Dan Ferrell writes about do-it-yourself car maintenance and repair. He has certifications in automation and control technology.
When your engine cranks but won't start or run, it could mean your engine is having trouble producing a spark, getting fuel, or creating compression. The most common causes are problems in the ignition (for example, a bad ignition coil) or fuel system (for example, a clogged fuel filter). However, the source may also be a mechanical fault (for example, a leaking valve), or faulty components in other systems.
What "crank-no-start" doesn't generally mean is a problem with the starter. If the engine cranks normally, you don't have a starting problem. If it isn't cranking right (the engine rotates slowly or doesn't rotate, or you hear weird noises or nothing when you try to start the engine), check this other practical guide to troubleshooting the starting system.
Whatever you do, avoid cranking the engine repeatedly with the hope that the engine will fire up. You may drain your battery of power and damage the starter motor in the process. Instead, try to use the charge left in your battery to locate the fault.
This guide will first give you six quick things you can check, and then three systems to troubleshoot—the spark, the fuel, the compression—using some simple and quick diagnostics. Then, for more help, you'll see a list of components in related systems that can be associated with a no-start condition.
Six Quick Checks
Check These Possibilities First
When trying to find out why your car doesn't want to start, keep in mind these possibilities.
- Fuel. For example, make sure there's actually fuel in the tank.
- The computer in modern vehicles monitors and controls a good number of sensors and actuators. Scan your computer memory for trouble codes before you do anything else. Even if the check engine light hasn't come on, you may find a pending code that can guide you in your diagnosis. False input or lack of input from sensors like the crankshaft position sensor (CKP) or camshaft position sensor (CPS) can prevent the engine from starting. Also, a bad throttle position sensor (TPS) may cut off the spark to the cylinders.
- Battery. If the engine cranks slowly, you may be dealing with a discharged battery, loose or corroded battery terminals or starting system wires
- Starting System. Problems with the starter motor or circuit can prevent the engine from starting. You may wan to check the circuit voltage drop or have the starter motor checked. Pay special attention to unusual noise when cranking.
- Many modern vehicles come equipped with an engine immobilizer as an anti-theft security system. The car's security system may have made an error that disabled the fuel or ignition system, or the chip in the key may have failed. To troubleshoot a built-in security system, consult your car owner's manual or consult with the shop that installed your alarm system.
- Check for a blown fuse that may be preventing a circuit from working properly, like the fuel injection or computer system.
Troubleshooting: Spark, Fuel, Compression
To operate efficiently, an internal combustion gasoline engine needs a good spark, the right amount of fuel, and good compression (a healthy mechanical condition). The lack of any of these three things will prevent your engine from starting.
So, the next three sections will list a series of steps to help you find out whether your engine is lacking adequate spark, is not getting enough fuel, or has too low compression.
I. Do You Have Spark?
First you want to check that a good spark is reaching the cylinders. You can do this test without a spark tester, but it's better to use one, because a weak spark as well as a missing spark can prevent your engine from starting. If possible, use an adjustable tester so that you can test for 40KV, 30KV and 10KV spark.
- Select an easy-to-reach spark plug and unplug the spark plug wire, or coil wire, or coil on plug (COP).
- Set the spark tester to 40KV, and plug it in at the end of the spark plug wire or coil wire. Hook the spark tester to engine ground. To ground the tester, use an unpainted bracket or bolt on the engine. NOTE: If you are not using a spark tester, grab the wire with a pair of insulated pliers and place the tip of the wire about half an inch form ground (engine block, bracket, cylinder head). You still need a helper to crank the engine for you. The rest of the test is the same. You'll be able to test for the presence of spark but not its strength.
- While watching the spark tester, have an assistant crank the engine.
- You should see a bright spark jumping the gap in the spark tester.
If you don't see a spark, repeat the test. This time, adjust the spark tester to 30KV. If still you don't see a spark, repeat the test and set the tester to 10KV. If this time you see a spark or no spark, you have a problem in the ignition system. Consult your vehicle repair manual for your particular model for further diagnosis. Depending on your particular model, you may have a problem with an ignition coil, distributor, ignition module, igniter, or some other related component.
Other Checks You Should Do:
- On systems with a distributor: Check that the distributor cap isn't loose; inspect the distributor cap for moisture, cracks, carbon traces or some other damage; there could be faulty distributor components.
- If you haven't replaced the spark plug wires in more than three years, your wires may be worn.
- Also, check your car owner's manual or vehicle repair manual for the interval schedule for the spark plugs. Your may need to service (gap check and adjustment) or replace the plugs.
- If you installed new spark plugs and your car refused to start right after, double check that you installed the correct plugs for your vehicle model, and the plugs have the correct gap. Use a wire feeler gauge to check and adjust the gap.
II. Is Fuel Reaching the Cylinders?
After checking for spark, you need to check that the engine is getting fuel.
To Check a Carburetor or Throttle Body Injection (TBI) System:
- Take the lid off the air filter box and open the throttle plate (carburetor). On TBI systems, watch the fuel injector.
- Ask an assistant to crank the engine and see if fuel is being fed into the unit.
- If you don't see fuel being injected, your problem is in the fuel system. Make sure of the following:
- you have enough fuel in the tank,
- the fuel pump is working,
- the fuel filter is not clogged (consult your car owner's manual or repair manual for the service schedule),
- the fuel pressure regulator is working properly
- the fuel injectors are not clogged.
To Check a Multiport Fuel Injection System:
- First make sure the fuel pump is working. Momentarily remove the fuel filler cap.
- Ask an assistant to turn the ignition key to the On position, but don't start the engine.
- As your assistant turns the key, listen closely through the filler neck of the fuel tank. You should hear the whirring sound of the fuel pump motor being energized for two or three seconds. If you hear the sound, at least you know the pump is getting power; continue with the next step. Otherwise, you may be dealing with a faulty fuel pump or relay, a blown fuse, an electrical open or another problem in the fuel pump circuit.
- Detach the air cleaner assembly from the throttle body.
- Open the throttle plate and spray some starting fluid into the throttle body.
- Crank the engine.
- If the engine still doesn't seem like it wants to start, probably fuel is getting into the cylinders and your problems lies somewhere else. However, if the engine runs momentarily and dies, then the problem is that fuel is not getting to the cylinders. Check for a clogged fuel filter, or a bad fuel pressure regulator. Consult your vehicle repair manual, if necessary.
- If the incoming fuel line that goes to the fuel injectors has a test port (Schrader valve - a valve similar to the one on your tires), use a small screwdriver to press on the valve. Be ready with a shop rag to catch the fuel.
- Turn the ignition key to the On position for two or three seconds and then turn it off. Repeat the step two more times to prime the line with fuel.
- Then, press the valve with the screwdriver while catching the fuel with the shop rag. Fuel should squirt out through the valve. Instead, if a dribble of fuel comes out or no fuel, then check for a clogged fuel filter, a bad fuel pump or leaking fuel pressure regulator.
