'97 GMC Yukon will not turnover, not the battery

Battery is fine, turn the key and nothing (no clicks, groans, nada). At first it only did this when the engine was warm, wait 30 min and it would struggle as if the battery was weak but it would start. Had battery tested and it was fine. Now, it will also do this when the engine is cold. If I remove the connections to the starter and reconnect them, it starts right up and works normally hot or cold but at some point, same problem.

May be a bad starter. Sometimes the solenoid inside the starter gets stuck. Next time it won’t start, try banging the starter a few times with a block of wood. Sometimes that will unstick the solenoid. If that works, have a new starter installed.

Starter is just over a year old but will give it a whack the next time it does it!

Is the starter a cheap one from AutoZone, Advance Auto ext… I kept replacing an AutoZone starter every 1 or 2 years. Finally I got my money back and bought a Napa starter and it has been good for years now.

Remove both battery cables. On the positive cable, peel back the red cover to expose the two battery terminals. If a lot of corrosion is found under the cover replace the positive battery cable.


No corrosion on either terminal.

I assume that the warning lights are turning on at least but if they aren’t then you need to check the power connections between the battery and power panel under the hood for a faulty connection.

If the warning lights are working then a likely suspect could be the safety switch going to the starter solenoid or even the ignition switch. Even though the battery terminals look ok it might be a good idea to wire brush the contact surfaces as corrosion can cause trouble there even though the connections will look fine.

What about cleaning the battery junction terminal? All electrical power goes through that terminal except the starter motor windings but even the starter motor solenoid power goes through that terminal, so…

It should be located near the battery positive terminal on the chassis of the truck. Just follow the cable.

Army Fan,

I bought a brand new, fully loaded 2003 GMC Sierra Extended Cab SLT with a V8 engine. After 5 years I started having this problem where–every now and then–the truck wouldn’t start. Like your situation, there wasn’t any noise at all when I turned the ignition key. Also like your situation, many times hooking up jumper cables and going through the motions would start it up.

For about the next 2 years, this occurred about 3 or 4 times per month. During that period, I had my battery and alternator tested on 2 different occasions by 2 different shops. I went to an automotive electronics shop where they tested all of the electronics and the starter, too. Since they couldn’t replicate the problem, there was nothing else they could do.

In 2008, the frequency increased to about 3 or 4 times a week. By accident, I discovered that, if I turned the ignition key on and off very quickly for about 30-60 seconds, more often than not, it would start the engine. I finally took it to the GMC dealership and they kept it for a week so the mechanic could try to start it morning, noon and night till he could replicate the problem. It started every time so they, too, could not solve the problem.

By 2013, every time I turned the key there was a 50/50 chance it would start. The odds started getting worse. In May of this year, my truck finally refused to start forever. I took that morning off of work so I could rent a car and go car shopping. I bought a brand new truck and the dealer had to come to my house to tow away my trade-in.