How To Crank Engine Without Starting?

Are you wondering if it is possible to crank your engine without starting it, and you want to know how? Wonder no more, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.

Hold the gas pedal down, and your vehicle cranks without starting. Cranking the engine without starting it can also be done in the following ways:

  • Disconnecting fuel injector fuses
  • Manual cranking

Learn more about the other techniques of cranking your vehicle without starting it in the succeeding sections.

Read on!

Car detailing series : Cleaning car engine, How To Crank Engine Without Starting?

Cranking The Engine Without Starting

Changing the engine oil is an important component of maintaining the engine of your car. After you change the oil and the oil filter of your car, there will be parts of your engine that has no oil yet. Cranking your engine for a few seconds without starting it allows the engine oil to reach those areas and lubricate them before you start your car.

Another reason you want to crank your engine without starting it is if your car is coming from the storage. Crank the engine for a few seconds if you haven’t used your car for a long time. The oil that protects the components of the engine settles to the bottom when you do not use your car for a time.

The third reason you’d want to crank your car without starting is after you rebuild the engine. Rebuilding the engine involves disassembling it and replacing any failing parts. It is a good idea to crank the engine without starting it after rebuilding the engine to allow the fluids to circulate.

When stepping on the gas pedal, remember to release the pedal every 10 to 15 seconds. The ideal is only five to seven seconds. The electrical energy flowing through the starter can overheat and damage some of the internal components of the starter.

If the purpose is to spread the new oil into the engine, cranking the engine for two to three seconds would be enough.

The ECU in some car models can detect that you are stepping on the gas pedal. Some ECUs will interpret this as an attempt to start the engine, and they may start the engine while you’re flooring the gas pedal.

Alternative Ways Of Cranking The Engine Without Starting

In this section, we will talk about the alternative ways to crank your engine without starting it.

Disconnecting Fuel Injector Fuses

Disconnecting the fuel injector fuses will cut the power to the fuel injectors.

Most cars have one or two fuses on each side of the engine. This is especially true if your engine has a lot of cylinders. Thus, you might find one or two fuses for the fuel injectors on the left side of the engine and another set for the right side.

Once you disconnect the fuses, starting your engine will send electrical energy to the starter or the cranking motor. The cranking motor will start to crank the engine to initiate the combustion cycle. However, since the fuses in the fuel injector are disconnected, the engine will be cranked, but no fuel will get into the combustion chamber.

When you start your car without the fuel injector fuses, remember to only let the cranking motor crank your engine for the number of seconds that you need it to be cranked. Letting the cranking motor run for too long can accelerate the wear on it.

Reinstall the fuses, and your engine should work as normal.

Rotating The Engine By Hand

There are components in the engine that should be replaced when they start to fail due to regular wear and tear. The pistons and/or gears of the engine should be in a specific position before you can remove and replace any worn parts.

This is a calculated cranking because you need to carefully rotate the engine so that the pistons and/or gears will be in the specific position that you need them to be.

This type of cranking is usually done when you need to replace the timing chains or valve stem seal.

You can use a ratchet wrench on the crankshaft bolt and rotate it by hand. This method is easier to do when you’re rotating the crankshaft bolt from under your car.

You can rotate some engines by tightening the power steering pump belt and rotating the pulley nut on the pump.

How do you start an engine that has been sitting for a long time?

Parked abandoned car

You should never start a car that has never been used for years (or decades).

Engines are designed to be used regularly. Fluids like engine oil, coolant, and gasoline all start to break down with age. Seals and hoses also decompose and start to leak as they age.

To make things worse, corrosion takes over most parts of the engine.

All engines are made differently, but here are the common techniques that you can use to get your old engine back in running condition.

Replacing Fluids And Filters

The first thing that you need to do is to drain all the old fluids out and replace them with new ones. Draining the fluids will allow you to flush any dirt, grime, or accumulated deposits inside the engine, helping to clean it.

Replacing The Engine Oil

Pouring oil to car engine

  1. Raise your car to give you a good working space under it. You will need working space under your car to access the oil drain plug.
    • Safety reminders:
      • Always use jack stands or race ramps when working under your car. Jacks are not safe enough to keep your car up while you work under it.
      • Always wear gloves when changing the oil of your car.
  1. Locate the drain plug under your car.
  2. Place an oil drain pan under the drain plug. Position the oil drain pan slightly ahead of the drain plug so that it can catch the initial flow of the oil when you remove the plug.
  3. Remove the drain plug. Make sure you also remove the gasket that helps seal the drain plug.
  4. Always replace the gasket each time you change your engine oil.
  5. Reattach the drain plug once you’ve drained all the oil.
  6. Position the oil drain pan under the oil filter.
  7. Remove the old oil filter.
  8. Install the new oil filter.
  9. Fill the car with new oil. Add only an amount that is recommended by the manufacturer.

Draining Old Gasoline

  1. Get a clean tube and connect it to a hand pump. Get another clean tube and connect it to the drain end of the pump.
  2. Insert one end of the tube coming from the drain end of the pump into a container that is certified for gasoline use.
  3. Insert the other tube end into the gasoline tank until it reaches the bottom of the tank.
  4. Use the hand pump to draw gasoline from the gasoline tank and into the gasoline container.
  5. Wait until all the old fuel is transferred to the gasoline container.
  6. Replace the old fuel filter with a new one.
  7. Fill the car with fresh gasoline.

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Draining Old Coolant

  1. Follow the steps and tips above in raising your car.
  2. Remove the radiator cap and leave it on top of the opening to prevent dirt and contaminants from getting into the radiator.
  3. Go under your radiator and look for the drain plug.
  4. Place a drain pan under the radiator drain plug. Wait until all the coolant from the radiator goes to the drain pan.
  5. Reinstall the radiator drain plug.
  6. Move the pan under the engine.
  7. Remove the engine drain bolt to drain the coolant that got stuck in the engine block and/or heater core.
  8. Apply some high-temperature thread sealant on the bolt before you reinstall the engine drain bolt.
  9. Replace the washer.
  10. Remove the coolant reservoir and drain all its contents.
  11. Make sure the coolant reservoir is clean inside before you put it back.
  12. Add coolant to the coolant reservoir until you get to the mark for maximum. Use only the recommended coolant by the manufacturer of the car.
  13. Add coolant to your radiator. Add only an amount of coolant into the radiator that is recommended by the manufacturer.
  14. Do this final step after you’ve completed the next two replacements below. Start the engine and let it run idle for 20 to 30 minutes. This is to get rid of the air inside the cooling system. Add more coolant as needed.

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Checking Electrical Components

Two specialists of service for repairing wiring

The most important electrical component that you need to check is the battery. A car battery that has not been used for a long time loses its charge and its ability to retain a charge.

Clean the terminals that you connect to the car battery before you install a new battery. Clean terminals will ensure that the flow of electrical energy from the new battery will not be interrupted.

Replacing Old Belts

Many cars use rubber timing belts that can deteriorate over time. It is responsible for syncing the camshaft, crankshaft, distributor, and pistons.

Aside from the timing belt, you also need to replace the accessory belts that are also made of rubber. These belts are more likely to rot and crack after years of not being used.


Engine pistons. Crankshaft mechanism

Cranking an engine without starting is sometimes part of maintaining your car.

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Does The ECU Have To Match The Engine?

How Long To Charge A Dead Car Battery?

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