Engine start problems Post issues with engine start here. Does not start, does not run, etc.

Turn the key, doesn't even crank

Old 04-24-2015
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Turn the key, doesn't even crank

So my car is currently sitting in my college's parking lot, waiting for me to come back and put it right. Only issue is, I'm not sure exactly what it is I need to do.

What I know:
  • The engine won't crank when the key is turned
  • Jumping the battery doesn't work
  • The lights and radio do work
  • The blower motor relay makes a 'click' when key is turned
  • Replacing the starter and solenoid did nothing
  • That's about it

Basically I'm looking for ideas as to what the problem might be.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-24-2015
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Re: Turn the key, doesn't even crank

Did you try a new battery? If the battery is shot, then there's nothing you can do except get a new one. Take the battery to an auto parts store where they can charge and check it for free.
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Old 04-24-2015
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Re: Turn the key, doesn't even crank

Does the green key flash when you put the key in the ignition?
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Old 04-24-2015
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Re: Turn the key, doesn't even crank

Use a voltmeter or test light while someone attempts to crank the engine:
Got power at both wires on the starter, (one big wire and one small wire)?
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Old 04-24-2015
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Re: Turn the key, doesn't even crank

Does your car have an automatic transmission?
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Old 04-25-2015
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Re: Turn the key, doesn't even crank

OK guys, I don't know how to quote on mobile, so here we go:

The green key icon does come on when the key is in.

It is a manual transmission

I don't believe the battery is shot, as it started up w/ no issues earlier that day. I'll check it out regardless.
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Old 04-25-2015
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Re: Turn the key, doesn't even crank

Use a voltmeter or test light while someone attempts to crank the engine:
Got power at both wires on the starter, (one big wire and one small wire)?
If you can't do any specific testing to narrow down problem areas, all we can do is guess.

Does the starter make any noise at all? Clunk or click?

Pad broke off clutch pedal tab, now the safety switch can't engage when you push the pedal down? Any small chunks of rubber or plastic on the drivers floor?


Pull the wad of floor mats out from under the clutch pedal?
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Old 04-25-2015
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Re: Turn the key, doesn't even crank

We do have power at the starter. When the key turns though, it doesn't make any sound at all.
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Old 04-25-2015
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Re: Turn the key, doesn't even crank

We do have power at the starter.
How did you test for power?

You have power on which wire?

Did you test both wires for power?

Did you test both wires for power WHILE someone is holding the key in the crank position? (testing while the circuits are loaded)
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Old 04-25-2015
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Re: Turn the key, doesn't even crank

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
How did you test for power?

You have power on which wire?

Did you test both wires for power?

Did you test both wires for power WHILE someone is holding the key in the crank position? (testing while the circuits are loaded)
So we tested again, and this is what we got:
*12volts on large wire
*Nothing on the small wire when key isn't in crank position.
*0.6 millivolts on small wire when key is cranked.
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Old 04-25-2015
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Re: Turn the key, doesn't even crank

So you aren't getting 12v to the solenoid wire. Somewhere between the ignition switch and the starter that 12v is getting lost.

Investigate the clutch safety switch idea?
There are relays involved in the circuit too.
A wire diagram would lead the way in actual diagnosis.


If you just need to get it started so you can move it, use a wire to jumper +12v to the small terminal on the starter that will get it to crank up. Make sure it is in neutral and the handbrake is set.
Then you can get it elsewhere to be checked out proper?
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Old 04-25-2015
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Re: Turn the key, doesn't even crank

My Civic is a manual too. The reason I asked is because last fall on the first cold morning I had a no crank situation like you describe.
Seems my clutch pedal safety switch sticks sometimes. Took me a bit to figure out that was the problem. I even had the battery tested at an auto parts store.
You can disconnect the switch and jumper across the two pins with a paperclip to see if thats the problem. Its not a solution, just a easy way to see if the switch is the problem.
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Old 04-25-2015
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Re: Turn the key, doesn't even crank

Originally Posted by ezone View Post

If you just need to get it started so you can move it,
I forgot it's a manual trans here......Push start it.
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