Q: The CAR does not crank or start

asked by on July 14, 2016

My Chevy cavalier does not start or crank I replaced battery but still nothing
My car has an automatic transmission.

Your are correct in beginning with the battery, but unfortunately in this case it didn’t fix your problem. In the future I recommend having the battery thoroughly tested before replacing it. At least now you know you have a good battery. This is good.

First, use a small hammer to tap on the starter while someone is turning the key. Tap lightly but firmly. If you do it to hard, you can damage the delicate magnets inside. If the starter begins to work when you tap on it, you need a starter. This is the first thing I do with any no crank issue.

If your car doesn’t crank, it will either be a starter, a bad connection or the starter is not receiving a signal from the ignition key when it is turned into the crank position. You can test for this at the starter solenoid with a test light. You will need to check for power at the small wire at the starter while someone is turning the key into the crank position. If you have power there, you have confirmed the primary starting circuit is working and now it is time to move onto the secondary circuit. If it doesn’t have power while turning the key, you will need to locate a repair manual with the appropriate wiring diagram to do further electrical testing at the ignition switch electrical.

If you made it to this point and haven’t yet figured out the problem, the next step can be a bit more technical as it requires a voltage drop test that is beyond the scope of this forum. This test is all about finding a bad connection. Even though a connection looks good, doesn’t mean electricity agrees. So visually inspect all the connections from the battery to the starter. If they have corrosion, loose or are dirty, clean or tighten the connection. Electricity requires a clean surface in order to flow from one wire to the next. So be sure to thoroughly clean any connections that are questionable. I use sand paper to clean them.

If you need help with getting this fixed, feel free to contact a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, who can help you perform these checks and properly diagnose your starting issue firsthand.

Good luck! I hope you figure this out.

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