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Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe No Start problems

cniwranskicniwranski Member Posts: 7
edited April 2019 in Chevrolet
Just bought this in May. 105k KM's (65k miles). Fully loaded. 5.3L. Has started fine every day since we bought it. It had started to crank over a little longer first thing in the morning, or after sitting for several hours. So I've been letting the pump pressurize fully before cranking and it starts within the first few cranks, just like any other time.

Yesterday afternoon my wife goes to head out and it won't start. She tried it several times. I came home a few hours later and checked the plugs. Saw the threads were a little bit wet so fuel was getting in there I figured. After trying to start it a few times, I could smell fuel at the tailpipe. I then removed a spark plug and held it while she cranked it to see if there was spark. Yeah, not the smartest thing, but I sure did find out there was spark! Saw the spark and felt a nice big snap in my hand when it did! Anyway, tried it again this morning and still no start. So I don't think it's a flooding issue.

I also have a CompuStar alarm, but no remote start connected. It seems very strange to me that fuel could be getting to the cylinders, and spark and it doesn't fire. I located the fuel filter but it ran totally fine until this point. No sluggishness or any of that, so a filter makes no sense. I hear the fuel pump prime every time the key is turned to 'ON' position. The CEL (check engine light) is on, but has been intermittently since we bought it from my wife's dad. Ran the codes right after buying it and it said something about spark on the drivers bank so I replaced the plugs on that side. Otherwise the truck runs very well, CEL on or off. The truck has an aftermarket exhaust, MAF, and K&N intake kit on it. I've owned Dodges always and you can check the codes yourself, but I think you need a scanner for this right?

Any ideas? It's in our garage right now which is good, but I'd love to be able to diagnose it before it goes out to a shop.


  • pan3pan3 Member Posts: 5
    Turn key, nothing but dash lights. When it does start, prints "Service 4 Wheel Drive", stays in low gear for a long time before upshifting one gear up (probably in a limp mode?). Dealer sees lots of "u" codes. Has called tech support, no luck. Done it twice in last three weeks from a cold start. Dealer wants to replace computer "can". Searched web and nothing out there. Only 3,000 miles. HELP!!!!
  • rockman59rockman59 Member Posts: 250
    Research the lemon laws in your state and start your documentaton on this vehicle. This sounds like a problem your dealer may never be able to solve and you want to be prepared to make them take the vehicle back for a new one or a refund on your money. Document! Document! Document!
  • johnnycamarojohnnycamaro Member Posts: 2
    I'm interested in purchasing a brand new tahoe at the beggining of next month. I want to know does anyone have any major problems with the 07's? I want a 2WD LT.
    This is my first american car purchase and hopefully it won't be my last. I have heard nothign but great reviews about it. But I also heard great reviews on the Chrysler 300C and we all know the troubles that come with owning one of those. Any and all feedback is appreciated.
  • festyfoleyfestyfoley Member Posts: 1
    I have an AM/FM Stereo, CD/DVD, Navigation system that I've had problems with from the beginning. First I lost all radio, no alarms, no blinker noises...nada. The dealer replaced the radio and amplifier.
    Then I bought 2 new CD's and the first one hung-up after 30 seconds. I figured I had a bad CD so I went right back in to the store and got another one...same thing. I played this same CD at home and in my wife's Volvo and my buddy's Chevy problem. It happened on another CD also so back to the dealer it went. They agreed there was a problem and another radio was installed today. SAME problems.
    Is anyone else experiencing this sort of thing?
  • yasenangelovyasenangelov Member Posts: 1
    Hi my name is Yasen and I am doing transportation business using two new 07 Suburbans and one 04 Suburban. I usually drive around 75000 miles a year and I have a really good chance to see which vehicle is good and which is bad. The Tahoe is almost the same as the Suburban and I can tell you that they are great vehicles. The only thing I can tell you is as bigger car is as more problems you are going to face it. American SUVs are the best on the market and of course they have lots of problems but believe me Japanese SUVs are not any better than Americans ones neither the Europeans ones. I have these problems with the 04 one: tail light are not working and funny problem with the AC, which is automatic. The AC sometimes just decides not to work and I suspect an electrical problem. Maybe GM is making better the 07 models but who knows the time will show up, especially if taking the fact on mind that i use these vehicles too much. I will definitely advice you to buy one of them but try to do a good deal when you buying the Tahoe. Definitely buy under the invoice price. You are going to fine one, just do not hurry. The Tahoe you could buy is around 30000 out the door price.
  • ktm9ktm9 Member Posts: 4
    My 4 week old 07 Suburban has been in the shop for a week for a vibration problem. Every time the dealer says it fixed, it is actually worse. They have told me they rebalanced the tires, then replaced the rear tires, then replaced all four and "checked" the drive train.

