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Chevy Silverado
01-13-2014, 06:29 PM
Post: #1
Chevy Silverado
I have a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado LS...4WD non HD with a 5.3L located in Northwest Washington State. 3 weeks ago I went to start truck and it worked fine. Last weekend I went to start it and it would not even crank.....dash lights, radio, headlights all fine. Replaced the battery anyway because it was getting old. Truck still would not even turn over. Took the starter and had it bench tested...it passed and I am also getting power to the solenoid. I checked all my fuses and relays associated with starting or ignition. All were good. I am figuring at this point it is the ignition switch. I have a Haynes Repair Manual so started looking at the wiring schematic. Tore my dash apart to get to the ignition switch in the steering column but before I just replaced the ign switch I ran a few electrical tests. When key turned to the start position it supplies power directly to a 10A crank fuse located in the left hand side bussed electrical center. The test light lights up when the key is in the start position then goes out when in the run position, lock or accessory positionSad. So as far as I can tell the ignition switch closes the circuit and allows power when trying to start. Following the wiring diagram further it goes to a Park/Neutral Position Switch which ultimately leads to the starter relay in the under the hood bussed elec center. I am baffled at this point. Anybody any thoughts?
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01-13-2014, 07:19 PM
Post: #2
RE: Chevy Silverado
The only thing that I didn't read that you tried was the small wire on the solenoid. It will only have power in the "Crank" position so you either need a helper or you have to get creative. If you have a helper you just put your test light on the little wire and have your helper turn the key to the crank position. If the light doesn't light you have to start following the wire back to see if it broke, rubbed through, burnt through, critter chewed it, etc.. I have done this without a helper by hooking a long piece of wire to the solenoid and running it over to where I could see the test light from the cab while I operated the key myself. Another thing to think of is that you should unhook that little wire while doing this test. If you try it while it's hooked up the engine could start. As long as you're out of the way of moving parts and don't get run over, it's no big deal. It's just safer if you don't have to worry about it in the first place.

Let us know if you tried this test and what the results were. We can go from there to figure it out.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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01-13-2014, 08:56 PM
Post: #3
RE: Chevy Silverado
Before you go too nuts I have to ask if the crank relay in the fuse block clicks. If it doesn't then I would run the shifter through the gears and attempt to crank it in all positions, especially in neutral. Also, try to jiggle the shifter while cranking. If this gets results the NSS is probably bad. If the neutral safety switch goes bad (or the plug gets crappy) you will not be able to get power down to the starter.

Oh, avoid using spray cleaner on the switch to remove grease. The newer formulas will eat up the plastic on the plugs and render them useless!
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01-13-2014, 09:46 PM (This post was last modified: 01-13-2014 09:55 PM by Don Timm.)
Post: #4
RE: Chevy Silverado
(01-13-2014 08:56 PM)Rupe Wrote:  Before you go too nuts I have to ask if the crank relay in the fuse block clicks. If it doesn't then I would run the shifter through the gears and attempt to crank it in all positions, especially in neutral. Also, try to jiggle the shifter while cranking. If this gets results the NSS is probably bad. If the neutral safety switch goes bad (or the plug gets crappy) you will not be able to get power down to the starter.

Oh, avoid using spray cleaner on the switch to remove grease. The newer formulas will eat up the plastic on the plugs and render them useless!

My book tells you how to test the relay when it is removed from where it is plugged in (the electrical center) it has 4 prongs labeled 30; 86; 85; 87. It says to hook a jump wire from prong 86 to positive battery and a wire from prong 85 to negative battery....I did that and the relay does click. I also did try to start truck in every gear. Did not jiggle the shifter lever though. Is it possible the NSS has taken a total dump and when it is provided power when ignition switch is activiated it just does nothing with it?

(01-13-2014 07:19 PM)Garner Wrote:  The only thing that I didn't read that you tried was the small wire on the solenoid. It will only have power in the "Crank" position so you either need a helper or you have to get creative. If you have a helper you just put your test light on the little wire and have your helper turn the key to the crank position. If the light doesn't light you have to start following the wire back to see if it broke, rubbed through, burnt through, critter chewed it, etc.. I have done this without a helper by hooking a long piece of wire to the solenoid and running it over to where I could see the test light from the cab while I operated the key myself. Another thing to think of is that you should unhook that little wire while doing this test. If you try it while it's hooked up the engine could start. As long as you're out of the way of moving parts and don't get run over, it's no big deal. It's just safer if you don't have to worry about it in the first place.

Let us know if you tried this test and what the results were. We can go from there to figure it out.

Yep...I had my son turn the key to crank position and tested the purple wire on the solenoid. The light tester lit up so assumed the wiring was okay at least to that point. I also did an old school test and took a screwdriver and jumped the 2 solenoid points. Aside from the sparks the bendix on the starter engaged. Did this when the starter was out of the flywheel housing dangling where I could see it and then again when I put the starter back in the vehicle. Both times I could hear and see the bendix engage, however, when it engaged when the starter was mounted it did not engage the flywheel
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01-13-2014, 10:00 PM
Post: #5
RE: Chevy Silverado
I noticed that you havent said anything about the fuel pump. When you turn the key on do you here the electric fuel pump charging up.....just some fuel for thought
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01-13-2014, 11:10 PM
Post: #6
RE: Chevy Silverado
Let's back up a second. I presume we are talking about "cranking" not "starting" and the problem is that it will not crank, right?

