Truck won't start

280

Asked by Jul 13, 2013 at 01:21 PM about the 1988 GMC Sierra 1500 C1500 Standard Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Recently I have experienced starting issues.  One minute it starts and runs great, next
time I try to start it it turns over but won't start.  Let sit for awhile, turn key, won't start, turn
key off, turn key again, starts up and runs great.  A week later, same issue.  I went to
work everything great, went to go home, wouldn't start.  Tried to turn key a few times,
won't start, let sit about 15 min., turned key, started up.  Stop to get gas 15 min.  later,
wouldn't start.  Stranded for 2 hours.  After several attempts, won't start.  Tried to jump
start battery level at 9 volts by now, no start.  Called tow truck.  Tow truck shows up,
turned key one last time, truck started.  Drove home, 78 miles worth, ran like a champ, no
issues.  5.7; TBI 350; 2WD ;A/T; w/AC.  Any suggestions?

79 Answers

140

sounds like starter

14 people found this helpful.
280

What about the starter. You would think, if it was the starter, it wouldn't start after many attempts. It did and then ran perfectly. Need more solutions

4 people found this helpful.
11,805

Your starter should be good. A faulty starter will not cause both issues. I would look at the ignition switch in the column, they fail from time to time. You can test both the crank lead to the starter and the hot wire to the coil with a multimeter or test light to confirm. Because it works intermittently I would think it's the contacts on your ignition switch, on top of the steering column behind the dash. The key operates it with a small rod.

35 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful
280

Got in my truck today at 2 different times. Both times it started right up. I can't figure out the problem. What can be the issue?

24 people found this helpful.
210

I'm having the same problem with my 1988 GMC 1500 I was told its the starter I'm going to replace it I guess that will determine if its the starter ornot just wwish I had a for sure wayof knowing

15 people found this helpful.
50

Having same issue. Changed out starter two days ago. Still is a hard start. Sometimes I need starter fluid

5 people found this helpful.
100

Mine does same thing 1995 gmc 1500

10 people found this helpful.
40

You definitely need to check voltage readings and make sure you don't have a bad block make sure you clean every part under the hood you can. If it has a computer plug go tow it or buy one online. Check exhaust as well.

4 people found this helpful.
530

I cant get mine to start change fuel pump and still wont start please soneone help me with this

53 people found this helpful.
60

Same thing was happening to my 1995 gmc 1500. I figured out that it was the throttle body going bad. I replaced the throttle body with a good used one and now my truck runs fine.

6 people found this helpful.
870

I am having similar problem, mine turns over, no fuel coming out of injectors, sometimes it does sometimes it does, when it does it runs fine but if you turn it off, chances are that it won't work again. I replaced the fuel pump, ecm, distributor, throttle body and injectors, still same issue. Could it be in the ignition key? The key is worn down and little flecks of metal come out of the key hole when you tap the column. Does the key ignition have anything to do with power to the injectors?

87 people found this helpful.
50

starter is missing heat shield . starter gets hot and swells up because its too close to exhaust manifold

5 people found this helpful.
90

Check wires, cap, plugs. No fuel or no spark stops all engines. No fuel/ bad pump, bad filter. Spark/ old bad wires, plugs, cap etc. Having same issue, 94 gmc Sierra. Happened before, I gave it air, it started, thought bad filters, then noticed no umph in acceleration, leads me fuel line or bad plugs, not burning fuel. Checked carb, It's not wet this time, leads me to fuel. Have very old wires etc too, seems to stop while turning over, as if it hits a bad plug, some discontinuance.

9 people found this helpful.
50

I had a similar issue with a 99 GMC suburban. The engine would crank but would not start. Before it got to that point it would run rough in the rain. SOLUTION. I rubbed of the deposit built up on the contacts of the distributor cap with my finger nails to prevent damage. Then I used a hair blower for 3 min on the cap and rotor. Assembled the cap/rotor and it fired right up! Turns out moisture was getting into my cap n rotor, plus at 4 years old it was time for a new cap & rotor.

5 people found this helpful.

Jbird 163 just tap the starter its finna go but wen u tap it it will loosen the gears in it

80

It's not the starter if it starts sometimes. I've fixed this issue several times myself and it's almost always the connection of the wire between the starter and the battery. Check the wire on the positive battery side post. Unscrew the post, clean it with sandpaper, reattach and make sure the screw is tight. Failing that, use a multimeter to test that the voltage coming through that wire is 12 volts. If those don't work, then it could the be the ignition as said in other reply. Also, it's not the neutral switch, fuel pump, exhaust or anything else past the battery if there's no crank.

