However, the car won't turn over but has power
We’ve all dealt with a dead car battery that stops the engine from starting. However, if the car won’t turn over but has power, you aren’t having issues with the battery or alternator. If this happens, it is time to investigate other causes.
Most likely, there’s an issue with the starter motor keeping the engine from going. It could also be due to a defective starter solenoid contact or transmission range selector. However, you don’t want to overlook the possibility that defective wiring or a seized engine is to blame.
Each of these issues are examined in detail and we determine what to do to fix it. We also look at the repair cost.
Causes Car Won’t Turn Over
1. Defective Starter Motor
To get the vehicle started, the starter motor attaches to the engine. It spins the crankshaft, which turns the starter motor to start the engine. When the starter fails, the engine doesn’t get the jump it needs.
If the starter is defective, you won’t hear anything when you turn the key in the ignition, or you might hear a clicking sound. However, the engine won’t crank at all because the starter is responsible for this action.
RELATED: 5 Symptoms of a Bad Starter (& Replacement Cost)
2. Bad Starter Solenoid
It is possible that the starter motor may not be working correctly. In some cases, it’s the blame of the starter solenoid instead. The starter solenoid is located usually on the car's starter. However, older vehicles may have this part separately.
With a defective starter solenoid, the engine won’t crank or start. You also aren’t going to hear a clicking noise if this part has failed.
3. Poor Transmission Range Selector Contact
Within the automatic transmission shifter, there’s a range selector. This part can also be called the neutral safety switch. It could be defective in electrical contact. This can make it difficult for the engine know if it is Park or Neutral.
Thankfully, this problem can be simple to remedy if the problem isn’t beyond hope. Place your foot on the brake, and shift the lever into neutral. Start the engine once more. If it doesn’t work, put it back in Park and try once more. To reestablish the electrical contact, you may need to shift the shifter.
RELATED: The Signs and Symptoms of a Safety Switch for Bad Neutrals
4. Defective Wiring
Many wires run from the switch and the starter. They all need to be in good condition to allow the car to continue to function. It can lead to major starting problems if the wiring is damaged or disengaged.
The car may also stop if the wires connecting the starter solenoid to the ignition switch become disconnected during driving. You must inspect the condition and connection of every electrical wire to diagnose the problem.
It is also a good idea to check the battery twice. Jump-start your car if it doesn't have enough power.
5. Seized Engine
You will not be able start your car if the engine stops. You should not have any problems with the electronic components as they would drain the battery.
Low engine oil, or even water infiltration into the engine could have caused it to stall. It’s also caused by excessive engine wear or overheating.
If your engine cranks, but won’t start check out this article instead:
Car Engine Cranks But Won’t Start?
Car Won’t Turn Over: How to Fix
You should replace the starter if you are certain that it is the problem. You can push-start a manual transmission vehicle to start it. Also, if you determine that the starter solenoid is to blame, it’s easy to bypass it with an insulated screwdriver. The metal blade should be placed between the contacts in order to form a link between the ignition switch & the starter motor. Be careful, don't lift the car off the ground. Keep arms away from any rotating parts.
The transmission range selector is the culprit. You need to replace it as quickly as possible. This vital safety mechanism keeps the vehicle from starting when it’s in a drive gear.
It can be difficult to fix defective wiring. To verify the integrity of each wire, you will have to inspect it individually. If you aren’t sure what you are looking for, it’s best to seek help from a professional.
You have two options if the engine is seized: replace it, or have it rebuilt. It might not be worthwhile to spend money on a car that is more than ten years old.
Cost to Fix Car That Won’t Turn Over
The reason for the car being turned over will affect the price. You might need to replace your starter. This will cost you between $400-$600. The parts can be purchased separately for $100-150.
It costs between $125-$200 to replace the transmission range selector. With a minimum amount of labor, the parts will cost between $75-$125. In most cases, it’s simple to find and replace the sensor for a quick fix.
Repairing wiring that is defective usually requires more work than it costs to replace. The defective wire or connection must first be found, which can be a long process, especially if you aren’t sure what you are looking for. Once you have found the problem, you can fix it by replacing the wire or reconnecting the circuit.
If the engine is seized, the most costly option would be to rebuild or replace the motor. For some cars, the cost of replacing an engine with labor and parts can easily exceed $3,000 That’s why it’s only the right option if your car still retains value.
These estimates will vary depending on the type of vehicle you have and where it is taken for servicing. Because the parts of luxury cars are more expensive, you will be charged more. You can also expect to pay more if your car is serviced by a dealer.