Stalling and difficult restart problem

Messages
81
Location
USA
Thread starter
I need help! My truck is a 2003 Silverado 1500 HD with a 6.0L engine. It usually quickly starts with a turn of the key. The other day it cranked but did not catch but started on the second try. Then, it drove fine. The next day it had the same starting issue. I drove it five blocks and it stalled as I slowed to a stop sign. No codes, no check engine light. It just stopped and it would not start. I had a diagnostic run which said poor battery connections which did appear to be the case. It test drove fine. In fact, what I thought was a little surge on acceleration before this problem disappeared. The next day it started fine. I drove about a mile and it stalled while I was approaching a red light. It was difficult to start. It cranked and eventually started. I drove it right home without incident. What should I be looking for…what can cause this behavior? Could it be the battery or battery connections or is it something more?
 
Messages
166
Location
NJ
A bad ground, camshaft or crankshaft sensors can also cause your symptoms, particularly camshaft sensor.
 
Messages
7,671
Location
Hudson, NH
Fuel pump is a common failure in those trucks at older age and higher mileage. Check under driver side frame rail, that was one of the last years with an external fuel filter. Do you have a code reader? Any codes pending. Want live data including LTFT and ECT. Any exhaust manifold bolts missing?
 
Messages
1,776
Location
Kingston
Our one previous work truck a 2002 GMC, the fuel pump failed around 100k miles (I don't think it helped that the driver at the time ignored my recommendation to keep it above 1/4 tank). It just randomly died and never restarted one day. There were a couple of times it didn't start first try prior to this happening but it was like once every couple weeks when the truck would be started an average of 20 times a day. A dirty mass air flow sensor can sometimes cause them to run bad also. That's a cheap preventative fix you can try at home. I just did it on our 2005 Silverado at work a couple weeks ago. It didn't fix my stumble but was due to be cleaned anyways.
 
Messages
59
Location
GA
Fuel pump, as others have said. I had the exact same symptoms as the OP with an '02 Blazer...intermittent difficulty starting, dying randomly.....died completely pulling out my driveway one morning. At least I didn't have far to push it out of the road.
 
Messages
2,119
Location
Texas
The fuel level sensor also commonly fails on GM trucks from this era and can throw a CEL. When you replace the fuel pump you should purchase the entire fuel pump and fuel level sensor assembly. DON'T CHEAP OUT ON THIS, purchase ONLY the OEM part! I know that there are much cheaper replacements available, but they are junk. Ask me how I know. Also, replace wiring pigtail at pump with new updated design because factory pigtails are known for poor connections, get hot, and burn terminal ends (this could actually be your problem, but go ahead and replace the pump assembly anyway because it WILL fail). It will only cause you problems in the future if you don't. Use dielectric grease on plug.
 
Messages
1,526
Location
TX, USA
For the battery, you just have to do a load test on it. If you don't have load tester, any part store can do it for you.
 
Messages
14,887
Location
NE,Ohio
Originally Posted by JMJNet
For the battery, you just have to do a load test on it. If you don't have load tester, any part store can do it for you.
if its cranking its not the battery causing it to stall?
 
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