- If fuel squirts through the valve, plug a fuel pressure gauge to the test fitting valve and turn the ignition key to the On position and read the gauge. Then have an assistant crank the engine and read the gauge.
- Compare your gauge readings to the pressure specification listed in your vehicle repair manual.
- If pressure is lower than specification, your problem lies in the fuel system, possibly a faulty fuel pump, clogging fuel filter or bad fuel pressure regulator. Detach the vacuum hose from the top of the fuel pressure regulator. If the line is wet and smells to fuel, replace the fuel pressure regulator.
- If pressure is within specifications, you can unplug a fuel injector electrical connector and plug in a nod light to the harness connector (you may loan a set of nod lights from your local auto parts store).
- Ask your assistant to crank the engine, while you watch the nod light.
- If the nod light flashes while the engine is being cranked, you can at least assume that the injectors are receiving the pulse signal from the computer. If not, you need to check for a blown fuse or bad relay in the fuel injection system, a problem with the computer control, or problems with input sensors (for example the crankshaft or camshaft position sensors). Scan your computer for trouble codes. Refer to the list of related components below.
Some Cars Automatically Shut Off the Fuel Pump After a Crash
Some models, like many Ford vehicles, have a fuel pump switch (inertia switch), that automatically cuts power to the fuel pump when involved in an accident. If your engine refused to start after an accident or after a vehicle struck yours in a parking lot, check for an inertia switch. The switch helps prevent your car catching on fire if an accident occurs. Check your car owner's manual or vehicle repair manual to locate the switch. You can pop the button back in manually.
III. Do You Have Proper Compression?
Compression in the cylinder heats up the air-fuel mixture and helps the spark ignite the mixture so the combustion takes place. During the combustion process, though, there should be no air leaks. Otherwise, the cylinder will have poor combustion, or it will not happen.
The most common source of air (combustion) leak is a jumped timing belt or chain that allows air to escape through a valve; it can also happen because of a burned valve, worn-out compression rings, or a blown head gasket.
A timing belt or chain synchronizes camshaft to crankshaft rotation. After miles of service, it wears down, becomes damaged, or breaks. So car manufacturers suggest replacing a timing belt every five years. A timing chain may have a wider service schedule interval. Replacing the belt or chain at the suggested interval can prevent serious engine mechanical problems. Consult your vehicle repair manual.
On some vehicle models, it is easy to remove the timing cover to check if the belt or chain is still in place. If it is, you may be able to visually inspect the belt or chain condition, and then check that it hasn't jumped. Follow the instructions in your vehicle repair manual.
Likewise, you can check compression pressure using a compression gauge. If you have a gasoline engine, you screw the gauge into a spark plug hole; on diesel engines, screw the gauge in place of a glow plug or injector nozzle. Follow the instructions in your vehicle repair manual.
Gasoline engine compression ranges from 130 to 180 pounds per square inch (psi); diesel engine compression may range from 250 to 400 psi.
Other Components That May Cause a No-Start Condition
Faults in other systems, not just ignition, fuel, or compression problems, can prevent your engine from starting. A system component itself may be faulty, or there may be a problem with its wire connector or harness. You may need to expand your diagnostic procedure to the components below.
Computers in modern vehicles monitor many of these components (usually in emission-related systems) and can set trouble codes when problems arise. So don't forget to scan your computer.
The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve introduces a measured amount of exhaust gases into the intake manifold to get re-burned. This helps lower engine temperature and harmful emissions. But the valve can fail and stick either open or closed. When the valve sticks open it may prevent your engine from starting. Other symptoms of a stuck-open EGR valve include rough idle and stalling.
2. Cold Injector
Some vehicle models use a cold-start injector. It operates as a regular injector, but only works when the engine is cold. The injector may have its own thermo switch or may be commanded by the system control module. If either the switch or the computer circuit fails, you may have a hard time starting the engine during cold months. Consult your vehicle repair manual, if necessary.
The manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor compares the barometric (atmospheric) pressure to the intake manifold vacuum. When the sensor fails, it can prevent your engine from starting. Not all vehicles use this sensor. Consult your vehicle repair manual.
The mass air flow (MAF) sensor tells the computer the amount (the density) of the air entering the engine. A common MAF problem is dirt or foreign matter blocking the sensing element, preventing the sensor from working. Or the sensor itself may fail after miles of service. You can clean and test the sensor at home.
The computer uses the engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor to know how much fuel the engine needs and when to enter closed loop operation (that is, when the engine has reached operating temperature). Depending on your particular model, a bad ECT sensor can upset ignition timing, or the operation of the transmission or cooling fan. Consult your vehicle repair manual, if necessary.
6. Canister Vent Valve
The canister vent valve is part of the evaporative emissions control (EVAP) system. The EVAP system temporarily stores harmful fuel vapors into a canister to prevent their release into the atmosphere. When conditions are appropriate, the computer routes the fuel vapors out of the canister through a canister vent valve and into the intake manifold for burning. A faulty valve, though, can prevent the engine from starting. Consult your vehicle repair manual for the procedure to test the valve.
The throttle position sensor (TPS) monitors the position of the throttle valve. It sends a voltage signal to the computer. The computer uses this information to regulate the air-fuel mixture according to engine needs. On some vehicle models, a worn out, failing or bad TPS will prevent your engine from starting at all.
8. Vacuum Leaks
Vacuum leaks are not uncommon, and they are the source of many engine performance problems, including fail to start. Depending on where the fault is located, vacuum leaks can be hard to find. But mayor vacuum leaks that can make the engine hard to start may happen in the power booster vacuum hose, EGR valve, another main vacuum hose or a blown head or intake manifold gasket.
If you have an old vehicle model with a carburetor, double check that the fuel level is properly adjusted. If the carburetor is flooded, you'll probably perceive a strong fuel odor under the hood. A little trick you can use is to fully depress the accelerator and try to start the engine. If the engine doesn't start, wait for a few minutes and try again.
When your engine cranks but fails to start, it can be difficult to fix if you don't know where to begin troubleshooting. This guide not only tells you where to start but helps you build your diagnostic strategy. And reminds you of some simple but easy to forget places to look into. So most of the time, using just this guide you'll be able to zero in on the problem.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: My Toyota Mark ll engine cranks but won't turn over. What would be the main cause of this?
Answer: If the engine cranks, it turns over. If you mean the engine cranks but won’t start, then follow the diagnostic procedure in the post. The fuel and ignition system are the most common issues.
Question: My 1990 Nissan D21 has a hard time starting, but once you get it started it will drive wherever you need to go. Must of the time it just cranks over. I checked spark, everything works; fuel pump is pumping fuel. What could my issue be?
Answer: Check the starting circuit. Bad connections can increase voltage drop and make it harder to start. Check for possible faulty sensor. Download trouble codes, if necessary. This post may help:
Question: My 2011 Ford Fusion died while driving, Now it cranks but won't start. Fuel pump has been replaced. What is the most likely problem at this point?
