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Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe No Start problems



  • tdarrtdarr Posts: 5
    I am still having a intermittent dead ignition when key is turned to start engine. I have full dash operation, volts do not drop when problem happens. I have changed battery and ignition switch, but problem still happens. This problem has been sense new and dealer has had it several times but could not find problem.I have tried setting alarm and disarming , wiggling key, moving tilt up and down, but can not locate problem area. Truck will start when it feels like it. No set time from when it happens to when it starts like new. Head lights and interior lights dont even dim. I have over 100k now and it seems to be happening more often.I have seen plenty of complaints for same problem but no repairs that stop problem. Can anyone help that has fixed problem? Thank you tdarr
  • arriearrie Posts: 312
    Next time it happens where you have help at hand do this simple test.

    Have someone turn the key for you holding it at start position and give the starter motor a small bump with a hammer or something. If it is starter solenoid related, which is build in the starter motor itself, a bump could get it cranking. This would mean that your starter motor has a sticky starter solenoid.

    Another thing to do is to move the gear shifter to neutral for starting. The park switch could be little odd adjustment not allowing start when the shifter is in park position. Moving shifter to neutral could allow it to start as it should be able to start on neutral too. If this helps then you need the park switch adjusted on the gear shifter.

  • milt0nemilt0ne Posts: 2
    I'm having the same problem with my 97 suburban, When the humidity is high on a warm day it won't start. replaced the fule filter and distributor cap. Rotor and plugs and wires were replaced last summer. I find that I can put a blow dryer pointing at the distributor iot will start after it's had time to dry out. no moisture is found in the distributor. That's why I replace the distributor cap a few weeks ago.
    Any help would be appreciated. This problem 1st appeared in Dec. of '08.
  • arriearrie Posts: 312
    Sounds like you might have a problem with ignition coil. It can be shorting to the ground just like distributor can. Often a hairline crack forms to the plastic-like isolator material and coil leaks to ground especially when wet. Perhaps swapping the coil out will fix your problems.

  • tdarrtdarr Posts: 5
    To arrie. I tried holding the key in start position and moving the gear shift in park and neutral but it did not start. I turned the key to run position and left on for about 30 sec. then turned key off for about 30 sec., then tried to start and truck started. I am waiting for the problem to happen again and try to see if it will start. tdarr
  • I have a 1996 Chevy Suburban 4WD (no turbo engine), and I have been replacing batteries time and time again.....I have taken the alternator to Auto Zone for testing, and it passed. I think that my truck is still a good truck, and I want to try and fix it (it is my fishing/work truck !), but I do not want to toss a wad of money into a (possible) electrical problem-which is WAAAAY beyond my mechanical expertise.

    I had a Chilton manual for my truck, but I have misplaced it (UGH !)............

    Could someone share some of their mechanical prowess ?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Well either the alternator isn't charging it, or there is something draining it down.

    Normally you would drive the vehicle to an autoparts store, and they would check the alternator under load with the engine driving the alternator. I had a 97' and went thru 2 alternators over 10 year period, so I'm personally suspect of the alternator. What you may want to do, is drive your vehicle over to some different parts center, and get a 2nd opinion on the status of your alternator (while it is in the vehicle).

    If the alternator checks out okay, then you need to put a test light on the current draw off the battery, and start unplugging fuses to find out when the current draw stops. Something could be sitting there with a constant couple amp drain and draining the battery down. Start w/engine off, key off, and try to figure out if there is any current draw, and if so, which fused circuit it's on.

    You could have a relay with fused points, providing voltage all the time to something that shouldn't have power when you turn the key off.
  • colinjcolinj Posts: 1
    Hi Mick:

    I know this is over a year old, But I am having the same problem with My Tahoe, Won't start unless it's sitting in the hot sun. I took it to 3 mechanics including the dealership and they all said come and get it, we can't fix it.

    I was wondering if you ever solved the problem?

  • I NEVER found a "reason" for the discrepancy, but, I put the starter back in,..and it has been running well ever since.