    Can clues????
  • twernst10twernst10 Member Posts: 25
    Where is the Vibration?
  • ktm9ktm9 Member Posts: 4
    The steering wheel, center console, and driver and passenger seat vibrate pretty bad.

    The service manager says "it normal for an SUV". We have a loaner Tahoe that rides really nice.
  • twernst10twernst10 Member Posts: 25
    Odd, I know for me I have a little feedback in the gas pedal at like 1500 RPMs and between 30-45 MPH. Nothing serious just was wondering if that was what you were talking about. I also have the rattle in the headliner. I have narrowed that down to the rear overhead light. It seems they did not design it 100% perfect and it needs a little something to hold it tight and not rattle. But other than that no issues. The truck is built well and doing everything I ask of her.
  • ktm9ktm9 Member Posts: 4
    No, the vibration is in the entire vehicle. When I drive 45 and higher the whole truck shakes. I wish I could my truck is well built.
  • rherrerarherrera Member Posts: 3
    Beware of the sunroof option. Apparently the 07 "wicking system" has been designed to, in short..LEAK. If your interested in this feature, I urge you to at least take it through a car wash to determine if it's an issue on that particular vehicle, and if it is, can you live with it? Do this before you purchase. We are still in dispute over ours and so far have only been assured "that the sunroof is functioning as designed". Sadly, this was our first american car.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Member Posts: 588
    The same system is in practically all, if not actually all, modern cars with a factory sunroof. It's not a wicking system- it's a drain system to handle any water that makes it past the sunroof's seal. In short, it's not designed to leak. But it is designed to keep the leak from harming anything should it occur.
  • junglegeorgejunglegeorge Member Posts: 129
    I have a host of issues with my Tahoe, thankfully the sunroof is not one of them. I have owned 2003, 2004, and now the 3007 Tahoe all with the sunroof option. Not one leak. We had a torrential down pour this weekend, I was on the interstate driving at 45 -70 MPH, not a drop. Suggest you keep on your dealer and possibly try a different dealer. I have never had a problem in the car wash and I wash the truck at least once a week. Good Luck George
  • rherrerarherrera Member Posts: 3
    I understand the drain system--as I've had a sunroof in every car I've owned for the last 20 years and not one ever leaked. This problem in our 07Tahoe is especially concerning, as the fabric on the roof has gotten wet, and when we have recreated this problem with a hose, I get sprayed in the drivers seat. The car has GPS and DVD and I am afraid in a short period of time the water issue will be a larger problem, possible affecting electronics. We are pursuing the issue through the BBB to start with and if anyone has recommendations on other avenues I'd greatly appreciate them.
  • rockman59rockman59 Member Posts: 250
    rherrera said: We are pursuing the issue through the BBB to start with
    I doubt that you will get much help with the BBB. You should be going after the dealer all the way up the the GM or owner and/or the regional GM people. Raise hell, get mad,(in a positive but very firm way) let 'em know you will not back down until the problem is solved. Keep the pressure on.
  • rherrerarherrera Member Posts: 3
    We have delt with the dealership, gotten the run-around each time and they've had some regional person deem the sunroof "functioning as designed". We've brought the truck in 3 times, nothing done each time and there's a lot of phone calls coming in from GM but we're unable to get back in touch with them. I'm beginning to think we just need to get a lawyer and go to war. I was hoping it wouldn't come down to this. I was also thinking about going to the media and press--anyone try that before?
  • rockman59rockman59 Member Posts: 250
    there's a lot of phone calls coming in from GM but we're unable to get back in touch with them
    Do you mean that GM is returning your calls? If that's the case it seems at least they want to talk. Better figure out a way to get back to them on the phone or email. Better than spending money at this point by hiring a lawyer.
    And you might want to take the vehicle to an indie sunroof shop and get their opinion on the problem. You shouldn't have to do this...but again it is still less costly than a lawyer. Try to make a connection with GM...before spending any money.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Member Posts: 588
    Sounds like yours is definitely abnormal. I hate when dealerships give customers the runaround. I hope you get your problem resolved, but I'd definitely look at another dealership for future service issues. The folks at this one don't sound competent.
  • studiojstudioj Member Posts: 5
    My 2001 Suburban 5.3L K1500 left me stranded last evening. It started fine, I drove it for a mile, and parked the car. When I came back 2 hours later, the starter showed no signs of life. Light are bright. Gauges work. I tried a jump. No luck. I pulled all the fuses and all are good. I bought a new starter relay and replaced the old one. No luck. I wrapped the starter lightly with a hammer. No luck. I pulled the battery wires off, cleaned the connections and reinstalled. No luck. At this point I'm convinced the problem is either the starter itself or some sort of interlock with the transmission. What other diagnosis should I perform? Anyone have a similar experience or have any suggestions?
  • arriearrie Member Posts: 312
    Could be the Park/Neutral switch that disables starting with gear on.

