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2008 Chevy Cobalt Sport 2.4L engine will not start

My daughters car won't start. My husband took out the starter and had it tested and it is fine. Then he took the battery out of my car and put it in the Cobalt, still doesn't start. The starter is turning but the engine doesn't engage. The fly wheel looks good. Any help would be much appreciated, my daughter is using my car to get to work and to soccer practice for a team she is coaching, I miss my car!


  • I'm confused. Is the engine spinning?? Or are you saying the starter us engaging but not spinning the motor ?? If it's the second then one thing comes to mind, and that is daughter made motor go keplewy. Has any one checked the oil level?? It might be a siezed accessory as well such a ac compressor, or altinator. If it the first we need more info.
  • If the engine sounds like its "trying" to start (as some say) - strongly going RR-RR-RR-RR-RR then skip the starter, battery, flywheel, etc. They are doing their job.

    Use a spark tester or spare plug (any auto parts store) and find out if there is spark. If not, troubleshoot spark.

    Spray some starting fluid (any auto parts store) into the intake and if that gets it to run, even if for a few seconds, then you troubleshoot fuel. It does have gasoline in it doesn't it?
  • I opened another account (strugalug original account) because the last account would not allow posting another comment.
    The Cobalt has gas and oil is fine.
    The starter whines like a pig.
    I removed the starter and had it checked at the part store. Passed 100%. During the test it whines like a pig and the gear does engage. Gear only moves clockwise direction.
    Charged and checked the battery at the part store and it was 100% charged.
    I put the starter back on and it whines like a pig. I tapped wires while trying to start and it whines like a pig. I took off the top wire and it would not whine. Put the wire back on and it whines like a pig.
    Would it make sense to try another starter? The starter whines like a pig and does not engage/start the car, can it be something electronic elsewhere?
  • It sounds like the Bendix gear is stuck. I've never had a parts store check a starter for me so I don't know what they do. Perhaps they just find out if the motor works.

    Yes, you probably need a new starter.
  • Yep, last choice to try a new starter before taking car into a shop.
    Appreciate it!
  • You could have a broken timing belt. An engine being spun by a starter with no compression because the valves are open sounds like a whining pig.
  • I do not hear any whining pig sound coming from anywhere other than from the starter.
  • If the front of the engine is NOT turning and the big ring gear IS turning you have a broken flex plate. That clicking noise in gear you may have heard for awhile now?
  • Dont go to monstersalvage. It looks like sleazy ripoff.
  • I decided to get a starter (i.e. refurbished) in spite of the tester at the part store reporting my starter was 100% OK. The result was successful. The Cobalt started immediately after installation. It seems the tester at the part store does not test a starters ability to provide enough torque/amperage against a flywheel.

    By checking your suggestions, your feedback helped me to reason it still had to be the starter.

    I appreciate it!!!
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