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Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe No Start problems



  • Did you ever solve your problem? I have a 2001 Suburban as well that won't start on the first try. Usually starts on second or third. Runs fine after that. I read that it might be related to the MAP sensor. Have you tried replacing that part?
  • My 99 Tahoe is also having a starting problem. It will try to start but acts like it is not getting fuel. I was told that it was the security system locking me out. A mechanic said to turn the switch on and wait until the security light went out to try to start it. This worked for a while but now the light will not go out sometimes and the vehicle usually starts after 30 or 40 min. with the switch off. It is frustrating because it doesn't do it all the time. Did you find what was causing the problem with your Tahoe? The mechanic said a new module for the security system would be 8 or 900.
  • Michael, so far my 99 Tahoe has had her gas tank dropped, cleaned out, the fuel pump filter cleaned, and new gas put in the tank. One shop replaces all the spark plugs, due to rich fuel fouling. The next shop replaced her MASS sensor and a broken vacume line. I am told she works fine.
    I do not know as yet for I have a bill to get my Tahoe back. Although I hope this fix's the problem, I am unsure. My brother said if the problem continues to start my cleaning the MAP sensor then continue to replace the sensors until the problem is resolved.
    I wish every one luck in a well running vehicle. :D Myself included.
  • i have a 2003 Tahoe and it has done this 3 times. I heard that it has something to do with the fuel pickup in the bottom of the tank and that if you will tap on the bottom of the tank hard it will start. It did it to me yesterday and I hit the tank with my hand several times over the length of it and it started right up.
  • Especially in the winter when the cold starting take a ton of amperage... If you have this problem consistently, try new spark plugs. Sometimes 2 point plugs work really good in the winter... you might also find that the fuel mileage is better with the 2 points. Don't use them in the summer though... the engine heat will be very high due to the better burn. I have a 2001 with a 5.3 and it works for me. I still have a hard start sometimes in the winter. Good luck.
  • I have a 2004 Tahoe LT with the 5.3 V8. I have had a few times when the vehicle will not start either with the remote start or either original keys. The battery is fully charged, I've jumped the starter at the solenoid. The starter spins but does not engage.
    Recently I had a problem with the speedometer showing false readings. I received the recall for the cluster replacement. While I got the card a few months ago, I am out of the 70k mile warranty. However the little security light on the dash started to come at the same time. The factory alarm will arm as normal and will activate as designed, that little light never goes out while the car is in motion and the key in the ignition. Has anyone experienced this problem?
    When I turn the key there is nothing, while using the remote the lights come on as normal and the car attempts to start but during the time the starter would normally be engaged the is nothing. It will attempt 3 times then stop. Could this be an intrusion alarm locking out the starter and fuel pump, be cause it doesn't sound like it comes on either.
  • 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!!
  • I have the same problem every winter. When the temperature drops into the low 30s or lower my Tahoe will not start. I have to wait till the temp rises to about 50 and it will start just fine.

    When I try and start it, all lights come on as expected, makes all the same noises as usual, turns over just fine, but will not fire. Whenever I take it into the dealer it hasn't been cold enough to not start. They say there are no fault codes. One technition has heard of the problem and thinks it is the engine control module. But they cannot reproduce the problem to test it. The truck as a new battery (3-4 months old).

    I guess my question is has anyone else had the issue? I am headed to Tahoe next week and thats the last place I want to be with a truck that won't start in cold weather.

  • My wifes 2000 suburban is hard to start at times. It will turn over for a while and finally kick off and start. Sometimes it wont start too.

    I am not a mechanic at all so sorry about the descriptions I may give.

    She also notices the battery gauge "bouncing" back and forth alot. Can these two issues be related?

    Any suggestions?

    The service department at the Local dealer cannot find anything wrong.
  • I am havin the same problem, i just replaced my fuel pump thinking that would help but it didn;t, my mechanic said it was the aftermarket alarm system thats causing it to kill after I start it. after 10 or 15 min it will start right up. The alarm is resetting itself, So this morning I had someone take it to a car alarm shop to take it out. I;m hoping that will do the trick, I'll let you know. See if your vehicle has an aftermarket alarm and if thats not it it may be the passlock system. :)
  • I am having the same problem with my 2000 chevy suburban. I replaced my fuel pump thinkn that was it, but my mechanic said it is the aftermarket alarm system that was put in b4 i purchased it(used). I am having the alarm taken out this morning. The truck wouldn't turn over but would start after about 10or 15 min because the alarm would reset itself. If thats not it u will have to take it to the dealer to have the passlock system checked. hope this is helpful and everything goes well!!!!!!!!
  • anazuzanazuz Posts: 1
    I've been having the same problem on and off. This week is at it's worst because my truck has not started at all. Maybe you shouldn't take it to Tahoe.