8 people found this helpful.
260

I have a 2000 Gmc Yukon denali, 5.7 litter, it cranks but won't start it does have spark in coil, but No spark in #1 sparplug I put new distributor and new coil new sparplugs, new plug wires,checked out fuses there all good, does anyone know if it can be the Timming belt? By the Timming being off cause it not to spark?? Anyone? I would highly appreciate the help

17 people found this helpful.
500

jalcantar69 If your timing belt is broken ..no cam action...no cam action...no valve train...no valve train... no start. Pull a spark plug and have someone turn the engine over...you will hear air being forced out of the spark plug hole if the valve train is spinning. Another way would be to pull the cap off the distributor and see if the rotor spins while cranking. The distributor is driven off of a gear on the cam...no cam spin... no distributor spin... no start...

2 people found this helpful.
500

@Jbird163 Original poster. Jaybird stated very clearly that his 1988 GMC Sierra 1500 turns over perfectly, crank no start...so this is not a starter motor problem...which would be described as a no crank situation. This is an intermittent fuel delivery problem or an intermittent electrical connection problem or possible engine management component intermittent Jbird163 ...you mentioned your battery dropped to 9 volts after several attempts to start. Was your battery back to 12.6 volts after driving home? Test fuel pressure - Gauge required. Test the EEC - autoecmecu.com Check the electronic spark control module, the ignition control module and all related connections.

9 people found this helpful.
50

I have a ? I just replaced my starter on my 93 chevy silverado 2wd 5.0 350....and it turns on but when i turn it on it makes a scratchy sound once i turn it on can anyone help me?

5 people found this helpful.
50

Replace my steering wheel colum but truck won't start

5 people found this helpful.
500

I had a 1984 GMC Sierra 1500 with an intermittent "Cranks over no start condition" very similar to @jbird163. The intermittent no start component failure was traced to the ignition control module located in the base of the distributor. Yes this electronic module can provide intermittent operation. To test for this failure without throwing new parts at your vehicle you need to perform several tests. Find the procedure here: http://troubleshootmyvehicle.com/gm/4.3L-5.0L-5.7L/how-to-troubleshoot-a-no-start-1 Once you eliminate fuel delivery, ignition coil, distributor cap, leads, plugs and pick up coil you are left with the ignition module as the culprit. You cannot test the module directly but only through a process of elimination of the ignition system components. PS: If your vehicle has not had a basic ignition system tune up in a long while check the resistance of the HEI ignition leads. Very high spark plug wire resistance from worn out leads can stress the ignition module to a point of failure. Always be sure when testing for spark that it has someplace to go...an HEI spark plug tester is preferable to trying to jump a spark across a wide gap.

10 people found this helpful.
40

I am having the same problem with my 1977 GMC Grand Sierra it ran great today and I parked it in my driveway came back to put it into the garage and I turn it over and it made no sound at all my battery is fine the headlights were working fine and the radio I'm wondering if mine is the starter as well

4 people found this helpful.
500

BWTKS - Your GMC is not turning over? This condition is known as a "No Crank" which basically means the starter motor is not spinning the engine when you turn the key to the ignition's start position. Your battery may seem fine because the lights work...ect...but that doesn't confirm the battery is delivering enough amps to turn over the engine. Clean and tighten your battery terminals. Load test the battery or have it tested at your local garage. Try lightly tapping the body of the starter motor with a hammer. (Sometimes as the tolerances within the starter get a little sloppy and it causes the armature to bind.) It is helpful to have an assistant turning the key while tapping. You can also measure for voltage at the starter with a multi- meter to confirm that the starter is receiving some battery current. This will confirm that the wiring is delivering some battery power. Lastly you can try bridging the starters heavy terminal to the smaller terminal while the ignition is in the "Run" position. This by passes the ignitions start contacts which may be worn. If none of the above steps engages the starter..it most likely needs to be replaced.

3 people found this helpful.
10

I have a k3500 4x4 carbed.It will run like a sewing machine and then without warning just shut off..no crank,no pw .but have all lights horn etc.. Thus far i have checked the starter All wires going to the starter for OHMs all within spec Battery and the rest of the chareging system got it down to where i thought it could be nothing else the ign switch on the columns NOT the key and tumbler After the switch was installed ran great ( but it always ran great) started right up.went to do something backing out of the parking spot and dead..no click..no nothing. Any ideas would be great,i just dont trust the ol' girl anymore.

