No crank, no start.... uh, unless it's cold?

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by mukmuk, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. mukmuk

    mukmuk New Member

    OK, bear with me on this... one of those stories that goes on and on...

    A few weeks ago my son's 1999 silverado wouldn't start. 5.3 L, automatic, ext cab, 170,000 mi. Everything powers up, battery is fine, NO CLICKING when trying to start, just dead space in start position. all dash lights work, just not getting power to starter? had to have it towed home. (yay)

    next morning it started right up... hmmm. shut it off, wouldn't start. next morning, started right up, shut it off, wouldn't start again. took the starter off, took it to NAPA and had it tested, worked great. Re installed starter, next morning it started right up and took it to a repair shop. after shutting off they had to hook up a remote starter to move it into repair bay. called and said bad ignition switch (wire harness, not key cylinder). quoted about a half a million dollars, so i paid them for their diagnostic time, waited until morning and (guess what, it started right up) drove it home, ordered an AC Delco ignition switch.

    when switch arrived i carefully removed old ignition harness, installed new, paying attention to everything. got it all in, hooked up battery... turned the key... and.... (wait for it...)... NOTHING! @#$%^&. :grrrrrr:

    the next morning, started right up. seriously? so, this is officially an "intermittent" issue now... crum!!! what do i do?

    anyone else ever experience anything like this? i have read a few threads about the security system and doing a reset or a re-learn? i tried it all, nothing changes. i have checked all the grounds (the ones i can find) and they all at least appear tight. no codes. fuses and relays checked, all are good. have 4 or 5 keys, all work the same, if it's going to start, it starts, if not none of the keys make a difference.

    the only thing that has been done lately is we had the transmission rebuilt. but that was back in January and has worked fine until now. any reason this might have done anything? neutral safety switch? i checked under there and wiggled it, didn't seem to make any difference. tried moving shifter and still nothing.

    maybe this is out of my league and its back to a repair shop... donno. thanks for any help
  2. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    when it does not CRANK you measure the voltage at the starter solenoid. if the voltage is there when the key is in crank position then the starter is bad ..many times these have been intermittent..

    next you get no voltage at solenoid when key to crank then this is the small start relay.. the ignition switch feeds this relay then the contact when the relay is energized closes the contact that applies power/volts to the solenoid.

    if the starter brushes are worn you will get this type failure .. with the starter open no solenoid click,,.
  3. mukmuk

    mukmuk New Member

    hmmm... thanks for the reply, so even though i took the starter off and had it tested at NAPA it could be an intermittent issue and the starter might still be bad, or going bad?
  4. MrShorty

    MrShorty Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

  5. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    yes but also the starter relay can be bad. so you have to get meter and see whats going on..

    hi miles sure can be that small relay ... greater chance the starter motor assy.. relay is not too expensive.

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