Car Cranks But Won’t Start [Timing Belt Is Broken – Fix It 100%]

Hey guys, now I’m going to tell you how to diagnose and fix your car cranks but won’t start. Now try to crank it and listen for anything unusual sounds. If you can see the crank speed is much faster than normal, it is most likely something happen to the timing belt.

However, to be sure, you’ll want to do a reliable compression test to see if the timing belt is breaking. The timing belt will drive the cam gear, which opens and closes the valve. So the compression test will read zero if it does.

To perform such a test, you need to remove the spark plug and wire and then insert a compression tester into the spark plug hole.

Here I do a test on a Toyota Camry. To reach the spark plug, you need some tools like:

  • 5/8 spark plug socket and 6-inch extension
  • ratchet drive 3/8

Once you’ve removed it, you can try the compression tester, which is usually a two-part design, and how to use it is in the tool manual.

After that, you’ll need to crank it up, and you may want to ground the spark plug wire using a jumper wire or disconnect the ignition coil electrical connection to prevent sparking while doing this. For this test, you can crank it for 3-5 seconds.

If you get a compression reading of 0, that’s pretty much telling you it’s the timing belt. But to be 100% sure, you have to remove the top of the timing cover. It is usually held in place by four bolts which you have to remove.

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But usually, it has a stand and bracket, which you also have to remove first.

Once you have removed all the bolts for the top cover, you can see the damage inside.

Check the belt on the cam pulley as it could come loose and tear. But the good thing about cars like the Camry is that they are not as complicated as other brands. The most important part is that it is a non-interference engine. So when the belt breaks, there is no chance of internal damage.

Timing Belt Replacement

Not every vehicle has a timing belt that needs to be replaced.

The timing belt has a low replacement interval of 60,000-100,000 miles. That way, you can avoid problems like this. On interference engines where the valves can bend, the repair can be costly if that happens. When the timing belt breaks, the vehicle has engine trouble and a little more than that.

There is a difference between the sound of a torn timing belt and a newly installed one. When installing a new belt, you always want to make sure that you fit it perfectly because otherwise, the car will often not run or break down.

You’ll also want to make sure that it’s properly tightened and fully attached to the gears and pulley. It will also have markings on the top gear that you need to line up. In this case, it will be a notch that you need to align with the hole in the cam gear.

Extra Tips: Check Your Car’s Fuel Pump Pressure

So I’m also going to include some additional tips that can help you figure out what might be wrong with your vehicle.

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If your car is about to start but then shuts off, you can check your fuel pressure. This way, you can easily verify that it is a fuel pump problem.

Many vehicles have a Schrader valve or pressure tester to screw into. You’ll find it on the fuel rail or in the fuel line next to it.

But in other cases, you need an adapter that is sometimes excluded with testers, or you have to buy it separately depending on the brand. A good field pressure reading will remain stable and high with only the key ON and the engine off. 

If you see that the fuel pressure continues to drop in your test, it means that the fuel pump cannot meet demand, and the engine will die. You can also test the ignition system by attaching a spark tester to the sparkler wires, and it will spark.

But if that’s not the case, you know it’s related to something that controls ignition, like an ignition module with a spark signal to the coils or a crank sensor that sends a signal to a car computer.


So if you notice that your car or someone else’s doesn’t start and it doesn’t sound right, make sure you don’t keep cranking it to avoid possible further damage. After reinstalling the new timing belt, the car will start properly, and you can now drive comfortably.

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