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Full Member
Aug 17, 2004
Washington, Louisiana
Having some trouble and wanted to see if anyone had any good ideas...
Background...I've had trouble with the fuel pressure for awhile now and have been priming by turning the ignition on and off twice and then starting (Learned that little trick on here and have been using it until I could afford to have it fixed...maybe I've waited too long) The Ava always starts after this and I've never had any problems once it is running. A few times recently the starter made a harsh noise on the first time starting and then would start the next time. I just drove home from New Orleans (about 2 1/2 hr drive) last night and the Ava drove great. This morning I go out to start it and the starter makes the harsh...grinding...not enough power...sound, and then nothing. I bring the battery and have it checked and it's bad. I replace the battery with an Optima red top and I have power but it will not turn over and start. When I turn the key to start, there is no noise...every now and then a click can be heard on subsequent attempts...but there is no sound. the starter will not turn. I have power to everything, it just won't turn over.
Ava has 120,000, rebuilt tranny at 95,000, replaced water pump at 105,000, has aftermarket exhaust and K&N as only engine mods.
Is it possible that the battery and the starter would go out at the same time?
Can my fuel regulater problem affect the starter because of the key cycling I've been doing? (turning the key on for 2 seconds and off twice and then starting)
Any suggestions would be helpful...my next step is to take the starter out and bring it to have it checked.

I also have a code reader and it is not throwing any codes at this time.

About a week ago it threw two codes 171, and 174 (lean fuel) I believe. I had accidentally put in high octane fuel and after I had burned that tank I erased the codes and it has'nt happened again.

Thanks for any help;
I have to ask the dumb question first, when was the last time the fuel filter was changed and try the hammer trick with the starter(you rap it a couple of times and sometimes that fixes, probable the solenoid sticking
It's an 04' and I believe the filter is in the tank. I've had a problem with the fuel pressure for about a year now and I keep putting off getting it fixed. The last estimate I had was between $750 and $1000. If anyone knows of a reasonable place in Louisiana (Alexandria to New Orleans) to get it fixed, please let me know. I have rapped the starter with a hammer...still nothing. How hard is it to remove the starter to have it tested? Anyone know?
Thanks for responding
bchbum I looked in my shop manual it says the 04  5.3 l trucks have a external fuel filter not in the tank. I'd check the fuel rail for it.
Hmmm, that conflicts with the info I have. Perhaps it's early & late MY productions?

Regardless, if it's external, he can see it in the frame.
Yes My Helm manual say's it has one, the 2500 does not have one. I think the starter is fried
OK, this may explain it..

Document ID# 1480106
2004 Chevrolet Avalanche​

Service VME - Fuel Filter Replacement - Owners Manual Error - kw 4.8 5.3 6.0 8.1 tank line information internal external pump GMT800 GMT805 GMT806 GMT820 GMT830 GMT610 #PI001875A - (Mar 22, 2004)

When servicing the vehicle with the VIN you entered, the following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the described symptoms.


This Product Information Update is to advise you of an error in the 2004 Owners Manual Section 6, Normal Maintenance Replacement Parts. This section list the fuel filter as a replaceable part; this is incorrect as gas powered V-8 engines have a lifetime filter built into the fuel sender inside the tank and thus is not serviceable separately.

Please follow this diagnosis process thoroughly and complete each step. If the condition exhibited is resolved without completing every step, the remaining steps do not need to be performed. If these steps do not resolve the condition, please contact GM TAC for further diagnostic assistance. This diagnostic approach was developed for the vehicle with the VIN you entered and should not be automatically be used for other vehicles with similar symptoms.


(04 Chevrolet Full Size Trucks/Utilities with 4.8, 5.3, 6.0, 8.1L Eng ) and ( 04 GMC Full Size Trucks/Utilities with 4.8, 5.3, 6.0, 8.1L Eng) and (04 Cadillac Full Size Trucks/Utilities with 5.3, 6.0L Eng) and (04 Chevrolet Express with 5.3, 6.0L Eng) and (04 GMC Savana with 5.3, 6.0L Eng)


I've heard that only the 02's have external fuel filters. ?But I agree with the starter being fried.
The 04 (No Av's) flex-fuel (L59) has an external one located where the 02&03 Av & other trucks have theirs.
Redwings said:
I've heard that only the 02's have external fuel filters.  But I agree with the starter being fried.

03's are external.
I never had a 5.3 starter apart.

It may just be worn out brushes and / or turn the commutator with a bearing set R&R.