    Anyway, now, I have to replaces the rotors/brakes on the front end - it is metal-on-metal now

    I hope you find a fix for your situation, and maybe, you will pass the findings on

    Take Care
  • I just replaced the Crankshaft Position Sensor on my 1999 Suburban, 4wd, 1500, gas, not diesel. It was kicking back and grinding yesterday when I replaced the starter, but once it started, it purred beautifully. Shimming did not help. Now that I've replaced the Crankshaft Position Sensor, the car sounds great while it is trying to start... sounds wonderful compared to yesterday... like a brand new car. But it won't start. It's must be from replacing the sensor. The fuel pump is working great, new distributor and all. Does something in the computer need to be reset at the dealer or at a shop?
  • My fuel pump module on the 1999 Suburban finally died last week. I replaced it with an aftermarket Bosch unit, which at $250 was less than half what the dealer OEM pump cost. I replaced the fuel filter at the same time. Now our gas gauge is working again, a side effect of replacing a bad pump. Compared to the 1993 Chevy Astro we used to own, the quality of the fuel system components has gotten cheaper and more prone to fail.
  • leelouieleelouie Posts: 1
    I mean we have changed everything that deals with the ignition that we can think of. The suburban still won't start if it gets warmed up and we shut it off. What are we forgetting? Anyone have a clue? :sick: :sick:
  • rslawskyrslawsky Posts: 3
    I have a 97 Chevy Suburban that has developed an intermittent starting issue. The past few days when I go to leave work, I'll put the key in, turn it and nothing, although the dash lights and the radio will come on. After a few minutes of turning the key off and on, it will turn over and start right up. It has been starting fine in the morning, but I'm sure at some point I won't be able to get it started. Any ideas short of replacing the starter?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Hang a fused test lead off of the +wire going to the starter solenoid. Put a voltmeter on that wire, so that you can watch what the voltage is when you are trying to start. If you have voltage there when you turn the key to the start position, then the problem is either solenoid or starter. If you don't have voltage, then your problem is between your ignition switch itself and that wire.
  • rslawskyrslawsky Posts: 3
    I'm beginning to suspect this may be related to the key. I switched to my spare set of keys and haven't had a problem since. Just a guess, though.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Very possible.
  • Hey, so I've had my 99 Tahoe for about two years now. I have replaced the battery and the cables, and new spark plugs. About four months ago my SES light started coming on intermittently and about every other start it'd either shut off or turn on. Now it stays lit up all the time. I never had it looked at. Well, a few days ago, I went out to go to work and it won't start. It cranked over just fine but wouldn't start up, as soon as I took the key out of the start position. I'm not exactly sure whats going on. I let it sit for a couple days and just took it out and it fired right up and i drove it a couple miles. When I got home, I turned it off and started it about four times because I no longer trust it as the reliable car I thought it was. Any thoughts? I thought it might be the fuel pump. Gosh I hope not. Anyways, thanks.
  • bohloe1bohloe1 Posts: 1
    I've been having problems when starting my 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe (147000 miles). This doesn't happen all of the time, but when it does upon turning the ignition there is a loud POOF that comes from the engine, with rough idling, and then turns off (then white smoke). I would wait a couple of seconds and turn the ignition again and it turn over fine. It happens with cold/hot starts, and morning or night. I've taken it to the shop to get a diagnostic test, but nothing was found wrong. The only thing I could think of is that some gasoline is sitting somewhere in the throttle body. Then again I'm no mechanic. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Dennis
  • Left my 03 suburban parked in driveway for 14 days. Came back and it will crank but not start. Never failed me before. What can I check for? What are some issues I need to look at?
  • Hi tdarr
    I have the same problem on a 2004 Tahoe LT I have installed two new batteries, two new starters, and a new negative ground lead. The car will start if I shake the negative ground lead. Everyone I have contacted with this problem has unloaded the car but I only have 54000 miles on it and it has a great ride and is roomy. GM dealers don't seem to have a clue. Thanks.

  • I have a 2000 tahoe when I go to start it it will crank over and wont start then I crank it over again and it might start , it never starts on the first crank 75% it will start on second crank 25% it starts on the third crank. what do I need to do to fix it I dont want it to get any worse?
  • arriearrie Posts: 312
    Sounds like it could be a fuel pressure issue. To test for this do the following next time you go start it after it has been sitting for a while. I'm thinking it will start right up if you start it immediately after you shut it off.

    When you start it next time when it normally would not start on the first try turn the key to ON position for 3-5 seconds and then to OFF position. Turn key to ON position again for 3 - 5 seconds and then OFF. Now turn key all the way to START position and see if it starts.

