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My Car Won't Turn Over

Auto mechanics often receive complaints like, “My car won’t turn over.” Fortunately, the cause is often simple, and fixing the problem is usually inexpensive. However, if you don’t know what’s going on and you end up in an expensive repair shop, you might lose some good money from your wallet.

People use different terms to mean that their engines won’t start. Some people say their car won’t crank, which may mean that their starter does not turn the engine on. Others say that the engine won’t start, which can mean that it does not crank then start, or that it will crank, but not start. Still others use the expression like, “my car won’t turn over” to mean that it won’t start, when they might mean that it won’t crank. Read on to find out the possible causes and solutions for your car problem.

Possible Causes That a Car Won't Turn Over

1

Dead or drained batteries

This is the most likely problem, but it doesn’t mean you have to go and buy a new battery right away. Batteries can lose charge because of power drain, especially if you accidentally leave the headlights on overnight, causing your car not to turn over in the morning. However, the dead battery will regain a full charge after recharging it. 

2

Corrosion of connecting cables

The cable that connects your battery to the starter is the thickest cable in the car’s electrical system, which carries the most current. It is susceptible to corrosion, but this can be fixed by removing the ends from the battery and the starter and using a wire brush to clean it. 

3

Corrosion of ground cables

The ground cables can also be corroded, or they may be poorly connected, so your car won’t turn over. Disconnect and clean the ground wires and connections with a wire brush.

4

Bad starters

Starters can go bad slowly, over time, and you will notice that your engine starts more slowly in the mornings. You may hear the starter turning slower as you turn the key, or your car just fails to start one day. It may be a sign that you need to get a new starter for your engine.

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