2000 Chevy 3500 truck will not start

2000 Chevrolet 3500, rear wheel drive Fleetwood, 5.7 liter engine. Slightly over 200k miles on it. I bought it used on June 2nd this year. Bought it from a construction company and they take good care of their vehicles. They must have used it a lot on dusty roads. I made sure the air filter and brake fluids are OK.

June 2014, got new rotter and spark plugs, then after the engine quit on the road home, I had a sensor replaced somewhere in the axel, or transmission, an odd place. Now after 2.5 months of smooth operation, the 5 year battery died (it lived almost 6 years). I put in a new 84 month, heavy duty battery yesterday. Got in the truck to start it up and “click.” The battery is doing its thing, lights up the dials and lights if necessary. I turn the key and pause a moment, I hear the fuel pump turn on. Then I turn the key and “Click.” The engine does not make any effort to turn over. “Click.” Nothing. There is a half tank of gas in it.

I suspect maybe a solenoid as part of the starter, maybe the fuel pump, maybe a blown starter fuse, or blown fuel pump fuse. Thing is they are square fuses and I can’t see inside of them whether something is worn out.

We live 60 miles from a Chevrolet shop and maybe 50 from a generic shop. Having the truck towed that far will cost a fortune.

Any ideas what likely could be the problem?

I don’t believe there is a starter fuse on this application

Since you do hear a “click” I’ll assume the starter solenoid is indeed getting power. The solenoid is mounted directly on the starter in this instance

To me, it sounds like your starter has failed.

I know that your battery has those side terminals. Are they clean and tight?

Here’s what you could do, if you’re willing to get dirty, but you’ll need an assistant and a hammer.
Crawl under the truck. While your assistant turns the key to “run” position, tap on the starter. If the truck starts, you’ve confirmed the bad starter.

I recommend you get a high quality remanned starter . . . AC Delco or Delco Remy would be fine. If you are handy, this is absolutely something you could do yourself

Thanks. I do not know where the starter is located, but I think with some internet searching, and maybe it’s in the manual, I can find it. If the starter is up high, I may be able to lean over and tap it. I have no idea what a starter looks like. Gotta do some interneting and find out. Our family once had a car with a failed solenoid that acted this way. They wear down and don’t connect when the starter moves them.

The starter is on the right side, pretty much below the exhaust manifold

If you go to any web site…Autozone, NAPA, etc…you can look up your starter and it will show a picture of it. Then you can look for that part on the engine.

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!!!


Much appreciation for the helpful information provided on this problem. I cleaned the connections to the battery and the starter. I removed the old starter and installed a new starter that I purchased at the Chevrolet parts section of the dealership. I trickle charged the battery to 100% using a slow charge rather than a fast charge. I turned the key to start the truck to see what the starter would sound like and “click.” Same thing the old starter was doing. The engine does not turn over. I re read the comments above and I will look for where the “engine to body” ground is located to see whether it is not connected. I do see the braided, flat kind of wire curling around touching different parts of the motor. I guess that is what it is supposed to do. I do not know how it would become disconnected because the truck was running fine prior to the time I thought the old battery finally quit. I bought a new battery figuring that was the problem. Friend says there might be another solenoid on the driver side of the engine that touches the firewall.

Check the battery voltage before and while someone turns key to “start.”

I don’t have a volt meter yet. The instrument dial shows at mid point (14), which is probably really more than 12.4 and less than 14. When I turn the key just to hear the fuel pump turn on, the needle drops to about what is approx. 9 in the dial. It did that, even after the battery was charged and I had jumper cables from our other truck attached (other truck running). That’s before turning the key the remainder of the way to start the truck. It’s like the power is not enough to make the starter work, or it just looks that way. Like an immediate loss in the battery from 100% to 95%. One friend says the braided engine to body wire should go straight from the block (engine? Seems like the same thing), to the battery. I’m thinking to the body, like you posted. I will be working on this later today and post the results tomorrow. Thanks “insightful” for the information.

“Friend says there might be another solenoid on the driver side of the engine that touches the firewall.”

No, your friend is thinking of Ford trucks