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Ask Gm Tech (Cam) Your Own Question
Gm Tech (Cam)
Gm Tech (Cam), GMC Mechanic
Category: GMC
Satisfied Customers: 29519
Experience:  GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 year experience.
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I am having problems getting my 2003 gmc Sierra to start.

Customer Question

I am having problems getting my 2003 gmc Sierra to start. New battery. Truck has been stored for 4 years. When the key is placed in the slot, if you just jiggle it, the parking lights will come on. When you go ahead and turn the key to the on position, all of the warnings and correct things seem to happen. When the key is engaged to start it, nothing happens. Eventually, the little symbol on the dash with the lock lights up. Do I need to replace the ignition switch, and if so, how do I get the cover off that surrounds the steering column?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: GMC
Expert:  Gm Tech (Cam) replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I am Cam. Can I get your name please? Also can you tell me what engine is in your truck and the battery, its brand new today or was new then?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, could never get logged in last night. Motor is a 350 whatever liter that is. The battery is brand new and I even tried another one that was on an irrigation motor that I knew was good.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Gm Tech (Cam) replied 1 year ago.

No problem Paul. Is there a remote starter install on the truck Paul?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, I just put a battery on it because of the proverbial, it was running when I parked it there. I raised it up and tried to check to make sure a rodent had not chewed any wires. I do not see any evidence of that.
Expert:  Gm Tech (Cam) replied 1 year ago.

TEh jiggling of the key suggests a bad connection in the ignition switch or around there and with the location of most added systems, the movement could cause this. I have one test. Do you have a volt meter?

Pop the tilt lever out and take the lower trim of the column off. With your multimeter set to DC volts, place the red lead on the red wire. With the switch turned on, test the other leads with the black wire. Record the reading and let me know what those are. Repeat the test on the red/white wire. Let me know the results.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. The truck is at my other barn. I will go and do that. Does that cover just pop off or are there screws to take loose?
Expert:  Gm Tech (Cam) replied 1 year ago.

Pop tilt lever out and lower trim pops down. Also remove the left fender brace and look in the area under the fuse block under the hood.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. It will take me a little while but I will get back with you ASAP.
Expert:  Gm Tech (Cam) replied 1 year ago.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Red to orange 10.5 white 6.1 yellow 5.6 pink 7.1 red white 0 brown 12.2. Red white readings same
Expert:  Gm Tech (Cam) replied 1 year ago.

With the key on, those are horrible. They should be nearly 0. That means that over the orange, 10.5 of 12V is being lost. Those results tell me you need a new ignition switch. See the attached document. The switch is actually very cheap, 40$ or so from GM.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I unplugged the wires to do the checking. Was that wrong? That is, I unplugged them from the little box with the gear on top.
Expert:  Gm Tech (Cam) replied 1 year ago.

Yes that is incorrect. You need to back probe with the connector in and the key on.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hard to find good help. I will redo.
Expert:  Gm Tech (Cam) replied 1 year ago.

No problem. its all good.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
with the harness unplugged from the switch assembly the lock symbol above the tach is on as well as the gauge lights. Does this indicate a short circuit somewhere else? I pad died so had to charge it up?
Expert:  Gm Tech (Cam) replied 1 year ago.

That tells me either the headlight switch is on, there is a short or there is a remote starter in the system.