Why will a car turn over but not start?

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Why a Car Would Turn Over But Not Start Lay answer: in addition to the battery voltage to "turn the engine over"...ignition requires spark and gas. I'm having the same problem with our 86 Volvo. The mechanic says the spark plugs are providing the spark...but fuel isn't getting to the cyliders. It's probably a blown fuse to the fuel pump or a bad fuel pump...or more remotely a poor connection between the fuse and the fuse clips...or a leak in the fuel line. Our car has two fuel pumps and since our problem has been intermittant, like yours, and we've checked fuses and connections, we're betting it's one of the fuel pumps pooped out.
Here are more opinions and answers from other FAQ Farmers:
  • If I remember right I think compression is the 3rd element to an engine running. timing belt or timing chain? You need to eliminate each one(fuel,spark or compression)first and then continue narrowing down from there. I have seen dampness cause ignition wires to fail among a multitude of others. Have a real tech troubleshoot it, other wise your gonna replace good parts guessing.
  • It is one of three things. It isn't getting proper spark, proper fuel, or proper compression. Use the process of deduction and find out. If the engine turns over the starter isn't bad.
  • Well it depends on the car but it could be that you don't have spark, you could have a big vacuum leak, timing might be off. But don't flood your motor if your in a hurry!
  • There are several possibilities: lack of fuel, sprk or compression, these are possible Maintenence items among many other possiblities: spark plugs (worn), ignition wire (Worn), distributor cap (worn), distributor rotor (worn), fuel filter (too dirty), air filter (no air getting in) and timing belt (timing is off).
  • It is worthwile to check for spark from the coil before considering the distributor, spark plug wires or sparkplugs. Assuming that lack of spark is the problem.
  • Another thing it could be is that your car is flooded , requiring possibly 3 hours for plugs to dry.
  • I had a problem on a 1994 ranger that turned out to be a motion switch that had been tripped when the car was bumped. It caused the electric fuel pump not to turn on.
  • If the car is a Chrysler product and just cranks but won't fire, it could be the fusible link. On Ford and GM cars the car will not even crank if it is bad but on Chryslers it will just crank. I don't know about imports.
  • Other possible sources of fuel related problems are a collapsed fuel line(depending on how old the car is) or plugged filter. Before you drive yourself nuts trying to locate the fuel shut off that the fellow described on the ranger.....it's been my experience that is only on ford models(you don't say anything about your make or yr)in the trunk in cars. Good luck
  • Correction: It's primarily fuel, spark, and timing. Timing problem of course can lead to lack of compression. Clarification: The comment on the '94 Ranger is correct. Many Fords have what is called an "inertia switch" which will cut off the fuel pump. This is designed to benefit the occupants in the case of a severe accident. I don't believe any other domestic maker uses this, but some imports do such as Jaguar.
  • A GASOLINE internal combustion engine needs 3 things to function properly: 1) fuel, preferrably delivered at the right mixture, but generally if it's there and the other two components are met, the engine will at least run. 2) ignition, often referred to as a spark or fire, ignition timing must be within a couple degrees of factory settings otherwise the engine may not run at all. Ignition spark strength must also be high enough to be adequate for the air/fuel mixture to ignite, but generally it is an all or nothing situation in the newer, electronic ignition systems. 3) compression, if the compression is up, the cylinders, valves and camshaft are functioning adequately and the timing chain/belt/gear is timed properly. If all three of the above conditions are met, the engine will start when it is cranked. To find out why it won't start, you have to find out which of the above conditions isn't being met. Rather than approach the problem in a "shotgun" manner, it's best to be methodical in your approach. First, spray some starting fluid into the air intake while a friend tries to start the engine. If the engine runs briefly while you are spraying starting fluid, you have good reason to believe that the engine is not getting fuel... item 1 on the requirements. If the starting fluid didn't give you any clues, pull a sparkplug wire from the plug (any one will do) and connect it to a spare sparkplug. Set the sparkplug on a solid metal part of the engine and have your friend crank the engine again while you watch the sparkplug. You should see a bright spark if the ignition is working properly. And finally, if the above two tests didn't give you any information, run a compression test. Since all valves and all cylinders don't generally fail at the same time, you'll only be testing the timing of the camshaft, but that's pretty important. Mark the location of each sparkplug wire. I generally use a piece of masking tape with the cylinder number, then wrap the tape around the sparkplug wire, making a little flag or tab. This part is important, since you don't want to finish the job and wonder where the wires go. Next, pull the sparkplugs and carefully observe the condition of each plug. Look for oil fouling, wet plugs, WHITE plug insulators, worn plugs and damaged plugs. If the center insulator (the part that goes INSIDE the cylinder) is too white, it's an indication that the engine is running too lean and you could be causing damage to valves or pistons. If the plug is black and oily, it indicates that the cylinder is worn and oil is leaking past the rings or valve stem seals. If the sparkplug is wet with fuel, it's an indicator that the cylinder is FLOODED, meaning that somehow there is too much fuel being delivered, and a wet sparkplug cannot properly ignite the fuel in the cylinder. If the plugs all check out ok, use a compression gauge while your friend again tries to start the engine. Since there are no plugs in the cylinders, the engine won't start, but you're measuring the pressure that is built up in the cylinders. Generally, it should be around 90 PSI, but that number may be different for different engines. Generally, the number should be withing 5 to 10 PSI for each cylinder. A variance of more than 15 PSI indicates burned valves or worn rings. If ALL cylinders are low, (below 70 PSI) it's a good indication that the camshaft is no longer timed properly. That is caused by a slipped timing belt or timing chain.
  • THE 'KEY' COULD BE THE ANSWER. Well... some recent cars/vans have a immobilizer embedded. Such a car/van can only be started with an original key i.e. a key which comes with the cars and which has a electronic chip. So if you have recently cut a key from any roadside key-cutter and your car turns using this key but the engine fails to fire it could be the immobilising safety device in your car that's preventing it from starting. This is a good safety feature!



