Why Won’t My Chevy Equinox Start?

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This series of mid-sized compact crossover SUVs was introduced in 2004 and replaced many other models such as the Chevrolet Tracker, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, and Chevrolet Captiva Sports people were hoping for a spectacular car by the company.

While the Chevy Equinox was able to wow many customers and car enthusiasts, it was not all good as the occasional owner had to ask, “Why won’t my Chevy Equinox start?”.

These people would be met with mixed reasons, ranging from simple issues related to the battery to more complex problems in the fuel system.

The major problems preventing the Chevy Equinox from starting were as follows:

  1. Failed Starter
  2. Faulty Fuel Pumps
  3. Faults In Alternator
  4. Ignition Issues
  5. Battery Issues

If you think you are facing any of these problems or have no idea how to figure out if these problems cause your Chevy Equinox not to turn over, this article was written just for you.

What Would Cause A Chevy Equinox To Not Start?

If my Chevy Equinox is not turning out, what could be wrong and how to cope with the issue? Read my guide to solve the problem

There are a lot of components that have to work together in a car to simply make it start.

The ignition system, fuel system, starting system, and electrical system all have to be in sync if you want to start and drive your car, which is why several faults can exist that prevent your Chevy Equinox from starting.

I will analyze all of these issues in this section of the article.

1: Failed Starter

The starter is designed to get the engine of your Chevy Equinox rotating.

It works by being supplied enough power via the battery to start and turn the motor which will then turn the engine.

A clear sign that you have a bad starter on your hands is if you hear a single or repeated clicking coming from the engine.

This sign could also point toward issues in the alternator or the battery, which is why you must be certain that the problem lies in the starter.

Other signs of a defective starter include the starter engaging but the motor not doing so, the starter staying on after starting, and smoke emitting from the engine.

If you see any of these issues and issues like stalling, you are likely suffering from a failed starter.

Starter motor failure is also very common, so ensure you inspect the starter and solenoid.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you believe the starter is the culprit, you should head down to the mechanic and present the issue.
  • Determine whether the entire starter is at fault or if the issue is isolated to the solenoid or the motor.
  • Replace the afflicted part of the starter or get a new starter entirely.
  • Now that you have a perfectly working starter, you should ensure that it stays healthy and does not suffer any more faults and defects.
  • This can be done by making sure that the starter does not overheat.
  • Regularly clean the motor and the solenoid.

2: Faulty Fuel Pumps

Have you ever wondered how the fuel reaches the engine from the tank? When you fill your Chevy Equinox with gas, it is stored in the tank, so how does it end up in the engine?

The answer is through the fuel pumps. This component pushes the fuel from the gas tank into the engine, ensuring that the engine is given sufficient fuel to keep running.

If for some reason, the fuel pumps become defective, then the amount of fuel reaching the engine will be lowered or cut altogether, preventing the car from starting.

A good way to identify issues in the fuel pump is to look for leaks or loud sounds.

If you feel the engine is outputting less power than usual or is facing regular stalling, these signs can also point toward faulty fuel pumps.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you are facing difficulty in starting the Chevy Equinox and believe the fuel pumps are to blame, try attaching a fuel pressure gauge to the engine.
  • This will allow you to start the car and should let you know that the fuel pumps are defective.
  • You should get to a mechanic as soon as possible to have the faulty fuel pumps replaced.
  • It is recommended to get new pumps as opposed to fixing new ones as it is more economical.
  • Henceforth, you should take good care of your new fuel pumps by regular cleaning and fuel filter changing.

3: Faults In Alternator

A bad alternator can cause many problems, which is why you should try your best to take care of this sensitive component.

Alternators are usually very reliable components and do not break easily, which is why many people attribute the failings of their alternator to their battery.

The objective of the alternator is to essentially charge the battery and prevent its charge from depleting.

Without a charged battery, the Chevy Equinox cannot hope to start successfully, which is why the alternator has a very big role to play.

Furthermore, there are several risks if you drive with a faulty alternator.

You can end up sinking hundreds of dollars on new batteries and replacements only to find out the issue was with the alternator.

A few signs to tell if you have a bad alternator include a dead battery, battery warning light, whining noises, dim internal lights, and slow starting.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Until you fix your alternator, your Chevy Equinox will be inoperable, so you need to arrange a fix via a mechanic.
  • If your car displays these signs, you should book a trip to the mechanic as soon as possible.
  • You can get to the mechanic via jumpstarting the car or calling a tow service.
  • Once the alternator has been replaced, you should try to maintain the component for the rest of its natural life.
  • You can do this by keeping the alternator clear of debris, dirt, and grime near its exterior.

4: Ignition Issues

As you can guess from the name, the ignition system exists to ignite the fuel inside the engine.

This is done by sending a very high voltage from the battery to each spark plug, causing the fuel in the engine’s combustion chambers to ignite.

