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

As a certified auto mechanic with in excess of twenty years of experience, I’ve seen a good share of Chevys that are unable to start. Hi, I’m Robby and I understand how frustrating 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 most common reasons your Chevy Van won’t start, in addition to useful tips to get you back on the road quickly.

With advanced certifications in electrical systems and engine performance, I’ve identified and fixed just about every “no start” issue out there. I’ll guide you through how to troubleshoot your Van’s symptoms, zero in on the root cause, and determine if it’s a home remedy 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.

Quick Solution Alert! 🚗💡

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. 

Dead Battery in a Chevrolet Van 

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

The most common reason a Chevrolet won’t start is a dead or weak battery. Your battery delivers the initial burst of electricity to crank the engine and get it running.

Signs of a dead battery:

  • Silence upon turning the key – no clicking or turnover
  • Electronics not powering on
  • Hard time starting in cold weather

The Fix: Keep jumper cables available for a dead battery emergency. Jump starting your Chevrolet Van using another vehicle or portable charger can deliver enough juice to get it started.

You can also try cleaning 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

Bad Alternator in a Chevrolet Van 

is my alternator stopping my car from starting? If your battery tests fine but your Chevrolet Van still won’t turn over, the culprit may be a bad alternator. This vital part charges your battery when running and powers the electronics.

Signs of a bad alternator:

  • Battery warning indicator illuminating
  • Lights fading
  • Hard time starting, especially after short trips

The Fix: Get your alternator checked ASAP by a mechanic. A bad alternator can quickly drain your battery. This will need to be replaced by an experienced mechanic.

Faulty Spark Plugs in a Chevrolet Van 

Auto mechanic and spark plug Spark plugs ignite the fuel/air mixture in the cylinders to power your car. When they are dirty, bad, or corroded, your Van may not start due to no spark.

Clues of bad spark plugs:

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Rough idle
  • Engine sputtering

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

Ignition Problems in a Chevrolet Van

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

Symptoms of ignition trouble:

  • No noise upon turning key
  • Dashboard malfunctioning
  • Key won’t turn

The Fix: For fob issues, try 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.

Starter Failure in a Chevrolet Van

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

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 in a Chevrolet Van

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

my car wont start but clicks, could it be the fuel filter? A clogged fuel filter can constrain fuel flow to the engine, preventing your Chevy Van from turning over.

Signs of a clogged filter:

  • Hard time starting
  • Engine sputtering
  • Decreased fuel economy

The Fix: Change the filter per your schedule 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.

Bad or Failing Fuel Pump in a Chevrolet Van

faulty fuel pump The fuel pump draws 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 pump noise upon turning key
  • Hard time starting
  • Stalling after starting

The Fix: Have your pump tested. If faulty, a mechanic near you will need to replace it.

Compression Issues in a Chevrolet Van

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 Van

broken timing belt car The timing belt keeps the camshaft and crankshaft. If it breaks, the valves and pistons aren’t synchronized properly and your Chevy Van won’t start.

Symptoms of a bad timing belt:

  • No start
  • Unusual clicking sound

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 Van.

Detached or Loose Battery Cable in a Chevrolet Van

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

Signs of a bad cable:

  • Corroded terminals
  • Power loss from moving 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.

Bad Relays in a Chevrolet Van

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

car wont start because of no fuel Running your tank completely empty 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 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

Ask the mechanic With so many potential causes for a no start situation, it can be tough to pinpoint the exact problem yourself. In some cases, getting assistance 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 Van 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 wonderful choice for most DIYers or car enthusiasts. It’s many times  a straightforward fix you can do yourself, like switching out or recharging the battery. In these instances, if you understand what to do one step after another, 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 offer all the assistance, guidance, and recommendations you need, instantly by online chat. You can then perform the easy repair yourself.

The best online mechanic we propose is JustAnswer, and through our link, you can get a trial of their service for just $5, inquire unlimited inquiries for a week, get the assistance you need, and you do not need to keep going with the service after that. We love JustAnswer for this reason, professional 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 virtual troubleshooting and advice. The advantages of consulting with a mechanic online include:

  • Convenience: Get help from home without having to schedule an appointment or wait at a shop.
  • Fast replies; 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; Skilled licensed mechanics have the knowledge to solve Chevy Van|Chevrolet Van 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 Van or your Chevrolet Vectra 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 wont start just clicks but lights work“, consider our Chrevrolet help online service.  In just minutes, you can get expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Van going again.

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

Chevrolet Van won’t start but lights come on?

If your Chevrolet Vans lights turn on 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 attempting to crank 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 Van won’t start but has power?

When your Chevrolet Van 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 prevent 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, have a mechanic check the fuel system.

Chevrolet Van won’t start but battery is fine?

If your Chevrolet Van’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 Van won’t start just clicking?

When you turn the key and there’s only a clicking noise but the engine doesn’t crank, 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, consult with a reliable mechanic to get your Chevrolet Van running again.

Why is my Chevrolet Van car not starting but I have power?

If your Chevrolet Van won’t start but the accessories and dashboard come on, the most likely culprits are issues with the starter system, ignition switch, or neutral safety switch. Faulty ignition components prevent the engine from cranking even when battery power is present.

Why does my Chevrolet Van have power but doesn’t crank?

When your Chevrolet Van has power to the electronics and dashboard but doesn’t start when turning the key, 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 Van car suddenly not start?

Unexpected no-start issues can occur from disconnected 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 Vans engine from starting.

Why won’t my Chevrolet Van 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 signs your Chevrolet Van 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 Chevrolet Van start but battery and alternator are 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 diagnostics of all electrical and fuel systems is needed by a qualified local mechanic.

Interesting Facts About the Chevrolet Van

Did you know that the Chevrolet Van has been in production for over 50 years? That’s right, this iconic vehicle has been a staple on the roads since the 1960s. And get this, the Chevrolet Van has been featured in countless movies and TV shows, making it a true Hollywood star. But here’s the real kicker – did you know that the Chevrolet Van was actually the first vehicle to offer an optional V8 engine in a van? That’s right, this bad boy was breaking barriers and setting trends from the get-go. So next time you’re behind the wheel of your Chevrolet Van, remember that you’re driving a piece of history and a true trailblazer in the world of automobiles.

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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