Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Not turning over

asked by on

Tried starting my 2003 3.5 litre Hyundai Santa Fe and the engine would not turn over at all. I have replaced catalytic converters and an alternator on it. I checked the battery cables and they are tight. All of the power is working on it. My cluster dashboard lights are not though. The water pump has also been replaced on it as well. The battery is fully charged on it. The ignition coils were also recently replaced.

My car has 15000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hey there, thanks for writing in about your...

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe. This kind of condition is often very confusing for a non-tech. Even though your battery cables are tight, it does not mean the connections are good. Corrosion, surface corrosion and other conditions will create a bad connection that will not allow electrical current to flow. As for the dash lights, I would have a question that of course can't be answered here. I am wondering if the gauges work and only the dash illumination lights aren't working, or if nothing on the dash works. These are two distinctly different conditions.

There are a number of conditions your car may have. It could simply be a bad connection in the primary starting circuit. These are the battery cables, both positive and negative, from the battery to the starter, or if there is a primary power supply issue that powers your dash and the secondary starting circuit. In this case, I would use a remote starter switch to power the starter only. This will help determine if the primary starter circuit is the problem or if there is something more complicated going on.

If the starter works when testing with a starter switch, then your issue is more complicated. If the starter motor does not turn, then you have a bad connections somewhere. This can be located with a test light while someone is holding the key in the start position. Or you can use the starter switch. You will want to poke the test light at every connection in the primary starting circuit. Even if it visually looks good. The bad connection will not carry power past the connection.

If it is something to do with the secondary starting circuit, you will need a factory wiring diagram and some study time. If the nothing on the dash is working, I would suspect there is a main fuse or fusible link that has blown. If this is the case, you should also be concerned with finding what blew the fuse or fusible link.

If the only problem with the dash is illumination, then I would simply be looking for the problem in the secondary starting circuit. This would be the ignition switch and all the wiring that connects to the starting solenoid. The best tool for this is a test light and a wiring diagram. Have a certified technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to diagnose your car's starting 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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car doesn't stay on and jumps as it slows down.

I believe the cause of you problem is being caused by an engine misfire. Is your check engine light on? If the light is on, a mechanic with a scan tool could check the code that is turning the light...

Q: A/C blows hot cold

Hi there! I would be happy to help you. Apparently you're not the only one who has this problem with that car. The particular part causing your problem is usually the air inlet actuator. The actuator is located behind the...

Q: knocking noise at shifting gears vvt damage would that make a nosie

Unfortunately, it is not possible to know what the noise is without hearing it in person. VVT damage would most likely cause a rattling noise in the valve train. It could become louder between shifts, but the shifting of gears...

Related articles

How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
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.