Nothing is more frustrating than a car that will not start. Deciphering the causes can be a daunting task. But when a Chevrolet cranks when the ignition key is turned, this is a clear sign of two possible problems: an interrupted fuel flow or a possible ignition issue. With a few methods, it is easy to figure out the extent of the issue and a possible resolution within a matter of minutes.
Examine the ground underneath the car for fuel leaks. One major cause of a failed start is a blocked fuel line. Locate the fuel line underneath your car by looking underneath the trunk and tracing a small metal line to the engine. If there is any rust or discoloration, check for stains or a very strong gasoline smell. A gasoline stain will be clear or light brown with a rainbow effect if viewed at an angle. Also, check your fuel gauge to see if there is less fuel in the tank than before, or if the tank is empty.2
Check the automatic fuel shutoff. In the trunk there should be a small box containing a switch. Check your vehicle's manual to see if the switch is in the correct position. The fuel shutoff was added as a safety precaution in the 1980s to prevent fires and can be activated due to a minor collision or by malfunction. Make sure it is in the proper position to assure fuel flow.3
Test the fuel pump. The fuel pump is located on the side of the gas tank, but an easy way to check it is to turn the car over and listen for a moaning sound near the back wheel wells. If there is a moaning or other strange sound, call a mechanic. Do not attempt to repair the fuel pump by yourself, as it is difficult to get to and any error can cause damage to your fuel tank.4
Locate the fuel filter. The fuel filter is a small metal box on the fuel line between the tank and the engine. It removes any large residue from the fuel to prevent destruction or impairment to the engine. If it is not changed on a regular basis, it can create issues with fuel flow. If the fuel filter is rusty, it requires replacement. Contact a mechanic as any repairs to any fuel-related component is more dangerous due to the flammable nature.5
Make sure the spark plugs are still good. Every car has different methods for checking spark plugs. Read your car's manual to find the spark plugs, then examine them for any rust or other damage. If you can see nothing wrong with them outwardly, call a mechanic for further advice. If the problem is not related to fuel or the spark plugs, there is a more complex issue that requires professional attention.