Free Car Diagnostic

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Car Cranks but Wont Start

Car Cranks but Wont Start

The car cranks but won’t start. The possible reason why car cranks but won’t start is out of gas, broken timing belt, clogged air filter, the battery is weak or frozen battery electrolytes.

Car Troubleshooting
When the car cranks faster than normal then it is possible that the car is out of gas, therefore during cranking observe if the car will crank faster than normal then check if the car has fuel. Just fill the car with enough fuel and crank again.


If the car has enough fuel then the possible problem is that the car timing belt is broken. The broken timing belt can cause the engine compression to become low and since the car has low compression it is the reason why the engine cranks but won’t start. Timing belt ensures the engine valve to close during the combustion of each engine cylinder when the belt is broken there will be no compression in each cylinder thus the car won’t start during cranking.

Timing Belt

Bring the car to a reputable car shop and ask the mechanic to check the timing belt to confirm if it is indeed broken, if the mechanic confirms the broken timing belt then have it replaced.

If the car cranks normally or is the same as when the car is about to start then the possible problem is a clogged air filter. The clogged air filter is the reason why the car cranks but won’t start because when the air filter is clogged there is not enough air going into the engine, the air filter becomes clogged because of too much dirt in the element, this dirt is preventing the air to go inside the combustion chamber. Since there is not enough air inside the cylinder then it will not start because air is one of the components necessary for combustion.

Clogged Air Filter

Now, start the car and observe if the engine cranks the same as when it is about to start. Open the hood and locate the air filter. Removed the air filter then clean it, usually to clean the air filter just spray a pressurized air on the element. Cleaning the air filter is just a temporary solution to the problem.

The permanent solution is to replace the air filter. Normally air filter is replaced every two years, therefore, verify if the air filter installed on your car is past the two years period.

Car Battery is Weak or Battery Terminal is Corroded
If the car cranks slower than normal then the possible problem is a weak battery or the battery terminal is corroded. When the battery is weak there is not enough power to crank the engine, however, if the terminal is corroded then the current that flows into the starter is not enough to start the engine because the corrosion interferes on the flow of current.
Check the car battery.

Corroded Battery Terminal

Car Turns Over But Won't Start
The car turns over but won't start. The car is cranking slowly however, it will not start. If the car is turning over slowly and will not start the possible reason is the battery.
Learn more: Car Turns Over But Won't Start

Do the simple test to check if the battery is weak

1. Turn ON the headlights then turn the ignition key to start the engine while the headlights are ON.
2. During cranking observed if the brightness of the headlight changes, if the brightness changes when the engine is crank then there is a problem with the battery.

Now open the hood and locate the battery. Look thoroughly at the battery terminal for any corrosion present on the terminal. If the terminal is corroded then it is the reason why the car won’t start.

Clean the terminal with a wire brush. Apply a baking soda mix with water into the terminal before brushing with a wire brush. Also after the cleaning apply petroleum jelly on the battery terminal to prevent the terminal from corroding in the future.

However, if the terminal is not corroded then the battery is weak. Now, look at the fluid level of the battery, remove the fluid filler cap and check if the battery fluid covers the top of the battery plate, if not then add distilled water on the battery. The distilled water must cover the top of the battery plate then jump-start the car to start the engine.

How to Jump-Start a Car Battery
Jump starting a car is easy but should be done correctly so that accidents such as a battery explosion can be avoided.
Learn more: How to Jump-Start a Car Battery

However, if the battery has enough battery fluid then you have no other choice but to replace the battery with a new one.

Frozen Battery Electrolytes
If the car cranks but won’t start only when the temperature is very cold then the problem is a frozen battery electrolyte. At a very cold temperature, the electrolytes inside the battery may freeze or partially freeze, if this happens the battery will lose its power and it will not start the engine.

Car won't Start But Battery is Good
If the car won't start but the battery is good, check the timing belt. The car won't start but the battery works well while starting it just turn over and will not start but the car turns over a lot faster than normal.
Learn more: Car Won't Start But Battery is Good

Let the battery get warm for a while before starting the car. Now if you are about to drives on a very cold region use a battery with a higher cold cranking rating.

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Car Vibrates at Certain Speeds

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Car Trouble Symptoms
While driving, the entire car vibrates at certain speeds especially when the car reaches high speed.

Possible cause why car vibrates at certain speeds
1)The wheel is out of balance.
2)The tire is out of round.
3)The rim is out of round

Car Troubleshooting
The most common cause of car vibration while driving at a certain speed is a problem on tire and wheels, usually, it is the result of having a wheel that is not rotating evenly, the wheels vibrate when the car is driven. When the car reaches a certain speed the vibration of wheels becomes severe which is enough to cause the suspension components to also vibrate which in turn may also cause the entire car to vibrate.