1 people found this helpful.
500

RE- K3500 What year is your vehicle? OBDII? Any fault codes? You may have a bad ground, short to ground or a loose connector causing problems. Do a visual inspection of ALL the wiring harnesses... looking for bare or burnt spots and loose connectors (starting with the ignition switch connector(s). Check the battery ground to chassis/block and all other grounding straps you can locate. . If the visual inspection doesn't turn up any obvious problems and you can get the K started... flex the harnesses trying to get the engine to stall. If you can't mimic the fault while idling in park, a wiring schematic for your specific truck will identify the suspect ignition wiring for the under-hood fuse/relay center (starter relay) and motor, harness connectors and ground positions. PS: The lights and horn get power directly from the fuse block and are not switched...they are always hot.

1 people found this helpful.
70

I also have same like problem, have 85 GMC C1500 305. starts,,, runs,,,, went to walmart other day about 5 miles, pulled in parking lot it shut off, wouldn't start again, waited about 2-3 hrs later it started ran back home about 5 miles ran fine..Today it did same thing again, just turns off like ya turn key off. no missing, no running rough, just shuts off whenever it wants. have checked distributor, button, cap, rotor was replaced, still same thing. any ideas what else to check? Thanks

7 people found this helpful.
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RE - Phil_613 If a vehicle has spark, compression and fuel it will run. We know you have fuel and compression as your engine did run, crank and start (when it was cold) but dies without warning (like running out of fuel -stumbling) Did it start right back up today? or did you have to wait for the engine to cool down? Does your motor fail to crank over? or does it crank over fine but fail to start? Check the engine to frame and battery grounds for tight clean connections, battery positive terminal, starter motor wiring and harness connectors for good contact. The ignition switch (located on the steering column under the dash) could also cause a temporary loss of power. I have had mid eighties GMC trucks that run, are turned off and then when the owner returns a few minutes later the engine cranks but will not start, but this symptom has never been reported to kill an engine while driving down the road. So basically I would look for loose, corroded connections, I would look at the wiring harness for any signs of over heating and I would check the ignition switch. Let us all know how you make out.

1 people found this helpful.
120

I have a 1992 GMC Sierra 5.7 that will not start. If I dump a little gas down the throttle body it will start and run fine. I replaced the Ignition control module today and it did not help. Any Ideas??

9 people found this helpful.
500

Hello ckeipper...There is an adapter to connect a fuel line pressure test gauge to the fuel delivery line. You need to see 12 PSI More info at the link below: http://troubleshootmyvehicle.com/gm/4.3L-5.0L-5.7L/fuel-pump-test-1

2 people found this helpful.
40

I have a 1992 GMC Sierra with a 5.7 litter. Battery is new, plugs and wires are new, alternator is also new. It has recently started the cranking intermittently thing. When it does crank, it runs great. This is the second time that it has not cranked for me. It may be pure coincidence, however, it has been on about 1/4 of a tank of gas both times. Any suggestions?

4 people found this helpful.
500

Hello HotRodGMC, If I understand this correctly, your truck will occasionally not turn over..."No Crank" Turn the key and nothing happens. If this describes the intermittent problem you are encountering I would look at the ignition switch (located on the steering column not in the actual lock cylinder) and if your truck is a manual transmission, the safety start switch located above the clutch pedal linkage. The safety start switch prevents starting while the tranny is in gear. Unless the clutch pedal is depressed the vehicle will not turn over. The ignition switch is controlled by a rod actuated by turning the ignition key which can require adjustment or replacement. Let us know how you make out with your efforts.

1 people found this helpful.

I'm working on a 1998 Chevy pu put a new motor in it.... went to turn it over to bring #1piston up to tdc. It wouldn't turn over... found the ground wire on right side motor under alt. Unhooked... grounded it and it works great

40

I have a88 silverado with 350 AT has TBI the injectors will not fire. We have replaced the fuel pump with an ACDelco unit have 12PSI pressure new fuel filter. The pump will come on for the 2sec run then quit. we have spark at the plugs (have tested several different ones on both banks, have 12 volts at injectors and pump with key on. The SnapOn scanner is showing no codes. The first try after the new pump the injectors did well and ran for about a min then it was as if some turned the key off. Distributor wires and plugs are new. if we put a little pit of gas in the TBI it will run. We have checked the pump and lines out and they are clear. I plan on using a Noid today and I even tapped the ECM to see if that would help. Any other ideals?