This gives the car energy to move from one place to the next.

There can be various ignition issues in the Chevy Equinox, such as a defective ignition switch, a worn ignition cylinder due to extensive usage, steering wheel binding, and even immobilizer issues.

All of these can extensively damage various car systems, eventually making it very difficult to start the car.

If you find it difficult to turn the key off your Chevy Equinox or see that it takes some time to respond, only to stall and eventually die out, then chances are you are dealing with an ignition system issue that a mechanic best handles.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Narrow down the problem to the part which gives the ignition the most trouble and attempt to carry out the following fixes.
  • If your ignition lock is not turning, try to wiggle the key and attempt to turn.
  • Check to see if the steering wheel has not bound the lock, which causes turn the wheel back and forth until the cylinder is freed.
  • If you think the cylinder has worn out and is past its time, you can get a new lock set and cylinder.
  • If the cause lies in the ignition switch, then simply replace the ignition switch via a trip to the mechanic.

5: Battery Issues

The most common component that tends to give drivers trouble is the battery.

Whenever there is an issue with the car, people quickly think that it is the battery’s fault, and most of the time, they are right.

The battery is very easy to mismanage and can easily lose its charge if you do not take care of it, which is why you should try your best to protect it from the elements and replace it every 4 to 5 years.

The battery is crucial for supplying power to the Chevy Equinox for starting purposes and for internal gadgets and lights.

The car’s battery is an essential part of the starting system without which one cannot hope to start their car, which is why a lot of importance is given to the battery.

If your car starts to have trouble starting, internal lights dim, or if you start seeing electrical issues, you should instinctively check the battery for issues.

One or two jumps should get the battery back to normal, but if you repeatedly find yourself jumpstarting the battery, it is best to get a replacement.

What Should You Do About It?

  • In most cases, a simple jumpstart should be able to get you by before you end up replacing the battery.
  • Simply get a car with a healthy battery and connect jumper cables to it, then connect the cables to the dead battery and start the Chevy Equinox’s engine with a good battery.
  • Leave it on for around 10 minutes; your battery should be good for one trip.
  • If you think this is a temporary fix, you should use the trip you have and get yourself a replacement battery, which should last you 4 to 5 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Have you recently installed a new battery inside your Chevy Equinox and been surprised that the car is not starting?

If this is the case, then you should check to see if the battery has been installed properly or not.

If the issue existed before replacing the battery, it should be obvious that the problem is either in the starting or fuel systems.

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

If your Chevy Equinox has a dead battery, it should be temporarily solved via a jumpstart, but if the issue does not lie in the battery, the jumpstart will not do anything.

If the jumpstart fails to help start the car, you should check the alternator and ignition system of the car. After this, you should also check the fuel system if you cannot find any issues.

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

If your Chevy Equinox cannot start, but the lights work just fine, you may have a depleted battery on your hands that has enough juice to turn on the lights but not enough to turn on the car.

Alternatively, you could also have issues in the car’s starting system, which could be limiting how much of the car starts, or issues in the ignition system.

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

If your Chevy Equinox shows signs of cranking, you should stop looking for issues in the starting and electrical systems, as these two are not the cause of the problem.

Instead, you should check the fuel system and see whether the fuel pumps can send the fuel from the tank to the engine adequately or not.

More often than not, the fuel pumps will likely cause concern.

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

The Chevy Equinox clicking instead of start could mean a lot of different things but for the most part. You should assume that the problem is likely within the car’s electrical system.

Possible components causing the issue could be the battery, the alternator, or even the starter motor, so you need to have all these components checked by a professional.

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

The cold weather can do a number on the health of your vehicle, which is why you should generally avoid leaving your Chevy Equinox out in the cold weather.

It starts by making the oil thick, forcing you to have it flushed out and changed. Additionally, it depletes the battery much faster, preventing the car from starting.

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

If you just got a full tank of gas but still cannot turn over your Chevy Equinox, you should start by checking if the problem is with the battery or ignition.

If everything seems to be fine, then you might want to check out the fuel system and see if the fuel you just got is even getting to the car’s engine or not.

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

If your Chevy Equinox’s radio is working just fine, but the car itself is not starting, then once again, you might have a case of a bad or defective battery that has a depleted charge.

A quick jumpstart should be able to fix the issue. Worst case scenario, you’re looking for a new battery. Alternatively, the problem could lie in the cables and the battery’s terminals.

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


The Chevy Equinox was able to gather a lot of support from fans, and many people enjoyed owning the vehicle, but there is bound to be a group of people who face issues and go, “Why Won’t My Chevy Equinox Start?”.

With the various problems mentioned above, it can be hard to figure out where the issue lies but as long as you follow the instructions in the article and make sure to follow the advice that I have listed.

You should see all of these problems go away and never return, giving you the quality riding experience that you deserve.