  • Hey thanks for the info. I've had my tahoe for 3 years and since i remember i've always heard that noise, is it possible that it took it this long to crap out? Do you think it is my fuel pump that is not working properly?
  • Thanks (msmocha). I have only the factory alarm system. I do have the Viper Remote start. Over the last week I have gone out and started the vehicle right off every time. When I start it i will do it several times in a row, and it has started. However on Saturday morning I went out to start it and it turned over very slowly like the battery was going dead. Then Sunday the same thing. Each time I started the vehicle I let it run for at least 10 minutes to replenish the battery. Monday morning the truck would barely crank but not enough to start. There is nothing plugged in so the only system running on the truck is the factory alarm system. I have noticed that some times when the truck is shut off and the key out of the ignition, there sounds like a module or something running in the dash. Hard to explain the sound. Anyone have any different thoughts? :(
  • Hope this might help and save time and $ for some people. If your Suburban randomly will not start, try checking the cables that attach to the battery terminals. They can become loose (in which case there is faulty contact w/ the battery and the car won't start or the lights flicker or go out, etc) frequently and for a variety of reasons. For example driving over speed bumps, on rough roads, etc. Corrosion can also build up and cause faulty contact as well. So, if your Suburban won't start and the battery is good, pop the hood and inspect the battery. Loosen the nuts holding the battery cables and if you see corrosion use a battery cleaner spray or wire brush to clean off the nuts and bolts/metal clamps that attach to the terminals. Then reattach terminals and tighten the nuts well. It's great if something as simple as this is the reason your truck won't start, instead of one of the many other potentially unknown and expensive problems. This works for me. ;)
  • In regards to my Tahoe and her intermittent starting problems. I am very happy to say that after many attempts of repair she is finally running!
    Replacing the fuel-fouled spark plugs was a start.
    Replacing the fuel pump and fuel filter helped.
    Cleaning her MAP sensor, MAS sensor, MAT sensor helped.
    The winning replacement part was her "Ignition Distributor" :)
    Replacing the distributor was the winning part to make her run even in below zero weather.
    I wish every one luck in their automotive repair' s.
  • I was wondering if you or your mechanic fixed your problem with your Tahoe not starting. My Tahoe, ive had since new, has left me stranded 5 times over a nine year period. Each time the next day, the mechanic says there is nothing wrong. I did add a after market remote starter, and felt that was the problem.
    The Tahoe is in the garage after a complete tune up, replacement of sensors under the dash, replace fuel pump, and it still won't run.

    Can you or your mechanic help me.
  • mattrigmattrig Posts: 4
    I have an '04 Tahoe with about 85k on it. Recently it won't start on the first try and generally will on the second or third. This occurs if it has been sitting for a while such as overnight. If it is warm then it starts right up. The dealer said that it is the fuel pump. That on the first "cold" try it doesn't completely pump the fuel to where it is needed. They said I need to replace the pump and should replace the fuel filter at the same time. Does this sound legit? This is a big expense.
  • arriearrie Posts: 312
    Have that fuel filter changed first. You can have this done at any small shop. You can also change it yourself but you need to get a special tool for disconnecting the filter from fuel line. Same type tool as is used for AC connections. That tool does not cost much either.

    Another thing to check before fuel pump work is the fuel pressure. If pressure is low it can be an indication of failing pump but it can also be an indication of failing fuel pressure regulator.

    Fuel pressure regulator can loose spring force that controls fuel pressure causing low pressure condition and poor fuel spray in the intake port. Pressure regulator is quite inexpensive to change compared to fuel pump.

    Depending on the car dealer it seems they want to do the most expensive job first, which you pay regardless if it fixes the problem and then they start changing the other parts that can be the problem.

    Have you changed spark plugs yet? They can be the problem too. I know they say you can go 100 000 miles with the factory installed plugs but I would, and have changed mine, already before 50 000 miles. Factory installed spark plugs seldom are the best you can get either as is the case with plug wires.

    Start with the fuel filter, which if I remember right is located on driver side in about middle of the car on inside of the frame beam. Lucky you have a fuel filter as some other cars have fuel filter only at fuel pump itself. You could check the fuel pressure before changing the filter to see if it makes any difference.

    If filter change does not help check / change fuel pressure regulator.

    Fuel filter and pressure regulator change I think cost $200 or less. Fuel pump job I have seen from other posts cost $800 - $1000.

    One thing that perhaps tells about filter problem is easy test to do. When the engine is cold and you would need to turn the key twice before it starts do this:

    Turn the key only to make all instrument panel lights to come on, i.e. turn the key to ON but DO NOT TURN IT TO START. You should hear the fuel pump to operate for a couple of seconds. Now turn the key OFF and then turn it like you normally would start the engine and see if the engine really starts. This could indicate that indeed the fuel filter is restricting the fuel flow to the engine and you kind of need a "pre-charge" from the fuel pump before you are able to start the engine.

  • reloc8reloc8 Posts: 2
    I'm hoping someone can help me. I have an 02 Tahoe that occasionally will not start. No lights, no sounds, nothing-just dead. It will not jump and the battery cables are tight and clean/no corrosion. The battery is new. I've had it tested and the battery, starter and charging systems show normal/good. What could be causing this?