4 people found this helpful.
500

Hello wro87 Your throttle body is controlled by your vehicles ECM (computer), using a coolant sensor, TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) MAP (Manifold Absolute Pressure) sensor, and heated Oxygen sensor for input information. OBD I Codes 1988 -1995 GMC Trucks 13 - O2 (oxygen sensor) circuit open 21 - TPS (throttle position sensor) circuit high (signal voltage high) 22 - TPS (throttle position sensor) circuit low (signal voltage low) 33 - MAP (manifold absolute pressure) sensor circuit high (low vacuum) 34 - MAP (manifold absolute pressure) sensor circuit low (high vacuum) 53 - System voltage high (supply to ECM/PCM) 55 - ECM/PCM error A failure of any of the above components would result in a code. Check the fuel pump relay and your under hood fuse block (Pin A3 GRY Wire) which is the fuel pump motor feed. As you have had some success when priming the TB... a bad fuel pump wiring connection or unseated fuel pump relay is suspect. Let us know know how you make out...

2 people found this helpful.
30

1994 GMC Sierra no crank issue. I have replaced ignition switch, neutral safety switch, starter and solenoid, currently have starter wired to crank with direct wire from starter. All fiseable links look good. All fuses look good. The key worked like a charm then stopped no intermittent failure just tried to go to work and no go. I've been all under the dash everything has continuity. Also radio dome lights and work lights are all out. Replaced headlight switch. Other than that it runs like a top I drive it every day but it would be nice to crank up without popping the hood. Any help would be appreciated

3 people found this helpful.
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Did u get it fixed similar problem here too

2 people found this helpful.
120

Jackdo, After I put a little gas down the throttle body I can drive it all day. It is just not producing fuel while it is cranking over.

3 people found this helpful.
500

Hello Cliff, What do you see with a fuel pressure gauge hooked up to the TBI fuel inlet line with the ignition on? While cranking?

10

The starter relate get loose in the positive wire and the connection in top of the steering wheel get loose to

1 people found this helpful.

I have a 20 14 Chevy Silverado you can get it in the morning and try to start it you do it about 4 times it's like that battery dEads hit a 5 time and it will start right up

500

Hello Bigphilip, When you try to start the truck does the motor crank over and not start...or does the motor not crank over at all? There are different solutions for these two types of a no start condition. If the motor cranks over but the engine will not fire you need to check for ignition spark and fuel line pressure while cranking the engine over. If nothing happens when you turn the key...make sure all battery and starter motor connections are clean and tight. If you have a standard transmission that requires the clutch pedal to be depressed to start the engine check the safety switch located above the clutch pedal and also the ignition switch located on the steering column.

1 people found this helpful.
30

I have 98 MC Sierra that will not crank sometimes actually ore then others. It will crank seem like it start to run then shuts off. Has done this for more then a year had to buy a beater cause I couldn't rely on it. I have left it at shops and no luck. Still making payments on it someone please shed some light.

3 people found this helpful.
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Hello Guru9TDR4, When you say that sometimes your Sierra will crank over and starts then quits, and other times it will not crank over...does that mean nothing happens sometimes? ...no sounds..no starter noises...just turn the key and nothing happens? Does your vehicle have an automatic transmission or is it a standard? The standard transmission has a clutch safety switch to prevent the vehicle starting in gear...which describes your problem. You may also be experiencing a starter relay fault or a bad wiring connection fault or an ignition switch (located on the steering column, not in the column head.) fault. As your problem is known as an intermittent failure you will have to check all of the above noted potential causes. Start with checking your battery connections..clean and tight. Check for voltage at the starter motor while attempting to crank the engine over...you will need an assistance to turn the key while you measure for 12 volts. If you have no voltage at the starter , move to the relay and then to the ignition switch and safety switch. Let us know how your making out.

3 people found this helpful.
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First, you must determine why it won't start. Fuel plus spark equals start. if it will not start it is because one of those are missing from the equation. Find out which one it is. If it is not getting fuel then check fuel pump fuse,fuel filter, and fuel pressure. If it is not getting spark check all fuses dealing with ignition and if they are good then inspect the distributor cap and rotor,have ignition module tested/check ignition coil(right in front of distributor), and if they are good then it is most likely the pick up coil in the distributor. You can pull the distributor and change it, or just change the whole distributor as they are pretty affordable for this year model.

