Engine cranks but won’t completely fire up? (Correct answer)

If the car cranks when you turn the key, but the engine won’t start, it could be because fuel isn’t getting to the engine. One potential reason for this could be dirty fuel injectors. Once clogged, the fuel injectors may not add the correct amount of fuel to the cylinders, and the vehicle may not start up at all.

What causes long crank start?

When an engine cranks for a long time before it starts, either spark or fuel is missing or weak and each has its own reasons. A bad coolant sensor, a bad throttle position sensor (TPS), a bad fuel pump or a plugged fuel filter can all cause a lean condition causing long cranking times.

What causes an engine to turn over slowly?

Possible causes are a degraded or defective battery, faulty electrical connection, a charging system problem, a bad starter or battery rundown when parked. A dirty battery terminal connection can also cause slow cranking and behave unpredictably.

Can bad spark plugs cause crank no start?

Can Bad Spark Plugs Cause a Car To Crank But Not Start? If the spark plugs are old, worn, fouled, or damaged, they might not spark. When there’s no spark, there’s no starting.

Can spark plugs cause long crank?

Due to the lack of power, spark plugs cannot deliver a zap powerful enough to ignite the fuel mixture optimally. This will cause the engine to not start or it may start but after prolonged cranking.

What are signs that your fuel pump is going out?

If you notice these six signs, consider taking your car to your local dealership to have the fuel pump replaced.

  • Whining Noise From the Fuel Tank.
  • The Engine Sputters or Surges.
  • Trouble Starting the Car.
  • Loss of Power Under Load.
  • Reduced Gas Mileage.
  • Stalling at High Temperatures.

What are signs of a bad spark plug?

What are the signs your Spark Plugs are failing?

  • Engine has a rough idle. If your Spark Plugs are failing your engine will sound rough and jittery when running at idle.
  • Trouble starting. Car won’t start and you’re late for work… Flat battery?
  • Engine misfiring.
  • Engine surging.
  • High fuel consumption.
  • Lack of acceleration.

Will a bad ground cause slow cranking?

A bad grounded starter motor or fault ground connection can also cause the starter motor to crank slowly or not at all. Make sure the starter motor case is making a tight and clean contact with he engine. Then, check the starter motor voltage drop.

When the starting motor will not crank the engine or crank it too slowly?

17. When the starting motor will not crank the engine or cranks it too slowly, the first thing to check is the a: battery.

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 sensor would stop a car from starting?

A crankshaft position sensor (crank sensor) is an important device measuring the engine RPM and tracing the crankshaft position. The car won’t start if the crankshaft position sensor doesn’t work properly. The crank sensor can fail, or its wiring can get damaged. This may cause the car to stall or not start.

What causes a spark plug not to fire?

Worn and Dirty Plugs A spark plug won’t fire properly if its electrodes have been worn thin, if they are covered with combustion deposits or if they’re wet. If the plug has seen many hours of service, the electrodes may just be worn out, and replacing the plug will restore normal engine operation.

How do you Unflood an engine?

Perhaps the best remedy for a flooded engine is time. Simply open the hood of your car and let excessive fuel evaporate for as long as you can. After about 20 minutes try starting your car again without hitting the gas pedal. If this still does not work, you may have to check your spark plugs.

What happens if a crank sensor goes bad?

Intermittent Stalling Another symptom commonly associated with a problematic crankshaft position sensor is intermittent stalling. If the crankshaft position sensor or its wiring have any issues, it can cause the crankshaft signal to be cut off while the engine is running, which can cause the engine to stall.

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

Lack of spark may occur due to a damaged ignition module, afaulty crank position sensor, a flooded engine (sometimes happens in older or high-mileage cars),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 could be faulty), or a malfunctioning ignition switch. An inappropriately timed spark can occur if there’s an issue with the timing system. This can be difficult to diagnose, but a timing light is a useful tool to check that all the cylinders are firing exactly when they are supposed to.

A spark tester should be used to check for a proper arc from each spark plug wire or coil.

