Car Won't Crank - Starter vs. Ignition Switch

New Battery But Car Won't Crank

Question: Chrysler Sebring No Crank, No Nothing

My wife went out to leave for work yesterday to find her car wouldn't start. Being that it is a 1998 Chrysler Sebring Convertible, I naturally assumed the battery was the problem. Well, to my sheer pleasure, I found out the battery is located in the fender well behind the front driver's side tire. The owners manual said you can remove it without removing the tire.  I found that was incorrect. Anyway, the new battery is in the car and it still won't start. It is not even trying.

What I have: I have a horn, headlights, interior lights, door locks, and my four-way flashers.

What I don't have: I don't have a radio, the small computer that energizes on the dash, and no wipers and no signal lights. I cannot hear the fuel pump switch on, and when you turn the key to start the car it does nothing and there are no noises. The lights do not dim inside or the headlights. Oh, and as far as the radio goes it does not come on when you turn the switch to accessories, either.

I am not a mechanic, but I can perform simple task if I know what I'm looking for. Could you please offer me some suggestion on what to look at next?

Answer: Troubleshooting Bad Starter vs. Bad Ignition Switch

You've already changed the battery and you have some electrical functions but not all. Now take these steps to narrow down the problem.

The first thing to check is to see if you have power at the brown wire at the starter. There should be power there with the key in the ON position. If there is, you have a bad starter.

But with the radio, trip computer, wipers, turn signal and fuel pump dead, I would think it more likely you have a bad ignition switch. With the key in the RUN or ACC position, see if you are getting power to fuse 5, 8, 10 and 14. If you are not getting power there, check fuse 18 and see if it's good.

If it's good, then check for power at pin 1 (red), 7 (red), 3 (pink/black) and 2 (gray/dark blue). If that checks out good, check for power at pin 8 (black/white) in the ACC position and 10 (yellow), 9 (dark blue), and 8 (black/white) in the RUN position. If you do not have power to any or all of these pins, the ignition switch is bad and will need to be replaced.

Similar steps can be taken to troubleshoot no-crank problems with other vehicles. Check to see whether there is power at the starter. If there is power there, then the starter may need to be replaced. If there is no power to the starter, then check the power to the fuses with the key in RUN or ACC. If you can narrow down the cause, even if you won't be repairing it yourself, you will be better prepared to discuss it with a mechanic.