    The test showed that the system is draining 6.44 amps when totally shut off. This sounds high to me. What could be causing it?

    I also get that whirring sound when driving and sometimes when I shut off the vehicle. Could that be indicative of the problem?

    Please advise. Any direction or help would be greatly appreciated. I drive my children around in this truck and don't like being stranded at will. Plus wrecker fees are adding up!
  • arriearrie Posts: 312
    Over 6 amps pull from battery when everything is off is HUGE! It will probably drain your battery to no-start condition in a day. It is quite obvious that there is something "stuck" on or grounded / grounding.

    6.44 amps is quite high though.

    You could do following: Connect amp meter between battery negative and the ground cable. That is where you should see that 6.44 ams draining when everything is OFF and start testing every fuse and relay, i.e. take fuses and relays off one by one (replacing each if not problem) until you find the one that stops battery drainage. This way you can find the circuitry that is causing it.

    It can also be that your alternator has started leaking in the ground (diode problem) and as the amperage is quite high this might be where I would start, i.e. disconnect all alternator wires to see if that is doing it.

    Starter motor could be the source for problem too so disconnect the thick starter motor power cable from the battery to see if it helps.

  • reloc8reloc8 Posts: 2
    Thanks Arrie, although I'm no expert, I thought 6.44A sounded high. I will try what you suggested and hopefully will come up w/a solution. I appreicate your thoughtful comments.
  • nate24nate24 Posts: 1
    My '03 Suburban won't start at random times. It does seem tied to the weather (didn't happen at all in the winter), and is usually after it's been driven - but not always. When I turn the key all the electrical components turn on as if it's in auxilliary, but the engine simply won't turn over. There is obviously enough power to turn on lights, radio, dvd player, but no start. Sometimes you can wait 20 seconds and try it 20 times and then it will start. Other times, 20 minutes and two tries will do the trick. There appears to be no rhyme or reason to when it will finally start. All cables (including battery) appear to be tight. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
  • kdmillerkdmiller Posts: 14
    Replace crank sensor or new battery. K Miller
  • I wanted to thank members on this board for helping me solve my problem with my '99 Suburban. The postings on this board help me diagnose the problem and saved me $100's of dollars replacing parts that were not impacting the performance of the car.

    The issue was that the truck was difficult to start first thing in the morning. Once it was started for the day, I had no problem getting it started. In the morning, the starter would crank but the engine would not fire. I had replaced the fuel pump 5 years ago. For a while, I could get it to start by:

    1) cranking the engine for three seconds;
    2) turning the key to the off position;
    3) turning the key to the on position ( not cranking ) for 10 seconds;
    4) turning the key off
    5) turning the key to the start ( crank ) position.

    Once the car had been started in the morning, it had no problem starting for the entire day.

    My mechanic thought that the problem was probably the fuel pump, but when he tested the fuel pressure, the results were within manufacturers specs ( 60 psi -- I think). He was uncomfortable recommending changing the fuel pump because it had been changed previously, it was recording the proper pressure, and it cost $800. Some of the other items might have been the distributor, the Fuel Injectors, the spark plug wires and other items. We both agreed that a new fuel pump for $800 with no certainty that it would remedy the problem, would be a risky venture.

    I noticed that when I parked the truck on an incline with the engine higher than the gas tank, the truck would not start at all the next morning. I towed the car such that the engine was lower than the fuel tank. The truck started with no problem.

    My mechanic recreated the hill scenario by parking the truck on an inclining rack over night and running the fuel pressure tests in the morning. The test results showed a much lower fuel pressure of 35 psi, way below the manufacturer's spec.

    Armed with this new information, we both agreed that my mechanic should go ahead and replace the fuel pump.

    Now the truck starts every time.
  • pmokpmok Posts: 1
    Nate24 - What was the solution? My 04 Tahoe is doing the exact same thing! It has been happening once every 2-3 weeks. I only had to wait 10 seconds and try again and it would start up. Today it did it again and I had to wait 15 minutes. Battery is only 6 months old. Lights and radio come on but the engine won't even turn over. Was it the crank sensor?
  • I have a 2000 Chevrolet Suburban that is sputtering and falling on its face when I press the gas pedal. After reading this forum, I am thinking it might be the fuel pump. So I called the local Chevrolet service dept and they said it would cost over $535 for the pump and $370 in labor. WOW!! Well that is not in my budget. I think I will start small first and check the fuel filter, thanks to a message I found earlier on this forum, and I did find it under the driver's side. I also am checking the fuses and relays. Any other suggestions anyone might have, I would greatly appreciate.

    I have had this Suburban for over four years and have never ever had any problems. It has been a great vehicle.

    Oh, I took the fuses for the fuel pump to have them checked and they said I would have to know what the OHMS were so they could be checked. Does anyone know what they might be?

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Does anyone know what they might be?

    I don't know what they are but I don't think you need to know any more than whether they are blown or not. The pump will not function at all if the fuses are blown.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
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