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Q: Why won't my van crank?

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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.

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