Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

COVID car electrical problem--urgent help needed


I just came down with COVID-19 symptoms yesterday (Saturday, March 21), and a truck that has critical supplies for me from Texas has made it 98% of the way last night, but won’t start this morning. The driver, a super nice fellow named Rodney, has a three year old GMC Sierra (2016) truck. He simply can’t get the electrical system to start. He is mechanically inclined and has already tried the basics–connecting and disconnecting the battery. The battery itself is just one-year old, so he doesn’t think that is a problem–though he doesn’t have his voltage meter with him. He checked each fuse. When he tries to turn it on it simply won’t turn over. Right now he is stuck at the Days Inn in Frederick, MD, about 15 miles from me.

I really feel bad for him because he is now stranded on the road at a time when everyone else is sheltering in place. The truck only has 30,000 miles on it, but the warranty has just expired. Car Talk community please help. All ideas welcome :slight_smile:

Transfer load to another truck. Have truck towed. It’s only 15 mi.
Truck drove 1000 miles? About 20 things could be wrong. Oil leak. Seized motor? Bad starter. Ignition. Critical or not, it’s very hard to fix things over the net.

Gm has been advertising OnStar crisis assist has been activated for their vehicles. They might be able to diagnose the issue or send help. I think he just needs to press his OnStar button on his rearview mirror.


Cavell has the answer but also this 2016 should still be under the GM roadside assistance program.

I gotta say it, why did he stop 15 mi from end? After 98% of trip?

Thanks Cavell–yes, I thought of that too, I can still get my supplies with another truck (we have friends who can do it), but that still leaves Rodney stranded on the road. He stopped last night 15 miles short because he got in after dark last night and they are big pallets that we want to unload in daylight.

Thanks! I’ll mention it to him, but I think that the whole electrical system is down, so not sure that OnStar will work.

Battery may be discharged. Maybe a jump start will do it. Someone at the motel may be willing to help.

Problem solved! It was a plate sitting above the battery that blew. Cheap fix. Truck is working fine. Rodney dropped off my shipment (a tiny house for me to isolate myself on my parent’s farm). But, then on his way out of the driveway Rodney got a flat. He quickly fixed it and is now back on the road to Texas. Thanks for helping me trouble shoot this. Be well everone.


Good to hear thing;s turned out OK.