Crank But No Start Without Boost

Asked by Mar 08, 2017 at 06:34 PM about the 1999 Chevrolet Suburban C1500 LT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My beloved Suburban refuses to start unless she gets a boost. Once that initial boost is given, she runs fine. And she'll start on her own again...and again...and again - unless left to sit for several hours (i.e. overnight).

The Bus (the nickname affectionately given to my Suburban) is equipped with a new Optima Yellow-Top deep-cycle battery. The alternator is fairly young at about 1.5 to 2 years old. I just replaced my spark plugs and wires, yesterday. The dashboard voltmeter reads 12-volts with the key in the ON position. I figured that ruled out those three sources of trouble.

I measured the resistances of the primary and secondary windings of the ignition coil; the secondary coil read 5.85K, rock-steady; however, the primary coil read from 0.1 to 0.8 ohms in succession. The primary coil reading would start at some random point in the aforementioned range and climb to its' peak of 0.8 and fall to 0.1, repeating the process ad-nauseum. There is a consistent variance in the resistance reading I am receiving from the primary winding. I'm thinking a voltage is being built and stored by the primary coil and released upon reaching the bias-point established by the winding's insulation. I could be wrong, though.

Ultimately, I am an amateur at fixing my own vehicle; please forgive any errors, mistakes or misconceptions I have. Attribute them to naiveté. I am wondering if anyone reading this would be gracious enough to share some knowledge with me and tell me whether or not I need to replace the ignition coil. Or the ICM, or the distributor cap or the distributor rotor or anything in the electrical path of ignition that is keeping my baby from starting on her own.

1 Answer

73,055

Well your ignition is not the problem. The vehicle will start. You have a charging problem going on. Sounds like you have a digital multi meter, so first check the battery voltage. A fully charged battery should show 12.5 to 12.7 DCV. Then get the bus started and then check the voltage at the battery again. It should read 13.8 very minimum, to 14.7 DCV. This would indicate that the alternator is working or not. You battery may be just run down and need to be charged.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer

Chevrolet Suburban Experts

  • #1
    Andrew Olsen
    Reputation
    1,010
  • #2
    Neal Turner
    Reputation
    900
  • #2
    Eric Fritz
    Reputation
    900
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used GMC Yukon XL
9 Great Deals out of 498 listings starting at $2,800
Used Chevrolet Tahoe
6 Great Deals out of 632 listings starting at $6,871
Used GMC Yukon
10 Great Deals out of 859 listings starting at $5,950
Used Ford Expedition
15 Great Deals out of 361 listings starting at $2,995
Used Chevrolet Silverado 1500
162 Great Deals out of 10,662 listings starting at $100
Used Cadillac Escalade
3 Great Deals out of 381 listings starting at $4,980
Used Ford F-150
459 Great Deals out of 9,063 listings starting at $922
Used Lincoln Navigator
92 listings starting at $7,888
Used Dodge Durango
62 Great Deals out of 1,013 listings starting at $2,998
Used Ford Explorer
45 Great Deals out of 1,364 listings starting at $3,900

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Chevrolet Suburban For Sale
275 listings starting at $52,900
2016 Chevrolet Suburban For Sale
29 listings starting at $44,000
2015 Chevrolet Suburban For Sale
23 listings starting at $42,967
2014 Chevrolet Suburban For Sale
7 listings starting at $25,999
2013 Chevrolet Suburban For Sale
11 listings starting at $27,900

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.