Sitting in your idle Chevy, turning the key, and hearing nothing but silence can be very aggravating. A Chevy that won't start leaves you stranded and clueless about the issue. Fortunately, there are several well-known issues that can cause a Chevette to not start, and you can repair many of them on your own or with a mechanic's help.
In this comprehensive guide, we're going to look at the top 14 causes your Chevy Chevette doesn't start and offer helpful suggestions to get your car started again.
The most common cause a Chevy won't start is a dead or drained battery. Your battery provides the initial jolt of electricity to turn over the engine and get it started.
Signs of a dead battery:
- Silence upon turning the key – no clicking or turnover
- Accessories not powering on
- Difficulty starting in cold weather
The Fix: Keep jumper cables available for a dead battery situation. Jump starting your Chevy Chevette using another vehicle or portable charger can deliver enough juice to get it cranked.
You can also clean dirty battery terminals if they prevent a good connection. If problems persist, have your battery tested – it may need replacing if old.
If your battery tests fine but your Chevrolet Chevette still won't crank, the culprit may be a bad alternator. This key component charges your battery when running and energizes the electronics.
Clues of a bad alternator:
- Battery warning light coming on
- Electronics dimming
- Difficulty starting, especially after short trips
The Fix: Get your alternator inspected immediately by a mechanic. A bad alternator can quickly drain 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 power your car. When they are dirty, bad, or corroded, your Chevette may not start due to no spark.
Signs of bad spark plugs:
- Poor fuel economy
- Rough idle
- Engine misfiring
The Fix: Spark plugs need regular replacement as they wear out. Most last 30k+ miles. Have your plugs checked and change any bad ones. Using quality gas prevents buildup.
Issues with parts like the switch, lock cylinder, fob, or wiring can prevent your Chevrolet from starting.
Symptoms of ignition trouble:
- No noise upon turning key
- Dashboard malfunctioning
- 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 damaged, your Chevrolet Chevette may not crank.
Symptoms of a bad starter:
- No noise upon turning key
- Clicking but no turnover
- Unusual noises
The Fix: Have your starter tested and replaced if faulty. This requires the help of a professional mechanic to diagnose and repair.
Not in Park or Neutral
If your transmission isn't in Park or Neutral, your Chevy's safety features will prevent it from starting.
The Fix: Shift into Park/Neutral and try once more. 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 clogged fuel filter can restrict fuel delivery to the engine, preventing your Chevy Chevette from starting.
Signs of a clogged filter:
- Hard time starting
- Engine misfiring
- Decreased fuel economy
The Fix: Replace the filter per your schedule or if thought clogged. Use quality gas and change 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 draws 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 sound upon turning key
- Hard time starting
- Stalling when running
The Fix: Have your pump tested. If faulty, a mechanic near you will need to replace it.
Proper compression is required to combust the air/fuel mixture. Low compression from worn parts can lead to a no start.
Signs 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 breaks, the valves and pistons won't be timed properly and your Chevy Chevette won't start.
Symptoms of a bad timing belt:
- No start
- Unusual ticking noise
The Fix: Have your belt checked and fixed right away if broken. This requires a local professional mechanic to replace the timing belt of your Chevy Chevette.
Detached or Loose Battery Cable
Signs of a bad cable:
- Corroded terminals
- Power loss from wiggling cables
- Frayed wiring
The Fix: Clean 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 Chevette from starting or running right.
Diagnosing 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.
Low Fuel or Empty 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 clear 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 possible reasons for a no start problem, it can be tough to identify the exact issue yourself. In some cases, getting help 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 Chevette|Chevrolet Chevette starting again ASAP.
3. Chat with a Chevy Mechanic Online
This is a superb option for most DIYers or car aficionados. It's many times a straightforward fix you can do on your own, like switching out or charging the battery. In these instances, if you are aware of what to do in a stepwise fashion, you can do it on your own, you are not required to pay a mechanic in person. Alright, it's your fortunate day, an online mechanic can provide all the help, guidance, and recommendations you need, immediately by online chat. You can then perform the straightforward fix yourself.
The finest online mechanic we recommend is JustAnswer, and through our link, you can get a trial of their assistance for just $5, inquire unlimited inquiries for a week, get the assistance you need, and you don't have to keep going with the assistance after that. We love JustAnswer for this purpose, expert auto mechanic assistance for just $5 is an unmatchable price.
The licensed mechanics at JustAnswer's Ask a Mechanic service are ready 24/7 to provide virtual troubleshooting and advice. The perks of consulting with a mechanic online are:
- Convenience: Get help from your house without having to schedule an appointment or wait at a shop.
- Fast replies; Mechanics reply rapidly with possible causes 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 assistance; Skilled licensed mechanics have the knowledge to solve Chevy Chevette|Chevrolet Chevette 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 a Chevette or your Chevrolet Citation 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 “Chevrolet cranks but wont start“, consider our talk to a Chrevrolet mechanic service. In just minutes, you can get expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Chevette going again.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why is my Chevy car not starting but I have power?
If your Chevrolet doesn't crank but the lights and electronics power on, the most likely causes are issues with the starter system, 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 lights and accessories but doesn't start when trying to start, the problem is often a bad starter motor or related wiring issue. This prevents the starter from engaging to turn the engine over for starting.
What would make my Chevy car unexpectedly not start?
Sudden no-start issues can occur from disconnected 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 problem may be a faulty alternator not charging the system, bad spark plugs providing no ignition, or a fuel flow issue preventing combustion. Your Chevy's engine needs air, fuel, compression and spark to run.
What are symptoms your Chevy starter is bad?
Symptoms of a bad starter include no noise when turning the key, a single click but no cranking, unusual grinding sounds, and slow/labored 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 is good?
If the battery and alternator check out, common culprits are bad spark plugs, blocked fuel filter, blown fuse, immobilizer issue, and starter relay failure. Thorough testing of all electrical and fuel systems are needed by a qualified local mechanic.