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2006 Trailblazer 4wd 4.2, 187000

Couple weeks ago TB began to take a long time to turnover and start. Replaced battery because it was getting up in years. This didn't help and eventually got a no start but had power. Figured it was a bad starter. Replaced starter with a reman from NAPA. TB started up perfectly and I drove it about five miles no problem. Got back home shut it off, waited one minute and started it again. Then a grinding sound as the starter pinion gear would not disengage from the flywheel. I tried turning key to shut down engine to no avail. I shifted TB into neutral for some reason and tried shutting engine down again, to no avail. I did this a few times back and forth, why I don't know. The sound of the flywheel meshing with starter had me in a do something, anything mode for a few seconds. Put TB in park and unhooked the negative battery terminal and a few seconds later the engine stopped running. However the key would not come out of ignition cylinder, so I used the release button under the ignition cylinder to get it out.

I pulled the new reman starter and discovered the pinion gear would move back and forth freely with no resistance whatsoever. Before I put it on it seemed to be just fine with no free movement back and forth. I assumed the reman starter was bad. So I took the reman starter back to NAPA and they warrantied it no problem. The guy at NAPA said it is rare for them to have to warranty their starters. Anyhow, so I took the second reman and put it on the TB. Now I have no start. I do have power, the TB is in park but it wont turn over. To remove the key I still have to use the release button. I have a check engine light and the service 4wd warning light that comes on when I leave the key in and the ignition in the electric power mode. I believe the warning light showing the wrench next to 4 wheels and chassis is the service 4wd warning indicator. Also the steering wheel is not locked. I believe in the past it did lock but I'm not for sure as I never gave it a thought.

Assuming the starter install was correct, which I believe it is.

Did I screw something up by shifting the transmission gear shifter when the starter pinion gear was stuck turning the flywheel?

Is there something that happened to the TB when the engine was running and I pulled the negative battery cable.

Any thoughts on the situation would be helpful.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Can you take a battery jumper cable and connect one end to the positive terminal of the battery and the other end to the large battery terminal on the starter? If you can, that would be a quick and dirty way to see if the starter spins.

You might want to check the starter relay in the underhood fuse block to make sure it is not bad.

Now, as an aside, I keep reading on various forums that the NAPA remanufactured starters and alternators are not of the same quality as they were in the early 2000s. Also, this is not just for NAPA, pretty much all the remanufactured rotating electrical products are hit or miss these days. I no longer purchase remanufactured rotating electrical products from anyone unless I am in a real hard spot. Up until the year 2000, I always purchased remanufactured alternators and starters and never had a problem. Now I won't touch remanufactured regardless of the brand.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Can you take a battery jumper cable and connect one end to the positive terminal of the battery and the other end to the large battery terminal on the starter? If you can, that would be a quick and dirty way to see if the starter spins.

You might want to check the starter relay in the underhood fuse block to make sure it is not bad.

Now, as an aside, I keep reading on various forums that the NAPA remanufactured starters and alternators are not of the same quality as they were in the early 2000s. Also, this is not just for NAPA, pretty much all the remanufactured rotating electrical products are hit or miss these days. I no longer purchase remanufactured rotating electrical products from anyone unless I am in a real hard spot. Up until the year 2000, I always purchased remanufactured alternators and starters and never had a problem. Now I won't touch remanufactured regardless of the brand.
Thank you for the reply. I agree on the reman. I have replaced water pump, fan clutch, radiator fan, VVT solenoid, thermostat, coils, plugs, alternator, (upstream) O2 sensor in the past and always went with ACDelco. This was a deal where I loaned car for a few days to daughters boyfriend and it died in a parking lot. Was hoping for a quick fix and figured if the starter died a year or two later I'd go quality and replace it. I didn't expect it to only work one time, however it did get me home.

When I went to use your test method for starter I attached the jumper cable to the starter battery terminal but touched the wire that leads from solenoid to the starter motor at the same time. This made the motor spin. I guess that's like using the screwdriver trick. Anyhow, I suppose that confirms the starter is workings and also I checked voltage on the battery which is 12 volts.

I believe the TB might be using some mechanism to prevent the motor from cranking, possibly a safety mechanism of sorts. I suppose the ignition cylinder or switch could be at fault but seems super coincidental that it failed at same time. It was working fine before. As mentioned in first post I can't remove key without pressing the release button under the ignition cylinder. I can shift into all gears, tried starting it in neutral, nothing. I have two instrument warning lights displayed when I leave the key turned to power. The check engine and the service 4 wheel drive. I am thinking the issue is somehow related to that. And I maybe caused the issue when I unhooked the negative battery cable when engine was running in the attempt to shut the engine down when the starter pinion gear would not disengage from the flywheel.
I
 

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OK on the starter working when 12 V is directly applied to it.

