Last post on Dec 02, 2013 at 9:06 PM
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Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Tahoe Limited/Z71, SUV
#96 of 381 '04 Tahoe won't start easily when cold - fuel pump?
Jul 10, 2008 (5:44 am)
I have an '04 Tahoe with about 85k on it. Recently it won't start on the first try and generally will on the second or third. This occurs if it has been sitting for a while such as overnight. If it is warm then it starts right up. The dealer said that it is the fuel pump. That on the first "cold" try it doesn't completely pump the fuel to where it is needed. They said I need to replace the pump and should replace the fuel filter at the same time. Does this sound legit? This is a big expense.
#97 of 381 Re: '04 Tahoe won't start easily when cold - fuel pump? [mattrig]
Jul 11, 2008 (2:46 pm)
Have that fuel filter changed first. You can have this done at any small shop. You can also change it yourself but you need to get a special tool for disconnecting the filter from fuel line. Same type tool as is used for AC connections. That tool does not cost much either.
Another thing to check before fuel pump work is the fuel pressure. If pressure is low it can be an indication of failing pump but it can also be an indication of failing fuel pressure regulator.
Fuel pressure regulator can loose spring force that controls fuel pressure causing low pressure condition and poor fuel spray in the intake port. Pressure regulator is quite inexpensive to change compared to fuel pump.
Depending on the car dealer it seems they want to do the most expensive job first, which you pay regardless if it fixes the problem and then they start changing the other parts that can be the problem.
Have you changed spark plugs yet? They can be the problem too. I know they say you can go 100 000 miles with the factory installed plugs but I would, and have changed mine, already before 50 000 miles. Factory installed spark plugs seldom are the best you can get either as is the case with plug wires.
Start with the fuel filter, which if I remember right is located on driver side in about middle of the car on inside of the frame beam. Lucky you have a fuel filter as some other cars have fuel filter only at fuel pump itself. You could check the fuel pressure before changing the filter to see if it makes any difference.
If filter change does not help check / change fuel pressure regulator.
Fuel filter and pressure regulator change I think cost $200 or less. Fuel pump job I have seen from other posts cost $800 - $1000.
One thing that perhaps tells about filter problem is easy test to do. When the engine is cold and you would need to turn the key twice before it starts do this:
Turn the key only to make all instrument panel lights to come on, i.e. turn the key to ON but DO NOT TURN IT TO START. You should hear the fuel pump to operate for a couple of seconds. Now turn the key OFF and then turn it like you normally would start the engine and see if the engine really starts. This could indicate that indeed the fuel filter is restricting the fuel flow to the engine and you kind of need a "pre-charge" from the fuel pump before you are able to start the engine.
Jul 12, 2008 (11:46 am)
I'm hoping someone can help me. I have an 02 Tahoe that occasionally will not start. No lights, no sounds, nothing-just dead. It will not jump and the battery cables are tight and clean/no corrosion. The battery is new. I've had it tested and the battery, starter and charging systems show normal/good. What could be causing this?
The test showed that the system is draining 6.44 amps when totally shut off. This sounds high to me. What could be causing it?
I also get that whirring sound when driving and sometimes when I shut off the vehicle. Could that be indicative of the problem?
Please advise. Any direction or help would be greatly appreciated. I drive my children around in this truck and don't like being stranded at will. Plus wrecker fees are adding up!
#99 of 381 Re: [reloc8]
Jul 12, 2008 (12:17 pm)
Over 6 amps pull from battery when everything is off is HUGE! It will probably drain your battery to no-start condition in a day. It is quite obvious that there is something "stuck" on or grounded / grounding.
6.44 amps is quite high though.
You could do following: Connect amp meter between battery negative and the ground cable. That is where you should see that 6.44 ams draining when everything is OFF and start testing every fuse and relay, i.e. take fuses and relays off one by one (replacing each if not problem) until you find the one that stops battery drainage. This way you can find the circuitry that is causing it.
It can also be that your alternator has started leaking in the ground (diode problem) and as the amperage is quite high this might be where I would start, i.e. disconnect all alternator wires to see if that is doing it.
