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Chevy Express/GMC Savana Starting/Stalling Problems

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Comments

  • I have read through all five pages of this thread and saw one comment that describes my issue. Three years ago we were buying a new Enclave and retiring our 275,000 mile Express Explorer Conversion to weekend trips. It had been starting and running rough and was overdue for a tune up. With an oil change I replaced air filter, plugs, wires, cap & rotor. Tried for the next four weeks to start it...cranked like stampeding horses, but would not fire. Tried a few more times over months, but in the end it just sat for the next three years. Two weeks ago my 97 Sierra's 350 locked up. Slow charged the battery in the Express. In 20 degree weather I tried it, cranked fine...no fire. Gave it one squirt of starting fluid and it started right up...ran and started fine for about a day, then wouldn't start. Another 1 second burst of starting fluid and ran fine for another day. I changed the fuel filter, but still the same problem. When it runs it runs fine...I was always told that if a fuel pump goes bad... stays bad. After the initial squirt of SF the first time I probably started the van 25 times without a bit of a problem...and it always runs fine after I get it started. For now I carry SF with me...but I am looking for the permanent fix...any help out there?

  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Just got a note from on owner with a 99 GMC Savanna 4.3 6 cylinder with about 180k miles.

    His message says:

    "I was having the same problems around 150k miles I ended up replacing the whole distributer. There was play in the gear and shaft that was the problem. May be the answer for others here."
  • brianj36brianj36 Posts: 3
    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
  • brianj36brianj36 Posts: 3
    brianj36 said: its the passlock 2 system that GM has that basically consists of a specific ohm load within the wiring  in the ignition harness that if the module malfunctions it will cut fuel to the engine
    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

  • brianj36brianj36 Posts: 3
    edited August 2016
    GM designs what's called a passlock 1 passlock 2 or passlock 3 system depending on what year the Chevrolet is. Basically when you put the key into the ignition in attempt to start there are two wires that have to read a specific ohm load what happens is those resistors malfunction which then tells the computer to cut fuel to the injectors. This is actually not a difficult fix. I had to install a remote start system in my Chevy 3500 Express Cargo Van in which I had to trick the system into seeing that specific ohm load. Anybody may contact me [Email removed]
    I can send you the repair diagram to fix it I've worked for several automotive security system audio system installations certified mecp
  • ron6519ron6519 Posts: 3

    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 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!!

    Try looking in the distributer cap/rotor. They have a tendency to corrode at the contact points and not starting in rainy/high humidity situations. I had an 88 Suburban and a 2001 GMC savanna van with the same issue.
  • ron6519ron6519 Posts: 3

    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!!

    Try looking in the distributer cap/rotor. They have a tendency to corrode at the contact points and not starting in rainy/high humidity situations. I had an 88 Suburban and a 2001 GMC savanna van with the same issue

  • ron6519ron6519 Posts: 3
    There is a corrosion issue in these distributors. The wiring connection to the cam sensor gets corroded along with the cap and rotor. Similar problems were solved by new cap and rotor(along with removing the screens in the distributor housing.) Cutting off the connection to the cam sensor and splicing in a new connection also helped with the stalling and hard/no starting.
  • tbyers31tbyers31 Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Express 1500 conversion van that recently started acting similarly to what many have described in these pages. The first start of the day is strong. The van runs great for as long as I want it to (150 miles or so, for example). If I stop for any reason, subsequent starts require that I pump the gas. When it finally starts, the engine runs fast. When I put it in gear, it will die unless I give it more gas. From reading this thread, the strongest idea is a poor ground on fuse block. Second place is the security issue. Third might be the distributor but I can't always tell what fixes go with what symptoms here. Thoughts? Help? Thank you!
  • Hello All, I am helping my brother with his 2003 savanna 12 passenger van.  I noticed so many problems with these vans on this forum.  His dogs chewed the 4 wires off to his O2 sensor located on the drivers side front.  He put those wires together, tried to start van, it would only crank.  Then he switched the 2 brown wires on the O2 and tried to start it, same thing.  After more tries, the van would not even crank over.  Tested all relays and fuses, looked for any other broken or chewed wires, nothing.  If you jump the starter to the seloniod it cranks but wont fire.  No security light on.  But the security light does not even light up with the other lights when you first turn the key on.  Brianj36 said he had a detailed wiring diagram on biapassing the security system if that's what it is.  If anyone can help, my brother has 7 kids & a wife and this is their only vehicle.  Thank you, Levi
  • craggerscraggers Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Savana Van with a 5.7 with the Same Symptoms as many here, I have my daytime running lights fuse removed and don't think that's the Problem at stalling after driving and restarting again. I now have a New fuel tank, fuel pump, fuel filter , and filler neck hose installed. I'm going to try a insulating metallic tape covering over the fuel line near the engine like a Pontiac Dealer Mechanic showed me years ago when i worked there as a lot Man. . I believe this is a Vapor Lock scenario and Cleaning the fuel intake components is needed.
  • chris0123chris0123 IndianaPosts: 3
    I wish I was posting a solution, but I wanted to chime in with my story and what we're doing to solve things. If you have ideas, please let me know as well.