Another ting to try is removing the spark plugs (make sure you re- cord which wires go where) and pro vidind that the engine isn't flooded
spray some starting fluid(avalible at auto parts stores) in the hol where the spark plug was and put the spark plugs back in and try to start it if it begins to start but then shuts off
your problem is proboly fuel delivery, but if the engine is flooded take out the plugs and let it sitt for a while to dry out.




There is a little sprocket in your strarter looks like a cog with teeth on in, but the teeth can chip or break if the metal is cheap which in most cars now days it is. So the starter is turning but the missing teeth are not connecting to make a spark keep turning it samething happened to my Buick but i didnt gte is fixed rite away because if you keep cranking evetually the teeth will catch and ignite
a motor needs fuel/ spark / air / compression all at the correct time check sources of all from major parts to minor (id start with anything electrical) you should find the problem
- One other thing that could possibly have gone bad is the main relay, its a $50 part that gives the fuel pump power when the key is on, so bad relay, no power to pump, no gas, no start.
-you need, spark, compression and a proper fuel mixture for your car to start. Generally, the compression gives way over time, so it is the last thing you should suspect if this problem appeared overnight. First thing you should try is to turn the key to the "on" position (not the crank start position). You should hear an electronic hum coming from the fuel tank. If you don't hear the hum, check the fuel pump relay or fuse. If those are fine, the fuel pump is suspect. If you do hear the hum, your fuel pump is working fine. Check for fuel pressure in the fuel line. It should look like a valve like the one you might find on a bicycle tire. If fuel sprays out, your fuel pressure is fine, which means you can suspect the spark. The battery is not the culprit (it turned the starter remember). Check for spark as noted above. If you don't get spark, check spark from the coil. Depending on the model and technology of your car, you can then suspect the ignition control module (esp. if it was a hot day) , as well as the distributor and all its components like the rotor and distributor cap.

By the way, most, if not all new cars have an inertia trip switch. Mine is under the dash. .
263 people found this useful

Why would your car shut off while you were driving and it will not start or turn over?

