Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I tried to crank it but it wont start and the lights dim when trying to crank it

asked by on

I noticed in my car that when i begin to crank it, it has a whining nose like it doesnt wont to crank. When i start it the lights dim. Now the car isnt starting at all.

My car has 106000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Starting systems are typically very simple. For the most part, you will be concerned with the battery and the starter. It sounds like your battery is dead. I would first attempt to jump start it.

If using another car to jump start your vehicle: attach the red (positive) terminal of the vehicle that is running to the jumper cable. Then hook the black (negative) terminal to the jumper cable. Connect the other end of the cables to the red (positive) and then black (negative) terminals on the dead vehicle and then attempt to start your vehicle.

If this doesn’t work, you will want to turn your attention to the starter. The starter can be bench tested, but these tests can give you false positives. If the issues is not related to the battery or the starter, you will want to look into the ignition. The neutral safety switch can cause starting issues as well. But it is highly likely this is a dead battery or a bad starter. If you would like to have this problem taken care of for you, a qualified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose the starting problem and guide your through repairs.

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
  • Home
  • Questions
  • I tried to crank it but it wont start and the lights dim when trying to crank it

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: Car makes metal-on-metal noise on startup

The most likely cause of the noise is starter motor gear clash, or the starter and flywheel. The fix is to remove the starter, replace it, and check the flywheel for any damage. Sometimes, the starter drive binds and causes...

Q: Car chugs when warms up at accerleration

Hi there: Usually the symptoms you're describing are more related to a vacuum leak, worn out spark plugs, bad spark plug wires or issue with the ignition system. It's also possible that dirty air and fuel filters, mass air flow...

Q: HAVE ATTEMPTED STARTING CAR BUT WILL NOT TURN OVER. NO CLICKS INDICATING STARTER BUT AM TOLD NOT ENOUGH VOLTS GETTING TO STARTER.H

Check to see if there are any stored diagnostic trouble codes. Be sure you have a fully, 100% charged battery that passes a load test. Confirm that the engine immobilizer system (security system) is not activated thus preventing the car...

Related articles

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...
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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...