Q: My car won't start

asked by on December 11, 2016

My car started squeaking a few weeks ago so I changed my serpentine belt and it was fine for a few days until I turned my heat on then the squeak came back. I was driving home when it just died in the middle of the road while driving. I did some research an saw that it could be my crankshaft position sensor. So I replaced that. The old one was pretty worn. It started an ran but squeak was still there so I replaced my tensioner pulley. And for 2 days the squeak went away. I came home from work an the next morning my car wouldn't start an I noticed some heavy black dust on the alternator. It cranks but will not fire. I believe there's multiple problems but I don't know what. Pulley misalignment, bad alternator, bad belt again, loose belt, help please

My car has 126000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Car is not starting Inspection $79.99 - $89.99 Get a Quote

This may be related to many different possibilities, some of which may be related to a lack of spark and some of which may be related to a fuel delivery problem or a combination of both. For example, if the ignition coils, crankshaft position sensor, spark plugs, spark plug wires or ignition module are faulty, this may cause the motor to not produce the spark needed to ignite the fuel in the motor. The fact that the car cranks over suggests that you have plenty of battery power which indicates that the alternator is functioning.

In the case of a fuel delivery problem, this may be related to low fuel pressure, faulty or dirty fuel injectors, a faulty or dirty idle air control valve (this relays information about air intake to the computer which makes fuel adjustments), or potentially a faulty fuel pressure regulator or fuel pump. Fuel delivery problems will typically not allow the proper amount of fuel to be delivered to the cylinders which results in a lean fuel condition which can cause backfiring or simply cause the motor not to start as a result of fuel starvation. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose your no start problem.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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

What others are asking

Car won't start.

Hello. You are going to want to start by checking out the electrical systems pertaining to the starting components. Start with the battery cables. Check all of the cables including the grounds and the connection to the starter. Chances are...

Car just shuts off while driving down the road, no codes are coming up.

The fuel and/or ignition system has an intermittent fault due to an electrical problem. The sensors that feed into these systems could be implicated. The Factory Service Manual has a decision tree to diagnose an issue such as this. Basically,...

when i put my car in drive and start it , it will start but when its in park and i start it doesn't start why

Hi there. This is typically an indicator of a damaged safety switch underneath the shifter. However, it could also be caused by a wiring or electrical glitch in the ignition system or transmission shift solenoid. It would be best to...

Truck not starting - 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 1992 Dodge Spirit. A slow cranking motor can definitely impede a motor from starting. First thing you need to do is connect a battery charger and get the cranking speed up. As...

Died while driving cranks but won't start what could it be?

Hello. Typically when you have these symptoms you want to focus on air, fuel and spark. If you already replaced the ignition coil, and know you are getting spark to the plugs, turn your attention to the fuel system. You...

Oil light goes off and on.

This light will usually come on when one of two things are happening. Either the motor is in fact low on oil or the oil pressure sending unit is not working properly and may be producing a faulty reading. I...

Need the ECU replaced in my car

Anytime the CEL is allowed to be continuously on you will never be informed of any vehicle malfunctions if and as they arise and they will arise. That circumstance alone means any decision about re-programming is a moot issue (you...

Ck engine soon light is on

If your vehicle's check engine light illuminates, there is a malfunction that should be investigated and repaired. However, the seriousness of the malfunction is hard to judge unless and until a Code Scanner is used by the Mechanic to download...

I have a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe and when I get in it to start it it want start but the lights and radio come on but if I set maybe

Claimed by Jeff Engstrom

Related articles

2007 Nissan Versa vs. 2007 Saturn Ion: Which One Should I Buy?
Compact cars as a class are generally meant to be commuter vehicles: with excellent gas mileage, an entry-level price point, and decent safety ratings for those who are on the road the majority of their time. These cars also make...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Timing Belt
Common signs include a ticking noise coming from the engine, an engine that won't turn over, engine misfires, and oil leaking in front of the motor.
Mercury Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Car Program
Drivers Drivers who are shopping around for a used Mercury vehicle may want to check out cars under their certified pre-owned program. Many manufacturers have a certified pre-owned (CPO) program, and each one is set up differently. Read on to...