Chevrolet Prisma Won’t Start: Top 14 Causes & Solutions

As a certified auto mechanic with in excess of 20 years of experience, I’ve seen a decent share of Chevys that can’t start. Hi, I’m Robby and I understand how irritating this can be for people, especially when you have things to do and places to be. But don’t panic! In this article, I’ll share my inner knowledge on the most common reasons your Chevy Prisma won’t start, as well as actionable tips to get you back on the road speedily.

With advanced certifications in electrical systems and engine performance, I’ve found and fixed just about every “no start” issue out there. I’ll guide you through how to diagnose your Prisma’s symptoms, figure out the cause, and determine if it’s a do it yourself repair or best left to a professional mechanic. I’ll also give recommendations for products that can help you solve your issue, as well as make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.

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They help 1000s of people every day in your position, save a lot of time, money and risk getting their vehicle repaired. Having a friendly expert mechanic guiding and advising you every step of the way, is the best thing you can do. You will have your issue fixed faster, and likely cost much less.

Quick Solution Alert! 🚗💡

To save you time, this might be the quick solution you need.

An online mechanic can help you solve the issue much faster, and save money doing it.

They help 1000s of people every day in your position, save a lot of time, money and risk getting their vehicle repaired. Having a friendly expert mechanic guiding and advising you every step of the way, is the best thing you can do. You will have your issue fixed faster, and likely cost much less.

Quick Solution Alert! 🚗💡

You can read on, or get instant help with your issue. We have the best online mechanics, but before asking them, we recommend asking our AI mechanic first as it’s 100% FREE.

9 out of ten times the AI mechanic is able to help you solve the problem for free, and if it’s not, you can chat with a human mechanic on the next page anyway.  Try it for free below. 

Dead Battery in a Chevrolet Prisma 

car wont start but battery is good
Image Credit: MechanicAnswer.com

The most common reason a Chevy won’t start 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 clicking or turnover
  • Accessories 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 Chevrolet Prisma using another vehicle or portable charger can supply enough charge to get it cranked.

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 worn out.

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Portable Car Battery Jump Starter Charger - NOCO Boost Plus GB40

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NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000A UltraSafe Car Battery Jump Starter

YONHAN Battery Charger Fully-Automatic

Energizer Jumper Cables for Car Battery, Heavy Duty

Faulty Alternator in a Chevrolet Prisma 

is my alternator stopping my car from starting? If your battery checks out but your Chevy Prisma still won’t crank, the issue may be a faulty alternator. This vital part charges your battery when running and powers the electrical system.

Clues of a bad alternator:

  • Battery warning indicator illuminating
  • Lights fading
  • Difficulty starting, especially after short trips

The Fix: Get your alternator inspected right away by a mechanic. A bad alternator can rapidly deplete your battery. This will need to be replaced by an experienced mechanic.

Faulty Spark Plugs in a Chevrolet Prisma 

Auto mechanic and spark plug Spark plugs fire the air/fuel ratio in the cylinders to power your car. When they are dirty, bad, or corroded, your Prisma 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 checked and swap any bad ones. Using quality gas prevents buildup.

Ignition System Issues in a Chevrolet Prisma

My car wont start, is it a faulty ignition switch? 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 flickering
  • 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.

Bad Starter in a Chevrolet Prisma

Starter motor problems in car The starter motor engages when you turn the key to start the engine. If it’s worn out, your Chevy Prisma may not turn over.

Symptoms of a bad starter:

  • No noise upon turning key
  • Clicking but no turnover
  • Unusual grinding or whining

The Fix: Have your starter inspected and repaired if faulty. This requires the help of a professional mechanic to diagnose and repair.

Transmission Not in Park/Neutral in a Chevrolet Prisma

transmission not in park so car won't start If your transmission isn’t in Park or Neutral, your Chevy’s safety features will prevent it from cranking.

The Fix: Shift into Park/Neutral and try again. 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 in a Chevrolet Prisma

my car wont start but clicks, could it be the fuel filter? A clogged fuel filter can constrain fuel delivery to the engine, preventing your Chevrolet Prisma from turning over.

Symptoms of a clogged filter:

  • Difficulty starting
  • Engine misfiring
  • 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.

Faulty Fuel Pump in a Chevrolet Prisma

faulty fuel pump The fuel pump draws 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.

Compression Issues in a Chevrolet Prisma

auto mechanic doing a tune up Proper compression is required to combust the air/fuel mixture. Low compression from leaks can cause 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.

Timing Belt Failure in a Chevrolet Prisma

broken timing belt car The timing belt synchronizes the camshaft and crankshaft. If it breaks, the valves and pistons won’t be timed properly and your Chevrolet Prisma won’t start.

Signs of a bad timing belt:

  • No start
  • Unusual ticking noise

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 Prisma.

Detached or Loose Battery Cable in a Chevrolet Prisma

122654fa c6ae 4f2a 98d9 84b95ea016ca A detached battery cable can disrupt electricity flow in your Chevrolet. This common problem can prevent starting.

Symptoms of a bad cable:

  • Corroded terminals
  • Power loss from moving 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.

Faulty Relays in a Chevrolet Prisma

faulty relay switch preventing car from starting Relays control power to components like the starter, fuel pump, and computer. Failure can prevent your Chevy Prisma 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

car wont start because of no fuel 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.

