It certainly sounds like a bad thing… you wouldn’t want your engine flipping over in your car! But your engine turning over is a very normal and regular process that occurs every time your car runs. What does this term mean, and how can you use it to diagnose your car?
When your engine starts, your battery sends an electrical pulse to your spark plugs, which causes the initial ignition. This then drives your crankshaft, which allows your engine to start moving. This is what the term ‘turning over’ means - it refers to the movement of the crankshaft after the initial ignition.
Generally, turning over is used as a diagnostic tool when exploring issues related with engine failure. If your engine is starting, but failing to turn over, it point to issues with the crankshaft or timing belt, while if your engine is failing to start, the most likely (although not the only) culprit would be a weak or failed battery.
As a routine part of starting a car, your engine turning over should not be of concern. In fact, you should only be concerned if your engine does not turn over! When diagnosing problems with your engine, and speaking with your mechanic, seeing the whole picture is important - and learning new vocabulary helps you to do so. We hope that this article was informative for you!
If you ever are having trouble diagnosing whether your engine is turning over or if your engine is failing to start, you can book a Fiix Mechanic to come perform an inspection, or ask us anything in our instant live chat.