Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What’s wrong if nothing happens when I turn the key to crank the engine?

asked by on

What’s wrong if nothing happens when I turn the key to crank the engine?

A: When you turn the key in your Accord, you e...

When you turn the key in your Accord, you expect the engine to crank. If everything’s working normally, it does. However, if nothing happens when you turn the key, or you hear clicking sound (or a series of clicks), it means something’s gone wrong. You can actually do a couple of things to troubleshoot this yourself.

  • Make sure that the car is in park or neutral. The engine won’t crank with the transmission in any other position.

  • If you have a stick shift, make sure the clutch pedal is pushed to the floor.

  • Turn your ignition on, then turn on the headlights. Check their brightness. If they are dim (or not working at all), chances are the battery is dead and you’ll need a jumpstart.

  • Turn the key to III and check to see if the headlights dim. If they don’t, it means there’s a problem with the ignition or the starter. If they do dim (or go out), the problem lies with the battery. It’s either dead, or corrosion is preventing it from working correctly.

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

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: Wrong engine ,convertor doesnt fit what to do next?

Hey there, thank you for asking about your 2004 Dodge Durango. The 2004 Dodge Durango came with a few different motor options: the 3.7L V-6, the 4.7L V-8, and the 5.7L V-8. It sounds like potentially you may have just...

Q: New battery drained of power in one week

If the battery is new and charging system output has been measured and is within specifications, the only reason a battery will discharge is if the car sits for a long period of time (batteries will self-discharge even if not...

Q: Key does not start the car.

Yes, the ignition switch is bad and would need to be replaced. I recommend you have a qualified mechanic check it for you since working on or around the air bags require proper knowledge of the system.

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...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...