Engine Flooding

Overfill fuel causing car to not start 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

Ask the mechanic With so many potential causes for a no start issue, it can be challenging to identify the exact problem yourself. In some cases, getting help 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

Local Garage mechanics 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 Chevrolet Mechanic Near You

mobile mechanic to get my car starting again Having a qualified mobile mechanic come to your Chevrolet Prisma 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.

3. Chat with a Chevy Mechanic Online

when to ask a mechanic This is a wonderful choice for most DIYers or car buff. It’s many times  an easy mend you can do on your own, like changing or powering up the battery. In these cases, if you are aware of what to do in a stepwise fashion, you can do it yourself, you do not have to pay a mechanic in person. Well, it’s your fortunate day, an online mechanic can provide all the help, advice, and advice you require, instantly by online chat. You can then perform the simple fix 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, request unlimited inquiries for a week, get the help you need, and you do not need to continue the assistance after that. We love JustAnswer for this purpose, expert auto mechanic help for just $5 is an unbeatable price.

The licensed mechanics at JustAnswer’s Ask a Mechanic service are accessible 24/7 to provide remote diagnostics and recommendations. The benefits 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 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 saved in writing, providing helpful reference.
  • Expert help; Seasoned licensed mechanics have the know-how to solve Chevy Prisma|Chevrolet Prisma 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 Prisma or your Chevrolet Prizm 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 “key fob wont start Chevrolet“, consider our chat with a Chrevrolet mechanic online service.  In just minutes, you can access expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Prisma fired up again.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) When a Chevrolet Prisma Won’t Start

Chevrolet Prisma won’t start but lights come on?

If your Chevrolet Prismas lights illuminate but it still won’t start, the issue may not be related to the battery. It’s highly possible there is a problem with the engine starter. Check to see if you hear any clicking noises when attempting to crank the key. If so, the starter motor is trying to engage but failing. Have a mechanic check over the starter motor – it may need to be repaired or replaced.

Chevrolet Prisma won’t start but has power?

When your Chevrolet Prisma has power (lights, radio etc work) but fails to start, there may be a fuel delivery problem. Issues like a faulty fuel pump relay could stop fuel getting to the engine. Without enough fuel, combustion can’t happen and the engine won’t start. Listen near the back seat when cranking the key – you should hear the fuel pump prime for a few seconds. If not, get a mechanic check the fuel system.

Chevrolet Prisma won’t start but battery is fine?

If your Chevrolet Prisma’s battery checks out OK and is fully charged, but the car still refuses to start, the underlying cause is likely electrical. Possible issues include a bad ignition switch, broken sensor, or wiring problems. As electrical issues can be tricky, diagnosis by a professional mechanic is best. They can correctly pinpoint the specific electrical fault and have it repaired.

Chevrolet Prisma won’t start just clicking?

When you turn the key and just hear clicking but the engine fails to turn over, the most common cause is a faulty starter motor. The click comes from the starter solenoid trying to engage the starter motor, but the motor itself fails to spin up the engine. As the starter motor needs mechanical repair or replacing, seek help from a reliable mechanic to get your Chevrolet Prisma running again.

Why is my Chevrolet Prisma car not starting but I have power?

If your Chevrolet Prisma won’t start but the lights and electronics power on, the most likely culprits are issues with the starter motor, ignition switch, or neutral safety switch. Faulty ignition components prevent the engine from cranking even when battery power is present.

Why does my Chevrolet Prisma have power but won’t turn over?

When your Chevrolet Prisma 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 problem. This prevents the starter from engaging to turn the engine over for starting.

What would cause my Chevrolet Prisma 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 Chevrolet Prismas engine from starting.

Why doesn’t my Chevrolet Prisma car start but the battery is fine?

With a good battery, the problem 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 signs your Chevrolet Prisma starter is bad?

Symptoms of a bad starter include no noise upon turning the key, a single click but no cranking, unusual grinding noises, and difficult cranking. These indicate starter failure and the need for replacement by a local mechanic.

Why doesn’t my Chevrolet Prisma 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 diagnostics of all electrical and fuel systems are needed by a qualified local mechanic.

Interesting Facts About the Chevrolet Prisma

Did you know that the Chevrolet Prisma is actually a rebadged version of the popular car, the Chevrolet Onix? It’s like the Prisma is the Onix’s cooler, more sophisticated sibling. And get this – the Prisma is known for its impressive fuel efficiency, making it the perfect choice for those long road trips or daily commutes. Plus, it’s got a spacious interior, so you can pack in all your friends and family for a fun adventure. Oh, and did I mention that the Prisma also comes with a range of advanced safety features to keep you and your loved ones protected on the road? It’s no wonder the Chevrolet Prisma is such a hit!

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Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic. We recommend YourMechanic. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Choose Your Mechanic

1. Chat with A.I. Mechanic (Robot Robby)
  • Free 7-day trial
  • A.I. Mechanic that is trained by our human mechanic writers. As helpful as a human mechanic for expert advice, troubleshooting, and repair guidance.
2. Chat with a Human Mechanic Online
  • Join for just $5, and $39/month. Cancel anytime
  • Real human ASE-certified mechanics available 24/7

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic Near You. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. If there are none near you, you will be redirected to the online mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just £5.
  2. Get help from a Mobile Mechanic. We  recommend Fixter. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper for you, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic. We recommend YourMechanic. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Where Can I Find My VIN?

Your vehicle’s unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can be found on the title document, the vehicle registration, and the insurance policy. It is a series letters and numbers like this as example: WAUGC0896JA235262. The VIN can also be located on the following locations on the vehicle itself:

how to find VIN on vehicle