Won't start after 2 days

Hey all,
I have a 2000 chevy express. New battery and tune up, new starter. Starts everyday except in extreme cold and/or after sitting for 3 days. It cranks but won’t start. Cranks until the battery is dead, jump it and it starts. WT*. I was thinking of giving it to my shop for a week to see if they can figure it out. Does any one have an idea?

Yes, it needs some diagnostic work.

Reading any error codes set by a check engine light being on (you don’t say if you have a CEL glowing). Could be the fuel pump so a pressure test is in order. Could be ignition so a spark test is in order. Could be the basic condition of this 20 year old engine (what engine? You don’t say) with XXX miles (you don’t say that either) so a compression test is in order as is a vacuum test while running. There might be a parasitic draw problem so an electrical draw test should be done. Post back with the test results and we’ll advise as best we can.

If this is beyond your skill and tool set, it needs to go to a pro.

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The next time the van sits for those three days, turn the ignition switch on so the dash lights come on for two seconds, and then turn the ignition switch off.

Repeat this a half dozen times and then try starting the engine.

If the engine starts, it points to a problem with the anti drain-back valve on the fuel pump.


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Thank you for your input. After mechanics had the car for other thing and I ask them to check into this…I get “hmmmm, yep there’s something goin on”. Wtf, when I was a mechanic I prided myself on troubleshooting. I went into a different line of work shortly after fuel injection started. I thought it was a fuel pump but I thought I could get a definitive answer. So I stopped asking and brought it to a shop I know I can trust. They confirmed it.“fuel pump”. Bottom line don’t try and save money.


Did the shop install a reputable brand fuel pump?

Did they do the right thing and splice in that new pigtail that comes with the new fuel pump . . . ?!

Those are good questions. Unfortunately I didn’t ask. But knowing the owner and the pride he has in his work, I would bet it was done correctly. Thanks for asking. Stay safe

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My Chevy Astro acted the same way and it was the fuel pump.Instead of dropping the tank,I cut an access hole in the floorboard just above the fuel pump. It worked!

As a mechanic, we did the same. It saved alot of time and we were able to save the customer some money. The place I brought it to dropped the tank. So it is what it is.