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Alright, I'll try to keep it snappy. 2005 Chevy Express 3500 4.8L V8. 130k miles.

Most dash lights would turn on and gauges would go dead for a couple moments and then come back periodically. It's not a flicker! Then, the van shut off while driving and wouldn't come on again. It would crank, but not make it all the way. A couple tries did make it all the way on, but then it'd shut off immediately. ABS stayed on the whole time.

Got AAA out, who charged the battery a bit and the thing turned on, but since there was too much snow, I couldn't test drive it.

Fast forward a couple weeks. I changed alternator and belt. Drove around the block 6ish times with the intermittent lights and gauge fun still happening, plus the persistent ABS. Finally, as expected, the stupid thing shut off again and I had to push it with my angry brother to a luckily open spot where it now sits.

What do you guys think?

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  • I'm thinking the issue is the battery. Pull it and get it load tested. Make sure its fully charged first, though ... well, as charged as it can get. Mar 18 at 19:20
  • Man, Paulster, you are my hero on here. Was planning on pulling it out and going over to autozone later. Is that a thing, or does the whole van need to make it over for proper testing?
    – Beefi1123
    Mar 18 at 19:36
  • No, just the battery is all you need and Autozone should be able to handle it for you. I've seen it many times where there's enough voltage to be able to start a vehicle, but not enough to keep the electronics happy. Mar 19 at 0:04
  • Weird story with this one. Took it in, machine said it needed a charge, so we charged it, then tested again. This time, guy said it was dead (only charged for a few minutes). Bought a new battery and no dice.
    – Beefi1123
    Mar 19 at 5:42
  • Have had issues where the battery has a broken link internally - causes intermittant failure. But you have replaced it so must be something else.
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 19 at 5:47
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A broken earth or ground cable somewhere.

Perhaps between battery & chassis or battery & body or body to chassis.

Some are small and across the gearbox mount.

While the cable may look good as the insulation is not broken the conductors can be broken or corroded.

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  • This is my new guess, though I might not be able to check it for a while. It's not the battery or alternator, so I figure this is the next likely culprit.
    – Beefi1123
    Mar 19 at 5:43
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Evidentially (or so they say), it was the fuel pump dying. $900 later and we're movin' again.

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