Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Engine not sparking; van cranks but won't turn over

asked by on

I am trying to figure out what is keeping my engine from sparking. The motor keeps cranking but the engine just will not turn over. It is not a fuel problem and I am 100% positive that it is a spark problem. I removed the cap and the rotor turned when I cranked the engine. I am not a mechanic, but know a little about cars and do most of my own maintenance. I am hoping that you can give me some solutions so I won't have to replace everything in my van before finding the fix.

A: If you are sure the fuel system is working ...

If you are sure the fuel system is working correctly via pressure and injector firing, then the ignition would be logical to look at. Whether you have a 6-cylinder or 8-cylinder engine the ignition system is similar. The ignition has 5 main components that supply ignition system voltage to the spark plugs. The ignition coil supplies the necessary voltage. It is triggered by a camshaft sensor in the distributor and ignition voltage is routed to the correct spark plug vis the distributor rotor, cap and wires. No spark to any of the spark plugs indicates a failure of either the coil, sensor, distributor, or rotor. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will have tools and training to diagnose your no-start issue.

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 won't start

Hello. If you are able to "turn over" the engine (using, say, the starter motor) but the distributor rotor is stationary, that means the gear on the distributor shaft is sheared off. However, you are also indicating that the battery...

Q: Engine stalled, made clicking noise, made smoke

Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 2011 Mercedes E550. This sounds like potentially a bad crankshaft sensor. I would recommend having the car scanned to see which trouble codes show up.  More than likely, there will be more than...

Q: Primed with injector fluid and car shut down

Hello there, thank you for asking about your car. Well, it's not getting fuel, that's for sure. This could be because of a botched fuel pump replacement or some other reason. The first thing you want to do is check...

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...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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.