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Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Starting Problems



  • i have the same problem, let me know how your problem comes out on fixing it.
  • I've been desperately searching for answers online and have read all 103 posts in this forum - I'm leaning towards fuel pump at this point, but at around $250 and with the requirement of tank removal I'm trying to really be sure I get this right; I'll keep you posted.

    For now though let me share what the last 4 days has shown me.

    Vehicle: 2004 Silverado 4WD 5.3 Z71 fully loaded
    Anomalies: We've had colder than usual temperatures and a lot of snow and ice here in Salem, Or for the past week - other than that it's life as usual.

    The facts:
    - Pulled in to work Monday and shut the truck off
    - An hour later went out to start the truck and all it would do is crank, no fire at all
    - After a half hour of screwing around it finally started and ran fine
    - Over the next 6 hours I had intermittent problems, it would always crank fine, it wouldn't always start. When it did it ran normal.
    - Called the dealer and a tech told me that he was 99% sure it was the fuel pump, "save yourself $95 of diagnostics and just buy one and put it in" he said.
    (NOTE) New fuel pump prices range from $200 to $542 depending on OEM vs aftermarket and the parts house you call
    - I decided that a $95 check was worth the investment and took the truck to the dealership for testing.
    - An hour and $322 later I pulled out of the service bay with a new crankshaft position sensor - "fuel delivery system checked out OK, but your battery is showing some weak indications, we suggest you change it before it leaves you stranded. It could also be part of your sensor problem."
    - Ran the truck 2 days, no problems, an occasional rough idle was also gone
    - Yesterday morning (xmas) I spent 3 1/2 hours clearing my elderly neighbor's driveway. The truck was either idling or running hard in 4wd for the duration of the time while I cleared down trees and made my way through a foot of snow going up their driveway. The truck gave me no problems.
    - Afterward I made a few trips to town and everything runs good

    - Now, this morning....walk out to the truck and hit the keypad to unlock the doors; nothing. I unlock the door with the key and then hit the button on the arm rest to unlock the door - nothing.
    - Put the key in and the truck barely starts due to the battery being weak.
    - I let it warm up and let the battery charge for about 15 minutes and then shut the truck off and try to restart it, for some reason thinking that the door locks might reset or something. I also notice that my fuel gauge is on E, so I add some gas thinking that maybe I ran it out and didn't notice. I added about 5 gallons and the gauge didn't move.
    - I turn the key and the truck fires and dies with every turn of the key.
    - I don't have a fuel pressure gauge but I pushed the button in on the fitting and when the key is turned on or cranking there is LOTS of fuel spraying out.
    - I pulled the weak battery and get the old man to give me a ride down to swap the battery, Schwab's tests the battery and finds nothing wrong, but agrees to warranty it since it gave me problems early in the morning.
    - Installed new battery and the condition is the same; cranks, fires, dies.

    That's my story. I'm stuck with 10 inches of snow on the ground with a dead truck and a B-Mer that can't clear the ruts in the driveway - what a deal 'eh!?

    Next move: a buddy of mine is picking me up shortly, I'm going to buy the on board diagnostics (OBD) software kit from the local parts house and run a full check, if that doesn't surface anything I guess I'm pulling the tank and changing the pump assembly.

    Something just clicked; the fuel gauge sending unit is part of the fuel pump and in-tank filter assembly, I suppose there could be a connection or a supporting indication here since the engine seems to be starving for fuel (only firing briefly and then dying) and my fuel level indicator appears to be stuck on E when I know there is at least 5 gallons or roughly a 1/4 full tank.

    Replies are welcome but this has been more of a venting session and a sharing of information than anything else. It does appear that most of the posts are symptoms only with little mentioned about final outcomes, so I will re-post with results as they become available.

    Anyone interested in a '04 Silverado? Will trade for a pre '80s Ford or Chevy 3/4T pickup of which I can diagnose and fix with screwdriver, some duct tape, and a volt meter.... ;) WELL IT'S TRUE!!!!

    Thanks for reading, more to come.

    Salem, Or
  • in-tank filter assembly - was the answer for us. It was a pain in the rump removing the gas tank, but seems to have worked for me. Good luck.
  • **UPDATE**

    First of all, a little more information on what isn't working. In addition to my door locks the seat heaters, window controls, and the radio are not functioning. When the key is inserted and turned to ON the HUD lights up but says; UNKNOWN PASSENGER and when the shift lever is moved there is no indication as to what gear it is in. When the key is turned off a variety of jibberish type characters appear at random.

