Q: 2001 Chevy Malibu lights turn on but won't start

asked by on February 04, 2017

My car gave no indication of something like this possibly happening. I come out of work to find my car unable to start. The only thing that happens with the key in the ignition are the lights coming on, otherwise, its quiet. As if no attempts are being made to turn over the engine. I tried to jump my car via AAA but to no avail. I'm thinking it could easily be the ignition switch or alternator. I've taken very good care of my car overall, however lately I've been slacking on oil changes and basic maintenance for the last few months. Maybe that's why? I've driven to work and parked the car this morning with no problem. Extremely shocked this happened.

My car has 170000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It sounds like what you are describing may be related to a faulty starter relay. The starter relay directs power from the battery to the starter solenoid which then engages the starter when you turn the key. When this is not working properly, you may notice intermittent starting problems including no response when turning the key to start. Generally, when this does fail, it does so very randomly and usually without warning other than intermittent starting. The power from the battery will still power other accessories such as radio, horn, etc., but you may not have any power to the starter. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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