truck will not start, engine turns, but does not fire at all.


Asked by Jan 02, 2014 at 04:34 PM about the 1998 Chevrolet C/K 1500 Silverado RWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

-completely stock V8 Vortek - Automatic
-no codes
-all plugs are getting spark,  AFTER replacing ignition coil
-checked 3/8 plugs, no fouling (they're a bitch to get to with my limited tools - assumed
the rest are fine too)
-inspected wires, no signs of wear
-can smell fuel when cranking (can also hear pump working when turning on)
-has no problems with compression (i've been in this department before, but not with
this truck :(   )

-Before it decided to not turn over:
felt like it was having an intermittent occasional misfire once warm, (or transmission
wasn't shifting properly)  could not replicate this problem while not in motion, Very
certain it isn't the trans, as it would happen at all RPMs

-NO plugs were getting spark   -   replaced ignition coil - spark restored (tested via
induction-timing light) - still will not start

currently trying a security - reset, though i doubt it will have any effect.   are there any
other computer-related things that could be interfering?

54 Answers


any other guesses, before i throw out $150 for a couple of sensors?

117 people found this helpful.

Timing gears worn, chain worn. Check timing

26 people found this helpful.

Your assuming compression is ok and assuming fuel pressure is right! I run a shop and when I assume I miss diagnose it. Put the gauges on it or take it to a shop.

24 people found this helpful.

you could test the sensors...replace if defective...only---sheesh just tryin' to suggest the needs of the you suggested...they're already hangin' the judge out to dry for his suggestions so I'm finna delete those suggestions~

18 people found this helpful.

continuity to ground is a good test...these are "hall effect" sensors and getting a signal with a magnet passing in front of them is pretty much what they do~ if the signal is somehow interrupted and may as well be a wood dowel installed there....THEN and only then replace these parts...okay...needs to be proven defective before spendin' any money.....last word...judge~

23 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

With spark? It needs compression fuel and spark. What's missing?

32 people found this helpful.

sometimes the friendly counter man (who really wants to sell you the part) may test this for you because if the one he sells you does not fix it...there are NO returns on electrical parts~

8 people found this helpful.

Go back to basics. Need readings to help you. Compression test, fuel pressure reading? And a spark tester not a timing light.

17 people found this helpful.

Put plug on valve cover hooked to a wire spin it over. And if cylinders are washed down with fuel it will have low pressure

8 people found this helpful.

fuel pump relay~? Truck/1AACD00049/440785-1998? utm_campaign=gb_csv_br&utm_content=ACD&gclid=CLza0Njj4LsCFa4- Mgod7W0AOA

69 people found this helpful.

Have u also tried starter fluid to make sure u have fuel. These have high pressure and see a lot of bad pumps on GM

9 people found this helpful.

thank you all for the very immediate responses, sorry, Judge, i did NOT mean to blow your responses out of the water- i just wanted some alternative ideas to test all at once - also, i'm ASSUMING it's computer related, as i don't generally have as difficult time getting older engines running. (kinda makes me wish i didn't sell my '73 Camino) -spitballing with some of the locals, they think it may be a problem with fuel distribution, or something related to it, as it is the only thing i can't reliably check with the tools i have - (save for a sniff-check) i did try introducing ether directly into the intake just to see if it will fire, it didn't. -i'm informed, however, that this wouldn't work with my engine by a local mechanic. (can anyone confirm this?) and yes, Ron, the plugs DO spark to the block. will pull and test the crank sensors tomorrow, as well as double check some other potential "issues" I.E. loose gas cap, (which apparently will cause some newer cars to not start) and make sure i put the intake back together properly

8 people found this helpful.

