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

As a certified auto mechanic with over twenty years of experience, I’ve seen a decent share of Chevys that fail to start. Hi, I’m Robby and I get how annoying 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 expert insights on the top reasons your Chevy Nova won’t start, as well as helpful tips to get you back on the road fast.

With advanced certifications in electrical systems and engine performance, I’ve diagnosed and fixed just about every “no start” issue out there. I’ll guide you through how to troubleshoot your Nova’s symptoms, figure out the cause, and determine if it’s a DIY fix 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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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 Nova 

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

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

Signs of a dead battery:

  • Silence upon turning the key – no engine cranking
  • Electronics not powering on
  • Hard time starting in cold weather

The Fix: Keep jumper cables available in case of a dead battery situation. Jump starting your Chevy Nova using a good battery or portable charger can deliver enough juice to get it started.

You can also clean corroded battery terminals that are blocking a good connection. If problems persist, have your battery tested – it may need replacing 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 Nova 

is my alternator stopping my car from starting? If your battery checks out but your Chevy Nova still won’t turn over, the culprit may be a bad alternator. This vital part charges your battery while driving and powers the electronics.

Signs of a bad alternator:

  • Battery warning indicator illuminating
  • Electronics dimming
  • Difficulty starting, particularly following 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.

Faulty Spark Plugs in a Chevrolet Nova 

Auto mechanic and spark plug Spark plugs fire the fuel/air mixture in the cylinders to power your car. When they are fouled or worn out, your Nova 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 bad ones. Using quality gas helps avoid buildup.

Ignition System Issues in a Chevrolet Nova

My car wont start, is it a faulty ignition switch? Problems 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 flickering
  • Key won’t turn

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

Bad Starter in a Chevrolet Nova

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

Symptoms of a bad starter:

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

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

Transmission Not in Park/Neutral in a Chevrolet Nova

transmission not in park so car won't start If your transmission isn’t in Park or Neutral, your Chevrolet’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 in a Chevrolet Nova

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

Symptoms of a clogged filter:

  • Difficulty starting
  • Engine misfiring
  • Decreased fuel economy

The Fix: Replace the filter when due or if thought clogged. Use quality gas and replace regularly. 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 Nova

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 in a Chevrolet Nova

auto mechanic doing a tune up Proper compression is needed to combust the air/fuel mixture. Low compression from damage can cause 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 in a Chevrolet Nova

broken timing belt car The timing belt keeps the camshaft and crankshaft. If it snaps, the valves and pistons aren’t synchronized properly and your Chevy Nova 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 Nova.

Loose or Detached Battery Cable in a Chevrolet Nova

122654fa c6ae 4f2a 98d9 84b95ea016ca A detached battery cable can disrupt electricity current in your Chevrolet. This common problem can prevent starting.

Symptoms 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.

Bad Relays in a Chevrolet Nova

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

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 causes for a no start problem, it can be difficult to determine the exact problem yourself. In some cases, using aid from an experienced mechanic can be time-saving 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 Nova 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 great choice for most DIYers or car enthusiasts. It’s often  an easy fix you can do yourself, like changing or charging the battery. In these situations, if you understand what to do step by step, you can do it on your own, you do not have to pay a mechanic on-site. Well, it’s your lucky day, an online mechanic can supply all the help, guidance, and advice you need, immediately by online chat. You can then perform the simple fix yourself.

The finest online mechanic we suggest 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 help you require, and you do not need to keep going with the service after that. We love JustAnswer for this purpose, expert auto mechanic assistance for just $5 is an unbeatable price.

The qualified mechanics at JustAnswer’s Ask a Mechanic service are ready 24/7 to provide remote diagnostics and advice. The perks of consulting with a mechanic online are:

  • Convenience: Get help from home without having to schedule an appointment or wait at a shop.
  • Fast replies; Mechanics respond quickly 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 recorded in writing, providing helpful reference.
  • Expert knowledge; Seasoned licensed mechanics have the expertise to solve Chevy Nova|Chevrolet Nova 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 Nova or your Chevrolet Nubira 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 “turned Chevrolet off in drive and now it wont start“, consider our ask Chrevrolet mechanics service.  In just minutes, you can get expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Nova starting again.

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

Chevrolet Nova won’t start but lights come on?

If your Chevrolet Novas 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. Check to see if you hear any clicking noises when trying to turn the key. If so, the starter motor is trying to engage but failing. Get a mechanic inspect the starter motor – it may need to be repaired or replaced.

Chevrolet Nova won’t start but has power?

When your Chevrolet Nova 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 turning the key – you should hear the fuel pump prime for a few seconds. If not, get a mechanic check the fuel system.

Chevrolet Nova won’t start but battery is fine?

If your Chevrolet Nova’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 accurately identify the specific electrical fault and have it repaired.

Chevrolet Nova 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 crank the engine. As the starter motor needs physical fixing or swapping out, seek help from a reliable mechanic to get your Chevrolet Nova running again.

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

If your Chevrolet Nova won’t start but the lights and electronics come 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 Chevrolet Nova have power but doesn’t crank?

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

What would make my Chevrolet Nova car unexpectedly not start?

Sudden no-start issues can happen 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 Chevrolet Novas engine from starting.

Why doesn’t my Chevrolet Nova car start but the battery is fine?

With a good battery, the problem may be a bad alternator not charging the system, bad spark plugs providing no ignition, or a fuel delivery issue preventing combustion. Your Chevy’s engine needs air, fuel, compression and spark to run.

What are signs your Chevrolet Nova starter is bad?

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

Why won’t my Chevrolet Nova start but battery and alternator is 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.

Interesting Facts About the Chevrolet Nova

Did you know that the Chevrolet Nova was actually marketed as the “Chevy II” when it was first introduced in 1962? It wasn’t until 1969 that the name was officially changed to Nova. And get this – the Nova was designed to be a compact car, but it actually had a surprisingly spacious interior, making it a favorite among drivers who wanted a smaller car without sacrificing comfort. Plus, the Nova was known for its impressive performance, with some models boasting V8 engines that could really pack a punch. It’s no wonder the Nova has such a dedicated fan base! So, if you’re having trouble getting your Nova started, just remember all the cool history and features that make it such a special car.

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  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just £5.
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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. 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