Answer: The most common source of trouble when the engine cranks but won't start is the ignition or fuel system. Make sure you got enough fuel pressure and good spark. Also, a faulty sensor (crankshaft position sensor or camshaft sensor on some models or throttle position sensor) may cause this problem as well. Check for trouble codes, even if the engine light is not on. There could be a pending code that can help you diagnose the problem.
Question: Where is the location of the CKP on a Commodore LS1 please?
Answer: You may find the sensor behind the starter motor in this model. Hope this helps.
Question: I have a 1992 Subaru Legacy wagon, and my vehicle cranks over but won't start. I've replaced the temp sensor, crank sensor, fuel pump and strainer, coil, spark plugs, and battery. Still, it won't start. I've checked compression and fuel. Everything checks out. What could it be?
Answer: Make sure to check for trouble codes using a code reader. If engine compression and fuel pressure and volume check out, test the spark using an adjustable spark plug tester. Minimum, you should get around 30K V. Check the specs for your model in the vehicle repair manual.
Question: My truck cranks but won't start. It has fuel pressure and spark, and I even recently changed the cap and rotor. What else could it be?
Answer: Check for compression. That's the next step, if you know you have enough fuel pressure and a healthy spark.
Question: My 1995 GMC Yukon won’t start after I rebuilt the TBI. Could it be flooded?
Answer: Check the fuel injectors are working. Double check that the TBI was properly torqued when installed and a new gasket, if necessary. This could be a faulty fuel system or a vacuum leak. Other possibilities are problems with the throttle position sensor (TPS) and IAC (idle air controller.). You can test the TPS using a digital multimeter:
Test the IAC using direct battery voltage, and take a look at the ports for buildup.
Question: I have a 1995 Mercedes-Benz C180 (W202). The engine cranks but won't turn over. What can be the main cause or reason be for this? What do I check?
Answer: If the engine cranks, it turns over. If the engine turns over but won't start, make sure you got good fuel pressure and good spark. These two systems are the most common faults on a crank-won't start condition. However, a sensor (crankshaft, camshaft) can also lead to the same condition. Make sure to check for possible trouble codes, even if the check engine light is not on. There could be a pending code that can guide you through the diagnostic. This other post may help:
Question: My CA18 engine is getting a spark, sufficient current, compression, and all fuses are good, but it still won't start. What is the problem?
Answer: If it cranks good, check for fuel pressure. There could be a problem in pressure or fuel volume.
Question: My 2002 Honda Civic LX cranks but won't start. I tried using engine starter fluid and still got nothing. What may be the issue ?
Answer: First, make sure you got the correct fuel pressure and good spark. These are the most common issues.
Question: I have a 2012 Chevy Malibu that won't start, but it does turn over. All the lights and everything works, but it just won't start. Do u have any clue what can be the problem?
Answer: Check the battery has enough power and fuel pressure is correct.
Question: I would like to know what to do if my car cranks but does not start?
Answer: Make sure you are getting enough fuel pressure. And check the injectors for the command pulse from the computer.
Question: My Ford Focus 2009 cranks for a while, eventually starts, then idles normally and runs fine. What's causing the long cranking?
Answer: Usually, an engine takes longer to start because of an aging or failing battery, starter, or spark plugs. Batteries may last between three to five years. A starter's lifetime service requirements are hard to predict. Check the spark plug gap, and the condition of the electrodes then follow the manufacturer service recommendation on them.
Question: I drove my car to pick up food. Ran fine. Turned it off and went inside. When I came back out it would crank but refused to start. Have replaced spark plugs, ignition coils and the fuel pump. Ordered a scanner last night that should be there when i get off work today. So no codes at this moment. Any ideas just on what I’ve explained?
Answer: The most common faults are in the ignition and fuel systems. First, you need to make sure you have good spark, correct fuel pressure. Also, the problem could be with a sensor: crankshaft position sensor, camshaft position sensor, throttle position sensor. Hopefully you’ll get a diagnostic trouble code that can tell you which system has failed. Still, troubleshoot the system before replacing any parts. Hope this helps.
Question: My 1994 Toyota Starlet engine cranks but won't turn over. My brother removed some wiring that he had hooked up to speakers in the trunk. What could be the problem?
Answer: If the engine cranks, it turns over. In this case, the most common problems is not good spark or not enough fuel pressure. Make sure you got good spark and fuel pressure:
If you don't hear the starter motor running -- just hear a click or a series of clicks- or the starter motor seems to run but the engine doesn't crank (doesn't turn over), then the problem is more likely in the starter system. First make sure the battery is properly charged. You may also want have the starter motor checked. Sometimes, this is also a sign of bad starter system circuit. These other posts may help:
Question: I recently changed the spark plugs in my 1998 Ford Explorer Sport and the ignition coil and it still won't start. Why won't my Ford Explorer start?
Answer: Make sure you got good spark. Then check for fuel pressure. Other possibility is a faulty sensor – camshaft position sensor, or crankshaft position sensor are the usual suspects.
Question: 1995 Dodge Dakota V6 2 wheel drive, cranks but won't start. No power to pump or ignition. What could be wrong?
Answer: Check the ignition relay. If this fails, it can affect power to the ignition coil and fuel pump.
Question: I have a 2001 Ford Focus and the battery and alternator are 6 months old. It started just fine. I got maybe 2 miles and an engine light popped on, shut off the car when I tried restarting. It would turn over slowly but wouldn't start. I checked the plug wires and they were covered in oil. Could oily plug wires be preventing my Ford Focus from starting?
Answer: The oil may have fouled the spark plugs and wires. Check for the source of the oil leak and fix it. Check the oil level and add, if necessary. Then clean the spark plugs and wires.
Question: I have a 94 Izuzu rodeo that won't start but turns over. I've noticed that the fuel and oil gauge doesn't move and the air conditioning doesn't come on when the key is turned to start it. But the other gauges work and the radio works. Do you have any clue what this could be?
Answer: Make sure you're getting spark and fuel. Check to see if there are any trouble codes you can download from the computer. Also, check for fuel pressure and compression.
Question: I am in Melbourne Australia. I have a 1986 Holden Gemini. Its a small car with a 1.5 liter 4 cylinder engine. When I turn the key to Start, the engine cranks but will not fire. But when I turn key from 'on' back to 'off' I hear a click in the distributor cap and what sounds like a power stroke occurring in one cylinder. The coil seems OK. But spark plugs don't spark when the engine turned over. Could my problem be an ignition switch issue?
Answer: Make sure the ignition coil is firing properly, and check the distributor cap for carbon traces and cracks, and the ignition module. Some auto parts stores test the ignition module for you. There could be a problem.
Question: My 1996 Opel Astra cranks as normal but just will not start, I have checked the fuel going to the injectors; even checked the plugs. All good. What can be the problem?