    I have a 2006 Chevrolet G1500 Express. It had stalled out going down the highway a few times and wold not start. Sometimes I could get it to start again after 15 minutes or so. There was nothing weird on the gauges or in performance. The stall out was intermittent, as it did not go out all at once. It would hesitate a few times, stall and I would quickly shift to neutral and start again, drive a little ways, stall out, and it would not start.

    I have had it to my mechanic twice now for several days at a time. Of course, somehow it would start right up for him. It only happens after driving it for say 10-15minutes. I don't know why our mechanic would not just put it up on the car light and put it in gear for a little while, but my normally very trustworthy and knowledgeable mechanic could not figure it out and quickly was over it. Having said that, that might be a suggestion for you BEFORE they are over it. Tell them to put the vehicle on a lift and put it in gear for a while to reproduce the issue.

    I did get one thing from my mechanic, as he did try to start it ONE time when I dropped it off while it would not start. The blower motor and horn do not work when it will not start. This to me suggests an electrical issue.

    I have noticed that the fuse box under the hood has some feed lines from the battery that are a bit corroded. The two suspicions are the Fus box and the built-in security feature/ignition switch. Since the horn and blower motor do not work, it makes me think less about the security feature and ignition switch. The headlights and dash seem to work fine.

    Any ideas here?




    Sincerely,
    Chris
  • chris0123chris0123 IndianaPosts: 3
    So I replaced the inline 125AMP fuse, brush-cleaned the terminals and screws, took the fuse box completely off and cleaned it. I found that the horn fuse terminal was pretty corroded. I also found that there was a little bit of water underneath it.

    Anyway, I started the van and let it warm up for about 30 minutes. I drove it for about 5-10 minutes before it died and would not start. The horn and blower motor will not work when it does this. I just tried to start it again (7 or so hours later), and it will not start. I do have all gauges and accessories aside from the horn and fan.

    I should mention that I do have a power steering leak as well. It is humanly possible that it is draining all over something it should not. I also have a fuse box under my driver's seat that I have not really looked at thoroughly. I make take the seat off and really look it over tomorrow.

    Any ideas, please let me know.

    Chris
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,376
    Did any one connect a scan tool to it and see if there is communication between the modules while this wont start?
  • chris0123chris0123 IndianaPosts: 3
    edited August 2018
    No. When I was at Advanced Auto and they put an OBD-2, it would start, and my mechanic could not reproduce the issue. It was not throwing codes. While it was at our shop and not starting, a bi-directional scanner (which most auto-stores do not have on hand and cost a minimum of $1000) would have helped a lot I would say.

    Good news though... I fixed it. I'm so pumped! Thank you for chiming in. I was thinking no one was following the thread anymore.

    Apparently the blower motor, horn, and I would assume the fuel injectors (?) share a ground wire. Thankfully they do, because I scoured the whole motor cavity and underbelly of the van for any bare or shorted wires and was listening for the blower motor to come on as I moved things around. I had to take the driver's seat out to get the inside motor cover off. What a pain, but I found it (attached). After watching a few of Scanner Danner's YouTube videos, I became more confident and determined that it was a bare or shorted wire(s) affected by the engine heat, vibration, and van movement. I figured it might be a group of cables since it affected multiple things.

