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 leaves you stuck on the side of the road trying to figure out the problem. Luckily, some common problems lead to Chevrolet Tacuma not starting, many of which can be fixed DIY or quickly by a mechanic.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the fourteen most common reasons your Chevrolet Tacuma won't start and offer useful suggestions to get your car started again.
The most common cause a Chevy won't start is a dead or drained 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
- Accessories not powering on
- Hard time starting in cold weather
The Fix: Keep jumper cables available for a dead battery emergency. Jump starting your Chevrolet Tacuma using a good battery or portable charger can deliver enough juice to get it cranked.
You can also try cleaning corroded battery terminals that are blocking a good connection. If problems persist, have your battery tested – it may need recharging if worn out.
If your battery checks out but your Chevrolet Tacuma still won't turn over, the culprit may be a faulty alternator. This vital part charges your battery when running and energizes the electrical system.
Signs of a bad alternator:
- Battery warning indicator illuminating
- Lights dimming
- Difficulty starting, particularly following short trips
The Fix: Get your alternator checked right away by a mechanic. A bad alternator can rapidly deplete your battery. This will need to be replaced by an experienced mechanic.
Bad or Fouled Spark Plugs
Spark plugs fire the air/fuel ratio in the cylinders to run your car. When they are fouled or worn out, your Tacuma may not start due to no spark.
Signs of bad spark plugs:
- Poor fuel economy
- Rough idle
- Engine misfiring
The Fix: Spark plugs need regular replacement as they wear out. Most last 30k+ miles. Have your plugs checked and change any faulty ones. Using quality gas prevents buildup.
Ignition System Issues
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
- Dashboard flickering
- 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 worn out, your Chevy Tacuma 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 restrict fuel flow to the engine, preventing your Chevrolet Tacuma from turning over.
Signs of a clogged filter:
- Hard time starting
- Engine sputtering
- Decreased fuel economy
The Fix: Change the filter when due 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 sound upon turning key
- Difficulty 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 damage can cause a no start.
Signs 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.
Broken Timing Belt
The timing belt keeps the camshaft and crankshaft. If it snaps, the valves and pistons aren't synchronized properly and your Chevrolet Tacuma won't start.
Symptoms of a bad timing belt:
- No start
- Unusual ticking noise
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 Tacuma.
Detached or Loose Battery Cable
Symptoms 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 Tacuma 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
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 situation, it can be challenging to pinpoint the exact cause 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 Tacuma|Chevrolet Tacuma starting again ASAP.
3. Chat with a Chevy Mechanic Online
This is a wonderful possibility for most DIYers or car enthusiasts. It's often a straightforward repair you can do yourself, like changing or charging the battery. In these instances, if you are aware of what to do one step after another, you can do it yourself, you are not required to pay a mechanic in person. Alright, it's your fortunate day, an online mechanic can supply all the assistance, advice, and recommendations you require, immediately by online chat. You can then carry out the simple mend on your own.
The best online mechanic we suggest is JustAnswer, and through our link, you can get a trial of their service for just $5, inquire endless inquiries for a week, get the help you require, and you do not need to continue the service after that. We love JustAnswer for this purpose, specialist auto mechanic assistance for just $5 is an unbeatable price.
The qualified mechanics at JustAnswer's Ask a Mechanic service are accessible 24/7 to provide online analysis 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 responses; Mechanics respond rapidly with possible causes 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 assistance; Skilled licensed mechanics have the expertise to address Chevy Tacuma|Chevrolet Tacuma 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 Tacuma or your Chevrolet Tahoe 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 “hooked battery up backwards now Chevy wont start“, consider our online Chrevrolet mechanics service. In just minutes, you can leverage expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Tacuma going again.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why is my Chevy car not starting but I have power?
If your Chevrolet doesn't crank but the accessories and dashboard come on, the most likely causes are problems in the starter system, 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 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 motor 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 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 doesn't my Chevy 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 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 won't my Chevy car start but battery and alternator are 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. Thorough testing of all electrical and fuel systems is needed by a qualified local mechanic.