    That said, I couldn't get myself to believe that the fuel pump was my problem, so I went and purchased a fuel pressure tester and an OBD II engine scanner. Pressure indicated was 62# at the initial turn of the key and 55# while cranking which is within the specifications I have found.

    I plugged in the OBD scanner and it could not make a connection; key on or off it just kept saying; "Trying to establish a communications link" I tested the unit on another vehicle and all scans completed with no error.

    I've tested every fuse I could find for continuity and they all checked out. I tested every applicable relay skipping only those that referenced something like head lights or fog lights. I tested all fuses that I could find, that even seemed to relate to the ignition system, for voltage; I don't know the the exact voltages required, but all those tested had approximately 12V showing, +/- .2V or so.

    I'm stumped. The only thing I can believe is that one of the modules has gone haywire, it is my understanding that there are at least two; PCM (Powertrain Control Module) and the BCM (Body Control Module, which I believe to be a sub-system of the PCM)

    I guess I'm going to have to break down and take it in to the dealer for another $95 verification. It is my understanding that a PCM replacement with relearn is a spendy repair, so I'm hoping they find something that I've over looked....... a blown fuse would be nice...... an expensive oversight, but nice.
  • I got a 2002 chevy silverado 2500 HD went to go to work this morning and nothing.
    Its got a brand new battery, brand new starter, its got voltage, i can hear the fuel pump turning on, but the starter makes no noise at all. I have checked all the ignition fuses i could see, dont know what to do next please help
  • **UPDATE**

    Short version: Connectors at the PCM were checked and corrosion and water was found, the connections were cleaned, greased, and reinstalled and she fired right up. I got the truck back last night, the only pending problem I've noticed is that the XM radio, which was factory installed, does not come up as an option on the radio. Other than that it's running like top.
  • What exactly has voltage? If you have voltage to the solenoid and to the starter when the key is turned, and assuming some force field isn't interfering with the case grounding of the starter, I'd say you got a bunk starter or at least a bunk solenoid on the starter.

