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98 Chevy Truck Need Help

This is a discussion on 98 Chevy Truck Need Help within the Automotive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, I'm new to this forum. Today I had a problem with my '98 K-1500 Z71, I pulled into a

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Old 01-25-2005, 05:30 PM   #1
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I'm new to this forum. Today I had a problem with my '98 K-1500 Z71, I pulled into a parkinglot and when I parked it was working fine. When I came back out the truck didn't start from what would seem like a dead battery, but I just replaced the battery and wires. I checked the connections on the battery and they are fine. When I got back in the truck to test it I heard a clicking coming from under the dash that sounded like a turn-signal click, but obviously they were not on. And when I leave the key on the entire truck's lighting system is dimmed. I also tried jumping it from another vehicle, just to be sure that the battery wasn't dead, and that didn't work either. I was thinking it might be some sort of anti-theft device, but it would have to be stock because I didn't put anything in.
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Old 01-25-2005, 05:51 PM   #2
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First of all, i am not a mechanic, but do the work on my vehicles like this and also work on my tractor(s). If you turned on the key and wanted to start it and heard the clicking sound, then I have experienced the same problem. If the clicking sound was happening without the key trying to start it, then I have no idea what it might be.

When I got back in the truck to test it I heard a clicking coming from under the dash that sounded like a turn-signal click,

If you were trying to start it and heard the clicking I had that problem and found out my battery was fine, the cable was fine, but the battery cable connection to the starter (in most cases a solenoid) WAS NOT FINE.

The cable connected from the battery to the starter (or solenoid) had deteriated and did not make an adequate connection to energize the starter from the battery.

Therefore, even a jump from another car which uses that cable will not work either (tried that with mine) since the power from that battery could also not reach the starter (or solenoid). If that is the case and you want to test it, simply take the jumper cable, hook it to the battery cable, then to the starter (or a solenoid) and when you try to start it, it will get the power from the battery.

The lights will exhibit the same thing (as they did on mine) because although they (like the starter) get minimal juice, it does not get enough amps to pull the starter or keep the lights bright enough to not be dim.

Anyhow, I have given you an experience that I have had with both a car and one of my utility tractors that I keep around here.
Old 01-25-2005, 09:14 PM   #3
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Hi, and welcome to TSF. Your situation has me pondering, How long was the truck unattended? If there was something left on, would it have been long enough time for the battery to have been drained? But I really wonder what prompted the battery and wire replacement, and just how recently? Often times I've seen people do this, masking an underlying problem with the charging system. The charging system may be weak, and battery replacement may make things go "fine" for a little while, until the new battery becomes drained, and you're back where you started. I'm suspecting perhaps you started ok, got to where you were going, maybe headlamps,defrosters, wipers,etc going, and not have noticed them getting slower/dimmer on the way. And then when you tried the jump, did you allow some time for the battery to build up a little, for you can't start a car through the cables alone. I don't suspect the starter at this time, for if the starter were at fault, you could expect bright lighting, buy going almost out when the starter was energized, (exception is some starterfailures will cause no dimming of lamps at all.) I would perhaps try the "jump" again, allowing yourself more time. And make sure to get good connections through the clamps, many of the variety that accomodate the use of side terminals only connect to half of the clamp! Even jumping a hot battery you should draw a spark when making the last connection. NO SPARK, NO CONTACT, NOTHING GAINED! And as mark3567 indicated check those battery terminal connections, carefully, for if they are a problem area, they may get hot. I need to touch on one other alternator failure mode, that is voltage runaway. If the regulator fails a certain way, the voltage has no limit, therefore it will "boil a battery dry". A dry battery will behave as you have indicated. Begs to question, was the battery you replaced dry?
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Old 01-25-2005, 09:51 PM   #4
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it almost sounds to me that there is some sort of an electrical short, especially if your key being on makes your lights turn on, even if they are dim, that points at a problem.

it may possibly be a light bulb that has blown, and now the elements are crossed causing voltage to be finding it's self into the rest of the system, or the hazard light switch is doing this.

the clicking may be coming from the hazard light relay if this has happened.

what i would do, it take a close look at all the light bulbs.

i would look at the fusebox too.

a short like that would be very hard to actually locate, but some simple continuity tests should do the trick.

also, take the negative battery terminal off, and turn everything in the car off, then use an amp meter to test to see if power is still being drawn through the system. (you should see less than 500 ma of current draw, and that's for the stereo's memory.)

your light switch might also be to blame, as it is connected to the lights, and the dashlights, and could possibly make this connection occur.

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Old 01-26-2005, 08:46 AM   #5
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Starter isn't spinning but the solenoid is kicking out the plunger...We see this a lot with our derby vehicles. Usually the starter motor itself has gone to the junkyard in the sky, but the solenoid still pushes the plunger to engage the starter gear.

The "Drain" in power is from the dead starter motor trying to spinup, an electrical motor on startup can use 150-300% of rated running current thats why you've probably got a a battery in your truck with 600+ CCA cold cranking amp capacity. You need a lot of "juice" to spinup that entire assempbly, that includes spinning the motor! If that electrical motor is toast then the battrey will dump a ton of energy into it but nothing will happen.

We had 3 cavaliers (another GM product) with a similar problem, batter died, starter went then alternator, they seem to go together in this order.

Also check the fuse block for any burnt out fuses, it may be as simple as that. or it may be a small relay in the engine compartment or under the dash, they do eventually wear out.

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