I turn the key and nothing happens

I have a 2008 Mazda tribute…The key turns the light and radio on and then turns over to crank but it doesn't even try, nothing happens. Starter, cyliniod or ignition switch? How to tell which one it is?
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Be sure any engine immobilizer system (security system) is not activated, thus preventing the car from starting. The battery should be load tested by a professional. Load testing can only be reliably performed on a fully charged battery. If the battery passes a load test be sure it is NOT a marginal pass in which case you should install a new battery to reduce diagnostic headaches. Batteries are a VERY important component in a car’s electrical system. Once you have a fully functioning battery, if the starting system still does not function, there are only a relatively limited number of causes. Broadly, either the starter motor/solenoid assembly is faulty or the electrical circuit supplying the motor has a fault. That circuit begins at the battery and includes grounds, wiring (some of which is very heavy cabling), fuses, relays, the ignition switch and terminations. Basically, the starter is either getting power or it isn’t. If the starter motor is getting power but it doesn’t work, the starter is condemned and replaced. Alternatively, if there is no power to the starter, then the circuit is traced until the fault in the circuit is found. Notably, faults can include high resistances, due to corrosion, wire strand breaks, or loose terminals, which can only be diagnosed using a voltage drop test. If you desire that a certified mechanic resolve this promptly, please simply request a no start diagnostic and the responding mechanic will get it diagnosed and repaired for you. Please let us know if you have further concerns or questions as we are always here to help you.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

The most common reason cars don`t start is a dead or faulty battery. Even though most cars run on gasoline, they all require electrical power to function. The starter that cranks your engine to start requires an electrical signal to fire. If something`s wrong with your battery, your car engine won`t turn over.
The most common reasons a Mazda Tribute won`t start are a dead battery, an alternator problem, or failed starter.
If your car won`t start but the battery is good, the most common cause is a faulty starter – though it could also be to do with your fuel. You may have insufficient fuel to get the car going.
The most common reasons a Mazda Tribute key won`t turn are a binding steering column/lock, an ignition switch issue, or a problem with the ignition key. Search our network of RepairPal Certified shops near you to speak with a technician about your issue.
If you don`t hear clicking when you start the engine, the problem may be a dead battery. If you hear clicking, but the engine doesn`t crank, the starter might not be getting enough electricity. Using your owner`s manual and a voltmeter, you should be able to test functionality.
Bad Sensors

One common culprit for this problem is the crankshaft position sensor, which measures the position and speed of the crankshaft. The computer uses the information from this sensor to know when to fire the spark plugs. If the sensor isn`t working, the spark plugs won`t fire, keeping the engine from starting.

Follow these steps if you want to start your vehicle after the key fob dies: Turn the key over and look for a small latch on the back. Release and pull down on the latch to find a traditional key that will come out from inside the fob. Insert the key in the driver`s side keyhole and manually unlock the door.
A faulty transmission control module (TCM) may prevent a car from starting, but it is not a definitive cause. The TCM is responsible for controlling various functions of the transmission, but it also receives input from other systems such as the engine control module (ECM) and the brake control module.
The battery can be fully charged but still not be able to start the vehicle if it is failing or has a dead cell. Other likely issues are the fuel pump, ignition switch, battery cables, starter, or a clogged fuel filter.
Check Your Fob Battery

If your remote starter system isn`t working properly, try replacing the battery in your fob. You can find replacement key fob batteries at Batteries Plus. Most remote starter fobs run on 2032 lithium coin cell batteries.

Usually a rapid clicking noise is a good indication that your starter motor isn`t getting enough electrical current to engage – basically your solenoid is trying to engage but can`t make the connection.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

When i put the key in, nothing turns on.
ANSWER : Hi There,
It sounds like you have a faulty ignition switch that may be working intermittently. You may also have an ignition relay that is beginning to fail or work intermittently causing the power to be randomly existent as you describe. I would suggest having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to take a look at your car to diagnose your electrical problem.

