Question about 2002 GMC Sierra

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My truck will randomly not start, it seems like the ignition switch is bad. It will start fine but every once in a while, when I turn the ignition, it dead, nothing, I mean all the electronics work but it is dead, after trying a few times, it starts like nothings wrong. Thank you

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You have the classic signs of a failing starter solenoid.

As I'm on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean (England) your vehicle model is unfamiliar to me, but almost all modern vehicles have pre-engaged starter motors which means that the solenoid is mounted to the starter as an integral unit. As fixing this problem means replacing the solenoid, it usually means replacing the entire starter motor assembly. But if the solenoid is failing then the starter motor is also usually pretty tired as well.

If you ever do get stuck before you get the chance to fix it, then a sharp tap on the solenoid with a hammer will normally free it up and allow you to start, but when the fault gets really bad even that trick doesn't work. Note that for accessibility reasons you may need to place a long metal bar (or screwdriver) against the solenoid and then apply the sharp hammer tap to the end of the bar. It's therefore best to find out how to access the solenoid and to keep the necessary tools in the trunk now, rather than having to find out on a dark rainy night.

Posted on Sep 09, 2010


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