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.

Troubleshooting Advice

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.

❤️ 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.

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.

The simplest and most straightforward technique to determine if the ignition switch is to blame is to just insert the key and attempt to start the vehicle. 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.

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For starters, you can hear a whining noise coming from the gas tank.

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.

One easy approach to assist prevent this problem from occurring in the future is to avoid leaving your car idle for extended periods of time, particularly during the coldest months of the season. 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.

Scott’s video has fewer information than Chris’s film, but both movies allow the viewer to get an up-close and personal look at the methods and procedures required to begin and complete the task. 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!

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.

4. Air

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.

3. Fuel

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.

Alternatively, you might have blocked gasoline injectors.

2. Spark

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.

1. Compression

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. No-start difficulties occur when the engine turns over (cranks) but does not start. In this article, we will discuss how to fix no-start problems. If your engine won’t crank at all, or cranks very slowly, or if the security light remains illuminated, look at the first section of the problem: Troubleshooting suggestions for why your automobile won’t start. If your vehicle is equipped with a push-button start system, please review the following information: When using the push-button start mechanism, you may have no-start troubles.

First, look for faults that are typical among automobiles like yours.

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.

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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.

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
  • Troubleshooting
  • Cost estimates
  • And the final conclusion

Common Reasons Why Your Engine Cranks but Car Won’t Start

In this case, the starter motor is functioning properly and the engine is “turning over,” but it is unable to cough up enough power to start and run the vehicle. First and foremost, the term “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 term “turn over” refers to the engine turning on and running, whereas mechanics define 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

  1. 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:

  1. Removing the ignition coil you wish to inspect and connecting it to the tester
  2. 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
  3. 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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.

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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.

  1. 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.

Once the problem has been diagnosed, you may proceed with the required repairs to get your automobile back on the road.

However, we’d like to remind you once again that this procedure may not be effective if the check engine light wasn’t on in the first place, as previously said.

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.

Approved Tools

These tools have been tried and tested by our experts, and they are suitable for repairing your automobile at your convenience.

What To Do When Your Car Cranks But Won’t Start

If you purchase a product after clicking on one of our affiliate links, The Drive and its partners may get a commission. More information may be found here. Even if the average automobile suffers a lot of deaths, with the appropriate owner, it can always be revived and driven again. When anything goes wrong, a do-it-yourself diagnostic and repair can save you money and prevent the bother of having to take your car to the shop. An example of one of the most typical occurrences is an automobile that cranks but would not start.

  1. It’s crucial to understand what it takes to get a car to start and operate while dealing with a general no-start problem.
  2. Power, fuel, air, compression, and spark are all required by a standard gasoline engine.
  3. As you can see, you’ve already made significant progress!
  4. The Drive’s dedicated informative staff is here to take you through your journey and provide assistance along the way.

Potential Sources of the Problem

This vehicle is experiencing a breakdown in one of the following areas: fuses, relays, ignition system, fuel supply, or compression.

A fast and dirty approach of identifying problems is to use an OBD2 scanner to scan the car for codes; however, if there are no codes, there is more work to be done. Let’s see if we can work this out.

Fuses and Relays

  1. To begin, look for the fuse box and locate the fuses and relays that are connected to the ignition and fuel systems. It is recommended that an identifying diagram be located on the fuse box or on the rear of its lid. Examine and test for blown fuses with the use of a test light.

Ignition System and Spark Plugs

The ignition system is made up of several components, including spark plugs, spark plug wires, a distributor (if one is present), an ignition coil or coil pack, and an ignition control module. Here’s how to narrow it down even further:

Spark Plugs and Wires:

Visit The Drive’s reviews of the best spark plugs and the best spark plug wires to learn more about these products.

  1. Check the spark plugs for damage or improper gapping and replace them as needed
  2. Use a test light to ensure that the spark plug wires are in good working order.
  • If this is the case, it is unlikely that the ignition system is the source of the problem. After that, we’ll talk about gasoline and compression. If the answer is no, the problem might be with the spark plug cables, the distributor (if you have one), or the ignition coil
  • If the answer is yes, the fault could be with the ignition coil.