    Above procedure charges the fuel rail. When you first turn the key ON the fuel pump will start running but it stops after 2 - 3 seconds if engine does not start. Doing above key to ON position a couple of times will run the pump and should assure you have enough fuel pressure when you actually then start it on the third time.

    If your car really starts on the third time after two "charging" cycles with the key then your problem indeed seems to be fuel pressure issue.

    Fuel pressure issue can be caused by two things, the fuel pump going bad or fuel pressure regulator going bad. Third one could be clogged fuel filter but that should cause some other problems that just starting issues.

    Get your fuel pressure checked especially for the moment you are turning the key for the first time. You should see fuel pressure at normal running pressure above 45 psi. Pressure requirement in your car might be different but I think it should be something from 45 psi to 60 psi.

  • My 1996 Tahoe was having terrible problems starting and running correctly. The initial diagnosis was the crankshaft position switch was malfunctioning. After almost $2000 dollars of replacing the sensor, engine tune-up, fuel filter and fuel pump I was still having the same problems, but not all the time. I had a local mechanic due the work and he said take it to Chevy and have them diagnose the problem, which they determined was still the crankshaft position switch was malfunctioning. Since my mechanic had done the original work I took the Tahoe back to him with the Chevy diagnosis problem. He crawled under the truck with it running and saw the sensor moving around while it was running. He took the sensor out and discovered that one of the mounting bolts screws into a brass fitting inside the plastic timing chain cover. The brass fitting was loose and just needed a screw driver inserted into it to spread it to increase the tension on the plastic cover. My mechanic put it back together and it resolved all my problems, meaning most of the $2000 dollars I had spent trying to fix a problem that ended up being caused by maybe a 25 cent brass fitting in a plastic cover. Live and Learn. By the way my 1996 Tahoe has almost 154000 miles on it with the original engine and transmission.
  • 1994 chevy suburban 1500. will crank, but willnot start. fuel press checks good. no fuel flow from the injectors.Already replaced injectors, inline fuel filter, . Will attempt to start when stat fluid added.
  • Have a 2004 Tahoe that has failed to start without any pattern for several months now . Usually at the mall or when out with the kids. All works when I try to start, but will not. All the lights function and the radio and tv work. No sound at all when trying to start. Have had towed to dealer 5 times. My luck, always started when got there. Finally, this week when I went to get car, did not start at the dealer. They now say it is the ignition switch, but need to check to make sure this is the problem. Has anyone had these same issues and had them resolved with success? Thank you.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Very plausible.

    Could be any number of factors, battery, corrosion/loose terminal connections, bad starter or solenoid, key switch (particularly if you have a big ring of keys/weight hanging), security chip programming, etc.

    Nice to find a hard failure, where they can meter to find exactly where the problem is. Else, you have to throw parts at intermittent problems, and that can get expensive fast.
  • I've been trying to find this problem for months now...
    My truck gets progressively more difficult to start, the longer it sets. On mornings when the truck was driven the previous evening, it will start no problem, but will run rough (really rough - will die at idle) for 15 minutes or so then smooth out and run fine once it has warmed up. IF I let the truck set for a full 24 hours or more, it won't start. In the past, during hard start episodes, I could get it to start if I cranked and cranked and cranked (cooling the starter and cables with water on occasion). When it would start, it would act flooded (lots of smoke and sputtering) - then again it would smooth out eventually and run fine. After the initial hard start, subsequent starts during the day would be uneventful. During one of the hard-start episodes, I confirmed spark with a timing light and tried to use starting fluid with no luck. Pulled plugs and they were a mess, so I replaced them.

    The motor is a rebuild with about 30,000 miles on it. The fuel pump is a couple of years old. It has new plugs, wires, cap, rotor, coil, ICM, and I have the upper intake off now to replace the fuel pressure regulator (thinking the fuel would leak by during the time between starts).

    Am I looking in the right place???
  • Is there supposed to be a vacuum hose connected to the port on the side of the pressure regulator on a 1999 Chevy Tahoe with a 5.7? The old one doesn't have one, but the part looks like it's supposed to be connected to something...
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    When you pulled the plugs and said they were a mess.....what did they look like? That's probably your biggest clue.
  • They were wet (it was flooded), and covered in black soot. Replacing them was no help. Since my previous post, I have replaced the fuel pressure regulator and the crank sensor. It's now running rougher for a longer period of time (once it does start), but still it will eventually run fine after maybe 20 minutes of roughness... HELP!!! I'm really struggling with this one!
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