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Kevin Bourcier
Kevin Bourcier, Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 385
Experience:  35 Years experience specializing in A/C Repairs and Diagnostics exclusively to GM dealerships
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2003 Yukon: 140k miles..Alternator tested ok..dash lights come..engage

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2003 Yukon xl 140K miles. Alternator tested ok, battery new, starter tested ok. dash lights come on but starter will not engage. hear clicking under the car. but starter will engage. ground connections and starter connections all removed, cleaned and tightened. A few days prior to this "Battery not charging" warning lamp came on which led to testing alternator and battery. ran fine for two days, then alternator quit charging, battery ran down, alternator removed and test ok and battery recharged. What could be the problem?
You could start by first checking the under hood fuses marked " IGN A " & " IGN E " . You should also check the alternator output stud ans ensure that it has 12 volts to it with the engine off . Also you mentioned that you hear a " click " sound from the starter . You will need to check the " switch " terminal on the starter while the key is in the start/crank position . A no crank condition many times is the result of a defective " range switch " on the side of the transmission .
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Will check the voltage on the alternator and ign A & E fuses momentarily.
Where is the range switch on the side of the trans? Pass or driver side - what does it look like?
It is on the driver side . The switch can be checked with the use of a scan tool . you should do the other tests before looking into the transmission switch .graphic
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ign fuses A & E are OK. Alternator voltage is 12.6 off the positive post and negative frame connections. How does the trans switch effect the starter circuit? Is it possible the starter solenoid is gone?
The starter circuit is controlled by the range switch for " park & neutral " safety .
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
So to recap, the alternator is Ok, battery is putting out 725 CCA and tests 12.6v ign off, both from the battery and alternator. Starter tested OK. All connections tight. When key is turned to start, only a click is heard. All interior and dash lights work fine. When key is turned to "ON" position, check system rolls through it's normal cycle, battery light is on in upper right corner...what to test next?
Test for 12 volts positive at the " start " terminal of the starter . You can also " jumper " the start circuit at the relay but that doesn't tell you what is happening on the starter when you turn the key .
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Starter tested 12.6 on the positive terminal and ground.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Could it be that the starter solenoid is bad even though the starter unit tested ok? Could I jumper the positive on the solenoid to the starter itself to see if I get a the starter to engage/ motor to turn over?
You need to test for 12 volts on the " start " terminal of the starter with the key in the " crank ' position . There is a small terminal on the starter solenoid that you need to test .
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'll try this tomorrow -dark here. Got too frustrated. Read message boards tonight and it seems many owners have had this or similar problem but noone ever says what the solution is. Posts say, "'starter just clicks', replaced starter, battery, etc, alternator ok but still just clicks". I'm afraid I'll be replacing the starter only to find its not the starter.

I will test tomorrow for voltage on the starter terminal when cranking. If there's voltage there when cranking that means solenoid is ok but not enough power to turn over the engine (bad starter motor) right?

If there is 12 volts , yes .

Kevin Bourcier and 5 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Will test for 12 volts on starter side with ignition turned to "start" tonight. I will be sure and follow up so that the transcation get closed out properly.
Let me know . Will work through it with you .
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The starter tested perfect. I talked to techs at the shop and they asked if the all the lights go out on the dash when I turn the key to "start" and they do. So there is a short somewhere in the system. I did this WITH and WITHOUT the starter installed and all the lights went out in the start position. This must have been the case from the beginning and the short was drawing on the battery. The situation got progressively worse over a two week period as the first symptom was "battery not charging" but that message cleared after driven for 20 seconds and never reappeared until it appeared on the way home from my son's school. Now the circuit will not even energize the starter with a full charge. >Checked all battery cables (pulled the rubber and connections are clean)
>Cleaned the ground connection on the block (was clean already)
>inspected the cables running from the battery to the starter - no nicks or cuts
>What else is in the starter circuit that would produce a short...Fuel pump??

Have you connected a scan tool to check for codes ?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I did an exhaustive search of the internet and found a list of TSBs on the vehicle - one pinpointed the problem - intermittant no starts (no crank). Turns out it was a chaffed wiring harness under the driver's seat, that, when the seat is moved with either seat memory changes for different drivers etc. shorts the system - battery drains over time, not enough power to start, and when the key is turned to the "start" position shorts out (for some reason) all the dash lights in the "start" position. The FIX: I removed the driver's seat and inspected ALL the wiring harnesses and found one that was nicked by a sharp edge on the seat frame. All it took to solve was pulling some slack in the harness and wrapping the wire. The vehicle started immediately and is working fine now - after removing the starter and testing, removing alternator and testing, checking all the cables to and from the battery to starter, etc. It was a technical service bulletin that decsribed the problem and the fix. Thanks though for all your help. Great site.
Thats great . Glad to hear you solved the issue. Thanks for using Just Ask !