Distributor and Ignition Coil:

The majority of current automobiles do not have distributors. Instead, each plug wire is equipped with a separate coil. Sometimes the coil is hooked directly to the plug wire, and other times it is contained within a block known as a coil pack. Following these instructions will allow you to examine the distributor, ignition coil, and/or coil pack in your vehicle.

  1. To determine whether or not there is a problem with the distributor, you must look for spark in the ignition coil. Unless there is an issue with the ignition coil, the distributor, or the wiring connecting the ignition coil, distributor, and spark plugs, there must be a problem with the distributor. Replace all three of them. If the ignition coil does not produce spark, it is necessary to inspect the wires that connect it. Examine the signal wire and power wire connected to the ignition coil using a continuity tester to ensure that they are both connected. If both wires are in good working order but the coil fails to create spark, the ignition coil or the ignition control module is malfunctioning. Both should be checked and replaced if necessary. Identify and test any probable sources of disconnection or interference along the ignition coil power line if the right voltage is not being received by the coil power wire. After that, you should check the crankshaft position sensor. This little piece of technology monitors the rotation of the crankshaft and provides signals to the ignition system when it is time to start the engine.

Fuel Supply

Spritzing starting fluid into the air intake pipe is a simple means of determining whether or not there is a problem with the fuel delivery. If the automobile then starts, runs for a few seconds, and then dies, this indicates that the system is not receiving a enough amount of gasoline. If this is the case, there might be an issue with the gasoline pump, the fuel filter, or the fuel injection system. To begin, use a fuel pressure gauge to determine the fuel pressure. If there is no pressure, it is likely that there is a problem with the gasoline pump itself.

Fuel Pump:

Take a look at The Drive’s guide on diagnosing a failing fuel pump.

Fuel Filter:

Follow The Drive’s approach to diagnosing and repairing a blocked fuel filter to ensure a successful outcome.

Fuel Injectors:

  1. Using a multimeter, check the connections between the fuel injectors and the rest of the vehicle. If the voltage is not measured correctly, there is a problem with the connections or wiring. When problems persist, examine the crankshaft position sensor, the camshaft position sensor, or the throttle position sensor
  2. If necessary, replace the sensor. If you suspect that your fuel injectors are blocked, follow the instructions in The Drive’s tutorial on how to clean fuel injectors.

Compression

Inspect the fuel injector connections using a multimeter to ensure they are in good working order. If the voltage isn’t measured correctly, there is a problem with the connections or wiring. When problems persist, examine the crankshaft position sensor, the camshaft position sensor, and the throttle position sensor; if necessary, replace the sensor. To clean fuel injectors if you feel they may be blocked, go to The Drive’s guide on cleaning fuel injectors.

Get Help With Car Cranks From a Mechanic On JustAnswer

The Driver understands that, despite the fact that our How-To guides are comprehensive and easy to follow, a rusted bolt, an engine component not in the proper place, or oil gushing everywhere can cause a project to go awry. So we’ve joined with JustAnswer, which links you to licensed mechanics all around the world to help you get through even the most difficult projects on time and on budget. So, if you have a query or are stuck, go here to speak with a mechanic in your local area.

FAQs About a Car Cranking But Won’t Start

There are answers to all of your queries at The Drive.

Can Bad Spark Plugs Cause a Car To Crank But Not Start?

It is possible that the spark plugs will not spark if they are old, worn, fouled, or damaged. The absence of a spark means that there is no commencing.

What Can Cause a No-Crank, No-Start Situation?

The starting or charging system, which comprises the battery, the battery terminals, the alternator, and any wire connections, is most likely to blame if your car won’t start or won’t crank when you turn the key.

Will a Camshaft Sensor Cause a No-Start Issue?

However, it is possible that a malfunctioning camshaft sensor is the underlying cause of a no-start issue.

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