Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

asked by on

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

A: While the most common problem with the engi...

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?

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Stalling problem

Hi there, thanks for writing in. Your car has an idle air control valve that commonly fails. The purpose of the idle air control valve is to allow enough air to bypass the throttle body to keep the car idling...

Q: What does the service AdvanceTrac® warning mean in the message center?

AvanceTrac is the electronic stability control (ESC) system used in Ford vehicles. It may also be referred to as “traction control” or “vehicle dynamic control” is other vehicle models. This system monitors the steering stability of the vehicle and engages...

Q: Sliding door not closing.

The door is on a track and on rollers in that track. If the track is blocked or the rollers are broke could bind the door. The door has several safety items that cannot tell the difference between someone in...

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...
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 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.