Cranking the engine without starting is an important procedure that must be carried out by every car owner after a complete oil change.
This helps in reducing the effect of wear and tear in the engine because the new oil hasn’t been able to circulate to other engine components yet.
This scenario can also be known as “Dry starting” and it can be avoided by cranking the engine so that the oil pump can circulate oil at very low pressure before the actual start-up.
Cranking the engine without starting is also advised if your car has been parked idle for a long period of time and would like to stir up settled oil in the engine.
Also, cranking is very important when you’ve got an Engine rebuild or port to a new cylinder head to allow fluid to circulate into the bearing and oil filters.
Continue reading as we show you the automatic and manual ways of cranking your engine without starting.
How to Crank Engine Without Starting
There are three ways to Crank an Engine without starting – one is manually using the hand, while the other one is through the starter.
It’s not always necessary that you crank your engine before starting it but car owners who’ve had their cars parked for a long time; got a complete oil change or did a full engine replacement should ensure to crank their engine to avoid dry starting.
It helps in circulating and lubricating the freshly admitted oil into necessary components before the engine is finally started.
How to Automatically Crank Engine Without Starting
This technique works well for those people using automatic cars with the start button embedded.
Although, the process will cause a small amount of wear on your starter and battery you don’t have to panic since it’s a once-in-a-blue-moon action.
- Compress and hold the throttle pedal to the floor
- Insert the key into the ignition
- Now, press and hold the engine START button
- Release the START button when the oil pressure lamp turns off, let’s say 6 seconds
- You can now start your engine
As specified in the article, don’t compress the starter and gas pedal for too long to avoid the risk of overheating and wear.
Once you notice the oil gauge light is turned off, it implies that the oil has circulated into the newly installed oil filter (remember to change your oil filter on every oil change)
How to Manually Crank an Engine
This manual technique is for those who don’t have the starter button on their car but can get into their engine.
Manual cranking simply involves disconnecting the fuel injector fuses from the engine to cut power from reaching the fuel injector.
Most cars have two injector fuses attached to both sides of the engine, do well to find and detach them.
- Now, proceed to start your engine using the key to send a signal to your starter.
- The starter will try to start the combustion cycle but due to the presence of the injector fuses, it’ll only crank the engine.
- The fuel injector aid in sending fuel into the engine and since it’s absent, it’ll not start the engine.
- Also, ensure that you do this for a short period, given 6 minutes; to avoid overheating your starter.
- You can reconnect the fuel injector fuses once the oil has been circulated into the engine system.
- Start your engine and warm your car.
How to Hand Crank an Engine
For hand cranking an Engine, you’ll need access to a tool called the ratchet wrench and enough strength to rotate the engine.
Hand cranking an Engine isn’t often necessary except when the engine component stops responding and you want to perform a replacement by rotating the component to be in a specific position, e.g timing belt and valves stem seal.
- Start by getting a ratchet wrench tool
- Locate the crankshaft bolt and size the wrench to fit
- Rotate the bolt in a clockwise direction using your hands.
Also, you can fasten the power steering pump belt, then rotate the bolt in front of the pump to crank the engine.
However, if you’re going for the second-hand cranking technique, it’s advised that you take your spark plugs off your car before anything.
What could Cause Normal Cranking Without Starting?
No fuel supply input to aid combustion is the major cause of why a car would crank without starting. If you notice this on your car then it’s time to get your fuel injector, fuel pump, coolant sensor, and fuel source checked.
Can cranking an engine damage it?
Cranking an Engine for too long can cause overheating on the starter which can in turn damage it’s performed too often.
Short cranks on an Engine wouldn’t cause any damage to your engine, rather it’ll help circulate oil to the oil filter and bearings.
How long can you leave a car without starting it?
You can leave a car without starting it for about 2 to 4 weeks. However, it’s advised to crank it before starting the engine to avoid wear and tear due to relaxed oil or a dead car battery.
Cranking is very relevant to a car that has been parked idle for a long time, the one that just got an oil change, and the one that you just ported the engine.
This is to allow oil flow into necessary systems and prevent dry starting, it also improved engine life.
This article has discussed the automatic, manual, and local ways to crank an Engine without starting it.
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