Engine cranks but will not start

Engine cranks but will not start-What can you check to find the problem?

What does it mean when your Engine is dying without any warning and will not restart. Hence it may be the classic “intermittent dying” problem.

Does the engine start, but run poorly or even “die” in a few seconds?
As a result this is often referred to as a “starts and dies” condition. Any one or combination of the following issues may be the source of the problem.
  • Worn out tune-up parts
  • Fuel injection problems
  • Vacuum leaks
  • Contaminated fuel
  • Weak fuel pump or fuel pump relay
  • Bad contacts in the ignition switch, key code problems
  • Ignition coil or module
Does the vehicle start and run better warm than when it’s cold?
As a result this is usually referred to as a “cold-start/run” problem.  Any one or combination of the following issues may be the source of the problem.
  • Fuel injection problems
  • Ignition system problems
  • Vacuum leaks

Sometimes a car may have an intermittent problem, when it starts fine most of the time, but once in a while it doesn’t.

What will help to find a problem of this type is if you notice when, under what conditions the car doesn’t start and what helps to get it started.

For example, if you notice that wiggling the ignition key helps to get the car started, it may tell you that the problem is likely with the ignition switch, which is very common. Or, if the security light flashes on the instrument panel each time the car doesn’t start could tell you to begin with checking the security system.

Because all engines require three things to start and run doing some simple testing can help solve your problem.

SPARK  /  FUEL  /  COMPRESSION

Consequently, If any of the three are missing your engine will not start.

NO SPARK

Engine cranks but will not start
check plug for spark

 To do a quick test for spark remove one spark plug or use an extra spark plug in your tool kit.

Attach the spark plug to the spark plug wire, use a jumper cable and attach one end to the spark plug and the other to the negative post of the battery. Try turning over the starter and see if the spark plug is firing. If the plug does not fire there could be other problems.

In addition, Here is a list of other things that could cause no spark or Engine cranks but will not start.

NO FUEL

Check For Fuel
Check For Fuel

To do a quick test for no fuel get a can of starting fluid or propane and spray some into the air intake system through a hole where there is a fitting or hose opening to the throttle body/carb/etc.

Try to start the engine , if it starts and then turns off you are not getting fuel from your gas tank to the engine.

In addition, Here is a list of other things that could cause no fuel or Engine cranks but will not start.

  • Bad Fuel Pump ( Tip: Turn of key and listen for buzzing Noise From Fuel Tank )
  • Blown Fuse
  • Fuel Pump Relay
  • Low or No Fuel Pressure
  • Fuel Injectors or Relay
  • Bad PCM

NO COMPRESSION

No Compression
No Compression

 To do a quick test for no compression do a Compression or Cylinder Leak Down Test.

If you are doing a Compression Test you need to have at least 125 lbs of Compression for your engine to run. If you have good compression in all but one cylinder it will still run but miss on one cylinder.

In addition, Here is a list of other things that could cause no compression or Engine cranks but will not start.

  • Broken or Slipped Timing Belt or Chain
  • Burnt or Bent Valves
  • Worn or Damaged Pistons or Rings
  • Broken Camshaft or Crankshaft

Most people will be able to do the quick tests to get a general idea of what is going on.

In conclusion, If the quick tests do not solve your problem you will need to go to a professional that has the proper Diagnostic Testing Equipment.

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About Danny Bender 106 Articles
DannysEnginePortal.com Is The Premier Automotive Engine Troubleshooting Resource Site. DannysEnginePortal.com Shares Information On Engine Troubleshooting, Engine Rebuilding, Engine Repair Tips, Tech Info, Basic Machining, Automotive Testing, In addition To Possible Solutions.

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