I’m not a professional, but I was taught that an engine “turning over” and an engine “cranking” mean the same thing. The starter is working, engaging the flywheel and rotating the crankshaft. But until the engine “catches” or “starts,” it’s only cranking or turning over. The cranking and the turning over are the mechanical rotation of the engine before it catches or starts. At least, that’s what I was taught.
But there seems to be a common misconception (?) that “turning over” means the engine is actually starting, not just cranking, and it causes confusion when posters say their engine won’t “turn over” when in fact it will crank but not start. In my book, if it won’t “turn over,” the flywheel doesn’t move at all.
Am I wrong? Is this a regional thing? Because on a recent episode of Texas Car Wars, one of the mechanics used the phrase “turn over” to mean “start,” which really puzzled me. I mean, he’s a professional mechanic, so he should know that “turn over” means “crank,” not “start.” Then I thought, hmm, maybe things are different in Texas (I’m from NY).
So, what is correct? Am I wrong? Are there regional differences in terminology? Or do some people just pick up incorrect usage from others?