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Old 01-21-2013, 03:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
57diesel
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The no crank when its darn cold again

Today if we are lucky we may see a high of -5 F. Had the block heater running for a few hours and went out to start it. Glow cycle seemed normal and turned the key to crank and nothing. First thought was darn batteries are dead but then observe that when releasing the key everything comes back normally so batteries can't be that dead. I then remember what happened to me one of the last times it was cold where I just held the key on and eventually it cranked. I also remember a couple other people noticing the same thing in the cold. This time I did not dare let the key go once it did start cranking because I figured with the very cold and the fact that I had missed the optimum glow cycle I better just hold it till it was running. When I was fairly certain it had 'caught' I let it go and had an odd assortment of blinking dash lights along with some unsual not good sounds from under the hood. After about 15 seconds it all seemed to go back to normal. It almost sounded like the starter dis engaged and then tried to re engage for a couple seconds. When it did crank speed was completely normal.

Last time this happened it did not start (block heater was not working). Last time Im pretty sure it kept having the same problem during the first start attempts so I don't think it was something like the stater solenoid full of goo and having trouble engaging. I would think that may be possible but I would not think it would immediately goo up and stick again right away. There was at least one (if not 2) others that mentioned the same symptom. I believe both the others were same as me in that they had done a lot of things like batteries and cables and never had any hints of this problem before. I would think a bad ignition switch would not really care about extreme cold and would act up at other times if it was on its way out. Its been a month or so of daily driving with no other signs of the problem.

Thoughts? Later today I was going to dig out the diagrams and see what all is in that start section of the switch to see if we can determine by whats on or off what sections of the switch may be working or not working.
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96 Burb K25 3.42's 320K miles so far, told its all original, front bumper grey pmd otherwise stock, close race between engine wearing out or body completely rust out.
95 Burb K25 3.73's 250K miles, new to me, looks to have been rebuilt at least once, stock, bad rust, 8' western plow.
81 Buick Riviera with the infamous Olds 5.7 diesel still going strong.
13 VW Jetta Sport Wagon TDI of course, does low 40's around town and can see 50's on the highway.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
StoonTurboTahoe
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I had never had this problem before I replaced my starter but immediately after I replaced my starter last year, every once and a while mine does the exact same thing. I thinking maybe too much grease in the starter solenoid or something of that nature as the frequency of this seems to be decreasing over time.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
sclark08
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go to united battery and have them load test. one of mine allowed halfass cranking and lights. replaced = perfect
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
hillbillyr
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I wouldn't try to figure out if the ignition switch is bad, just replace it. They are an easy change and inexpensive. Plus clean your grounds and do the battery conection mod in the DIY section of the " look here first" sticky.

Doing those three things transformed my truck from a slow cranking/ no cranking hard to start POS at 0f to an easy to start truck at this mornings balmy -30f

It was plugged in of course.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
Graplr
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I was the one that posted about the same issue when cold starting at -15F. Today we were almost near that but I didn't start the truck. I will do it again tomorrow in nearly the same temp so we'll see. But you are right, absolutely no other symptoms or times have I noticed anything like this whatsoever. It was mentioned in my thread that it could be the solenoid on the starter which made sense to me. It was maybe a 3 second delay. It was hard to gauge because I was in a shock when I turn the key and nothing happened like the batteries were dead but then seemingly out of nowhere it started cranking like normal and fired up.

I cold started it Sunday at about 0F with no issues.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
57diesel
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My starter looks fairly new so maybe its the hard grease thing since maybe that would also keep it from retracting all the way? Maybe with the initial other noises I did not hear the starter still grinding?

Same thing for me it was sort of a shock moment when nothing happened.

Where is the ignition switch on these? Still bottom of column or did they move it closer to the key?
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96 Burb K25 3.42's 320K miles so far, told its all original, front bumper grey pmd otherwise stock, close race between engine wearing out or body completely rust out.
95 Burb K25 3.73's 250K miles, new to me, looks to have been rebuilt at least once, stock, bad rust, 8' western plow.
81 Buick Riviera with the infamous Olds 5.7 diesel still going strong.
13 VW Jetta Sport Wagon TDI of course, does low 40's around town and can see 50's on the highway.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
57diesel
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Same below 0 F weather today, maybe even colder than yesterday. Same problem. Im going with the thick grease idea. This time I was listing to what was clicking and the clicks are definitely more than just relays so I'm 98% sure its the starter solenoid making the clicking sound. The time before it finally engaged the sound was slightly different. Gonna have to start leaving the block heater on longer when its this cold. Today because of the driveway layout it was only on for about hour and a half and it showed. Took almost a minute before I had all 8 cylinders. Guessing I really do have a 300k mile engine with compression to match. At +20 F its fine but that extra 20-30 colder it really does not like. My 5.7 diesel which has not been started in over 2 weeks started right up this morning like it was summer. Don't know the mileage on that but Im guessing its a lot less.
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96 Burb K25 3.42's 320K miles so far, told its all original, front bumper grey pmd otherwise stock, close race between engine wearing out or body completely rust out.
95 Burb K25 3.73's 250K miles, new to me, looks to have been rebuilt at least once, stock, bad rust, 8' western plow.
81 Buick Riviera with the infamous Olds 5.7 diesel still going strong.
13 VW Jetta Sport Wagon TDI of course, does low 40's around town and can see 50's on the highway.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
Kennedy
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Be sure to do a thorough inspection of the double positive cable connection on the passengers side battery. A loose/poor connection here can cause what you describe. Solenoid may click, but the cable arcs out and no juice to crank.

If that is good I'd take a close look at the starter. I will not buy "parts house" auto electric. I have all my starters and alternators done by a good friend that does these as a small business from his garage. He knows what works and doesn't and makes sure that my stuff is top shelf and always works.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
bigblazer
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What ide do is wire a push button switch staight to the starter selonoid. If it wont crank just hit the button. If she still dont crank, its the starter, if she does its your truck.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
Graplr
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Well, I could started this morning in about -15F this morning. Same thing happened. But this time I was prepared. It was only less than a 2 second delay until the starter started spinning. Started up though. It has not happened at 0F or even -5F conditions for me. Only twice, both times were -15F.

I'm not going to worry about it unless it starts happening at temps warmer than -15F.
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1994 Chev Suburban K2500 6.5 258k miles
-Diamond Eye Exhaust with muffler & 2.5" FloPro Crossover Pipe
-LubSpec Oil Cooler Kit, -Webasto Diesel Coolant Heater w/Remote Start
-Remote PMD on Heat Sync in bumper, HID Headlights w/new lenses
-Newer IP, New Bosch Injectors, New Bosch Duraterm Glow Plugs, Newer Radiator
-PYO Aluminum Wheels, Bridgestone Dueller II A/T tires
-Boost, Fuel Pressure, EGT Gauges, K47 intake w/Amsoil EaA 112 Air Filter
-Rebuilt Transmission @ 227k miles
-LP Relay Mod, High Idle Switch Mod, Glow Plug Override Mod, Battery Terminal Mod
-New OPS, Batteries, Brakes, Starter, Alternator, Fuel Lines, Lift Pump, Vacuum Pump -GMTD Scan Tech
1996 Chev K2500 Pickup 6.5 Odometer says 135k miles but not working
Bought for $900, currently undergoing fuel pressure problem to get it back on the road.
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