Chevy Cobalt Starting Problems [Causes and How to Fixes]

Several issues can go wrong with your Chevrolet Cobalt’s starting system, making it difficult to start. If you are having a hard time starting your vehicle, welcome to the right page.

Chevy Cobalt

This article highlights some reasons your Chevy Cobalt won’t start. You will also learn the steps to take to overcome the situation. Let’s dive in.

Reasons Your Chevy Cobalt Won’t Start and How to Fix

1. Dead Battery

This is the first place to look if you’re having difficulties starting your Chevy Cobalt.

Your Chevy Cobalt will not start if you have a dead battery. When you have a dead battery and try to start your vehicle, no lights will illuminate the dashboard. This is because there won’t be any other electrical consumers at work.

So, it could be that your vehicle’s battery is completely dead, or there is no connection between the electrical system of your vehicle and the battery.

So, check the battery terminals to ensure they are tight and not corroded. If your battery is dead, jump-starting may help.

2. Steering Locked

You may experience this scenario where the key refuses to turn in the ignition.

This could be due to several reasons: the first is that the steering is locked in place by the ignition lock, with the front wheels turned aside. The second reason is that one of the front wheels may have been pushed against something.

Try turning your steering wheel left and right gently while jiggling the ignition key. This action may help release the steering lock and enable you to start your vehicle.

3. Starter Motor Issues

If you turn the ignition key to the ‘Start’ position and there is no sound, no start, no crank, something may be wrong with the starter motor. This may be due to a dead battery or a lack of connection between the starter and the battery.

So, check the battery and all terminal cable connections. If the terminals are corroded, clean the battery posts and cable connectors using wire brushes. You may also replace the cable connectors if they are too rusted to be useful.

Replace the cable connectors at their appropriate position on the battery posts and start the engine.

4. Broken Timing Chain

One of the reasons your Chevy Cobalt won’t start is because the timing chain (not the belt) is broken. The timing chain is generally used to synchronize the camshaft’s rotation and the crankshaft. Since the timing chain is already broken, your Chevy Cobalt’s engine won’t have enough compression to start.

If the timing chain jumps or breaks while driving, the pistons will get damaged due to contact with the valves. Even the valves themselves will take some damage as they will bend and may ruin your vehicle’s engine.

Get your Chevy Cobalt to an auto repair shop to run proper diagnostic tests. Your mechanic should check the timing chain and replace it if found broken.

5. Leaking Fuel Injector or Fuel Pump Check Valve

Another starting problem you may experience with your Chevy Cobalt is prolonged cranking. Even though your vehicle starts, you may have to crank for approximately 5 seconds before the engine turns over.

You may have a faulty fuel pump check valve or a leaking fuel injector. If this is the case, your Chevy Cobalt will not hold pressure in the fuel rail overnight.

You can fix this issue by checking out your vehicle to ensure you don’t have a leaking fuel injector.

In addition, the next time you start your Chevy Cobalt for the first time that day, turn the ignition key to the ON position, but do not start the engine. You should hear the soft hum of the fuel pump.

Then turn the ignition key back off and then back ON about 3 to 4 times. Afterward, turn the key enough to crank; if your engine fires up immediately, one or two of the issues mentioned earlier is the problem—a leaking fuel injector or a fuel pump check valve.

But if the vehicle runs well with no misfires or stumbles, you may have a defective fuel pump.

If your Chevy Cobalt starts and runs, you should not do more than run a bottle of fuel injector cleaner through the tank. However, when it gets harder to start your Chevy Cobalt, change the fuel pump immediately, especially if your vehicle has done more than 145,000 miles.

6. Anti-theft System Issues/Starter or Starter Relay Problem

Your Chevy Cobalt won’t start if it has issues with its anti-theft system or has starter/starter relay problems. You may not be aware of the genesis of the starting problem and may focus on getting a new battery and ignition switch.

But if these changes won’t start the vehicle, then there are problems with its starter, starter relay, or anti-theft system.

The anti-theft system may disable the start circuit, especially if the theft light keeps illuminating the dashboard. But if there is no theft light when you turn the ignition, your vehicle may be plagued with an electrical problem not activating the anti-theft system.

But if the theft light switches on and then goes off, the problem can be traced to your vehicle’s starter or starter relay.

So, put your Chevy Cobalt in neutral to see if your vehicle cranks or not.

You can get a more precise solution to this problem by getting your Chevy Cobalt to your mechanic to diagnose the starting problem.

7. Defective Starter Solenoid

Another reason your Chevy Cobalt won’t start is if the starter solenoid is malfunctioning. This solenoid is usually attached to the top of the starter, and it can fail for several reasons, including the components within.

Therefore, check the starter solenoid and replace it if found defective. Also, don’t forget to examine the starter assembly, starter contacts, or starter circuit. If you discover any issues in these areas, fix them accordingly.

8. Spark Plug Problems

If your Chevy Cobalt fails to start and you are 100 percent sure it’s not a fuel problem, it probably means the electrical spark is no longer getting through to the spark plugs.

Check the spark. If no spark ignites the fuel mix in the combustion chamber, your engine will not start. It will only crank or turnover, but will never run.

Check the spark plugs and replace them if found defective. Don’t forget to check the spark plug cables, the plug gap, as well as the distributor or module. All these have a significant impact on the overall function of the entire ignition system of your Chevy Cobalt.

9. Fuel Assembly Issues

When your Chevy Cobalt doesn’t start, most car owners first check the fuel. This is a good move, as the fuel may not get to your engine.

Moreover, if the wrong amount of fuel is injected into the combustion chamber or the injection takes place at the wrong time, your Chevy Cobalt will never start. Instead, your engine will only crank but will not run.

This issue can be caused by the fuel assembly, comprising the following:

  • Fuel pump
  • Fuel injectors
  • Fuel filter
  • Fuel lines.

Of course, some of these options are quite a stretch, but they affect the system. Your mechanic should check the fuel assembly to determine precisely where the issue originates from and fix it.

10. Starter Kill Switch Issues

If you purchased a previously owned Chevy Cobalt and start experiencing starting problems, you may want to check if the previous owner installed a starter kill switch to prevent theft.

Unfortunately, this is a common practice, and some previous owners may even remove the switch before selling off the vehicle but forget the wiring.

When the wire gets heated up, your Chevy Cobalt won’t start. It would only start when it comes down.

So, get your mechanic to check for a starter kill switch or its wiring and remove them entirely.

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Wrapping Up

These are some reasons you may be having problems starting your beloved Chevy Cobalt. Follow the action tips suggested for each reason behind your vehicle’s starting problem, and you may bid those problems goodbye.