4 people found this helpful.
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I have a 97 Chevy 1500. First crank starts right up. When I kill it and try again nothing. Just a long turnover. Come out hours later it starts back up. I'll kill it again and try to crank and get nothing. It's a routine

2 people found this helpful.
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Any help???

90

Found a crack in the distributor on mine. Moisture retained inside it long after a rain. Replaced and no prob.

500

Hello Michael... I had a 1984 GMC Sierra 1500 with an intermittent "Cranks over no start condition" very similar to @jbird163. The intermittent no start component failure was traced to the ignition control module located in the base of the distributor (WHEN THE ENGINE HEATS UP THE MODULE IN THE DISTRIBUTOR IT FAILS TO START THE VEHICLE) . Yes this electronic module can provide intermittent operation. To test for this failure without throwing new parts at your vehicle you need to perform several tests. Find the procedure here: http://troubleshootmyvehicle.com/gm/4.3L-5.0L-5.7L/how-to-troubleshoot-a-no-start-1 Once you eliminate fuel delivery, ignition coil, distributor cap, leads, plugs and pick up coil you are left with the ignition module as the culprit. You cannot test the module directly but only through a process of elimination of the ignition system components. PS: If your vehicle has not had a basic ignition system tune up in a long while check the resistance of the HEI ignition leads. Very high spark plug wire resistance from worn out leads can stress the ignition module to a point of failure. Always be sure when testing for spark that it has someplace to go...an HEI spark plug tester is preferable to trying to jump a spark across a wide gap.

2 people found this helpful.
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1998 GMC K2500 5.7, 178,000 miles, uses no oil, truck in excellent shape and well maintained. Intermittent engine die while driving after several hundred miles and would not start (always on weekend/holiday ). Would then start next day. After replacing fuel pump & filter & spending a couple thousand dollars on towing & repair shops (always happens away from home), GM dealer/shop said problem was crankshaft position sensor. Had them replace it and coil. Am 400 miles from home. Hope it’s fisee. Will see.

I think it is the ignition switch on top of steering column behind dash on top of steering column. it is operated by the ignition switch rod that goes down to the switch. replace the switch.

500

Hello Frogfeet, " Intermittent engine die while driving after several hundred miles and would not start (always on weekend/holiday )." Are you saying that your vehicles engine stops running while your driving it? OR your vehicle will not restart after driving it a long distance? If it is a restart issue...does the engine crank over? This is known as a crank no start condition...or does the starter fail to engage at all?

10

Hi, Jackdo, Well, i’d be driving, say 70mph, and the engine would stumble (tach go to zero), and engine would catch back up and run smoothly for 2-5 minutes, then stumble and catch up again. It would repeat this for up to 4 or 5 times, then just die. I’d pull off the side of the road, and it would turn over readily but not start. Call tow truck, load her up, and take it to the nearest town. The next day, put the key in the ignition, turn to “start”, and it would fire right up. Maybe it was just tired, wanted a ride, and then to rest overnight Seriously, it didn’t seem to be weather related (rain, temp, etc), engine temp related, oil pressure (all good), or miles driven (drove it about 500 miles at a stretch a couple of times with no problem, then after about 100 miles, it died). Purely random. I’ve driven it about 400 miles at a stretch since replacing the crankshaft position sensor and coil with no problem. I’m considering going ahead annd replacing the camshaft position sensor, too, preemptively. (Hopefully and prayerfully it’s fixed!). I’ll post again if I have anymore problems.