Random no start. Turn key and nothing, no clicking- nothing. Wait, turn key again and starts. Radio and clock resets to factory
ANSWER : Hi there. This sounds like you could have a failing battery. Although this may seem counter intuitive, this has been the case more often than not in my 22 years in the field. Has the battery, starting, and charging system been checked recently? Was this inspection performed with a digital tester? Did the tester have outputs such as state of health, current voltage, and cold cranking amps? Did the starting and charging test have output measurements of amps and volts? These readings are important to determine what could be occurring. I suggest having the battery tested properly, preferably by a qualified technician that can determine if there is a failing cell in the battery or if the battery is simply at the end of its days. Failed cells can create a multitude of weird electrical concerns that can sometimes leave a vehicle owner and some technicians scratching their heads; always start with a proper battery inspection as it’s the core of the electrical system. Your Mechanic has several available technicians that can assist you with a car does not start inspection [https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/car-is-not-starting-inspection].

Put key in ignition. Lights and everything come on for a second, then went off as I turned the key. Now no power, key stuck
ANSWER : Hi, thanks for writing in. This sounds like your battery cable connections are corroded or loose at the battery. Try to see if the battery connections are loose by wiggling them and see if power returns. If power returns, then have the cables removed, cleaned, and reconnected to test the battery. Hope this helps and best of luck!

Engine turned off but inside of car still on, now engine won’t turn back on.
ANSWER : Hi there. The symptoms you’re describing with your boyfriend’s 2002 Grand Cherokee appear to be related to a broken or worn out ignition switch or relay. The ignition switch on the inside of the steering column is attached to multiple electronic connections that send signals to a relay box; which in turn, sends the signal to the individual components. The issue could be related to the ignition switch, the relay, or any of the components in between. If you want to have the fault pinpointed in person, I would have this starting issue inspected by a trained professional to ensure that the correct repair is made.

steering wheel turned to the far right and locked in place while the wheel are straight. and I can’t turn the key.
ANSWER : Hi there. From the description you have provided, concerning your vehicle’s steering wheel is locked far right and key won’t turn with the front wheels in a forward default position, is somewhat confusing to me. It could be, undo pressure is being applied to the steering wheel lock. You could try, physically moving the left front tire side to side in either direction, to relieve the pressure on the steering wheel lock. It could be, the key you are using has a problem, try another key if available. It could be, the ignition lock cylinder is at fault. I recommend having your vehicle’s can’t turn the key be diagnosed and repaired by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

Key won’t turn, Hyundai the steering wheel not locked can’t turn at all. Happened before but now key not turning 2007 Hyundai Sonata
ANSWER : Hi there – your symptoms suggest the key tumbler – the actual lock portion of the ignition switch – has a stuck pin/spring combination. I suggest squirting a bit of dry graphite lubricant into the key opening, then insert the key and work at turning the key. Other liquid light lubricants can also be used (WD-40 is the classic, but liquids attract dust and dirt, and have a bit of a smell. For assistance, I recommend a ignition key won’t turn inspection performed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, and give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

Car was sometimes not starting, not even cranking when i turned the key then after a few times itd start. Now it ont start at all
ANSWER : Hi there:

Without being there to inspect your vehicle, or having information about what type of car, truck or SUV you own, it’s very hard for us to give you some advice. You might want to have a professional mobile mechanic complete a car is hard to start inspection; so they can come to your location and determine why your vehicle is having these issues.

key in accessory position and can’ turn off or on can’t get key to turn stuck in accessory position
ANSWER : Hi and thanks for contacting YourMechanic. When the key is in the ignition switch, the key should not be able to come out of the switch when it has been turned. When the key is able to come out of the ignition switch in the On position or Accessory position, then the lock inside the tumbler has failed. Try to turn the steering wheel side to side to see if the steering wheel lock is causing your issues. If your steering wheel lock is not the issue, then you will need to have a new ignition switch tumbler installed and you will have to get a new key that matches the vehicle. If your ignition switch is stuck in the accessory position and will not shut off the power to the car, you can put graphite into the tumbler to help with the key; although this will damage the tumbler, you will be able to shut off the power to the vehicle. I recommend replacing the ignition switch and key to solve your stuck-in-accessory position situation. If you need assistance in getting your vehicle’s ignition switch to shut off, you should contact a technician. A YourMechanic certified mechanic can come to your location to perform an Ignition key is stuck and does not turn Inspection on your vehicle and diagnose this issue.