    If you don't have voltage at the starter motor or solenoid have you checked the obvious items such as fuses/circuit breakers?
  • Normally '95 truck starts and runs fine. Have had temps of minus 20 for 10 days and it is affecting everything, including my ability to remain outside working on the truck!
    Three batteries in 3 months. Charge battery, lights shine bright. Turn switch to ON and voltage only indicates 8. Turn switch to START and lights dim a little, solenoid clicks half-heartedly and starter will not turn.
    Put a jumper on and no change. Still will not start. When switch ON volts are only 8.
    Put an amp meter on the ground line with ignition switch off and there is a residual 0.8 amp drain on the battery. I usually disconnect the ground line from the battery overnight to protect the charge for the next morning. Have not been able to find the source of the ground leak (pulled all fuses, relays etc and still a constant drain).
    Sometimes if I leave the charger attached for 10 minutes, it starts up OK.
    While running the volts indicate 15-16 initially, then settle to 14 when battery is fully charged. If I start within an hour after shutting down it works, but if I leave it more than 2 hours it is dead. All indications of a good battery (lights bright) until I turn on the switch. Maybe the temperature stops the voltage from reading right?
    I suspect the starter is faulty, taking power but not turning over, but if the volts are reading right, why does the volts read only 8 when the ignition switch is on? If it was really 8, the lights would be dim? If it is the starter, would not the volts drop only when I turn the switch to START?
  • Hey Jedi Master!!
    Where is the fuel pressure regulator? Do you know where the crankshaft position sensor Is?
    My truck won't start until the second or third turn used to start right away. It runs fine when it is started. Could those two things be my problem?
    Thank you
  • This may be common knowledge but I have found it easier to remove the bed while changing a fuel pump. I have done this for years. If you have a buddy help lift the bed at the wheel wells you can put the front part of the bed on the tire and the rear part of the bed on the bumper, also remove the tailgate, ground strap, unplug the tail light wires and fuel fill neck. It's really nice when the tank is full (lol).
  • yank1yank1 Posts: 1
    I am new to this and did not see an answer to your question. I have the same problem. Did you get an anwwer and/or get it resolved? thanks.
  • No I did not get a reply. It seems to be clear though; after the temps came up it retains battery charge and starts normally. I guess it is a problem with cold weather. I put a pan heater on it and will use that whenever it gets cold, and maybe a battery blanket will help too. Most frustrating, I have been driving the truck for the last few days with absolutely no problems and it is a pleasure. I like my truck. Now watch me regret saying that...
  • Hi, here's my problem. My father owns a 2000 silverado pickup. The truck only has 70,000 kms. Whenever the temp is hits below -20 the truck will not start. It turns over just fine but just won't start. He's had the fuel pump changed and a new battery put in, and still won't start. As soon as the temp goes above -20 the truck starts no problem and runs perfect. He has brought it to several mechanics who can't seem to figure out what is wrong with it. The latest thing he is trying is injector cleaner, but I can't see this being the problem because the truck runs fine in warmer weather and starts with no problems. I would appreciate any info anyone can give me on this issue. Thanks in advance.
  • I was told the problem with my truck was the starter motor. At the cold temps it takes more energy to turn the engine over and if the starter motor is not near perfect it cannot manage it, the battery goes down and no start. I bought the starter motor but the temperatures came up and I currently have no problem. Sent the starter back, it cost close to $200 and I am looking for a cheaper one before I spend the time working on the truck in the cold (it is still below freezing here).
  • The starter seems to be working fine. The truck turns over like it was summer, the only thing is, it does not fire up. It almost seems as though it's not receiving enough fuel to start it, but this is only once the temp has hit below -20. I don't get it.
  • You are absolutely correct. I originally thought it was the security system because when I turned the key only the dashboard lights came on, not the engine. I finally had it towed to the dealer and they replaced my starter assembly. It was costly, a few hundred dollars, however, I have no more problems.
  • Twztd1Twztd1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 GMC Sierra 4.3L 2WD.
    I am currently having trouble installing a new Crankshaft position sensor.
    I've replaced the old sensor with a new one I picked up at O'Reillys. It is cranking but my truck won't start.
    Am I missing something? Do I need to do anything aside from just a swap out on the part?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.
  • Well, injector cleaners did not solve the starting problem. Now I have no idea where to start. Would anyone have any clue on what to check on. My father has just purchased a Toyota Tundra and has given the Chev to me. Now it's my problem to figure out! DOH!
  • Hello,
    My batteries went dead and I attempted to jump start with a power pack and had no success. Engine would not even turn over. I bought two new batteries and installed them. Now the engine cranks great, but engine will not start. Is there possibly a lockout that could have operated that is preventing the engine from getting fuel? I read in my owner's manual about "PASSLOCK", but it does not give me any information on how to reset it, and it states that it only operates if one tampers with the ignition or is attempting to start with incorrect key. I bled the fuel filter looking for air, but good fuel came out the top bleede screw opening immediately, so I don't understand WHY i am not getting fuel, if that is, in fact, the case. Thanks for any information/advice offered. jcrichmond
  • Hey Yall!

    Im stationed out in Cali and have to have my 2001 silverado smoged to get it on base, so I failed the first time and took it to a shop and they cleaned off some dirt and mud on my EVAP system and got my check engien light to turn off. But they re-set my system by DCing my battery, now i cant get my Evap, Cat and EGR monitors to run so i cant even smog it. The Machanic wants to replace my fule pump, he said it will help get those systems to run. But I wanted to know if anyone knew how to get those systems to run ie. "5 mins at 35mph" or "12mins at 125mph?" or whatever. gettin frustrated thanks and stay classy!
  • lucas44lucas44 Posts: 1
    Hi folks,

    I am posting this on behalf of my dad who purchased a 2006 GM, diesel truck with Duramax engine. It is a 3/4 ton Silverado. They use it to haul their fifth wheel. About 6 months ago it would not start on 2 occasions.The first time apparently there was a problem with "the relay" which was fixed, and the second time a computer part was replaced for around 2k, no cost to them as under warranty. My dad was concerned as he had had the truck only for a few months at that time. They recently returned home from a trip and the truck is again not starting, so just wondering if anyone else is having problems. The truck had been sitting for about 2 weeks,cold weather is not a factor. The truck was in the garage this Tuesday and they have yet to find the problem. Just wondering what you guys think the problem might be. My parents are retired and this truck was to last them for their "travelling" years. Thanks!!
  • I am bringing out of long-term storage a Jimmy with a 4.3 L V-6. My problem is it won't turn over much less start. The battery was useless so I replaced it and the starter with a rebuilt gear reduction starter because the old one had a diagnosed bad Bendix drive. So, we need not address those issues unless someone wants to suggest that the gear redo starter is bad from the rebuild shop. I purchased from a reputable rebuilder that I have been doing business with for years so if it is in fact bad, human error simply showed its ugly head.

