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'07 Chevy Cobalt LS cranks, but won't start!


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Mashumaro
Novice

May 30, 2016, 12:34 PM

Post #1 of 10 (2533 views)
post icon '07 Chevy Cobalt LS cranks, but won't start! Sign In

Okay, so Saturday the 28th, I was heading over to go to my mother's house an hour away and needed to get gas considering I only had 1/8th of a tank left. I stopped at a Shell station and put $15 worth of gasoline in my car, so I know for a fact that there is gas in the tank! When I got done putting gas in, I got back in my car to start it up, but it wouldn't start. The engine would turn but that's all it would do. I had no problems cranking it and starting it when I initially left from my house, or the day before when I went to get groceries, so I don't know what the problem could possibly be. My husband called his friend who knows a good bit about cars to come and see what he thought the problem is, and he got me to try and start the car so he could listen to the engine and he said it sounded like it wasn't getting gas. He then had me turn the key to the ACC position to see if he could hear the fuel pump priming, and he didn't hear it. Mind you, my car was at a gas station by a busy intersection on Memorial Day weekend so there were cars everywhere and cops on motorcycles pulling people over left and right. My mom also said it might be the fuel pump too, because she has a bit of experience diagnosing cars after watching my dad do it for so many years. The concern we all had was this clicking sound when I started it.
(I may try to upload an audio file later of what it sounds like when I try to start my car if I'm allowed to do so, this is the first time making a post on this site so I'm not sure.)
Earlier today when my mom was bringing me back home, we stopped by AutoZone and O'Reilly's to see if they would allow us to borrow a OBD2 scanner so I could diagnose my problem, but they told me that my car had to actually be at the store to do it. I guess where my mom lives, they allow you to borrow them if you leave a valid ID with them. Not here! I can't say I blame them though -- they're pretty expensive. But just a few minutes ago, I went outside to see if I could hear the fuel pump turn on since it's a whole lot quieter outside since it's late and there's not a busy road nearby. I turned my my to the ACC position and didn't hear it, so I turned it back off for a few seconds and tried again. I kept doing this for a minute or two just to make sure that the problem we were having at the gas station wasn't just noise pollution, and sure enough I heard it hum for about 4 seconds. I tried starting it immediately after I heard it but it just wouldn't start. I know Chevrolet vehicles, or GM vehicles in general, have had electrical issues in the past because I've had problems with mine and my cousin who owns a Chevrolet truck has had similar problems to what I've been having. Not to mention that I have looked up what could be the reason my coolant wasn't reading about 90% of the time and causing my A/C not to work. I found quite a few people having that same problem, along with many others that I've also had. Additional information about these problems will be discussed if requested.

Some useful information: Everything that has been recalled, I have taken in to get fixed. When I first got my car, the fuel pump problem was the one that was out. The guys at Chevrolet said that mine had already been replaced. If it had been replaced, then why was I smelling a strong gas smell inside AND outside of my car?? It took FOUR YEARS and the threat of a lawsuit (if something were to happen to me) to get them to finally replace it. So the fuel pump is only three years old. I don't know if they just put a crappy one in there to get us to leave them alone, but for some reason it's not working quite right now. (The engine size is 2.2L and the mileage is about 99,300. I'm adding this in here because I copied and pasted this post from another forum because I wasn't getting responses there so I thought I'd try here instead, and the forums require me to post that bit of information.)

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to take my car to a mechanic just yet if I can help it.



kev2
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kev2 profile image

May 30, 2016, 1:03 PM

Post #2 of 10 (2530 views)
Re: '07 Chevy Cobalt LS cranks, but won't start! Sign In

Sorry there is no way to diagnose without some testing..
Is the engine cranking trying to start OR there is just clicking?


if it is cranking but not starting -



first we would scan for codes, BUT you might want to concentrate on FUEL PRESSURE tests first.
you said the coolant was not reading - ignoring the cooling gauge may have compounded your problem - letting fuel get that low is not recommended as we have seen the low levels affect pump performance.
For some reason we often see pumps fail when tanks are refueled - a annoying quirk to complicate the job.


SO check fuel pressure - will need a gauge AND a scanner to check for codes.


Advise if its just clicking...


(This post was edited by kev2 on May 30, 2016, 1:07 PM)


Mashumaro
Novice

May 30, 2016, 1:35 PM

Post #3 of 10 (2527 views)
Re: '07 Chevy Cobalt LS cranks, but won't start! Sign In

Thanks for the quick reply! I definitely wasn't getting any on that other forum which is specifically for Chevy Cobalts.
There is coolant in the reservoir, and it's filled up to the required levels. I think the sensor is just bad honestly, because when it DOES work the coolant temperature is usually around 192 degrees. The engine IS most definitely cranking but it's not starting. I can hear the engine turning and everything. My husband's dad said that the clicking noise might be something grounding out, but there's no way to know without using a scanner. I don't have any tools myself, and neither does my husband. We live about an hour away from any family so it's out of their way to bring stuff to us, which is unfortunate.
Last night and this morning I watched some troubleshooting videos and one thing I watched said to watch the RPM gauge to see if it's reading while I try to crank it. When I turned the key to the ACC position, I heard the fuel pump both before and after I tried to crank the car, so it's got power to it, but I'm wondering why it primes about half of the time. I'm worried there's a short somewhere. When I tried to crank the car, I didn't see the RPM meter move until after I turned the key back to ACC and only then, it just "jumped" to around .5 RPMs.


kev2
Veteran
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May 30, 2016, 2:18 PM

Post #4 of 10 (2520 views)
Re: '07 Chevy Cobalt LS cranks, but won't start! Sign In

as for looking at the RPM gauge to confirm (crank sensor) ignition status - Easily would show up with a scanner .
BUT You could easily check for spark at several plugs, simple easy test and would confirm ignition status...


