Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car keeps cranking over when not holding key, but still wont start

asked by on

My cars rpm keeps going up and down, while it is chugging and getting ready to die. I put car in neutral and press on gas to keep it running. When I. Shut car off and try to restart the car cranks and will not release, it keeps cranking even when I let go of key. When it stops the car still will not start. Took to dealer and they don't know what's wrong with it since it didn't do that to them, it started for them. This car has left me stranded 4x already. I just don't know what it is or what to have fixed

My car has 73000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: It sounds like you have 2 problems here, th...

It sounds like you have 2 problems here, the starter and an engine stalling problem. The starter problem is probably the starter solenoid, a power switch (integrated into the starter assembly) that takes a small current from the ignition switch and engages a large current at the starter. The contacts in the solenoid can burn over time, "sticking", which can cause the starter "run-on" like you described, and a "no crank" condition, because the same burned contacts don't pass heavy current very well. The poor idling may be due to a dirty idle air control valve, dirty throttle body, or air leak in the intake system of the engine. I would recommend having YourMechanic dispatch a mobile, professional mechanic to your location to do a (Starter Replacement)[https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/starter-replacement] and car starting trouble inspection.

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: My tachometer doesn't work on my 1997 Chevrolet Malibu

Hi there: The tachometer on most late 1990s Chevorlets is attached to the ECU or used in conjunction with the crankshaft sensor. In most cases, the reason it fails is due to a fuse that has broken or other electrical...

Q: Car is shaking violently

Since you have listed a number of issues, there is no certain way to provide you with a definitive answer. It's highly unlikely that all your issues are rooted in one part or system. If the plugs are covered in...

Q: On the highway it increases acceleration.

It sounds like your engine's idle speed is way too high. It is possible that your throttle cable may have gotten stuck on something that is causing it to pull the throttle slightly at all times. It is also possible...

Related articles

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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.