Question about 2000 GMC Safari

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GMC Safari 2000 won't start after rain, damp, moisture

GMC Safari 2000 won't start after rain or damp weather. If it does start, it will run for few km and die. It won't start again until few minutes go by, and then will go on only for another few km. When I opened the engine compartment from inside the car, i noticed sparks / arching between the coil (i believe it's called ignition coil - closer to passangers side) and the wire which is running to the coil from the distruvution cap. With the car running, as i pressed the gas peddal more, it would spark more. To get home i taped the coil in the area where it would arch with elextrical tape, and was able to make it home - only with one more stop, however i could still see the spark jumping once in a while. Wondering if it's a bad coil (replaced a year ago), bad wires (Bosch - i know GM cars like their ACDelco parks) or something else all together. It seems to be a common issue with these GMC Safari's - however i wasn't able to Google the correct solution for this yet. The van drives OK when it's dry outside. Any input would be appreciated.Thanks, Dominik

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  • ve1au Mar 30, 2009

    Van runs very rough in damp weather. Hi voltage arc from hi voltage turret to ground and primary connection block. I wentt to the local GM Dealer this A.M. They told me that this would not be under warranty this time, as they never had 7 coils in a row go bad in one year. Got the song and dance that there was something else causing the coil to arc. I have replaced the GM platnim spark plugs, rotar button and distributor cap, as well as the wire set. This last cil has been on the vehicle for 11 days.

    Looking at the insulation around the hi-voltage turret, it appears to be very thin, not really thick enough to suppress 25 kv. I suspect these coils, including the GM units are being made off shore, and have insufficent hi-voltage breakdown.

    Would be interested in what solutions others have found. Am thinking about doing away with that exposed coil and putting in a new hi-performance coil such as used in racing cars. Any one have experience doing this?



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I'd replace the wire set.

Posted on Feb 27, 2009


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2006 ford free star when it rains the PCM gets wet and runs rough. Today it has rained for 3 days @ won't turn over. Battery is fine. Only a problem when it rains.

Rain should not affect your car starting. It sounds as if your battery is failing. Put your headlights on and get someone to turn the key with you looking at the headlights. If they dim to a glow-worm, your battery is not powerful enough. Sometimes a cell will fail and although your get 12 volts, you don't get enough cranking amps.

Regarding starting in damp weather, you can try this. Spray all the ignition leads with WD40 and also the inside and outside of the distributor cap. You can also try this which worked for me on an old Datsun that didn't like damp weather. Get some broadsheet newspapers and tape them together to make one large cover for the engine compartment. Make is about 10 sheets thick. Run the vehicle with this all over the winter. When you drive the paper warms and keeps the leads warm. When you park, any moisture in the air goes into the paper and doesn't condense on the ignition system. Make sure the paper is away from moving part like the radiator fan and the exhaust manifold. Check it after your first short drive, it should stay in place.

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you don`t say but it sounds like the moisture from the rain is sitting on the plug wires causing them to short the voltage to ground and possibly moisture in the distributor long has it been since a tune-up was done to the van.

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if your vehicle has a distributor cap on it, this is where i would check for a cracked cap, this will allow moisture to get into, normally when it rains.

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it could possibly be defection ignition coil or ignition wires arching when the weather is damp outside. Remove the doghose and while the engine is running, spray the ignition wires and coils and see if you can hear or see the arching wires.

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this is a big problem with the trucks replace distributer cap and rotor this WILL fix the problem.please rate this answer thanks for your question.

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