Have you hooked up a code reader/scanner to see if there are any codes, pending, historical or otherwise?

It could be the ignition switch as when they go bad, all kinds of weird stuff can happen. Also, check the starter relay in the underhood fuse panel to make sure it is not fried.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK on the starter working when 12 V is directly applied to it.

Have you hooked up a code reader/scanner to see if there are any codes, pending, historical or otherwise?

It could be the ignition switch as when they go bad, all kinds of weird stuff can happen. Also, check the starter relay in the underhood fuse panel to make sure it is not fried.
I checked the starter relay, looks good. Yesterday I ordered an ignition switch (ACDelco) online. After reading through these forums and learning about all the various issues associated, it got me leaning in that direction. Thanks again for reply. I will post later on how that goes.

Also, thought I'd mention I have a BlueDriver OBD2. It has served me well with the TB and a few other vehicles for the three years I've had it. However, it will not scan unless the engine is running. I didn't have any check engine/service lights before this.
 

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OK on the relay and on ordering the ignition switch.

I too have a BlueDriver, and, it is possible to retrieve codes that are stored in the PCM without the engine running. I did it on my 1999 Buick Century. Turn the ignition switch to on, let the BlueDriver dongle connect to your device, and then select the read codes.
 

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The fact that the starter would not disengage, then you could not turn it off even with the switch in the off position leads me to think the problem (at least initially) was with the ignition switch being jammed internally in the "start" position (mechanically or possibly electrically). This kept the starter energized and why it didn't release and why you could not shut it off at all.
 

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The fact that the starter would not disengage, then you could not turn it off even with the switch in the off position leads me to think the problem (at least initially) was with the ignition switch being jammed internally in the "start" position (mechanically or possibly electrically). This kept the starter energized and why it didn't release and why you could not shut it off at all.
No - that's not right.

When he pulled the starter again, the drive was just floating on the shaft and although there's supposed to be a heavy return spring in that solenoid - somehow it was either missing or it broke at a very crazy time and set of circumstances.

FWIW - if you ever get another "run-away" with your TB - or any vehicle really - just pull the Fuel Pump fuse or relay - either will do.

Shutting an engine down by disconnecting the battery is seriously one of the worst things you can do to your electrical system - maybe. The alternator NEEDS that battery in the circuit for it to be told how hard to charge the system - no battery ---> the alternator will go (use Sam Kinison voice here) FRICKIN MAX-WIDE-OUT and it can die a quick and UNnoble death.

Since there are a plethora (I like that word) of modules, computer whiz-bang thingy-s that do their silent electrenomical magic - and THEN YOU REMOVE THE ONLY STABILIZING DEVICE IN THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM is kinda like throwing fire on a campfire to put it out - but this may be 'way more expensive in the end ---> or not.

Ka-boom!



Sometimes you get away with this stuff --- but to make things better again ---> now you have to go throw some water on a witch!

Some days you eat the bear --- other days the bear eats you.
 

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No - that's not right.

When he pulled the starter again, the drive was just floating on the shaft and although there's supposed to be a heavy return spring in that solenoid - somehow it was either missing or it broke at a very crazy time and set of circumstances.

FWIW - if you ever get another "run-away" with your TB - or any vehicle really - just pull the Fuel Pump fuse or relay - either will do.

Shutting an engine down by disconnecting the battery is seriously one of the worst things you can do to your electrical system - maybe. The alternator NEEDS that battery in the circuit for it to be told how hard to charge the system - no battery ---> the alternator will go (use Sam Kinison voice here) FRICKIN MAX-WIDE-OUT and it can die a quick and UNnoble death.

Since there are a plethora (I like that word) of modules, computer whiz-bang thingy-s that do their silent electrenomical magic - and THEN YOU REMOVE THE ONLY STABILIZING DEVICE IN THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM is kinda like throwing fire on a campfire to put it out - but this may be 'way more expensive in the end ---> or not.

Ka-boom!



Sometimes you get away with this stuff --- but to make things better again ---> now you have to go throw some water on a witch!

Some days you eat the bear --- other days the bear eats you.
Yep, in hindsight I regret pulling the negative battery cable because I believe that is the cause of the current issue (no pun intended). And yes you are correct the reman starter seemed to have failed after the first successful start up. After removing the replacement starter I could take the gear and move it back and forth with zero resistance. I could hold the starter and tip it up and down and the gear would slide back and forth. I am guessing, like you, the return spring failed. Or something along those lines.

