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Ask GM Tech (Cam) Your Own Question

GM Tech (Cam)
GM Tech (Cam), GMC Mechanic
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 27662
Experience:  GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 11 years experience.
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2001 GMC: wont start..open door - security light..cab..dead battery

Resolved Question:

2001 GMC duramax - won't start- full story: open door - security light on dash information - put key in ignition and start to turn it to the on position - at different times in this process - everything in the cab goes dark - no power to anything - like a completely dead battery. a couple of minutes later - everything is normal again. sometimes you do get the key to go to the on poistion - get the ready to start and then the truck crancks - like nothing was ever wrong. in the mean time - power really did go off to the inside and i have to reset the radio security code again. put a volt meter on the battery when everything is off inside.. got full 12 volts and the batteries are both only about 14 months old.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: GM
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 3 years ago.

GM Tech (Cam) :

Hello, I'm Cam. Please include all the details about your issue so I can accurately advise you. I cannot see your vehicle so please be detailed.

GM Tech (Cam) :

The place to start is to test the batteries. New does not mean good, and these can be giving 12v with no load, but the moment you put a load on then, it drops to nothing.

Customer:

i do understand that - but 2 notes..i never get to the load part of starting.. in some cases.. this happens just with putting hte key into the ignition - others while tuning.. i have had hte meter on the battery during this process and found no drop in voltage while this is happening - as i would expect if the battery was having an issue.

Customer:

if the power stays good all the way to the on position - the truck will start with no issues.. does not even feel like the batteries are low

GM Tech (Cam) :

OK, good points and valid ones. Do you have a remote starter installed?

Customer:

no.. a 17 year old son

Customer:

the way it was acting - i thought about the ignition swich.. but then i could not justify why the power to the entire cabin would fail when this happens..

GM Tech (Cam) :

There are many feeds through the switch so that is still possible. Can you take the trim off under the wheel and manually jump from the red to the pink, orange, white and brown and see what happens?

Customer:

i am sure i can.. but it will likely take me a while

GM Tech (Cam) :

Ok, that is fine.

GM Tech (Cam) :

Bookmark this page so you can easily navigate back to it, and so you know, you can reply at any time for follow up information regarding this issue, even after you accept my answer and I will reply.

Customer:

ok.. sorry bout the time it took.. you said jump from the red to pink, orange, white & brown.. i assume you meant at the ignition switch and i did remove the plastic from the steering column. the wires are - 3 on a connector on top - red/white, orange/brown & yellow and another 2 wire connector on the back green & brown

GM Tech (Cam) :

These are large wires on the bottom not the small on top.

Customer:

ok.. let me go back to it.

Customer:

and you want all 4 connected together to see what happens, correct?

GM Tech (Cam) :

one at a time tos ee the reaction.

Customer:

ok.. the wires are actually red, pink, orange, brown and red/white. i went from the red to each of them.. i really did not notice much happening except when i went from red to pink - then the interior goes dead, but unlike when i use the ignition switch, the recovery is almost as soon as i remove the connection. with the key in the ignition switch, the recovery takes from 2 to 5 minutes

Customer:

after the key is removed

GM Tech (Cam) :

Do the 2 reds have power.

Customer:

i will check

GM Tech (Cam) :

ok

Customer:

yes.. both the red and the red/white is hot

GM Tech (Cam) :

Did you check every fuse?

GM Tech (Cam) :

Grounds under the drivers door on the frame?

GM Tech (Cam) :

Mice or rodents in the underhood fuse block?

Customer:

i will go after that.. you are thinking a bad ground somewhere?

GM Tech (Cam) :

yes, or some loose connection somehwere.

Customer:

so.. i was correct to be stumped.. it is just a matter of seaching. is there any logical steps to narrowing this down?

GM Tech (Cam) :

YEs you are correct.

GM Tech (Cam) :

Was the security light flashing?

Customer:

i open the door and the only thing going on is the security light flashing

GM Tech (Cam) :

when you cycle the key to start.

Customer:

alow me to do it over a couple of times.. and report back.. that way it will be at least the current version of the truth

GM Tech (Cam) :

Sure.

Customer:

ok.. now that i want the exactly sequience.. everything works fine.. the only difference was that i was very slow and deliberate as i did each step..

Customer:

what i got was open door - security light - key into ignition - ding and security light - move one step on the key - red battery and security - move to second step - wait to start - ses - wait to start went off - vehicle started.

GM Tech (Cam) :

Strange,

Customer:

tried again.. same responses.. no issues..

Customer:

earlier - it was most often when i moved from the first step to the on position - instead of getting the wait to start - everything went dead.

GM Tech (Cam) :

But since we moved the wiring in the column for testing.

GM Tech (Cam) :

that may have fixed or changed a contact in the swtich.

Customer:

is that consistent with the test i did with connecting the red to the pink? and duplicating the issue?

GM Tech (Cam) :

what happens is the contacts in the switch get dirty and any movement on the wire can move that contact just a bit and then it will make contact again.

GM Tech (Cam) :

What I suggest is when it does it next, jump that red to pink and see if it starts with the key.

Customer:

so - keep searching.. i can appreciate that - can i pick up this chat again when it repeats?

GM Tech (Cam) :

YEs, Bookmark this page so you can easily navigate back to it, and so you know, you can reply at any time for follow up information regarding this issue, even after you accept my answer and I will reply.

Customer:

am i required to accept at this time - since we do not have a potential solution as of yet?

GM Tech (Cam) :

You are not, but Please keep in mind that my only compensation for the time helping you is by you accepting.

Customer:

i am going to continue to look at all grounds i can see - as well as typical hifding places for rodents.. i had a rodent problem once several years ago in this vehicle.

Customer:

in that case i paid some one to look for some intermittent issues that popped up.. and some loose ground wires seemed to be the issue.. the truck has almost 200k miles on it.. has a couple of minor issues. .but still runs great

GM Tech (Cam) :

They like to nest under the fuse block. Moth balls keep them out.

Customer:

allow me to look around some more today.. i will likely accept later on - after i dig up any other issues i can find electrically - but i am sure this will continue until i find the actual issue. and thanks for your time.

GM Tech (Cam) :

As I said, we can continue the discussion later.

Customer:

last time they nested in the air filter canister

GM Tech (Cam) :

any dog food in there as well?

Customer:

nope..

GM Tech (Cam) :

OK,

Customer:

i will talk to you later on.. and will accept later on as well. thanks for this time - it has been helpful

GM Tech (Cam) :

OK, talk to you later.

Customer:

Cam - thanks for your help so far.. i have gone over the rest and find no issues and - at least for now - it is working.. i am going to put both batteries on the charger and see how they react.. just looking for another needle in a haystack.. i expect i will be coming back to you soon.. but in the mean time. i will hit accept now..

GM Tech (Cam) :

Thanks,.

GM Tech (Cam), GMC Mechanic
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 27662
Experience: GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 11 years experience.
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