Car won't crank troubleshooting

RichardHale28 Jan 3, 2012 Cars
If you have a vehicle that won't crank, read below and find out how to get your vehicle back on the road.



     If you have a vehicle that will not crank, you have came to the right place. If your engine is not turing over, first check your ignition fuse. You want to make sure your fuse has not blown. You need to look on your fuse box diagram for the location of the fuse. You may be able to find it in your owner manual if you do not have a diagram or fuse box top. If the fuse is blown, replace it with a new one. If it is not, keep reading.


     The next thing you want to find out is if you have power to the vehicle. Check to see if your dash lights are coming on, as well as other lights in the vehicle such as the dome light and other interior lights. If they are not coming on and everything inside is dead, you need to check the battery. This means you are not getting power to the vehicle. Check the battery itself and check the battery terminals and wires. Make sure the wires are not damaged and make sure the connection to the battery post is tight. If you notice while or blue residue, clean it off. You can clean it with a wire brush. This will ensure you have the best connection possible for your vehicle. If the starter doesn't get enough power from the battery, it will not crank over. If you have a damaged wire or terminal end, you need to go ahead and replace it. Be sure to wear protective gloves when handling and working on the battery. You do not want to get any battery acid on your hand. Once this is done, you can now charge the battery. Charge the battery with a battery charger or you can jump the vehicle over by using jumper cables. When hooking cables up to the battery, make sure you do not hook up the wrong ones on the battery. Use the same color match system when putting cables on the battery, red with red and blue/black with blue/black.


     It is possible that you have a bad alternator too. A bad alternator can cause the battery to drain if it is bad. If the vehicle does not start and dies shortly later, the alternator could be bad. Follow this easy step to see if your alternator is bad. This test is for those who have charged their battery and were able to start the vehicle but it continues to die. If it still doesn't start, you will need to test the part at an auto part store or test it yourself. Start your vehicle and take off the hot side battery post, which is red in color. If your vehicle dies instantly, your alternator is defective and will need changed. If it continues to run, this clears the alternator. If this happens to you, you need to find what is causing the battery to drain. You may be getting a power surge from somewhere or something else is draining your battery. If so, you may want to have your vehicle put on a diagnostic machine.


     If you do have power to your vehicle, you may have a bad starter or starter solenoid. An easy way to find the starter is by following your battery wires down to the engine. Follow the hot side wires and not the ground wires. Once you find the starter, you can use basically anything to hit the outside of the starter. You do not want to beat it to death but you do want to apply a few good hits to the outside of the starter. By doing this, the starter may catch and your vehicle may start. If it does, this will not solve your problem. You will still need to change your starter out eventually. It may start the car twenty more times or maybe only once more. It may not even work at all. Before you work on the starter, make sure you unplug the battery before doing so. If your starter is dirty and clogged with oil, this may be your issue. You can try cleaning it out and cleaning the connections on the starter. This may be all it needs to work again.

     If you know that the starter is good, it could be your starter solenoid that is the problem. This part is what allows the starter to catch the flywheel on the engine. In return, this causes the vehicle to turn over. This part can be hard to change on certain vehicles. If you choose to do so, make sure you have an vehicle manual for your specific vehicle make and model that shows the steps of the process before you begin working on this.


     You will need to check all the parts listed before you change them out with a voltage meter. It is possible that one of the parts listed are not getting power. Check each part with the voltage meter to make sure power is not the problem. You can also visually inspect the wires to each part and see if you notice any damaged wires or burnt wires in each harness. Pay close attention to the wires of the starter and make sure they are not damaged or loose.


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