    I would appreciate some incites to this problem. I used a magnetic induction amp meter on the rebuilt unit in the truck and it maxes out the meter at around 85 amps. Unfortunately, I do not have one that goes any higher to use. The ground is connected to an exhaust manifold stud. It is quite thick in good condition and tight. The battery terminals are also clean and tight. I DID NOTICE that there seems to be a small ground cable that looks like it goes from the body to a bell housing bolt is disconnected.

    I can be reached directly at [email protected] Thanks.
  • 02gmfan02gmfan Posts: 4
    I have a 2002 GMC Sierra. About once a month the truck will not start. All the dash lights will come on and the radio will work when I turn the key. Its like I am starting the truck in gear. After about 10 min I hear a click and the truck will start and I am not getting any codes from the computer.
    Also I keep topping up the coolent. I had a presure test done for 15 minutes and the gauge didn't move. Any ideas

    Thanks :(
  • Hey 02gmfan. My 2001 sierra does the same thing. Occasionally won't crank but all of the lights and guages are working. I was told to check for voltage on the short stud on the solenoid with key in the crank position. Tried it and don't have voltage. I replaced the start relay under the hood in the fusebox; still didn't work. Something is stopping voltage from being sent to the starter but I can't figure it out. If someone gives me a fix, I'll let you know. By the way. How do you look at replies to these questions?
  • 02gmfan02gmfan Posts: 4
    Thanks rossterman. I'll let you know if I get a fix as well. I don't understand the question you're asking me about repling to questions.

    thanks :D
  • My bad, I figured it out. Back to the starting problems. I'm wondering if it has to do with the ground cable on the battery. Yesterday when it wouldn't start, I popped the hood to see if the start relay was clicking and I moved the ground cable out of my way. Immediately after that it started. Coincidence? If it's the cable it has to be internal because there is no corrosion visible.
  • 02gmfan02gmfan Posts: 4
    Thats a good start. I would explain no power to the starter. The next time it happens I will move the cable around. Until then I think it is time for a good battery post and cable cleaning.

    I'll let you know

  • mxkx40mxkx40 Posts: 1
    I'm having same problem as message fuel pump,no inj. pulse,no spark,fuel gauge reads empty.wait 15-30 minutes truck starts up and runs perfect but only runs for 1-5 minutes and shuts off.wait 15-30 minutes repeats same thing.anyone fix this problem yet??thanks
  • 02gmfan02gmfan Posts: 4
    Hey rossterman I screwed with the negative cable as well and she fired up. I am going to clean the ground conections to the starter. There is another ground to the front of the truck, that could be why the dash lights and radio will work but the truck will not start.

