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Author Topic: Demonic Possession of Abigail the Avalanche.  (Read 253 times)

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buickwagon

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I took Abigail (hey, I didn't name her, that's how I got her) to town today to run some errands. Stopped at the first store, got my stuff, fired her up and headed on down the road to the next stop.

I noticed the radio seemed to have some static -- weird, it's a local station. I muted the radio and the sound was still there. But now I realized it was more of a rhythmic grinding sound, like the HVAC fan is on it's way out. I shut that off, and the noise was still there.  ???

What other fans are there? Just the engine fan that I know of. So I opened the window -- noise is definitely louder out there! And seems to vary a bit with engine speed. Maybe a fan belt! I pulled into the next parking lot: a Canadian Tire store, which was rather fortuitous as it turned out.

I popped the hood and hopped out. Opened the hood to a nasty screech, must be a failed idler pulley bearing, but no smoke yet, ran back and shut off the key.

Noise continued. And now the truck is trying to start itself! The bloody key was in my hand and the starter was cranking the engine over continuously. I stuck the key back in the ignition and turned it to "run" -- truck started, noise continued. Turned the key off, engine kept cranking.  :o

About this time it dawned on me that the noise I had been hearing must've been the starter all along. I recalled reading that the starter is actually under PCM control and can continue to crank after the key is released if the PCM has not yet detected that the engine started, so there must be a fuse and/or relay. A quick peak at the fuse panel beside the steering wheel didn't reveal anything, but I soon found a "Start" fuse in the underhood panel, so I pulled it.

Truck just kept right on cranking over.  :o Ok, how about a relay? There's one right there, labelled "Starter Relay", so I pulled it.

Truck just kept right on cranking over. :E:  Screw it, the relays must be mislabelled: Pull them all!

Truck just kept right on cranking,  :cuss: but getting slower. Hey, I remember other relays under the steering column from when I hooked up the electric brake controller. Pull them too!

Truck just kept right on cranking, now it's starting to smoke and smell like brimstone.  :sigh: Pull the battery cable! Out comes the Leatherman and I spin off the negative cable to a shower of sparks.

Truck finally quit cranking, but now she's really smokin'. :7:

Contemplating the carnage, I realized that the only relay I hadn't been able to pull was the big honking fat one mounted to the top of the starter motor. That would be the new $300 AC Delco starter I installed this past September.  :8:

It's pouring rain. The ground is covered in a 2" deep layer of very wet slush. The truck is dripping more slush. I've had terrible experiences at other Canadian Tire shops in the past and swore I would never let another CTC mechanic touch so much as a bicycle again, but this starter is a PITA to change on a good day in my own driveway.  :sigh: I made my way in to the service counter and asked if they had any openings in the schedule...  :6:

They could get it in in the afternoon. I explained the starter should still be under warranty, but came from another auto parts supplier -- APC. "No problem", the service manager said, "We'll call you when we get it in and see what's going on."

I called the warranty guy at APC. I don't have my receipt with me, how can we handle this? "No problem" he eventually says. "That Delco has a lifetime warranty, we deal with CTC all the time, we have 2 more in stock and can send one over right away if that's the problem".  :)

CTC service manager called in the early afternoon. "That starter is completely baked, we have to change it before we can do any further diagnosis." Yes, he would call the warranty guy at the parts store and sort things out with him direct. :D:

2 hours later, the service manager calls, exorcism is complete, truck's ready to go, no other problems, the solenoid was stuck on the starter. The replacement starter fixed everything. I picked up the truck, the bill was $100.  ;D  I have to apologize for all the nasty things I've thought about CTC auto service centres over the years -- I guess there are a few honest ones out there after all. 

I stopped in at APC, thanked the warranty guy for his help and asked if I owed anything or if he needed me to return with the original receipt? "No, but here's a new receipt for the replacement starter."  :cheers: These guys have always treated me right, starting before APC bought them out, and I'm glad to see the new ownership hasn't changed that.


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frito

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Re: Demonic Possession of Abigail the Avalanche.
« Reply #1 on: 01/12/18 03:59 AM »

Whoa, that's an adventure.  I'm glad it worked out for you in the end.  Sounds like you have a place to take Abigail now for those jobs you don't want to tackle.   :thumbsup:
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Bumblebee - '03 Z71, FTDRL, All On High, Sail Panel LEDs, Bumper Cup Holders.  Decisions, Decisions...

AirJunky

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Re: Demonic Possession of Abigail the Avalanche.
« Reply #2 on: 01/12/18 06:39 AM »

Give it a personality & it's bound to display one.     ::)
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Bill
2005 Avalanche, 4x4, Z-71 1500, 5.3 liter, 4.10 rear, upgraded 4L60E.
Mods: Heated cloth seats, Pioneer stereo, 2 Kicker subwoofers, MB Quart speakers, tinted front windows, removed Z71 decals, Flowmaster 50, All4On, Amber DRLs, CAI, Maglite, wrapped steering wheel, Indoor/outdoor carpeted the bed & midgate.
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buickwagon

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Re: Demonic Possession of Abigail the Avalanche.
« Reply #3 on: 01/14/18 03:10 PM »

I forgot to mention:

After leaving the keys with the service manager in the morning, I walked out the door and noticed two more black Avalanches in the parking lot. I had to go back inside and point out which one was actually the possessed one.  :D
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