1990 GMC Sierra starting problems

Discussions about the devices that supply a means for movement of people and goods.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Ax-Man
* * *
Posts: 444
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:31 pm
Location: Lowell Indiana

1990 GMC Sierra starting problems

Post by Ax-Man » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:48 pm

Stopped at a gas station today, ran inside, got what I needed and came out to truck that wouldn't start.

Battery terminals where hot to the touch, the negative battery cable was significantly hotter than the positive cable.

When trying to start it, the starter would click like I had a dead battery. Check it with a multimeter and had 12v at the battery. I know sometimes a battery can show 12v, and still not have the amperage to start the vehicle, so I tried getting a jump start. Everything just got hot again, it tried to turn over, but wouldn't do much more. After checking for loose cables, making sure the battery terminals where tight and everything else I could think of I ended up getting a tow.

Any thoughts on this? I have full power everywhere else. Headlights, radio, power windows ect...

When I crank it with the head lights on they dim.

So it's getting hot, which should mean there's some resistance somewhere in the the circuit? Maybe one of the cables came loose or has a short?
Could it be the starter itself?

Any ideas would be great. I'm going to go out with my multi-meter in the morning and try to work my way through to see if I can find the problem.
Live to train, train to live.

The Great PAW Library Project.

nolongpork
* *
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:20 pm

Re: 1990 GMC Sierra starting problems

Post by nolongpork » Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:01 pm

the battery cables can get corroded inside the plastic insulation that covers them they should be changed out every 8-10 years or so. I would do that based on principle and it's relativity cheap. that would be my starting place if it were mine.

User avatar
yossarian
* * * * *
Posts: 2177
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:09 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Army of Darkness, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead(remake)

Re: 1990 GMC Sierra starting problems

Post by yossarian » Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:08 pm

nolongpork wrote:the battery cables can get corroded inside the plastic insulation that covers them
This. I've had the exact same scenario you described. Everything checked out fine, enough juice to run everything. Had the battery load tested at "Auto Parts Zone". I was ready to pull the starter, but decided to double check the battery cables. There was just enough corrosion under the insulation to cause problems.
" So, brave knights,
if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further,
for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth."

Squidi
* * *
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: Arkansas
Contact:

Re: 1990 GMC Sierra starting problems

Post by Squidi » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:05 am

I have an '88 chevy truck and it's been worked on by everyone and their brother throughout the years, so you never know what your going to find.

Anyway, I had a positive battery cable against the exhaust. It would short out when it got hot, but only when it was hot. It was initially very mysterious.

User avatar
Supervisor42
* *
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 8:25 pm
Location: Arab, Alabama

Re: 1990 GMC Sierra starting problems

Post by Supervisor42 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:14 am

Replace the starter.
It has 4 brushes that work in pairs.
If one doesn't touch the commutator, only 2 work and will draw enough power to heat the cables but won't turn the engine.
If you're not sure, tap the starter with a hammer and it will start. If it does, change it.
Corrosion inside the cables will cause it to crank over slower and slower over time.
Embrace the next generation, give them a gun and teach them to shoot. They are our future.

User avatar
Ax-Man
* * *
Posts: 444
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:31 pm
Location: Lowell Indiana

Re: 1990 GMC Sierra starting problems

Post by Ax-Man » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:22 am

Over the last few weeks it has seemed like it's been cranking harder than normal. I tried tapping on the starter before I called the tow truck. No luck there
Live to train, train to live.

The Great PAW Library Project.

User avatar
Ax-Man
* * *
Posts: 444
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:31 pm
Location: Lowell Indiana

Re: 1990 GMC Sierra starting problems

Post by Ax-Man » Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:34 pm

There was plenty of corrosion on the battery cables, so I started by replacing them. No Dice. They probably needed replacing anyway so no harm there.

Put a new starter in and it fired right up. Thanks for the help!
Live to train, train to live.

The Great PAW Library Project.

Post Reply

Return to “Transportation”