It just "died" in an intersection and never started back up


Asked by Sera-Leigh Feb 21, 2020 at 03:07 PM about the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

This occurred over the summer and it now being
February (I mention the times for duration/sitting
issues that could be contributing to it but also as
anyone who has had a cobalt can testify amongst
a lot of it's issues i.e. ignition, relay etc, overheating
is a common thing as well yet this time the gauge
was sitting at well under 200F)

We were at an intersection in the city and it just
"died", i recall previously a few days before that i
remember hearing a slight "ticking" when in neutral
and while accelerating. Since I've had a car blow a
rod on me, checked all fluids, esp oil and shrugging
was fine.

Had it towed and unsure what the issue may be. I
have a few friends who think they're mechanics but
i really don't feel like having a half torn apart car
from a shade tree mechanic, but also am low on

I'm also unsure if the ticking is even related to what
the issue may be, but figured I'd mention it. Perfect
world it isn't something like ignition & relay
because i like being able to take the key out while
its running for a quick dip inside somewhere, but if
that's what's most probable then I wouldn't refrain
from getting it fixed because getting from A to B is
top priority.

I keep thinking maybe it might be a broken timing
chain but idk. Have had it looked at and only had
non-committal answers. It being an 05', have
tempted just salvaging it but seems like a waste
since it was running beautifully before that abrupt
stop and then never starting back up.

1 Answer


Been there. Sounds like a timing chain to me, although it could be other things. Unfortunately when the timing chain goes on that engine it usually results in valve damage when the valves collide with the pistons... so it is not likely worth repairing. Does it turn over at all? If not I'd presume the worst and start car shopping. If it still spins it might be worth looking further. Fuel pumps can fail without warning and aren't too serious t repair. Scan for trouble codes and confirm if the fuel pump is working. (Listen for it. Check fuel pressure). And no, definitely don't let a wannabe mechanic start working on it. That is almost guaranteed to end in disaster.

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