This is the second time my car has died on me in the one month that I have owned it. Everything has been running fine until I parked it for 30minutes and then it wouldnt start.

No cranking No trying to turn over No noise turning the key and the lights are ok

  • Do any dashboard lights come on? If not then the Battery is completely dead or disconnected or ignition switch is bad If yes, then the starter relay is probably bad or a fuse is blown.
    – Jaleel
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 8:22
  • You say that "lights are ok". Which lights? Dash lights, head lights? Do lights turn off when you turn the key to start (like they should)? Is this a manual or automatic transmission?
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 13:55
  • Related, and possibly a duplicate: mechanics.stackexchange.com/q/22636/12030
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 13:59

6 Answers 6


Most likely a dead battery. Start by getting a jump start.

Do the lights on the dashboard turn on? If there is no sound when you turn the key, but the lights and accessories work, it could be the stater relay or starter solenoid.

However if there is no sound at all, not even a click, it's probably your battery.

  • 1
    Before replacing any batteries it would be worth checking the battery terminals and connectors for corrosion and making sure they are tight.
    – GdD
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 8:52
  • How can one say the battery when the report is that the lights are OK?
    – mongo
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 11:01
  • @mongo, a car battery has more than one cell in it, so what happens often is that some cells will be very weak or broken while others are in better shape. Low current electrics like the dash indicators and lights can still work, and the battery might even show 12v, but when the high current started tries to kick in, the battery can't do it.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 13:50
  • @JPhi1618 if indeed the battery had bad cells, or a bad connection, or was not fully charged, I would expect to see the symptoms described as something like "lights OK, go out when turning on starter." That wasn't in the description. Also if low but strong enough to run headlights, the solenoid would likely click, and the OP says there is no noise.
    – mongo
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 15:47

I'm posting for future people that have this issue. So I had this issue today with my standard transmission car and none of the answers that I found online was actually the issue. It ended up being an issue with the clutch safety switch.

Before you go out and spend a lot of money follow this checklist.

  1. Check the battery

    a. Are the headlights coming on and are they bright? If they aren't it could be a battery issue.

  2. Is it a manual transmission?

    a. If so check the clutch safety switch. This is found at the top of the clutch pedal. Clutch Safety Switch

That black peg has to be pushed in for the car to start. In my case at the top of my clutch pedal there was a rubber piece that was in the metal that pushed it. However, it go destroyed and broke off, that's why my car wasn't starting.

  1. A relay could be bad a. The relay is in the fuse box. Find the ignition or clutch relay and replace it with a relay that is of the same type and you know is working. If it now starts you know that the problem.
  2. A solenoid could be bad
  3. The ignition switch could be bad
  4. The starter could be bad a. Try tapping the starter with a hammer or wrench and then starting the car. If it works you know the starter is going out. If it doesn't start it could still be the starter.

If you have a manual car a way to get around this (temporarily) is to push the car until it's going 4-5 mph. Get in and put the car in first and the turn the key and release the clutch the car should start up. This can get you out of a bind really quick.


if the lights are on and remain on when trying to crank but the problem is that the starter does not even attempt to engage then this points to a problem with either the ignition switch or the exciter cable, this is the narrow gauge cable attached to the starter which, when made live, engages the solenoid to begin the cranking process.

I had a very similar problem to what you describe and was able to bump start the car (it was a manual). I traced the issue to a frayed exciter cable just above the starter motor itself.


If the lights are OK, then I would check a few more things.

Check to see that other accessories work ok, like the radio and the fan.

If you can run the fan, and the lights OK, then likely the battery, and the battery connections are not a problem.

Do the engine cluster lights check OK, which would mean that the oil and check engine light come on with the ignition turning on?

If yes, then your ECU (computer) is likely working OK.

If everything works to this point, I would be suspicious of either the solenoid for the starter motor, or possibly the ignition switch. Usually there is a fusable link or a large fuse for the starter solenoid. With someone listening under the hood, activate the starter, and have them listen for a click. If no click, the ignition to starter solenoid is likely the issue. There could be a failed starter, but they usually do not fail suddenly.

The make/model/engine for your car would help better guide you to a starting solution.


Its your starter. I literally am going through this same thing as we speak. The car lot I bought my kia rio from came and towed it. All my interior lights worked , radio , a/c , turn signals etc EXCEPT for my headlights . Starters can die a silent death with no indications unfortunately.


This happened to me and after chasing all the usual culprits it turned out to be something unusual... Ground cable for the starter had fallen off the car. Shop that replaced my starter did not know a cable should be there (because they didn't have to remove one)!

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