Question about 1997 GMC Sierra

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When i turn the key nothing happens. the starter relay clicks but that is it

Posted by geddas64 on

  • 2 more comments 
  • michaelau778 Oct 05, 2008

    i have the same problem with my 2003 sierra 2500 4x4 but i dont think mine is the starter my problem seems to be the relay cyliode behind the passenger side battery i dont know what to do help my truck died while driving and it was like the engine just lost power now it just clicks from what looks like a cylinoid or a rely of some sort any ideas 

  • putz0999 Oct 08, 2008

    '99 GMC Suburban has intermittant problem. When I turn the key to START, I hear "something" click, but the engine doesn't crank. If I hold the key in the START position, it will usually start cranking in 5-20 seconds and the engine will start and run normally. This problem happens about 25% of the time. The other 75% it starts normally. I'm curious what the starter relay does. Both battery and starter have been replaced in the last 6 months.

    Any ideas??

  • Anonymous Oct 21, 2008

    I have the same or similar problem. I turn the key and get one strong click, then nothing. The battery has plenty of juice and I just replaced the starter thinking that was the issue (argh).

  • Anonymous Mar 17, 2014

    when you turn the key over, the engine just clicks. starter is good. relay switch good. battery good. what could it be



5 Answers

Justin Case

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Hello there geddas64,

When it clicks:
- Is it a series of rapid clicks? If so, this usually is indicative of a low battery state. If you have someone to give you a jump, try it again. If the jump works, run it for a while. Stop the engine, then try to restart. If it does the same thing, have both the alternator and the battery checked.

- Is it a single strong CLICK? If so, the problem is either the solenoid or the starter.

The solenoid contacts could be burned.
The starter could be bad.
The connection between the two may be damaged.

If you are comfortable under the truck, pull the starter.

See whats wrong:

  • Get some jumper cables.
  • Attach the negative (black) to the frame of the starter.
  • Keep the red (positive) cable away from the black.
  • Attach the other ends to the battery (+ = red, - = black)
  • Keep your fingers away from the gears.
  • Check the starter by touching the loose red jumper to the connection between the starter and the solenoid. DON'T TOUCH THE FRAME. If it spins, the starter is ok. If it doesn't replace it.
  • Check the solenoid by attaching the red cable to the bigger (and emptier) solenoid terminal.
  • You are going to need a test light or meter.
  • You will see a smaller terminal on the solenoid. Get a screwdriver and use it to cross this with the larger one.
  • You should hear that same CLICK. You should see the gear slide forward . In a perfect world it would spin too.
  • Attach the negative lead of your test light or meter to the frame.
  • Attach the positive lead or probe to the solenoids other large terminal (the one connected to the starter).
  • Recross the red jumper to the small terminal to simulate a start.
  • If the test light fails to light, the solenoid is bad. Replace it.
  • If it lights, check the connection between the solenoid and starter. Disconnect, clean and reconnect.
Thats the whole deal. If you have problems or additional questions, just click the ASK button.

Remember: Good things come to those who Rate


Posted on Aug 05, 2008



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After replacing the starter, solenoid, and relay.. and still just getting the one strong click but no starter movement, I did some reading on other similar posts and decided to triple check the battery conections. I had my battery disconnected 3 times already from checking it briefly in the first place plus swapping my starter out (twice, counting putting the old one back on) -- and made sure everything was tight, etc, so doubted that was the issue. But, what I found was that there was some corrosion between the two wiring sections on the positive side. The wire that was feeding all my accessories, lights, etc was getting good contact and thus making me think that the battery was fine. But the wiring lead that connects behind the first wire connector and goes to the starter was fairly corroded. I used a wire brush and some cleaner and walla, it fired right up. Evidently, there was some current making it through the corrosion to make it click, but not enough to make the starter go. ...I gotta get a voltage meter.

Posted on Oct 22, 2008



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Check and make sure that your not missin any teeth on your flywheel, the starter may not be gettin a good bite on there, you can look by just pullin the starter or the inspection plate, i'd pull starter tho

Posted on Feb 11, 2009


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I have Honda Passport .. when I go to start the car & turn key - nothing happens - NO CLICK... then I take key out and turn it again and it'll start ... can you help and tell me what to check... thanks, donna

Posted on Jan 12, 2009


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I here a clicking noise from the fuse panel under the dash. The key is not in the ignition.

When I try to start the truck it turns over but won't start.

I think i have a bad starter relay. What do you think?

Posted on Dec 24, 2008

  • Anonymous Dec 24, 2008

    I here a clicking noise coming from the fuse panel with out the key in the ignition.

    The clicking noise goes away when I turn any electrical function.

    The battery is new and already I had to jump it. Ithink i have a bad starter relay. what do you think?


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SOURCE: I have a 2001 GMC sonoma 4.3 v6 that will not turn

Try another starter and also try turning the crank bolt with a ratchet and socket to make sure that the crank isn't frozen in place. Do not leave the keys in the car when doing so. You don't want anyone messing around in the truck when trying that!

Posted on Jan 11, 2010


Sam Akber

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SOURCE: 2001 GMC Sonoma. SLS

Tilt the steering wheel down all the way and see if it starts, if it does then there is a main power wire loose in the steering columb. Thats all which comes to my mind at this time.

Posted on Sep 16, 2011

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