It has to be ignition wiring, right...?

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by southpawknuckler, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. southpawknuckler

    southpawknuckler New Member

    Okay, my 1986 GMC Jimmy (6.2L diesel) is having an odd intermittent problem: when I put the key in the ignition and turn it just short of activating the starter (as I have to do in order for the glow plugs to warm up), nothing that should activate at that point (glow plugs, heater, blinkers, wipers, radio) work. If I continue to turn the key, I get no starter. The truck is dead, but all of the items directly linked to the battery-headlights, interior lights, brake lights--and are at full power. Just none of the items that require the key to work will activate. The first time this happened, I towed the Jimmy to the shop and the first time they tried to start it, it worked like normal. I thought it must be a bad ignition switch, so I had it replaced. Fixed, right? Wrong. About a week later, my son borrowed the Jimmy and went to a friend's house. When he went to leave, the same thing happened--none of the ignition items worked. He left the key turned to the "on" position while he called to ask for advice. As we were talking, everything came back on and he drove home. I took it back to the shop, and they replaced battery cables throughout. Today, about three days after the repairs, it happened to me again. I went into a store, came out, and no power when the key was turned on. Again, lights, interior light, etc. (all those things directly tied to the battery) worked fine and at full power. I left the key in the ignition and turned on and I waited. Ten minutes later, it all came back on. Of course this never happens when it's in the shop, which makes it very difficult to diagnose. I'm at a loss, but it seems like it has to be one of two things: (1) either I got a faulty ignition switch when I had it replaced, or (2) there is a short in the ignition wiring itself somewhere. Anybody else have any ideas as to what might cause this? It's driving me crazy; I can't take the thing anywhere because I never know when it's going to work or not work.
  2. Jake Aga

    Jake Aga New Member

    Ive had the same problem with an S10. The ignition wasn't the problem. In my case it was a faulty clutch switch that allows the ignition circut to complete engaging the starter. Everything you explained happened. Everything worked but it wouldn't start. You didnt state wether your Jimmy was a standard or auto so I dont know if this will help but I wish I would have been pointed in the right direction before buying a bunch of parts that I didnt need and banging my head against a wall for almost 2 weeks. Good luck
  3. southpawknuckler

    southpawknuckler New Member


    Thanks for the note, but the Jimmy is an automatic (sorry I didn't include that; I didn't think it would be relevant), so I don't think that is the problem here. I do appreciate you taking the time to respond, however!
  4. vncj96

    vncj96 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    check for corrosion on your battery terminals and the connections to your starter, if there is a good amount of bluish green gunk that can cause alot of starting issues. If there is pull the lines off and see if the corrosion has seeped up into the insulation, if so get some new lines onthere.
  5. sstoner911

    sstoner911 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    X2..a guy I work with has a 08 Tahoe that would have similar issues as yours. Sometimes it wouldnt start...sometimes while he was driving all the gages and electrical stuff would die ..then it would stall.

    After 3 months of the dealership replacing everythng from the computer to the DVD system....turns out it was a bad negative cable from the battery to the chassis. his kept coming loose.

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