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Repair guides and support for common issues with engines.

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Starter turns engine over twice and then stops completly

I recently overheated and the car died. Upon trying to restart the car I turn the key and hear a single click. Thinking it was the starter I took the start to autozone to have it tested and they said it passed. I also exchanged my battery just in chase. After putting the starter and the battery back in I try to turn it over again. I will get two, sometimes 1 turn over and then the starter will just stop. the gauge lights will come on and turn off when trying to start then come back on once I stop. There is no check engine light after the initial few seconds its on when you first turn the key and the fuel pump engages. I am wondering if it is possible the engine seized up but it will roll in drive and reverse (automatic) but I wasnt able to get it to turn using the crank pulley and a socket. Not sure how much force I am suppose to use to turn it but it was extremely hard and I was in fear of possibly breaking something so I didnt over due it.


Summary: When I turn the key I will get 1 or 2 very slow cranks from the starter and then nothing at all. No noise no spark.


Upon inspecting the engine I do see gas on the fuel line as well as tips of spark plugs


I can push the car in drive and reverse but I havent been able to turn it using a socket and the crank pulley.


When I try to start it the positive wire on the battery terminal to the starter gets warm. im assuming due to a bad ground which they all looked good or because the starter is pulling to much power because turning the engine is to challenging due to it possibly being “partially” seized… paradoxical

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it is a 1991 honda accord. The reason I brought up being able to push it in drive was because I thought if it were in gear the engine components were also moving.

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I see a lot of post telling people to put their standard tranmissions in 5th gear and try to push it. I figured with an automatic it was the same but except 5th just put it in drive

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BRIAN GREEN, in an automatic transmission, imagine you are driving down the road, come to a stop, because your engine is not running faster, the torque convertor does not create torque so the engine is not tied to the transmission and the transmission does not drive the engine as you are thinking. Without the torque convertor spinning at a higher speed, there is also no oil pressure inside the transmission to force clutches into a gear so the entire transmission is not engaged. This is one of several reasons to not buy an automatic transmission vehicle, cannot bump start, uses more gas, costs more to rebuild a clutch job only, more computer related and electronic/valve body failures.

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I'm sorry. I believe you, but I dont think i'm fulling grasping what you said. It would come to a stop because there was no clutch to put it back into netural? Either or I guess that is neither here nor there. I agree although I didnt put into considerationa ll of those factors. I usually try to stick to manuals because they are just a lot more entertaining to drive. This car was sold to me for 40 dollars so I couldnt say no to it.

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Ah so it seems I may have made a grave mistake. I was trying to turn the pulley counter clockwise. or set on loosen. I guess that is backwards. not sure if that changes things or not

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Yes, overheating the engine took it out completely, the conditions you explain sounds exactly like a seized up engine. I have seen the same scenario but this engine turned over, I did not realize that it was seized until I tested the current draw of the battery for the starter, instead of about 100 Amps, it was pulling 600 Amps, then I tried to turn it with a breaker bar the same as you and I could not turn it, needed to change the entire engine on this Diesel BMW, the starter was very strong so I was caught off guard on this model. Good luck with your car.

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Brian Green this does sound like a seized engine. First off “I can push the car in drive and reverse “ will not turn the engine at all so it does not fator in your troubleshooting. Remove all the plugs and then try to turn the engine over by attaching a socket and breakerbar to the crank pulley. If you cannot you most likely have a seized engine. The reason why the starter cable gets hot is because of the amperage your starter is drawing trying to crank the engine over. Let us know the exact make and model of your vehicle as well as the year and engine size so we can try to help you further.

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