Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Battery has power but when I try to start didn't make any noise

asked by on

Turn key gauges move but doesn't make any noise at all

My car has 70000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: There are a few simple things you can do be...

There are a few simple things you can do before you get into a full blown diagnosis.

Number one: Load test the battery. It should carry half the CCA cold cranking amps for 15 seconds without the voltage dropping below 9.8 volts. If the battery is serviceable, use a battery hydrometer to check each cell. They should all read the same and be clear without any black specs or other particulates in them.

Number two: if you can reach the starter, tap on it with a hammer while someone tries to start the car. Don’t hit the starter to hard, it can break the delicate magnets inside. If the starter takes off, you need a starter.

Number three: If that doesn’t work, use a test light to see if the starter is getting power at the exciter wire. If it does, and the battery tests good, you likely need a starter.

Number four: If all that failed to result in a diagnosis, this step is a bit more complicated. There are two modules involved with this portion of the diagnosis. If you don’t feel knowledgeable using a scanner, I recommend booking an appointment with one of our mechanics who can assist you with the diagnoses of why your car will not turn over.

The BCM and ECM work together to send a signal to the starter. The ECM sends the final signal to the starter after the ignition key sends a signal to the BCM. There is some CAN (Computer Area Network) communication occurring to engage the starter.

Good luck. Hopefully one of the easy test will result in a diagnosis.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: I want to replace the front bumper cover and have removed 4 bolts. It is loose but will not come off and seems hung up by tow hooks.

You'll have to take a good look around and behind the bumper. There are more than 4 fasteners holding the front bumper cover on the car. You must remove the lower splash shield and loosen the fasteners hidden behind there...

Q: 25 amp fuse blows after it's charged

When the battery was hooked up incorrectly, something must have been fried in the computer or other wires. You can find wiring diagrams in service manuals that are dedicated to your specific vehicle such as Chilton, Haynes, or factory specific...

Q: 2001 Chevy Blazer distributor install.. it is at top dead center and the rotor lines up with the 6 but is not seated all the way.

If you are using the marks on the harmonic balancer to find TDC, occasionally the balancer will have shifted (the rubber bond breaks) causing the timing mark to be some degrees off. Consequently, the crankshaft is not really at TDC...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...