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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I parked my 98 QC, 5.9 for a few weeks now. Battery went dead, I jumped and charged it overnight. I started fine and I used it in the yard for about 10 minutes. I went to run it to work the next morning, it started but will not idle, sounds and feels 'stale'. I can rev it, but as soon as I stop 'playing' the throttle, it stalls out right away. The gas light did come on so I added 5 gal. to be sure. I can hear the fuel pump pressurize so I think that is ok. Any ideas where to start? It restarts every time. I do not want to drive it to the mechanic...
 

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After having the battery that low, I would be curious about the voltage of the system. I have heard everything from poor performance to codes being logged and "idiot" lights coming on just because electrical system's voltage is low. Have you pulled the codes yet and what is the voltage meter on the dash running at? Many threads here have mentioned that our trucks are sensitive to having the right voltage on the electrical system to run properly. If the voltage is under 14 volts even by little bit, it could be that the battery still needs charged more or needs replaced because it is drawing down the electrical systems voltage too far. On my truck, the "air bag" light comes on when the battery on my dump trailer gets to pulling quite a few amps from the system and the volt meter on the dash goes under 14 volts. It goes out as soon as the battery starts to equalize and doesn't draw so many amps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did notice it was charging properly. The gauge was reading about 14, seemed to be normal. There's no warning lights either. Possibility the fuel filter? It has runs so good since I bought it new in 97 I am a little shocked right now. It has never let me down once. I suppose I can work backwards, all it really needs is correct spark, air and gas, right?
 

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Dootow said:
I did notice it was charging properly. The gauge was reading about 14, seemed to be normal. There's no warning lights either. Possibility the fuel filter? It has runs so good since I bought it new in 97 I am a little shocked right now. It has never let me down once. I suppose I can work backwards, all it really needs is correct spark, air and gas, right?
Even thought the check engine light isn't on does not necessarily mean there were no codes logged. These codes can be pulled by cycling the key on and off 4 times, leave it in the ON position on the fourth cycle, and count the number of blinks of the check engine light. Should be a small pause between each series of blinks.

Back in the day (which is where I am from), spark, air, and gas used to be all you needed. With these engines you have one more factor, the computer needs to know what's going on. Even if you have the basic three, if the computer doesn't know where the cam is, what the manifold vacuum is, what the throttle position is, how hot the engine is, and what you are getting out of the tail pipe, the truck could not run at all to run really crappy. Aint progress great!
 

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i would go get the battery checked at autozone or something and let them do a load test. My truck was messing up and running rough and everything else and i found out later that it was the battery causing it. 40 bucks for a battery and that fixed the problem. autozone will do the load test for free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you, I did not know you could 'pull codes' at home. I will try this and am going to spend the next few hours (at work) reading everyone's troubles. Now I see threads of catalytic converter failures, O2 sensors, etc. Hooray! Not. I do have an exhaust leak at the top of the Y pipe so this might be the time to poke around there also.
 

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Exact same thing happened to me a while back. There seems to be some sort of memory in the system that keeps your idle set and when the battery is low or dead this memory seems to disappear. This is what I did to fix it. I got a jump start first then everytime I let off the gas it just died. So I figured I would sit there with my foot on the pedal for about 10 minutes maybe less. I held the idle to about 1500 rpm and like I said after about 10 minutes I was able to take my foot off the gas and all was fine. I have not had problems since and that was about 6 months ago...this will work. Good luck and let us know WHEN it works
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Griz64 said:
Exact same thing happened to me a while back. There seems to be some sort of memory in the system that keeps your idle set and when the battery is low or dead this memory seems to disappear. This is what I did to fix it. I got a jump start first then everytime I let off the gas it just died. So I figured I would sit there with my foot on the pedal for about 10 minutes maybe less. I held the idle to about 1500 rpm and like I said after about 10 minutes I was able to take my foot off the gas and all was fine. I have not had problems since and that was about 6 months ago...this will work. Good luck and let us know WHEN it works
BINGO!
Yesterday I started it and stood on the step outside the cab watching it run, I just kept it about 1500 and all of a sudden it smoothed right out. Problem solved. If I had only seen this before I left work...
 

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That process is called "relearn" and the computer needs to go thru it after loss of power many times. Some vehicles have a long drawn out relearn process that takes 20 or 30 minutes to go thru. Glad yours was easy. Good fix from Griz64.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Can you imagine how I would have felt if I had it towed the day before like I was going to! Thanks for the help all!
 

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Happy to hear it got fixed. Glad to be of assistance.
 
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