No Start / No Crank / No Instrument Lights / No Blinker

Discussion in 'Maintenance' started by 1Road, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. 1Road

    1Road New Member

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    Hello all, I just joined this forum and am in need of some help.

    I've got a 1995 GMC Suburban 5.7L k1500. Bought it with only 42k original miles and currently has 61k. Have had practically no issues with this truck till now. A few days ago I was sitting at a stop light when it turned green, I hit the gas and the Burb died. Tried to restart with nothing. No start and no crank. Jumped out and looked at the battery where I found the positive cable (going to the under hood fuse box) was broken at the battery terminal. Basically started moving it and noticed it felt easy to wiggle inside the rubber shielding and saw some sparks. I thought that was it. A broken battery cable. I got towed home and put the truck in the driveway. The next morning I went and had a custom 8ft 4 guage cable made. I installed it also with a new brass post connector on positive side of battery. Started the truck right after installing with no issues, pulled it into the garage and washed my hands of it thinking job well done. However, the next day the family got into the Burb, I went to start it and got nothing. No start, not even an attempt. No sounds. No clicks. Just like when it died at the light. Also, I noticed that although all accessories (windows, headlights, blower motor, dome lights, radio, etc...)work with key in position one, I'm not getting the typical check engine, abs, brake or battery lights in the instrument cluster (also not getting the little orange light under the PRND321). Nor am I getting left and right blinkers. I did some research and critical thinking and came up with a faulty ignition switch (so I thought). So, I swapped it out with a BWD unit from O'Reilly and that didn't end up working. I removed it and re-installed my original. At this point I've disconnected and reconnected that power cable and checked for 12v at the fuse box, back of alternator and starter. I've visually checked all fuses (though I did not pull each one out), I've looked for obvious signs of burnt wire and banged on my starter with a hammer. I'm completely puzzled as to why I was able to start the vehicle after changing the cable and pull it into the garage. But then, not be able to start it again.

    What do you all think? IMG_20161221_205248.jpg IMG_20161222_113240.jpg IMG_20161224_111837.jpg
     
  2. John Clark

    John Clark GMFS Member

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    Whenever I have multiple problems like this I try and find the simplest circuit that isn't working, and trace it back. Finding and fixing the fault in that system will usually fix everything. I would start with the turn signals. According to the wiring diagram they are powered of fuses #1 and #16 in the inside fuse block. See the diagram below:

    http://www.revbase.com/BBBMotor/Wd/DownloadPdf?id=1011027

    Check those fuses with a volt meter. Make sure the key is on. On the top of each standard fuse are two metal pads that allow you to check voltage on each side of the fuse. Connect the black lead of the meter to ground and then use the red lead on each fuse test pad and make sure that each side has 12 volts. If one side has voltage and the other side doesn't, then the fuse is bad. If there is no voltage on either side then you have to trace back further.

    I'm going to assume those fuses are good since the turn signals aren't the only problem. Most likely there will be no voltage on those fuses since the problem is probably upstream of that. Now we need to look at the power distribution diagram and see what feeds those two turn signal fuses.

    http://www.revbase.com/BBBMotor/Wd/DownloadPdf?id=1010988

    It looks like fuse #1 is on page 1 of the above diagram and fuse #16 is on page 2. Also right next to fuse #16 on that page is fuse #4 going to the gauges (big clue since we can see that fuse #4 is fed by the same power that feeds fuse #16.) I also notice that fuse #10 to the airbag is also on that same feed.

    Now trace fuse #1's feed and fuse #16's feed. Fuse #1 appears to be fed by Maxi fuse #7 and fuse #16 is fed by Maxi fuse #6 in the underhood fuse relay center. Check both fuses for power. These are big fuses so you may need to remove them and check for power coming in on one of the terminals. If there is no power on either terminal then you'll need to trace back a little further which looks to be the connection at the remote battery stud in the fuse box.

    If I had to venture a guess I'd say the remote battery stud is probably where the problem lies since you had to have that off when you replaced the main battery cable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
  3. John Clark

    John Clark GMFS Member

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    To add a few details, it looks like the starter solenoid is also powered directly off of Maxi Fuse #6. In fact, that circuit might have been a bit easier to trace than the turn signals. See the diagram below:

    http://www.revbase.com/BBBMotor/Wd/DownloadPdf?id=1011008

    Power to the starter solenoid comes in from the battery, through the remote battery stud, though maxi fuse #6, through the ignition switch, through the transmission range switch, where it is then delivered to the starter solenoid. Find where the voltage is being lost and you've found your problem. The remote battery stud is looking pretty probable at this point. It looks like there are a couple of wires on that remote battery stud along with the battery cable. I don't know what it physically looks like but one of the connections going to it is probably broken in there.
     
