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Cardoctor71
Cardoctor71, ASE Master Technician
Category: GMC
Satisfied Customers: 675
Experience:  35 years experience in the automotive and Lt truck repair business, owner Cardoctor LLC Guthrie, OK
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I have a 96 gmc Jimmy. Sometimes it cranks right up and

Customer Question

I have a 96 gmc Jimmy. Sometimes it cranks right up and other times it doesn't start unless I jump it. The fuel gauge will show the correct fuel level when turning on the key if it's going to start and will not move off empty if not going to start. If the gauge doesn't move when key turned on I have to hook jumper cables to the battery for a few minutes, crank it over a few times then it starts and the fuel gauge works again. At that point it will start every time until car has sat for a day or two and then it;s the roll of the dice. I've replaced the fuel pump and it seems to power on every time when key is turned on for a few seconds regardless if the guage stays at zero or not which makes me believe it's getting constant power to the pump. I was told it may be a bad splice pack along frame rail which I never could locate even after tracing harness all way to back of vehicle. I did find a ground wire that was bolted to chassis under spare tire and fixed that but didn't change anything.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: GMC
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
CORRECTION.....ITS A 98 JIMMY
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

Hi, My name is ***** ***** for the delay.

I will do my best to assist you

Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

are you saying the cluster only works sometimes,,and if it doesnt work it wont start?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Everything on cluster works all the time except for dash lights (never works) and fuel guage which will always work when running but doesn't work when jimmy wont start. It takes hooking up a power surge with jumper cables before guage will work. Even when guage doesn't work the fuel pump will activate for a few seconds when turning in ignition.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What ever sends current to the gauge has an intermittent problem for sure and car won't start when this happens
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

ok

from the way you explain,it sounds as if you may have a bad ignition switch..not the lock cylinder but the electrical ignition switch itself

Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

we have had to replace a few of these switches for similar problems

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Any way to test and how to replace
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

not really..because the problem is intermediate

Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

meaning it m,ay test good when testing and still be bad

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
how to replace?
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

stand by,,i will upload the procedure

Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

PLEASE COPY AND PASTE the link below to your browser, I have uploaded more info on this there please copy and paste the link below to your main browser[INTERNET EXPLORER or FIREFOX]

.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/743nuzons998kir/0106-jimmy-Ignition%20and%20Key%20Alarm%20Switch%20Assembly.doc?dl=0

.

if the link doesn’t work that way, try it this way

thanks

.

www.dropbox.com/s/743nuzons998kir/0106-jimmy-Ignition%20and%20Key%20Alarm%20Switch%20Assembly.doc?dl=0

.

If you are satisfied with my answer, Please Rate my answer by clicking the rating button so I can get credit for my work. I’m not always going to be giving you good news, so please don't let this stand in the way of you accepting my answer. .it does not cost you more money and we will still be able to communicate, ,.please understand, i can not see, hear or touch the vehicle and only know what you tell me. Bonuses and positive feedback are appreciated.. if you are not satisfied with my answer, please do not leave bad feed back ,i will gladly opt out and let another expert handle the question. .if i have sent any diagrams, please print them. .sometimes you may need to right click the image [,then save picture as]to save it to your computer so you can open it with your picture program...Please ask if you need more help

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will an autoparts store have tools for job
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

yes,,they should have what you need

thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
called oriley they have steering wheel puller but dont show that I would need ignition switch connector release tool...Switch will be here around noon
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
also the instructions dont show steering wheel puller needed?
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

the 98 doesnt need the wheel removed

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
do I absolutely have to have release tool
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

no,just find something that will fit in therew on both sides,maybe small screw drivers or filler gauge ,,some ype of metal that you can use to release it

thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have the key in the on position and AM pushing down into the small hole on top and the cylinder is not coming out
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

turn the key just a little..it should pop right out

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Looked at a YouTube video the key was not required to come out to replace the ignition switch I have successfully replaced the ignition switch everything works but still no gas gauge
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

gas gauge the only thing not working?

