By October 18, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

Truck Won’t Start Sometimes

Reader Question

Two times in the past week our truck will just fail to start…headlights and dash come on, but there is no sound, no click, no anything.  The first time it happened at home and so we connected a battery charger and it started.  We then turned it off and hooked up the charger.  The charger light would bounce on and off between 0 and 6, something we had never seen before.  The battery is a 6-yr AC Delco and only 1 1/2 years old.  Phoned our mechanic who thought it might be a bad plate in the battery due to us driving over a pothole etc (which we didn’t remember doing).  Given this, we didn’t continue to try and charge, but used the start function of the charger to start the truck and left at the mechanic’s parking lot (we did not see if it would start without the charger start function). The next morning the mechanic said it started just fine.  He started it over and over throughout the day.  He checked out all aspects of the battery with his battery tester and it was fine.  !
He said he did a thorough check of everything else he could think of and could not find anything wrong.  He said the next time it happened, that we should try the following (in this order)

1. use the remote to lock/unlock the vehicle to rule out alarm issue

2.  try again while wiggling key (test ignition switch) and 3. try again by pulling the gear lever up while starting (test neutral safety switch)

This morning it happened again and none of the above 3 actions made any difference…still dead.  It should be noted that 2 months ago we had a new Jasper engine put in the truck along with new idler bearing, starter, crank pulley, tensioner, flywheel, water pump, ignition wires, distributor cap, plugs, and radiator hoses.  We have been fortunate that both times this happened at home, but reliability is a big issue and we are uncertain how to proceed if the mechanic cannot figure out why this is happening.

Any thoughts/ideas?  Thank you so much for your help.



Hi there Peter


Hi there Peter

I would be suspect of a loose battery connection, or loose or dirty ground connection…especially after a recent engine replacement. Its pretty common for mechanics to hand tighten connections that need to be wrenched tightened.  I would start from the battery connections, then make my way to the starter connections and the ground wire to the chassis of the vehicle.

If all seems good and tight, I would probably GUESS and replace the starter motor if anything.  They are fairly cheap and easy to replace, and can cause sporadic symptoms like this that can be hard to track down.

Austin Davis

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