So now I have created a new predicament. Or, one could NAPA did by selling me a defective starter. However, NAPA didn't advise me to pull the negative cable with the engine running while the starter stayed engaged to the flywheel, so I accept the blame on this. BTW the TB starters that NAPA sells are from BBB Industries.

I took Chem-Mans advise and did get my BlueDriver OBDII to read codes. Here is what I got

U1000 - Class 2 Data Link Malfunction
U1040 - Lost communication with Brake/Traction Control System
C0379 - Front axle system malfunction C0380 Mode switch power circuit low
B0790 - No description available
B1440 - Power mode master input circuits mismatch

and also, five HVAC codes
B3770 - Air flow control #6 (A/C) feedback circuit malfunction
B3761 - Air flow control #3 (blend defog/floor) feedback circuit malfunction
B0414 - No description available
B0424 - No description available
B1375 - Device ignition 3 (on) circuit malfunction

Thank you for the reply and I apologize for the somewhat delayed response. OT at work, so I finally got some time to work on the TB today. BTW I did replace the ignition switch today but it had no effect. I believe the old one was fine but it was easy and relatively inexpensive to replace. Your feedback regarding the disconnected battery is now what I believe to be the problem, which seems to be confirmed with the OBD II scan. Any thoughts on the situation would be appreciated.
 

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Errrrrrrrrgggggggggh!

There might be a possibility that you blew a fuse ... or two ... or three... maybe even a master ..... hopefully.

We can form a prayer circle ..... you're gonna have to do some serious electrical testing ... and for that I recommend that you get over to Harbor Fright and get one of their Logic Probes ($9.99).
I can give you a kick start lesson on it ... and you'll do your own blooming as you see all the neat stuff it can do.​

You already own a DVOM .... right?
And a GOOD test light (emphasis on: GOOD) ... as in Matco, Cornwell or Snap-On.​
You should not cheap-out here as a poorly built test light will run you down rabbit holes.​

You will be required to keep notes for yourself during this electrical adventure.
 

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Errrrrrrrrgggggggggh!

There might be a possibility that you blew a fuse ... or two ... or three... maybe even a master ..... hopefully.

We can form a prayer circle ..... you're gonna have to do some serious electrical testing ... and for that I recommend that you get over to Harbor Fright and get one of their Logic Probes ($9.99).
I can give you a kick start lesson on it ... and you'll do your own blooming as you see all the neat stuff it can do.​

You already own a DVOM .... right?
And a GOOD test light (emphasis on: GOOD) ... as in Matco, Cornwell or Snap-On.​
You should not cheap-out here as a poorly built test light will run you down rabbit holes.​

You will be required to keep notes for yourself during this electrical adventure.
I do have the DVOM. A Southwire 10031s manual ranging multi meter I got from Lowes a few years ago. Seems to work ok. About the only thing I have used it for is to check battery voltage. Electronics is something I have little to no experience with but have been really wanting to learn about for some time. So I'm actually happy to dive in on this. I will go to HF tomorrow and get the Logic Probes and will source a good test light also.

Would the NAPA Balkamp BK 7001437 be a good test light? I would be able to pick this one up tomorrow also. I looked at the Matco 27000 test light on their web sight and it looks identical to the NAPA Balkamp test light. Or if there is a specific one you can recommend, let me know. Thank you again for your reply.
 

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The Balkamp BK 7001437 is a decent unit. I'd like it better with an 18v bulb because it can be used to load down a fuel gauge to read about 1/2 tank for a test procedure. It's hardly and rugged though, so yeah ... good choice.

I've grown able to loosely interpret voltage by the brightness too. That takes some user time, but the Logic Probe is not a detector of voltages, but polarity instead.

With both ... you'll be decently armed.
Polarity and Voltage.


.
 

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PS ..... just Googled your Southwire 10031s and unfortunately it has no ability to see wave forms. Up to that part, it looks just fine,

If you wanna play in your vehicles innards, waveform meters or oscilloscope patterns make for much easier for times when scanner codes are vague, proprietary and non-informative.

I've just bought and received a 2-channel oscilloscope, because my Launch scanner, although pretty nice, cannot show me what I w as nt.

I have a somewhat older DVOM/Oscilloscope that also has a lot of bells and whistles, but has a somewhat small screen ... so a larger oscilloscope was necessary. That's what I told my wife and I'm sticking to that story. Besides .... it was single channel mandvi needed more.,

I think I should create a list of the gear I use ... it has done me very well up until now with my 2005 TB.

