By January 10, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Car Won’t Turn Over

My car wont startReader Question

My car won’t turn over, I am not mechanically inclined and don’t know who else to turn to because I am a single mom on a very tight budget. Got any information I might be able to try myself or get a friend to help with?

Danelle D.


Hello There Danelle,

Yep, I hear this type of question all day long, I think I have something you can do yourself to help rule things out and narrow down the problem.

You say the engine won’t turn over, so I am going to assume that when you turn the ignition key there is nothing happening…no cranking, no noise, no clicking etc. nothing at all, correct?

If this is the case, try this. Turn on the headlights and see if they are good and bright. If they are, then you might have a starter motor issue or possible loose connection at the battery going to the starter motor. Also, make sure you do not have an alarm system that is ON causing the problem.

If you have a GM car with that funny chip on the key, try another key as the internal security system might not recognize your key.

If your headlights are NOT on good and bright, then you need to start with a new battery or charge your current battery for a few hours and see what happens.

If you can have someone watch the headlights AS you try and crank the car that would be helpful.

If lights go completely OUT when you turn key to start position. You might have a bad battery terminal connection, corrosion at the battery cables etc. that is restricting power from the battery from getting to the starter motor on the engine.

If the lights DIM down, you might just have a bad weak battery or you could have a starter motor that is drawing more current than the battery can give it. Again, start with a fresh new battery or a known good battery before you guess at the starter motor.

If the lights stay bright, then you might have a security system problem, problem with the battery cables or wiring at the battery or possible neutral safety switch issue. Try starting in neutral and see if that helps.

Here is a short video talking about the same issues as above, but showing you how to do it maybe better than I have described.


Austin Davis



About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."