  • ck1500ck1500 Posts: 2
    My son was driving the truck and all of the sudden it turned off on him. He tried to start the engine and it would only turn but not start. I had changed the fuel filter and it still did not start. It currently has 80k miles on it. What could be the next problem? I was thinking it could be the fuel pump, but it has a full tank. When I removed the line off the filter, it has gas in the line.
  • ck1500ck1500 Posts: 2
    I tried to start it again and all it does is turn over. It seems as if the plugs are not getting a spark. Would and OBD reader give me the answers I need to determine the problem?
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 7,841
    Sounds like a bad throttle position sensor.
  • when i go to start her she turns over but wont fire up, i am getting fuel, air, and spark at the plugs. i thought it might be the distributor, i replaced the ignition module, and the pickup. now i am thinking it might be the coil? any other ideas? short on money so i cant just go to a shop and get it done. thansk for the help.
  • I had the same problem with my chevy 2000. I did replace the fuel regulator sensor is about $60 or $70. bucks and it work perfectly.and is so easy to install.
  • tcbusatcbusa Posts: 4
    moran99,I also had this problem with my 99 silverado 4.8litre, replaced feul pressure regulator (84$@napa) problem solved.Just joined forum,1st post,hope this is your answer.tcbusa
  • south2south2 Posts: 2
    ever thing works fine it just doesnt turn over. i've replaced and the starter and still it just makes a clicking noise
  • south2south2 Posts: 2
    my 04 sierra is doing the same thing but i know my battery aint bad and i just replaced the starter
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 7,841
    When you replaced the battery did you have a load test done on the charging system? Sounds like a bad alternator.
  • onecrazyonecrazy Posts: 1
    I have a 92 Chevy Silverodo. It starts right up first time, but after you drive it around for a while it wont start but up. When you turn the key all the lights come on but as for making any sounds there's nothing. If you wait for awhile say 30 to 45 minutes it starts back up. Have any idea what may cause this problem.
  • globalattyglobalatty Posts: 1
    I have a similar problem. If my 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 does not start on the first turn of the ignition then it will not start for exactly ten minutes. It has happened lots of times, so I have had a chance to check the time. If I try to start the truck before the ten minutes is up, it just cranks and nothing happens. It is really weird and at times frustrating if I need to get somewhere in a hurry.
  • dal9473dal9473 Posts: 1
    I had this problem with my 2001. I found it had a fuse blown, I can't remember which one but check them all it might be your problem. Hope this helps
  • jdizzaljdizzal Posts: 1
    well we have changed the fuel pump, we have changed the fuel filter, we have changed the the distributer, the rotor cap the rotor button, the coil. but yet the injectors still won't dump any fuel. but if u spray staring fluid into the carb. it will start and stay running. but it still wont start without any help.
  • Did you ever figure out a solution to this. I have a 2002 gmc sierra thats doing same thing.
  • basically as the title says,

    2002 gmc sierra, 3500, 8.1. usually starts up ok, on occassion 1-3 times I had to turn the key twice. When I drive say 5 minutes it dies. Battery light in upper left hand comes on(assuming this is just indicator truck has died), I have not changed the battery as it seems fine, done research on others whom have same issues or close to it and have came to possible solutions. It will always eventually start, but worried one day its not if I dont' find a solution to this.

    1. bad ground-very possible considering after 30 seconds it will start back up, sometimes it will take longer. Only 1 time it has taken about 5 minutes. But seems I have to totally shut it down, which means off position

    2. fuel injector, check valve, regulator??

    3. possible oil change needed- I changed oil, but was given the wrong filter(gave me a smaller one but still screwed on, figured it was just a new design) I put oil in, started it up and some oil spilled. I noticed immediatly and had to put old filter back on temp until I can return. I put new oil in however...This was happening BEFORE I changed oil so not sure its a direct problem.

    I notice that the oil pressure goes from 30 psi to sometimes hair over 40, this normal? sometimes it will get down to 20, sometimes hair under 20. This was before oil change as well as after, I just keep eye on it and even took video just in case it should be a concern. Was thinking maybe some engine oil restorer to seal leaks or in this case to prevent it as it seems it may be leaking just little. The undercarriage around the oil pan seems "oily". And some fuel injection cleaner maybe. Perhaps I'm loosing pressure, so it dies. Then I have to turn it off to get the pressure back?? as I mentioned I tried to immediatly start after dies but seems its always quicker if I shut off, wait 10-30 seconds and it starts.

    any replies, either on her(guess it will let me know) or email truejunkmail @ yahoo com
  • I had the dealer replace the ignition switch on my 2005 silverado and now it cranks intermittently. I have to keep turning the key off and on until it cranks. Sometimes it starts fine. The dealer can not duplicate the probllem as it always starts fine when I take it in.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 7,841
    What was the condition for the first switch to be replaced? Since it's intermittent there is nothing the dealer can do for you until it acts up consistently. By then any warranty that came with your currently installed switch will be history.

    BTW, sounds like a bad switch to me or a bad install.
  • My 2001 was doing the same thing. All the guages worked, headlights, horn, etc. but no power to the cranking side of the solonoid. The next time it does this, get your second key,( the other one that came with the truck ) and see if it starts. This always worked with mine. It must have something to do with the anti-theft system. I got sick of using both keys all of the time, so I traded it for an '09. (Great cash incentives!)
  • konamadekonamade Posts: 8
    I have a 99 silverado with 180000 miles. When I try to start it I have to turn the key 10 seconds then again. Can you help
  • konamadekonamade Posts: 8
    What is the IAC
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