Chevrolet Malibu Won’t Start: Top 14 Causes & Solutions

Chevrolet Wont start up

As a certified auto mechanic with more than 20+ years of experience, I’ve seen a good share of Chevys that won’t start. Hi, I’m Robby and I get how irritating this can be for people, especially when you have things to do and places to be. But don’t panic! In this article, I’ll share my inner knowledge on the top reasons your Chevy Malibu won’t start, as well as actionable tips to get you back on the road fast.

With advanced certifications in electrical systems and engine performance, I’ve found and fixed just about every “no start” issue out there. I’ll walk you through how to troubleshoot your Malibu’s symptoms, zero in on the root cause, and determine if it’s a do it yourself repair or best left to a professional mechanic. I’ll also give recommendations for products that can help you solve your issue, as well as make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.

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They help 1000s of people every day in your position, save a lot of time, money and risk getting their vehicle repaired. Having a friendly expert mechanic guiding and advising you every step of the way, is the best thing you can do. You will have your issue fixed faster, and likely cost much less.

Quick Solution Alert! 🚗💡

To save you time, this might be the quick solution you need.

An online mechanic can help you solve the issue much faster, and save money doing it.

They help 1000s of people every day in your position, save a lot of time, money and risk getting their vehicle repaired. Having a friendly expert mechanic guiding and advising you every step of the way, is the best thing you can do. You will have your issue fixed faster, and likely cost much less.

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You can read on, or get instant help with your issue. We have the best online mechanics, but before asking them, we recommend asking our AI mechanic first as it’s 100% FREE.

9 out of ten times the AI mechanic is able to help you solve the problem for free, and if it’s not, you can chat with a human mechanic on the next page anyway.  Try it for free below. 

Drained or Dead Battery in a Chevrolet Malibu 

car wont start but battery is good
Image Credit: MechanicAnswer.com

The most common reason a Chevrolet doesn’t crank is a dead or drained battery. Your battery provides the initial jolt of electricity to crank the engine and get it running.

Indications of a dead battery:

  • Silence upon turning the key – no engine cranking
  • Accessories not powering on
  • Difficulty starting in cold weather

How to Fix It: Keep jumper cables on hand for a dead battery emergency. Jump starting your Chevrolet Malibu using another vehicle or jump box can supply enough charge to get it cranked.

You can also try cleaning corroded battery terminals that are blocking a good connection. If problems persist, have your battery tested – it may need recharging if worn out.

Robby Recommends:

Portable Car Battery Jump Starter Charger - NOCO Boost Plus GB40

At Home Battery Charger - YONHAN - Fully Automatic

Jumper Cables by Energizer for Car Battery - Heavy Duty

NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000A UltraSafe Car Battery Jump Starter

YONHAN Battery Charger Fully-Automatic

Energizer Jumper Cables for Car Battery, Heavy Duty

Faulty Alternator in a Chevrolet Malibu 

is my alternator stopping my car from starting? If your battery tests fine but your Chevy Malibu still won’t crank, the issue may be a faulty alternator. This vital part charges your battery while driving and powers the electrical system.

Signs of a bad alternator:

  • Battery warning light coming on
  • Lights dimming
  • Difficulty starting, especially after short trips

The Fix: Get your alternator checked right away by a mechanic. A bad alternator can rapidly deplete your battery. This will need to be replaced by an experienced mechanic.

Bad or Fouled Spark Plugs in a Chevrolet Malibu 

Auto mechanic and spark plug Spark plugs fire the fuel/air mixture in the cylinders to run your car. When they are fouled or worn out, your Malibu may not start due to no spark.

Clues of bad spark plugs:

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Rough idle
  • Engine misfiring

The Fix: Spark plugs need periodic replacement as they degrade. Most last 30k+ miles. Have your plugs inspected and swap any bad ones. Using quality gas prevents buildup.

Ignition Problems in a Chevrolet Malibu

My car wont start, is it a faulty ignition switch? Problems with ignition components like the switch, lock cylinder, fob, or wiring can prevent your Chevrolet from starting.

Signs of ignition trouble:

  • No noise upon turning key
  • Instrument panel flickering
  • Key won’t turn

The Fix: For fob issues, try the battery. For other problems, have the system inspected and fixed professionally. If you need a new Chevy key fob you can get one online here.

Starter Failure in a Chevrolet Malibu

Starter motor problems in car The starter motor engages when you turn the key to start the engine. If it’s worn out, your Chevrolet Malibu may not crank.

Signs of a bad starter:

  • No noise upon turning key
  • Clicking but no turnover
  • Unusual noises

The Fix: Have your starter tested and repaired if faulty. This requires the help of a professional mechanic to diagnose and repair.

Not in Park or Neutral in a Chevrolet Malibu

transmission not in park so car won't start 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 in a Chevrolet Malibu

my car wont start but clicks, could it be the fuel filter? A clogged fuel filter can constrain fuel delivery to the engine, preventing your Chevy Malibu from starting.

Symptoms 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.

Bad or Failing Fuel Pump in a Chevrolet Malibu

faulty fuel pump The fuel pump transfers gas from the tank to the engine. If it fails, your Chevy 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.

Compression Issues in a Chevrolet Malibu

auto mechanic doing a tune up Proper compression is required to combust the air/fuel mixture. Low compression from worn parts can cause a no start.

Signs of compression issues:

  • Difficulty 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.

Timing Belt Failure in a Chevrolet Malibu

broken timing belt car The timing belt synchronizes the camshaft and crankshaft. If it breaks, the valves and pistons won’t be timed properly and your Chevrolet Malibu won’t start.

Symptoms of a bad timing belt:

  • No start
  • Unusual clicking sound

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 Malibu.

