'89 RS cold weather. Won't start - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 04, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
 
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Taking a shot someone might be able to help me with this. It's been to the shop 3 times and they are stumped.
I have an '89 RS with a 302 automatic.
I live in MN and when the weather gets below about 10 degrees the car will not do anything when I turn the key. Radio and heater will work with key in on position but the ignition and starter will not activate at all. The symptoms are exactly the same as when the factory security kicks in and shuts the ignition down for about 5 minutes. Once the outside temp starts rising it will start normally.
Thanks for any leads you can give me. All the the wired conections have been cleaned and checked..
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 04, 08:04 AM
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Might want to try a new battery with more cold cranking amps. Last week temps dropped to about 8 below zero. The battery in my 96 camaro is about 3 years old and it barely started the car. Even my wife's 02 pontiac was a little cranky. Your battery may have enough power to start the car when its warmer, but once the temp drops so does it's cold cranking amps. If your battery is not new, you might want to get a new one.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 04, 12:30 PM
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DenRS makes a good point ... Also, I would use a multi-meter to check the voltage you get at the starter ... If you have a significant voltage drop, the old ford solenoid trick may help ...
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 04, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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No, the battery is fairly new and the symptoms are'nt battery related. There is no contact made with the battery. Absolutely nothing happens when the key is turned, not even a click even though all the accesories and lights work normally.
The shop I went to believes it's in a relay but can't check that until the car refuses to start.
Thanks for the reply anyway
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 04, 05:52 AM
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One other thing come to mind ... On my 77 camaro, sometimes the shifter linkage won't fully move the neutral safety switch to the proper position, and I have to rotate the steering column counter-clockwise a bit to get the car to start. Try moving the gearshift the next time this happens, or, even shifting to neutral. This is just a shot in the dark, but it is worth trying ... temperature make things contract and/or expand and you may be on the edge in terms of tolerances ...
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 04, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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yeah, I tried shifting into neutral and playing with the shifter. Still nothing. I have'nt tried playing with the steering wheel. Worth a shot.
14 below zero today, ikes!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 04, 03:14 AM
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If car has VATS, then try to restart with the same key 3-4 minutes after initial try.

If car starts, then I would suggest having the tumbler section & key made for the switch from the dealer.

Just a thought.......

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 23rd, 04, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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I did have a new key made. Car does indeed typically start after 3 or 4 tries and waiting about 10 minutes between. What do you mean by having the tumbler made?
Thanks again to everyones replies.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 23rd, 04, 06:38 AM
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If the key has the resistor chip, the tumbler section has a pair of 'leaves', socket if you will, to read/touch the chip, thus telling VATS the correct key is in place b matching the resistance from the chip to a corresponding value in the VATS module.

If both match, then the car will start. After many thousand of times the key is inserted into its 'socket', the leaves become worn and don't touch the chip, thus, car won't start. This is why I suggested to wait 3-5 mins after the initial start to attempt starting again.

The tumbler section needs to be replaced and a new key made to match your existing key at the dealer.
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