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 will leave you immobilized and uncertain about the cause. The good news is that a number of familiar culprits make a Nivas fail to start, and you can fix a lot of them yourself or with a mechanic's assistance.
In this comprehensive guide, we will examine the fourteen most common causes your Chevy Niva won't start and offer helpful tips to get your car started again.
Drained or Dead Battery
The most common cause 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 started.
Signs of a dead battery:
- Silence upon turning the key – no engine cranking
- Accessories not powering on
- Hard time starting in cold weather
The Fix: Keep jumper cables on hand in case of a dead battery emergency. Jump starting your Chevy Niva using a good battery or jump box can supply enough juice to get it cranked.
You can also clean corroded battery terminals that are blocking a good connection. If problems continue, have your battery tested – it may need replacing if old.
If your battery checks out but your Chevrolet Niva still won't turn over, the culprit may be a faulty alternator. This key component charges your battery while driving and powers the electrical system.
Clues of a bad alternator:
- Battery warning indicator illuminating
- Lights dimming
- Difficulty starting, especially after 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.
Faulty Spark Plugs
Spark plugs ignite the fuel/air mixture in the cylinders to run your car. When they are dirty, bad, or corroded, your Niva may not start due to no spark.
Clues of bad spark plugs:
- Poor fuel economy
- Rough idle
- Engine misfiring
The Fix: Spark plugs need regular replacement as they degrade. Most last 30k+ miles. Have your plugs checked and change any faulty ones. Using quality gas helps avoid buildup.
Ignition System Issues
Problems with ignition components like the switch, lock cylinder, fob, or wiring can prevent your Chevrolet 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 inspected 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 crank the engine. If it's worn out, your Chevy Niva 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 inspected and replaced 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 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.
Clogged Fuel Filter
A blocked fuel filter can restrict fuel delivery to the engine, preventing your Chevrolet Niva from turning over.
Signs 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.
Symptoms of a bad pump:
- No sound 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.
Low Engine Compression
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.
Broken Timing Belt
The timing belt keeps the camshaft and crankshaft. If it snaps, the valves and pistons won't be timed properly and your Chevrolet Niva won't start.
Signs of a bad timing belt:
- No start
- Unusual clicking sound
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 Niva.
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 Niva 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 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 tough to determine the exact cause yourself. In some cases, getting 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 Niva|Chevrolet Niva starting again ASAP.
3. Chat with a Chevy Mechanic Online
This is a great choice for most DIYers or car enthusiasts. It's frequently a straightforward fix you can do on your own, like switching out or powering up the battery. In these situations, if you understand what to do in a stepwise fashion, you can do it yourself, you are not required to pay a mechanic in person. Well, it's your fortunate day, an online mechanic can provide all the assistance, guidance, and advice you require, immediately by online chat. You can then execute the simple fix on your own.
The best online mechanic we recommend is JustAnswer, and through our link, you can get a trial of their assistance for just $5, ask unlimited questions for a week, get the help you need, and you don't have to continue the assistance after that. We adore JustAnswer for this purpose, professional auto mechanic help for just $5 is an unmatchable price.
The certified mechanics at JustAnswer's Ask a Mechanic service are accessible 24/7 to provide online analysis and advice. The perks 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 reply 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; Seasoned licensed mechanics have the know-how to troubleshoot Chevy Niva|Chevrolet Niva 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 Niva or your Chevrolet Nova 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 when hot“, consider our chat with Chrevrolet mechanic service. In just minutes, you can access expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Niva 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 lights and electronics power on, the most likely causes are issues with the starter system, ignition switch, or neutral safety switch. Defective ignition components prevent the engine from cranking even when battery power is present.
Why does my Chevy have power but doesn't crank?
When your Chevy has power to the lights and accessories but won't crank when trying to start, the problem is often a bad starter system or related wiring issue. 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 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 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 flow 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 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 doesn't my Chevy car 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.