  • studiojstudioj Member Posts: 5
    Yes, the park/neutral switch is a possibility. My question is where is it? On some of my cars this switch is on/in the tranny and on some it's part of the steering column. Anyone have a clue where this switch is on a 2001 Suburban?
  • mmcnamarammcnamara Member Posts: 27
    Before you go any further, I would make sure to load test the battery to make 100% sure that it's up to snuff. I've had several experiences where a battery with a dead cell would light the lights, run the radio, etc. but when the key was turned, nothing but silence under the hood. Most auto parts stores will do this for free. Good luck.
  • studiojstudioj Member Posts: 5
    Battery is new and has been load tested. I did have a bit of good luck today. While someone else was turning the key, I was checking for juice at the starter motor. While fishing around trying to get the meter on the terminal I happened to wiggle the cable from the battery down at the starter motor. The car started. Problem is that I don't really know whether it was the cable I wiggled or the person repeatedly turning the key that caused it to start. I've started it 5 times since and it's like it's back to normal. No hint that it had any trouble starting. This is still a mystery and I'm sure I'll have to deal with it again, but for now the car is starting.
  • 70ss454_man70ss454_man Member Posts: 107
    sounds like you just have a looses connection somewhere on the starter or somewhere else. a way to test this is to wiggle the wire and see if it starts. if it doesnt then you could most likely wiggle it again until it works
  • pmipmatt73pmipmatt73 Member Posts: 1
    your going to wanna kick yourself for this, but i have the same problem, all i did was add about 3 gallons of gas into the car and it worked. my car will not start if i let the gas meter get to about 1/4 tank. not sure why. im probably too late on this reply to help you but... hey.
  • studiojstudioj Member Posts: 5
    Wow, that is odd. My car just started after 3 days. No explanation why. It just started like nothing was ever wrong. Sure, in those three days I jiggled every wire I could find, replaced fuses, jumped the battery (my battery was only 3 months old), tried to diagnose the key lock cylinder switch... nothing looked bad. The car started after three days and has started every day since then. I can't explain it and I am not of a mind to pay GM $000's to replace every part in the car trying to figure it out either. Glad you got yours going. I did have a BMW once that was supposed to look for fuel pressure in the fuel injection before cranking the car... wonder whether the GM engineers copied that idea and hence the gas in your tank somehow restored fuel pressure to the FI system?
  • rockman59rockman59 Member Posts: 250
    Pimpmatt73 said: "All I did was add about 3 gallons of gas into the car and it worked."
    Maybe when your fuel guage gets to 1/4 your tank is actually empty. Better check the accuracy of your fuel guage.
  • jp3texasjp3texas Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Tahoe LT with 101000 miles in it. Over the past few months, it will not start on the first try. It'll crank just fine but thats all. All gauges respond as they should. It almost seems like its not getting fuel or spark. It always starts by the 3rd try.
    Any ideas?

  • michaelhall131michaelhall131 Member Posts: 2
  • 20tahoeura07lt20tahoeura07lt Member Posts: 1
    I bought my Tahoe back in December '06. I love the idea of remote start. My remote periodically will start the vehicle and the vehicle dies. You cannot restart it from the remote. You can start it with the key at the point. I have taken it to the dealer once and they reprogrammed it. They said it is getting an engine code causing it to die immediately.
  • richarr3richarr3 Member Posts: 3
    I have an occasional (every 4 or 5 months or so) a recurring issue with my Tahoe. It will turn over, rev up like its starting and then immediately die. The fuel pump has been replaced twice, once at 70k another at 190k. Fuel filter replaced too numerous to count. The longest period of time between starting problems (about 15 months), the dealer replaced the negative battery cable. In the past it may run after about 10 minutes, or it may be later in the day, or not at all. This week I did a little off roading, (not mud riding), it ran fine. Got out, hiked for about 3 hours and came back, it would not start. Just crank, rev, die. Rolled the tahoe forward about 20 yards and it ran just fine. No problems since, but of course I'm scared to get to far from civilization. Any suggestions? Can it possibly be the negative battery cable? Thanks in advance.
  • arriearrie Member Posts: 312

    As your problem is very intermittent it kind of says you have a loose wire connection somewhere. And it most certainly is not the negative battery cable. If it was, your engine simply would not crank when you try to start.

