How to troubleshoot a bad engine block ground with just a simple test light. The key with this type of troubleshooting is in understanding how to "load the circuit", which in this case is achieved by holding the key in the crank position.

Engine Performance Diagnostics chapter 1

Topics discussed


  • no crank, starter does not engage
  • various dash lights flickering on and off

fix 50

  • relocate engine ground to the block

test shown

  • how to "load the engine block"
  • how to test for a bad battery cable
  • how to test the engine block ground circuit

Tools used

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Starting, Charging and Battery system problems

Related videos:

Engine does not crank (bad block ground) - Cadillac:


How to test a starter motor (no crank from a bad block ground) - Nissan:


Engine does not crank (seized alternator) - Mini Cooper:


Multimeter basics, voltage and resistance tests (a ScannerDanner Premium video):


Week 1 Part 17 finish volts amps and ohms tests:


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For more information on this topic, I have written a “field manual” called Engine Performance Diagnostics which is available as an eBook or paper book.

Want even more diagnostic training? Whether you are a DIY trying to fix your own car, someone looking to become an auto technician, or a current auto technician that wants to get more into diagnostics, subscribe to ScannerDanner Premium. There is a 14 day free trial.

On ScannerDanner Premium I will bring you right into my classroom at Rosedale Technical College. You will find page for page lectures taken right from my book as well as exclusive classroom type case studies. What is so special about these classroom case studies? I pull live problem vehicles directly into my classroom and we troubleshoot them in real time, using and applying the theory and testing procedures we learn during the classroom lectures. There is no better on-line training of how to troubleshoot automotive electrical and electronics systems anywhere!