Sitting in your idle Chevy, turning the key, and hearing nothing but silence can be very aggravating. A Chevy that fails to start will leave you stranded and clueless about the issue. Fortunately, there are several well-known issues that can cause an Uplander to not start, and you can repair many of them on your own or with a mechanic's help.
In this comprehensive guide, we're going to look at the top 14 causes your Chevy Uplander doesn't start and provide useful tips to get your car started again.
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 running.
Indications of a dead battery:
- Silence upon turning the key – no engine cranking
- Accessories not powering on
- Difficulty starting in cold weather
How to Fix It: Keep jumper cables available in case of a dead battery situation. Jump starting your Chevy Uplander using another vehicle or portable charger can supply enough juice to get it started.
You can also clean dirty 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 Chevy Uplander still won't turn over, the issue may be a faulty alternator. This key component charges your battery while driving and energizes the electronics.
Clues of a bad alternator:
- Battery warning indicator illuminating
- Electronics 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
Spark plugs ignite the fuel/air mixture in the cylinders to power your car. When they are dirty, bad, or corroded, your Uplander may not start due to no spark.
Clues 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 inspected and change any bad ones. Using quality gas prevents buildup.
Ignition System Issues
Issues with ignition components like the switch, lock cylinder, fob, or wiring can prevent your Chevy from starting.
Signs 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.
The starter motor engages when you turn the key to start the engine. If it's worn out, your Chevy Uplander may not crank.
Signs of a bad starter:
- No noise upon turning key
- Clicking but no cranking
- 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 transmission isn't in Park or Neutral, your Chevrolet's safety features will prevent it from starting.
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
A clogged fuel filter can restrict fuel delivery to the engine, preventing your Chevy Uplander from starting.
Symptoms of a clogged filter:
- Hard time starting
- Engine sputtering
- Decreased fuel economy
The Fix: Change the filter when due or if suspected clogged. Use quality gas and replace often. 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 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 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 worn parts 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 breaks, the valves and pistons aren't synchronized properly and your Chevrolet Uplander won't start.
Signs of a bad timing belt:
- No start
- Unusual ticking noise
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 Uplander.
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 Uplander 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.
Low Fuel or Empty Tank
Running your tank completely empty 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 issues for a no start problem, it can be tough to determine the exact cause yourself. In some cases, seeking aid 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 Uplander|Chevrolet Uplander starting again ASAP.
3. Chat with a Chevy Mechanic Online
This is a great option for most DIYers or car enthusiasts. It's often a simple repair you can do on your own, like changing or powering up the battery. In these situations, if you know 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 lucky day, an online mechanic can provide all the assistance, advice, and advice you need, immediately by online chat. You can then execute the easy repair yourself.
The finest online mechanic we suggest is JustAnswer, and through our link, you can get a trial of their service for just $5, request unlimited inquiries for a week, get the help you require, and you do not need to keep going with the assistance after that. We love JustAnswer for this reason, specialist auto mechanic assistance for just $5 is an unbeatable price.
The certified mechanics at JustAnswer's Ask a Mechanic service are accessible 24/7 to provide remote diagnostics and advice. The perks of asking a mechanic online include:
- Convenience: Get help from your house without having to schedule an appointment or wait at a shop.
- Fast replies; 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 recorded in writing, providing helpful reference.
- Expert help; Experienced licensed mechanics have the know-how to address Chevy Uplander|Chevrolet Uplander 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 an Uplander or your Chevrolet Utility 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 “my Chevy turns on but wont start“, consider our Chrevrolet mechanic questions answered online service. In just minutes, you can leverage expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Uplander starting again.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why is my Chevy car not cranking but I have power?
If your Chevrolet won't start but the lights and electronics come on, the most likely culprits are issues with the starter motor, 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 won't turn over?
When your Chevy has power to the lights and accessories but doesn't start when trying to start, the problem is often a bad starter motor or related wiring problem. This prevents the starter from activating to turn the engine over for starting.
What would cause my Chevy car suddenly 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 critical problems 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 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 turnover, 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 is good?
If the battery and alternator check out, common causes are bad spark plugs, clogged fuel filter, blown fuse, immobilizer problem, and starter relay failure. Thorough testing of all electrical and fuel systems are needed by a qualified local mechanic.