Starter? Solenoid? Ignition Switch? [Archive] - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum

: Starter? Solenoid? Ignition Switch?

03-15-2011, 06:27 PM
Hey guys...been having a problem with starting my car lately, or should i say again...

Last year, i had my car starter removed, car went to the dealer, with no answer to what was happening, since it started everytime for them...

well a few days later, it happened Last year, i thought i found out that it was my old battery (since i replaced my battery and havent had a problem since).

Well, now i have the same problem...

The remote starter won't start it...unless i try several times (no rhyme or reason)...sometimes wont start for hours...

i go out to the car, place key in ignition, go to start...lights turn on, radio turns on, and i just hear a real short "click"; not sure if it is the starter or the relay...then all of a sudden, not all the time, the door locks go nuts and the horn starts to beep; almost sounding like a security issue...

i've waited the 15 min and tried again, sometimes works, sometimes doesnt; i'm to the point now, i pull the horn fuse from under the hood, i go inside the car and just crank the car over as many times as i can, as fast as i can; till it starts...vroom, car starts, put fuse back in, and i'm on my way..(i pull the fuese cause its kind of embarrassing when the horn is going nutz in a parking lot....AND i've had my car towed twice because of this, with the shop finding nothing wrong with it)

sometimes, i can go several trips w/o it happening, somedays, its everytime i start my car. Weather has been different each time it has happened, along with temperature...

I've read on here, that it could be the ignition switch, could be the battery, could be the starter, or even the PCM (unlikely); just wanted to see who else has had this problem and what worked for them;

i just hate to try and diagnose it myself and buy starters, switches, etc and have no correct answer and replacing parts i dont have to...$$ tree hasnt sprouted yet lol

Let me know what you guys think...

03-15-2011, 06:32 PM
If you turn the key to Start and you hear an audible "click", then it's not likely the ignition switch nor the solenoid.

It could be the remote starter system messing with it...was it professionally installed?

03-15-2011, 07:49 PM
Well, I think you need to have the starter removed and properly tested.

If it tests ok, you probably have a problem with the aftermarket remote start.

03-15-2011, 07:54 PM
yes, i had the remote start professionally installed; uninstalled; and reinstalled.

I even had it uninstalled last year, cause that was the only way the garage would look at it...and after the garage said that it started right up for them, and there was no problem, and told me to come get it....i proceeded down to get it and the following day, happened again the following day; put a new battery in it, no problems, had the remote start put back in...

Now almost a year later, its happening more frequently. Battery is fine.

Today for instance; Normal routine..start the car from inside the house before start command comes back through the remote(2way clifford). So i press start again...a few minutes later, error once again. Hit it again, and it starts. Mind you, each time i tell it to start, it will "try" to start the car 3x(if it doesnt start) before it sends an error code back.

Go to work...Lunch time comes around, hit the start button..and it starts right up...
come home for lunch, go out to the car, stick key in ignition, starts

Work ends, hit start, no start...had to hit it 5x and it finally started

This will also happen if i dont use the remote start...once in a while, i can go out and try to start with the key(no remote start), and it wont...and theres no pattern....

03-15-2011, 07:58 PM
Well, I think you need to have the starter removed and properly tested.:yes:

03-15-2011, 08:27 PM
Do you happen to know If I remove the starter, can a place like advance autoparts test it? Or am I forced to the dealer to do so for a fee?

Didn't realize you could get starters tested...I was thinking only batteries and alternators

03-15-2011, 08:45 PM
Most parts stores can test starters, alternators, batteries, and ignition modules.....

06-06-2011, 01:34 PM

i figured i'd go the cheap route to start and purchase an ignition switch...

its been over a month since the NO START has occured...and this happened.

i removed the original ignition switch, and put in the brand new change

went home for lunch..tried it, still no start..

the click i hear is what i believe is the throttle body opening...

looks like i'll be removing the starter after work and have it tested...and see what it comes up with...

06-10-2011, 12:59 AM
Just wondering if you found a solution for this problem? I have a very similar problem.

I have a 2002 Trailblazer LTZ, 4.2 L.

About a week ago, went to go home for lunch and it would not start. Jumped it later and it started ok.

It worked fine for a couple days. It has been doing it more and more often and each time I can jump it and it works.