Answer: Make sure you got the correct pressure in the fuel system. Problems with the fuel pressure regulator may cause this type of issue, as well. Also, make sure you got a good spark. Bad sensors, like crankshaft or camshaft position sensors, can also prevent the engine from starting. Check for trouble codes, even if the check engine light is not on.
Question: I’m using a Toyota Brevis 1JZ engine. It’s been diagnosed several times, and it was reporting throttle motor malfunction. I changed the throttle body. It starts one time and then fails then it keeps on cranking. You change the throttle body, it repeats the same process. The spark and compression is there. What could be the problem?
Answer: Check the electrical connectors for the throttle control system. Another possibility is a problem with the throttle control system actuator, or the harness (open or short).
Question: My Toyota Funcargo just stops while driving and won't start turning over but just not starting. Could it be a bad coil pack?
Answer: It's possible. But you also need to make sure you got fuel pressure. This other post may help:
Question: My 2000 Chevy suburban 1500 was working fine today, but later in the day I tried turning on the car and it only cranked without starting. The lights, radio, wipers etc. work fine but the car won't start. I've even tried jumping the battery car but still won't start, just crank. Any advice on that?
Answer: The most common on a crank-nostart condition are the ignition and fuel systems. Make sure you got good spark and check for fuel pressure. You may try spraying starting fluid in the throttle while cranking. If it sounds like the engine wants to catch, probably the fuel system is at fault.
Question: I used starting fluid and my car turned on for a few seconds then shuts off. What can be the problem?
Answer: Check for fuel pressure. It seems (enough or no) fuel is not getting to the cylinders.
Question: Why does my Chevy Utility Bakkie backfire when trying to start?
Answer: Check the ignition system and ignition timing.
Question: I have a 2000 Honda Civic that cranks but sometimes doesn't start. It starts after 30 minutes or won’t start after several hours. It also shut-off while I was driving, I changed the spark plugs and the battery is not dead. Also checked and there is fuel going into the cylinders and didn't seem to find and any blown fuses. Any thoughts?
Answer: The problem could be in the fuel system but it can be hard to diagnose if it is intermittent. You may have a leaking fuel injector.
Also, there could be a bad ground or loose wire that is causing too much resistance in the circuit, preventing the engine to start until it cools. These other posts may help.
Question: My 2002 Honda Accord cranks but won't start, and I've already replaced the fuel pump, spark plugs and wires, distributor cap and rotor. And the starter has also been replaced. Any ideas?
Answer: Make sure you are getting a good spark. Try spraying a bit of starting fluid through the throttle plate and crank the engine. If it seems like the engine wants to catch, the problem is in the fuel system. Replace the fuel filter, if necessary. Check for fuel pressure. The problem could be the fuel pressure regulator or a worn pump.
Question: 1998 GMC Safari cranks but does not start. What should I check for?
Answer: Check fuel pressure and for good spark. Make sure the battery is fully charged.
Question: I have a 2007 Dodge Dakota. It has trouble starting when the engine is warm. Checked fuel pressure and it’s good. It will start with starting fluid. Tried fuel injector cleaner, still having the problem. What to try next?
Answer: It seems to be a symptom of a faulty crankshaft position sensor. If possible, test the sensor when cold and when warmed. You may need to put it in hot water and test it. Usually, the sensor may start failing intermittently, then it'll happen more often. But you won't "catch" it when cold. This other post may help:
Question: I have a 2003 Chrysler Town and Country that will crank but it won't turn over. I have already changed out the battery and fuel pump. How can I diagnose the problem with my Chrysler?
Answer: Make sure you have good spark and good fuel pressure when cranking. If both check out OK, test the compression.
Question: My 2006 Honda Accord has a hard time starting. I have to really press on the gas hard to get it to start. What could be the problem?
Answer: There could be a problem in the fuel system; check for fuel pressure when trying to start. You may have good spark if you're able to run the car once it starts, but the pump may be weak or worn as well.
Question: Have a 350 Chevy, all ready to start, but gas isn't getting to the plugs. What can be the problem?
Answer: Check for fuel pressure. A bad regulator or some other fault in the system can prevent fuel from reaching the engine.
Question: I have a 2014 Ford F150. The car cranks but won't start. I can disconnect the battery cable and reconnect and it will start, but might not next time. Any ideas what the problem might be?
Answer: There could be a problem with the engine or starting system grounds. Maybe these other posts will help:
Question: I have a 2004 Ford Ranger Edge that cranks fine every morning, but after I drive it to work and it sits for a few hours, I have to crank it at least twice before it will start up. What could be the problem?
Answer: The engine coolant temperature sensor may be failing, not sending the correct signal when the engine is warmer. But, this can also be a problem with fuel pressure or a leaking injector. Step on the gas when cranking the engine. if it starts you may have a leaking injector or pressure regulator. Otherwise, try some starting fluid. If it helps, the problem could be with the pressure regulator.
Question: My 2001 Dodge Ram will turn over but won't start. Has no spark. What could be the problem?
Answer: Have the ignition coil and/or ignition control module checked. Also, scan the computer for possible pending codes.
Question: My 1994 Ford Ranger will sometimes stall early after starting, and it won't start again right away. But after an hour or so, usually, it starts back up. Any thoughts on why this is occurring?
Answer: Sometimes this is a simple maintenance issue (a clogging fuel filter), problems with the fuel system, or a sensor issue. This other post may help you:
Question: I have a 1991 Nissan 300zx. It shut off while I was driving, and it won’t start. It was leaking water beforehand. I made frequent stops to refill it, but it cut off and now that it’s back it will not turn over. It doesn’t leak anything until I crank it, and it’s the fuel I believe, but it’s black in color. I have no idea what it could be. What should I do?
Answer: From your description, there might be an oil leak. Check the oil level. You need to locate the source of the leak. Take a look under the car and see if you can see traces of the leak around the oil pan or engine.
Question: I have a 98 Chevy Blazer. I have a new battery, new plugs, new wires, new fuel filter and it still won't start when it's cold. Once it runs, then it's good. But after about 8 hours, it is really hard to start again. Why would my Chevy Blazer have trouble starting?
Answer: You may want to check the starter circuit voltage drop. Also, the starter may already have some wear, making it harder to crank the engine. This post might help you:
Also, keep in mind that when cold, the fuel doesn’t evaporate as easily, and the oil tends to be thicker. This makes it harder to start the engine. And, an old engine won’t have as good compression as a newer model, which compounds the problem.
Question: My Toyota 1KD engine cranks but it can't start. What could be the problem?
Answer: Follow the steps in the first section in the post to get an idea what system is causing the problem first (ignition, fuel, compression). Then take it from there.
Question: I have a 1995 BMW 740 that wont start. If I put starting fluid in the intake, it tries to start. If I bypass fuel relay, it comes on, but not with key. It cranks but will not start. What could be the problem?