500

Hello Frogfeet..gotta loath intermittent problems...I have experienced intermittent "crank no start" conditions...that were traced back to the ignition module (see above posts) but that fault did not cause the vehicle to stop running...when it did start, it ran until I shut it down. I have experienced "engine cut out" on GM vehicles that was traced to a loose ignition switch connection. I have also experienced poor ground connections issues which cause all kinds of weird anomalies. If your vehicle died while driving down the road and you pulled over and just left it sitting there, and returned some time later and it started...I would not suspect that poor contacts in the ignition switch were at fault. If the vehicle was towed...bouncing down the road and running over the odd pot hole..this may produce enough of a jarring effect to restore contact within the switch. If you have a intermittent ground fault (poor connections from battery (-) to engine block or battery (-) to body or poor ignition switch ground) ... this could cause the engine to die in mid stream and start fine after (under hood) loose contact points cooled down (metals expand as they warm up and contract as they cool). When sensors or solenoids fail... they are kaput and the issues that their failures cause, are generally not intermittent ones. So first place to start...Do you see a SES (Service Engine Soon) indicator on your dash display? If you see that SES illuminated...jumper your OBD I and count the flashes to determine the code number (Google for this procedure, if this is new to you) Clean and Check all under hood ground connections (Battery to block / battery to body and every "Black lead" and UN-coated ground strap you can find. Don't forget the ignition switch ground. Follow the link below for electrical schematics http://www.bbbind.com/free-tsb/ (Click the "Wiring Diagrams") tab. Enter in your model information in the drop down fields. For the "System Field" select "Electrical Distribution" For the "Sub System" field select "Ground Distribution" Last but not least....a worn or gummed up distributor could cause timing issues after warm up.

1 people found this helpful.

I've got a 1979 gmc Sierra Grande 1500 34k miles... had it about 2 months maybe got a tune up and it's been doing just fine... recently it's started making a rough noise when starting so reset key and try again a few times it'll start... Well today after driving a few miles I stopped at Wal-Mart about 20 minutes and it made that noise which died out to a sort of whirring and then nothing... indicator lights went out as did the inside cab light... wait a minute try again the lights come on but nothing else and then the lights go off... Did this several times same results... tried to jump it and same thing.. lights come on at first then go off and no turn over no noise and lights go off turn key again lights still not on.. wait again lights come on but nothing else happens then they go off again... read through some of the above issues and it sounds similar except the rough noise I had been having and lights on and off ... I'm guessing (with almost no mechanical knowledge) that it's a similar ignition issue or electrical. Key looks worn... any thoughts? Thanks

10

Craig, sometimes it’s best to bite the bullet and take the vehicle to a reputable shop, particularly when a vehicle has as many problems as yours and you don’t have the mechanical knowledge/experience. Trial and error parts replacement can get expensive & be frustrating to say the least, plus it may not/probably won’t fix the problems. At least you could get them to run the diagnostics (that will cost you; get an estimate up front) and they can tell you what needs to be done.

1 people found this helpful.

Frog the shop I go to checks things out and let's me know the cost before doing the work... what I've just discovered is the lights on.. tap the brake they go off... hold the door jamb light button for a bit and the light comes back on... I have no idea how that relates to the noise it's been making and whatnot but I'll find out Monday morning. This shop has a good reputation. I was hoping for an idea of what could be causing this and if maybe I could fix it myself. But it'll get sorted out soon. Or i may end up selling it if it turns out to be a lemon.

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You’re a smart man, Craig. I can’t remember if you said your transmission is a manual. If so, that could be the source of some of your noise. There are some transmission tricks - which I won’t go into - that some unscrupulous people use to literally get a vehicle off the lot and into someone else’s hands. As for the electrical problems, as Jackdo mentioned to me, many times they can be tied to bad connections - particularly a ground, but these can be the mischief to find. Good luck.

10

Thanks for your feedback, Jackdo. I might add the “check engine” light is not coming on and I haven’t had my code reader with me during the no start episodes either (who carries their tool shop cross-country?). Anyway, after the last episode and before replacing the crankshaft position sensor and coil, I’d disconnected/reconnected the battery to see if that would reset the electronics and it would start (it didn’t). Anyway, that would have wiped out any codes to my knowledge. I think i’m Going to go ahead and replace the distributor with an MSD unit, the camshaft position sensor (it may come with the distributor), as well as the ignition control module. Plug wires are relatively new as are the plugs. Ignition switch/key seem fine. All electrical connections, hot and ground, appear fine. Hopefully this will have all the “expendables” replaced/upgraded. Will post again if I have more trouble. I might add that I frequently get comments like “it doesn’t look that old” and “it’s really in good shape. Want to sell it?” I special ordered it and bought it new, keeping detailed records -including everytime gasoline has been added, the mileage, amount of gasoline, octane, and cost- as well as maintenance/repair records.

I didn't get it off a lot but the person I bought it from was apparently being shady about sharing information. First by lying about how he got it and later I found out he held Back some other information... But all I can figure that could be relevant to the issues I'm having is that the vehicle sat for long periods of time and likely didn't receive much of the maintenance it should have had. I've gone thru 2 motorcycles That sat for long periods and I know that alone can lead to a long list of headaches and ticking timebombs that some mechanics won't even check until it actually becomes a problem. And it is an automatic transmission 4x4.

