Q: Car died while driving and cranks but wont turn over. Had a check engine light on for P0030. Insight on why it wont start?

asked by on January 13, 2017

Car died while driving. When trying to start there is a very faint "pop", and then the car cranks lightly, but does not turn over. RPMs are registered, but very low. Lights shine bright, windows roll up and down, so the battery seems fine. In hind site I realize my car wasn't starting up right away, but the indicator to "Push in on the clutch" would come on. I'd like to think it's the starter. Thank you in advance for you advice!

My car has 105000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

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When you say the car cranks "lightly" it makes me wonder if you’ve had a timing belt break. The timing belt is supposed to be changed at around 90,000 miles, and if that is not done, the belt could fail, stopping you in your tracks. When that happens, there is damage to the valves, so when you try to re-start the car it doesn’t sound the way it usually does while cranking because the engine will not have any compression. The P0030 code is for the oxygen sensor heater circuit, which shouldn’t prevent the engine from running, so I suspect that it’s unrelated. There are a few other possibilities as to why your car stalled, and most of them will be far less expensive than fixing bent valves. So you need to have a proper diagnosis done. By contacting Your Mechanic, you can have a technician come to your home or office to properly check out your car on the spot and let you know what it will take to get it back on the road again.

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