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 30, 2016, 2:23 PM

Post #5 of 10 (2520 views)
Re: '07 Chevy Cobalt LS cranks, but won't start! Sign In


Quote
When I tried to crank the car, I didn't see the RPM meter move until after I turned the key back to ACC and only then, it just "jumped" to around .5 RPMs.


That's usually a pretty good indicator of a bad Crank Position Sensor although the system still needs to be tested to find out.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Mashumaro
Novice

May 30, 2016, 3:20 PM

Post #6 of 10 (2516 views)
Re: '07 Chevy Cobalt LS cranks, but won't start! Sign In

I wouldn't be surprised if it was a bad crank sensor. I've had problem with sensors and other electrical things ever since I first drove the car out of the parking lot after buying it. First the front speakers wouldn't come on until I was almost home, and that was only after I had been driving a little ways. When they did come on, the music was turned up decently loud and it scared the $#!7 out of me. They have hardly ever worked since then, and this was in 2009. The next thing that happened was the gearshifter lights would start to go out. They would be on and then go off until I banged around on the panel. And then the thing with the coolant not reading. The most recent thing is the stereo clock doing the same thing as the gearshifter lights, not wanting to stay on. All of these problems I have looked up and many people have experienced the exact same problems with the Cobalt model, so I'm pretty sure something is electrically wrong with the car. My husband's dad says he has a scanner we could use but he has to have a day off from work to bring it to us. I doubt any of the problems I just mentioned have anything to do with my car not cranking, but it could mean that there's a short somewhere. I've had family and friends with Chevy vehicles that had one small thing go out, like a headlight wire having a short in it, and that caused the whole car to not work.

I just find it strange that the car cranked fine when I left to get gas, and as soon as I put gas in the tank it didn't want to start. I can't think of why that would happen. Unsure


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

May 30, 2016, 4:18 PM

Post #7 of 10 (2507 views)
Re: '07 Chevy Cobalt LS cranks, but won't start! Sign In

Be careful with some of these vehicles. The old saying that an engine won't run without a crank sensor signal can get you into trouble. There are engines that will run without a crank sensor pulse and there are some that won't run without a cam sensor signal pulse. I believe your vehicle is one that could run without a CKP pulse. The PCM will set a crank sensor code if it doesn't detect a crank sensor signal within so many engine revolutions during cranking. You should have the PCM scanned for codes.

If you think the fuel pump died, try spraying some starting fluid into the intake and see if the engine will run off that. If it does run, you can rule out lots of things and then proceed to checking fuel pressure and injector pulse.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on May 30, 2016, 4:23 PM)


Mashumaro
Novice

May 30, 2016, 5:18 PM

Post #8 of 10 (2504 views)
Re: '07 Chevy Cobalt LS cranks, but won't start! Sign In


Quote
The old saying that an engine won't run without a crank sensor signal can get you into trouble.

What do you mean by that? What kind of trouble?

I'll ask my husband to see if his dad figured out a way to get the scanner over here so I can scan anything. I don't have any starting fluid and I don't even know where the intake is. I'm completely ignorant when it comes to working on cars.
There is also this plastic cover over the engine that I'm not sure how to remove since I don't know what to look for under the hood.

^^^ Not my car, but it is identical all except my car isn't black.

There was also something that came up when I was talking to a friend whose dad is a mechanic. He suggested maybe one (or more) of the sparkplugs could be bad or may have blown out. I read up on some symptoms of bad sparkplugs and one of the was a "rough idle" or slight vibration or jerking while idling. I did notice some vibration but I didn't think anything of it. Is it possible that just having a bad plug would cause the engine not to start?


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

May 30, 2016, 5:47 PM

Post #9 of 10 (2498 views)
Re: '07 Chevy Cobalt LS cranks, but won't start! Sign In

People can throw all kinds of guess out there, but until the no start is troubleshot there won't be a definite answer. You really should have a reputable repair shop check this out. The repair shop will charge you a check out time, usually an hour's labor, and give you an estimate on repairing it. Then you can decide if you want to perform the repair yourself. If you start throwing parts at it, you'll probably end up wasting time and money.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Mashumaro
Novice

May 30, 2016, 6:07 PM

Post #10 of 10 (2495 views)
Re: '07 Chevy Cobalt LS cranks, but won't start! Sign In

Oh yeah, definitely. I wasn't planning on buying any parts until I was able to scan the computer for problems.






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