car to crank and splutter, but it will not start.
Once you’ve established whether or not the quantity is too low, all you have to do is put extra gas in the car and you’ll be set to go!
3. Weak or Corroded Fuel Pump
This is a significant development. The fuel pump, as its name suggests, is responsible for delivering gasoline to the engine in order for the vehicle to start. Whether the fuel pump is melted, rusted, or just ineffective, it may have problems delivering gasoline to the vehicle’s engine on time. And, as we’ve learned during this voyage, if the car doesn’t have enough fuel, it won’t start. Fuel, a spark, and compression are all required for the engine to function correctly and for your car to begin to move.
For starters, you can hear a whining noise coming from the gas tank. Two, you will have problems getting your vehicle started. Finally, the engine will stutter and eventually fail to start, resulting in the car not being able to be driven.
4. Your Vehicle’s Spark Plugs Are Dead Or Old
Because they only need to be replaced every 100,000 miles or so, the spark plugs may appear to be a non-issue at first glance, but be cautioned that they are not. If your spark plugs are not functioning correctly or are completely dead, it will have a negative impact on your vehicle’s ability to start. Your vehicle’s engine will not be able to receive any gasoline or compression unless the spark plugs in the engine receive an initial spark from the ignition system. You will hear the feared crank, but not the rev of the starting engine, if none of these three pieces are operating together.
5. Frozen Or Faulty Fuel Line
If your gasoline line is frozen, it’s terrible news, much like if your fuel pump isn’t working properly. It is possible that this problem will become all too regular depending on where your automobile is located when the chilly winds blow. It will be practically hard for gasoline to move from the fuel line into the fuel pump in order for the engine to be started once the fuel line has been frozen. If you do not allow these gasoline lines to thaw, you will most likely turn the key in the ignition and hear the crank, but your engine will not start as a result.
This will assist in keeping the fuel line flexible and reducing the possibility of it freezing over.
6. Your Vehicle’s Technology Is Working Against You
Technology, how I love thee. We all adore it because of the convenience and closeness it may provide us. However, it has the potential to make things more complicated. When the technology in your automobile begins to work against you, for example, this is a good illustration. A computer is installed in every vehicle, and depending on the year the vehicle was manufactured, this computer might send out codes to notify you that anything is wrong with your vehicle. We are concerned with bearing in mind that these codes will only flash when the engine is running, but there are ways to hack the computer as mentioned below.
A malfunctioning temperature sensor may cause the car to deliver cold air to the engine instead of hot air, which is necessary for the engine to begin operating properly.
Using this strategy, it should instruct the computer in your car to give additional gasoline and hot air to the engine, thereby jumpstarting it.
Six Cranking Problems: Discover Two Timely Solutions To Start Your Vehicle
We at Car Cash Buyers understand that the items on the list above may appear to be a hassle. Take a look at all of the bad options for why my car will crank but will not start!?
However, do not give up hope. Every problem has a solution, which is especially true when it comes to automobiles. Our research on the internet and YouTube has led us to a few ideas that you can see, evaluate and perhaps even try out for yourself!
Two YouTube Video Solutions For Troubleshooting Your Cranking Vehicle
ChrisFix is a detailed sixteen-minute video that instructs viewers on how to repair a sputtering vehicle that cranks but will not begin to run again. As a prelude before commencing the nitty gritty parts of the film, Chris informs viewers about the three components required to get the engine revving. This is a crucial part of the video. As the movie proceeds, Chris takes the viewer through each obstacle and then counters every problem with a timely solution to the problem. Despite the fact that this movie is lengthier than others, it is well worth your time to watch, mostly because of the camera viewpoint.
Chris lets the spectator to watch every move he makes up up and personal, making you feel as if you are right there with Chris.
2. How To Fix a Car That Cranks But Doesn’t Start by: Scotty Kilmer
‘Savage Scotty’, also known as Scotty Kilmer, has put together a brief three-minute video in which he quickly describes issues and remedies with your automobile when it would crank but not start. This is an excellent movie for the more intermediate vehicle fan, who is able to keep up with the jargon and does not require any assistance. Adding gasoline to the car and identifying issues with the spark plugs within the vehicle are the two primary focal areas of this video, which Scotty explains in detail.
All in all, Scotty creates an instructive film that is quick, entertaining, and full of personality.
Car Will Crank But Not Start: Investigation Closed
After a lengthy inquiry, the investigation at Car Cash Buyers has finally come to an end. Let’s go through everything again. First and foremost, we determined what was wrong with your engine when your car made that horrible cranking sound but would not begin to run. Second, we went through six specific reasons why your car can be cranking but not starting, as well as possible solutions. Third, with the assistance of ChrisFixIt and Scott Kilmer, we were able to provide two fast remedies to the problem, which ranged from adding fuel to changing spark plugs to replacing ignition coils.
Until we meet again!