Chevrolet Silverado Not Starting: What Could Be Wrong?

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  • Post last modified:November 22, 2020

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The Chevy Silverado is known far and wide as a reliable vehicle. But even the most reliable and consistent vehicles will run into problems at some point. One of the more common issues in vehicles is when they fail to start. This can cause you to be late, stressed, and add anxiety if you aren’t sure of the cause. We have researched the most common reasons your Silverado might not start and what to do about it!

The Chevy Silverado may fail to start for a range of reasons. These can range from simple and easy fixes to others that are more complex and possibly expensive. The most common issues include:

  • Dead Battery
  • Empty Fuel Tank
  • Broken Starter
  • Fuel Pump Problems
  • Ignition Lock Failure
  • Internal Damages

You can use the previous list as a great starting point to figure out the cause of your Silverado failing to start. This article will discuss each of these items in greater detail, describe the Chevy Truck Warranty, and answer a couple of other common questions for Silverado owners. We encourage you to continue reading so that you have a better understanding of why your truck is not starting.

A huge white colored Chevy Silverado displayed on a car show, Chevrolet Silverado Not Starting: What Could Be Wrong?

Dead Battery

Causes of a Dead Battery

The battery in any vehicle is used to start the engine and power the vehicle’s interior lights and electronics. Batteries are charged when the vehicle is driven. If you’re driving only short distances, turning your vehicle on and off frequently, or leaving the vehicle, radio, or lights on for extended periods without driving, your battery will drain and possibly fail to start your truck. 

Signs of a Dead Battery

A possible sign of a dead battery is the ignition turning over but not firing the engine. If the battery is completely drained, nothing may happen. If the battery tests to have a charge but fails to start the engine, then the battery may have corroded connections. 

To test your battery for low charge easily, turn on the interior lights of your truck. If the lights dim quickly or significantly, then it’s likely your battery is low. You can also use a battery charge tester bought from the store to make sure the battery has a proper charge. 

How to Fix Dead Battery

The simplest way to fix a dead battery is to jump-start your vehicle and then drive to charge it. It’s important always to carry a set of jumper cables in your vehicle. If you’re unsure how to jump a vehicle you can check out a video tutorial here. Corrosion or a malfunctioning battery is easily fixed by replacing the battery and connectors. 

Empty Fuel Tank

Signs of an Empty Fuel Tank

An easy mistake to make is to forget to fill up your fuel tank. It’s usually easy to determine if your fuel tank is empty. Check your fuel gauge to see your fuel level.  A lack of fuel will cause your truck not to start. 

Empty Fuel Tank Fixes

Most of the time, you can fill up your tank, and your engine will start. This holds true for all of the normal fuel Silverados. If you happen to be driving a diesel, you may need to bleed your fuel system to restore normal functions. 

Broken Starter

Signs of a Broken Starter

Another possible cause of your Silverado not starting is a broken starter. A common sign of this is a loud clicking noise when attempting to start your truck. Wear from age and use or material defects can cause the starter to not function. 

How do you test a starter on Chevy Silverado?

You can test your starter by taking a few different steps. First, you’ll need to manually apply 12 volts to the starter with a remote switch. You can find this piece at any of your local auto parts stores, and testing this way will immediately tell you if your starter is good or faulty, and it will cause the engine to start. For a step by step guide, including safety precautions for testing your starter, click here.

How to Fix a Broken Starter

Unfortunately, a broken starter can’t be fixed. The starter is set deep inside your engine block and is hard to reach. If the starter is broken or faulty, it will have to be replaced. Generally, because of its location in the truck, you’ll need to take the vehicle to a garage with a lift. 

Fuel Pump Problems

Signs of Fuel Pump Issues

If your tank is full, it is still possible for issues in the fuel system to keep fuel from reaching your engine. The symptoms of fuel system issues are the same as with a lack of fuel, except that fuel is present in your tanks. If the fuel pump or injection system isn’t properly set or is defective, then fuel won’t properly reach your engine block. Contaminated fuel can also have similar effects on starting your truck. 

Fuel System Fixes

If the issue lies in improper settings, you will have them properly calibrated, which should solve the problem. If the fuel system parts are damaged, you’ll have to replace them. You will rarely be able to repair individual parts of the fuel system, so take the vehicle to your auto shop. 

