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2004 gmc envoy_slt_xuv
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think I have the dreaded ignition switch failure, just thought I'd get an opinion of my symptoms, as I haven't seen exactly the same thing as others...

New battery this March.

Never had any problems with the vehicle. Parked on a hill the other day. Went to start car, nothing happened. No clicks, no engine turnover, nothing. Tried a couple more times, nothing. Waited a minute, tried again, she started, but immediately died. That happened a couple more times, interspersed with no starting at all, until my wife came over. I unlocked the door, I tried again, and it started.

Now, sometimes it starts, no problem, sometimes nothing. Wait a few minutes, it sometimes starts. Never had any problem with it stalling, but I did think it idled a little low at lights a few times since this problem started.

My gut says ignition switch, just thought I'd get an expert opinion.

Thanks!
 

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2009 chevy
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6,513 Posts
You can't go wrong changing the ignition switch, the original will probably fail at some point.

Your description does point to the ignition switch, I was thinking starter until I read the dies after a few minutes, part.

When it dies, look at the dash does it have the look of the key being turned off (dash lights are all off), or does it look like the truck stalled (dash lights are all on)?
 

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2004 gmc envoy_slt_xuv
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can't remember off the top of my head whether or not the lights stay on or off (I'm at work), but I do know that when I turn the key to try, I get the familiar "ding-ding" and my seat adjusts to its preset position. I seem to remember all the gauges registering, except of course the oil pressure gauge.

Someone also told me that they had the same sort of ignition switch problem on their Monte Carlo, and a mechanic told them to shoot a quick blast of WD-40 in the keyhole, and he said it worked. He also said that this mechanic told him to do that about once a year as maintenance. I'm still planning on replacing the switch, I'm not into quick fixes, but I just wondered if any of you had heard this.
 

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2002 gmc envoy_slt
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Again, I think the Envoy Gods are looking over me ....

Im on my original OEM ignition switch at 119,000 miles. Works every time without a hitch.

I know I shouldnt be bragging about these things, probably next week my ignition switch, cooling lines, power steering pump, transmission, rear differential, and water pump (all these things are still original) will all blow at once! :laugh:
 

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2004 gmc
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...shoot a quick blast of WD-40 in the keyhole, and he said it worked. ..
Not the same design for us. Our lock cylinder is separate from the ignition switch electrical part, which also means that trailvoys don't suffer from the old "heavy keychain kills the ignition switch" syndrome.

... probably next week my ignition switch, cooling lines, power steering pump, transmission, rear differential, and water pump (all these things are still original) will all blow at once! ,,,
Hehe. And fan clutch, sway bar end links, fuel level sender, secondary air injection pump, and 4WD control switch.... :thumbsup:
 

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2004 gmc envoy_slt_xuv
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tried it again last night. Inserted the key, and the seat self-adjusted, and all the gauges reset.

Turned the key, it started up, then immediately died. Subsequent tries were met with silence.

(If you're wondering why I haven't already changed the switch, it's because I had to order the part from Advance, then when I called to ask if it was in, they told me they never ordered it. I live in a pretty rural area, so Advance is the only store around...)
 

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2004 gmc
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The switches hardly ever improve with age, like wine. :woot:

I'm sure you'll tell us what happens when you change it. Make sure to match the gear teeth positions from old to new. It's easy to get them off by one, and then the modes are wrong.
 

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2004 gmc
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There are pics posted in other threads that discuss it. Just match the appearance of the teeth you put in to the one you take out. The teeth on the switch engage a gear in the steering column - so you just want to be the same distance from the end on each one.

Have you looked at the threads you find in a search, to see these pics?
 

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2004 gmc envoy_slt_xuv
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did look for pictures in the threads I searched. The only pictures I really found were one that showed sort of an OEM drawing of the switch, and the other one was someone asking how to get the steering column cover off. The rest of the threads I saw were pretty much just text descriptions of how they did it.

Maybe I'm not searching properly.
 

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I assume you found this data and picture. It can't be much more clear than this, except it was written for somebody whose key cylinder was also removed. You don't have that issue. The fat tooth represents the end of the rotation. If you put in the switch, and you don't get things powering up in the ACC mode when you think the key is in the ACC position, then you're off by one. Just remove it and reset the teeth. It's not any worse than your situation now, and you can't blow up or short out the vehicle by getting it wrong. It's just that the key position won't get you the expected electrical mode.



Important: The gears between the ignition switch and the lock cylinder housing must be in the correct position. Failure to do so will cause a misalignment of the gears in the ignition switch and the lock cylinder housing, which may result in a NO START or BATTERY DRAIN.
1. Verify the alignment of the gear (1) in the ignition switch (2). If gear (1) not in position shown, turn gear in ignition switch (2) until you reach the correct position.
2. Use a screwdriver to rotate the lock cylinder housing gear counterclockwise until it hits a stop.
3. Connect the connector to the ignition switch.
4. Insert the ignition switch into the lock cylinder housing. The tabs (2) on the ignition switch MUST be seated inside the lock cylinder housing (1) for proper installation.
5. Use a screwdriver to rotate the lock cylinder housing gear clockwise to the START position - allowing it to spring return into the RUN position.
6. Align the lock cylinder and install the lock cylinder into the lock cylinder housing.
7. Connect the passlock and key buzzer into the lock housing.
 

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2004 gmc envoy_slt_xuv
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey thanks, but it's really no problem.

This place has saved me so much time, hassle, and money, how could I not give back?

I'm just happy to have been honored with a "stickied" thread...
 

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mine too

My 03 trailbalzer has intermittent power problems. Most of the time it will start. Other times all power is gone to the radio dash and all and after a few minutes it will come back on. It never stalls while running so it does not match the ignition problem exactly. Any ideas?
 

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2004 gmc
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Almost certainly the ignition switch. Engine functions are kept as separate as possible from dash, radio, and accessory functions - precisely so it doesn't die while running down the road and cause a big safety issue that would attract the attention of the NHTSA and cost GM money for a recall of the lousy switches. :hissy:
 
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