If you have rpm signal crank sensor is good. Yes they have a fuel distributor that's a problem most times plastic fuel lines will crack. But it would still fire up and run bad. If it has a bad PCM a scan tool most times will not communicate with it. But if you have spark then even newer motors will fire up with starting fluid. I've read about guys using propane to start them up. If it's security, the security or a key lights up and stays on or flashes. Look to see if your spark is weak or has a loud smack. I'd need to look at my All data and read a no start flow chart. But I'd start with compression, then fuel pressure. If you have a distributor I think you don't have a crank sensor but I'm not in my computer. Ask me while I'm in my shop. if you are not sure of the system or your tests , your wrong. I would quit doing this work without Alldata or Mitchell or my Verus pro, it has a built in trouble shooter.

3 people found this helpful.

check your fuel pressure. The vortec engines are known to have the fuel pressure regulator fail and leak into the intake. At the worst of it the vehicle cant start at all, it will flood a couple cylinders and not feed fuel to the rest. This can be checked for by checking fuel pressure and leakdown rate. Pressure should get to 55psi and stay above 50 for 10 min. You can rent a fuel pressure tester from most part stores.

17 people found this helpful.

go back to the basics.what are the basics you say you said you got spark number one. check all your fuses in the the fuse box in the engine. Number 2.take a gas can and pour some gas down the carburetor throat. then crank it over and if it starts for a little bit.then go underneath the cabinet and take the fuel filter out.and if there is a lot of gas . coming out that means your fuel pump works .And your fuel filter is clogged. blow on the fuel filter and see if it blows easy.tell me if that works peace len dog.

17 people found this helpful.

If any one need help w/1999 Chevy Tahoe ( crank but don't start and replace all the ignition parts.) I know exactly what to do to make running. If you are from Houston give me a call 832-931-2552 Momech Mobile Mechanic.

41 people found this helpful.

I'm having the same issue with my 98 Tahoe. It turns over but won't crank. When it does run I can smell fuel fumes from the tailpipe

54 people found this helpful.

Changing a starter on a 1998 Chevrolet pick up truck

9 people found this helpful.

Chevrolet spack 1•0 is refusing to start only cranking what can be the problem

54 people found this helpful.

A sensor under cap on rotor

31 people found this helpful.

I have a 2006 Suburban. I have replaced the Fuel pump, map sensor and the Crankshaft position sensor. I just checked the fire to the plugs yesterday and noticed I do not have fore to the plugs. The reason i changed the items listed is because those were the codes that were showing on my tester. It still will not start. Before I send it into the shop does anyone have any suggestions?

85 people found this helpful.

Have a 99 Chevrolet 4x4 Silverado with 5.0 it was hot wired by previous owner. It did crank but replaced the steering wheel column with new wires and now it will turn over but won't start. The fuel pump is connected directly to the battery. Any help would be appreciated cause it's an awesome truck

14 people found this helpful.

Bye pass the security system and your problem will be fixed

40 people found this helpful.

you changed the column so you changed the security in the ignition. you could spend $300 buying a security bypass from or you could take an old relay switch and take the condenserout of it and wire it to the orange security wire in you column. look up on how to do that. there are some helpful videos. search. ( vats bypass year/make/model ). you will have to stay away from the fancy looking videos and the ones that say there electricians because you wonr understand what those educated idiots are saying. you dont need an ohmeter but the rest of the directions are good.

7 people found this helpful.

motor has jumped time rotate distributor 180 rehook everything back up and check

4 people found this helpful.

so what did it end up being? I have a 02 chevy silverado with what sound like the exact same problem.

23 people found this helpful.

we are having the same issue my husband just rebuilt my sons 97 chevy 5.7 vortech getting fuel but no fire we replaced new cap rotor coil etc pretty much everything is brand new ????? please help a teen without a truck is like pulling teeth without numbing it 1st lol

61 people found this helpful.

I have a 1997 Chevy Z71 just put new trans in drove for about 20 miles and the truck just died.........Replaced fuel pump, Fuel relay and found that the fuel fuzz blows every time I turn key on ????

11 people found this helpful.

Change the ignition control module I had the same problem

12 people found this helpful.

Hey did you ever figure it out having a the same problem pretty much can someone please tell me that worked for them

5 people found this helpful.

