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Chevy Express/GMC Savana Starting/Stalling Problems

vhazelvhazel Posts: 1
edited August 2015 in Chevrolet
I have a 2000 Express van. Lately I have had this problem:
Go to start the van and if fires up for about one second then quits. Try and try it will not start. Dealer at first said it was the fuel pump. Replaced it. Months later still doing the same thing. It like the security system is telling the car not to start. After I let the van sit(1/2 hour to overnight) the van starts right up. I know of another Chevy (Suburban) that does the same thing. Starts, stops, won't start wait till later and then it will start. Can anyone help?

See Also
Diagnostic Flow Chart For No-Start or Stalls

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Comments

  • I am having some problems with my 2001 Express. Driving and coming to a up-hill stop the van once in a while stall and won't start up right away. To restart it I have to turn everything off and let it sit for 30 seconds and then it will start up and drive again for a while. Only stalls out once a day. I check the computer for sensor codes that might be going bad and the only one that came up was a Crankshaft possession sensor (Code: P0335). But my mechanic did not want to replace it until he knew it was that for sure.

    A neighbor suggested replacing the fuel filter. I had my replace about 24K miles ago.

    VanOwnerAZ
  • I am having the same problem with my 2000 chevy express 2500, 5,7. Sometimes the heat and fuel gages, the speedodemer warning buzzer go dead driving or stopped. I have had it in the garage 4 times recently and everything runs fine and can find no problems. If you or anyone finds the answer let me know.
  • I think I found my problem. In the fuse block, the ten amp fuse marked gauges was loose, and fuse would move sometimes. This fuse covers 7 items including keyless entry, day light driving lights and some others. When I would bump fuse gauges and daylight light would go out. If you start the van and pull the fuse it keeps running. I built the fuse stub up with a little solder, working fine.
  • I have a 2002 Chevy Express that regularly stalls. I've had the fuel filter replaced. When the stall continued, I took it to the home of a mechanic that the salesman recommended. He put a scanner on it. Did notice that there was a low reading on the Camshaft sensor. He apparently reset it, and as we drove it for several minutes, we could not get it to stall. But the stall was back the next day and happens just about every day, normally occurs after the van has been driven somewhere and sits for a while, then driven again. After stalling, it generally starts right back up. Any suggestions?? Thanks, Don
  • I have a 2001 Express that cranks fine in the morning. Once I drive it for a little while, stop, and get back in to start again, it won't start. I jump it off and it crank right up. We have changed the starter, battery and have had the wiring checked? Any suggestions. HELP
  • Earlydon,

    I you solved your problem with your 2002 Express? If so what did you do, I'm having the same problem with my 2001???
  • I haven't figured it out yet. Fact is, the Express is not being driven right now. My oldest son and his family were using it daily, but they're in Russia for a few weeks so the van's just sitting. If I make any headway, I'll do my best to let you know what it was.

