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Engine Won’t Crank Video

This page is dedicated to helping you figure out why your engine won’t crank. You’ll find a short video outlining some common causes of an engine that won’t crank, you’ll find some mechanic tips for diagnosing without tools, and some links to tools that will help you troubleshoot like a pro.

No Crank Causes

Here’s a list of some common causes, the diagnostic process, and repairs of a no-crank condition.

No-crank CausesDiagnosisRepair
Battery terminalsCheck clean & tightClean and tighten
Battery flatTest voltageCharge or boost start engine
Battery faultyLoad testReplace battery
Key immobilizer faultCheck dash indicator & codesReplace reader or transponder key
Main fuse blownRefer drivers manual check fuseReplace fuse
Faulty starter relayTest relayReplace relay
Faulty ignition switchScan for fault codesReplace switch
Starter faultCheck wiring and hot wire to testFix wiring or replace starter
Seized engineRotate the engine manuallyIf seized replace the engine

This is not a complete list but it covers most of the major players.

Mechanics Tips for Diagnosis Without Tools

Power – Verify battery power by turning the ignition to position two, and turning on lights and wipers.

Listen – Attempt to start the motor and listen carefully for the telltale click. There are however, a few different type clicks:

  • A loud repeated clicking indicates a flat, faulty battery or loose or dirty battery terminals.
  • A single loud click indicates a starter motor solenoid fault.
  • A subtle single click from either the car interior fuse box or the underhood fuse box indicates the ignition circuit is in good order.

Visual checks – Check all the easy-to-do items first, they are: immobilizer dash warning, battery terminals, starter wiring in place, main fuse ok.

Jump starting sequence

Boost – Try boost starting from another vehicle. This will eliminate or confirm a flat faulty battery issue.

Add jumpers in sequences 1,2,3 and 4. Start flat vehicle and while running remove jumpers in reverse order 4,3,2 and 1. Check out the jumpstarting video here.

Troubleshooting Tools

The Topdon is an inexpensive reliable battery tester, it also runs alternator and battery crank test. Pic links out to

The NOCO jump starter pack is a serious tool, don’t let its size fool you. This little guy fights way above its weight. Capable of starting a diesel truck engine and yet small enough to fit in your glove box. Pic links out to

The NOCO genius battery charger is what’s known as a smart charger also known as a battery maintainer or trickle charger. They are smart because they detect the battery state of charge and automatically turn it off and on as needed. Pic links out to

Schumacher OBD-L Memory Saver or KAM tool. Important to fit the memory tool before disconnecting the battery. Modern cars don’t like being without power. The Schumacher is easy to use with its 3 steps guided procedure. Pic links out to

This is a the Topdon code reader like it’s sister the battery it’s a inexpensive and reliable code reader. It’s perfect for reading and clearing codes but it also allows for live data monitoring. I wrote a complete review of the Topdon, check it out here Topdon vs. Autel. Pic links out to

A Power probe is an excellent tool to have around. Great for testing circuits, relays, fuses, checking battery voltage, checking alternator output, checking the ground, volt drop testing. I’ve had a power probe forever and it’s still going strong. Pic links out to

Fast, simple, and inexpensive relay tester. Tests four and five-pin relays display green light for good and red for fail.