Why Won’t My Chevy Cruze Start?

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The Chevy Cruze is a solid car. It’s got ample storage space for your daily essentials, and it even has enough room for you and your family.

It has been pretty reliable and is certainly a great buy. It is a dream comes true for anyone looking for a reliable vehicle that doesn’t break the bank.

You’ve probably had this problem before. You are ready to head for the office, and then suddenly, your Chevy Cruze is not starting out of the blue.

It’s a nightmare! You might think, “Why won’t my Chevy Cruze start?” or maybe you’re wondering if you can fix it yourself. Either way, I am here to help.

But before I begin, let’s take a look at the possible sources of issues:

  1. Poor Battery Connections
  2. Failing Spark Plugs
  3. Clogged Fuel Filter
  4. Malfunctioning Fuel Pump
  5. Weak Battery

Lastly, all the issues listed above will be discussed in detail below so make sure to read it till the end.

What Would Cause A Chevy Cruze To Not Start?

If your Chevy Cruze struggles to start, then read my guide to solve the problems

I know you’re probably frustrated and confused, but I want to help.

This section will go through a few of the most common reasons why your Chevy Cruze is having some starting issues, and how you can fix them.

1: Poor Battery Connections

If your Chevy Cruze refuses to start, it could be because of many things.

If you’ve already checked the obvious things like your battery and fuses, your connections are probably a problem.

If you’re having starting problems with your Chevy Cruze, check the battery terminals for corrosion or frayed wires.

They can inhibit the current from flowing from the battery to the starter motor, which means you will not be able to start your engine.

If you find either of these issues, have them repaired before you drive the car again! Both of these issues don’t occur overnight but slowly happen.

They can be prevented, but if you read this, you did not take the proper precautions. So, let’s see what viable solutions are present.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If your Chevy Cruze’s battery connections are corroded, you can use a solution of baking soda and vinegar to clean them.
  • Mix the two in a small bucket, then apply the mixture to the connections.
  • Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then scrub it off with a wire brush.
  • This will clean off the corrosion, allowing proper connections for the current to pass through.
  • Next, check if any wires are frayed or worn out by disconnecting them from their respective terminals on your vehicle’s battery system.
  • If they are damaged in any way, replace them with new ones.

2: Failing Spark Plugs

If you’re having trouble getting your Chevy Cruze to start, one of the first things you should check is your spark plugs.

The spark plug ignites the fuel in the cylinder, so if it’s faulty or failing, it might be causing your Chevy Cruze to not start.

If you think this could be happening, you should not try to drive your car at all.

Even if your vehicle starts after multiple attempts, there is a great risk of stopping in the middle of the road.

This can lead to serious accidents, especially if traveling at high speeds. So, make sure you don’t try to drive your car to the mechanic, as it could be fatal.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you’ve noticed that your Chevy Cruze is struggling to start, or if it’s running rough, it might be time to change your spark plugs.
  • If one fails, the rest probably aren’t far behind—and a new set of plugs will ensure that your car’s engine gets the most efficient combustion possible.
  • I recommend using platinum or iridium plugs only, as these have proven to be the most reliable in terms of longevity and performance.
  • They can last for as long as 100,000 miles, which is pretty impressive.
  • So, settle for nothing less than these qualities of plugs. Avoid copper and silver ones altogether.

3: Clogged Fuel Filter

If you’re unable to start your Chevy Cruze, make sure to check is the fuel filter if you have ruled out the battery and the cables. If it’s clogged, this will prevent the car from starting.

The fuel filter is part of the fuel system and filters out dirt and other contaminants that could cause problems with the engine.

The accepted practice is that the fuel filter should be replaced every 30,000 miles or so—and it should be replaced even if it looks clean.

If you see a change in your fuel economy or your car starts sputtering or stalling when driving at higher speeds, it could be because of a clogged fuel filter.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You’ve got a clogged fuel filter in your Chevy Cruze. If you’re in a hurry, you can try cleaning it yourself.
  • But in most cases, I recommend replacing the fuel filter, especially if your car’s engine is already struggling.
  • If you want to clean your fuel filter, you’ll need to remove the fuel pump relay and disconnect the battery before starting work, as well as have a bucket handy for any debris that comes out of the filter.
  • Even if you pursue this path, it is recommended that you get the filter replaced as soon as possible.
  • A new filter is not costly, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank.

4: Malfunctioning Fuel Pump

The fuel pump is one of the most important parts of your Chevy Cruze.

It supplies fuel from the tank to the engine, and it can be damaged by driving on low fuel or using dirty or contaminated fuel.

If this happens, you might have trouble starting your car.

One sign of a failing pump is that you may hear cranking sounds when trying to start the engine. This happens when combustion cannot take place properly.

The pump cannot send any fuel, so energy cannot be produced to start the engine.

