The silence that fills your inactive Chevy when you turn the key and it won't start can be extremely annoying. A Chevy that fails to start leaves you stuck on the side of the road trying to figure out the problem. Luckily, some common problems lead to Chevy Equinox 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 reasons your Chevy Equinox won't start and provide useful tips to get your car started again.
The most common cause a Chevy doesn't crank is a dead or weak battery. Your battery provides the initial jolt of electricity to crank the engine and get it started.
Indications of a dead battery:
- Silence upon turning the key – no engine cranking
- Accessories not powering on
- Difficulty starting in cold weather
The Fix: Keep jumper cables on hand for a dead battery situation. Jump starting your Chevy Equinox using a good battery or portable charger can supply enough charge to get it started.
You can also try cleaning dirty battery terminals if they prevent a good connection. If problems continue, have your battery tested – it may need recharging if old.
If your battery checks out but your Chevrolet Equinox still won't crank, the culprit may be a bad alternator. This key component charges your battery when running and powers the electronics.
Signs of a bad alternator:
- Battery warning light coming on
- Lights fading
- Difficulty starting, particularly following short trips
The Fix: Get your alternator checked 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 ignite the air/fuel ratio in the cylinders to run your car. When they are fouled or worn out, your Equinox may not start due to no spark.
Signs of bad spark plugs:
- Poor fuel economy
- Rough idle
- Engine hesitating
The Fix: Spark plugs need periodic replacement as they wear out. Most last 30k+ miles. Have your plugs checked and change any faulty ones. Using quality gas helps avoid buildup.
Ignition System Issues
Issues with parts like the switch, lock cylinder, fob, or wiring can prevent your Chevrolet from cranking.
Signs 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 start the engine. If it's worn out, your Chevrolet Equinox may not crank.
Signs of a bad starter:
- No noise upon turning key
- Clicking but no cranking
- 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 Chevrolet'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.
Blocked or Clogged Fuel Filter
A clogged fuel filter can restrict fuel flow to the engine, preventing your Chevrolet Equinox from turning over.
Symptoms of a clogged filter:
- Hard time starting
- Engine sputtering
- Decreased fuel economy
The Fix: Replace the filter per your schedule or if suspected 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
The fuel pump transfers 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 sound 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.
Proper compression is needed to combust the air/fuel mixture. Low compression from leaks 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.
Broken Timing Belt
The timing belt keeps the camshaft and crankshaft. If it snaps, the valves and pistons aren't synchronized properly and your Chevy Equinox won't start.
Signs 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 Equinox.
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 Equinox 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
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 potential causes for a no start situation, it can be difficult to determine the exact problem yourself. In some cases, using aid 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 Equinox|Chevrolet Equinox starting again ASAP.
3. Chat with a Chevy Mechanic Online
This is a fantastic choice for most DIYers or car buff. It's often a simple fix you can do yourself, like replacing or powering up the battery. In these instances, if you know what to do one step after another, you can do it yourself, you are not required to pay a mechanic on-site. Well, it's your lucky day, an online mechanic can offer all the help, guidance, and recommendations you need, right away by online chat. You can then carry out the straightforward fix yourself.
The finest online mechanic we propose is JustAnswer, and through our link, you can get a free trial of their assistance for just $5, request endless questions for a week, get the help you need, and you are not obligated to continue the assistance after that. We love JustAnswer for this reason, professional auto mechanic assistance for just $5 is an unbeatable price.
The licensed mechanics at JustAnswer's Ask a Mechanic service are accessible 24/7 to provide online analysis and advice. The benefits of querying a mechanic online are:
- Convenience: Get help from your house without having to schedule an appointment or wait at a shop.
- Fast replies; Mechanics answer back in minutes with potential reasons and solutions based on your description.
- Cost savings: Pay per question rather than full diagnostic fees – great for basic troubleshooting.
- Documentation: All conversations are saved in writing, providing helpful reference.
- Expert knowledge; Skilled licensed mechanics have the knowledge to address Chevy Equinox|Chevrolet Equinox 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 an Equinox or your Chevrolet Evanda 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 “anti theft system Chevy wont start“, consider our talk to a Chrevrolet mechanic on the phone service. In just minutes, you can get expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Equinox started again.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why is my Chevy car not cranking but I have power?
If your Chevrolet won't start but the accessories and dashboard 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 Chevy have power but doesn't crank?
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 issue. This prevents the starter from engaging 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 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 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 symptoms your Chevy starter is bad?
Signs of a bad starter include no noise upon turning the key, a single click but no turnover, unusual grinding noises, 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 causes are bad spark plugs, blocked fuel filter, blown fuse, immobilizer problem, and starter relay failure. Complete testing of all electrical and fuel systems are needed by a qualified local mechanic.