Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Engine starts cranking without key when hooking up battery

asked by on

Battery died about 2 months ago. when jump started 2 times, started normally. When jump starting 3rd time, engine turns without key in ignition. Then bought new battery and when hooking up, engine still starts cranking without key in ignition. Need to troubleshoot and fix problem. Please advise.

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, What you are describing sounds like a faulty starter solenoid or a bad ignition switch. A faulty starter solenoid will generally produce a clicking sound when turning the key. The starter solenoid is located on the starter and has internal electrical contacts that transmit electricity to the starter. As electricity is supplied to the starter a small gear comes out and engages the flywheel to spin the engine over as you turn the key. When this fails, it may cause a clicking sound and will not allow the starter to engage the flywheel when you turn the key. When your ignition switch fails, this may cause any of the ignition circuits to remain active after taking the key out of the ignition. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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: Bluetooth draining car battery

If this is a factory installed device, your radio may be to blame. The unit will have to be replaced and reprogrammed by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic. If it is an aftermarket device, I would return...

Q: Cv joint keeps breaking

Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle may be experiencing one of several different issues. The first thing to consider is the quality of the replacement you purchased. Re-manufactured CV joints are not terribly uncommon. When you purchase the...

Q: Whining noise coming from the engine compartment when I accelerate. It's not very loud but consistent whenever I give it gas. 2009 Audi A5 Quattro

Hello - you have isolated the noise to something that varies with engine speed, good job! Most likely, this noise is coming from the alternator (bearing) or the power steering pump (low fluid or worn out). Check the power steering...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
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.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.