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Bob, Auto Tech
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 4087
Experience:  Plus 40 years GM, over 30 certified with Chevrolet, ASE certified Master Tech. (Expired, Retired)
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1997 Chevy Suburban K1500...Starting Problems...Immediate problem

Resolved Question:

1997 Chevy Suburban K1500...Starting Problems...Immediate problem is no start...Turn to crank hear a click, but the starter does not engage. Pulled starter, took it in to be tested and it tested fine. Cleaned all electrical connections, tested for electrical current to the starter and found active current to both the starter from the battery and while the ignition being turned on the solenoid. I have reinstalled the starter and still nothing but the click.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Bob replied 8 years ago.
Hello, only 3 things can cause this kind of a problem, well 4 if you want to consider a motor that may be frozen up. Either a low battery, a bad connection or a defective starter. It does not take much amperage to light up the lights or run the heater etc, but the starter can draw over 200 amps and if the battery is not up to snuff it will just click. If you have a volt meter, take a reading at both the battery connection on the starter and at the solenoid wire, (purple) while someone tries to crank the starter. If you get close to 12 volts on both, the starter is bad. regardless of the test. A starter test off the truck does not show how many amps the starter is pulling, the only correct way to test the starter is on the truck so you can get an amperage reading and do a load test. The battery should also be load tested so you know how much capacity it has. Then there is always the connection thing. If the battery connection on the starter shows 12 volts and then goes away when the starter is engaged, either there is a bad connection or a bad battery. Last, you may want to try a large breaker bar and a socket on the crankshaft bolt in the front pulley and make sure you can turn the motor over by hand, just in case. If you do not get voltage to the small purple wire on the solenoid, then we may have a problem with the nuetral safety switch a starter relay or something along those lines. Let me know what you find. Thanks
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hey Bob,

THe car just clicks once not multiple times, I am not sure if that matters but I figured I needed to let you know. I do not have a volt meter so I guess I will try to get one of those first. Anything else I can try?
Expert:  Bob replied 8 years ago.
As a rule when one does multiple clicks like that it is usually a problem with the battery or a connection on the cables. If you turn the lights on and then crank it, see if the lights flicker off and on, if so suspect the battery or cables connections. You could always try a substitute battery from another vehicle as a quick way to test the battery or maybe even jump it from another vehicle. More often if it clicks just once and then nothing, it will be a starter problem. Or of you have a 12 volt test light, you can substitute that for a volt meter. Same basics apply if you test at the battery cable on the solenoid and the light goes out, you are not getting voltage to the starter, battery or cable connection. If the light stays on bright at both connections on the starter, bad starter. No light at the purple wire, open circuit between starter solenoid and ignition switch, nuetral safety switch, relay, etc. Let me know. Thanks
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