Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show


My 2004 chevy 2500 hd truck dies on me, intermittently. I may go 2 miles or 200 miles before it dies. nothing is recorded on the computer and no idiot lites come on before it dies.What do i look for as the cause ?

I would look for a wiring problem. Fire up the truck and gently shake wiring harness around. Go from radiator to fuel pump. Dont forget crank sensor and other wiring under engine. Dont forget wiring inside cab as well. Be careful dont wanna lose any digits!

Excellent suggestion by Pete.

I’ve found that looking for things that will suddenly deprive the engine of either its fuel or its spark can kill an engine without triggering a code. On Board Diagnostic systems are primarily designed to monitor those things that will cause an operating engine to emit unwanted pollutants. Fuel metering is very well monitored, as is the EVAP system and the fuel level sensor (P1346 thru 1350; don’t want to run out of fuel… that can cause unnecessary pollution) but there’s really not a lot monitoring fuel pump operation except those that might manifest as pollution. The EPA doesn’t really care if the engine shuts down suddenly, as long as it doesn’t pollute. Reliability isn’t their concern.

In short, IMHO you can in your search’s inception assume that the usual sensors aren’t the source of the problem. And you can eliminate things like low compression and valvetrain problems as likely suspects. I’d recommend starting with the electrical systems… but primarily on enabling circuits rather than circuits associated with emissions systems; including things like the engine demand sensors, those such as temp sensor, MAF, O2 sensor, and such like that. These will cause emissions and poor operation if bad, but not generally shut an engine down suddenly. The exception might be the Crank Position Sensor. If that stops sending signals to the ECU the engine sill die suddenly… although that will usually store a code.

There is one other thing that comes to mind; the inertia switch that shuts the fuel pump down to prevent spillage in a turnover. If that’s malfunctioning, it can cause sudden shutdown.
And check your fuses. Those little buggers have been the cause of more than one puzzled mind.

Also research for any TSBs (Technical Service Bulletins) that suggest sudden engine shutdowns. . There are sites on the internet, but the dealer’s parts guy can search for these as well.

Those are my thoughts so far. If I have any others I’ll post again.

Sincere best with this. This is a tough one.

Strictly guessing here, but I’d lean towards a fuel pump or crank position sensor.

Either one of those may fail (even intermittently) and not leave any diagnostic codes.

1 Like

I would hope that after 6 years the problem has been solved.

1 Like

Oh s***, I did it again. There’re so few threads under this category that I assumed ones at the top would be recent.
Sorry folks. :blush:

1 Like