When your vehicle doesn't crank or start, you have a very serious problem on your hands known as "no crank and no start." Putting the key in the ignition and turning it should cause the engine to at least turnover. If it does not, you probably have an engine-based problem.

Understanding "No Crank"

The first and most common reason for a vehicle not to crank is a dead battery. If you open the car door and see no interior lights or your power locks fail to engage, odds are your battery is dead.

Another possible cause for no crank is a starter problem. If you have been hearing odd noises when turning your vehicle on, it could be an indication that the starter was deteriorating. When a starter fails, the vehicle will not crank.

If both the battery and the starter are good, your vehicle's circuitry could be the problem. You will need to inspect the wiring and the car's computer systems. You will want a professional mechanic to perform the inspection. 

Understanding "No Start"

If you successfully diagnose and fix the no crank issue and the vehicle does not start, you could be facing an ignition, fuel injector, or compression issue.

Ignition issues are usually quick and easy to diagnose. There will not be any sort of spark when you turn the key in the ignition.

If your car won't start due to a fuel injector issue, the fuel pump may need to be replaced. Fuel injectors are in charge of releasing the right amount of fuel to the engine. When defective they allow either too much or too little fuel to reach the engine, interfering with starting.

A compression issue will make it impossible to start the car because the air and fuel mixture needs to reach a certain temperature to combust and fuel the engine. If compression is low, the air and fuel mixture will never reach the hot levels needed to start the vehicle.

What action should you take if your car is not cranking and no starting? It may be best to have a mechanic look at it. Tow it to a shop (with the help of professionals such as those from Airport Towing) and let the professionals diagnose and repair to ensure your vehicle will start and remains safe to drive. Your safety is always the first priority, but your car's maintenance is a close second. Sometimes the best fixes are from the pros.