Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Ignition starts car, but engine won't catch

asked by on

The ignition will start in my car, but the engine will not catch. I’m thinking that it might be a security deterrent system problem. By following the directions, I can reset the PCM, but it takes 30 minutes. It has happened several times in the past year and this week it happened twice. In your experience, what is causing this problem and what should I do to solve it so that it won’t happen again?

Hello! I believe the problem will be within your ignition key lock cylinder. There is a passlock sensor in the ignition key lock cylinder. This sensor is known to become bad overtime. Replacing the ignition key lock cylinder will more than likely make the issue you’re having disappear.

I cannot see the instructions you’re providing for the PCM reset procedure. Two easy ways to try to reset the system is to put the key into the ignition and turn the key to the "Run" position but don’t start the engine. Leave the key in for 10 to 15 minutes. Another way is to close all of the doors and lock and unlock the driver’s door three times with the original key.

If you need some assistance with this, enlist a qualified mechanic who can diagnose the issue with your ignition and address any issues that come up.

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Ignition starts car, but engine won't catch

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: Possible vacuum leak causing engine to rev while parked.

It is possible that you may have a vacuum leak and if you do the computer will generate a code for system too lean. I would have a technician come out and inspect the codes on the computer and see...

Q: Door unlocked alarm, no power window or door lock on driver door only, interior light comes on with L turn signa

Hi there. In general, wiring harnesses are sold by the manufacturer as a whole harness; not individual wires. It is much easier, cost-efficient and safer to replace the entire harness if it's determined that it is faulty and the source...

Q: Car not starting due to security code.

Hi there. This comes up frequently on this vehicle. The two most common problems that I have found that cause this is either a failure in the passlock sensor in the ignition lock cylinder, or the body control module has...

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...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
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...