Troubleshooting car problems: Several reasons can cause a car cranks but wont start but depending on the condition of the car when this happens. To determine what cause this problem observed the following conditions.
When the car cranks faster than normalThis happens if the car is out of gas, but if the car has enough gas then the possible reason is a broken timing belt and makes the car to lack compression.
When the a car has broken timing belt there will be no compression inside the engine and without the compression the car wont start. Timing belt is what ensures the engine valve to be closed during combustion of each engine cylinder, when the timing belt is broken there will be no compression inside the engine.
How to fix the car trouble: Replace the timing belt.
However if the car cranks same as it does when the car starts then possibilities is that the air filter is clogged. Now, locate the air filter and remove to check if it is indeed clogged. If the filter is clogged then this is the reason why the problem happened. The dirt on the air filter block the air that goes into the combustion chamber and without enough amount of air the engine will not start.
How to fix the car trouble: Clean the air filter, but this was a temporary solution. A permanent solution is to replace the air filter. Usually in a normal condition the air filter must be changes for approximately every 2 years.
When the car cranks slower than what it does when the car startsIn this case the possible problem is the battery with that said then the first thing to do is to check the car battery.
Do this simple test to determine if the battery is in bad condition
(1) Turn on the headlights.
(2) Turn the ignition to start the engine. During cranking observed the changes on the brightness of the headlight. If the headlights changes brightness when the engine cranks then check the battery.
(3) Open the hood and inspect the battery. Check the battery terminal for any corrosion. If the terminal is corroded then this is the cause of the problem.
The corrosion present in the battery terminal interferes with the flow of current going into the starter therefore the starter wont get enough amount of electricity to start the engine.
However if the battery terminal is not corroded, then the problem is that the battery is weak and a replacement is necessary.
How to fix the car trouble: If the battery terminal is corroded, clean the terminal by applying a baking soda mix with water and brush the corrosion using a wire brush. If the battery is weak, usually the liquid level inside the battery is low, just add a distilled water enough to cover the top of the plates or jump start a car to start the engine.
When car cranks but wont start on very cold temperatureIn this case, the problem is a frozen battery electrolytes. At a very cold temperature the electrolytes inside a battery may freeze or partially freeze when this happens the battery will lose power. The power will not be enough to start the engine.
How to fix the car trouble: Let the battery to get warm for a while before starting again the engine. The permanent solution is that if you drive in a very cold temperature use a battery with higher cold cranking rating.