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No worries Frogfeet....intermittent problems are never simple to diagnose until the failure becomes evident by a complete failure of problem area...post again if need be and post again if you source out any future issues should the same failure happen again. Craig..the "whirring" noise your hearing is the starter motor solenoid gear spinning without engaging the automatic transmissions flex plate (Flex Plate - a toothed drive gear attached to the automatic transmissions torque converter that spins the engine over to start the motor.) The electrical anomalies (lights no power) are most likely an associated short circuit within the starter motor and should disappear after your starter motor is replaced.

Thanks jackdo. What if it was a rough maybe grinding really scrappy sound? That's what it was before it started to whirr and the whirring occurred just right before it did the lights and no noise at all thing... Any chance an oversized battery could cause problems? This all started when I left the lights on and killed my last battery a few weeks ago. When I tried jumping that one was the first time I heard that horrid noise.. which also turned out to be a broken modulator bolt ... So yeah there's a lot of stuff going wrong here at once.. Well more or less at once

They told me its the starter and flex plate like jackdo said and a ground is shorted because of the starter solenoid. They also said they'd have to pull the transmission to work on it.. does that sound right for a 79 GMC Sierra 1500?

500

Hi Craig, The flex plate has geared teeth on it and they do wear out. Unfortunately the torque converter and flex plate are located in the transmissions bell housing so the transmission does have to come off to replace the flex plate. Get a quote and look at the trucks value in decent running order...if you can replace your truck for less than the repair costs...you have to decide if its worth keeping it. (Any used vehicle could also require a future investment to ensure reliable operation.)

1 people found this helpful.

They changed the flex plate and starter and cleaned some wire terminals.. all good now and fires right up like a brand new vehicle. I appreciate the info guys! Let's me know this shop is honest.

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Your very welcome Craig...always nice to have a positive outcome and even better to find a honest shop that provides good customer service and speedy repairs....looks like you and your truck are back on the road again.

1 people found this helpful.

Great as it turns out I do need a new or rebuilt transmission. Any input on what that should run for a '79 chevy/GMC 350 automatic 4x4. Waiting on an answer from the shop since they have to outsource a rebuild.

500

Hello Craig, did your repair shop reassemble your truck and test drive it to discover your tranny problem or did you pick up the vehicle and discover something was amiss? There are literally dozens of different part numbers for 350 transmissions and there are companies that have rebuilds on the shelf that match your transmissions part number or are matched to your vehicles VIN number. I've seen these units offered from anywhere from 1500.00 to 3,000.00 dollars dependent on the core rebate, torque converter selection, area and country. The costs may exceed the value of your truck so you will have to decide if its worth repairing.

500

Sorry I forgot to ask..what's happening with the transmission? Slipping? failing to select individual gears, not hooking up at all?

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I'm starting to wonder honestly. After I had the starter and flex plate replaced it started pouring oil.. they said a bad seal.. Then when I picked it up fafter that they said the transmission was going out.. sometimes it won't go into gear when using the selector lever and sometimes it'll be driving fine but hangs up when changing gears and/or will just seem to not hook up at all and I have to pull over and fiddle with the lever and eventually it'll go into gear but has progressively gotten worse. Now it's over heating and I just topped up the coolant but it'll overheat just sitting idling for 10 minutes. Oil pressure is ok but apparently still leaking oil (which I know isnt the transmission and they said the engine is fine) They said they don't know where to get a transmission for it. I do not the first time I took it to them I pointed out a few things I knew needed to be fixed and said to check all seals and gaskets which obviously they didn't do and I don't want to throw around accusations but I'm starting to wonder if they're just counting on me continuously taking it back to work not things that could've already been taken care of. By now I could've possible already paid to have a new transmission and engine put in it. If I pay this 2k to rebuild transmission that will have me about 6k since I first brought it to them for the check/tune up and new tires. I'm getting impatient and losing faith.