I have a 97 Chevy suburban running down the hwy motor just died. Changed out the ignition coil, control module, the crank position sensor, and now the computer, still no fire. Does anyone know what maybe causing it not to have spark.

57 people found this helpful.

I have the same problem in the past I had mice in the fuse box once and no juice but now it cranks all the dash lights come on but it wont fire i hear the fuel pump coming on but no start some times and for some reason it will start up but the problem never happens at my car place ...

19 people found this helpful.

I replaced entire ignition system which is ,actuel distributor,rotor cap,plugs ,plugs wires,pick up coil ,module,everything that' has ignition fire and bingo problem solved

5 people found this helpful.

If your smelling fuel however you may want to check fuel pressure regulator,check and smell the oil on the dip stick,if it wreeks of oil that's your problem it's running rich,and you'll need to replace the spider injector,they go for around 300.00 at oreilly auto,good luck man hope it works out for you

6 people found this helpful.

I meant to say gas on the dip stick my mistake

2 people found this helpful.

I took it to my local chevy dealer and it started working again .... It perplexes me

2 people found this helpful.

I just bought a 1993 chevy Z71 truck. The past few mornings she was a little hard to start. I would pump the fuel peddle a few times and she would fire up and be fine for the rest of the day. Now this morning she won't fire up at all. She will crank over fine but no start. I'm no mechanic but I'd just like to get her goin so I could bring it to a shop to get it fixed. Or should I just scrap it??

29 people found this helpful.

I have a 93 Sierra White, was running when parked. Picked up another Sierra that was missing under load, was swapping parts found 3 cracked plugs, and bad wires and the fuel pump vapor locking. The White Sierra was sitting a long time and had ran out of gas, with coil one bank with no wires cap/rotor off. Went and stuck it back together it, new cap new rotor wires will crank, spark and fuel but can't get it to start. Triple checked firing order, can see gas in the throttle body am stumped. Any ideas of what this problem could be? The idea was to make it a toy, it was an auto, I swapped it to a standard, and it was running fine prior, but I also pulled the fenders off and regrounded any grounds I had, only thing I can think of, besides the dead battery, but I also stuck a new battery in it from my other truck, turns over fine, haven't ran compression/fuel check 'cause like I said, minus the typical intake leak this truck didn't have an issue.

2 people found this helpful.

Idratherbehunting, have you verified the fuel pump is working?

4 people found this helpful.

Nevermind. This is why you don't do timing @ midinight, I had 1 on the cap @ 8, rotated all my wires back on, fires up!

3 people found this helpful.

I have a 97 Sierra Z71. Ran good, turned it off, then no start. Found that with number 3 spark plug unplugged it would start and run on 7 cylinders. Plug in number 3 and no start, acting like timing was off. Thought it was head/valve problem so rather than do a head job, I replaced the motor with a fresh built 383 Vortec Stroker motor. On initial start up after install had no start condition. Low and behold unplug number 3 spark plug and fires right up. 2 different motors, exact same problem. Can anybody think of any sensors that could cause this problem?

22 people found this helpful.

FIXXED!!! I have a 93 K1500 and mine ran good until a few weeks ago when it would crank but no start so i listened to see if my fuel pump was coming on and it didnt so i had to jump my wire form the fuel pump to the ignition fuse in the fuse panel so then it came on but still no start and only how i could get it to start was to pour gas in the throttle body and ran until i cut the switch off so i replaced the coil and the fuel pump relay still same problem it would crank but no start so then i bought a fuel pump kit cause i thought it was the whole fuel pump system that was messed so i turn the switch and still no start.......................... so then i checked all the wires in the junction box with a circuit voltage tester pen and there was a wire that wasnt getting power that was the whole problem

13 people found this helpful.

Neutral safety switch

4 people found this helpful.

Crab claw destibuter caps are known for cracking ,mine played with my head for 5 months because I had just 11,000 miles on a rebuilt engine, with a new destibuter,cap,& rotor. I didn't think that was the problem for most of that time ,but as soon as i spent the 47.00 and replaced it, problem solved. Crabk sensor too can do that.

