The silence that fills your inactive Chevy when you turn the key and it won't start can be extremely annoying. A Chevy that won't start leaves you stuck on the side of the road trying to figure out the problem. Fortunately, there are several well-known issues that can cause an Alero to not start, and you can repair many of them on your own or with a mechanic's help.
In this comprehensive guide, we will examine the fourteen most common causes your Chevy Alero won't start and provide useful suggestions to get your car running again.
The most common cause a Chevy doesn't crank is a dead or weak battery. Your battery delivers the initial burst of electricity to turn over the engine and get it running.
Signs of a dead battery:
- Silence upon turning the key – no engine cranking
- Accessories not powering on
- Hard time starting in cold weather
The Fix: Keep jumper cables on hand for a dead battery situation. Jump starting your Chevy Alero using another vehicle or jump box can supply enough charge to get it started.
You can also clean corroded battery terminals if they prevent a good connection. If problems persist, have your battery tested – it may need recharging if worn out.
If your battery checks out but your Chevrolet Alero still won't turn over, the issue may be a bad alternator. This vital part charges your battery when running and energizes the electronics.
Clues of a bad alternator:
- Battery warning light coming on
- Lights dimming
- Difficulty starting, especially after short trips
The Fix: Get your alternator inspected right away by a mechanic. A bad alternator can rapidly deplete your battery. This will need to be replaced by an experienced mechanic.
Faulty Spark Plugs
Spark plugs fire the air/fuel ratio in the cylinders to run your car. When they are dirty, bad, or corroded, your Alero may not start due to no spark.
Signs of bad spark plugs:
- Poor fuel economy
- Rough idle
- Engine sputtering
The Fix: Spark plugs need regular replacement as they degrade. Most last 30k+ miles. Have your plugs checked and change any faulty ones. Using quality gas helps avoid buildup.
Problems with parts like the switch, lock cylinder, fob, or wiring can prevent your Chevy from cranking.
Symptoms of ignition trouble:
- No noise upon turning key
- Instrument panel flickering
- Key won't turn
The Fix: For fob issues, replace the battery. For other problems, have the system diagnosed and repaired professionally. If you need a new Chevy key fob you can get one online here.
The starter motor engages when you turn the key to crank the engine. If it's worn out, your Chevrolet Alero may not turn over.
Signs of a bad starter:
- No noise upon turning key
- Clicking but no cranking
- Unusual noises
The Fix: Have your starter tested and replaced if faulty. This requires the help of a professional mechanic to diagnose and repair.
Transmission Not in Park/Neutral
If your gearbox isn't in Park or Neutral, your Chevy's safety features will prevent it from cranking.
The Fix: Shift into Park/Neutral and try again. If it only starts in one gear, you may have a faulty neutral safety switch needing repair. This will need to be repaired by a local mechanic near you.
Clogged Fuel Filter
A blocked fuel filter can constrain fuel delivery to the engine, preventing your Chevrolet Alero from turning over.
Signs of a clogged filter:
- Difficulty starting
- Engine sputtering
- Decreased fuel economy
The Fix: Change the filter when due or if thought clogged. Use quality gas and replace often. You can have a local mechanic repair this for you, or repair it yourself, maybe with the help and guidance of an online mechanic.
Faulty Fuel Pump
The fuel pump delivers gas from the tank to the engine. If it fails, your Chevrolet won't start due to no fuel.
Symptoms of a bad pump:
- No pump noise upon turning key
- Difficulty starting
- Stalling after starting
The Fix: Have your pump tested. If faulty, a mechanic near you will need to replace it.
Low Engine Compression
Proper compression is needed to combust the air/fuel mixture. Low compression from leaks can cause a no start.
Symptoms of compression issues:
- Hard time starting
- Rough idle
- Lack of power
The Fix: Testing can confirm low compression. For diagnostics and carrying out this repair, a local mechanic is usually needed and will have to replace the worn engine components.
Broken Timing Belt
The timing belt keeps the camshaft and crankshaft. If it snaps, the valves and pistons won't be timed properly and your Chevy Alero won't start.
Symptoms of a bad timing belt:
- No start
- Unusual ticking noise
The Fix: Have your belt inspected and fixed right away if broken. This requires a local professional mechanic to replace the timing belt of your Chevy Alero.
Detached or Loose Battery Cable
Signs of a bad cable:
- Corroded terminals
- Power loss from wiggling cables
- Frayed wiring
The Fix: Scrub corroded terminals and tighten loose connections. Damaged cables need replacement. You can get expert Chevy mechanic advice and guidance online or with a local mechanic.
Relays control power to components like the starter, fuel pump, and computer. Failure can prevent your Chevy Alero from starting or running right.
Identifying relay problems:
- Swap relays to test
- Have relays checked by a mechanic
The Fix: Faulty relays must be replaced, often after a larger diagnostic. You will likely need a local mechanic to diagnose if the faulty relay is preventing your Chevy from starting.