    Hopefully this helps someone else. It was a very small ground wire.




    Sincerely,
    Chris
  • EVERYBODY i figured out my no start problem..it was my fuel pump gas level arm...it was sticking and telling the computor theyre wasnt any gas...i got it to wighle loose and added a splash of gas..i cant let my gas get below a 1/4 of a tank...but it starts and runs fine now..hope this helps some one...stay at at it fellwos..CHEVYSTRONG !!!
  • alex617alex617 boston Posts: 1
    i have a 1999 gmc savanna 3500 van and i have replaced the fuel pump 3 time and i maybe have no luck there are time where it will last me months and then out of no where no start and the battery and alternator are all good i clueless now i had the van towed home and to a surprise the van started up now it happen random where there is no start h ave banged around the pump and it will start then other days it doesn't work but then it will turn on could this be a back ground or harness issue
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 25,272
    Replacing a fairly new pump is rare, even it if is one of the aftermarket brands which fail more readily than the ACDelco replacements.

    I suspect you've already answered your question. You've banged on the bottom of the tank; a rubber mallet hitting there while someone tries to start the engine will cause a fuel pump that's got a bad stop spot or other failure to connect and start working. Often can get you home.

    BUT often those wiring harnesses run nearby and when you're banging on the tank you're vibrating the harness and the connections.

    You MUST verify if you're getting power to the pump's own connector when you have a failure. When someone turns the key, for a second the pump gets power to run to prime the pressure in the line. I have read of various problems happening with the wiring in various GM sedans.

    It's just like engine stalling and the first good question if car doesn't restart is whether the spark plugs are getting spark.

    If you can put the rear on blocks and safely get under to the connector at the pump, connect voltmeter to a good, non rusted ground and measure for voltage while someone turns the key. Without checking the wiring diagrams, I'd suggest that you check that the ground wire in the lines (black) are actually grounded to serve as the internal ground. I recall at least one broken ground wire on a vehicle.

    I hope your pumps at least are replaced under warranty.

    Are they replaceable from inside the vehicle through the floor and a service panel or does the tank have to be dropped? LeSabres 2000-2005 at least had a removable cover inside the trunk!

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • MkgMkg Posts: 2
    I've got a 97 gmc 3500 savanna van with 150.000 miles ,has just about drove me nuts finding problem,it would start run till it warmed up an die,then next day same,at first it was once in awhile after checking fuses relays wiring ,changing fuel pump coil,plugs dist.cap rotor wires,same thing kept going on,bo codes changed ect sencer next to thermostat housing an it fixed problem,was dead fuses in fuse block ,hot now,horn wasnt working it is now didnt know this one sencer could cause all this advance auto 21.oo bucks ,its the craziest deal I've ran into on vehicles been dealing with this for months.
  • MkgMkg Posts: 2
    Also had clean ed all grounds on van,no luck had re tighten upper an lower intakes,checked all vacuum lines evap system this was a brain twister for me.but like I said in last post ect sencer ,fixed it
  • GunnergreenGunnergreen Erie paPosts: 1
    Just had my savanna 2012 at hand dealer 5 days they replaced the fuel pump I picked it up drove it 1\2 mile stalled won't start towed it back to dealer all day working on it they found ground cable from fuse box to engine block had just two strands left they replaced it runs great so far
  • MagamelMagamel ColoradoPosts: 1
    For those of you that get a start and the more you try to start it the dang thing won't start or hard starts? Have you had your alternator checked? Is it charging the battery? Is your battery low on fluid? Believe it or not you need to keep batteries filled in the chambers under the covers on top. The other thing I had to figure out after a dang month of working on mine, parasitic draws. It you check your battery with a multimeter, use the 20v setting and if it registers -____. (ie -10.34) It more than likely has a parasitic draw caused by a fuse. See YouTube videos for diagnosing a parasitic draw.
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