Recurring non-starter on HHR

I purchased a used 2008 HHR and have had problems with it not starting - had to have it towed to the dealership twice already, each time the fix was different and did not last. IT JUST WON’T START.
We bought the car with a bad engine, exchanged for good engine (don’t ask, dirty language), took it to dealership, they checked it over and gave it a clean health bill.
Then: it won’t start - back to dealer (towed) : short near the battery
drove it for a while
then: it won’t start - back to dealer (towed) : new ignition switch (recall), new starter relay
drove it for a while
then: it won’t start, noticed that gas pump did not come on: replaced gas pump relay
drove it for a few weeks (getting to like the critter)
THEN: it WON’T START (gas pump comes on, but engine won’t turn over)

Battery good, cables good, starter good

What next?

You need to have the fuel pressure checked. You can squirt starter fluid in the intake and if it starts, the it’s a fuel problem. If not, then you need to check spark.

it does not crank

Possibly the neutral safety switch. Try shifting to neutral from park.

Thank You, but I already did :frowning:
I wiggled it etc - but it is high on the list probable culprits
I really don’t want to pay for a 3rd TOW!

Did the starter get replaced?

“…then: it won’t start, noticed that gas pump did not come on: replaced gas pump relay”

That time, it did crank, right? Anyway, at this point, given the current “no crank”, I’d throw a neutral safety switch on it and go from there.

actually, it did not.
Well, the dealership towed it again - and they say the starter is kaputt. Just so suddenly: OUT. (When it was towed the first time, they told me they bench-tested the starter - hmmm)There was never a “starts with difficulty” only ever “starts or not”.
Keeping fingers crossed, that this is the end of it!!!

I feel your pain. I just purchased a 2008 HHR about a month ago. My engine refused to turn over a couple of times but I just push started it since it’s a 5 speed. When it refused to turn over a third time…I just pushed it so the engine just turned over. When I tried the key…it started just fine. I think that’s a classic case of a bad spot on the starter or in other words…a bad starter. A good mechanic friend of mine said that these HHR’s are known to have bad starters and starter solenoids as well. I ordered one today and it goes on the little beast this weekend.

Can someone tell me how a fuel pump relay can cause a “no-crank” condition?

THe OP isn’t sure himself…that’s why he’s here!!!


I’m seeing if the dealership is as incompetent as they seem to be, i.e., throwing parts at the problem.

I can see your point @insightful, but I read it that it was the OP that decided to change out the
pump relay…not the dealership.
I thought that he may have just not heard the pump come on.


Good point, @Yosemite. Now I wonder if OP related the “no crank” to the dealership.

I was wondering the same @insightful; Sometimes we need an interpitor to understand what the
OP meant. Not that they are doing anything wrong…we just have different languages than the poeple that come and post here.

Then there’s my new keyboard that must be just different enough that I keep hitting the lower row of lettersvinsteadcofvcthe keyboard…like that!!!