Empty Gas Tank
Running your tank bone dry can cause a no-start due to lack of fuel. This seems obvious however it often happens because of an inaccurate or broken fuel gauge.
The Fix: Keep your tank at least 1/4 full to avoid unexpected emptying. If issues persist, have your fuel sender unit checked by a professional mechanic.
Sometimes an engine can flood with too much fuel, preventing starting due to wet spark plugs. This is most common in older carbureted engines.
The Fix: Press the gas pedal fully and crank briefly to flush the system so the plugs can spark. If problems continue, have the carburetor adjusted by a professional local mechanic.
Top 3 Ways To Get a Mechanics Help
With so many potential causes for a no start situation, it can be challenging to determine the exact issue yourself. In some cases, using aid from an experienced mechanic can save you time and give you peace of mind.
These are the 3 ways to get a mechanic's help in starting your Chevy again.
1. Local Auto Repair Garage Near You
This is the regular way to get it repaired, however, it can be very wasteful in time and money, transporting your vehicle to them, plus expensive garage fees as they often have expensive overhead costs etc, that they have to pass on to the customer.
2. A Mobile Mechanic Near You
Having a qualified mobile mechanic come to your Chevy and repair it on-site can be a great time and money saver. The best mobile mechanics we can recommend in the USA are RepairSmith and YourMechanic. We have recommended them thousands of times, and they both have great prices, services and coverage across most of the USA.
In the UK the best mobile mechanic we can recommend is Fixter, they will come pick up your car, take it get repaired, and deliver it back to you. You can get an instant free quote on their official websites by clicking the name. We have tested, vetted, and can heartedly recommend each of these services to get your Chevy Alero|Chevrolet Alero starting again ASAP.
3. Chat with a Chevy Mechanic Online
This is a wonderful choice for most DIYers or car buff. It's often a straightforward mend you can do on your own, like changing or recharging the battery. In these cases, if you are aware of what to do in a stepwise fashion, you can do it on your own, you do not have to pay a mechanic on-site. Alright, it's your fortunate day, an online mechanic can supply all the assistance, guidance, and advice you require, immediately by online chat. You can then carry out the straightforward mend yourself.
The best online mechanic we suggest is JustAnswer, and through our link, you can get a free trial of their assistance for just $5, inquire endless questions for a week, get the assistance you require, and you are not obligated to keep going with the assistance after that. We adore JustAnswer for this reason, expert auto mechanic assistance for just $5 is an unbeatable price.
The certified mechanics at JustAnswer's Ask a Mechanic service are available 24/7 to provide remote diagnostics and advice. The perks of querying a mechanic online include:
- Convenience: Get help from the comfort of your residence without having to schedule an appointment or wait at a shop.
- Fast replies; Mechanics respond in minutes with likely issues and solutions based on your description.
- Cost savings: Pay per question rather than full diagnostic fees – great for basic troubleshooting.
- Documentation: All conversations are logged in writing, providing helpful reference.
- Expert knowledge; Experienced licensed mechanics have the knowledge to address Chevy Alero|Chevrolet Alero no starting issues with ease.
You will get matched with the best auto mechanic for your particular case, it doesn't matter if it's an Alero or your Chevrolet Apache won't start, the expert Chevy mechanic you are paired with, will be the best for the job.
So next time you find yourself searching online for something like “Chevy won't start“, consider our ask Chrevrolet mechanic free service. In just minutes, you can get expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Alero started again.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why is my Chevy car not cranking but I have power?
If your Chevrolet won't start but the lights and electronics come on, the most likely causes are issues with the starter motor, ignition switch, or neutral safety switch. Defective ignition components prevent the engine from turning over even when battery power is present.
Why does my Chevy have power but won't turn over?
When your Chevy has power to the electronics and dashboard but doesn't start when turning the key, the problem is often a bad starter system or related wiring problem. This prevents the starter from engaging to turn the engine over for starting.
What would make my Chevy car unexpectedly not start?
Unexpected no-start issues can happen from loose battery cables, fuel pump or relay failure, broken timing belt, or an empty gas tank. These critical problems can arise without warning and prevent your Chevy's engine from starting.
Why won't my Chevy car start but the battery is fine?
With a good battery, the culprit may be a faulty alternator not charging the system, bad spark plugs providing no ignition, or a fuel delivery problem preventing combustion. Your Chevy's engine needs air, fuel, compression and spark to run.
What are signs your Chevy starter is bad?
Symptoms of a bad starter include no noise when turning the key, a single click but no turnover, unusual grinding noises, and difficult cranking. These indicate starter failure and the need for replacement by a local mechanic.
Why won't my Chevy car start but battery and alternator are good?
If the battery and alternator check out, common causes are bad spark plugs, blocked fuel filter, blown fuse, immobilizer problem, and starter relay failure. Complete diagnostics of all electrical and fuel systems are needed by a qualified local mechanic.