At that point I was unprepared to wrestle with my more modern vehicle with too old scanners (Snap-On "The Brick") that cut off around 2001, and I don't like --- although I own ---a Bluetooth-slash-tablet-scanner (Torque Pro) that aggravates me to no end.

So-o-o-ooo I bough the Launch 123E for CAN Systems, an oscilloscope, a bigger logic probe with 30 Ampere power push button and a digital screen for Voltage and Amperes, plus polarity LEDs, all being safe for car computers.

I tend to grab that HF Logic Probe first though. You'll be surprised at what it reveals for you .... after a bit of field use and hands-on training via personal observation.

Here's a Launch screen....

56893
1612220079191.png
 

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Ok, well I have armed myself with the NAPA test light, the HF Logic-Probe and I have my Southwire DVOM. What would be your advice in regards to using these tools to begin the diagnostic process? I work nights, so I am hoping to get a few hours of TB diagnostic work time in tomorrow afternoon. Thank you again for your reply and the advice on the basic testing tools to acquire.
 

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Using the logic probe - attach the alligators to the battery posts - red for positive - you know the drill.

Follow the battery voltage (+) from the battery to the next connection. Make sure that you keep following that single circuit to as far as you can. The LED should always be RED when you're on that battery + circuit.

Do this test - connection to connection. You can release the top of the underhood fuse panel and flipping it over, there is a map of the various components in there.

Pull out the relay for the ECM - there may be 2 (#s 1 & 2) and lightly - without poking into the connectors so you don't distort them - keep following that circuit - Key ON then Key OFF.

Take notes. I'll be back later on tomorrow - Sunday is a special day - and I have schedules that go from 0900 to 1400 tomorrow. If the weather's nice (above 40°F and no snow) I might go fishing a bit - but that isn't in stone yet.

Still ................................... I came here to retire..........................Here fishy, fishy!

Logic probes are kinda new to this site I believe - but you'll get a nice warm feeling when you get to use it and then the CLICK! happens and you know the reason WHY you are using it finally takes over! Trust me - it will happen.
 

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PS - you can poke anything on the vehicle with the Logic Probe and not fear destroying anything. Go ahead - poke around for fun and education!

The regular test light can damage things, but there is a place to use it.
 

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PS - you can poke anything on the vehicle with the Logic Probe and not fear destroying anything. Go ahead - poke around for fun and education!

The regular test light can damage things, but there is a place to use it.
Well, I got to the TB today and started checking fuses. The Logic Probe is nice. Got to the #34 fuse under the hood, which is the IGN A fuse, 40 AMP. It controls the ignition switch - ACC/RUN/START, run, start BUS, according to manual diagram.

It was visibly blown. I replaced that and boom. All DTC codes disappeared and the TB started up and ran flawlessly. The warrantied reman NAPA starter did not fail this time. I was able to shut TB off and remove key from ignition. So far the starter has been through four start and off cycles and seems to be working good.

I really appreciate all the reply's and advice. Even though this was kind of a one off freak thing, with the way the first replacement starter failed and I ended up pulling the negative battery cable when the engine was still powered. I Hope anyone who finds themselves in a similar predicament can gain some insight by looking at this thread. Again, thank you for the replies and advice. It was a tremendous help.
 

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Can you write a little about how and what you did with the logic probe to find the problem?

I find I grab it 1st when I have to bug-out an electrical problem in a car. It used to be the 12V probe - but with the advent of computers and their not liking to be loaded down nor "see" the 9VDC battery in a DVOM to drive the Ohm Meter side - well, it just makes a lot more sense.
 

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Can you write a little about how and what you did with the logic probe to find the problem?

I find I grab it 1st when I have to bug-out an electrical problem in a car. It used to be the 12V probe - but with the advent of computers and their not liking to be loaded down nor "see" the 9VDC battery in a DVOM to drive the Ohm Meter side - well, it just makes a lot more sense.
In my case I just used it to test fuses. So it performed similar to a regular test light. I didn't get to in depth with it yet as the probe found my problem pretty quickly, which was a blown fuse. I will say that by using it you could identify a fuse that was power or ground. If when testing a fuse both sides of the fuse terminal illuminated red, then it's hot, green ground. No need to switch clamp at battery as the logic probe has two clamps. One for positive and one for negative. The video below is a good little demo. Probably convenience would the best attribute. And it's inexpensive. I can see how both the regular test light and the Logic Probe each have their place but with the cost being so low there doesn't seem to be a reason to not have both. I'm sure as I dive more into the electrical/diagnostic side of things I will become more familiar with these tools. I'm glad you told me about the Logic Probe. I had no idea it existed.
 
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