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Username Post: Strange electrical problem.        (Topic#358915)
Posts: 3

Reg: 11-20-19
11-23-19 11:20 AM - Post#2780831    

I have a 2003 Chevy S-10 with a 2.5L 4cyl. One time I went out in the morning to start it and everything was completely dead. The lights didn't come on, the gauges nothing. I went down to my local mechanic to have it towed down there to look at but when I got back to my house I put the key in and everything came on and it started up ok. I drove down there and he told me that when the keys of these trucks get old and worn they sometimes don't activate everything in the ignition switch so I should go get a key cut from code. I did that and a few days later I stopped to get some gas and everything went dead again. When I put the key in and turned it the gauges just flickered a bit and the fuel gauge spun around way past the range it's normally supposed to be in past the full mark. Another time I was driving down the road and the engine just quit on me. Fortunately it started right back up. What could be the cause of all of this?


Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11434
Reg: 03-25-05
11-23-19 01:08 PM - Post#2780833    
    In response to timh651

It could be the starter switch or connector on the steering column. Look for a melted wire on the switch that would indicate a bad connection.

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Posts: 2033
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
11-24-19 02:55 PM - Post#2780889    
    In response to timh651

I had a very similar issue with my 2003 1500. Only difference was that it didnt die when running.Sounds like you may have poor/corroded connections at the battery. Could be just starting to corrode at the terminals or the battery cables are starting to corrode internally. If you have a voltmeter, it is easy to diagnose. Check from the battery terminal to ground, should see 12 volts. Then move to the cable clamp , should still see 12 volts. Last check would be where the cable bolts to the starter or the fuse block. When mine was failing, I only had 5 volts when checking the cable clamp to ground ( battery was fully charged, no visible signs of corrosion). Follow the same process with the ground system. Cleaned everything and hasnt failed in two years.

Posts: 356
Loc: seligman,arizona
Reg: 05-14-09
11-24-19 08:17 PM - Post#2780899    
    In response to timh651

Sounds to me like the ignition switch itself is
going bad . Just my opinion ?

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Super Senior Member
Posts: 5722

Loc: paradise
Reg: 09-05-03
11-25-19 06:43 AM - Post#2780906    
    In response to timh651

you may end up doing voltage drop testing. you will need a multimeter.

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Posts: 14818

Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
12-01-19 09:05 AM - Post#2781330    
    In response to bobb

The key just turns the cylinder that actuated the starter switch, so a worn key has nothing to do with it. I would think about using another mechanic if he thinks the key has anything to do with electrical connections. All previous suggestions are very good. Main thing is to check power and ground connections at all points and look for melted wires or connectors at switches.

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Posts: 2983
Loc: Kaleva, Michigan
Reg: 09-28-12
12-13-19 09:00 AM - Post#2782068    
    In response to timh651

I would lift up the underhood fuse block, loosen all the connectors, and retighten.


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