Q: What’s wrong if the starter works, but the engine won’t crank?

asked by on December 15, 2015

What’s wrong if the starter works, but the engine won’t crank?

While the most common problem with the engine is a dead battery, there are other things that could be causing a no start situation. If you turn the key and the starter engages normally but the engine doesn’t crank, here are a few things to consider:

  • Try pausing for 10 seconds before cranking the engine again.

  • Make sure the car is in park or neutral (neutral and with the clutch pushed in for a stick shift).

  • Make sure you’re pressing the brake pedal.

  • Is the immobilizer light flashing? If so, your master key needs to be reprogrammed (or the key being used is incorrect).

  • Is there gas in the tank? Check the gas gauge and make sure it’s not empty.

  • Check the fuse to the fuel pump (it may be blown, in which case gas can’t get to the engine).

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

Mass Air Flow Sensor Replacement - Do I need to have Fuel Injectors Cleaned too?

When the Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) is replaced it is not a requirement to clean the fuel injectors. The fuel injectors may be clogged for other reasons and maybe causing hesitations or lack of power and then they would need...

How do I turn on the automatic exterior lamps?

The exterior lamp control is placed on the instrument panel, to the left of the steering column. To turn the exterior lamps to the automatic setting, rotate the control knob clockwise one notch, to AUTO. When the exterior lamps are...

Engine won't even try to start but all the lights turn on and battery is fine.

Hey there. One of many components can cause a no crank condition. A bad ignition switch can be a cause. If the switch does not send a signal to the starter, nothing will happen when you turn the ignition to...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Volvo XC70
This This crossover station wagon not only carries its own weight in cargo space and all-terrain ability alone, but it also offers a nostalgic twist with its boxy exterior reminiscent of good ole’ Volvo wagons past. The XC70 is the...
2012 Ford Focus vs. 2012 Mazda 3: Which One Should I Buy?
Compact sedans and hatchbacks provide a great ride on a budget, with the evolution from a stodgy, unattractive exterior (and interior!) to a more fully-featured trim set and exterior design. Driving enjoyment is improved throughout the class, which are known...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Honda CR-V
The The fourth generation Honda CR-V was unveiled in 2012 with a total redesign. One of America’s favorite compact SUVs got a new look and a lot of great new features, including an all-wheel drive (AWD) option, as well as...