GMC Sonoma Electrical Problems

I have a 2001 GMC Sonoma with 60,000 miles. Purchased it used 8 months ago. In the past month it has started exhibiting problems starting. 10% of the time when key is turned to start position nothing happens with the engine. No sounds, no clicking, nothing. In the dash the following gauges remain illuminated: Fuel, battery, RPM,MPH, Oil, Temp, Odometer. The following warning lights turn off: seat belt, security, brake, check gauges, low fuel, and battery. The head lights do not flicker. It might be related to the change in weather . . . I live in northern Indiana. Truck will not start initially, but after several tries and a couple of minutes of rest, it eventually cranks. This starting process has always taken only a few minutes . . . usually under 5.

I guess it is the inconsistency and unpredictability that have me perplexed. I found it interesting that the headlights and half of the dashboard instruments are not affected by this problem.

It could be a bad ignition switch or one out of adjustment. This should be located on top of the steering column and connects to the key cylinder with a rod.

Ignition switch would be my guess, but try moving the shift lever to neutral and see if it starts. It could be a bad neutral safety switch.

Many Thanks. Shift lever to neutral has no impact. I will replace the ignition switch and let you know how it turns out. I am grateful to at least have some place to start.

On my 1999, the clutch pedal has to be all the way to the floor for the starter to engage–I guess to keep us from starting the truck in gear. Perhaps the associated switch connected to the clutch pedal mechanism (wish I knew where) is wearing out.

Before you replace the ignition switch I suggest you first make sure power is getting to it while the trouble is happening. Check the output side of the switch also. Using a test light probe stops the guess work and needless parts replacement. I would first suspect safety switch for the starting problem even though the neutral position doesn’t work.