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Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe No Start problems



  • steveqsteveq Posts: 14
    I don't know if this will help, but I had problems with my battery dying after leaving the radio on for a few minutes with the engine off. The dealer said there was an update to the Body Control Module (BCM) that would fix it and they "flashed" it (updated it). My battery has not died on me since, but I have also been careful to turn off all accessories when the engine is not running.
  • A few days ago I was driving home from work when i noticed the my tahoe was acting up. I was at a stop light and when the light turned green i stepped on the gas pedal and my tahoe kind of stuttered as if wasn't getting fuel. so then finally it started to go and i kept driving when i went to pass someone i stepped the on the pedal a little harder and it did the same thing. The next day the same the thing was happening, when i would step on the gas pedal not much seemed to happen. my tahoe wouldn't really go when i stepped on the gas pedal. so then when i was going to go home from work i tried to start my tahoe and nothing would happen, it sounded like it was going to start but it just wouldn't kick over. the tow truck driver put more gas into my tahoe and nothing would happen. so then i realized that when i turned the ignition over i could no longer hear the whizzing sound that is said to be from the fuel pump. So is it my fuel pump? i was told to replace the fuel relay and i did and nothing happens. PLEASE HELP!!! THANKYOU!!"

    My '01 Tahoe is having the same problem. Did you find what the problem was? I would REALLY appreciate it. Thank you!
  • kevinhallkevinhall Posts: 1
    AAA towed my 2007 Tahoe LTZ to the dealership yesterday (I've bought 4 Chevrolets in the past 4 years from the same dealer) with this same problem. They have serviced my Tahoe since it was new. It just turned 70K miles and the very same electrical problems that many of you have described has happened. The bells and whistles activate however it won't start. The dealer tells me it needs a new starter, solenoid and battery. Total fix, $900. I told the dealer if that's the case, NO MORE Chevrolet's for me or my company. I stuck by Chevrolet through the tough times and now they won't stick by me. It's supposed to be a new General Motors and new Chevrolets however it's the same old game when it comes to dealer service and corporate responsibility. I don't treat my customers this way.

    I would like to know how your situation was resoled. Please let me know.
    Thank you and have a nice weekend.
  • plexus84plexus84 Posts: 1
    I'm having the same issue. Did you ever figure it out?
  • alanrsalanrs Posts: 25
    edited July 2011

    On the coldest day of the year in January, a similar thing happened to my '01 Suburban. I left a business with the engine running fine, but when I entered a controlled-access state highway (like an interstate) it would not accelerate normally. I could only attain about 50 mph, and the engine stumbled badly if I tried to open the throttle more. With it running so poorly, I figured it would be best to get off the highway at the first opportunity. As I slowed for the big 180 degree curve, the engine stopped running, and I coasted to a stop on the shoulder of the exit. The engine almost restarted a couple of times but would not run. I called for a tow. Good thing I had a heavy coat, hat, and gloves!

    I sprayed a small amount of starting fluid into the intake at home, and the engine fired for as long as the vapor lasted. Like garciar, I also could not hear the telltale sound of the fuel pump from right by the tank when a family member turned on the ignition. I ordered a new pump and filter, and installed them myself. That fixed the problem immediately, and the truck has run without that problem since, including a recent 2000+ mile trip.

    Dropping the fuel tank on a Suburban is no job for a mechanical novice.
    Because of the method of attachment for the fuel lines (so-called quick-connects) and their locations, in particular the front two, it is obvious that the chassis for my truck was completed (including the fuel system) prior to dropping the body onto the frame. There is simply no way to disconnect the plastic over-tank lines without severing them, so they either have to be cut and replaced or the pump has to be changed with the lines still connected at the front, which is what I did. The process is incredibly difficult. I see why the labor cost is so high for the job.

    One note to any D-I-Y mechanic out there: I struggled with the large hose section which connects the metal fuel filler pipe to the plastic tank. It was so stiff that I feared damage to the ($400+) tank's spout from straining to get the hose off, so I cut it with a knife. I figured maybe $20 - 30 at the dealership for the hose, less than a foot long and maybe 2" in diameter. Not so. The hose price at the dealer was $135! This is a GM-only part. I found one online discounted to just under $100. Sheesh! :surprise:
  • steveqsteveq Posts: 14
    The dealer updated my Body Control Module (BCM). They said that would fix my battery drain problem. I'm not sure if it was really fixed but I haven't had a problem since.
  • steveqsteveq Posts: 14
    The dealer updated my Body Control Module (BCM). They said that would fix my battery drain problem. I'm not sure if it was really fixed but I haven't had a problem since.
  • lburghosslburghoss Posts: 1
    My Suburban will not start and loses complete power. I have noticed the amp guage going up and down below 14 while driving at any speed. If I shut the truck off when the amp guage is below 14, I lose all power and it will not start again. UNLESS, I open the hood and move the positive battery cable around, not at the terminal, but 3-4 inches from the battery. Then all power restored and it starts. I have checked all the cables and made sure they are tight. No corrosion. Anyone else have this problem???? Is there a fix?

