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?

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

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: poor acceleration check engine

You will want to have the catalytic converters checked. The 540's are notorious for the catalyst inside the catalytic converters breaking apart from the outer wall of the assembly and rattling around, especially upon take off. This will also create...

Q: How does the coat hook work?

The Honda Accord is equipped with a coat hook in the rear. This hook is designed to hold a garment (or garments) on a coat hanger. To use it, just follow these steps: Locate the hook, which can be...

Q: Car won't start after being parked

When the key is turned and nothing happens could mean several things; you have a bad battery (most common), the switch is bad, or the starter is not working. If you hear a click when you turn the key and...

Related articles

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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.