98 Chevy Starting issues

We have a chevy that has to be jumped off normally and then runs till you shut if off. Right now it can’t even be jumped off. We have replaced the battery, altnator, new cables, checked the starter at O’Reillys, brand new hot cable, new ground wires, and checked fuses under hood and inside truck. We’ve run out of options does anyone have any solutions please?

Yes, run a parasitic draw test to see what is draining your battery. See the youtube link on how to do the test…

You also might consider taking the truck to a good independent mechanic so you can find the cause instead of changing parts hoping that might fix it.


The first thing you do is make sure the engine’s not seized up


Not sure on your car but there may be a fusible link preventing the battery from charging. Could be it killed your battery from running dead so often.

I presume you mean when the key is in “start”, you don’t hear the normal rrr rrr rrrr sound. First thing I’d do is what dB4690 mentions above, make sure the crankshaft is still free to turn. If the mechanicals are rotating ok, I’d measure the voltage on the starter “s” terminal (the thinner wire) when the key is in “start”. It should measure at least 10.5 volts. What do you measure? (Probe from the terminal to the starter case.)

No cranks are commonly caused by one of these

  • Battery/Battery connections
  • Ignition switch
  • Starter motor
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After buying a new starter to double make sure today it still didn’t work. HOWEVER my amish neighbor and husband figured out it just needed a 3rd grounding wire from the starter to the battery itself. That fixed it.


This indicates that the negative battery cable is not bolted to the engine. What engine work has been performed recently?

Not too familiar with Che vies but on many vehicles the battery is grounded to the chassis and there is a braided ground strap between the rear of the engine to the firewall or chassis and my first thought when reading your post that was corroded , broken or missing.

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The braded ground wires at the rear of the engine are redundant grounds, they will glow red/overloaded while cranking if the ground cable is not connected.

The voltage test I mentioned above would likely have discovered the grounding problem. That’s the purpose for probing the starter case. OP, if a ground wire that should be there, isn’t, be aware that the starter motor ground current may have been taking the wrong path for some time. That path can sometimes cause parts to overheat and damage something seemingly unrelated to the starter. On front wheel drive vehicles, the current can go through the front axles and can sometimes damage the CV joints and front wheel bearings. Just a heads up in case you have future hard to diagnose problems. Good on your Amish friend for help :slight_smile: