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What to Do When Your 2016 Chevy Colorado Won’t Start

If you own a 2016 Chevy Colorado and you’re having trouble starting it, you’re not alone. There are several reasons why a modern truck might fail to crank, turn over, or fire up, even if it was running fine the day before. Fortunately, as a chief mechanic who specializes in Chevy vehicles, I’ve seen and fixed many common issues that can prevent a Chevy Colorado from starting.

In this blog post, I’ll share some tips and tricks for diagnosing and resolving a no-start condition in a 2016 Chevy Colorado. By following these steps, you can save time, money, and frustration, and get your truck back on the road as soon as possible.

Check the Battery and Connections

The first thing to check when your Chevy Colorado won’t start is the battery. Even if your battery is relatively new or you haven’t had any issues with it before, it may have lost its charge or has a bad cell. You can test your battery’s voltage with a multimeter or a battery tester or jump-start your truck with another vehicle or a portable jump starter. If your truck starts with a jump but doesn’t hold the charge, you may need to replace your battery or have it tested and serviced by a professional.

In addition to the battery itself, you should inspect the battery cables, terminals, and connections for signs of corrosion, looseness, or damage. Over time, these parts can degrade or get dirty, preventing the battery from supplying enough power to the starter and other systems. You can clean and tighten the connections with a wire brush, pliers, and a wrench, or replace the cables and terminals if worn or broken.

Check the Fuel System

Another common cause of a no-start condition in a Chevy Colorado is a problem with the fuel system. This can include issues with the fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel injectors, or fuel lines. To diagnose a fuel-related problem, you can listen to the fuel pump priming sound when you turn the key to the “on” position. If you don’t hear any noise, the pump may be faulty, or the wiring may be damaged. You can also check the fuel pressure with a fuel pressure gauge or a scan tool or inspect the fuel filter for clogs or dirt.

If you suspect the fuel injectors are not working, you can use a noid light or a stethoscope to check for a pulse or clicking sounds when you crank the engine. If you don’t see or hear any signs of fuel injection, the injectors may be clogged, stuck, or faulty. You can also check the fuel lines for leaks or kinks, which can cause fuel starvation or air ingress.

Check the Ignition System

The ignition system is responsible for creating and delivering the spark that ignites the fuel-air mixture in the engine. If any ignition system part fails or malfunctions, your truck may not start or misfire. Some common ignition system components include the ignition switch, ignition coil, spark plugs, distributor, and crankshaft position sensor. To check the ignition system, you can use a spark tester, a timing light, or a scan tool to verify that there is a spark at the spark plugs and that the timing is correct.

If you suspect the ignition switch is faulty, test it with a multimeter or a test light to see if it sends power to the starter and the accessories. If the ignition coil is not producing enough voltage or is shorted, you can test it with an oscilloscope or a coil tester, or you can replace it if it’s worn or damaged. If the spark plugs are fouled or worn, you can replace them with new ones that match the manufacturer’s specifications. If the distributor or the crankshaft position sensor is not sending the proper signal to the computer, you can diagnose it with a scan tool or a voltmeter and replace it if necessary.

Check the Starter and Alternator

The starter and alternator are two critical components that work together to power your truck’s electrical system. If either of these parts is not functioning correctly, your truck may not start or charge the battery. You can listen for a clicking or grinding noise to check the starter when you turn the key to the “start” position. If you hear these sounds, the starter motor may be worn or stuck, but the engine doesn’t crank. You can try tapping it with a hammer or a wrench to free it up or replace it if it’s beyond repair.

To check the alternator, you can use a multimeter or a voltmeter to measure the voltage across the battery terminals when the engine is running. If the voltage is below 13 volts or fluctuates wildly, the alternator may not charge the battery or supply enough power to the electrical system. You can also check the belt tension, the connections, and the alternator’s brushes for signs of wear or damage.

Check the Computer and Sensors

The final section of the troubleshooting guide involves the computer and the sensors that monitor and control various aspects of your truck’s operation. If there is a problem with the computer or a sensor, your truck may not start or may run poorly. Some common sensors that can cause a no-start condition include the mass airflow sensor, the oxygen sensor, the coolant temperature sensor, and the throttle position sensor. To diagnose a sensor-related issue, you can use a scan tool to read the codes and data from the computer and compare them to the specifications and the symptoms.

If you suspect the computer is faulty, you can try resetting it by disconnecting the battery for a few minutes and reconnecting it. This can clear any stored codes or glitches interfering with the startup sequence. If the computer or a sensor is faulty, you may need to replace it or have it reprogrammed by a qualified technician.

In conclusion, a no-start condition in a 2016 Chevy Colorado can be caused by various factors, ranging from a dead battery to a faulty sensor. Following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can systematically check and eliminate the most common causes of a no-start condition, and eventually diagnose and fix the root cause.

Of course, suppose you’re uncomfortable or confident in performing these tests or repairs yourself. Consult a certified mechanic or take your truck to a reputable service center. Remember, the sooner you address a no-start condition, the easier and cheaper it is to fix it, and the safer and more reliable your truck will be.