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Thread: Problem

  1. #1
    Jr. Mechanic dfhollums's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Elmore, Elmore Co., AL

    Default Problem

    My wife's 1999 Chevrolet Suburban, with the 350 (R), will crank and ALMOST trun over, but it won't start. I can her the electric fuel pump at the back of the truck operating and the truck has plenty of gas. What do you think? Fuel filter?, but the truck gave no warning of this about to happen.

  2. #2


    The truck should still run with a plugged fuel filter. Id check to make sure there is fuel pressure. Even if you can hear the fuel pump running that doesnt mean its working. If it has good fuel pressure try checking for spark. Pull off the distributor cap and see if there is a lot of corrosion in there or if you can see crossfiring

  3. #3
    Master Mechanic SupplySgt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Middle TN, displaced Okie


    Need to do two things. Check the fuel pressure like blazer454 said, and check for spark. Run a spark test and that'll tell you real quick if it's a spark or fuel issue. Actually, I'd run the spark test first as it's easier and quicker to do. That way you can either eliminate it or realize that's your problem. Always run the simpler tests first and then if it checks out move on to the stuff that requires more equipment. It's usually the simple stuff that people overlook the most.
    93 Suburban (Southern Slayer): TBI 350, 4L60E
    73 Z28 Camaro: L82, TKO 600


    "...Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back..."

  4. #4


    My '99 did this once. It eventually started, though. I drove to the auto parts store and bought new wires, plugs, distributor cap, fuel filter, carb cleaner spray and in-tank fuel injector cleaner. It has been running strong since I did all the above maintenance. I could've just looked for the single culprit, but I had no clue when these things were last changed by the PO. All the parts looked rough, so my guess is... never?!?

    Oh, and FYI... try to put something more descriptive in your subject line. "Problem " won't help others find this thread when searching for similar symptoms, and it may cause fewer people with answers to click on it and read it. Next time try something like "1999 Suburban Won't Start".
    Last edited by janikphoto; 03-26-2012 at 10:45 AM.
    I like you.

  5. #5


    Pull one of the spark plugs, check it for fuel smell and wetness from fuel. That at least tells you the fuel is being delivered to the cylinders. At that point you have to check for spark at plugs. However, if it won't start at all, it likely is more complicated than simply plug wires. Other solutions mentioned are good starting points.

    You may be facing having someone look at it if you don't find an obvious simple problem, but I will say that the fuel pump could be malfunctioning, you could still be getting fuel to the motor, but it will not start. That or the fuel filter needs replacing. You may or may not be able to start it with one of these problems.
    1994 Chevy K2500 Silverado, 454 (modified), original owner.
    And other vehicles and toys.

    "...If you can meet with triumph and disaster
    And treat those two imposters just the same;'ll be a Man, my son!" Rudyard Kipling

  6. #6
    Sr. Apprentice BoneHead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    San Angelo most of the time, Houston at others


    All of the above mentioned things should get you back on the road, but don't forget to check the coil also. You'll know for sure when you do the spark test, but a bad cap and rotor could also kill the spark. How many miles are on the truck? Any tune ups done in the past? A friend's truck, 1992 Silverado, quit running a few years back. We went to do a tune up and had to replace the coil. Tuns out he had 140,000 on the original plugs (non platinum, ac 45ts) and wires. Burned up the coil.
    1998 K1500 Suburban
    1977 Chevelle Malibu

    "I'm proud to defend your right to be an idiot!" From a friend in the military.

  7. #7
    Jr. Mechanic dfhollums's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Elmore, Elmore Co., AL


    Thanks for the reply and tip.

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