My car won't start with the key. Whats wrong????


Founding Member
Aug 31, 1999
New Orleans, LA
Wussup guys,
Well, my motor is running good...for those who don't know, I just rebuilt my motor and added H/C/I etc....Well, Monday night my car wouldn't start when I was leaving a friend of mine's house. I've been trying to figure out what the problem is but I can't seem to. Here's what's going on. When I turn the key to the "on" position all the dash lights come on as usual but nothing happens when I try to start the car. Another thing, when I turn the key back for the accessories nothing comes radio, no clock, no nothing. So, I kinda cancelled the idea of the starter being bad. I changed the ignition switch yesterday( the thing under the dash/steering column), that wasn't the problem because its still doing the same thing. So, I'm thinking of changing the key switch. If that doesn't work, I'm thinking it might be the kill switch on my alarm but that wouldn't/shouldn't cause the accessories not to work...right? I've been racking my brain trying figure out what the problem is. I'm tired of having to push-start my car.
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94SC50 said:
If it starts by push starting it's prob the starter.

I was thinking that but the starter shouldn't have anything to do with why the accessoies don't come on when it turn the key back. I'm gonna take my starter off this evening and get it checked. I just priced the key switch/cylinder and it cost $50. I don't want to get that not knowing if it will definately fix the problem. So, since getting the starter check is free, I'll go ahead and do that this evening.
I have a lo-jack, that happens EXACTLY to me when I disarm via remote, get in the car, then the alarm activates before I start the car. Like when I get in and look for a CD before the I turn the car on... All the lights etc come on but it doesn't turn over. I wouldn't be surprised if your alarm was somehow causing the problem.
Black95GTS - I think you might have a point I'm just hoping and praying that the alarm isn't problem.

HairyCanary - Well, when this problem started Monday night it tried to start but didn't turn over and I tried again I heard the click of the starter solenoid. Now it doesn make any clicking....nothing.
Since you just did a bunch of engine work, I would double check the grounds to make sure they're all tight and have good connections. If it clicked the first time, then it doesn't sound like a clutch safety switch issue.
Well, I checked all my grounds several times. They were tight and I actually had to put a new connector on the one that bolted to the motor mount. I'll try tapping the starter but something's telling me thats not gonna work.
I hate to say this to anyone with a car, but it sounds electrical. Is there a way to bypass your alarm at all? Can you put it in "valet" mode which will disable the alarm completely and try it then? If you roll the car then pop the clutch can you get it started that way? Just tryin to narrow down where the problem is... oh and if you're gonna try 94sc's hammer trick, definately put a towl or something between it, my frat bro has a sweeet dent in his housing because of that.
Well, the only way I've been able start it is by popping the clutch. I disconnected the main plug in the alarm. I have to use the alarm remote to set it to valet and the alarm does nothing when I press the buttons on the remote. The light comes on(the little green light on the remote)when I press the buttons, so its not the battery in the remote. I just tried tapping the starter. Still not starting. I didn't hit it hard enough to put a dent in it. I hit it with as much as I could with the amount of space I have to work with. I was tapping the starter and the solenoid. I'm still gonna take the starter off and get it checked this evening just to rule that out.
Who makes your alarm? I'd give them a call and see if they have any suggestions. When I bought my car I had to re-up the Lojack service and they were very helpful, good customer support!

I would say the starter is at fault right away, however, you are correct in saying that the aux setting on the ignition should still function and the radio and such should still work regardless of the starter.

Sorry, I missed the older comment(s) about you push starting it, didn't register what the phrase meant, and... I'm an idiot.
Well, I got the starter tested, it works fine. So, I'm almost willing to bet its the starter kill on the alarm. My alarm is a Viper. It was the top of the line Viper back when my dad got it in 99 or 2000. So, I'm gonna go to the place where he got it installed and see if they can fix it. My dad is really cool with the owner of the place so they may fix it for free.