The silence that fills your inactive Chevy when you turn the key and it won't start can be extremely annoying. A Chevy that won't start will leave you stranded and clueless about the issue. Fortunately, there are several well-known issues that can cause a Viva to not start, and you can repair many of them on your own or with a mechanic's help.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the top 14 reasons your Chevy Viva doesn't start and offer helpful tips to get your car running 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 burst of electricity to crank the engine and get it started.
Indications of a dead battery:
- Silence upon turning the key – no engine cranking
- Electronics not powering on
- Difficulty starting in cold weather
How to Fix It: Keep jumper cables on hand for a dead battery situation. Jump starting your Chevrolet Viva using another vehicle or portable charger can supply enough charge to get it cranked.
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 Chevrolet Viva still won't crank, the culprit may be a bad alternator. This key component charges your battery while driving and energizes the electrical system.
Signs of a bad alternator:
- Battery warning light coming on
- Electronics fading
- Difficulty starting, particularly following short trips
The Fix: Get your alternator inspected ASAP 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 fire the fuel/air mixture in the cylinders to power your car. When they are dirty, bad, or corroded, your Viva 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 degrade. Most last 30k+ miles. Have your plugs checked and swap any bad ones. Using quality gas helps avoid buildup.
Ignition System Issues
Issues with parts 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, try 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 damaged, your Chevrolet Viva may not turn over.
Symptoms of a bad starter:
- No noise upon turning key
- Clicking but no turnover
- Unusual noises
The Fix: Have your starter inspected and replaced if faulty. This requires the help of a professional mechanic to diagnose and repair.
Not in Park or 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 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 constrain fuel flow to the engine, preventing your Chevrolet Viva from turning over.
Signs of a clogged filter:
- Difficulty 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.
Bad or Failing Fuel Pump
The fuel pump delivers gas from the tank to the engine. If it fails, your Chevy won't start due to no fuel.
Signs of a bad pump:
- No pump noise 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 worn parts can cause a no start.
Signs 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 won't be timed properly and your Chevy Viva 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 Viva.
Loose or Detached 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 Viva 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 possible reasons for a no start issue, it can be challenging to determine the exact issue yourself. In some cases, seeking assistance 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 Viva|Chevrolet Viva starting again ASAP.
3. Chat with a Chevy Mechanic Online
This is a wonderful choice for most DIYers or car buff. It's often a simple repair you can do yourself, like replacing or recharging the battery. In these instances, if you are aware of what to do one step after another, you can do it on your own, you do not have to pay a mechanic on-site. Well, it's your lucky day, an online mechanic can offer all the help, advice, and recommendations you need, right away by online chat. You can then perform the easy fix yourself.
The best online mechanic we recommend is JustAnswer, and through our link, you can get a trial of their assistance for just $5, inquire unlimited inquiries for a week, get the assistance you need, and you are not obligated to continue the service after that. We adore JustAnswer for this reason, specialist auto mechanic help for just $5 is an unmatchable price.
The qualified mechanics at JustAnswer's Ask a Mechanic service are available 24/7 to provide online analysis and advice. The perks of asking a mechanic online are:
- Convenience: Get help from home without having to schedule an appointment or wait at a shop.
- Fast replies; Mechanics respond in minutes 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; Skilled licensed mechanics have the knowledge to troubleshoot Chevy Viva|Chevrolet Viva 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 Viva or your Chevrolet Agile 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 vacuum noise“, consider our Chrevrolet questions live chat service. In just minutes, you can leverage expert Chevrolet knowledge to help get your beloved Viva 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 accessories and dashboard come on, the most likely causes are problems in 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 electronics and dashboard 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 engaging to turn the engine over for starting.
What would make my Chevy car unexpectedly not start?
Sudden no-start issues can occur from loose battery cables, fuel pump or relay failure, broken timing belt, or an empty gas tank. These critical 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 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 when 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 won't my Chevy car start but battery and alternator is good?
If the battery and alternator check out, common culprits are bad spark plugs, blocked fuel filter, blown fuse, immobilizer problem, and starter relay failure. Complete diagnostics of all electrical and fuel systems is needed by a qualified local mechanic.