    Don
  • i am having the same problem and my mech. says it is in the security system. it only happens when it is humid outside (i live in the dallas/ft worth area and it was cloudy and humid yesterday. no rain). what did you do if anything. i am so lost over this!!! and out of money to fix it!!!!--i have spent almost $2000. changing this and that! thanks!!
  • I'm sorry you have had to spend so much money. I know that hurts. I have done nothing. I'm at a loss. But since you mentioned the security system, that leads me to wonder what would happen if you pulled a fuse, if there is one, for the security system. I'm not sure how you would check that. Did you your mechanic give you any tips?? Thanks Don
  • thanks for the support. the security sys. is one that is installed by chev. people. i asked my mech is we could bypass it and he said we could, but that the engine would have to be re-wired. he also said something about that the system shuts down something in the engine (he knows what it is--I forgot!!) if it thinks it is being stolen. he has checked with a few of his mech. friends and everyone is at a loss on this one. i thought i'd get online to see if anyone had any suggestions on what to do. what a mess!! darn those chevy people!!!
  • I've also heard about relays getting too hot and causing the stall, but I think that would need to checked out by Auto Electric people. This seems to conform to the fact that the stall usually comes after the van has been driven, parked for a while, then is being driven again.
  • i spoke to a master mech. with gm last night for about 2 hours online. he said it all sounded very strange to him and i need to get a code for him to help me any further. this means it needs to rain or get humid again causing my van not to start, and having it towed in to get the code out. what fun!!! i will check with my intown mech. about the relay thing. thanks again for all your support!
  • kderdakderda Posts: 2
    I have a van that turns over but won't start when it gets cold outside or if the weather is rainy or humid. I have changed several parts and it has been at the dealership several times. They are now telling me it is no long under the warrenty and I am still having the problem. Any help would be much appreciated! :sick:
  • Hi Their
    Did you ever figure out what caused this? My 02 Express, 4.3 V6 Vortec is doing the same thing. Sometimes runs for days, sometimes when sitting at the lights it stalls, then wont re start. If you wait for 10 minutes or so, starts right up and drives great. Maybe 3 hours latter, same thing. Computer shows no codes or errors. GM Dealer has no idea as they can't get the van to stall on the road test. Sometimes runs for 3 or 4 days. Sometimes stalls 3-4 times a day. Dosnt matter if its raining, cold, sunny, snow makes no difference. Fustrating as hell.
  • jodivanjodivan Posts: 11
    Getting so frustrated!! Daughter and out of work hubby have 6 kids and need van around 4-5 thousand, that isnt a lemon, with high ticket problems. Is this a good one or not? What do we look for?
  • kderdakderda Posts: 2
    I have a Savana and I love it when it runs! I talked to some one from GM today and they told me that they have not received any other complaints like what is happening with my van. But my father-in-law has a half back which is the same vehicle and the same problems as mine. He is very smart when it comes to these types of problems and still can not figure it out? I would be very careful if you purchase one.
  • I noticed my key was wiggling in the when trying to start up. I had the van towed when it stop on me. The mechanic said it sound like a shortage within the steering. I noticed they had tighten up the inition switch, and so far after 3 month it has not stop. I have always thought something was wrong within the key inition switch.
  • If you have a Autozone near by you can stop by and borrow their code reader. They loan it out for free to anyone. This way you don't have to get your van tow and you would be able to get the code for your mechanic. Lately I have been having similar problem with my 1998 Express 2500. Seems like for no reason at all it will refuse to start then after a period of rest then it will start up just fine. Have not figure out the problem yet. I try tighten up the battery terminals and that was okay for about two weeks then this morning it refuse to start again and I have not had time to look at it yet. If you have any further progress please keep me posted and I will do the same.
  • bakrdrbakrdr Posts: 1
    I have a '97 Chevy 1 ton van that had a starting problem repaired two years ago with the replacement of the injector pump computer. It ran fine for some time after that, but then would begin to cut out, acting somewhat like it was running out of fuel. If you shut down for an hour or so, you could sometimes drive 100 miles before it would hesitate again. Often I could use it for short trips for days with no problems whatsoever. I have replaced the fuel lift pump, pump relay, and jumpered the wires on the oil pressure sender in an effort to see if the culprit was in fuel delivery, but to no avail. Wondering if anyone else has had such a problem, and what was the cure.
  • lmfhlmfh Posts: 3
    Hi! I am new to the forum and absolutely NOT new to this problem. I own a 1999 Savana Van Conversion and starting the year after I bought it, this problem began. First time was on vacation (go figure)and only intermittently after that. Then as it aged, it began doing it in humid weather. (I live in sunny AZ, so I could always tell when my ride was going to play games with me)Again, as the van aged, it started to happen in humidity, in the sun,after driving it, while parked overnight...you name it. I have been to dealers, mechanics, everyone but the voodoo lady and they all scratched their heads. So I did some research on Chevy/GMC bulletins and the mechanics websites. (EVIL MUSIC) They did know about this and we are not alone. Its the revamped PASSLOCK SECURITY SYSTEM that got redesigned in the mid 90s. Bad news is there is no fix because they just sat on it until they did another redesign of the system after 2003. This is really the only thing you can do to get your car stated again, and it will start. When your engine fails, turn it off for about a minute. Then turn the key until the security light comes on. Let it sit in that position for 10-15 minutes at which time the security light will go off. Now crank her over and she will go! Works every time, you just gotta be patient. Sorry the post is so long and good luck to you all.
  • lmfhlmfh Posts: 3
    Whoa,new info on the web,involving lots of detective work!

