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Ghost Crank

I have a 99 Chevy Tahoe. It has a remote start. I’m not a mechanic, but replacing the starter seems easy enough. So I disconnected the battery, excised the old factory starter, then replaced it with a new AC Delco starter that was smaller but bolted right up. The problem came up when I tried to reconnect the battery. The truck tries to crank up with no key activating the ignition. Completely NEW problem now. Seeing as this was not an issue before and surprisingly there were no issues with replacing the starter I assumed I have a bad new starter. Just ordered a replacement for the new starter. I still have to ask what COULD be the problem? Please help. Simple job turning complicated.

More than likely the new starter has a bad solenoid.

The solenoid is what makes the connection to the starter from the battery when the ignition switch is turned to start.

If the contacts in solenoid are connected when battery is connected the starter is going to operate.


Another possibility would be that you connected the heavy cable to the wrong heavy stud on the solenoid. That would bypass the solenoid and cause a direct contact to the starter thereby energizing the starter. On some replacement starters both heavy studs are long, on others only one is long.


Thanks fellas

OK. After replacing new starter with a new starter a friend helped me out. The problem was a little appendage on the power wire that connects to the starter. It’s about 3mm square and is supposed to help the wire stay in place to avoid creating a bridge from the red power wire connection to the purple ground wire connection. To keep the wires from touching once tightened down. The original power wire end appendage WAS at a 90* angle whereas mine had become straight and actually created a bridge/bypass. Simply broke the appendage off and reconnected everything and was good. Hope this helps the next person because it gave me the absolute fits couldn’t find this problem anywhere on the net.

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Good diagnosis there OP. Glad you are back on the road with a reliably starting Tahoe :slight_smile:

Also suggests caution is needed when doing starter work b/c connecting the battery may cause the engine to crank, which wouldn’t be a good thing if the car was in gear.

Thanks. I unintentionally created a bypass between the 2 connections.