Bronco Cranks But Won't Start Checklist

If your 1992-96 Ford Bronco cranks but will not start, check out this article for an in-depth dive into some issues you might need to address.

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  • Bronco Cranks But Won't Start Checklist

The Ford Bronco has been an iconic SUV for decades, and the 1992-96 OBS styles are no exception. However, like any vehicle, the Bronco can experience issues that prevent it from starting. One of the most frustrating problems is when you go to start your truck, and it turns over without starting. This article will explore the possible causes of this issue and provide solutions to help you diagnose the problem.

Possible Causes of Ford Bronco Cranks But Will Not Start:

Fuel System

If your Ford Bronco is not getting enough fuel, it will not start. Without fuel the combustion cycle can not happen. To properly evaluate fuel issues, a fuel pressure gauge, or code reader will aid you in narrowing down what the issue might be. The following are common fuel system issues you will want to evaluate.

  • Clogged Fuel Filter - If the filter has become clogged, your fuel pressure might be too low for your engine to start, or it might not flow enough gasoline. If your fuel pump is pumping, but you are getting low or no fuel pressure at your fuel rail, this will be one of the most common culprits. 
  • Faulty Fuel Pump - The fuel pumps on the Broncos can fail over time. If you are not getting any fuel pressure or flow in your system, the fuel pump most likely will be your issue. It is always best to check your fuel pump relay before assuming your fuel pump is bad to ensure this is not the culprit. 
  • Empty Fuel Tank - This one is not as obvious as it might seem. If your fuel level sensor has gone out or is sticking, it might give you a false reading on your gauge. A faulty fuel level sending unit might show that you have fuel in your tank when you might not have any in your tank.
  • Bad Fuel Injectors - If you are getting fuel to your fuel rail but still having starting issues, faulty fuel injectors may be an issue. This one is a little harder to test as testing will require special tools. Something to physically look at is to ensure all electrical connections are good, and check the injectors filters to ensure they have not become clogged.


Electrical System Issues

If the electrical system in your Bronco is not working correctly, it can prevent the engine from starting. Many things in a modern car are controlled by some type of electronic computer. Electrical issues can be one of the hardest to diagnose. Below are some of the common issues you will want to evaluate. 

  • Dead Battery - This one will be fairly obvious. Is your battery is dead or low on voltage, your truck will turn over slower than usual or not turn over at all. A lot of the time, you will get that infamous starter click with no movement by the engine. A dead battery might be a secondary side affect of a failing alternator. If your battery is dead, check your alternator as well. 
  • Faulty Starter - A weak or failing starter may cause your engine not to turn over. Your starter might be the culprit if your electrical system has proper voltage. Checking to ensure you are getting proper 12 volts to the starter is key to ensuring your starter can operate correctly. 
  • Bad Alternator - This one usually goes hand in hand with a dead battery. A failed alternator will cause your truck to run solely on the battery until it dies. Have your alternator operation checked by a professional. 
  • Blown Fuses - Many fuses can control various items on your truck. If your truck is not starting, check the fuel pump relay/fuse, PCM fuse, etc, to make sure all system are activating when your Bronco is turning over. 


Engine Issues

Several engine-related issues can cause your Ford Bronco to crank but not start. These are going to be more mechanical and can be easier to diagnose. Specialized tools, including timing lights and timing wheels, may be required to diagnose engine issues related to no-start conditions. 

  • Timing Off/Incorrect - If you recently rebuilt your engine and have a no start condition on your Bronco, your timing may be incorrect. You will want to check your timing to ensure it is within spec. 
  • Faulty Spark Plugs - Fouled or damaged spark plugs will not allow your engine to make the spark on the combustion cycle. Fouled spark plugs usually have a black soot on the spark plug, preventing electricity arching between the electrode and grounding strap. 
  • Ignition Coil & Spark Plug Wire Issues - If your ignition coil or spark plug wires are damaged or old, they might not provide adequate spark to the spark plug. Physcially check spark plug wires for damage or cracks in the shething. 
  • Sensors - Essential sensors like the mass air sensor provide essential information to the engine computer (ECU). If sensors like the mass air sensor are faulty, your engine may turn over and not start. 
  • Faulty Distributor - If your distributor, cap or rotor has wear, you may not get the necessary electricity to your plugs. This can prevent your engine from starting or cause your engine to run rough or stall. 


  1. Why won't my Ford Bronco start? There are several possible reasons why your Bronco may not start. These include fuel system issues, electrical system issues, and engine issues. If you cannot diagnose issues yourself, please visit your local trusted mechanic. 

  2. Can a bad alternator cause a Ford Bronco not to start? Yes, a faulty alternator can cause a  Ford Bronco not to start because it is responsible for charging the battery. If the battery is dead, the vehicle will not start.

  3. Can a bad fuel filter cause a Ford Bronco not to start? Yes, a clogged fuel filter can cause a Ford Bronco not to start because it can prevent fuel from reaching the engine.


If your Ford Bronco cranks but will not start, it can be frustrating, but there are solutions. By identifying the possible causes of the problem, you can narrow down the issue and find a solution. Whether it's a fuel system issue, an electrical system issue, or an engine issue, there are fixes available. If you're unsure of how to diagnose or fix the problem, it's always best to seek the help of a mechanic with experience with the Ford Bronco or trucks.