On all GM starters for the last 60 (plus) years you can get the starter to turn by jumping a screw driver across the 2 large terminals but in order to make the gears mesh you must jump from the battery cable lug to the small terminal. If you skip that part the teeth will not move out to the flywheel. Same goes for testing. If you have power to the small terminal then it should work, provided the bench test was done correctly and the starter is good.

If nothing seems right and it still doesn't crank then it's time to do voltage drop tests. We can talk more about that if you are not sure how to do it.
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01-14-2014, 12:54 AM (This post was last modified: 01-14-2014 01:38 AM by Don Timm.)
Post: #7
RE: Chevy Silverado
(01-13-2014 11:10 PM)Rupe Wrote:  Let's back up a second. I presume we are talking about "cranking" not "starting" and the problem is that it will not crank, right?

On all GM starters for the last 60 (plus) years you can get the starter to turn by jumping a screw driver across the 2 large terminals but in order to make the gears mesh you must jump from the battery cable lug to the small terminal. If you skip that part the teeth will not move out to the flywheel. Same goes for testing. If you have power to the small terminal then it should work, provided the bench test was done correctly and the starter is good.

If nothing seems right and it still doesn't crank then it's time to do voltage drop tests. We can talk more about that if you are not sure how to do it.

Yes...correct it does not crank at all....turn key and nothing. Auto Zone is the one who bench tested it so I am at their mercy as to whether or not it was done right. I watched the guy and it seemed to simple to screw up so I think the starter is okay but you never know. It was tough to get a screwdriver up in there where the starter is mounted....just don't make things the way they used to with room to work with tools. I will try it once more and make sure I touch the larger battery lug to the smaller terminal. I had tested the smaller solenoid terminal with my 12v light tester and I had power to it. Thanks for your insight to this point. Hopefully I can get this thing figured out and don't have to get it towed to a shop.

(01-13-2014 11:10 PM)Rupe Wrote:  Let's back up a second. I presume we are talking about "cranking" not "starting" and the problem is that it will not crank, right?

On all GM starters for the last 60 (plus) years you can get the starter to turn by jumping a screw driver across the 2 large terminals but in order to make the gears mesh you must jump from the battery cable lug to the small terminal. If you skip that part the teeth will not move out to the flywheel. Same goes for testing. If you have power to the small terminal then it should work, provided the bench test was done correctly and the starter is good.

If nothing seems right and it still doesn't crank then it's time to do voltage drop tests. We can talk more about that if you are not sure how to do it.

One last question before I touch base with you tomorrow. When you turn the ignition to the "start" position and it then feeds power to a 10A crank fuse, through the NSS, through the starter relay in the electrical center under the hood, to the solenoid when it is in the "start" position, your test light should light up correct? If so, wouldn't it be logical to assume that your ignition switch is functioning properly?

(01-13-2014 10:00 PM)sandman Wrote:  I noticed that you havent said anything about the fuel pump. When you turn the key on do you here the electric fuel pump charging up.....just some fuel for thought

My elctric fuel pump located in the fuel tank went out on me 2 years ago so it is pretty much brand new. When it went out the truck at least turned over but just would not start because no fuel. Thanks for the thought though.
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01-14-2014, 10:31 AM
Post: #8
RE: Chevy Silverado
Yes, if you get power to the small terminal then all is ok up to that point.

What may not be OK is the voltage to the large terminal or there may be a loss on the ground side. I have seen the crimp ends on the heavy cables go bad and have also seen poor connections to the block on the ground side. You might want to take those off and clean them up along with the small ground wires from the battery to the radiator support.
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01-14-2014, 07:07 PM
Post: #9
RE: Chevy Silverado
(01-14-2014 10:31 AM)Rupe Wrote:  Yes, if you get power to the small terminal then all is ok up to that point.

What may not be OK is the voltage to the large terminal or there may be a loss on the ground side. I have seen the crimp ends on the heavy cables go bad and have also seen poor connections to the block on the ground side. You might want to take those off and clean them up along with the small ground wires from the battery to the radiator support.

Okay so had helper this morning and put my test light to the small solenoid terminal. When the key was turned to the start position the light came. I jumped the 2 large terminals on solenoid with screwdriver and bendix spun. I then jumped the small solenoid terminal to battery + large terminal with screwdriver which should engage starter bendix to flywheel and got nothing but a slight fizzle sound and a tiny spark not big enough to light a firecracker. I am thinking the bench test Auto Zone did for me gave ma a faulty reading and that my solenoid is fried. Or is it possible that I have drop down voltage at solenoid terminal(s) like you had mentioned. Your thoughts?
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01-14-2014, 08:43 PM
Post: #10
RE: Chevy Silverado
The only way to find out for sure would be to check the voltage both before and during the crank test. If the voltage checks ok then it's simple matter of a bad starter, which could be related to the physical position of how it's mounted. IOW, when they tested it the unit was laying on it's side and something is lose in there. If the voltage drops off then feel around for a hot connection. That will be your bad spot.
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