Starter whines, does not engage engine

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by gstadter, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. gstadter

    gstadter New Member

    Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated!
    2001 2WD Suburban w/5.3 gas... Just bought this vehicle two weeks ago, has 178k on it.
    I've only driven it three times since owning it.
    Went to crank it today and when key is on, I see no unexpected warnings(security, etc) on dash.
    When I move key to starting position, the starter "runs" (loud whining noise), but does not turn the engine over.

    Question: Are there any relays or fuses that could be defective/blown/shorted that could cause the starter to exhibit this behavior of running, but not engaging the engine? or does this sound like a starter malfunction.

    For what it is worth, though I have not yet pulled the starter off and inspected it or taken it anywhere to be tested, I don't "feel" what I would expect to feel if it were actually even making an attempt to engage the flywheel.

  2. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    If the starter is turning but not engaging which is exactly what it suonds like you have happening here its a starter issue.
    A temp fix/check is to have someone engage the starter while you smack the side of it with a hammer the starter swill sometimes engage when this is done it also lets you know the solenoid is sticking.
    Either way I believe a new starter is in your future.
  3. gstadter

    gstadter New Member

    Thank you for the reply, tbplus.

    The previous owner supplied me with recpt of where he had starter replaced 25k ago (June 2011)
    Any chance it could just need a new solenoid? or is it absolutely best practice to always replace the whole starter?

    Also, if anyone reading this thread has any advise or experience to share regarding getting a starter elsewhere, other than dealership, that would also be appreciated too.
  4. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Manufacturers have gotten smarter (money/saleswise) and solenoids are integrated so unfortunately your not able to just replace the solenoid.
    not like the old days where you could swap out a fender mounted solenoid for under $10.
  5. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I don't like to argue with a member, but I think the 2001 starter came with a piggy-backed solenoid that is a separate part and can be changed as such.
  6. gstadter

    gstadter New Member

    You are correct. I just removed the starter assembly. The solenoid is external & replaceable.

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