Ignition Lock Failure

Signs of Ignition Lock Failure

When your truck is an older model, it may still have an ignition lock instead of a start button. The clearest sign of a defect here is that nothing happens when you turn your key. There won’t be any noise from under the hood, and no lights will turn on. If something does start, it will immediately turn back off without fully starting. 

Ignition Lock Fixes

Similarly, with a broken starter, there aren’t any repairs that can be done to fix ignition lock failures. To fix this issue, you’ll need to replace the ignition lock and most likely replace your keys or key chip as well. Thankfully, this is usually under warranty and can be fixed at your dealership. 

Internal Damages

Causes of Internal Damages

A variety of issues causes internal damages. Road hazards, wear, and even animals can cause damage. In fact, many animals like to chew on the wires inside of vehicles, leading to many different issues, including a lack of starting. Even normal driving causes vibrations that can cause loose plug connections.

How to Fix Internal Damages

Loose connections are an easy fix. Tighten down these attachments, and assuming there is no damage, they will function properly. On the other hand, damaged wires and or visible part damage is a serious issue. In this case, you’ll need to tow your vehicle to the nearest shop and replace parts. Call AAA when you notice these issues. They can offer a tow or even replace some parts on the spot. 

How do you reset the anti-theft system in Chevy Silverado?

Resetting the anti-theft system in a Silverado is a simple process. Insert your key into the ignition, turn it to the “Run” setting, and leave the Security light blinking for around ten minutes. Then immediately after, the light stops blinking and is on steadily start the vehicle. Do not turn off your vehicle, and it should reset the system and start your vehicle as per normal. This will reset your system. However, if this does not work, repeat the process up to three times. 

What is the warranty on Chevy trucks?

Current Chevy Warranties on 2020 models are reflective of their previous warranties on all vehicles. When it comes to their trucks, multiple warranties are in place to protect your vehicle investment.

Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty

A full warranty covers all Chevrolet vehicles for all repairs for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. This covers all defects in materials and parts during the time period of the warranty. All covered repairs are performed by the dealer using new, refurbished, or remanufactured parts available. 

Extended Limited Warranty

Like the above Limited Warranty, the Extended Warranty is a bumper-to-bumper warranty covering all manufacturer parts and defects. At the time of purchase, buyers have the option to opt for the extended warranty. The coverage lasts for five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. 

Powertrain Limited Warranty

For most vehicles. Chevrolet provides a powertrain warranty that lasts for the first 60,000 miles or five years, whichever comes first. Light Duty Pickups that fall into certain categories have their powertrain covered for the first five years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. This means that the manufacturer covers any issues that come up in your truck’s powertrain during this warranty period. 

Emission Control System Warranty

Emission control systems limit your vehicle’s number of emissions and allow them to adhere to EPA standards. Chevy offers a warranty on these parts for the first two years after purchase or up to 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. This applies to Light Duty Pickups and cars. Specific engines have longer coverages, u to five years or 60,000 miles, because of their emission rates. 

Additional Coverages

Chevy offers regular maintenance and check-ups on all vehicles sold by them. In fact, these appointments include oil changes, tire rotation, and Multi-Point Vehicle Inspections. New models receive an inspection in their first year of use, while older models may receive more appointments after their purchase. 

Roadside Assistance is another service offered by Chevrolet on all 2019-2020 models during their powertrain warranties. These services include towing, flat repair, lockout services, jump starts, and emergency fuel delivery. However, remember that this service only lasts during your warranty coverage. 

As with anything, if you have any questions regarding your warranty, you should contact your dealer and determine what options are available to you. Looking to buy a new Chevy Silverado and not sure what it will cost? Check out our article How Much Does A 2020 Chevy Silverado Actually Cost?

Chevrolet Silverado Not Starting: What Could Be Wrong?

Overall, several issues could be causing your Silverado not to start. The good news is that most of the signs for each issue are fairly easy to discern, and after reading this article, you shouldn’t have any issues figuring out the problem. Remember to refer to your dealer for any further questions you have about repairs. If you have questions about other common issues with Chevy Silverados, check out our article Chevrolet Silverado: What Are The Common Problems?.

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