Loose or Detached Battery Cable in a Chevrolet Malibu

122654fa c6ae 4f2a 98d9 84b95ea016ca A loose battery cable can disrupt electricity flow in your Chevy. This common problem can prevent starting.

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.

Faulty Relays in a Chevrolet Malibu

faulty relay switch preventing car from starting Relays control power to components like the starter, fuel pump, and computer. Failure can prevent your Chevy Malibu 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.

Empty Gas Tank

car wont start because of no fuel 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.

Engine Flooding

Overfill fuel causing car to not start 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

Ask the mechanic With so many potential issues for a no start situation, it can be tough to pinpoint the exact problem yourself. In some cases, using 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

Local Garage mechanics 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 Chevrolet Mechanic Near You

mobile mechanic to get my car starting again Having a qualified mobile mechanic come to your Chevrolet Malibu 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.

3. Chat with a Chevy Mechanic Online

when to ask a mechanic This is a superb choice for most DIYers or car enthusiasts. It’s often  a straightforward fix you can do on your own, like changing or recharging the battery. In these situations, if you understand what to do in a stepwise fashion, you can do it yourself, you do not have to pay a mechanic in person. Alright, it’s your lucky day, an online mechanic can offer all the help, advice, and advice you need, immediately by online chat. You can then execute the straightforward mend yourself.

The best online mechanic we propose is JustAnswer, and through our link, you can get a free trial of their service for just $5, request unlimited questions for a week, get the assistance you need, and you do not need to keep going with the assistance after that. We love JustAnswer for this reason, specialist auto mechanic help for just $5 is an unmatchable price.

The licensed mechanics at JustAnswer’s Ask a Mechanic service are available 24/7 to provide remote diagnostics and advice. The benefits of consulting with 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 answers; Mechanics respond in minutes 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 help; Seasoned licensed mechanics have the know-how to address Chevy Malibu|Chevrolet Malibu 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 Malibu or your Chevrolet Master 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 wont start clicking noise lights work“, consider our Chrevrolet mechanic advice online service.  In just minutes, you can get expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Malibu fired up again.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) When a Chevrolet Malibu Won’t Start

Chevrolet Malibu won’t start but lights turn on?

If your Chevrolet Malibus lights illuminate but it still won’t start, the issue may not be related to the battery. More than likely there is a problem with the engine starter. Investigate if you hear any clicking sounds when attempting to crank the key. If so, the starter motor is trying to engage but failing. Have a mechanic examine the starter motor – it may need to be repaired or replaced.

Chevrolet Malibu won’t start but has power?

When your Chevrolet Malibu has power (lights, radio etc work) but fails to start, there may be a fuel delivery problem. Issues like a faulty fuel pump relay could stop fuel getting to the engine. Without enough fuel, combustion can’t happen and the engine won’t start. Listen near the back seat when cranking the key – you should hear the fuel pump prime for a few seconds. If not, get a mechanic check the fuel system.

Chevrolet Malibu won’t start but battery is fine?

If your Chevrolet Malibu’s battery tests fine and is fully charged, but the car still refuses to start, the underlying cause is likely electrical. Possible issues include a bad ignition switch, broken sensor, or wiring problems. As electrical issues can be tricky, diagnosis by a professional mechanic is best. They can correctly pinpoint the specific electrical fault and have it repaired.

Chevrolet Malibu won’t start just clicking?

When you turn the key and there’s only a clicking noise but the engine fails to turn over, the most common cause is a faulty starter motor. The click comes from the starter solenoid attempting to activate the starter motor, but the motor itself fails to spin up the engine. As the starter motor needs physical fixing or swapping out, consult with a reliable mechanic to get your Chevrolet Malibu running again.

Why is my Chevrolet Malibu car not cranking but I have power?

If your Chevrolet Malibu won’t start but the lights and electronics come on, the most likely culprits are problems in 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 Chevrolet Malibu have power but won’t turn over?

When your Chevrolet Malibu has power to the lights and accessories but won’t crank when trying to start, the problem is often a bad starter system or related wiring problem. This prevents the starter from activating to turn the engine over for starting.

What would cause my Chevrolet Malibu 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 urgent issues can arise without warning and prevent your Chevrolet Malibus engine from starting.

Why won’t my Chevrolet Malibu car start but the battery is fine?

With a good battery, the culprit may be a bad 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 Chevrolet Malibu starter is bad?

Signs of a bad starter include no noise upon turning the key, a single click but no cranking, unusual grinding sounds, and difficult cranking. These indicate starter failure and the need for replacement by a local mechanic.

Why doesn’t my Chevrolet Malibu 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.

Interesting Facts About the Chevrolet Malibu

Did you know that the Chevrolet Malibu was originally named after the coastal community of Malibu, California? It’s like driving a piece of the iconic West Coast vibe! And get this – the Malibu has been featured in numerous films and TV shows, making it a true Hollywood star on wheels. Plus, it’s a total tech-savvy ride with available built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi, so you can stay connected on the go. And if you’re a music lover, you’ll appreciate the available Bose premium audio system for the ultimate in-car concert experience. With all these cool features, it’s no wonder the Malibu is a top choice for drivers looking for a stylish and reliable ride.

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Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just £5.
  2. Get help from a Mobile Mechanic. We  recommend Fixter. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper for you, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic. We recommend YourMechanic. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

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Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic Near You. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. If there are none near you, you will be redirected to the online mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just £5.
  2. Get help from a Mobile Mechanic. We  recommend Fixter. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper for you, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic. We recommend YourMechanic. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Where Can I Find My VIN?

Your vehicle’s unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can be found on the title document, the vehicle registration, and the insurance policy. It is a series letters and numbers like this as example: WAUGC0896JA235262. The VIN can also be located on the following locations on the vehicle itself:

how to find VIN on vehicle