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Van won't start HELP!!!

02-27-2005, 01:01 AM
2000 Chevy Venture, 72000 miles.

Here are the symptoms:,

-Occasional clicking from starter (solenoid?)
-No Crank Over
-Battery has charge (radio works, headlights work and are bright)

I drove my van to the store and shut it off. When I tried to restart it I got nothing, occasional clicking, no crank over. I thought it might be a dead battery, although the headlights were on (it was nightime). I tried jump starting and got the same thing, nothing but an occasional click from the starter solenoid. I think it might be a bad starter but I fear it may be a seazed engine, even though I have recently changed the oil, checked the oil (it's fine, clean and full), and have not overheated the engine ever.

Please help!

02-27-2005, 10:49 AM
Yep. Sounds like a starter. The click is the giveaway.

06-27-2005, 05:24 PM
My van just did the same thing while travelling out of town. A mechanic was able to hotwire the starter to get us back home, but it wasn't the starter. My trusted hometown mechanic can't find anything wrong with the starter, batter, or alternator. Except the starter doesn't fire when you turn on the key.

any thoughts?

06-27-2005, 07:40 PM
teege: sure sounds like a bad starter. If the engine seized, it almost certainly would have happened while you were driving, not after you shut it off. Of course, you should always check to make sure the cable leading to starter isn't the problem. An easy way to check is to (very, very carefully) use a jumper cable from the positive battery terminal to the starter terminal.
Joepepsi: sounds like you have a bad ignition switch, which is the kind of problem I'd only let a dealer repair due to the complexity of pulling off a steering wheel and getting to the switch.

06-28-2005, 10:04 AM
Well, I got real lucky! Had the van yesterday at a local shop and they couldn't diagnose the problem. I went there this morning to have them hotwire it so I could take it to the dealer. Before I did that, I decided to pull a few fuses under the hood. One of the mechanics was looking over my shoulder when he noticed a cluster of wires wrapped in a plastic flex tube leading from the battery to points deeper under the hood was all frayed. It was resting right against the a pulley and the alternator belt. He pulled it up, examined it and noticed a yelllow wire was completely severed. He spliced it back together and it started right up.

I am convinced no dealership in America could have discovered this problem. to borrow from the medical profession, they always go looking for zebras whenever they hear hoofbeats.

thank you for your input. I am very happy to have saved what could have been hundreds of dollars at a dealership.

07-06-2005, 01:23 PM
I had very similar problem. Checked the grounds, Neutral safety switch and still had an intermittent start. Problem was it never happened when I was jumping it. Local elec shop trouble shot the lines and I had a very slight short in the starter whereby with a jump (two batteries) it'd start, but without a jump it was a dice roll. Got a new starter and all was well... for a while...

Update--After 2 weeks same problem--took it to Chevy Dealer, who thought it was a bad (new) starter or ignition switch but then found it was a loose wire to starter connection AS WELL AS corrosion in between the battery cable bolts and the connection cover over the bolts. Even though I had cleaned the wall of the battery and the bolt threads, there was poor continuity from bolt to cable... Has worked perfect for 3 weeks and 30 starts.

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