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Ask Dave Nova Your Own Question
Dave Nova
Dave Nova, Chevrolet Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 19452
Experience:  ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
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2002 Chevy Venture wont turn over or start. The check engine

Customer Question

2002 Chevy Venture wont turn over or start. The check engine light comes on in place of starting. When you remove the key the dash gauges tick up and down and the interior lights blink off and on twice. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
Check the starter relay in the underhood fuse panel. Does the relay click when the key is turned to start?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I checked the relay, it does not click when the key is turned. I swapped a cooling fan relay which was the exact same relay part number and still no clicking in the relay. Also the headlights will not come on. I can hear a clicking sound inside the cabin after the key is removed which is coming from the dash behind the sterring wheel while the gauges are moving.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I have no other lights on the dashboard or anywhere else that will come on. Only the Check Engine light comes on when I put the key in and turn it. The check engine light goes off after a couple seconds. It was running fine but over the last couple days it started to die occassionally when at idle. We replaced the IAC Idle Control Valve and after a few minutes of driving the idle went back to normal, that was yesterday morning. Since then everything has been fine. No check engine light, no idle problem, nothing. The vehicle has 112,000 miles on it. Within the last week it has had the spark plugs replaced with bosch platinum +4, the wires replaced, new serpentine belt, k&n air filter, Transmission Filter and fluid replaced, New Fuel Filter, New Brakes and Rotors, New Control Arms, New Lower Ball Joints, New Tie Rod Ends, New Stabilizer Link Bolts, Power Steering Fluid Flush and Fill, Coolant Flush and Fill, New Headlights. This vehicle has always ran great but now it is a second vehicle and we had the time to get it serviced for the 100,000 Mile checkup. The only problem we had been having was the motor dieing occassionally at idle which made the check engine light come on for the first time. We keep it serviced regularly and always have since it was new. Any help in this matter would be very much appreciated since now after doing routine maintenance it wont even start. Something else my brother took it to a car wash and used the tire cleaner on the motor to clean it for some reason yesterday morning after installing the IAC Idle control valve, but it ran fine yesterday and today till this afternoon. Do you think any of this could have any bearing on the current problem?

Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
Check all the maxi fuses in the underhood fuse panel. Try swapping the ignition relay with one of the like relays in the panel as well to see if this makes a difference. If it does not, the most likely problem is a bad ignition switch.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I already checked all the maxi fuses and ignition relay as well as both the cooling fan relays. I made a mistake earlier when I said I had checked the starter relay, I had not becuase the relay I checked and already swopped was the Ignition relay not the starter. I have yet to locate the starter relay but will do some digging in the morning to find it and rule that out. Even if the starter relay was bad would that stop everything else from working. I cannot even lock or unlock the vehicle with the remote. Nothing electrical with power works, no lights, no locks, nothing. The only thing now working is the check engine light when you turn the key and only a couple of times since this started I have heard a ding when I insert the key. It did start up after it had not started up once and I let it run for about 10 minutes and decided to shut it off and try to get a odbII test read on it but once I shut it off it was like someone turned the light switch back off because nothing would come one again.

Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
The starter relay will not keep other electrical items from working. If you have a test light or voltmeter, turn the key on and start checking for power at each of the fuses in the underhood fuse panel. Let me know which ones have power and which ones do not.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Is it possible that the anti-theft system is active? Since we have no power to anything except the check engine light and atleast yesterday the clock on the radio was the only other thing that lit up, but after trying to start the vehicle several times the radio clock light will not even illuminate. Is it possible that this could all be due to the anti theft lock out due to it being faulty? If so how do I determine that this is this case or not?
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
The antitheft system will not limit power to the radio, dash lighting, etc. What did you find when you checked for power in the fuse panel?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I was able to trace down the problem. It was located at the positive terminal on the main fuse box from the battery. I took it out cleaned it up and after reassembling it the van works perfect. Any idea on what could have caused the corrossion to just go from working to not working and not had any intermittant problems beofre that. I am hoping this was the cause since I had no power with a light pen there from the battery until after I cleaned it. I just dont wont to think this problem is corrected now that it is working again to find out I put my faith in the corrossion and it happens again because this was not the original problem. Is there any way I can be certain this was the fix?
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 7 years ago.
The corrosion can reach a point where it just will not work. Delco batteries were prone to leaking acid from the positive terminal. The acid normally corrodes up just the positive terminal at the battery, but the acid can actually wick through the cables and affect the connections at the other end, like at the fuse panel. Remove the positive cable from the battery itself and check for signs of corrosion and moisture (leaking acid) If you find leakage, replace the battery. If there is corrosion there, clean it with baking soda and water solution. Keep an eye on the situation, if it repeats, you may want to replace the positive cable.