Sitting in your idle Chevy, turning the key, and hearing nothing but silence can be very aggravating. A Chevy that fails to start leaves you stranded and clueless about the issue. Luckily, some common problems lead to Chevy Citation not starting, many of which can be fixed DIY or quickly by a mechanic.
In this comprehensive guide, we're going to look at the top 14 causes your Chevrolet Citation doesn't start and offer useful suggestions to get your car started again.
The most common cause a Chevy won't start is a dead or weak battery. Your battery delivers 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 engine cranking
- Electronics not powering on
- Difficulty starting in cold weather
How to Fix It: Keep jumper cables available in case of a dead battery situation. Jump starting your Chevy Citation using another vehicle or jump box can deliver enough charge to get it cranked.
You can also clean dirty battery terminals that are blocking a good connection. If problems persist, have your battery tested – it may need replacing if worn out.
If your battery tests fine but your Chevy Citation still won't turn over, the culprit may be a faulty alternator. This key component charges your battery while driving and powers the electronics.
Clues of a bad alternator:
- Battery warning light coming on
- Electronics dimming
- Hard time starting, especially after short trips
The Fix: Get your alternator inspected 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
Spark plugs ignite the air/fuel ratio in the cylinders to power your car. When they are dirty, bad, or corroded, your Citation may not start due to no spark.
Signs of bad spark plugs:
- Poor fuel economy
- Rough idle
- Engine hesitating
The Fix: Spark plugs need regular replacement as they degrade. Most last 30k+ miles. Have your plugs checked and swap any faulty ones. Using quality gas prevents buildup.
Ignition System Issues
Problems with parts like the switch, lock cylinder, fob, or wiring can prevent your Chevy from starting.
Symptoms of ignition trouble:
- No noise upon turning key
- Instrument panel malfunctioning
- 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.
The starter motor engages when you turn the key to start the engine. If it's worn out, your Chevrolet Citation may not turn over.
Signs of a bad starter:
- No noise upon turning key
- Clicking but no turnover
- Unusual grinding or whining
The Fix: Have your starter tested and repaired if faulty. This requires the help of a professional mechanic to diagnose and repair.
Transmission Not in Park/Neutral
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
A blocked fuel filter can restrict fuel delivery to the engine, preventing your Chevy Citation from turning over.
Signs of a clogged filter:
- Hard time starting
- Engine misfiring
- Decreased fuel economy
The Fix: Change the filter per your schedule or if thought clogged. Use quality gas and change 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
The fuel pump delivers gas from the tank to the engine. If it fails, your Chevrolet won't start due to no fuel.
Signs 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 worn parts can lead to a no start.
Symptoms 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
The timing belt synchronizes the camshaft and crankshaft. If it breaks, the valves and pistons won't be timed properly and your Chevy Citation won't start.
Symptoms of a bad timing belt:
- No start
- Unusual ticking noise
The Fix: Have your belt checked and replaced immediately if broken. This requires a local professional mechanic to replace the timing belt of your Chevy Citation.
Loose or Detached 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 Citation 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 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.
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 potential causes for a no start situation, it can be tough to pinpoint the exact issue yourself. In some cases, using assistance 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 Citation|Chevrolet Citation starting again ASAP.
3. Chat with a Chevy Mechanic Online
This is a superb possibility for most DIYers or car aficionados. It's often a simple fix you can do on your own, like changing or charging the battery. In these situations, 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 in person. Alright, it's your fortunate day, an online mechanic can supply all the assistance, advice, and recommendations you need, immediately by online chat. You can then execute the simple mend 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 endless inquiries for a week, get the help you need, and you do not need to continue the assistance after that. We love JustAnswer for this reason, professional auto mechanic help 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 recommendations. The benefits of asking a mechanic online include:
- Convenience: Get help from home without having to schedule an appointment or wait at a shop.
- Fast replies; Mechanics respond quickly 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 recorded in writing, providing helpful reference.
- Expert knowledge; Experienced licensed mechanics have the know-how to solve Chevy Citation|Chevrolet Citation 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 Citation or your Chevrolet Cobalt 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 dies while driving and wont start“, consider our online Chrevrolet mechanic chat service. In just minutes, you can access expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Citation fired up again.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why is my Chevy car not cranking but I have power?
If your Chevrolet doesn't crank but the lights and electronics come on, the most likely culprits are issues with the starter motor, ignition switch, or neutral safety switch. Faulty 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 motor or related wiring problem. This prevents the starter from activating to turn the engine over for starting.
What would cause my Chevy car suddenly 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 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 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 Chevy starter is bad?
Signs of a bad starter include no noise upon turning the key, a single click but no cranking, 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, clogged fuel filter, blown fuse, immobilizer problem, and starter relay failure. Complete diagnostics of all electrical and fuel systems is needed by a qualified local mechanic.