  • uncleduncled Posts: 2
    Here's my solution, but first a little background: 2000 Chevy express 3500 w/5.7. Problem first presented on cool, damp morning. Engine started normally and I drove about 2 miles (engine was still cold at this point) then lost all engine power. Coasted to a stop to find engine was still running at a VERY poor idle & exhaust had strong sulfur smell. After idling for about 10 minutes it cleared up, ran normally again and was good the rest of the day. Next morning (again cool & damp) would not start at all. That afternoon started normally. The next day no start at all.

    I replaced the cap & rotor and with the doghouse still removed I cranked the engine but it still would not start. However, now I could see the high voltage leak from the coil tower to the body and frame of the coil: sometimes jumping an air gap of an inch or more. Although you couldn't see it, there must have been a crack in the insulation or plastic housing of the coil.

    So the rest of the story is rather than the voltage getting to the plugs, the high humidity was creating a much shorter pathway to ground. A new coil fixed my problem. Oh, and my parts guy told me he sells A LOT of those.
  • Hi, I too have a van that does the same thing yours does, sometimes it just turns over but won't start. If we let it sit for 24hrs it would usually start up again. Except for this last time when we tried to start it after it sat for a while it would crank but not start!!! ugh!! we have taken it in and they cannot reproduce the problem, so of course have no idea what the heck is happening. So if you or anyone has had an answer to this problem I would to hear about it. Thanks
  • uncleduncled Posts: 2
    Like I said, replacing the ignition coil solved my problem. Its insulation must have been compromised and in cool, damp conditions you could literally watch the high voltage discharge jump directly to ground, which made it kind of tough for any spark to get to the plugs. Your mechanic may not have been able to reproduce your symptoms if the windy ride on a tow truck or sitting in a warm dry repair shop dried out your engine compartment.
  • I had the same on my 2001 savana slt.after many trips I was told by my mechanic the 5.7 have a newly redesind rotor cap with more ventilation (moisture escape ).That solved the miss and sputtering on damp days.I also fixed the running motor that would just quit on me.back roads or hiways .they changed the throtle body. Both expensive labor charges but it's been running like a slt should. (radumas45)
  • I am learning that the computer box corrodes and gets moisture in it. I think this is what happened to me.... My gauges and trans we're acting up. I pulled the box and it had a hole in it W/ moisture inside it. I just swapped it out...
  • ahoronahoron Posts: 30
    2000 savana 5.7l had in the shop for tires. Shop said hard start is due to corroded ecm or fuel pump. I replaced the fuel pump twice already It takes about 30 seconds to start but doesn't happen all the time. I replaced the fuel pump twice already. Is it worth $100 to change the ecm?just looking for some advice or recommendations thanks
  • Have you ever resolved your starting issues? We have a 2002 Chevy Savana Van that won't start once or twice a day. Van is in great shape but is our work vehicle. If we follow you instructions above it starts every time. However we cannot wait 20 minutes everytime it won't start between jobs. Can't get it to do it when we take it in to GMC. We are exasperated and running out of money trying to resolve. Please share if you have fixed yours.
  • lmfhlmfh Posts: 3
    Sorry speedzone3, but we have not even tried to fix it. We understand the PassLock system is messed up somewhere along the line, but to check everything in the system at a dealership would cost way too much time and money for us too. This article explains the problem and all the points where it could go wrong and it made my brain hurt to think of the possibilities for loss of contact, corrosion, etc.
    We use our van as a family vehicle and a Scout Troop vehicle and have just gotten used to the idea that we go turn the dumb van on 15 minutes ahead of time. We have 156,000 miles on it and like most Savana vans, it's still going strong except for that stupid PassLock security system issue. Hope you find a solution to your problem since it's your livelihood on the line. Good Luck.
  • You mentioned an article that explains the problems and points. Is this anything you can email or fax? Please email if possible.
  • my company van would not start. few minutes later van started. took to nearest garage and noticed SECURITY light was on dash. garage owner said key and/or key ignition cylinder is worn so computer thinks i'm trying to steal van so computer cuts off fuel injectors. went to dealership but their computers were down so i could not get new key. took a chance with backup key. later that evening van would not start AT ALL and i was stranded. got tow back to house. later installed NEW ignition key cylinder AND NEW key cut from van VIN code from dealership. turned key to run position and let sit for at least 20 minutes so computer could re-calibrate to new key/cylinder. van starts up and runs fine. hope that helps!
  • i have a 1996 chevy exspress van.i have had a hard start problem for over a year and a half..last summer,a gm dealer tried to pull that crap.about it being the fuel pump.i did not go along with that.found out that my battery post.was shorting.cleaned and reinstalled.but now right after,the summer draught.when it started raining,my van started the deal.when it gets wet.it does not want to start.well i park now where the front,end is on dry ground,it started today in the rain.the crank trigger is up front.on the crank shaft.the wires are good on mind.but what else could it be.a sensor.some where.there are wheel sensors,transmission speed sensor..park the front on dry ground,no grass.
  • I have a '99 Savana 4.3 with a fuel pump that works intermittently. When it works, it pumps like a fire truck, but most of the time it's dead. My fuel gauge corresponds to the fuel pump. If my gauge is working, so does the fuel pump. If the gauge doesn't come off "E", the fuel pump doesn't work. Generally, after sitting, the gauge/pump combo is more likely to work. I would like to condemn the in-tank fuel pump/gauge assembly and replace it, but I can't because it could be something farther up the electrical chain and $300 is too-expensive of a trouble shoot. Any ideas?
  • 1320jon1320jon Posts: 18
    motown, your problem almost certainly is in the tank. The only common between is the ground. You may not even need a new assembly. If you do, the pump should be about 100$, and the fp sending unit is probably good. You would more then likely accidentally fix the bad ground by replacing the pump. The pumps are pretty easy to do once the tank is almost out of fuel. The assembly unbolts from the top with 8 mm nuts and a few fuel lines and vents, and a return.