Now how is it possible for the wheel to rotate unevenly?
There are two possibilities that make the wheel rotate unevenly, first is that when the wheel is out of balance, in this case, the weight of the wheel is not distributed evenly. During wheel assembly, the wheel is balanced so as to avoid the vibration of the car when the wheel is installed in the car. 

A piece of metal called the wheel weights is installed on the wheel to compensate for the out of balance wheel when this piece of metal is detached to wheel for some reason the wheel will become out of balance.

Second, is that the rim or the tire is out of round. This means that tire or the rim is not perfectly round because of some flaws during manufacturing and this will result in the awkward rotation of the tire or rim which may cause the vibration of the car when driven.

What to do?
First is to have all four wheels of your car to undergo wheel balancing. There are two types of balancing, one is the static balancing in which the wheels are removed from the vehicle and the return after the wheels is a balance.  Another type is the dynamic balancing wherein the wheel is on the car while the wheels are being balanced.

How Tire Balancing is Conducted

Of the two types of balancing the dynamic balancing, the best practice is the dynamic balancing because it considers the influence of the brakes during wheel balancing, also while the wheels are being balanced the roundness of the rim or the tire can be determined. If the tire or rim is extremely out of round, replace it.
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Car Stalling While Driving

Car Stalling While Driving

The car is stalling while driving. The stalling occurs when the engine temperature is high or even when the engine temperature is normal. The reason for this is because of the vapor lock or a faulty fuel pressure regulator.


Possible Cause Why Car Stall While Driving
(1) Vapor lock.
(2) Faulty fuel pressure regulator.


Car Troubleshooting
When the car stalls if the engine temperature is abnormally hot then vapor lock is the usual cause of car stalling. Vapor lock occurs because when the engine is extremely hot the gas will boil before it gets inside the engine. Once the gas is boiling the gas creates air bubbles. The created air bubbles can cause the air/fuel ratio to become lean. When the air/fuel ratio is lean it means that there is too much air and not enough gasoline and when the engine doesn’t have enough fuel then the car will stall.

What to do?
There is nothing you can do when your car encounters a vapor lock. Just wait for the engine to cool down and start the engine again. The real problem here is why is the engine temperature becomes abnormally hot? Probably the engine has a problem on the cooling system, the normal process is when the engine is hot there is a coolant that is circulated around the engine coming from the radiator to cool down the engine, the water serves as a water jacket surrounding the engine but because vapor lock occurs it means that the cooling system is not functioning to cool down the engine.

Engine Cooling System

Has it checked by a mechanic, there might be a leak somewhere in the system, which causes the engine temperature to become abnormally hot.

If the car is equipped with a fuel injection system and also if the car stall even at normal engine temperature then the problem is the fuel pressure regulator. The fuel injection system has a component called the "Fuel pressure regulator", the purpose of this part is to maintain the fuel pressure on each and every fuel injectors, now if the regulator has a problem then the engine will be starved with fuel thus the car will stall.

Fuel Pressure Regulator

What to do?

Bring the car to a reputable shop and have a mechanic check the Fuel Pressure Regulator. If the regulator is faulty just replace it to correct the problem. Replace only the pressure regulator and nothing else this usually fixes the engine stalling while driving.

Related Topics : 

Car Stalls When Idling
Car Stalling While Accelerating
Car Stalls at Idle
Engine Stalls While Driving

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Why Does the Pedal Vibrate When I Hit the Brakes?

Pedal Vibrate When I Hit the Brakes

When the brake is hit there is a vibration on the brake pedal. Usually, this is a cause of misalignment between the pads and the disc or misalignment of the shoe and the drum in case of drum brakes.

Possible cause of vibration on the brake pedal while braking
(1) Misalignment between front pads and discs.
(2) Misalignment between rear shoes and drums.

During braking, if the vibration occurs on the brake pedal and on the front end of your car the usual cause of this problem is misalignment between front pads and disc.

Front pads and disc mate with each other, if these two components are not in even contact with each other it will result in a vibration that can easily be felt on the brake pedal especially during braking. Several reasons can cause misalignment and the most usual cause is a warped front disc. Another reason that causes misalignment is a loose or worn front wheel bearing.

Misalignment between front pads and discs

However, if there is no vibration coming from the front end of the car, therefore, the problem is misaligned rear shoes and drums. Misalignment of rear shoes and drums are caused by warped rear drums. If the rear a drum is not warped the other possible cause of misalignment is a worn or loose rear wheel bearing.

Misalignment between rear shoes and drums

What to do?
In any case, you need to bring the car to the car shop and tell the mechanic to inspect the wheel bearing of the affected wheel for any looseness of worn. If the wheel bearing is fine the next thing to do is to machine the affected disc or drums. After the machining, you also need to replace the brakes pad or brake shoe of the affected brakes.

Car Shakes When Braking
Usually, if the entire car shakes during braking the problem is always the rear brake. The entire car shakes happen because the brake shoe is not making even contact with the brake drum during brake application.
Learn more: Car Shakes When Braking

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