1992 GMC Sonoma 2.8L sometimes won't start (not even turn over) when engine is warm

ignition
starting
start

#1

Car: 1992 GMC Sonoma 2.8L Manual
Miles: ONLY 197,000 miles
Symptom: Sometimes won’t start (not even turn over) when engine is warm. It doesn’t die or anything it just won’t start if i’ve been driving for more than an hour and I say, stop to get gas or something. It doesn’t make an sound, not even a click. This has only happened to me about 3 or 4 times in the last 6 months.

Fixes: I have not had a mechanic take a look at this yet. They usually complain about other things when I bring it in. Little things like “your brakes are almost gone” (big deal, I don’t need breaks because it is a stick shift) or “your tires are showing their metal wire” (big deal, I’ve had a front tire blow out before at 70 mph… on this same truck come to think of it).

Current work arounds:
The following three things work to get it started everytime:

  1. A jump starts it right up
  2. Push start starts up real easy (I’ve done it by my self on flat pavement
  3. Wait for an hour or two (not always an option)

Feeble attempt to diagnose
My feeling is that the starter motor is beginning to go but are there other things that can cause this before I pour money into fixing the starter?


#2

well on my ford pickups, that is a symptom of the starter motor distorting, and binding up when it gets hot, which happens to old ford starters.

my trucks would start back up after a half hour tho, and there was usually at least one click or weak attempt to turn over when it happened.

i don t know about GMCs tho


#3

Sounds like starter. I know some people have installed aftermarket heat shields around the starters. I would replace the starter and you should be ok.


#4

Battery connections are the first place to begin when you have a “No start” situation. Even
if you have a new battery, if the connections are loose, dirty or corroded, you will not be
allowing the full flow of current to pass thru the connections. The connection may be
enough to turn on the lights, but not enough for the huge flow that is needed to operate the
starter. This is where many people say that they know the battery is good….”because the
lights come on”. This is no more a battery test than licking a 9volt battery. It only tells you that there is electricity…not how many volts or the amperage that flows from the battery.
Jump starting may have wiggled the terminal just enough to allow the current to pass and start the engine, but tomorrow you have the same problem.

First remove the cables from the battery and use a wire brush to remove any corrosion and dirt from the battery posts and the cable terminals. There is a tool with a round wire brush for this purpose, found at any auto parts store for less than $10 http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/kd-tools-terminal-battery-brush-kdt201/25980576-P?searchTerm=terminal+brush.
Before connecting the cables, apply a coating of di-electric grease to the battery posts this will keep oxygen away from the connection so that it will not corrode as fast.

It is just as important that the other end of the cables also have a clean connection. Remove the positive cable from the battery again so that you do not short anything out. Follow both cables to their far ends, remove this connection and wire brush the connection and the cable terminal clean and retighten these connections.

If there was work done recently, there may have been an “engine to body” ground that was not installed following the work. These grounds normally run from the rear of the engine to the firewall and are uninsulated and most are a braided wire. If any of these are found unattached…reattach them.
Remember….this is not a “Sherman Tank” don’t over tighten the connections.
Tight…tight………………too tight…broke!!!

Yosemite


#5

“I have not had a mechanic take a look at this yet. They usually complain about other things when I bring it in. Little things like “your brakes are almost gone” (big deal, I don’t need breaks because it is a stick shift) or “your tires are showing their metal wire” (big deal, I’ve had a front tire blow out before at 70 mph… on this same truck come to think of it).”

Based on this attitude alone, I choose to walk away. PS, your truck and your life are not the only ones at risk on PUBLIC roads


#6

What BustedKnuckles said.

If either your brakes or your tires are bad, your truck should be parked until you decide to get them fixed. Don’t take unnecessary risks with your life or the lives of others.