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 will leave you stuck on the side of the road trying to figure out the problem. The good news is that a number of familiar culprits make a Montanas fail to start, and you can fix a lot of them yourself or with a mechanic's assistance.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the top 14 reasons your Chevrolet Montana won't start and provide helpful suggestions 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 jolt of electricity to turn over the engine and get it started.
Signs of a dead battery:
- Silence upon turning the key – no clicking or turnover
- Electronics not powering on
- Difficulty starting in cold weather
How to Fix It: Keep jumper cables on hand in case of a dead battery situation. Jump starting your Chevy Montana using a good battery or jump box can supply enough juice to get it cranked.
You can also clean 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 Chevrolet Montana still won't crank, the culprit may be a bad alternator. This vital part charges your battery while driving and powers the electronics.
Clues of a bad alternator:
- Battery warning indicator illuminating
- Lights dimming
- Hard time starting, particularly following short trips
The Fix: Get your alternator inspected 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 power your car. When they are fouled or worn out, your Montana 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 wear out. Most last 30k+ miles. Have your plugs inspected and swap any faulty ones. Using quality gas prevents buildup.
Problems with ignition components like the switch, lock cylinder, fob, or wiring can prevent your Chevy from starting.
Symptoms 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 start the engine. If it's damaged, your Chevrolet Montana may not turn over.
Signs 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.
Transmission Not in Park/Neutral
If your gearbox isn't in Park or Neutral, your Chevrolet's safety features will prevent it from cranking.
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 delivery to the engine, preventing your Chevrolet Montana from starting.
Symptoms of a clogged filter:
- Difficulty starting
- Engine sputtering
- 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.
Faulty 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 pump noise upon turning key
- Hard time starting
- Stalling when running
The Fix: Have your pump tested. If faulty, a mechanic near you will need to replace it.
Proper compression is required to combust the air/fuel mixture. Low compression from damage can cause 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.
Broken Timing Belt
The timing belt keeps the camshaft and crankshaft. If it breaks, the valves and pistons won't be timed properly and your Chevy Montana won't start.
Symptoms of a bad timing belt:
- No start
- Unusual clicking sound
The Fix: Have your belt inspected and fixed right away if broken. This requires a local professional mechanic to replace the timing belt of your Chevy Montana.
Detached or Loose 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 Montana 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.
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 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
With so many potential issues for a no start problem, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact issue 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
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 Montana|Chevrolet Montana starting again ASAP.
3. Chat with a Chevy Mechanic Online
This is a wonderful possibility for most DIYers or car enthusiasts. It's many times a simple repair you can do yourself, like switching out or charging the battery. In these instances, if you are aware of what to do one step after another, you can do it on your own, you are not required to pay a mechanic on-site. Well, it's your lucky day, an online mechanic can supply all the help, advice, and recommendations you require, instantly by online chat. You can then carry out the simple fix on your own.
The top online mechanic we recommend is JustAnswer, and through our link, you can get a trial of their service for just $5, request unlimited questions for a week, get the assistance 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 unmatchable price.
The certified mechanics at JustAnswer's Ask a Mechanic service are available 24/7 to provide virtual troubleshooting and recommendations. The perks of asking 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 responses; Mechanics respond 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 logged in writing, providing helpful reference.
- Expert knowledge; Seasoned licensed mechanics have the expertise to address Chevy Montana|Chevrolet Montana 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 Montana or your Chevrolet Monte Carlo 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 lights on but wont start“, consider our Chrevrolet mechanic chat rooms service. In just minutes, you can leverage expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Montana going again.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why is my Chevy car not cranking but I have power?
If your Chevrolet doesn't crank 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 Chevy have power but won't turn over?
When your Chevy has power to the electronics and dashboard but doesn't start when trying to start, the problem is often a bad starter system or related wiring problem. This prevents the starter from activating to turn the engine over for starting.
What would make my Chevy car suddenly not start?
Unexpected no-start issues can happen from disconnected 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 doesn'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 flow 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 turnover, unusual grinding sounds, 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 are 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. Thorough testing of all electrical and fuel systems is needed by a qualified local mechanic.