Car Cranks But Wont Start Even With Starting Fluid (4 Reasons)

When you turn your car key to start its engine, the engine emits a repeating chirping sound for a second from the starter.

That sound is known as “cranking”. You may want to hear it because it signifies the vehicle’s starter is working properly.

Yet, what if you hear the car cranks but wont start even with starting fluid? That means there’s a problem in the engine itself preventing it from getting started.

Let’s follow our article for the ultimate answer and some checking methods! 

Why The Car Cranks But Wont Start Even With Starting Fluid?

car cranks but wont start even with starting fluid
Car Cranks But Wont Start Even With Starting Fluid

Why my truck won’t start with starting fluid? It can happen for many reasons. However, the most common reasons are that some components related to the starting process are faulty.

They include bad spark plugs, fuel flow, unsuitable compression, and power supply

Faulty Spark Plugs

If the car engine maintains good compression and the fuel system is operating well, but the vehicle still cannot start, the spark plugs may be faulty.

The spark plugs are responsible for igniting the air/fuel mixture inside the cylinders of the engine. It helps create power for your car.

Most new spark plugs can last about 100,000 miles or more before needing to be replaced. However, they might fail sooner for many reasons: 

  • In case your engine accumulates too much carbon, it might clog your spark plugs. 
  • When oil gets into the engine, it will coat the spark plugs and make them inoperable. 
  • The issue could also potentially be with one of the parts that power the car spark plugs, such as the computer or the ignition coils.

Lack Of Fuel Flow

Another reason why cars crank but wont start is the fuel flow.

This issue might be caused by a bad fuel pump fuse, a faulty fuel pump, improper or contaminated fuel in the tank, a bad or clogged fuel injector or filter, or an empty fuel tank.

You should take note that the fuel gauge isn’t always correct.

The proper fuel pressure is necessary for your engine to ignite or run, especially in fuel-injected engines. As you turn on the ignition, listen for the fuel pump to buzz for a few seconds.

If there is no buzz from the engine or the fuel tank, the pump might be dead, and the fuel cannot reach the machine at all.

Because some fuel pumps only operate while the engine is running, some vehicles may not have an audible buzz.

You can find more information about your specific model online or in your owner’s handbook.

Insufficient Compression

Insufficient compression can cause the car cranking but won’t start.

Each cylinder requires compression for proper engine operation. The compression ratio shows the max to the min cylinder capacity during each piston stroke.

Low compression triggers air from the combustion cycle to leak through the piston rings, limiting the work amount that the cylinder can accomplish to spin the crankshaft.

A broken or loose timing belt/chain, or a snapped overhead camshaft, can all lead to compression issues. Another serious issue that can prevent your automobile from igniting is an overheated engine.

Use a compression gauge or tester to determine whether your car’s compression is low. Next, a leak-down test is a supplemental test to look for leaks in the cylinder.

If you don’t feel comfortable inspecting the cylinders yourself, a skilled mechanic can do it for you.

Power Supply

Another culprit behind the car cranking but won’t start is a faulty starter motor. A bad one requires a lot of amps to crank the car engine and then doesn’t have enough electricity to turn on the ignition system and fuel injectors.

When you attempt to crank the engine in this situation, you will most likely notice that the starter makes a weird noise or does not turn over.

Corroded or bad battery cables, as well as a fading battery, can be to blame for. While revving the engine, use a multimeter to check the battery voltage. It should read more than 10 volts.

Some Quick Checks At Home

truck won't start with starting fluid
The Ways Checks At Home


First, let’s come to the simple but essential test: fuel. Please directly open the gas tank and check that your car still has gas for the next journey.

As mentioned, the fuel gauge can sometimes misrepresent the fuel level in your vehicle.

Check The Car Computer Memory

In modern automobiles, the computer controls and monitors many actuators and sensors. First, check the computer’s memory for error codes.

Even when the Check Engine light has not shown, you can discover a pending code that will aid in your investigation.

False or missing input from sensors such as the CKP (crankshaft position sensor) or CPS (camshaft position sensor) might hinder the engine from starting.

A defective throttle position sensor (TPS) may also prevent the spark from reaching the cylinders.

The Battery

The battery (also known as the energy supply) gives the zap of energy required to put electrical components to operate.

It also turns chemical energy into electricity, powering your car and providing voltage to the starter.

If your car engine cranks slowly, you could have a depleted battery, corroded or loose battery contacts, or faulty starting system cables.

Thus, you should check this component and tighten its terminal carefully. You might take it to the car shop to change or repair the battery if needed.

Blown Fuse

Check for blown fuses that may interfere with a circuit’s operation, such as the fuel injection or computer system.

The blown fuse will be visible since the wire element within has melted or burned due to the increased electrical current.

You can also use a test light or a multimeter to locate the blown fuse without removing it. Both gadgets are inexpensive and simple to use.

Starting System

Starter motor or circuit problems can prevent the car engine from igniting and starting. You should examine the starter motor or investigate the voltage drop of the circuit.

When cranking, pay close attention to any strange noises.

Security System

crank but wont start
Security Structure

When the car cranks but no start, test the security system.

Almost all modern cars feature an engine immobilizer, which is the security system for anti-theft.

This system may be a reason for an error that disabled the fuel or ignition system or the chip in the key may have failed.

Consult the owner’s manual or the manufacturer of your security alarm to troubleshoot a built-in system.


You might be frustrated because the car cranks but wont start even with starting fluid. This article has listed 4 reasons for this situation and some recommended components to check at home.

After finding out the ultimate cause, you can repair the car yourself if the problem is simple. Otherwise, you should bring it to an auto shop for good and quick service.

2 thoughts on “Car Cranks But Wont Start Even With Starting Fluid (4 Reasons)”

  1. I have a Chevy Equinox, 2020, turns over but won’t start. Even when I use starting fluid. Common sense tells me to check the fire/plugs for spark. This is a computer vehicle and I have little to no knowledge about computerized vehicles.

    I’m old school so if anyone has any ideas that could help me, I’d appreciate it.


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