Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Why won't my van crank?

asked by on

The engine will not turn over or make any sounds at all. There is power to the vehicle (door, Windows, light, radio & a/c) but it will not crank up. We even tried jumping off the battery and it makes no sounds at all, no clicking or trying to turn over. What should we check. We are stranded on vacation right now

My car has 170000 miles.

A: Look at your dash when you turn on the key ...

Look at your dash when you turn on the key to see if the theft light is on. If it is, then you have a problem where the theft system is not deactivating. Try to get out and lock all the doors and wait 10 minutes and then reopen the doors and see if it will start. If it still has theft light on, then you will need to take the vehicle to a dealer to get the system to work again. You could try disconnecting the battery for 10 minutes and then reconnect it to see if this works. Your radio code will need to be entered to get it back on again. If you’re still unable to get the car to crank you will need to have the dealer fix the theft system.

If you do not have a theft light that’s on then try turning on the ignition and move the shifter through all of the gears and then back to neutral. Afterwards, try to crank it, go to park, and try again. If still no crank then check the start relay under the dash relay box. It should be clicking when you turn key to start. If it doesn’t then tap on the relay and starter to see if it cranks. If you’re unable to get the vehicle going at this point you could try to contact a mobile technician from YourMechanic to come diagnose your starting issue. You may be in a serviceable area. Otherwise you’ll have to get the car to a dealer.

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: Fuel tank door not opening

The fuel door on this van also has a safety switch inside the door that will disable the automatic side door if the fuel door is open. The fuel door has to be opened in order to see if it...

Q: Were is the radiator drain plug on the car

Hello, thanks for writing in about your Dodge Stratus. The drain valve is located on the passenger side and at the bottom of the radiator. You only have to turn it 1/8 of a turn, counter clockwise, while pulling on...

Q: If the computer was calibrated wrong, can that damage the computer.

A computer calibration will not damage the computer unless the update failed. If it failed then the vehicle would not started right after the calibration was done. Then all that would need to be done too redo the calibration. ...

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 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...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...