Tonight, it did it again, but I could not jump it.

I can hear a click from the throttle body and from the starter solenoid. It just won't turn the engine over.

The lights and everything work fine. The check engine light is on and the security light does come on randomly the last week or so.

Any help would be great!

06-10-2011, 09:10 AM
Mines an 02 LTZ as well..
whats wierd is you were able to jump start it and it worked...yours sounds like a battery issue...but thats what i thought as well..
thus far, i replaced the battery and ignition switch.

whats funny is, the dealership has NO IDEA what it could be...

well, after 3 days of no started..and has been starting ever since..i am going to put the new starter in probably this weekend...

i had Advance Auto Parts do a diagnostic test (battery, alternator, starter), and everything came back strong...i'm just crossing my fingers that its the starter

Ray Dockrey
06-10-2011, 09:37 AM
My wife's Taurus did this over several weeks. Sometimes it would start with no issues and then sometimes it would do nothing. She could try it several times when it was acting up and it would eventually turn over.

Finally it just quit one day. Had to pull it home. Pulled the starter and went and had it tested and it was bad. Replaced the starter and no more issues. Lucky with that car it is a 15 minute job.

06-11-2011, 12:38 AM
I have also had the battery, alternator, and starter tested. Each seems good. I did have them test the battery again at another store and it was bad this time. Wierd.

They replaced it under warranty so I didn't have to pay, but it made no difference in the starting issue.

I think I am going to try the ignition switch soon too. Probably tomorrow.

Does yours ever have the security light come on or anything else wierd? I noticed tonight that the check engine light was on and stayed on the whole time. Not sure if that is normal, but I'll probably check for codes too.

Good luck.

06-11-2011, 10:57 PM
I tried the ignition switch today. No difference. Still won't start.

New battery, new ignition switch. No start.

I even cleaned all the contacts again and still no difference.

I did take the starter to two different stores. Each of them told me the starter is "weak" but works still. It still passed their tests as OK. One of them did recommend I replace it anyway, but I'm not so quick to drop $200 just to see if that's the problem, but I'm almost there now.

The only other thing I can think of is that there is some sort of security feature stopping it from starting? Not sure about this as the security light is not on, but the red light on the onstar mirror IS on. I guess I'll try that next, then the starter.

It still clicks each time I try to start it, all the lights work, but no start.

06-12-2011, 08:14 PM
So my tb started about 10x...then this morning it wouldn't start...after the rain passed, I went to go try it..and starts..

So I threw er up on jack stands and started what I thought would be an easy starter replacement... all went well till the top nut on the other side of the solenoid..what a room to get in there at all really

Fyi, there's a harness in the way which u need to unclip to get in there, along with slighty bending the ac lines up so u can get a ratchet in it finally...ugh

Put the new starter in...turned the key..and it started..the starter sounds a lot more powerful, more of a whine, when it turns the motor over...

Hopefully this fixes the issue...ill be sure to repost here if the tb gives me future problems starting...
Right now I have a new battery, new ignition switch, and now a new starter installed

Btw, everything would work before such as lights,gauges, etc...u would just here a click from the throttle body and the starter relay...but it wouldn't turn over

Hope the helps and ill keep u guys posted if it doenst start in the future

06-13-2011, 12:23 AM
Sounds the same as mine. I just got a new battery and ignition switch. Probably going to install the new starter tomorrow. I am going to check if there is a battery drain somewhere too. I hear this can be a problem and can complicate the problems like what we are having.

If you have more problems, that may be something to check on.

06-18-2011, 07:27 PM
So its been a week, and no problems at all.... i really think the starter did the trick..:thumbsup:

06-19-2011, 01:26 AM
I replaced the starter after much hesitation. It did not change a thing.

I did find out however that the ground from the battery to the engine was not making good contact. THAT was my problem. Been running fine ever since. Wish I had come across that sooner.

Glad yours is working now too.

08-23-2011, 11:25 AM
I have similar issues with my Envoy and am by no means a Techie when it comes to vehicles. Thanks for all the great posts and for jogging my memory.
I will definitely check my battery to engine ground today since I remeber not being able to jump it the other day with negative cable attached to engine tab ground I normally would use. It cranked up only after attaching it directly to battery. :thx