Q: Car tries to crank, but won't start.

asked by on January 12, 2016

My car won't start and the check engine soon, oil, and brake lights came on and now stay on. I can hear the engine trying to crank, but it won't turn over.

Car is not starting Inspection $79.99 - $99.99 Get a Quote

It looks like there can be a couple of concerns going on here with your vehicle. Observing all of the lights illuminate on the dashboard is actually a good sign. When turning the key to the on position in your car, all the indicator lights should illuminate. This is done as a self check to be ensure they are all in working order. Now when you continue to turn the key to start the car, if you hear the starter trying to start, but being unable to turn over, the problem will lay in either one of two parts, the starter or the battery. The battery provides the appropriate amperage to allow the starter to do its job. While we can narrow this down to two components, it is always best to have this issue inspected by a certified mechanic before attempting to replace parts.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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


Experienced Mechanic?

Earn up to $65/hr

What others are asking

low washer fluid warning light and blind spot indicator off

Hello there, you are correct. The washer fluid level and the blind spot indicator systems are related. The system shuts off when either the trunk is open or the washer fluid is low. If you have filled the washer fluid...

Looking for the starter interrupt device put on by dealer

Hello...thank you for your question and I will try to help you on this issue, which is an interesting one because these vehicle "kill switches" have indeed become more common lately. Typically the switch box is under the dash but...

Popping/clunking sound from right passenger side front. Front suspension was inspected over the weekend

Hi there. In most cases, when you have a problem like this, it's caused by a loose or damaged strut, strut mount, stabilizer bar bushings or CV joints being worn out. The stabilizer bar bushing specifically is usually the part...

Clicking sound coming from engine, increases with acceleration.

It sounds like it could possibly be a motor mount or transmission mount causing the problem. If you see a lot of movement in the engine when you have it in gear you probably have a cracked or broken motor...

Acceleration high-pitched whistling

This generation of Toyota Previas has a known issue with this that is typically related to something called a "flex pipe" which is a part of the exhaust system that sits in front of the catalytic converter. The fact that...

Radiator losing water (no leaking) but overflow keeps gaining water

Based on the information you provided, It sounds like you may have a blown head gasket. What happens is that the high pressure in the combustion chamber squeezes its way through a break in the head gasket into the coolant...

What is oem shock manufacturer of Nissan?

The shocks used by Nissan are currently manufacturered by Nissan.

ignition is turning over but car won't start up

Hi there. From the description you have provided, your vehicle will turn over but the car will not start with lots of hesitation, is somewhat confusing. Assuming, the starter is turning the engine over but, not well (lots of hesitation)....

Car hard to start after replacing battery

Hi there. If the engine is hard to start it can be caused by a number of things. If the engine cranks very slow then the problem is more than likely from a bad battery cable or a starter that...

Related articles

How Long Does an Ignition Switch Last?
Most Most car owners fail to realize just how much work getting a car started is. In order for this process to work the right way, a variety of different parts on the car will have to work in unison....
2012 Kia Optima vs. 2012 Nissan Altima: Which One Should I Buy?
Mid-size sedans can be pretty basic, with four doors and simple and straightforward options, decent but not stellar gas mileage, and an uninspired interior. They can also have great design and fight off boredom through sporty suspension and exciting technology...
What Is the Difference Between Conventional, Electronic and Distributor-less Ignition Systems?
If If you’re like many people, you know that when you turn the key in your ignition, the engine cranks and you’re able to drive your car. However, you might not know how that ignition system works. For that matter,...