Another symptom is that the engine may stop working if you try to accelerate. This is another indicator that the pump is not working as intended.

What Should You Do About It?

  • First, if you’re planning on replacing the fuel pump yourself, know there is no way to ensure that all of the parts will match up exactly.
  • You can’t just buy an aftermarket part and expect it to work.
  • If you do this and then drive your car with an incompatible fuel pump installed, then it could result in unintended consequences, which will cause even more problems than what you’re trying to fix in the first place.
  • Instead, if you’re looking for a quality replacement part for your Cruze’s fuel pump, talk to someone at Chevrolet directly.
  • They’ll be able to help ensure that the part is correct for your vehicle so that you don’t end up having any other complications later down the line when something doesn’t work as expected.

5: Weak Battery

If your Chevy Cruze refuses to start, the first thing you should check is your battery.

The battery is the heart of your vehicle, and it must be in good condition for the car to start smoothly.

If your car has a weak battery, you might notice that it takes longer than usual to start up. If the engine stalls out or doesn’t start at all, the battery could be dead.

This is common with batteries that are 4 or 5 years old. They have an expected lifespan of this range. This could be due to you forgetting to turn the headlights off, draining them.

It could also be due to a faulty alternator responsible for charging the battery whenever you are on the move. Or it could simply be that it is not charging.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You can test your Chevy Cruze battery’s health using a voltmeter or other device designed for this purpose.
  • First, try charging or jump-starting the car.
  • If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to replace the battery.
  • You may consider using a new AGM battery instead of an old-fashioned lead-acid type.
  • AGM batteries are more expensive than lead-acid, but they hold a charge better and last longer, so it’s worth it in the long run.
  • Plus, batteries like these don’t require any maintenance, which is a huge advantage over conventional batteries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Chevy Cruze Start With New Battery?

There are a few reasons your Chevy Cruze may not be starting with a new battery.

First, you might need to charge the battery. It could be drained if the battery has been sitting for a while and hasn’t charged.

Also, if you are using an older model of the Chevy Cruze, then it could have a faulty starter motor.

Q2. Why Won’t My Chevy Cruze Start Even With A Jump?

The most common reason your Chevy Cruze is having some starting problems after a jump is either the battery is completely dead, or there is corrosion on the terminals.

To test this, try starting your car with a battery charger. If it starts up easily, you know it’s just a matter of charging it back up again. If not, then you need to take the proper steps.

Q3. Why Won’t My Chevy Cruze Start But Lights Work?

If your Chevy Cruze is not starting, but the lights work, the battery may be low on charge, or the alternator could be faulty.

You can jump-start your car with another vehicle to check if your battery is low on charge. If the engine starts up, then it means it is not charging.

You may need to replace the alternator if this is happening.

Q4. Why Won’t My Chevy Cruze Start But Cranks?

First and foremost, if your Chevy Cruze is cranking but not starting, it could be because of faulty spark plugs or a clogged fuel filter.

The first option is more likely to occur, especially if you have been using low-quality spark plugs. Replacing these parts is the only way to alleviate the issue.

Q5. Why Won’t My Chevy Cruze Start Just Clicks?

There are a couple of things that might be causing this problem. First, your battery could be dead and not hold a charge anymore. The starter motor may be faulty.

The starter motor is what turns the engine over when you turn the key in your ignition—if it doesn’t work, then a clicking sound will be produced when you turn the key.

Q6. Why Won’t My Chevy Cruze Start In The Cold Weather?

It’s probably because your battery doesn’t have enough cold cranking amperes (CCA). In other words, it has not been designed to start your engine in low temperatures.

To start up an engine in the cold, you need at least 800 CCA; otherwise, there’s a good chance your car won’t turn over on the first try.

Q7. Why Won’t My Chevy Cruze Start After I Get Gas?

A few things could cause your Chevy Cruze not to start after you’ve filled it up with gas. The fuel filter is one of the most common culprits.

It could have gotten clogged. Secondly, it could be the fuel pump too. It can fail if it is overworked or simply too old.

Q8. Why Won’t My Chevy Cruze Start But Radio Works?

If your Chevy Cruze is having starting problems and the radio works, your battery is likely low on charge. This can happen if you leave the headlights on for a long time.

To fix this problem, buy a charger or jump-start the vehicle to get the alternator to charge the battery again.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Chevy Cruze?


Whether your Chevy Cruze is having some starting problems because of a bad battery, a dead spark plug, or a failed pump, I’ve covered the common issues that will keep your vehicle from starting.

Starting issues are much more common than one would think.

So, if you’re still having trouble and thinking why won’t my Chevy Cruze start, then you should read the article again to find out the problem.

Lastly, if you are not that confident in your abilities, you can always take help from a mechanic.

I hope this article has helped you solve the problem and get back on the road!