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Discussion Starter #1
So the van is dead. Well, not completely...

DH went out to go to work this morning and it wouldn't start. It wouldn't turn over at all. All it would do was click when he turned the ignition over.

He has a trickle charger plugged into it right now and a secondary plug for the block heater. But all that happened between last night and this morning was freezing rain.

He said that he went out the first time and even the radio wouldn't come on. Then he went out again and believes that the fuel pump went.

Argh!

So now he's at home without getting paid today and FIL won't be back from his fishing trip until tonight. We have a bus pass, but he's staying here so we can get the van figured out.

I told him it could either be the fuel pump or the solenoid. If it's the fuel pump, we're looking at a hefty price we're not able to pay to have it replaced. (The major cost is having the gas tank lowered, drained, pump replaced and then reassembled.)

The one good thing is that the first time he went out, nothing would light up. The last time he went out, things turned on. I asked if he checked the battery cables and he said he did.

Is it highly possible that the freezing rain from last night would have gotten in and shorted something out?
 

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I don't think it's likely the rain is the cause. Cars are pretty well designed to keep the things dry that need to stay dry.

Clicking is often indicative of a bad connection with the battery. You can't always tell by looking at it. Remove the battery cables and clean the clamps and terminals with a wire brush.

It could be humidity is affecting something too.

If it's the fuel pump, I think it would still turn over but just not start.

If it's warm enough to rain most likely the block heater isn't going to help, but it won't hurt either.

We had to have the fuel pump replaced on our Avalanche last year and it was over $700 USD.

Good luck.
 

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How old is the battery? All it takes is one good cold snap to kill a weak battery.

The trickle charger could take come time to charge the battery if it was totally dead. How about getting someone to jump it and see if it will start?
 

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First thing that jumped to my mind was -- battery

I've had this happen to me before. I would have to get the car jumped and then it would be fine... until I shut it off and needed to start it again. So, after the jump, the first stop was to the Auto Zone to have the battery tested.
 
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I was thinking the trickle charger isn't the right tool for the job, too. It's going to take too long. As suggested, see if someone will jump it for you.
 

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How old is the battery? All it takes is one good cold snap to kill a weak battery.

The trickle charger could take come time to charge the battery if it was totally dead. How about getting someone to jump it and see if it will start?
It sounds like battery to me - as I went out to start my truck this am and well all I got was a rapid clicking ticking sound each time I turned the key. My battery should be replaced as its over 6 yrs old and its the original one that came with my vehicle. I know its the cold snap we've finally received for winter that did it in.

Do you guys have CAA? I hate to word it like this - I think its totally worth it for peace of mind - its only $92+GST/yr. There are perks / discounts that also come with being a member so the membership does continue to give throughout the year.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The battery is about two years old. We got the van two years this coming February and replaced the battery when we got it.

FIL will be back tonight and we're going to have him over so that he can help DH with the van. I agree in that it could be the battery.

It wasn't really cold at all. It's been abnormally warm this time of year, but that freezing rain is something we haven't had in December since I've been up here and it was always snow in Calgary.

Thanks everyone. :)

And as far as CAA goes, we had it before and we never used it, so we decided not to renew it.
 

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my guess is the starter...

theres a way to tell if it is the fuel pump...but i cant remember what it is...i think but not sure if it is the fuel pump you will hear it trying to turn over...if it is the starter than click click click....or it could e an alternator etc...sorry not much help....and sorry have been there and done that and if my vehicle broke right now i would be so screwed...

So the van is dead. Well, not completely...

DH went out to go to work this morning and it wouldn't start. It wouldn't turn over at all. All it would do was click when he turned the ignition over.

He has a trickle charger plugged into it right now and a secondary plug for the block heater. But all that happened between last night and this morning was freezing rain.

He said that he went out the first time and even the radio wouldn't come on. Then he went out again and believes that the fuel pump went.

Argh!

So now he's at home without getting paid today and FIL won't be back from his fishing trip until tonight. We have a bus pass, but he's staying here so we can get the van figured out.

I told him it could either be the fuel pump or the solenoid. If it's the fuel pump, we're looking at a hefty price we're not able to pay to have it replaced. (The major cost is having the gas tank lowered, drained, pump replaced and then reassembled.)

The one good thing is that the first time he went out, nothing would light up. The last time he went out, things turned on. I asked if he checked the battery cables and he said he did.

Is it highly possible that the freezing rain from last night would have gotten in and shorted something out?
 
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It sounds like ours did when the battery died last summer. We had left the door open and the overhead light killed it. It wouldn't take a jump and had to be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
FIL's on his way over with a new battery and we'll see how it goes. But it was taking a charge earlier and then something with the charger happened, so this is our next step.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oddly enough, it ended up being an electrical short somewheres. The van is at the mechanic until at least Tuesday. For now, FIL let us borrow his truck to get DH to work and to get me to the grocery store.

This would explain the headlight on the driver's side only functioning half of the time and the turn signal not working properly.
 

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Electrical? Ouch! My Father had one electric window go out and it cost $300. I can't begin to imagine what the cost of yours will rack up to. Maybe your FIL can help you guys out?
 
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