Ignition switch or Starter? - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum



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Go Back   Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum > 2002 - 2009 TrailBlazer/Envoy Tech > 02-09 Vortec 5.3L V8 Engine and Drivetrain > OEM Issues

OEM Issues Original Equipment Repairs and/or Problems

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  #1  
Old 06-18-2008, 03:22 PM
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Griff1 Griff1 is offline
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Ignition switch or Starter?

Hi,

I have the same old problem many have had with my 04 Envoy not starting.

I put the key in turn it and the electrical comes on, windows work, radio comes on ect ect, but it does not turn over, no clicking just nothing.

First I checked the battery, it had 95% life but only 450 cold cranking amps. This may not be enough to start it when cold outside but it is 80 degrees and it should still click. I don't think it is the battery, maybe I will replace the battery just to be sure.

Second, is there a way to trouble shoot to determine if it is the starter or ignition switch?

The Envoy died at a resturant a while back and a guy helped me get it started by jumping the starter somehow. He got under the car and I think he put a screwdriver across the leads on the selonoid whlie I turned the key. After a few tries it kicked over. He said that as long as I did not shut off the engine I could make it home, and sure enough as soon as I got home and cut the engine it is dead. Great to have a stranger help me as I was about an hour from home.

This leads me to believe it is the starter but is there a way to pinpoint it?


My budget is really tight right now and I can not afford to replace both.

Thanks for your opinions,

Griff
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2008, 03:50 PM
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Could be the battery if it's the original....they only last 4-5 yrs max. An easy way to tell is to turn the ignition on and try to start the engine....if all the lights in the vehicle dim way down, it's probably the battery.

Also, check your battery cables and the connections at the battery....make sure their clean and no corrosion.

The fact that the guy was able to make the starter work at all means it's probably not that. It may be the starter solenoid or ign. switch.
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Old 06-18-2008, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff1 View Post
Hi,

I have the same old problem many have had with my 04 Envoy not starting.

I put the key in turn it and the electrical comes on, windows work, radio comes on ect ect, but it does not turn over, no clicking just nothing.

First I checked the battery, it had 95% life but only 450 cold cranking amps. This may not be enough to start it when cold outside but it is 80 degrees and it should still click. I don't think it is the battery, maybe I will replace the battery just to be sure.

Second, is there a way to trouble shoot to determine if it is the starter or ignition switch?

The Envoy died at a resturant a while back and a guy helped me get it started by jumping the starter somehow. He got under the car and I think he put a screwdriver across the leads on the selonoid whlie I turned the key. After a few tries it kicked over. He said that as long as I did not shut off the engine I could make it home, and sure enough as soon as I got home and cut the engine it is dead. Great to have a stranger help me as I was about an hour from home.

This leads me to believe it is the starter but is there a way to pinpoint it?


My budget is really tight right now and I can not afford to replace both.

Thanks for your opinions,

Griff
Remember that you used your starter to start the vehicle....... that would lead me to believe that the starter is in fact working.


I would look at the ignition switch. It is a common problem with these vehicles.
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2008, 04:57 PM
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If he was able to jump the starter w/ a screwdriver, that idicates that you have B+ at the starter...the test you have to do is check the solenoid wire for B+ while attempting to crank the truck (you'll need another person).
If the solenoid gets B+, then the ignition switch is good & you have a problem w/ the solenoid; if there is no B+ at the solenoid, then the problem may be the ignition switch...further diagnosis will be necessary (checking wiring, output at the ignition switch via the column harness)
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Old 06-18-2008, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by PROSPHOTO View Post
If he was able to jump the starter w/ a screwdriver, that idicates that you have B+ at the starter...the test you have to do is check the solenoid wire for B+ while attempting to crank the truck (you'll need another person).
If the solenoid gets B+, then the ignition switch is good & you have a problem w/ the solenoid; if there is no B+ at the solenoid, then the problem may be the ignition switch...further diagnosis will be necessary (checking wiring, output at the ignition switch via the column harness)
Remember that the guy jumped from the b+ on the starter to the solenoid and got it to fire. So I would imagine that the solenoid is good.
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mack View Post
Remember that the guy jumped from the b+ on the starter to the solenoid and got it to fire. So I would imagine that the solenoid is good.
It's still a good idea to check for B+ at the solenoid when cranking...to make sure it's not the solenoid connection causing the problem
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PROSPHOTO View Post
It's still a good idea to check for B+ at the solenoid when cranking...to make sure it's not the solenoid connection causing the problem
I believe Mike is right, when u have voltage at the starter and no crank, it is usually the contacts in the solenoid that are burned. Replacing the solenoid is the proper repair.

I just checked a manual, and it recommends changing the starter when the solenoid is bad. I usually take mine to an overhaul shop, they rebuild my starter (not a swap). If I get it in there early, I can have it later that day.
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  #8  
Old 06-18-2008, 09:26 PM
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Thanks for the input.

Is the proper diagnostic to pull the starter and take it for testing? O'Rileys said they could check it if I brought it in. So I guess that is what I should do.

Is there a way to check the voltage at the starter while it is on the truck?

Thanks a lot for the info, now I will have questions to ask when I take the starter in to be checked.

Griff
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:57 PM
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Voltmeter negative lead to (battery) ground, and the positive lead to the thin/little wire (solenoid wire) connected to the starter. you can check for a good ground by touching the positive lead to the starters large wire (you'll see 12-13V). With the lead connected to the starter's solenoid wire, have someone try cranking the truck...a normally operating circuit will show battery voltage at this lead during cranking
If there is no voltage present during cranking, leave the starter alone...your problem is in the ignition circuit (bad wire, fuse, connection under the instrument panel, ignition switch, etc.)

Good luck
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  #10  
Old 06-20-2008, 07:45 PM
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it is a possibility that it's an ignition switch problem, they are pretty common with our vehicles (unfortunately )....I had similar issues and had the switch replaced.
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