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2002 tahoe wont start after K&N install

I installed a K&N intake and filter on my 5.3L 2002 Tahoe Z71. The first thing I did was disconnect the negative cable from the battery. The last thing I did was reconnect that cable. When I turned the key the power went dead and won;t come back. Cant lock the doors - no electrical power whatsoever.

Have you re-checked all the cables and connections, especially anything in the area of the intake/filter?

I did. the only connection other than the negative batt. cable was the MAF connection and it is good and tight. I went out and tested the door locks and they worked (had power). I got in and tried to start it and the power went dead. I just went out and tried the locks again and they worked so I am letting it sit.

I am going to guess a bad cable. They can get an internal fault. You may be able to verify that with a resistance check of each cable. It is also possible that some form of anti-theft has kicked in.

You did not ask, but I may suggest that you rethink that K&N unless you have done a lot of power modifications as K&N filters are known to kill MAFs unless they are very carefully oiled (not too much, not too little and evenly distributed). I have also seen a lot of comments about their poor filtering. Modern cars breath very well when stock and those filters will not give more power or mileage.

Interesting input about the K&N. I tried to do a fair amount of research and the majority of what I found said it should help boost power and (slightly) improve mpg but I guess we’ll see. NOTE: in 42 years thie is the first american car I have owned b/c their rep was so bad. Guess I will find out for myself on both counts :-).

The right tool for the job is all I needed to fix the power problem and in this case the tool was me. Somehow when I disconnected the negative cable the positive connection was loose enough that it was not making good contact. Simple fix. I’m going back to bed.

Glad to hear that was all there was to it. Watch out when oiling that filter, or if you find that it is not doing anything meaningful for you, I would put an OEM back in.

I almost thought there was a great reason to avoid K&N filters. I’m kind of disappointed. Not really. The loose connection was found and that is just one more reason to add parts to a car. It sounds like the mechanic’s game of tag where the defect finds you and then you find it. Good work.