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Tanya

Starter Bad after Car Wash

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Has anyone had any issues with their starter on a 2019 Chevy Trail Boss going bad after going through a car wash.    I am on my third starter today in less than two months.  My vehicle has 13,000 miles on.  The last three times I washed it, I used two different car washes and all three times, when I shut the truck off, it will not start again.  Have to have it towed to the dealership, they replace the starter and cannot find anything else.  They cannot see where anything would be getting wet.   I am not washing the engine just the outside using the carwash places I have for the past year.   It was fine up until the first part of January when it quit the first time.  Then the next two times I washed it, boom wrecked the starter.  

 

 

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This is a cry from your truck for help - "Please do not send me through these horrible torture chambers any more!" 😥

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I dunno but I’ve run my truck through the automatic wash (touchless) with underbody flush probably 100 times and never had this problem. If it was widespread I think we’d be hearing a lot more of it. Most people don’t hand wash their pickup trucks, especially not in the winter.


I would push the dealer a little harder to find the root cause.

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Tanya, just an old man's view point. Sounds like something electrical  to do with the starting circuit is shorting out, the dealership should start out by checking all the waterproof connectors followed up by electrical circuit testing, not just throwing new starters at your rig every time you're towed in. Even with modern starters, you shouldn't be leaning on the starter for more than 10-12 seconds at a time without a 30 second cool off period in between start attempts. With FI engines, anything over a 3 second start time is indicative that something is wrong, even if you don't have a CEL.

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x2  And if it happens again, see if they will test the starter coming out, to see if it has actually failed (which is possible, if you run the starter too long like it sounds Arno has done).  But, it wouldn't surprise me at all if it's an wiring and/or connection problem, and replacing the starter cleans up the connection enough for everything to work for awhile, and then it fails again.

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Definitely something not right!! These trucks are supposed to be built to go off road in water and mud, car wash should definitely not be ruining your starter.... Time for your dealer to find out what is really going on.... 

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On 2/28/2020 at 2:25 PM, OnTheReel said:

I dunno but I’ve run my truck through the automatic wash (touchless) with underbody flush probably 100 times and never had this problem. If it was widespread I think we’d be hearing a lot more of it. Most people don’t hand wash their pickup trucks, especially not in the winter.


I would push the dealer a little harder to find the root cause.

Me too I’m in the wash at least once a week without an issue. I’m guessing maybe water is getting into a fuse box somewhere and tripping a relay or something. I doubt you would blow 3 starter motors.

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Thanks for the responses.  The dealer had my truck ready for me today.  They said they could not find anything electrical. Supposedly checked it all and worked with a chevy adviser and still couldn't find anything.    They have ran it through their car wash twice leaving it sit and starting it as well as leave it run for awhile, turning it off and then starting it.  It started every time.  I told the service adviser to take it over to the car wash I went to and use my account and wash it again.   They did and guess what.... They got it back to the dealership and it wouldn't start!  So now they are baffled and maybe it will actually get fixed.  Nothing like putting a brand new starter in and 4hours later shorting it out.  They are on Starter #4 in two months.  Frustrating.  

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On 3/2/2020 at 6:45 PM, Tanya said:

 Nothing like putting a brand new starter in and 4hours later shorting it out.  They are on Starter #4 in two months.  Frustrating.  

Here is my experience as a mechanic. You don't get 4 bad parts. Either there is something else wrong and they are replacing the wrong part and thinking its fixed just because it starts now (the issue is intermittent by the sounds of it). Or the part is failing. If the part is failing they need to determine why. Again you don't get 4 bad new parts. Is there a voltage drop on the supply or ground circuit causing it to not spin fast enough and short internally/ overheat? Or is there a missing shield that is allowing water or excess heat from something cause this. 

 

Have they ever actually been able to get to not crank while in their shop? It can be very tough to diagnose a fault that isn't present at the time but throwing another starter at it isn't likely going to get you any closer to fixing your truck. Try to note everything to happens when it wont start: Will the headlights work? Does the radio work, what is showing on the display? If you have a code reader connect it and see if you can retreieve DTC's during this time. Any additional info you can gather may help the technician determine the overall cause.

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From what I understand the starters on these are extra heavy duty because of the autostop feature. Good for like a million starts........

4 super heavy duty starters going out in a short period of time sounds like  pretty slim odds.

Is the truck modified in anyway like a winch /offroad light bars/extra battery etc? 

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Why does it break after going through the car wash you normally use but not the dealership's? What's different between the two? 

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I am wondering if the car wash theory is  just strange coincidence? i suspect that something else is going on with this truck, most likely every starter that they pulled off had nothing at all wrong with it...............   

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11 hours ago, Cpl_Punishment said:

Why does it break after going through the car wash you normally use but not the dealership's? What's different between the two? 

Undercarriage wash?  Not all car washes have them or offer them as an option.

Just a thought.

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Instead of replacing the starters maybe they should figure what's shorting them out.

 

What happens when you hit water and splash it up under there...

 

I've had my truck in water right to the base of the floor...  because I get out and make sure I will not sink my truck ha ha..

 

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I'm sorry for asking this question, 

 

Does the motor turn over (and not start)?

I'm just trying to understand whats going on better.

 

 

 

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