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

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: Blown engine

In the 2007 model year the Ford Fusion was available with a 3.0L 6 cylinder motor or a 2.0L 4 cylinder motor. In 2011, the Fusion was available with those same options as well as the 3.5L 6 cylinder dual...

Q: Choose rotor for bigger wheel

When you install wheels that are larger than factory, there should be no need to change the brake rotor size. As long as the wheels you are putting on are designed to fit your vehicle, the rotors should work just...

Q: car won't start

Hello. If the battery is testing good and has the correct CCA and voltage, I would look towards a faulty starter or wiring fault such as insufficient ground. I recommend that a technician check the starting system . If the...

Related articles

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...
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...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.