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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.

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