Reasons Engine Cranks Over but Won't Start - information from the the pros at Shingle Springs Subaru serving Sacramento, CA

May 15, 2019

A car that won't start in the morning is a good way to ruin your day. Fortunately, the technicians at Shingle Springs Subaru are experts at repair, and will be able to accurately diagnose the problem. But you can help them out. Paying attention to exactly what happens when you try to start your vehicle can help point them in the right direction. For example, if your engine cranks when you turn the key, but the car just won't start, it's likely due to one of these four reasons.

A person uses a wrench to adjust the clamps on a car battery.

4. Battery Trouble

An engine that cranks, but doesn't start, may have battery issues. There's a possibility that the battery doesn't have enough power, either because it's been drained or because it's nearing the end of its lifespan. There could also be corrosion on the battery terminals.

A driver turns the key in a vehicle's ignition.

3. Weak Starter Motor

The starter does just what it sounds like: starts your car. If the starter motor is weak, it may start to work. However, it won't be able to generate all the power it needs to fully turn over the engine. The starter motor can often be replaced.

A fuel gauge with the needle indicating a low level of gas.

2. Spark Problems

Your car needs a perfectly-timed spark to get started. If this isn't happening, the engine may still crank, but the car won't start. Lack of spark can have a variety of causes. The spark plugs themselves can be damaged, or the ignition module may not be functioning as it should. It could even be a problem with the wiring in your vehicle.

1. No Fuel

There's a chance that this might be the easiest problem to solve. If your gas tank is empty, your car won't start--no matter how much it cranks. However, there are other fuel-related issues that could cause this problem, and they're not as easy to fix. The fuel pump could have died, or you may have filled your tank with the wrong kind of gas.

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