Knowing about Chevy Silverado starting problems and their appropriate solutions is compulsory to know as a Chevrolet owner, both for beginners and experienced ones.
Having a stalling car can be very inconvenient, especially in emergency situations. In this article, our car team will break down the causes of Chevy Silverado starting issues and the best solutions you can perform!
- 1 Why Is Your Chevy Silverado Not Starting?
- 1.1 – Alternator Issues
- 1.2 – Faulty Ignition Switch
- 1.3 – Damaged Starter Motor
- 1.4 – No Fuel
- 1.5 – Faulty Fuel Pump
- 1.6 – Dead/Bad Spark Plugs
- 1.7 – Little or No Compression
- 1.8 – Fuel Injectors Are Blocked
- 1.9 – Bad Fuse
- 1.10 – Damaged Gas Pump Relay
- 1.11 – Key Fob Battery Is Dead
- 1.12 – Battery Is Drained or Bad
- 1.13 – Timing Belt Gone Bad
- 1.14 – Ground Cable Wiring Issues
- 2 What Are Common Ways To Fix Your Chevy Silverado Starting Problems?
- 3 Conclusion
Why Is Your Chevy Silverado Not Starting?
Your Chevy Silverado is not starting because one or more of the key components needed to power the car are failing or damaged. The problem could be from the battery, alternator, starter, ignition, gas filter, sparking plugs, or even the ground wiring.
– Alternator Issues
Alternator issues can make your Silverado have problems with starting. While your car battery provides electric power for starting the engine, the alternator powers the entire car and charges the battery while the engine is running.
If the alternator goes bad, your car will start drawing electric power from your battery. Eventually, the battery will drain out and you won’t be able to start your car. When your alternators are bad, other electrical appliances in your car, like the air conditioning unit, will also perform poorly.
– Faulty Ignition Switch
A faulty/damaged ignition switch will stop your car from starting. The ignition switch is part of your car’s ignition assembly. It kicks in to fire your starter and other ignition components into action. When the switch is faulty, it won’t generate power to start up the ignition assembly, even when you turn your key to start your car.
One sign that you have a faulty switch is when your dashboard lights flicker as you turn the key to start your car. Sometimes, the car key may even refuse to turn at all. Take note that a bad ignition coil can also cause a loss of power.
– Damaged Starter Motor
A damaged starter motor (also called a starter) can stop your Chevrolet car from starting. The starter activates (cranks) the engine to start the ignition process. Usually, starters are made of starter solenoids and DC electric motors, and they draw energy from the battery to initiate ignition in your car.
– No Fuel
Low or no fuel is one of the most common problems that can stop your Silverado from starting. Your car needs fuel to start, so if the fuel tank is empty, your car won’t start. Your fuel gauge will always let you know how much fuel is in your tank. However, a clogged fuel filter can make it seem like your engine is getting no fuel.
– Faulty Fuel Pump
Another reason why your car may not start is a faulty or failed fuel pump. The fuel pump transports fuel from the tank to the ignition chambers. If this pump fails, no fuel will be transported to the engine, so the car will not start. Aside from starting issues, a bad pump may also cause whining noises in your fuel tank.
– Dead/Bad Spark Plugs
Dead plugs can stop your Chevrolet car from starting. The spark plug is the component that provides the necessary spark needed to ignite the air-fuel mixture and start the combustion system. Bad/old plugs won’t produce a big-enough spark for ignition or won’t be able to produce any sparks at all.
It’s good to change old/bad plugs from time to time. Sometimes, plugs may not be dead, but just blocked by ash/dirt.
– Little or No Compression
Low or no compression in your car can cause starting issues. Your engine cylinders must compress air and fuel before ignition. If, for some reason, they can’t get to the required compression level, it may be impossible to start your car. This situation usually arises when there are leaking seals and gaskets in the engine.
– Fuel Injectors Are Blocked
Clogged/blocked fuel injectors can also be the reason why your Silverado isn’t starting. Fuel injectors are the components that release fuel into the engine combustion chambers. When these injectors get blocked or clogged, they won’t be able to deliver fuel to the car engine. Most times, fuel injectors get blocked by accumulated dust and debris.
Your car needs fuel to start, so if the injectors can’t deliver fuel due to blockage, your Chevrolet may not start at all. It’s always good to inspect fuel injectors regularly and to use only high-quality gasoline for your car to prevent fuel injector blockages.
– Bad Fuse
Bad fuses can be the cause of your car not starting up. Fuses are essential for every car, as they safeguard the electrical wiring in vehicles. If the fuse is bad or one of the connections to it is broken, your car won’t start.
This is because damaged or blown fuses can prevent electric power from reaching the starter relay. As a result, the starter relay can’t provide the ignition power to start your vehicle.
– Damaged Gas Pump Relay
A damaged gas pump’s relay can also stop your car from starting. The relay provides the gas pump with the necessary power needed to pump fuel to the injectors. It is usually found in the fuse box of your car.
If the relay is bad, the pumps won’t be able to pump fuel to the injectors. Consequently, your car won’t receive any fuel for ignition. A check engine light can signify when you have a bad relay.
