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

asked by on

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.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. 2001 Chevy Malibu lights turn on but won't start

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Q: Car blowing cold air

The lack of heat being generated by your system may indicate a clogged heater core. The [heater core]((https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/heater-is-not-working-inspection) is a small radiator like unit that circulates the hot coolant from the engine through the heater core which then uses this...

Q: Battery dying and both alternator and battery passed for good when inspected

If the battery passes a load test and charging system output has been measured and is within specifications, the only reason a battery will discharge is if the car sits for a long period of time (batteries will self-discharge even...

Q: 2003 Chevy Maliby shakes when it's put in drive

Realize that, at that age, those things can get worn. First check for vacuum leaks. If you don't find any vacuum leaks, then try and have the fuel injection system cleaned. A lot of times, the cleaning would help. If...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...