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Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe No Start problems

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  • Greetings,

    My ’98 Chevy Tahoe, 223K miles has become slightly difficult to start. I must turn the engine over for two seconds wait three seconds then hit the starter again for two seconds, then it runs and runs like a top. This started in August and occurs independent of heat or humidity. If it has been recently driven it also starts right up. I have replaced the spark plugs, high tension coil, distributer cap and fuel filter resulting in a slight improvement. The fuel pump was replaced by the dealership at 150K miles. Thank you in advance for your guidance.

    Thanks Again,
  • alanrsalanrs Posts: 25
    Your truck should have the 5.7L "L31" V-8, with a Central Sequential Fuel Injection system. Here is a basic starting option: Instead of rotating the key to the "Start" spot when you first get into the Tahoe, turn it only to "Run". Wait several seconds while fuel pressure builds in the system, since the fuel pump will be activated until full pressure is achieved. Then, without turning the key off, go ahead and rotate the key into the "Start" detent.

    If the motor starts immediately, what it will tell you is this: There is likely a loss of fuel pressure between the time that the motor is turned off, and you start it again. There may be a very slight leak (even inside the tank at the pump) in a line, or a check valve which is supposed to hold pressure between runs is failing. Unless there is an external leak, it is probably nothing to worry about, and it does not indicate an imminent fuel pump failure. Can you detect the odor of gasoline anywhere around the truck or in the engine compartment? A failing fuel injector system may allow the pressure loss from the fuel rail, and let gas trickle into the engine. If the oil on your dipstick smells strongly like gasoline, that is the likely culprit, and it should be repaired.

    In the old days when the mechanical fuel pump was mounted to the side of engines, a leak could cause gas to quickly fill up the crank-case. The results were not good!

    If it still requires the crank, wait, and crank again method before the engine will start, it just may indicate that the motor has lost some compression, and takes a few extra rotations to build sufficient cylinder pressure for combustion. That does not necessarily mean that the motor is nearing the end of it's life cycle, either. Some wear is always normal, considering how many miles each piston has traveled in its bore through a quarter of a million on the road. Basic calculations lead me to believe that each piston has probably traveled 99,000 miles, moving 3.5 inches up and down with each rotation of the crank!

    A third option which comes to mind is that the fuel injectors are no longer producing as broad or well-atomized spray patterns as they did when they were newer. There are cleaners used through the fuel which can help, but the only real answer might be to service (replace) the injection system, not a task that is lightly undertaken. Note that the CSFI system is fully enclosed inside of the top intake manifold. There are many discussions regarding that system to be found on the 'net, and it would be good reading to further your understanding of how it works and what it looks like. There is at least one Multi-Port Fuel Injection system which can be utilized as a replacement, and there may be benefits in doing that conversion.

    Typically, if the CSFI system is at fault, the engine will not run well at all, and fuel economy will suffer a lot. Still, if the motor runs well, but that system is indeed leaking raw fuel into the crank-case between engine runs, it may be necessary to do something about it. Understand that it will be expensive!

    Good luck! :)
  • Running fine, residential area, turned a corner two blocks from my house, suddenly, the engine had little and deteriorating power. Any gas pedal press only produced limited response. At just a little over idle (10-15 mph, almost like coasting uphill slightly), I made it home and into the garage. Put it into park, could not get any RPM response with a gas pedal press, the attempt caused it to stall and quit. Let it sit for a little while, can start but will only idle with trouble, will stall out if I press the gas pedal. This was a very sudden condition, never happened before (only owned it for 3 months, ran very well so far) The fuel pump has been loud since I bought it. The engine is a Vortec 5300. I've already replaced 2 fuel pumps in the last year (Both in tank of a 99 Ford Windstar and a 98 olds 88). I probably can handle it but would appreciate any suggestions before I undertake this project if anyone suspects a different cause to my loss of power or if I can pretty much have confidence that the fuel pump is indeed kaput. Thanks
  • alanrsalanrs Posts: 25
    Certainly sounds like the pump to me. To confirm it, see if your local auto parts store lends tools (some do in my area) and use a fuel pressure tester.
    When the pump failed on my Suburban, I had just left a business, headed for a freeway. The truck was stumbling and would not accelerate on the entrance ramp. I managed about two miles @ 50mph, and there was no power for acceleration. When I got off at the next exit, the engine quit while I coasted around the curve. As yours, it would sometimes restart but not run. The pump was it, and the replacement job is a BEAR!