– Key Fob Battery Is Dead
A dead key fob battery can stop your Chevy from coming on when you turn the key. The key fob sends signals to your car to come on via a remote keyless system. The key fob battery is what powers the key fob. When these batteries die, your vehicle won’t receive signals from the key fob, so it won’t start.
– Battery Is Drained or Bad
A drained or bad battery is one of the main reasons why your car isn’t starting. Your battery is the electrical component that stores and delivers the power needed to start your vehicle. If you have a dead battery, your Silverado won’t start.
Sometimes, the issue may not be from the battery, but from loose or damaged wire connections. Corroded battery terminals can also block electricity flow, even when you have live batteries.
– Timing Belt Gone Bad
A bad timing belt is one of the lesser-known factors that can stop your car from starting. The timing belt is a rubber strip part that rotates the crankshaft to crank up your engine and start the ignition process. If this belt fails, your engine won’t crank up, even with a good starter and battery.
One sign of a bad timing belt is a ticking sound from under the hood of your car. Sometimes, timing belts can break while your vehicle’s engine is running, causing engine damage.
– Ground Cable Wiring Issues
Ground cable wiring issues can also stop your Chevrolet Silverado from starting. The ground cable (also called ground strap) is a thick black cable that connects the battery to the car’s chassis. The ground wire forms the foundation for the entire electrical connection in your car. Power flows through this cable to every electrical component in your car.
If the ground wire is bad, your Silverado won’t start because power won’t flow to the necessary components in the ignition assembly. In short, there won’t be electric power to crank your car’s engine.
What Are Common Ways To Fix Your Chevy Silverado Starting Problems?
The common ways to fix your Chevy Silverado’s starting problems are inspecting your battery and its connection terminals, changing your timing belt, and checking the fuse. Other methods include changing the ignition’s switch, flushing the fuel injector, checking and changing the starter, and replacing the alternator.
– Inspect Your Battery and Charge It
Check your battery and the battery connection terminals. If there is dirt or corrosion at the terminals, remove them. If your battery is low, use a jumper cable or another car’s battery to recharge it. You can consult your car manual to see how to recharge the battery with a jumper cable or see a mechanic to help you out.
– Change the Timing Belt
Changing the timing belt can solve your starting issues. You can buy a new one and mount it yourself. However, note that you must change the belt in line with your car manufacturer’s recommendations, or else you will cause more damage to your engine in the future. It’s best to see a mechanic to change the timing belts for you.
– Check Fuse and Replace if Necessary
Check your car fuse and replace it if it is bad. You will find the fuse in the fuse box, under your car’s hood. However, check your car owner’s manual to be sure where the fuse box is located. If you can’t spot it or can’t change it yourself, call for a mechanic to help you.
– Change the Ignition Switch/Cylinder
Check for any switch problems (poor contact points, inability to turn the key) and replace your switch if necessary. Also, check and replace old ignition cylinders (this will solve the problem of low compression).
Note that sometimes when your key gets stuck, it may be due to a stuck steering wheel lock. You can solve this issue by turning the wheel back and forth while turning the ignition key at the same time.
– Flush the Fuel Injector
Flushing the fuel injector will free it, allowing fuel to flow into the combustion chambers. To clean the injector, first, disconnect the gas pump from it before using your kit to flush it. Also, flush the hoses connected to the fuel injector.
– Check and Replace the Starter
Check your starter to see if it’s still working properly. If you have a bad starter, you have to replace it. To replace a bad/faulty starter, remove the wiring and bolts connected to the starter, remove the starter, install the new starter, and reconnect the wires and bolts.
Silverado starters last for around 100,000 to 150,000 miles. Generally, car starters are designed to last throughout the lifespan of a vehicle, so you can expect your starter to last for about 10 years or more. Take note that faulty internal connections can make your starters fail before their time.
You will be spending between $400 to $551 to fix the starter on your Chevrolet Silverado. The actual cost of new starters falls within the range of $307 and $410. Repair costs, however, range from $112 to $141. If you replace the starter yourself, you’ll only spend about $300.
– Replace the Alternator
If your car keeps drawing power from your battery even while on the move, then you have a faulty alternator. Replace the alternator with a new one. To do so, detach the battery and remove the alternator belt, then disconnect the wiring and take out the bad alternator.
Fix the new alternator, replace your alternator belt, and reconnect the wiring. If you can’t carry out the replacement yourself, your final thoughts should be to see a mechanic.
Having your car stall or refuse to start can be inconvenient, but the problem is not too hard to rectify.
Let’s go over some of the major points once more.
- The major causes of Chevy Silverado starting issues are dead batteries, bad alternators, no fuel, and a faulty ground wiring/strap.
- Other factors like bad fuse and plugs, clogged injectors, and low compression can equally stop your car from starting.
- To start your car, first check key components like fuel, battery, starter, and alternator.
- Fix or replace any damaged/faulty parts, and try to start your vehicle again.
- See a mechanic if you can’t get to the root of the problem, or if the issue involves something big like faulty ground wiring.
Remember that DIY fixes on your Chevrolet can be risky, especially when you still have an unclaimed warranty. If you aren’t experienced with DIY fixing of car systems, get a professional to service your car for you.
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