Starter motor could be the source for problem too so disconnect the thick starter motor power cable from the battery to see if it helps.
#100 of 381 Re: [arrie]
Jul 12, 2008 (12:28 pm)
Thanks Arrie, although I'm no expert, I thought 6.44A sounded high. I will try what you suggested and hopefully will come up w/a solution. I appreicate your thoughtful comments.
#101 of 381 '03 Suburban won't start when warm
Aug 04, 2008 (7:49 pm)
My '03 Suburban won't start at random times. It does seem tied to the weather (didn't happen at all in the winter), and is usually after it's been driven - but not always. When I turn the key all the electrical components turn on as if it's in auxilliary, but the engine simply won't turn over. There is obviously enough power to turn on lights, radio, dvd player, but no start. Sometimes you can wait 20 seconds and try it 20 times and then it will start. Other times, 20 minutes and two tries will do the trick. There appears to be no rhyme or reason to when it will finally start. All cables (including battery) appear to be tight. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
#102 of 381 Re: '03 Suburban won't start when warm [nate24]
Aug 05, 2008 (10:07 am)
Replace crank sensor or new battery. K Miller
#103 of 381 Trouble Starting '99 Suburban in the morning
Sep 07, 2008 (12:08 am)
I wanted to thank members on this board for helping me solve my problem with my '99 Suburban. The postings on this board help me diagnose the problem and saved me $100's of dollars replacing parts that were not impacting the performance of the car.
The issue was that the truck was difficult to start first thing in the morning. Once it was started for the day, I had no problem getting it started. In the morning, the starter would crank but the engine would not fire. I had replaced the fuel pump 5 years ago. For a while, I could get it to start by:
1) cranking the engine for three seconds;
2) turning the key to the off position;
3) turning the key to the on position ( not cranking ) for 10 seconds;
4) turning the key off
5) turning the key to the start ( crank ) position.
Once the car had been started in the morning, it had no problem starting for the entire day.
My mechanic thought that the problem was probably the fuel pump, but when he tested the fuel pressure, the results were within manufacturers specs ( 60 psi -- I think). He was uncomfortable recommending changing the fuel pump because it had been changed previously, it was recording the proper pressure, and it cost $800. Some of the other items might have been the distributor, the Fuel Injectors, the spark plug wires and other items. We both agreed that a new fuel pump for $800 with no certainty that it would remedy the problem, would be a risky venture.
I noticed that when I parked the truck on an incline with the engine higher than the gas tank, the truck would not start at all the next morning. I towed the car such that the engine was lower than the fuel tank. The truck started with no problem.
My mechanic recreated the hill scenario by parking the truck on an inclining rack over night and running the fuel pressure tests in the morning. The test results showed a much lower fuel pressure of 35 psi, way below the manufacturer's spec.
Armed with this new information, we both agreed that my mechanic should go ahead and replace the fuel pump.
Now the truck starts every time.
#104 of 381 Re: '03 Suburban won't start when warm [nate24]
Sep 21, 2008 (2:09 pm)
Nate24 - What was the solution? My 04 Tahoe is doing the exact same thing! It has been happening once every 2-3 weeks. I only had to wait 10 seconds and try again and it would start up. Today it did it again and I had to wait 15 minutes. Battery is only 6 months old. Lights and radio come on but the engine won't even turn over. Was it the crank sensor?
#105 of 381 2000 Chevrolet Suburban fuel pump issues??
Sep 30, 2008 (9:01 pm)
I have a 2000 Chevrolet Suburban that is sputtering and falling on its face when I press the gas pedal. After reading this forum, I am thinking it might be the fuel pump. So I called the local Chevrolet service dept and they said it would cost over $535 for the pump and $370 in labor. WOW!! Well that is not in my budget. I think I will start small first and check the fuel filter, thanks to a message I found earlier on this forum, and I did find it under the driver's side. I also am checking the fuses and relays. Any other suggestions anyone might have, I would greatly appreciate.
I have had this Suburban for over four years and have never ever had any problems. It has been a great vehicle.
Oh, I took the fuses for the fuel pump to have them checked and they said I would have to know what the OHMS were so they could be checked. Does anyone know what they might be?