I had a dodge omni that did that exact thing and it turned out to be a $15.00 part that was located under the distributor. I forgot the name of the part though. . Answer this same problem happened to me..i have yet to solve it tho. it was running, then it started running rough so i pulled over to ( Full Answer )

How do you make a car that is turning over start?

You have to fix the problem causing it first. Find out what is missing. On some newer cars, it is easier to check for spark, than it is for gas. On other newer cars, it is hard to find out either, or, because of their lack of having high tension wires. What year/type car do you have? E-mail above.

When car is trying to start but will not turn all the way over what is this?

\n. \nThere can be several causes of this, the most common one is a flat battery. You can test for this by recharging the battery, or getting a "jump start" from another vehicle. If the vehicle starts OK on a fully charged battery, or with a jumpstart from another vehicle then you have either:\n. ( Full Answer )

Why does a car sounds like it wants to start but will not turn over?

This is a murder mystery - Right? This is totally no comprendo. You are missing some or all of the clues and of the critical elements. 1 Is the starter running and nothing happening? Send more info please. Answer This is not enough info. How do you know it wants to start? Q:I'm having a similar p ( Full Answer )

Why does my 93 town car turns over but wont start?

Since it is turning over and assuming there is fuel in the tank, the problem just may be with your fuelpump. Before you change it though, check your fuel filter, Fuel relay, and the line that runs power to your pump from the relay. Make sure that it is plugged in at the pump. If it is none of these, ( Full Answer )

Can't get 1997 olds achieva started car turns over but will not start?

Answer . \nyou need three things spark fuel and compression if one goes out or away it will never run you need to find out witch one is gone if spark is gone you need to look at electrical if fuel you need to look at fuel system be it pump or filter or electrical if it is compression it could be ( Full Answer )

Why will my car come on but not turn over or start?

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How come my car turns over but won't start?

A typical senario with fords in general. Just a stab in the dark. Has it got spark. To test for spark, place a screwdriver in the end of the lead. wave the screwdriver over the rocker cover about 2 to 3 mm above it and get someone to crank it. If you see no spark, I'd replace the ingition module. It ( Full Answer )

Car will turn over but wont start?

First, verify the spark plugs are sparking by removing one, grounding it to the engine and verify plug is firing when someone else turns the car over. If you have fire, then check crankshaft position sensor, camshaft position sensor and then fuel filter and fuel pressure.

1995 Lincoln town car will turn over but not start?

i am not an auto tech, how ever I do know that Lincolns have always had problems with their electrical and "computer chip" components. I owned an 85 town car that had similar problems. I would say it is that rather than mechanical. Here is a question for you about your car...when it WAS running, did ( Full Answer )

Whats wrong with your car if it turns over but doesnt start?

Answer: . Most likely lack of fuel, sounds dumb, but make sure there is gas in it, step 2: if sometimes it will start then die, this means the fuel filter is most likely plugged, debris will settle to the bottom of the filter then when fuel starts flowing it will re-pack and clog the passage way. ( Full Answer )

Car turns over but won't start?

There are a number of things that may cause your car to turns overbut not start. This may be due to insufficiency of gas or a problemwith the car battery among others. You might need a professionalmechanic to resolve the problem.

Car turns over but car will not start?

Most likely a problem with your fuel system, fuel isn't getting into the cylinders and firing, this could be caused by dirty fuel injectors or a broken fuel pump. It could also be a problem with the distributor or spark plugs, your plugs might need a change.

Why won't car turn over to start?

if it doesent turn over its a dead battery or a loose battery terminal try jump starting it and see if it turns over

Why will the car turn over but not start?

Several possibilities come to mind: . no gas in the tank or blocked fuel filter . bad or missing spark plugs and/or plug wires . engine timing . broken/slipping timing belt

Engine turns over but the car won't start what should i do?

