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 immobilized and uncertain about the cause. The good news is that a number of familiar culprits make a Novas fail to start, and you can fix a lot of them yourself or with a mechanic's assistance.
In this comprehensive guide, we're going to look at the top 14 causes your Chevrolet Nova won't start and offer useful tips to get your car started again.
Drained or Dead Battery
The most common cause a Chevrolet won't start is a dead or drained battery. Your battery supplies the initial jolt of electricity to crank the engine and get it started.
Indications of a dead battery:
- Silence upon turning the key – no clicking or turnover
- Accessories not powering on
- Hard time starting in cold weather
The Fix: Keep jumper cables available for a dead battery situation. Jump starting your Chevy Nova using another vehicle or portable charger can deliver enough charge to get it started.
You can also clean dirty battery terminals that are blocking a good connection. If problems continue, have your battery tested – it may need recharging if old.
If your battery tests fine but your Chevy Nova still won't turn over, the issue may be a bad alternator. This key component charges your battery when running and energizes the electrical system.
Signs of a bad alternator:
- Battery warning light coming on
- Lights fading
- Difficulty starting, especially after 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 fire the air/fuel ratio in the cylinders to power your car. When they are dirty, bad, or corroded, your Nova may not start due to no spark.
Signs of bad spark plugs:
- Poor fuel economy
- Rough idle
- Engine misfiring
The Fix: Spark plugs need periodic replacement as they degrade. Most last 30k+ miles. Have your plugs checked and change any faulty ones. Using quality gas helps avoid buildup.
Issues 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, try the battery. For other problems, have the system inspected 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 Chevy Nova may not crank.
Symptoms 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 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.
Clogged Fuel Filter
A clogged fuel filter can restrict fuel flow to the engine, preventing your Chevrolet Nova 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 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 transfers gas from the tank to the engine. If it fails, your Chevy won't start due to no fuel.
Symptoms 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 needed to combust the air/fuel mixture. Low compression from damage 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 aren't synchronized properly and your Chevrolet Nova 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 Nova.
Loose or Detached Battery Cable
Symptoms of a bad cable:
- Corroded terminals
- Power loss from wiggling 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 Nova 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 causes for a no start problem, it can be difficult to determine the exact issue 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 Nova|Chevrolet Nova starting again ASAP.
3. Chat with a Chevy Mechanic Online
This is a great choice for most DIYers or car buff. It's many times an easy fix you can do on your own, like switching out or charging the battery. In these cases, if you are aware of what to do step by step, 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 offer all the help, advice, and advice you require, instantly by online chat. You can then carry out the straightforward repair yourself.
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 inquiries for a week, get the assistance you need, and you do not need to keep going with the assistance after that. We love JustAnswer for this purpose, professional auto mechanic assistance for just $5 is an unbeatable price.
The qualified mechanics at JustAnswer's Ask a Mechanic service are ready 24/7 to provide virtual troubleshooting and recommendations. The advantages of consulting with a mechanic online are:
- Convenience: Get help from your house without having to schedule an appointment or wait at a shop.
- Fast answers; Mechanics reply rapidly with likely issues 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 knowledge to address Chevy Nova|Chevrolet Nova 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 Nova or your Chevrolet Nubira 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 “turned Chevrolet off in drive and now it wont start“, consider our ask Chrevrolet mechanics service. In just minutes, you can get expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Nova fired up again.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why is my Chevy car not starting but I have power?
If your Chevrolet won't start but the accessories and dashboard come on, the most likely causes are issues with the starter system, 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 doesn't crank?
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 engaging to turn the engine over for starting.
What would cause my Chevy car unexpectedly not start?
Sudden no-start issues can happen from loose 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 problem preventing combustion. Your Chevy's engine needs air, fuel, compression and spark to run.
What are signs 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 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 is good?
If the battery and alternator check out, common culprits are bad spark plugs, clogged fuel filter, blown fuse, immobilizer issue, and starter relay failure. Complete testing of all electrical and fuel systems is needed by a qualified local mechanic.