Engine will Not Crank or Start-What could be wrong?
This is usually one of the easiest problems to test and solve. But first you need to get over the initial ‘Why me’ frustration.
To find out what’s going on, you will need to analyze the situation. If the engine will not crank or start, you are probably dealing with a starter or battery problem.
- Has the starter been acting up, possibly cranking slow, or making strange noises?
- Has the engine failed to crank or start before, or is this the first time?
- Have you recently replaced the starter, battery or cables?
- Maybe it is a defective part?
- Has the battery been running down?
- Could there be a problem with the charging system?
- Have there been any other electrical problems lately?
The answers to these questions should shed some light on what is going on.
You heard the starter solenoid activating but not much of anything else. Consequently the engine was not turning over.
These are tests that anyone can perform in a short time that can save you time and money.
I recommend the following path for your diagnosis:
- First of all, make sure the battery is fully charged. If in doubt, charge it or replace it with a fully charged one.
- Do a Voltage drop test on the starter motor’s power and ground circuits.
- Test the starter solenoid circuit to make sure it’s getting power when you turn the key to the START position.
- Try to turn the engine over by hand to make sure it is not locked up, possibly because of a thrown con-rod.
- If the engine does not turn over remove the serpentine belt to check that the air conditioning compressor has not locked up (or any other accessory pulley).
Finally Bench-test the starter if necessary.
If you don’t have the tools to test the starter, there are a number of parts stores that would test it for free. Usually you would have to remove it and take it there.