1) Floor the accelerator while you try to start it. (make sure the car is in park if it's an auto or neutral if it's a stick) . 2) Check to see if you have spark. If you do, proceed to #5. 3) Pull off your distributor cap and make sure the rotor is secure. 4) "Tap" your starter. 5) Check ( Full Answer )

Car will turn over but will not start?

The engine needs three basic things, spark, fuel and compression. If your missing one of those it will not start. We need more info such as year, make and model vehicle to help you further. peugot 2.litre petrol (auto6) 4 door 1996

Car turns over but won't start after running out of gas?

Assuming that it is a fuel injected car I'd say turn the key into acc. for 30 seconds then try to start it, if that doesn't work then you have either a bad fuel pump or a clogged fuel filter....and make sure there is enough gas in it :P

Your car will not start the motor will not turn over?

\nIf it will not turn over you have an electrical problem. Start by removing the battery cables and cleaning the cables and battery posts. If that does not solve the problem, then put a charger on the battery and let it fully charge. Turn on your headlights and try to start the car. If it still will ( Full Answer )

Your car turns over but does not start?

\n \n\n. \n. I'll ask the stupid question. got gas. no spark is most causes \n. \n. \n. \n. Won't start" is pretty vague. It could be hundreds of posibilities. Dead battery, Low battery, bad ground wire to engine, bad power wire to starter, bad power wire to battery, bad connection at batter ( Full Answer )

Why wont my car start when it turns over?

there are many different things that it could be check the camshaft positioning sensor, the throttle positioning sensor, and the crankshaft positioning sensor.

What would cause a car to turn over but not start?

No Fuel Or no spark you need to check the spark be taking one spark plug out resting it on the manifold have someone turn over car do not touch spark plug but look at the bottee if you have a spark if not change your distributor cap

Car will try to turn over but wont start?

There is very little information upon which to base a diagnosis. However the primary reasons would be air/fuel mixture, electrics or timing. These should be checked first

Your car turns over but no sign of starting at all?

Okay : It has to be one or both of the following. However does it turn FAST ? - Is the timing belt still attached ? Is it a diesel or petrol engine ? Fuel Problem. If it's a fuel problem it could be any of the following : Bad or Old fuel in Tank, Contaminates in Fuel (Water or filled with diesel ( Full Answer )

Why will a car turn over but not start in your volvo97 850?

Assuming there is fuel and spark to the proper components, then check the timing belt for slipping or broken. Remove the oil fill cap, and have someone crank the engine while you look at the camshaft. The camshaft should turn, if not, most likely the timing belt is defective.

Your car is turning over but it wont start?

it could be the starter, emmission relay switch,fuel pump relay switch Distributor, plugs, gas, timing belt, fuel filter, injectors, computer, fuse. What type of car would help, some have a common most likely problem.

Why does car turn over but takes time to start?

One of the most common problems which is sometimes over looked is a faulty battery, or loose or corroded cable connections at battery terminals. Check that fuel is reaching fuel injectors, fuel pump, fuel filter, loose gas cap or water in gas tank. If you add to your question if it happened suddenly ( Full Answer )

Why will a 98 kia car turn over but not start?

The vehicle will crack(turn over) until your battery dyes. It will be many things to check i need more info to help you out in the best and correct manner

What would make your car turn over but not start?

No spark - No fuel Try pulling one of the spark plug wires loose slide the boot back up the wire to expose the metal connector & hold it 1/4 inch or less from the engine block and try to start again if it archs to the block you have spark if not there is your problem. Check the electronic ignition - ( Full Answer )

What can be wrong if a car turns over slowly before starting?

Could be poor cable connections. Check black ground and red positive, may need to remove and clean both ends. Lead on battery end can be cleaned with wire brush, knife or sandpaper, cable going into end can be scraped with knife. But it's usually old or dying battery (starting takes a lot of power. ( Full Answer )

What do you do when your car turns over but does not start?

Diagnose the problem and fix it. Get a Chilton or Haynes manual and see if the Troubleshooting section offers you any help. If you get stalled out, then the services of a professional might be in order. What you're describing could be caused by a number of reasons, and we have no way of determinin ( Full Answer )