Answer: Make sure you don’t have a clogged fuel filter first. This will prevent fuel from reaching the injectors. Then, check if the fuel pump kicks in when you turn the key On. Remove the key completely and then insert the key and turn it On. You should here the pump coming ‘alive’. If not, try using another relay, or remove the relay and test it. If the pump isn’t working, check if you have any fuel pressure. There could be a leaking fuel pressure regulator or a worn, weak pump. You can check fuel pressure through the test (Schrader) valve. These other posts may help:
Question: My 1996 GMC Sierra 2500 will crank but not start. The fuel pump is working properly and it's getting spark. We bought the truck about a month and a half ago and it ran for about two weeks. Then it would crank but not start. The distributor cap and rotor and the fuel pump fuse were replaced. It started up with no problem for a couple more weeks, and then wouldn't start again. What might be wrong?
Answer: There could be a problem with a sensor, throttle position sensor or crankshaft sensor. Check for trouble codes, even if the check engine light is not on, there could be pending codes. Check fuel pressure as well and make sure you got a strong spark. If the fuel pump was blown, check the fuel pump circuit, if necessary.
Question: My Audi V6 just cranks but won't start, I tried almost everything but still the same, what could be the problem?
Answer: Sometimes, this is due to a faulty MAF sensor. You can try cleaning the sensor first and then checking sensor operation. Also, make sure you got no vacuum leaks and you got the correct fuel pressure. Compare the specs in your vehicle repair manual. I'm assuming you checked for good spark and trouble codes. Hope this helps.
Question: I have a 2002 Camaro SS that had a sudden no start. I replaced the PCV valve tubing and valve because I noticed the tube was broken. I also replaced the spark plugs and cleaned the injectors. The car is getting fuel and spark to the coils. At this point, I'm running out of things to test. Do you have any suggestions?
Answer: Make sure fuel pressure is correct. Use a fuel pressure gauge to test pressure. Check for trouble codes that can guide you. Unplug the MAF sensor and see if this makes a difference. Problems with the crankshaft position sensor can also prevent the engine from starting.
Question: I have a 1998 Chevy 1998 K2500 4x4 truck. I've replaced plugs, plug wires, distributor and new battery, fuel filters, fresh fuel. Fuel pressure checks out. Engine cranks but won't start until the whine of fuel pump slightly changes tone. Then it will start on next attempt. Do you think its the fuel pump, even though pressure checks out OK?
Answer: Spray some starting fluid in the throttle body and try starting the engine. If it catches for a second or two, then there could be a problem with the fuel pump.
Question: I have a 1999 Nissan Primera model. I went and washed the car and it could not start. A mechanic checked and realized that water had entered the ECU. I bought a new one, programmed it, and had it installed. The car could still not start. They removed the spark plugs and the cylinders were flooded with petrol. What could be the possible cause of this?
Answer: Make sure the ignition system is producing a good spark; otherwise the computer is injecting fuel that is not getting burned. Also, there could be a problem with the injection system. If you didn't experience this problem prior to replacing the computer, check these two systems first.
Question: I have an 06 Dodge Durango that won't start. It gets stuck in the crank and the power light comes on, then the service engine light. Any idea what would cause that?
Answer: Several issues can cause the a crank-no start condition, but if the engine light is coming on, check for trouble codes first - if you don't have a scanner, see if your local auto parts loans you one.
Usually, problems with the ignition, fuel systems may prevent an engine from starting. On some models, a low engine pressure will prevent the engine from starting. A bad crankshaft or camshaft position sensor can also cause this.
Question: I have a 263 international engine. New coil rotor wires condenser. Still, won’t kick. Just a very weak spark sometimes. Any ideas?
Answer: Make sure your battery is good and circuit connections are good. If this is affecting all cylinders, there may be low voltage going into the ignition primary. Check the voltage in the coil and trace back to the ignition switch. Something to watch for are engine grounds. Loose, corroded connections or bad wires can drop the voltage needed to fire up the engine. This other post may give you an idea about some ground tests you can do:
Question: My 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 doesn't want to start. It was working fine until after my friend added motor oil and spilled a lot of it. One of the spark plugs was moistened w/ motor oil and cleaned. It cranks but does not turn over. I checked fuses, fuel pump, and battery. All good. I even tried spraying starter fluid in the carburetor and nothing happened. I don't understand. It was starting well. The battery turns slowly like it's dying now. Why would my Dodge Ram be so difficult to start?
Answer: You need to recharge the battery for sure. But the problem seems to be in the ignition system. If more than one spark plug is fouled, the engine will have a hard time starting. Make sure that you got a good spark plug.
Question: My Mazda Demio is not showing engine check light. What could be the main causes of this?
Answer: Make sure you got enough fuel pressure and good spark:
This other post may help as well:
Dan Ferrell (author) on August 27, 2020:
The problem could be in the starting system circuit. This other post can help you check the wires and connections using voltage drop:
sam njenga on August 27, 2020:
i have a 2009 mitsubishi colt that wont start but keeps making clicking sounds, ive changed the starter, solenoid, baterry and even been added a relay on the starter but still the problem is there.
Dan Ferrell (author) on August 04, 2020:
There might be too much fuel fed to the engine. Check fuel pressure. This other post may help:
Amy on August 03, 2020:
2006 Chrysler 300 will start but won’t stay running unless u keep pushing the gas pedal and thn there is gasoline like smell
Vivian Arendse on August 01, 2020:
I have a fordrowcam bakie the engin has been do over timing is set but it does not want to start what can it be
Dan Ferrell (author) on July 25, 2020:
Normally, cylinder pressure should be over 100 psi. Your mechanic might be right and needs to investigate why the chain slipped, if that's what happened. It'll probably need a new chain kit.
Keiko Nishimura on July 24, 2020:
Nissan pulsar 2003 Mechanics changed fuel , changed injectors ,check coil , the pressure in each cylinder is 75 , blows no smoke .Mechanics have had it going and driven it when the motor is warm the motor starts when cold the motor will not start ,maybe the timing chain has slipped the Mechanic said it is also flooding .
Dan Ferrell (author) on July 24, 2020:
A car technician should be able to analyze sensors' data that might lead to the problem. He should be able to confirm if there's spark and fuel going to the engine. Hope this helps.
tamara bannick on July 24, 2020:
Hi there I have a 1996 ford explorer xlt we just had the engine out and replaced the 4 timing chains that it required and was driving fine the first day then noticed the check engine light came on then noticed the spedometer wasnt working but was still driving good then went up a small hill and it shut off and wouldnt start again we have tried replacing the starter and put another battery in and still nothing then we thought it might be the fuel filter so we just replaced that and it still wont start it will turn over but not starting any ideas what the problem could be really need some help even our mechanic doesnt know what the problem could be
Dan Ferrell (author) on July 20, 2020:
Check sensor connections and sensor themselves, specially the camshaft sensor. Something might've been left disconnected, loose or a wire damaged. Download trouble codes, even if you don't see the check engine light on. Hope this helps.
Erry on July 19, 2020:
2001 Toyota Runx 140RT 4ZZ Exhaust Camshaft aas broken and we change it and set the timing chain correctly. But now it not starting but before with a broken camshagt it was starting. What might be a problem?
