Truck won't start... sometimes

I drive a 5-spd manual 2000 Chevy S10 standard pickup. This thing has been good to me from Day 1, I’ve literally never had a problem with it outside of normal wear and tear (break pads, tires, etc). This thing has been amazing. I bought a new Duralast battery last July, but now it doesn’t start. Here’s what happened…

I took it out for a very normal, simple, 1-2 mile drive. Parked it, when I came back to start it, I put my key in the ignition and absolutely nothing happened. No sound, no lights, nothing. I didn’t leave the lights on or anything, and even if I had, was only gone for a few minutes so I thought it was odd.

Went back with a friend to jump the battery with a friend, to my disappointment, again nothing happens. No lights, no nothing.

A couple days later, I called a tow truck. As I’m waiting, I give a shot just for the heck of it, and it starts up perfectly! As if there was never a problem.

I drive the truck lightly for 2-3 more days with no problems.

Then all of a sudden it won’t start again. And it has not started since. However, during the last week or so, I’ve tried it about a dozen times. 95% of the time, I just get absolutely nothing. HOWEVER, once or twice, I was able to get the lights/radio on, and then when I turn it over, it goes out immediately. One time, about 3 days ago, I got as far as lights/radio, and then like 0.3 seconds of ignition. As if you took the sound of a car starting it, split it into twenty parts, I got about the first 3 or 4 before it just completely shut off.

Any idea what this is? Could it be a battery charge? A new starter? Or maybe just some old wiring?

Thanks for any advice!

Make sure your battery cables are clean and tight to begin with. I think your problem has to do with your clutch interlock switch. Try pressing the clutch completely down with the toe of your shoe or boot and see if it makes a difference in starting. The switch may be out of adjustment or failing intermittently. I had one of these S-10’s with a 5 speed and it would not start unless the clutch pedal was touching the floor.

The problem isn’t with the clutch interlock switch. This prevents the starter from operating unless the clutch pedal is depressed. But it won’t prevent none of the lights from coming on.

You might want to check the positive battery cable. You want to peel back the red rubber cover to expose the positive terminals that connect to the side of the battery. If there’s a lot of corrosion under this rubber cover replace the positive battery cable assembly.


Thank you both!

The positive battery cable doesn’t have a cover but here’s a picture of what’s going on. Does this help?

Replace that cable assembly.


Dove in a little this morning. The wiring itself appears okay. But the connection to the battery does has some wear – although I’m not an expert and don’t know if this is “a lot”. Is it possible to tell if the problem is where it mounts to the battery? Would I just have to replace the entire cable anyway? I’d love to just cut it off and replace the mount if that’s even possible…

(as a comparison, the ground connection looks good)

The positive cable is the one that always corrodes on the side mount battery’s causing electrical problems.