    Today the rear air started acting up. The front blows cold, but the rear blows hot...anyone have a fix?
  • jdvoigtjdvoigt Posts: 4
    Out of the blue, my suburban began starting hard. Turn the key and it cranks over for several seconds longer that it should. Finally catches, but just isn't right. Normally pops right over, but now it cranks for 5-6 seconds before it fires. Anyone have any ideas? Sounds like this could be a fuel pump or fuel system issue? Any ideas before I bring it into the dealer would be appreciated...
  • 500 for the fuel pump! I found one online for a 2000 Tahoe for 150 shipped. I'm going to get it and have my mechanic install it. I'm guessing he'd charge 250 to 300 for the work. That's allot cheaper than 800 everyone is talking about. My Tahoe is doing exactly what everyone else's is. Starts on second turn of the key. The fuel gauge is intermittent, though. Goes up to full and drops down to empty while driving. This indicates the fuel pump as well as the not starting every time. Change the Pump.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    edited August 2011
    Have 2007 LTZ w/same problem. Just got it back today and they replaced the fuel pump under warranty. Hard start problem resolved.
  • alanrsalanrs Posts: 25

    If you do not mind, I'd like to know how many miles were on your Suburban when the problem surfaced? My 2001 model was right about 115,000 when the pump went out, so I can't feel too bad about it.
  • This is not a slow start it is a sluggish start like my battery is dying. The car starts and runs fine once started but as soon as you turn it off, and start it again? SAME sluggish battery dying start.. now if you drive it for a long time?? and turn the car off? still same sluggish start.. If I leave the truck sit over the weekend its DEAD I jump start the thing and it starts up AWESOME, no issues .. tested the Battery and the batt tests out at 15 volts.. so many people saying its the ALT.. but if its the Alternator? the car should not stay running very long right? If it was the starter? why on a jump does the truck start up normal? :confuse:
  • For almost a year now I have been having problems with starting my truck. Sometimes it starts perfectly others it just clicks or does nothing. Usually happens when the weather is colder. Battery is new, starter relay is new. When it happens it resets the stereo and some of the other computer items but not all. Looked at the instrument cluster recall, my VIN is not on the list. Only thing I can think of is the ignition switch, just wondered if this would cause the dash resets I am seeing and if I'm on the right track to replace the ignition. Any answers?
  • highflyinghighflying Posts: 1
    edited September 2011
    I have exactly the same problem [lburghoss]. Have you found a fix? My dealer has no idea what the issue is. 2007 Suburban LTZ
  • Actually I found a website called where for a small fee you can webchat with an expert. He told me that it was the starter solenoid. I've always had starters give me grief and then just quit, he said the new ones can cause intermitant problems for a while. He said the clue was the resetting of the radio but not all dash items. I intend to replace the starter & solenoid at the same time, no point in doing one now and the other later. He also gave me step by step instructions on how to change the ignition switch on the lower part of the steering column just on the off chance that changing the starter doesn't correct the problem.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Heh, information like that is all over the net for free. Not only in this forum but over in Edmunds Answers too. We have several great techs (and some auto mechanic instructors) freely giving advice all over our site. All you have to do is ask.
  • Hm, I did ask and received no answers but thanks for the note on the free help.
  • I am at my wits end here. I purchased a 2008 Chevy Suburban about 6 months ago. Up until about 10 days ago, it ran like a champ. The last week in a half, however, it will not start. I go out in the morning, and the lights, radio, etc. all work, but the car just will not start. Once it is hooked up to jumper cables, it starts right away. However, when I get to my destination, I cannot turn it off, or it will be dead again. It has the backup camera, navigation screen, DVD players, heated seats, etc. Obviously something is draining the battery, but would the lights and such still work if so?

    One thing I also wonder about is the remote start. We just started using it about 2 weeks ago for the first time. Now all of the sudden, my car won't start.

    Has anybody ran across a problem like this with their car? I am at my wits end..I am a traveling photographer, and have gotten stranded at a handful of shoots because of this.