Dan Ferrell (author) on July 15, 2020:
Try first downloading trouble codes and see if you find any, even if the check engine light is not on. This can help you focus on the possible faulty system. Make sure to check fuel pressure and spark. If there's no spark or no fuel pressure, it's possible a sensor is faulty. Also, a security system may be bad and preventing the engine from starting, or a key chip may also interfere. Hope this helps.
Rhonda Franklin on July 14, 2020:
2001 nissan pulsar q turns oever wont start replaced fuel pump spark plugs injectors 2 sensors camshaft feul flow sensor battery and stater motor 4 mechanics still wont start
Dan Ferrell (author) on July 14, 2020:
The problem could be in the electrical system. Full voltage may not be reaching the starter motor. It'll be a good idea to check the starting circuit and engine grounds. These other posts may help.
Also, download trouble codes, even if you don't see the check engine light on. There could be a pending code that might help.
Tim on July 13, 2020:
I have a 4.3 that started fine and went about 2 miles and shut off with no warning. When I went to start it, the starter had a different sound to it. Anybody have any thoughts as to what it might be?
Dan Ferrell (author) on July 03, 2020:
The problem could be with the circuit to the ignition coil or somehwere in the ignition system. This other post may help:
curtlee debruin on July 03, 2020:
hi everyone i sitting with a problem my car crank but dont wanna start up and there is no spark..buyer a new coil and still no spark can anyone help please
Rob Mc Eachern IV on June 26, 2020:
Thanks Dan I will start with fixing those problems. But even though with a timing light hooked up and #1 appearing to fire on right timing mark and the starting fluid sprayed in the manifold the computer can still change timing enough to stop every cylinder from firing off at least a pop cuz I get nothing, not even "ok I'm trying to start" out of it. I didn't think the ecu could change timing that much, but it sounds like
it can. So on to fix what I know to be wrong and let you know when I know and again thank you my friend, you are most helpful.
Dan Ferrell (author) on June 25, 2020:
On some models, without a proper signal from the ECT, the computer will not be able to adjust for the proper air-fuel mixture (it may over lean or enrich too much) and upset ignition timing. In your case, the computer doesn't even know the volume and density of the air coming in. Start by fixing the ECT, and then the MAF and see what it does. Hope this help.
Rob Mc Eachern IV on June 25, 2020:
ok I have a no start problem on a 91 vw cabriolet. Done all the checks and do hae code for ect, maf and air temp. but my question is even with those 3 problems, if you spray starting fluid in manifold shouldn't it still fire for a second. It has spark and at the right time and compression 170s. I know I need to replace parts but even so it should still fire, shouldn't it? and Dan so far your site is the most informative and easy to follow, thanks Rob
Dan Ferrell (author) on June 08, 2020:
You may want to try fixing code PO128. This could be a faulty thermostat or ECT (coolant temperature sensor), most of the time. This may take care of the other code. These other posts may help:
Mark w on June 07, 2020:
I have a 2012 ford fusion se that cranks but wont start snd i have 2 codes popped up one is p0420 and the other is p0128 i think my catalytic converter is plugged what is everyones opinion on this matter
Dan Ferrell (author) on June 05, 2020:
Backfires can be caused for various reasons, usually a vacuum leak, a sensor problem or a faulty ignition system. This other post may help:
Delbert on June 05, 2020:
Got a 2003dodge Durango it would crank for a few seconds then it would change sounds then start now it change s sounds now backfires what up with it
Dan Ferrell (author) on May 27, 2020:
Check these two posts, they may help you diagnose the problem:
jms on May 27, 2020:
Anyone herd of a Toyota Tacoma with new cam / crank sensors 4 new plugs and 4 new coils(coil on plug) checked fuel pump 45 psi and calls for 42. truck will only run if i crank and as it starts cycle the key from on to off back to on all fuses are good battery good no security lites or codes //// only codes were for startability issue and either primary or secondary ign coils issue which they were replaced.. Any help would be appreciated . tryed bypassing the ign switch but even with the transponder key in and wires hooked to that sec then wont crank.
Dan Ferrell (author) on May 02, 2020:
If cranking drains battery power fast, there could be a problem in one of the circuits. This post may help:
Also, try downloading trouble codes and see if any sensor has triggered a code. Usually, problems with the crank, cam, throttle position and MAF sensors cause this type of problem. Hope this helps.
Toksie on May 01, 2020:
I have a Nissan Bluebird - 2002 manual transmission sedan. The car cannot start but only cranks. I have replaced new batteries but the power runs out faster when trying to diagnose the problem. I have checked and replaced new sensors, fuel filter, 4 cylinder heads, new computer box, add new oil and fuel. I am not getting anywhere and end with the same problem. I am almost buying new n60 car battery every time I want to spend time checking again. Please help me fix my car.
Dan Ferrell (author) on April 07, 2020:
Make sure you got good spark and fuel pressure:
Also, there could be a problem with a sensor (crankshaft, camshaft sensor) communicating with the computer. Download for possible pending trouble codes. Also, make sure the circuit and connections to the sensors are good. Hope this helps.
Joe m on April 06, 2020:
My 2000 ford explorer cranks but wont start. Ive already replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter, air filter, coil, spark plugs,and spark plug wires and it still wont start,why?
Dan Ferrell (author) on April 01, 2020:
There could be a problem with the crankshaft or camshaft sensor, or the ignition module. Search for trouble codes and see if there's a pending one that can guide you here. Hope this helps.
Isaac Moloko on April 01, 2020:
My toyota ipsum doesn't spark only crank engine what to check when coil packs dont spark only crank engine
Dan Ferrell (author) on March 30, 2020:
Make sure you got good spark and good fuel pressure. Download trouble codes, even if the check engine light is not on, there could be a pending code from a sensor that is acting up.
Brian 2003 nissan sentra gxe on March 30, 2020:
My car cranks but wont start! I have replaced the plug's and coils, the crankshaft position sensor drained oil and flushed radiator! The car has half tank of fuel but only cranks!
Dan Ferrell (author) on March 17, 2020:
Glad to hear you got it fixed. Yes, it's better to start with the simple stuff. There's where many problems start.
PearlsNPowerTools on March 16, 2020:
2002 Ranger Edge. After testing fuel pressure, wiring, ignition coil, and spending $75 on a new fuel pump and still crank no start. I suggested we start over with the basics. Fuses
Powertrain Control Module (PCM) power diode, Ignition, PATS.
Took the $23 unused crankshaft position sensor back to the store. Hubby took me out to dinner as a thank you.
So glad i took that powderpuff mechanic class when i bought my first car in 1985. It taught me to start with the simplest cheapest remedies first.
Dan Ferrell (author) on March 09, 2020:
Usually the problem will be at the ignition or fuel system. Make sure you got good spark and, if necessary, good fuel pressure:
If necessary, check the crankshaft and camshaft sensors, as applicable. Hope this helps.