    As for the other problems in this thread, I noticed that in the later models, like 04 and up there is a water/splash/drip cover over the pcm. My 03 doesnt have it, but I live in the desert so it has not been a problem. It might just be missing it, as mine was used and was in a front end accident before I got it.

    For everyone in moist climates, its probably a good idea to remove grounds every now and then and wire brush the contact area then put back together.
  • igsg8torigsg8tor Posts: 1
    OK I'm new here so bare with me he as I describe my dilemma to you all!

    I have had this ongoing problem with my Van for about a year it runs fine when cold but after it runs for about 5 to 10 min's and you shut it off it will not restart. I have had many people try and figure it out and have spent many hours working on there suggestions, and spent to much money on things that didn't work.
    So far I have changed the fuel pump and filter, change the Ignition Control Module and Camshaft Position Sensor, and removed the (2) Catalytic Converters to check for blockage and still the same thing! I have now turned to you all for help I hope someone has had this problem fixed.

    you can start it when hot if you step on gas pedal but it will stall out when you let up on it, on another note when it runs the speed o is very erratic (but I think that is a sensor) and not what is causing the not starting when hot problem.
  • Hi, I have the same problem. Can start if giving it lot's of gas, then let off it dies.
    Had the speedo jumping around just the other day too.

    Did you figure out what the problem was?
  • Van died on the road, had it towed to garage, $500 later with new distributor (top bearing was worn) rotor and cap it ran fine. Drove home, 4 miles. An hour later engine would not start, no spark, I have a spark tester. Spark came back engine started, drove to job site, shut off and engine would not restart, no spark, later engine started. Drove home.

