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

asked by on December 15, 2015

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

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?
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

Door stuck open

It sounds like the latch that holds the door closed may be stuck in the closed position, preventing the door from shutting fully. This latch is located inside the door, but is visible while the door is open. It may...

How do you create a MyKey?

While the keys to your car have to be programmed to work with the ignition and the computer by a professional, you can create your own MyKey (or keys). Here’s what you need to know: Crank the car with...

How do I clear MyKeys?

The MyKeys can be cleared very easily by following these steps: 1. Press the Up/down buttons on the steering wheel until Settings is displayed, then press the OK button. 2. Press the Up/Down buttons until MyKey is displayed, then press...

Related articles

Can a Car Battery Freeze?
Cold temperatures can make it hard to start your car, and extreme cold can freeze a battery. Use a battery heater to make your car reliable in winter.
A Buyer's Guide to the 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV
With With the phasing out of the long-lived and beloved police cruiser in the form of the Ford Crown Victoria, 2012 brought a new car into town via the Caprice PPV (Police Patrol Vehicle). This new incarnation of an old...
How to Install a Camshaft
Over Over the years, engines have evolved in so many ways. Most of the changes or improvements that have been done revolve around creating better performance and fuel economy, without making the engine larger. One of the biggest changes is...