    Regarding what to look out for during the pump change: You might want to scan the "Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe No Start Problems" and the "Chevy Suburban/Tahoe Rough Idle and Stalling" discussions. I know I posted the procedure I used somewhere in this forum, but can't find it right now. One partipant listed what he did, post #347 in the "No Start" thread. Because it was cold when I did the pump, and because it was old, I had to cut the large diameter filler hose which connects directly to the tank to get it off more easily. Be forewarned: Although less than 18" long, that hose is $150!!! :mad:
  • We have a 2007 Tahoe with same problems. went to dealership while under warranty...even called factory GMC and gave me the runaround. Bottom line was the dealer we purchased from put in their own security anti-theft device and many times when going out to start would do nothing. We went to dealership after the 2008 economic melt down and our current administration closing all these dealerships including the one we purchased ours from ...and leaving us with little recourse because we were told the buying dealer has to take it off...and any other dealer (we took ours to 3) wanted $925) to remove it. We found a company Allied Dealer Services in SAn Juan Capistrano, Ca 949-234-1900 if you're in this area and a guy named Mark Jones came out and removed it for $60.00. The factory told us if a secondary device was installed it would be in our paperwork NOT!!!! and acted like I was lying to them. All of them just a bunch of crooks trying to take your money.
    No problems for two years

    Then yesterday pulled it out of the garage and went ot start it again and nothing dead again...called Triple A they came out tested the battery, had Allied out to test the fuses and other components and he found nothing accept back door windows don't open, engine is dead won't turn over, door locks won't work and lights won't work. Someone told us ot disconnect the battery...THAT DOES NOT WORK AND MAKES IT WORSE. Now no headlights and car is really dead...nothing works.

    Finally had it towed to Allen Cadillac and I am told it is the BCM module for $700 I can have it repaired.

    Really crappy deal you have to have the GM Computer Machinery to fix a car as it is all computerized...used to be able to buy a part and replace it yourself.

    I think they want you to have to pay them to fix everything...and then charge you hundreds of dollars for labor. For instance you can buy this part for $243.00 but they are charging over $500 for labor that probably takes less than a half hour to fix. Even under the warranty manual repair the rate they get paid to replace the BCM is probably a lot less than what they are charging me now.

    So I asked the dealer today....shouldn't this be covered under warranty since this car has been brought in for this problem since it was new? They said well it's out of warranty now and we can't do anything for you....ot call the factory and ask them...maybe they will reimburse you.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,003
    Hello nomorexcusesgm,

    I'm sorry that you're having this issue with your vehicle. However, I would like to look into your concern. Can you please email your issue with the Tahoe to socialmedia@gm.com (attn: Marlea)? I look forward to your response and assisting you.

    Marlea W.
    GM Customer Service
  • I have a similar situation with my 2005 Tahoe. While the car was locked, my daughter tried to open the passenger side door. This caused the alarm to go off. It quit on its own after several minutes. The next morning the car wouldn't start. The horn was strong. Lights bright. Radio worked but would not crank. I noticed a clicking sound coming from the rear side passenger's door. I opened and closed the rear passenger's door and it cranked right up. Anytime it wouldn't crank, I would repeat the open/close door solution and it worked. It is December 2, 2013 and I have not had the problem since June 22, 2013. I remember the date because it was my wedding day and the sucker wouldn't crank! I left it and after the wedding, it cranked. The problem is back. The clicking noise is now located in the front passenger side door. Opening the passenger front door and leaving it open during start up works half the time. If you try and open a locked door, the speed odometer pegs all the way to the right, and for certain the car will NOT crank. I believe it definitely has to do with the security system. Also, it I let the gas fall below a quarter of a tank, the gas gauge and speedo both quit working, and I can expect a no start within days if not hours.
  • spritemanspriteman Posts: 25
    edited December 2013
    It sounds like your Anti-Theft Forced Entry circuit is having a melt down. There are switches in all doors and windows that look for the latch to open without the key or fob which causes the alarm to sound. After a while the system times out and it resets the alarm and allows the car to start.

    Here are two things to try - when the problem arises again, use your key fob to lock / unlock the doors - that should reset the security system and allow the truck to start.

    Another option would be to just pull the Anti-Theft fuse labeled TPC Batt 10 Amp in the under hood fuse block. See if that allows your truck to start.

    To reset your gauge cluster you can try removing the -NEG Battery cable from the battery - allow it to remain off of the vehicle for 30 mins and then replace the cable. Turn your key to the ON position (not start) for 3 mins which allows the PCM to reset.

    PS Before you pull the -NEG Batt cable turn your radio and climate control off. Also you might want to make sure that you have your radio security code before you pull the cable because in some cases this causes the radio to go into a lock-out mode which will require the code to unlock this mode.
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