    I have a '04 Tahoe LT and have had a couple bad connection issues.

    The first one was wire harness to MAP sensor. When engine was in idle it shut off when I touched the wire harness. And this did not even leave a code in the computer.

    I'm not sure if loose MAP sensor wire would prevent engine from starting but it could. Map sensor is located on top of the engine by the fire wall under the plastic engine cover.

    Another problem I had with MAF wire harness. Soldering those wires to connectors improved my engine performance a bit. This should not prevent the engine from starting though.

    You could have a bad connection on the crank shaft position sensor or the sensor itself is bad. This sensor is located behind the starter motor, which must be removed to gain access to the sensor. This is not very bad job if you are a hands on person. It does require a torque wrench though for tightening the starter motor bolts to correct tightness.

    Crank shaft position sensor cost about $70 I think. I replaced mine and it was $65 + tax. Replacing it would rule that out as a problem and this sensor will prevent the engine from starting if it goes bad or signal does not get to the computer for a bad connection.

    Another sensor that would not let engine start is cam shaft position sensor. It works the same way as crank shaft sensor and is located in a more difficult place on top of the engine by the fire wall. It is lower on back side on engine that the MAP sensor and is quite hard to reach. I would think that a good mechanic would be able to change this without removing the intake manifold from the engine.

  • michael_hmichael_h Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1999 Tahoe that is occasionally having trouble starting. At times it cranks, tries to start, and dies, so I knwo it is getting fuel and ignition. It is not the starter or battery. Appears to happen only in mornings or in humid environments. Sometimes after several attempts it will start, but most of the time it will either start first time, or will not start at all after multiple attempts. I have seen similar posts on this issue, but have not seen a resolution. Has anyone solved this problem??
  • mworkmanmworkman Member Posts: 3
    My truck will not start after a rain shower or during high cranks and turns over but will not start..any suggestions? I've changed the distributor/rotar (looked fine) after checking it for cracks..none found.
  • mtnman7mtnman7 Member Posts: 2
    Truck is hard to start when cold start in the a.m.

    Must turn ignition on and off several times before engine will fire. Have to give it gas to start. Almost sounds like it’s “gargling” when it does. The problem goes away once warm. Seems more of an issue with a full tank of gas.

    Fuel pump replaced last summer.
    Not starting as fast as before.
    Truck stalled twice this summer when coming to a hard stop with the A/C on.
    Service Engine light came on 2 weeks ago. P0452 Fuel Tank Pressure Signal circuit Input below minimum.
    The difficulty starting has become more serious over the last 2 weeks.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Tahoe Starting Problems may be helpful.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • cniwranskicniwranski Member Posts: 7
    Thank you. I did previously read whatever I could find for Tahoe's with similar problems. It seems to boil down to the fuel pressure regulator or perhaps a security bug. I'm getting spark, so I'm pretty certain that it's not electronic or security in nature, since security systems always cancel the spark or prevent power going to the starter. I'm thinking more about the FPR. I could smell fuel in the exhaust pipe and saw the threads on the plugs were a little wet, but that could mean fuel is maybe just dribbling into the chamber. A spark will ignite fuel vapor but not just liquid fuel. Could the FPR possibly be letting in low-pressure fuel that the injectors are not vaporzing?

    I read that the FPR is on the drivers side, but didn't see a pic. I presume like most liquid pressure regulators that it would be disc-shaped with a pipe connection in the center, on both sides? I read that if you take the top hose off (vacuum side) and if fuel comes out, the FPR is bad. Also, every time I turned the key to ON, the pump would prime. Wouldn't the system be primed and the FPR tell it not to prime if I had just tried cranking it over? Other cars I've had have done that. You would get a very short prime if you had just primed it, since the system was fully pressurized.
  • cniwranskicniwranski Member Posts: 7
    So I did a little more investigating. Went to the schrader valve on the fuel crossover rail to see if there was pressure. Inserted a small screwdriver to press the center nipple down and nothing. Not a spritz or even a drip. Then I primed the pump 4 times, figuring that should for sure build pressure. Tried the valve again and nothing at all.

