Turning the ignition and getting only silence instead of the engine cranking over is incredibly frustrating when you're sitting in your motionless Chevy. A Chevy that fails to start leaves you immobilized and uncertain about the cause. Luckily, some common problems lead to Chevrolet Grand Vitara not starting, many of which can be fixed DIY or quickly by a mechanic.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the top 14 causes your Chevy Grand Vitara won't start and offer useful tips to get your car started again.
Drained or Dead Battery
The most common reason a Chevy doesn't crank is a dead or weak battery. Your battery supplies the initial burst of electricity to crank the engine and get it running.
Indications 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 on hand in case of a dead battery emergency. Jump starting your Chevrolet Grand Vitara using another vehicle or portable charger can deliver enough juice to get it started.
You can also try cleaning corroded battery terminals if they prevent a good connection. If problems continue, have your battery tested – it may need recharging if old.
If your battery tests fine but your Chevy Grand Vitara still won't crank, the issue may be a faulty alternator. This key component charges your battery when running and energizes the electrical system.
Signs of a bad alternator:
- Battery warning light coming on
- Electronics dimming
- Difficulty starting, particularly following short trips
The Fix: Get your alternator inspected right away by a mechanic. A bad alternator can quickly drain your battery. This will need to be replaced by an experienced mechanic.
Bad or Fouled Spark Plugs
Spark plugs ignite the air/fuel ratio in the cylinders to run your car. When they are fouled or worn out, your Grand Vitara 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 inspected and change any bad ones. Using quality gas prevents buildup.
Issues 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
- Dashboard 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 crank the engine. If it's damaged, your Chevrolet Grand Vitara may not crank.
Symptoms 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
If your gearbox 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.
Blocked or Clogged Fuel Filter
A clogged fuel filter can constrain fuel flow to the engine, preventing your Chevrolet Grand Vitara from turning over.
Symptoms of a clogged filter:
- Difficulty starting
- Engine sputtering
- Decreased fuel economy
The Fix: Change the filter when due 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
The fuel pump draws gas from the tank to the engine. If it fails, your Chevy won't start due to no fuel.
Signs 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.
Proper compression is needed to combust the air/fuel mixture. Low compression from leaks can lead to a no start.
Symptoms 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.
Timing Belt Failure
The timing belt synchronizes the camshaft and crankshaft. If it snaps, the valves and pistons won't be timed properly and your Chevrolet Grand Vitara won't start.
Signs of a bad timing belt:
- No start
- Unusual clicking sound
The Fix: Have your belt inspected and replaced immediately if broken. This requires a local professional mechanic to replace the timing belt of your Chevy Grand Vitara.
Detached or Loose Battery Cable
Symptoms 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.
Relays control power to components like the starter, fuel pump, and computer. Failure can prevent your Chevy Grand Vitara 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 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 problem, it can be difficult to determine the exact issue 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
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 Grand Vitara|Chevrolet Grand Vitara starting again ASAP.
3. Chat with a Chevy Mechanic Online
This is a superb option for most DIYers or car aficionados. It's frequently a simple mend you can do on your own, like switching out or powering up the battery. In these situations, if you understand what to do step by step, you can do it on your own, you are not required to pay a mechanic in person. Alright, it's your lucky day, an online mechanic can supply all the help, guidance, and advice you require, instantly by online chat. You can then perform the easy mend yourself.
The best online mechanic we suggest is JustAnswer, and through our link, you can get a free trial of their assistance for just $5, ask endless questions for a week, get the help you need, and you don't have to continue the service after that. We love JustAnswer for this reason, specialist auto mechanic assistance for just $5 is an unmatchable price.
The licensed mechanics at JustAnswer's Ask a Mechanic service are available 24/7 to provide online analysis and advice. The perks 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 answer back quickly 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 recorded in writing, providing helpful reference.
- Expert knowledge; Skilled licensed mechanics have the know-how to troubleshoot Chevy Grand Vitara|Chevrolet Grand Vitara 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 Grand Vitara or your Chevrolet HHR 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 in the cold“, consider our online Chrevrolet mechanic advice service. In just minutes, you can get expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Grand Vitara fired up 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 power on, the most likely causes are problems in the starter motor, 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 won't turn over?
When your Chevy has power to the electronics and dashboard but won't crank when turning the key, the problem is often a bad starter motor or related wiring issue. This prevents the starter from activating to turn the engine over for starting.
What would make my Chevy 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 urgent issues 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 faulty 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 Chevy starter is bad?
Symptoms of a bad starter include no noise upon turning the key, a single click but no turnover, unusual grinding noises, and difficult cranking. These indicate starter failure and the need for replacement by a local mechanic.
Why doesn'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 issue, and starter relay failure. Thorough testing of all electrical and fuel systems are needed by a qualified local mechanic.