  4. 1Road

    1Road New Member

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    Wow, that was a TON of great information. I'm going to re-read it a few times and follow your advice. Thank you for your time! I'm extremely curious about that remote battery stud where the cable was reattached. Yes, there are a few wire connecting there. I'm going to check each. Will report back with progress...
     
  5. 1Road

    1Road New Member

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    Okay, I'm 99.999% I've solved the problem. In short, the Hazard Flasher Relay (right behind the emergency brake) was the culprit.

    Yesterday, I was down there just checking things out in the midst of all this and happened to pull that relay out and put it back in. When I would then first click the key, the light under the PRND321 would light up for a split second... But never amounted it to anything.

    Today, I was down there while having the key held in the start position and happened to knock on that same relay and the the truck started. Not being sure if it was the relay or a wire that I moved, I continued to narrow it down. I'm now pretty dang sure that the relay is the problem. What's weird is why that would shut the ignition down. Any input on this would be great. Also, the truck starts and runs without the relay installed. Though, it did seem to be harder to start like the battery was having issues but not sure if that was just a coincidence. Does anyone have some solid input on this hazard relay? Why on earth would it shut down the ignition? Also, is it just a fluke due to me changing the main power cable? Or, is this how relays act when they're about to crap out? Should I buy a new relay?

    Thanks everyone for your help!!

    (Pictured below, the hazard relay with the foam tape on it)

    IMG_20161226_155044.jpg
     
  6. John Clark

    John Clark GMFS Member

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    Well, I do think that's the hazard flasher box (see diagram below.) I don't see that causing the vehicle to not crank over. Keep it simple. Go back to the starting circuit I posted above. If you turn the key to "start" and the starter doesn't engage, it's a problem somewhere on that diagram. If you suspect that flasher unit you can try replacing it but I don't think that's causing the other problems. You need to be doing voltage checks along that circuit with volt meter or test light. A test light is best as the light itself loads the circuit a bit and is a better test than a meter.

    http://www.revbase.com/BBBMotor/Wd/DownloadPdf?id=1010991
     
  7. 1Road

    1Road New Member

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    When I knocked on that hazard flasher everything came back to life. I'm not sure why and it doesn't make sense but it's the only result I've got. I Just drove the truck to the auto part store and had the battery, alternator and starter checked. All passed. Don't ask me why that knocking worked. Maybe there's a short in that relay from the messed up battery cable.? My only other thought is there's a short in that panel the hazard flasher plugs into. I'm wondering if I could remove that and look at the back?? Anyways, I've purchased a new hazard flasher and swapped it in. If I get hard starting or no start I'll know it wasn't that. Any other thoughts?
     
  8. John Clark

    John Clark GMFS Member

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    The idea is not to just wiggle stuff until it works again. In fact you actually do NOT want to do that. It can make it impossible to find that intermittent connection issue if you move things around. When tracking electrical problems the idea is to be able to duplicate the failure and then track where the circuit is being broken. When it was failed, I'd like to know if there was voltage at Maxi fuse 6. Remember, there is also a Transmission Range Switch in there that can fail. Maybe that goes through the convenience center where that flasher unit is...I haven't done anymore research on it since you said it's working. But, in any case, if there was voltage on maxi fuse 6 when it was failed then you know the problem is not there in the remote battery stud. Then I'd check at the ignition switch, then the transmission range switch, etc. You get a test light set up at those locations and see if you can get your test light to show you exactly where the problem is. Right now you've got it fixed but you don't know what fixed it and it may only be temporary and just waiting to happen again at the worst possible time. I can guarantee the flasher unit is not the cause of the no start.
     
  9. 1Road

    1Road New Member

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    Okay guys, I've made a video about my experience with this problem. Thanks for your help.
     
  10. John Clark

    John Clark GMFS Member

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    Well, wiring diagrams have been known to be wrong on occasion. I think there is a terminal or connector on the back of that relay center that was the actual problem. Will be interesting to see what you find if/when you flip it over and look at it. What diagrams don't show is the actual routing of the wiring so it's very possible that flasher wiring is close to something else important.
     
  11. stickem76

    stickem76 New Member

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    Try checking your ground cable also
    try checking your ground cable as well. When your truck will not start, do you have other electrical functions like headlights or domelights? What is your voltage at the battery?
     

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