    So since I smelled fuel during cranking, I feel that very low pressure fuel is getting into the cylinders somehow. So quite possibly my regulator went bad. Where exactly is the thing??

    My other possibility is the factory alarm is preventing fuel flow, BUT doesn't it prevent the fuel pump from running? Seems odd it still prime the system if the alarm is telling it not too. The horn doesn't honk or anything like it's alarming when trying to start the truck. The security light does go on while cranking the motor. That normal? Is they some definitive way to 'reset' the factory alarm or to make sure it's off so I can rule it out?
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Give Got a Quick, Technical Question? a try. Maybe one of the experts over there could help you.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • cniwranskicniwranski Member Posts: 7
    Thanks; I posted there too.

    So I've decided to change the regulator and see if the pump is pumping fuel by removing the filter inlet line and priming the pump. Any tips or tricks on replacing the regulator? Do I need any special tools to get it unhooked from the lines? Twist and pull??
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Your braver than I am! I leave this stuff to the pros who know what they are doing. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • delariadelaria Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Chevy Suburban 1500. One recent morning, we went to start the car after a night in the garage and it would not start. It made all the normal starting sounds, engine turning over, etc. (no clicking - like with a dead battery) but it would not catch and idle. After several tries we waited about 10 minutes and were then able to start it.

    In a couple subsequent repeats of this problem, we noticed that the fuel level was below 1/4 tank. Since I had a 5 gallon fuel tank for the lawn mower, I added 5 gallons to the tank and it started right away.

    On yet another occasion, it sat for the night, would'nt start (with 1/4 tank) - tried a few times - still nothing. Added 5 gallons and it started right away.

    Any thoughts.
  • rockman59rockman59 Member Posts: 250
    My thoughts: (1) your fuel guage or sending unit is inaccurate and when it shows 1/4 tank it is acutally almost empty. (2) The gauge/sending unit is correct but something is amiss with the parts that deliver the actual fuel into the system.
  • ladylabhunterladylabhunter Member Posts: 1
    We have a 99 Suburban we bought used in 2003. When ever it is humid or very damp outside, the truck will not start. We have replaced the ditributor cap and plug wires and it didn't help.I didn't make it to work today because of this recurring problem. It doesn't seem to matter how much gas is in the tank, just the weather outside.
  • mdixon1mdixon1 Member Posts: 1
    2001 Tahoe 5.3L. Jump in and turn the key on the truck will crank but not start. If i try to crank it again it acts like it fluids and i have to let it sit. If I get in and turn the key on and let the fuel pump cycle once or twice it will start no problem. Fuel pump was replaced and also the fuel regulator. Please help. I have seen some posting about the security. My security light does not come on when i have this problem.
  • bstracenbstracen Member Posts: 4
    delaria-i have an 03 burb Z71 with the 5.3L engine that does the same thing.Any time fuel gets below 1/4 tank,she might not start. Put in 2 gal of lawnmower gas & boom goes the dynamite. The gas guage is working properly- it will show 1/4 tank and if i take it immediately to the gas station & fill it up-it has about 7-8 gallons of fuel in it. Ran in to another 03 burb owner @ the gas station & asked if theirs did the same thing(03Z71)-and yes it did. Lady thought she was crazy. GM had replaced 2 fuel pumps for them & still does it. Have you asked your dealer about service bulletins covering this issue? The response i get is change fuel pump & that's not the answer.
  • ucfknightucfknight Member Posts: 2
    Did you ever find an answer. I have a 2001 Suburban that does the same thing. It won't start on the first turn of the ignition but will fire up fine on the 2nd or thrid tuen. No running problems once started and the security light never comes on.
  • chevy100chevy100 Member Posts: 2
    hi ihave tahoe 2003 ihave proplem whith remote keyles not working how can i make work in this car :mad:
  • dee23dee23 Member Posts: 4
    Did you have this problem again? Also, did you ever look into accelerator actuator? Frayed wires on throtle body?
  • inhim2r1inhim2r1 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Tahoe and walked out this morning to go to church and it wouldn't start. No crank or anything. Voltmeter looks good @ 12 volts but it will do nothing. No warning signs, no other times, just will not even try to start. Does anyone have any suggesstions?
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