Car will not turn over or even crank



Hi, I own a 1998 Chrysler Cirrus LXi with 2.5L V6 with about 90k miles on it. Yesterday I went to turn the car on to warm it up before I left work and the car would not turn over or even crank.

The battery appears to be fine as the console immediately light up and the headlights are fairly bright.

The car would usually make a noise when turning the key in the ignition it in the morning, mainly when it was cold. The noise was not loud but was high pitched. The noise would jump up quickly and then lowered in pitch gradually in comparison. The noise would only last a second or two. I would compare the sound to the typical sound used in movies when an engine on biplane would fail or to something that was spinning winding down.

Enough about sound though.

I am assuming that the noise and the car failing to start are due to the starter or ignition coil going bad.

Any thoughts or opinions?


From what you have said and that you are sure that the battery is good, then your starter failed.


Or the ignition switch itself…


The problem is definetly in the starting system. The ignition coil has nothing to do with no cranking. Could you descibe the noise a little better for me…no, just kidding. You’re sure that noise isn’t the serpentine belt? If the belt is worn out it will make a high pitched squeeling sound because the belt is mostly slipping around the pulleys instead of turning the pulleys completely so the battery won’t be fully charged to crank the engine.


The noise you hear when you turn on the ignition is likely to be the electric fuel pump. If you’re not hearing it now and your starter isn’t getting power, the problem is common to both; perhaps in the ignition switch itself.


Well I was almost certain it was the battery. But after hearing plenty of tales where others were sure it was the starter like me, including a coworker, I used a voltometer on my battery. The readings were eradict at best. To double check, I then tested my voltometer on a family friend’s Acura TL (I drool every time I see that car, not that I am in love with foreign cars). The reading was a solid 12.8 volts.

This the first time a cell within the battery has died on me rather than the battery going under from old age. Oh well, first time for everything and it was a learning experience.

Hopefully all will be solved when I change the battery out tonight.


Sounds like a faulty starter solenoid or bad ignition switch and the starter is either remaining engaged after starting or it’s continuing to spin after it’s disengaged. Either of those scenarios will quickly burn out the motor brushes since the motor is designed for low speed operation not high speed.

Once that happens. No starter.


Scratch that; false positive.

The battery was replaced but the it did not solve anything.

I kept thinking that it was odd that the voltmeter’s readings were bounce around so badly. And this time when it was tested with the new battery, the readings bounced around until the positive prong was placed closer to were the wires were being connected. The visible terminals when looking under the hood on the Cirrus are not actually where the battery is, the battery is behind the splash guard on the driver’s side.

So I am back to thinking it is the starter.

Any recommendations on manufactures?


I think the starter solenoid is bad. I had one go out once that spun but the gear wouldn’t engage the flywheel. It made a high pitched whine, but wouldn’t turn the engine over.