    Saturday, engine started and ran fine for short trips. Sunday I used "Auto-tap" OBDII tester, no codes, replaced the crank position sensor, monitored engine. Restarted engine approximately 10 to 15 times with no problem. Monitored with Auto-tap, no codes, tracked ignition voltage, 14 volts steady, drove around the block, flogged it ran fine. Sunday evening, drove 0.2 miles, died, no spark, no gauges, no idiot lights, only light on dash is "ABS" light. Will check for bad fuse. Fuse is good.

    Monday, plugged in Auto-tap, gauges and warning lights functioned and engine started. Removed gauge fuse, engine will start and shuts down in about 3 seconds. Will now look for a loose wire, call my GM dealer and see if there are any service bulletins for this problem.
  • Monday afternoon: At the Chevy dealer's I talked to the service writer, he asked a mechanic to talk to me, his thoughts, loose wire or bad connector. Especially after the engine stopped there were no codes. The event causing the problem happened and simulated the key being turned off. He recommended checking each wire, looking for a loose connection.

    I talked to a friend that works at a truck garage. When I mentioned plugging the OBDII tester in and the warning / status lights came on he said I had a bad ground. I found a loose ground wire at the thermostat housing, Tightened the ground and the van is running fine. I will monitor for a few days until my confidence in the van returns.

    I hope this helps others.
  • Hello,

    I have a 2002 Chevy Express 3500 with 56,000 miles. Last December out of the blue it would not start after a trip to the store. After many tries we got it to barely start and it sputtered and clanked the entire way home. The dealer couldn't get to it for a few days and we were able to drive it but the engine would only turn over when it was cold. Once it got heated up you had to wait a couple hours before starting it again. The dealer claimed it was the starter and battery and strangely enough after those were replaced it seemed to run fine.

    Fast forward to last month. We purchased a minivan and have only been driving the Express maybe once a week and only into town and back (3 miles maybe). It hasn't had a full tank of gas since the beginning of October and has been sitting on a quarter tank for about 6 weeks now.

    Today I went to start it and it gave me a bit of trouble but once it got started it ran fine and I figured it was due to the low amount of gas and the fact that it just sits around so much. I made it to the store (9 miles away) just fine but when I got back out it wouldn't start for anything. After a million tries and having it barely catch just to stall it stayed running but was clanking and could barely go over 10 miles an hour. I made it to a gas station and after adding $20 worth of gas it started better but still kept acting like it wanting to stall. There was also a banging sound coming from the exhast.

    I called my father-in-law and he started it and let it run for awhile. He managed to drive it home just fine, he said at first it wanted to stall but then ran perfectly after about a mile or so. Now the SES light is on which is the first time I've ever seen it on this van.

    Any thoughts/ideas? I'm not sure how it ran for nearly a year before acting up again.
  • Update:

    I started the van up that night and it started just fine. We let it sit for two days while we were out of town and when we got home it started just fine. I drove it into town and back yesterday and NO problems whatsoever. I don't get it, I think the van is just possessed or something. The SES light was a misfire (P0300) and did not come back on once it was reset.
  • just acquired a 5.7 savana when it was last driven it ran/worked perfect, accept when in drive it would stall. R,L,1,2,3 work perfect why would this be. since then it has ben sitting for a year, now a no start condition has developed. i have spark and new plugs
  • Hi igsg8tor - did you resolve this problem? I recently purchased an 06 Savana with 30K miles that seems to be experiencing this same problem. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • hay buffer change your hightence wire
  • toribiotoribio Posts: 2
    Where able to fix this problem? I'm looking at buying a 2002 Chevy Explorer van with the same engine as your's and I thought it might help me to know what your problem was and how to fix it. Let me know please.
  • toribiotoribio Posts: 2
    Where you able to fix this problem? I'm looking at buying a 2002 Chevy Explorer van with the same engine as your's and I thought it might help me to know what your problem was and how to fix it. Let me know please.
  • van3500van3500 Posts: 9
    From Van3500, my problem was traced to a loose ground wire for the on-board computer. The ground connection was at the thermostat housing. I had worked on the engine replacing the intake manifold gaskets as I had a coolant leak.