    Any help is appreciated greatly!
  • steveqsteveq Posts: 14
    Go to the dealer and have them update the BCM (Body Control Module) and also test the battery to see if it is bad. Also ask your dealer to check if there is a draw on the battery when the truck is shut off. I'm not convinced that updating the BCM is the final solution since my Tahoe had problems starting one time after updating its BCM (but I had left the radio on for a few minutes with the engine off).
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I apologize for your frustrations. Have you spoke with your dealer yet? If not, I would recommend starting there. Please feel free to email me with your VIN, current mileage, involved dealer, and contact information. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great weekend!
    GM Customer Service
  • t_text_tex Posts: 25
    Did you ever find what the problem was with your Tahoe. I've been reading alot of similar situations with GM vehicles and I can't help but think that maybe a component that is common to all these vehicle is the culprit - Onstar Module. Onstar controls door locks, can shut your ignition off, can slow your car to a stop, can affect lights, horn, and radio, and is circuited through all the electrical modules that controls these things. Even if you don't use your Onstar it is still connected to your communication bus and electrical systems. Onstar is disabled when you disconnect the battery, hence your car will start when you disconnect then reconnect your battery. I've got the same problems and I'm going to have Chevy disconnect the Onstar and see what happens. For everyone who is posting with these same problems, PLEASE post back if you find a resolution to your problem. Thanks
  • steveqsteveq Posts: 14
    The dealer said the problem was my Body Control Module (BCM) and they updated it ("flashed it"). However, I'm not convinced that it was the sole cause of my battery drain. Your theory that it could be related to Onstar is very interesting and could be the culprit. Let us know what you find when you disconnect the Onstar. You should ask the dealer to check for battery draw before disconnecting Onstar, then check again after disconnecting Onstar. Let us know!
  • See message #170 of 173 Recurring battery/engine issues under Chevrolet Tahoe Battery Problems by cachelot for background on our issues. Supplying information recently found that may help some people.

    If your engine won't turn over even with a jump and it appears no fuel is getting to the engine, and BEFORE paying your mechanic to replace your fuel pump system (~$900) or anything similar, go to youtube and check out this video that was recently sent to me. Just type in "Stories from the Road, GM Passlock Issue from Hell" I believe this may be the issue with many of these GM vehicles. Hopefully it helps someone.
  • Did you ever figure out this problem - I have the identical problem - tried plugs, wires, cap, rotor, fuel filter, no luck! Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated - I start my tahoe every morning now, but if I go away for the weekend, I'm toast
  • steveqsteveq Posts: 14
    Well, my dealer updated my Body Control Module (BCM) saying that would fix things, but I'm not sure if it actually did. I would ask the dealer to test the draw on your battery when the engine is not running, or check your BCM (if you have one). Mine is a '07, not sure if '99 has a BCM or not.
  • I have a 2007 Tahoe and 2 1/2 months ago I went start it and NOTHING! I called a tow truck they tried for 15 minutes to get it running by jumping it and messing with the cables. We tow it to the dealership and as soon as we unload it, it starts! I have the dealership look at it and they tell me I need a new battery, $196.00 later I have a new battery and a working car. Ten days later, it won't start again! I call the dealership, they said to bring it in, I call the tow truck again, but try to jump it myself, and what do you know after 20 minutes of messing with it, I get it to turn over. I drive it to the dealership, they keep it all day and call me saying I need to have the brackets that hold the battery in place replaced, that they are killing the battery. The cost, $550.00! I don't have them do it as it didn't make any sense to me. I take to a friends mechanic and he checks out the car and tests the battery and tells me that the battery the dealership sold me was faulty, they replace it for free. I drive for a couple days and again the car won't start again, this happens 6 times in a 3 week period. But I can get it to start and took it to the mechanic a few more time to have them run tests on it. They tell me it's the factory security system and only a dealerships can get into and fix the factory security system. I take it to a different dealership as I don't trust the first one and the bill says the cause is; no ground at strater ralay, and no communication on high speed lamp. Part number; 19210436 at the cost of $346.19 an labor at $404.00 and the tow bill adds up to $913.85! This was done on 10/31/2011. On Sunday, November 13th it won't start again! I take it in to the last dealership, they have it for two days... just got off the phone and now they say I need a new negative battery cable and a new instrument cluster, cost $811.00!!!! I am at my wits end with this car!! I love it but don't have the money to keep throwing at it. I told the dealership not to fit it, that I needed to do some research first. Any help is greatly appreciated!!!
  • steveqsteveq Posts: 14
    I would have the dealer update (flash) the Body Control Module (BCM). This seems to be at least part of the problem with battery drain for the 2007 Tahoe. It should be a free update. After doing the update, however, I would still recommend making sure everything in your truck is turned off if the engine is off (e.g., the radio, lights, etc.).
  • I'm sorry to hear about the start-up concern with your Tahoe, and that the problem is as yet unresolved. If we can investigate further, please email us more information (including your name/username, contact information, the last 8 of your VIN, and your preferred dealership).

    GM Customer Service
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