Dan Ferrell (author) on March 09, 2020:
If none of the plugs have spark, check the distributor, ignition coil wire and the coil itself; then the ignition module. Or maybe the ignition switch is bad. It may happen. Work your way backwards through the system. You may need your vehicle repair manual to look up specs for the coil. Hope this helps.
Ademola on March 08, 2020:
I have a 1998 Chrysler Town and Country that cranks but won't start. Please assist with what I need to do to get it to start.Thank you
Tom C on March 07, 2020:
Hey Dan, so I swapped the plugs and listened for the fuel pump and I was able to hear it running. So I took one plug out to test for spark holding it against a ground and no spark. To make sure I tried another plug on a different ground and again no spark. Could definitely smell fuel out of the open ports. So maybe a fuse? Electrical or distributor? Possibly a harness?
Dan Ferrell (author) on March 06, 2020:
Make sure you got good spark and fuel pressure. Also, a sensor (cranksaft or camshaft) might not be sending the correct signal, preventing the engine from starting. In this case the fuel injectors might not fire. Download trouble codes, even if the engine light is not on, there could be a pending code. Hope this helps.
Tom C on March 05, 2020:
2004 Nissan Titan, cranks with lots of juice but won’t start. Not a battery/starter/alt problem. Possibly spark plugs? Sounds normal while cranking.
Dan Ferrell (author) on January 29, 2020:
Try downloading trouble codes, even if the engine light is not on. There could be a pending code that can help you here. On some models, a bad sensor or its circuit can prevent the engine from starting (crankshaft or camshaft sensor, throttle position sensor). Hope this helps.
desan on January 29, 2020:
I HAVE A 200 FORD FOCUS, THE CAR WILL CRANK BUT NOT START, I TESTED THE ECU, I TESTED IGNITION, CHECKED ALL THE FUSES AND RELAYS, I TRIED PROGRAMMING THE CAR,NEW BATTERY, STARTER IS GOOD, FUEL IS GOOD, SPARK IS GOOD BUT THE CAR WONT START. ANY IDEAS
Dan Ferrell (author) on January 10, 2020:
Temperature related issues during starting can be hard to diagnose sometimes. This other post may help:
ymmas on January 10, 2020:
my Toyota Corolla 2006 crunk but not start and the other day . start again. when i drive After 4 hours when i start crunk no start.
Dan Ferrell (author) on December 30, 2019:
Have the battery and charging system checked. If the battery runs down or the charging system isn't quite working, you may not have enough current.
Richard Stallings on December 28, 2019:
My 2010 Frontier turns over but wont start. Immediately starts when additional charge is put to battery?
Dan Ferrell (author) on December 09, 2019:
Check the crankshaft and camshaft position sensors. The computer relies on these sensors to manage spark and fuel delivery.
Ben on December 08, 2019:
Kia rio 2010..engine crank but no start no supply in the coil And pump..no trouble code show but engine warning lights on...
Dan Ferrell (author) on December 04, 2019:
There could be a problem with the ignition control module. You may need your repair manual to locate the fault. This other post may give you an idea about the diagnostic, but I highly suggest getting a repair manual to trace the fault in your model:
Jo ann on December 04, 2019:
My distributor went out on my 2004 Nissan exterra so I replaced it with a new one then a day later the new one went out. Im getting no spark again and the new distributor is not working. What could cause it to keep shorting out new distributor
Thomas on November 28, 2019:
Some cars still have a fuel filter
Dan Ferrell (author) on November 20, 2019:
Make sure the battery is fully charged and therminals are clean and tight. If you hear a solid click when trying to start the engine, maybe the starter is bad. If you hear a series of clicks, probably is not receiving enough voltage. Check the starting circuit:
Million on November 19, 2019:
I have chev cruze 2015 1.4 turbo Monday morning i start the car after everything it was after 20 min i try to start he doesn't start all the lights on dashboard but no crank just quite there any body helping please i take the car mechanic he checking everything he couldn't find the problem
Dan Ferrell (author) on November 18, 2019:
There could be a problem with a sensor or coil that is breaking when the temperature goes up. This other post may help:
Try downloading trouble codes even if the engine light is not on. There could be a pending code that can guide here. Hope this helps.
Dan Ferrell (author) on November 18, 2019:
If you don't hear the starter at all, maybe the battery has no charged or there's a problem with the starting circuit. If the engine was starting without before then, check the battery, do a voltage drop on the starting circuit. This other post may help:
Ali on November 17, 2019:
I have a 3series BMW i parked it near a shop got something after half an hour when i came back to my car all the lights come on but but the engine wont turn or make any noise. I dont know what happened i am due to take it for service..please help
Jonah Mainwaring on November 16, 2019:
My 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 has several times failed to start. The starter turns but the engine won't catch. It only happens when restarting the engine after a brief stop, like running into a store, never first thing in the morning, and after ten minutes or so it will suddenly start fine again. Today it cut off while I was driving and did the same thing.
Dan Ferrell (author) on November 12, 2019:
The fuel system might be slowly loosing pressure. Try turning the ignition key On, leave it there for a two-three seconds, then turn it off. Repeat three to five times, trying to build system pressure, and then try starting the engine. If it fires up without an issue or much easier, then the problem is in the system. Check system pressure, if necessary, next time it happens. Hope this helps.
CHARLES on November 11, 2019:
every 2-3 days my honda accord has a strong crank turnover, but won,t star for15-20 minutes,and starts normally for two-three days
Dan Ferrell (author) on November 08, 2019:
There could be a problem in the ignition system, loose wire or dirty connector, faulty ignition module; or a fault in the fuel system. Next time it doesn't want to start, spray some starting fluid in the throttle valve. If seems to catch while cranking, the problem is in the fuel system; otherwise it could be in the ignition. Hope this helps.
Kevin on November 07, 2019:
Hi, it seems that those "crank but won't start" issues are fairly common, but what if those issues are intermittent? I have a VW up! from 2012 and last week it started to have this issue where it would sometimes starts normally, sometimes crank but not start. What could create an issue that is intermittent? Thanks for your help
Dan Ferrell (author) on October 28, 2019:
There seems to be a fault in the electrical system. You may want to locate first the system or part draining the battery. This other post may help:
Itumelengsleshaga on October 28, 2019:
Hi please help my diesel bmw 530D E60 cranks but won't start. It started off with crankshaft sensor fault, which i replaced and blue dde relay, fault remained later noticed loom connection to the crankshaft sensor is stuck hit by engine mounting possible short circuit. Rejoined wires, cleared faults and crankshaft sensor fault never returned but still car wont fire up! The fault codes um now getting are IBS sensor 4410, 4B90 rail pressure monitoring on engine start, and all 6 glow plugs 4212 to 4262. Kindly assist. It also drains the battery even without key on when the car is locked.
Teboho on October 28, 2019:
What to do to bring back my Audi v6 memory?
