Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Suddenly will not start - will crank but will not start.

asked by on

Over these past several weeks I began to notice my car did not seem to be starting as smoothly. Since I had purchased the battery at Sams Club (Energizer 51R) I took it to Sams to see if the battery was malfunctioning. They assured me the battery was in great condition. So since the symptoms were so faint, I convinced myself that it was just my imagination! Females do that sometimes!! LOL!! Unfortunately the car is inside my garage and will not start. The car cranks as if it is about to start but simply does not. Now I realize I had notice and wish I had taken it in for someone to check it out since now it is going to have to be towed.

My car has 127000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There is no need to tow it at all. YourMechanic can perform a mobile no-start diagnostic, and if parts are required install them right there at your present location. Since your "no-start" is not an intermittent problem, the cause can be found relatively quickly.

Typically, there is a fault in the fuel system, such as a failed fuel pump, and/or the ignition system, such as a failed "global" sensor that prevents the PCM from initiating ignition. Consider yourself lucky, intermittent no-starts are hard to find. If the car flat out won’t start every time, it is relatively easy to trace back and find the fault.

If a code was stored by your PCM, and is downloadable, the diagnostic will be even faster. If you want to check a possibility yourself, have an assistant turn the ignition key to the "On" position (NOT "start", just "On") while you listen at the fuel tank area for a momentary "whirring" noise which is the fuel pump pressuring. The instant "On" is engaged by the assistant, you should be able to hear the fuel pump in the fuel tank (rear underside of car) click on and "whirrr" for a few seconds. If by chance you do not hear any whirring "noise" from the tank at the instant the key is turned to the "On" position, you have a fuel system fault (pump, wiring, and/or circuit). Let us know if we can assist you by performing the Diagnostic and if you have any additional concerns.

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: How do I manually adjust the front seats?

The manual front seats can be adjusted in a variety of ways: 1. The seats can be adjusted horizontally by pulling up on the bar underneath the seat and pushing the seat forward or backward. After adjusting the seat, release...

Q: Low humming sound

Hi, thanks for writing in. If you are hearing a humming sound from around the gas tank, it is likely that you are hearing your fuel pump running. If this is the case, the fuel pump making a slight humming...

Q: If the power window switch on the front passenger door is out and motor is fine then window should still work from the master?

Hello, thank you for writing in. The master switch is wired independently of the other switches, and it should be able to power the window without the passenger switch working. This is one of the reasons it has been designed...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...