I wouldn't trust a rebuilt. Have yours worked on at a starter shop or buy a new one.
I have no idea if the 5.3 starter is anything like older GM starters but here is something easy to try. A lot of starters will ware out the  bushing in the cap end around 100K. If the starter has two smaller bolts at the cap end, take them out while the starter is laying on a bench. Remove the cap being careful not to move the rest of the starter around much. Put a little dab of wheel bearing grease in that bearing adn then rotate it 180 degrees and re install.  What happens is when the bearing gets worn enough it will let the armature drag on the pole shoes while cranking making a noise and reducing the power. Roting the cap puts the good part of the bearing where it will hold the torque. Of course it is best to put a new bearing in there and while you have the cap off you might as well change the brushes but I have got by with the "turn the cap" trick several times.

And the old starter solenoid contact disc 90? rotation while you're at it. Worn contacts. :)
Well...I took the starter off, had it checked, and it worked fine. The guy at the starter shop in Opelousas said that the second wire connected to the positive cable at the battery sometimes goes bad. I checked it and all connections I could see and they seem fine...still nothing when I try to start. I also made sure the connections at the starter were tight after re-installing. Still have power to everything. Could there be a fuse or something?
Thanks for responding
There is a fuse iin the fuse panel under the steering wheel it should say crank. There is also a Relay in the underhood fuse box. fuse is near the bottom to the right of center. Good luck

Do you hear a click at all when You try to start it.
bchbum did you get it started.    ???
Nope...The fuses seem fine. I'm leaving the battery disconnected overnight, and then try again in the morning. I have checked everything I can think of and I still get nothing. Everything is normal until I try to start it. Everything powers up as usual...it does'nt make any sense. I'll tow it tomorrow morning and let ya'll know what happens.
Since the cables are already unhooked have you tried to check for continuity?  May just have a bad connection somewhere between the battery and the starter.
Ya might want to swap the relay with another one to eliminate that as a possibility
The cables tend to corrode up into the insulation from the battery's bad post seal.

After rereading the first post and you have a aftermarket exhaust do you have headers also, now I leaning with the cable is the problem.
Update...no headers, only Zoomers exhaust. I checked cables from battery to starter with a volt meter and the larger wire on the starter was hot, but the smaller wire on the starter had no juice. I checked the starter wires with the key in the on position. I was able to start the Ava by jumping from the larger wire to the smaller wire on the starter with a screwdriver. Then she started to throw some codes; P0740, P0785, P2761. Had a total of 6 codes...it repeated the same codes. The engine ran but seemed to lack power. I only ran it long enough to move it to a more convienient position. I will jump it again when I'm able to get it to a shop. The service rep in Baton Rouge at Gerry Lane Cheverolet told me that the sensor for the anti-theft system in the ignition switch may have gone bad and that I need to get it to someone who has a Tech II machine and have it reprogramed. I'm now trying to find a local shop with a Tech II, or I'll bring it to the local dealer in the morning. Trying to avoid this since I'm out of warranty. (120,000 miles)
Yeah ignition switches are notorious for causing strange problems.  Good Luck
Another update...went to the dealer and he changed the ignition switch...nothing happened. He thought the starter was bad, and it was. I brought him a starter from autozone ($144.00 from autozone, the dealer was going to charge me $398.00 for the same starter). The air conditioning switch ?? was bad, and he changed it. (the blower on the ac had stopped working after I had jumped it at the starter to get it to the shop) The car worked for a day. I drove to work and back with no problems. (home to Baton Rouge and back, about 200 miles) The next morning the car would not start again. Same story, power to everthing, but when you turn the key to start only a click. It would click on the first try and then I would hear some small clicks in the steering column. Oh yea, the 40 amp ingition fuse was also blown and was changed at the shop. ...so, I check the fuse, the current to the starter, everything seems fine. The mechanic tells me he thinks I got a bad starter...so, I take the starter out and bring it to autozone in Lafayette, and they check it under a load and it works fine. I reinstall the starter, check everything, and it still does not start. That was last Thursday. Friday morning the Ava starts right up, so I drive it to work and don't turn it off until I get home that night. I try to start it Sat. morning and nothing happens...same thing as before...power to everything but will not start. Sunday morning it started to turn over on the first try, and almost started. On the second try it turned once and then nothing.
Today, I was ready in case it was going to turn over; I primed the pump by rotating the key twice and it started on the first try. The mechanic at the dealer still thinks I have a bad starter but I disagree with him. How can it start one day and not the next? I'm bringing it back in and hopefully they will find out what is really going on. It sounds like a short somewhere...what do ya'll think?
That is what I am thinking as well, that's why I was thinking that testing continuity on all the wires might help.