Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car cannot start, check engine light on

asked by on

I've been driving the car a lot lately. On one occasion, I was on a bumpy road with a small incline. The weather was bad and muddy so I had trouble passing the spot. During that, the dashboard started showing the check engine light on. There was a light in the shape of an arrow blinking as well. Now, the car keeps turning over but cannot start. What has gone wrong? How much damage did this cause?

A: A vehicle that cranks but doesn't start...

A vehicle that cranks but doesn't start indicates a problem with fuel delivery, ignition, or compression. A vehicle that doesn't crank at all indicates a problem with the starting/charging system or an internal engine mechanical problem. You said the Check Engine Light came on, so the first step in diagnosing your vehicle would be to retrieve the stored Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCS). These serve as the starting point for any further diagnosis. The only way to know for certain what happened and how much damage was done, is to have the starting issue diagnosed by a professional. I suggest the experts over at YourMechanic.

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car starts bit no power

Hello there, when changing engines between automatic and manual there are a few issues that can develop with your 2002 Volvo S60. Without knowing what all was swapped over I can only provide a general answer. In most cases the...

Q: Mercury Gr Marc 2001 "CHECK ENGINE" light turned on. What do I need to get checked

Hello. You'll need to attach a Diagnostic Code Reader (aka, a "scanner") to a terminal beneath the dashboard of your car, which will read out Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC's). These Codes usually offer critical clues as to what the underlying...

Q: Fuse keeps blowing. 1997 BMW 318i

Hello. It sounds like you may have a short in the brake switch or a short in one of the pig tails. It is also possible that there is a short in the brake light sockets for the brake light...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...