500

Okay Craig...I understand your predicament...Firstly the transmissions problems sound very much like a lack of transmission fluid..was it always leaking? Secondly the engine oil leak should be easy for you to trace yourself,,,place a piece of fresh cardboard under the truck when you park it...and without moving the cardboard check it the next morning to roughly identify where the leak is. Then you can get a trouble light and trace the leak back to it's source. Any engine gasket replacement will not be overly costly excepting head gasket failure and rear or front crankshaft seals...head gasket failure will usually contaminate the engine oil in the oil pan with coolant...giving the engine oil a milky colour. If you see any red colored fluid on your cardboard...its transmission fluid...if you only see engine oil then you now know how to trace that back to source...check you oil dip stick to see if you have any coolant contaminating your oil...indicates a blown head gasket. It is pretty standard procedure to replace the rear main crank seal on the engine anytime the transmission is removed, so if the area under the bell housing is where you trace your oil leak to, its most likely the rear crankshaft seal located behind the flex plate. Your engine overheating issues could be a sacked water pump (you should see coolant leaking from the front of the pump drain hole.) Mal adjusted ignition timing (radically advanced) leaking or clogged radiator, leaking rad hoses (supply or return) contaminated oil (blown head gasket) or a failed fan clutch that is not spinning faster as RPM's increase. Check your transmission fluid level while the truck is sitting on a level surface, in park, warmed up and engine running...careful not to overfill the transmission...follow the marks on the transmission dip stick. Let us know how you make out.

I very much appreciate that information. I am now even more suspicious that they've let some things go knowing I'll have to bring it back and pay more money. Another thing I have to ask.. what should a new starter for a chevy/gmc 1500 cost?

Also it was leaking transmission fluid when I first got it and they replaced the seals/gaskets and it hasn't leaked any since. As far as I can tell the only thing leaking is oil. And that only seemed to happen after they replaced the flex plate which required removal of transmission... And yes it was the crankshaft seal. That's what I had JUST taken it back fo immediately after they pulled the tranny to replace flex plate. Get it back and shifting is worse.. transmission fluid looks ok. Oil level is fine and oil pressure gauge is between 25-50psi.

500

Hi Craig...Cost of a starter motor in my neck of the woods (Canada) is: AC Delco - (Re-manufactured 134.00) (New - 172.00) I would charge 1 hr labour and misc materials for a labour total of 92.00 dollars..all in Canadian funds of course. As far as the transmission going south right after your repair work was done?....for all I know a used sacked one from a previous re & re was installed in your truck or it could just be a coincidence???? As far as the rear seal...I always replace them as a normal procedure to avoid having a customer experiencing issues with it sooner or later...small part, little cost, easy to do when the transmission, torque converter and flex plate is off and good customer service.

5

I've had these problems with an older GMC. The first solution is to jiggle the key and its steering column receptacle, as much as needed! really! I believe the more permanent solution is there's a small electrical connection just to the left of the ignition key receptacle under the top cover of the steering wheel which I think has four wires. It's tied into the security system. That connection may be loose or corroded, and causing your problem. Sometimes problems are smaller than they appear to be. Happy hunting Craig, and I hope this is helpful. Charles

I'm having the same problem that you're talking about with your truck wants to turn over but it won't but then it will and then if you turn it off it doesn't want to crank up and wait for a few minutes and then crank up what's up with that and mine's a GMC 2002 Yukon XL 1500

10

CHECK THE GROUND ON YOUR FUEL INJECTORS, ITS A TERRIBLE DESIGN, THERE ARE ONLY EVER 3 THING THAT CAUSE THESE TRUCKS NOT TO START, THAT GROUND WIRE, BAD FUEL PUMP, OR IGNITION MODULE.

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I live in Northern California if it makes a difference but did you ever find out what it wa? I've changed everything in my truck and it started out by just having a little miss when I'm driving to eventually getting worse and worse and worse. But then it got to where it revs up just fine in park or nutral but in drive or reverse it would run terrible. And at the same time I was changing out old parts for new parts little at a time. So I don't know why everything got worse as time went on.now I can't get it to start at all. And I know engine is still good. 154,654 miles on it....

500

Hello BigRedSub...You haven't listed what parts were replaced or the year/make/model and engine option so I guess we'll start with the basics. When your truck starts and idles okay but runs poorly under load 1-Check for ECM fault codes. If no codes are present test your engines compression, fuel pump pressure and basic tune up components: Spark plugs / air filter ignition leads / distributor cap / EGR valve / idle air solenoid and if your vehicle is throttle body equipped check your injectors by looking into the top of the throttle body for a even spray of fuel while increasing the engine RPM. Driveability issues will usually be corrected when the engine is receiving its basic needs...even compression, good fuel pump pressure, clean fuel filter, restriction free exhaust system and .. a good spark supplied to all cylinders.

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