6 Common No Crank/No Start Problems — Lynnwood Auto Electrical Services

July 1, 2011  

In an attempt to get your idle car started, chances are the your first thought will be that the battery needs replaced. Don’t rush to judgement, however, as it can be any number of items within the ignition switch and starter circuitry that is keeping your vehicle from starting.

Check Battery: By first checking the voltage across the battery, you can quickly determine if this is the problem. If the voltage reading is low (less than 12V), recharge the battery with a portable charger or from a healthy battery as directed by your Owner’s Manual. If the battery voltage is good, check the battery cables; be certain that the cables are free of corrosion and are tightened in place (both ends of both cables).

Check Starter Relay — first inspect wiring connections; follow with cleaning and tightening of all connections as required. Check the voltage across the relay; if there is voltage at the relay but no click when you turn the key in the ignition, replace the relay/solenoid.

Check Operation of Starter — connect battery voltage directly to the starter to see if the flywheel spins with power applied. Alternatively, remove the starter and have it bench tested at Lynwood Ignition/Electrical Service and Repair. If the starter does not spin, inspect the drive wheel and flywheel teeth; replace damaged parts as necessary.

Check Ignition Switch and Clutch/Brake and Neutral Switches — check for voltage at the starter when the ignition key is turned. If power is not reaching the starter, one of the switches is defective. Check each with the ignition switch in ‘ON’ position to determine if one is ‘OPEN’. This will likely take 2-people, as the brake ¬†and clutch (manual transmission) must be depressed to start most vehicles. Any switch that does not close as required will need to be replace.

Check for Engine Seizure — using a socket with a long handle, try turning engine manually; if the engine does not turn, it is locked up.

Check for Engine Hydro-lock — if engine will not turn manually, remove spark plugs to inspect for coolant leak from damaged/leaky head gasket.

As you move down the list of the common causes of a typical No Crank/No Start troubleshooting guide, you may notice that each item becomes more difficult to diagnose. One sure way to be certain that your problems are solved is to have a certified mechanic at Lynnwood Auto Electrical Service & Repair diagnose and repair/replace the faulty item in the ignition switch and starter circuitry.

If the ignition/starter circuit is deemed operable, further investigation of the fuel pump circuit (See article: “My Engine Cranks But Won’t Start”).