Silverado Won't Always Start



1998 Chev Silverado-V8 60K miles, that won’t always crank. Chev dealer and independent mech have looked at it and say they can’t diagnose unless it won’t start-when I get it there nothing shows up on the diagnostic machines. Sometimes it will turn over within 15 minutes of not starting, but as a rule she turns over right away.


Your post is confusing.

When you turn the ignition key, the starter won’t engage to crank the engine?

Or, the engine won’t start (fire up) after the starter cranks the engine over?

Have you got lots of spark?

Have you got fuel to the injectors?


Let’s assume that it always turns over (the starter is turning the engine even if it does not fire or start).

Buy one new spark plug. Carry the plug with you and the next time it does not start, get out and pull one plug wire off (pull on the socket part not the wire) put the new plug on that wire and hold the threads of the plug tight against the engine block while you have someone try to start the car. You should see a bright blue spark, and if you are not holding the plug with an insulated tool, you will also see stars! This can rule out a spark problem.


in a nutshell, sometimes it cranks but won’t start.It is random and we are stumped/This happens in the morning when she has been sitting or after driving around town, stopping and then starting up again.Chevy can’t seem to find the probelm.Had it towed in and then it started there and they said it showed no problem on the diagnostic machine. There is a factory security system and I wonder if it is linked to that? Thanks for any help…


It’s just an odd thought, but I had very similar issue with a Chrysler product some years back. Sometimes dead as a doornail…other times cranked ok and started. The issue of cranking but NOT starting might be seperate and confusing the issue.

My problem was discovered as being the neutral safety switch which, when the engine was warm, would cause a condition that indicated to the vehicle that it was NOT in neutral or park…hence, no turn over juice. If I waited 15 minutes, it cooled off and started right up.

The switch on this Dodge Caravan was a screwed-in unit, mounted on the side of the transaxle, and had an electrical connector inserted into it.

For the starter to get voltage, the switch needed to be closed.  To prove it out, I pulled off the cable connector, shorted out the two leads (one lead lead out...closing of the curcuit was made inside the switch), and it started right up.

This is just a shot in the dark, but it was a very frustrating troubleshooting experience that fooled more than a few mechanics for weeks. I have always kept in the back of my mind for future reference.