    The coolant leak was slow with no visible signs. I purchased an oil analysis kit from NAPA and the report indicated high coolant levels and contamination of the oil.
  • Just an update for information that may be useful. I replaced the fuel pump myself with a new e-Bay pump ($100) and it was an easy job. The hardest part would have been the long fuel-tank hanger-strap bolts, but I used an air-impact to run them out and back in when I was done. After I was done, the van still wouldn't start, and to make things worse, the old fuel pump ran on the bench with 12v.
    Having lost faith in my own ability and after reading about the hundreds of things that could be wrong, I just let the van sit and waited until I had $1000's to take it to a repair shop. Been down that road before. When they know you tried and failed to fix it yourself, you sense the red dot on your forehead.
    A year-and-a-half later, armed with lots of bend-over $ and a wife who wanted her car back, I finally had the van towed to the nearest repair shop. Happy ending! My fuel pump job was good but somehow I managed to blow one of the ecm fuses after I put it in. Since I had carefully checked all the fuses before, I didn't bother to check them again. Like Willie Nelson, I'm "On The Road Again."
  • donzi428donzi428 Posts: 5
    OK I also am new here but I found this site after searching with Google for someone to help. I have one of those hot off the presses was new 1996 Express van that wont start , after spending so much money changing this and changing that. Believe it or not it has sat in the driveway for 3 years now . Looks great is so clean people do not believe its a 96.

    So the story goes just the same as many others, I took the van in for a tune up , it was running fine just wanted the full tune up and of course the intake manifold gasket needed to also be changed. Every thing that could be done was done and the first day out with it going out of town even , it backfired badly. I pulled over to see if I could see anything because then it was running very ruff. Well I got back in and kept going. The entire trip was bad for that Van , had problems starting the whole week but I had to drive it as I was out of town. As soon as I got it back I took it to the mechanice that did the tune up. He looked at it and stated that now I had to buy a new computer ! it was expensive so I had to save for it while the van sat at the mechanices for 2 months ! He changed the computer and drilled holes in the very bottom of the computer deck (?) and said it should be fine.
    Well its not fine at all. It startes only after I try about 5 or 6 times then it starts as the key is coming back from the start position. After its started and ran into town and its hot then it wont start again till its cooled down.
    He says he doesnt know what it is and now here again it sits .....for years ! really years. I guess its saving on the milage, but I still put plates and insurance on it and I am tired of looking at it in the driveway. I cant sell it because it wont start like a normal car.
    So I have paid for a complete tune up to include distributor cap and rotor, plugs wires filters of all kinds and hoses too,then the Manifold gasket, and to top it off a brand new expensive radiator ! I have no idea what else to do as everything has now been replaced.....someone please help me.

    :( Donzi 428
  • van3500van3500 Posts: 9
    Sorry to hear about your problem with the van.

    I would start with the basics:

    Do you have fuel pressure? The electric fuel pump needs to supply between 55 and 62 PSI. depending on the size engine you have,

    Do you have spark? You can purchase, a spark plug tester with a spring clip that will hold the tester on the metal part of the engine so you don't get shocked. You should have good spark.

    Do you have an OBDII tester. Some of the better ones will help with codes that the computer may be showing. I have an AUTOTAP OBDII tester. It works with a laptop and provides a lot of information.

    If the engine while cranking sounds like it wants to start it could be the crank position sensor.

    Several people have listed problems with the ignition switch and the security light in previous articles listed here in the forum.

    I changed the intake manifold gasket on my 5.7, V8, 2002 van and had a loose ground that I did not tighten completely. The gauges and warning lights did not work, engine would start and run when there was a good ground and when the ground ws lost the computer would just shut down, no codes.
  • donzi428donzi428 Posts: 5
    thanks ! I am going to print this and take it to the machanic. I think he's at his witts end with my van , he doesnt even want to talk about it anymore ....can't say I blame him but this has gone on way too long.....years and years.
    I will let you know, but I thought it funny that my van also had to have the intake manifold gasket replaced, so maybe just maybe thats it also. ;)
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