Dan Ferrell (author) on October 15, 2019:
Make sure you are getting the correct fuel pressure. If you got good spark, check the camshaft sensor and compression. Hope this helps.
Brad on October 14, 2019:
Hi i have a 2002 dodge ram 1500 4.7 will crank over but wont start its gettin fuel spark i changed the crankshaft position sensor in an replace 4 coils what else could it be
Dan Ferrell (author) on October 07, 2019:
This other post may help:
Juan on October 07, 2019:
Starts up but won't stay running, even after putting fuel in carburator
Dan Ferrell (author) on September 02, 2019:
Start by scanning the car's computer for trouble codes. Probably a sensor is giving you trouble. If there are no codes, check that you have enough fuel pressure and good spark. Hope this helps.
Felicia on September 02, 2019:
Hi ive got a problem with my car honda 160i luxline 93 model it doesnt want to start keeps on poping the yellow light
Vl lover on August 18, 2019:
Hi guys, I have a 1986 vl that wont start. Any help or suggestions would be great.
Dan Ferrell (author) on July 10, 2019:
Make sure you got good spark and fuel pressure.
barnett on July 10, 2019:
car just stop while i was backing up
and wont start what could be the cause
Keith on July 01, 2019:
04 honda element cranks but wont start
Dan Ferrell (author) on June 22, 2019:
Check for a spark when the engine doesn't fire. Also, there may be a problem with the starter motor. Usually worn bushings will cause this. Problems with the fuel injectors leaking or internal electrical (coil) fault may cause this as well.
Jb on June 22, 2019:
Hi, i have holden viva its starts fine when engine is cold after its engine warm up and i turn it off just cranks and not start again needs stay for almost 2 hours and starts again and runs fine . I changed fule pump , crankshft sensor , coolant temp sensor , coil pack and spark plugs but still problem is not solved .colud you help me .thanks
Dan Ferrell (author) on June 13, 2019:
If you checked for trouble codes and the problem was for a crank sensor, check the connections or the wires; sometimes there's where the problem is. Also, download codes and see if there's still one for the sensor or a pending one that can point to the problem.
Robert on June 13, 2019:
Put a crank sensor on and it still no o start
Dan Ferrell (author) on June 04, 2019:
It's possible the timing chain broke. You can remove the distributor cap and crank the engine. If the rotor doesn't move, the chain broke. You can also check ignition timing using a timing light. This other post may help:
Jerry Price on June 04, 2019:
I have a 1992 Dodge Decota pick up. Was driving down the road truck was running fine all of a sudden I hear a loud pop come from the engine the truck stopped running . It cranks but does not start. Could it be the timming chain or belt or jumped time. I have no idea.
Dan Ferrell (author) on May 21, 2019:
If you still have no spark, you may have a problem with a sensor. Although a faulty crankshaft position sensor can prevent the engine from starting, the fault can be with the circuit. Download trouble codes, even if you don't see the check engine light on. A pending code may give you some direction here. BTW, make sure you have good fuel pressure, not just fuel flow. Hope this helps.
Pam on May 21, 2019:
Have a 04 Saturn vue 3.5 awd, cranks won’t start no spark , changed plugs and the crankshaft position sensor checked fuel flow all the things you mentioned . No difference. Still no start
Dan Ferrell (author) on April 29, 2019:
Check for good spark and fuel pump are working properly. These are the most common sources of trouble.
Dan Ferrell (author) on April 29, 2019:
If you haven't change the fuel filter in a year or more, change the filter first. It might be clogged.
Lonnie on April 28, 2019:
I have a 1998 Chevy pickup. 4.3L V6. My current problem is that im not getting any fuel past the filter into the engine, but everyrhing else looks good.
Jarod on April 27, 2019:
The pickup I have has a 345 in it now we got from a graintruck it ran before we put it in the pickup. It cranks over but doesn't start. The wires and firing order is the same. Is there any other cause for this? Again it ran before we took it out of the grain truck and everything is hooked up.
Dan Ferrell (author) on April 15, 2019:
If you are getting good spark, you might want to check the fuel pressure. A fuel filter is a possibility if you haven't replaced it in more than a year or two.
Dan Ferrell (author) on April 15, 2019:
If your ignition key is getting stuck, make sure your battery is fully charged and check the wheel lock cylinder.
Sean steigerwald on April 14, 2019:
I have a 2002 Honda Accord se 2.3L. One morning woke up wouldn’t enter start. Checked timing. Fine. Valve cover gasket and tube seals fine. New spark plugs. Magically got it to star once. Drove it. Idling rough, driving rough. Checked compression in all cylinders.fine. Cleaned contacts on Distributor cap. New spark wires. Currently looking at fuel filter, but it seems fine. Before this incident I replaced catalytic converter and it ran the best since I’ve owned the car. I’m truly stumped? Anyone welcome to take a stab.
Nafira black on April 14, 2019:
Need to know what's wrong with my mistibushi diamonte 02 want crank shift gears won't move key want come out but lights come on
Dan Ferrell (author) on March 18, 2019:
Try rotating the engine manually using a socket, ratchet extension and a breaker bar. Set the transmission to neutral. If it is too tight, try removing the spark plugs, if it still too tight, theres something wrong in the assembly. If it turns without much effort, check for a good spark and fuel pressure.
Vishnu on March 16, 2019:
I have 5A FE engine toyota Corolla 110
Have a misfire on number 4 piston disassembled the head and had a bend exhaust valve replaced the valve clean the carbon on the pistons then assembly back car cranks but would not start and the engine turn over like if is to tight.. help if you can
Dan Ferrell (author) on February 25, 2019:
Check all the fuses; there could be another blown fuse. Then make sure you got spark, and fuel pressure. These are the most common reasons for a crank-no start issues. If it doesn't crank, check the starter relay and connections to the starter motor and battery terminals. Make sure the battery is fully charged.
Tori on February 25, 2019:
I was messin with my radio and blown the fuse box is that y my car won't start or crank
Dan Ferrell (author) on February 14, 2019:
If this is a rebuilt engine, you may need a new starter motor. But you may want to make sure you got a good spark, and fuel compression.
Roger on February 14, 2019:
My car just got an engine install . But it cranks but dosent start.
Dan Ferrell (author) on December 05, 2018:
The problem could be in the emission or fuel system. Maybe this other post can help. Specially, check the first section:
Jesse on December 05, 2018:
I have a 1996 Mitsubishi Montero that has been having issues, it will start but sputters out when I press the gas if I left off the gas it seems to pick up power for a couple seconds then stalls out again, after 10 or 15 minutes of this I can finally get her to move and she seems to do fine, till she has say for awhile then same deal all over again, I've checked the throttle body, air filter and changed the fuel pump and fuel strainer, I got in her this morning she started right up...... for about 30 seconds then stalled now she will not start at all. I've tried starting her while pumping the gas but no help, I don't even smell fuel at all. Any ideas where else to check? I've also checked the spark plugs and wires and they are all nice and silver with no signs of fouling.