1998 Suburban 1500 having starting issues

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by Islandgirl, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. Islandgirl

    Islandgirl New Member

    I have a 1998 GMC Suburban that I had the fuel pump replaced on in June of this year. Shortly after it started to have issues starting. Thought it was a faulty fuel pump as it would roll over fine just not start. My mechanic checked it and fuel pump was fine. He then checked the plugs and said they were badly fouled so he replaced them. I brought my truck home and did not drive it for 1 day. On the second day I went to start it and it rolled over but would not start. I was going away for a month so called my mechanic and told him the truck is doing the same thing and I would bring it back when I returned. I pulled the battery ground cable off so my battery would not die while I was away. When I returned it would not start but rolled over fine. I had it towed to the shop. When the mechanic tried to start it it started right away. He tried it a few times and it started each time. I brought it home. The next morning, cold start, it rolled over but would not start. I called mechanic and took it back. He kept it overnight and tried a cold start and it started fine. He did all kinds of tests and said the Mass air flow sensor and another sensor were gone so he replaced them both. Brought it home again. Next morning cold start it rolled over once without starting, second rollover it started but ran really rough then stopped the third time it started ran rough briefly than smoothed out. I called him and he said bring it back. I did some errands on the way to his shop, so stopped and started a few times. On the 3rd stop I turned it off and when I went to start it 10 minutes later I turned the key and nothing, no click, no roll over nothing. The third time I turned the key it rolled over and started. I drove right to the shop. He kept it over night and it started fine in the morning. He tried a couple times during the day and it started fine. He said he could not find anything wrong. When I went to pick it up I asked him to come out while I started it. Finally, I turned the key and it rolled over but would not start. He was shocked. He said it never did that all the times he tried to start it. He did more checks. no luck. Today I went again to pick it up and when I got there he had the engine bonnet up. Before I arrived he went to start it and it would only roll over. He figured it had to be the distributor module. He ordered the part and I came home without my truck. I called this afternoon to see when I could come get my truck and he said it still was not starting with the new module. He is going to work on it tomorrow morning to see if he can find the problem. Any suggestions would be helpful if you have had this issue, as both the mechanic and myself are very frustrated. Thank you so much.
    Megasaurus likes this.
  2. MrShorty

    MrShorty Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I'm sure your mechanic knows this, but a gasoline engine needs 4 things to start: air, compression, fuel, and spark. Air and compression are rarely the problem and are rarely intermittent like this. Which leaves something in fuel or spark. When he tested the fuel pump, was it starting for him or not? I have seen several cases on forums like this where an intermittent no start turned out to be something in the fuel system (usually a loose connection or bad relay in the fuel pump circuit). These can be difficult to track down because you have to be testing while the fault exists. A loose connection in the ignition system or computer power circuits can be the same way. Sometimes, faults in the ignition will show up as pending trouble codes. Have you pulled codes from the computer? Have you tried a little starting fluid? A no start that will start (briefly) on starting fluid can be a good indicator of a fuel delivery issue. Intermittents like this can be quite difficult to diagnose.
    Megasaurus likes this.
  3. Jens01trkmystery

    Jens01trkmystery New Member

    A lot of similar issues here mine is 01 Silverado 4wd 1500 have had all alleged faulty parts replaced some twice it always comes back to tripping the security either causing it to stall or stall after it reaches the first shift (automatic) pulling my hair out Chevy dealer even claims no problem can be detected someone please help!!!: ( DESPERATE IT'S BEEN 5 MONTHS CONSTANT
    Megasaurus likes this.
  4. jmcover

    jmcover Rockstar

    It sounds like you're connecting the fuel pump replacement with the beginning of the problems. Do you hear the fuel pump charge the line when you turn the key to on? Has the fuel pressure been checked? The fuel regulator leaking is a common problem, as well as the fuel injection spider. Clogged fuel filter, fuel line (although not usually an intermittent problem) should be ruled out as well.

    Mr Shorty's advice is spot on, next time it doesn't start try some starting fluid. If it fires up, it most likely is a fuel problem. If not, the ignition system needs another look.
    Megasaurus likes this.
  5. Madddjohn63

    Madddjohn63 Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    U cannot pump on the gas pedal when trying to start it. If u did this, u could have washed out the cylinders. Too much gas goes into the chamber and on high mileage engines loses compression. U may have to pull the plugs and squirt a shot or two of oil inside to regain compression.
    Megasaurus likes this.
  6. Madddjohn63

    Madddjohn63 Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    Family friend had a high mileage Grand Prix. They would push the pedal to the floor each time while starting,hence-wash out. I squirted half a shot glass of motor oil in-ran great!
    Megasaurus likes this.
  7. Megasaurus

    Megasaurus Rockstar 100 Posts

    @Islandgirl any update on this? I didn't read how many miles were on the engine?
  8. MyDenaliSux

    MyDenaliSux New Member

    NICE!... this is exactly what is going on with my 2003 Denali XL. I too replaced the fuel pump several months ago. The past few weeks, its been acting really weird. Same thing: it would turn over but not start. If my wife waited a few minutes, it started right up. Then, it would run fine for a few days. I test drove it a few times and started it a dozen times. No issue. Then, last night she was coming home and stopped off to get the mail. It wouldn't start. I drove down with our 3500 and was going to tow it the 1.5 miles up our rural road but when I got there, it started. W T H. I bought a fuel filter just in case the engine is starving. ( I wanted to test it with a can of quick start to see if it was a fuel issue. But every time I tested it, it started so I wasn't sure if it was a fuel issue. )
    I know my model has a bunch of coils and a lot that can go wrong with the ignition. I was going to dive in to it today, but I really don't know where to start. If it was ignition, why would it run and stay running? Also... what kind of lead me to believe it was fuel, I was driving out of the canyon up a steep hill and it engine sputtered just for a second.
    I'll do some more tests and post what I find.

    2003 Denali XL with 160k miles.
    last tune up with at approx. 125k. I think. maybe sooner.
    Megasaurus likes this.
  9. Dana W

    Dana W Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    Fuel pump check valve may not be holding pressure while the system is shut down.
  10. MyDenaliSux

    MyDenaliSux New Member

    I checked the relief value at the engine and there was fuel. Of course after trying all day.... it never failed to start. I did a search on google and found this. http://www.justanswer.com/gmc/66you-gmc-yukon-denali-2003-yukon-denali-last.html Although I do not have an aftermarket alarm with remote start, I'm wondering the security is not allowing the engine to start. Or, I have a short somewhere in the steering column.
    There are so many possibilities... and like Murphy's law... I can't duplicate the issue. It only happens when my wife is driving.

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