1 people found this helpful.

My name is Glenn Matthews from Baton Rouge Louisiana I'm not too much mechanically inclined I'm having problems with my 96 Tahoe I change plugs wires scribble the cap and rotor I'm still not getting any fire to make my truck run it turns over buy fuel pressure I'm getting fuel I'm not getting no fire on the spark plugs my fuel pump comes on I don't have no blown fuses can you please help me to put me on the right track to make my truck run please also change ignition coil I can't understand it the truck back cracking up running I just changed my plugs and my wires are the scribble the cab in my rotor and when I try to crank my car it would run

7 people found this helpful.

97 K1500 Vortec no start 9 months ago, fuel pump was problem. Last night out to eat same thing except I had fuel pressure at schrader valve so I pressed down throttle while cranking and started. Ran fine but once home could only get to start same way but tougher this time. Here we go again.

2 people found this helpful.

Rob_0030 Did you ever resolve the #3 off to start issue?

1 people found this helpful.

Rob_0030 any luck im having same problem

2 people found this helpful.

Mine cranked and ran for three miles to the gas station than refused to fire. Guy driving a Ford said to turn the key off and on three times, fired right up. Drove to Walmart than drove to another store, wouldn't start again. The key switch trick did not work again. A Google search found a man who found out the pulling the number three spark-plug wire fixed it, SUCCESS!! Why, I don't know. Kept running after I reconnected the wire.

Use a quick start spray (eather) directly into the carburetor. If it can't fire then, it's not a fuel problem. Now go to electrical issues like timing, coils plugs, distributor, ......


Cycling the key is usually a fuel pump. You could try smacking the tank, seeing if that helps. As mentioned above use some sort of spray (eather, carb/brake cleaner) to test for fuel, if no start, electrical issue. Got a 96 Tahoe that did this, randomly would just die and not start for hours, then would miraculously fire up and run fine, then was driving it one day and it just all of a sudden locked up no noise or anything, oil was good never figured out the issue. Had an after market msd with an optimal battery, removed all that, new plugs wires cap rotor and the problem persisted. Not sure what it was, stopped caring after it locked up lol. Would say neutral safety, but if memory serves correctly doesn't that kill the starter...I know the selector switch on the 96's are pretentious.

Everyone with the no start with #3 plug wire installed, replace your distributor cap. I had the same issue, as you will see the #3 path through the distributor goes around the coil path, and if you look closely there’s a worn area and a hole.

Had same problem with no fire.Pulled #3 plug wire from cap got fire back. Now just have to get new cap button and wires and reset timing. The spider dist.cap is a bad design. Thanks for all the input from u folks it really help down thr problem my 1996 3500 should be back up and running by tomorrow afternoon.

I just had a similar problem with my 1990 Chevy k1500 5.7L 4x4. I changed out the ignition coil, spark plugs, wires, distributor and rotor. It was sputtering/missing before it quit. After swapping everything out, I still could not get it to fire up. I had spark and fuel, but it wouldn't turn over. There were also no trouble codes displayed on the dash when I jumpered the serial connector under the dash. I tried starting fluid and re-verified spark, but still no luck. After several attempts at getting it to start I could smell gas fumes. I thought that it could have possibly gotten flooded out so I pulled the fuse for the fuel injectors. It started right up and ran for about 15 seconds before running out of fuel. I put the fuse back in and it almost started. Pulled fuse and again it started up until fuel ran out. Turns out that the coolant temperature sensor had went. When it goes it tells the computer that it is -20 degrees outside and dumps fuel into the TBI flooding it out. Replaced for $12 and all is now good. Before anyone goes replacing all the ignition components, try pulling the fuse for the fuel injectors first and see what it does. This will tell you quick what to focus on and save you some time and money....unlike me! Was looking for a good place to post this info. Hope it helps.

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