2000 Chevrolet Astro



January, 11, 2009 AT 2:54 PM

Electrical problem
2000 Chevy Astro 6 cyl All Wheel Drive Automatic 198, 00 miles


Electrical system is unpredictable. Sometimes when I turn the key, I get nothing. Nothing at al, no warning lights, nothing, just totally dead. Turn it again and I may get the battery light and nothing else. Or I may get the warning lights and nothing else. Or it may be all normal except it won't crank over. Or, turn it again and everything comes to life as normal. I thought this was likely a bad ignition starter switch, so I ordered and installed one. But nothing changed. Battery voltage is good, cleaned the battery terminals and terminals on the underhood fuse and relay junction box, but still nothing.
Before I crawl under this thing in the snow and check the positive terminal at the starter relay, has anyone seen tis issue before? Thank You in advance for any info. Regards, Don


6 Answers



January, 11, 2009 AT 3:48 PM

I have seen some strange things come from a bad ignition switch. Go to thefuses for the stereo and heater fan, stuff that only works when key is on. When nothing is working see if there is power to these fuses, if not the switch is most likely the culprit



January, 11, 2009 AT 4:56 PM

I already installed a brand new ignition starter switch (see previous post) but I will check the fuses.



January, 11, 2009 AT 10:17 PM

Yjere are some power leads that go bad for the underhood fuse/relay center. Check the flat connector near it for bad connections



January, 12, 2009 AT 12:32 PM

Before I did the " There are some power leads that go bad for the underhood fuse/relay center. Check the flat connector near it for bad connections" I put the key in the ignition tunerd it to on and the following powered up: the battery idiot light (none of the other idiot lights came on), the door chime dinged, I could hear the fuel pump, daytime running lights were on, as was the radio, and the volt gauge came to life, although the fuel gauge did not.

I looked for a flat connector near the fuse/relay center but did not find any. The three ring lugs connected to the fuse/relay center are fine. So I disconnected the positive battery lead, and then I removed the fuse/relay center from its bracket, removed the back cover and there are long copper strips that provide power to the fuses and they are fine, and there was one flat connetor in there with two red wires, so I opened the connector slid the push on terminals off the blades and the wires and connectors are fine. Put it all back together, and reconnected the battery cable.

Back in the vehicle and turned the key. This time all the idiot lights came on in addition to all the other stuff, turned the key to run and starter still does not crank. Turned the key to off then back to run, and back to just a battery light, so at least we know those connections are OK, but still no smoking gun yet. I put a meter on the battery and it measures 12 volts, so I have no idea why on occasion the only idiot light is the battery light.

I really need the van for work friday, so any other ideas you have are very much appreciated. Regards, Don



February, 18, 2009 AT 2:56 PM

OK spent more time on this beast. So here is more info. Thanks in advance for any tips.
- Installed a new battery and now when the key is in run everything at that point is normal.
- Turn key to start and no clicking no nothing.
- Starter will not turn over.
- Suspected the new battery was low so jumped it and nothing.
- Put a charger on the battery still nothing.
- Looked at the schematics and pulled the starter relay in the fuse and relay center under the hood, and jumped the two terminals to send 12 volts to the starter. The starter came to life and the vehicle started and died a second later.
Passlock knew I was not using the key.
- So I have a wiring issue it looks like.
- Next checked the voltage on the starter fuse in the fuse panel by the driver's feet when I turn the key, and no voltage.
- Then pushed a pin through the yellow wire on the ignition switch harness (12v to fuse when key turned) to have something to connect my meter lead to and I have voltage when I turn the key, but it is not getting to the fuse that then leads to the neutral safety switch and then to the starter. So made up jumper with an inline fuse (in case I short something). Pulled the starter fuse, and ran 12 volts directly to the fuse terminal, and the starter turns, so the neutral safety switch is OK, and my problem is between the ignition switch harness and the fuse panel.
So I will need to pull the kickpanel below the steering wheel and check voltages on both side of the connectors and then to the fuse panel, what fun, . Not.

So it would seem that if I turned the key and at the same time hot wired the starter through the fuse that the van should start and run, but it only starts and then dies a second later, and there is no blinking security light. Checked voltage at the hall effect sensor in the key switch housing and it is 12 volts on the red/whit just as it should be with the key in run. So passlock seems like it should work especially seeing I do not get the security light.

I know I will figure the wiring issues on the starter, but could use some help on what appears to also be a passlock issue even though there is no security light. And yes, I can hear the fuel pump run when I first turn the key to run.

Thanks, Don



February, 20, 2009 AT 5:55 AM

It is a good Idea to pull the panel I have seen fuse panels on these vans shorted from one wire to the next. Its a long shot but have you ever smelled any wires burning and when the ignition was installed was it properly adjusted? I agree with your findings that pin points where the problem is possible within the wiring. I believe I can find if not an exact answer for you then pretty close to why the van shuts off after you get it started which puzzled me after I read that.

Give me a few days if you have not figured this out buy then to get you better answers. Gotta do some research for ya on your ignitions wiring system.


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