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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My truck turns over but will not start - 1989 Toyota Pickup

I would recommend starting by checking to see if the fuel is reaching the spark plugs. Try pulling one of the plugs out after cranking it over to see if the plug is wet with fuel. If they are not,...

Q: Timing belt broken and car does not start - 1996 Mazda B2500

According to Gates, a leading manufacturer of timing belts, your 2.3 liter engine is a non-interference engine. This means that a timing belt failure as you describe should not cause the valves to strike the pistons causing serious damage. However,...

Q: Engine in bad condition

Yes, unfortunately if the oil had not been changed for many years this coupled with the overheating could have caused serious damage to the engine. 50 psi compression is a bad sign, this indicates massive blow-by in the combustion chambers...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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...