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Vauxhall Chevette
Non-start trouble shooter
A spark plug, or something

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Having problems starting your Chevette? Maybe this list will help...

Starter will not turn engine (Headlamps become dim after a minute.) 1. Battery discharged. 1. Check charging system and charge battery.
2. Battery faulty. 2. Fit new battery.
Starter will not turn engine (Headlamps dim when starter switch operated.) 1. Bad connection on battery terminal. 1. Clean and tighten battery terminals.
2. Starter jammed. 2. Rock car in gear (Manual.)

Remove starter and free pinion (Automatic.)

3. Seized engine. 3. Establish cause of seized engine and rectify.
Starter will not turn engine (Headlamps stay bright.) 1. Disconnected or loose engine earth. 1. Reconnect or tighten earth.
2. Gear lever not in P or N. (Auto.) 2. Select P or N.
3. Wrongly adjusted or faulty inhibitor switch. 3. Adjust or replace inhibitor switch.
4. Starter solenoid faulty. 4. Fit new solenoid.
5. Starter pinion not engaging. 5. Remove starter and free off pinion.
6. Starter pinion/ring gear teeth damaged. 6. Replace pinion/ring gear.
7. Starter motor faulty. 7. Fit new starter motor.
8. Starter solenoid connections loose. 8. Tighten connections.
9. Faulty starter/ignition switch. 9. Fit new switch.
Engine turns slowly but will not start 1. Battery partly discharged. 1. Recharge battery and check charging system.
2. Faulty battery. 2. Fit new battery.
3. Loose or corroded battery terminals. 3. Clean and tighten terminals.
4. Loose or disconnected engine earth. 4. Reconnect or tighten earth.
5. Faulty starter motor. 5. Fit new starter motor.
6. Partially seized engine. 6. Establish cause and rectify.
Engine turns but will not fire 1. Ignition fault. 1. Check for spark at plug lead.
2. No spark at plug lead. 2. Check coil output to confirm high or low tension fault. If spark from coil, check HT leads, distributor cap and rotor arm, particularly for cracks, tracking or dampness. If no spark from coil, check ignition-coil connections and contact-breaker points for short circuits or disconnection.
3. Mixture not reaching cylinders. 3. Check petrol feed to carburettor by disconnecting fuel feed pipe and actuating pump. If no petrol, look into carburettor intake, operate throttle, observe whether damp or dry. If dry, clean jets, needle valve, internal filters etc.
4. Engine flooded (over-use of choke.) 4. Remove spark plugs, dry, clean, and check gaps. Refit and start car with throttle held fully open.
5. Inadequate tappet clearances. 5. Adjust tappets.
Engine backfires 1. Inadequate tappet clearances. 1. Adjust tappets.
2. Ignition timing incorrect. 2. Check and reset ignition timing.
3. Contact breaker points dirty or incorrectly set. 3. Check and reset points.
4. Damp distributor cap or leads. 4. Dry thoroughly.
5. Cracked or tracking distributor cap/rotor arm. 5. Fit new cap/rotor arm.
6. Incorrect plug lead positioning. 6. Check and re-position leads.

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