does everything else work as it should?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
but all it would take is for me to hook jumper cables to the battery get some more juice in it and the gauge would then start working and it will crank up but if I do that who knows when the gauge will stop working again
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

the gauge ites;f isnt going to stop it from starting

Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

you have already replaced the float level..correct?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand but the gage is the only way I can tell beforehand whether it's going to crank or not
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

i dont see a connection here

Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

when the gauge isnt working you say it wont start?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I turn the key on if the gauge does not come off of 0 it will not start if the gauge goes to the correct fuel level it will start. If the gauge is at zero and I hook jumper cables to a strong battery and began to crank the engine the gauge pops up to the correct fuel level and starts thereafter. At that point it may run four days before it decides to not work again. It seems like after it sits for a couple of days without running is when it stays at zero and will not crank until I jump it and watch the fuel gauge pop up to the proper level
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

ok,,so,/but it is now starting with the new ignition switch?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No it's doing the exact same thing it was before I installed the new ignition switch
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

does the starter motor turn the engine?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it will hit a couple of times but will not crank
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

does the security light stay on?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

ok,while it wont start,,i want you to check a couple of things...

does it have a spark on the plug wires?

will it start with a prime[starting fluid or a little fuel into he throttle body]?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it does get fire and does not crank when I prime the throttle body and acts like it wants to start but doesn't
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

ok,,

replace the distributer cap.

fact is,with a spark and with the fuel you gave it with the prime,it should have started..

these caps are wormed so the plug wires come out straight,they will be bad inside the cap.

i have had many of these caps bad new,right out of the box,,

Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

it will have a spark with a bad cap,but it jumps to different cylenders as if it is out of time

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
installed new distributor cap that does not work either. What supplies current to the fuel gauge could it be that that also supplies current to the spider injector and its not allowing fuel into the injectors
Expert:  Tims Auto Repair replied 1 year ago.

other than the switch,i dont see the connection..stand by,i will opt out,someone will be right with you

thanks

Expert:  K. Wiggins replied 1 year ago.

Hello, is the eighth VIN character W or X, is it 2 or*****

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
W 4
Expert:  K. Wiggins replied 1 year ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** fuse, #11, feeds the instrument panel and the vcm. When the trucks doing the thing where the fuel gauge reads 0 could you check the voltage on that cluster fuse with the key on and while cranking?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
8.6 when key is turned on and 4.5 when I begin to crank. I left the charger on for an hour or so and when I turn the ignition key on the gas gauge went to the proper location so I left the key on with the fan blower to reduce the amount of power in the battery so that when I turn the key on the fuel level would stay at zero so the reading I'm giving you is with a low battery and the fuel gauge set at 0
Expert:  K. Wiggins replied 1 year ago.

All right, if you would fully charge the battery and see if you can get it to do the no start condition and check that voltage again.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here's what I'm noticing with jumper cables hooked to a charge battery I can turn the key on and the fuel gauge will go to the proper level if I turn the key off and back on a couple of times the fuel level will stay at zero when key is on when this occurs I have wiggled all wiring that I have access to with no change however if I turn the blinker on after a second the fuel gauge will go to its proper level this has occurred about 8 out of 10 times
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm also noticing that when the fuel level is it 0 the security light is not on when i activate the blinker not only does the fuel gauge go to the proper level the security light will come on for a brief second and then back off
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just spoke with my brother who has a coworker that has a gmc jimmy that does the exact same thing for the past 5 years about once every month he hooks jumper cables to the battery and it cranks right up looks like I'm not the only one
Expert:  Cardoctor71 replied 1 year ago.

Most likely the instrument cluster printed circuit has a weak spot that somehow is restoring voltage when jumper cables are attached because the weak spot heats up and make s connection, once it cools it breaks the connection, replace the instrument cluster or have the printed circuit repaired at a cluster repair shop. You are not going to solve your intermittent no start issue with the existing cluster. Please RATE my service a 3 or above, if for some reason you can not Please ASK me another question, I will continue to answer your questions, even after rating is given until you are completely satisfied with my answers.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How does this put vehicle in a no start situation