94 Camaro Frustration - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 06, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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94 Camaro Frustration

I have a problem that has the mechanics stumped. So far I've had new parts installed that apparently weren't bad (by the Service Department at my local Chevrolet dealership and have two other independent mechanics stumped) as the problem still exists. To start it off, I have a 1994 Camaro 3.8 V6 with the factory anti-theft system installed (has the resistive device on the key). The problem is as follows: Randomly the car won't start and doesn't engage the solenoid or turn the starter motor. It has happened with the motor hot and the motor cold. Let the car set and later it will start. Always it is the same soleniod doesn't engage and the starter doesn't turnover. After setting for a time you get in and it starts right up. I've had it towed to the local garage after setting all day and not starting and the next morning it starts. The most recent occurrence it set in the school parking lot for 36 hours and wouldn't start so I had it towed to my home and put in my garage where it set for two more days before it magically started again. Any ideas out there?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 06, 08:35 AM
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Angry Re: 94 Camaro Frustration

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 06, 08:48 PM
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Re: 94 Camaro Frustration

Gotta love VATS.A decoder at the base of the steering column would easily diagnose and read your VATS key but look for the orange wire to be open circuit directly behind the lock cylinder.The insulation will appear good,but with a slight pull you will see the ckt fail first hand.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 16th, 06, 11:42 AM
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Re: 94 Camaro Frustration

To find out if VATS is the problem, try to start at the first attempt, say an hour after ther last or overnight.

Car does not start or starter engage, turn ignition off and remove the key.
Wait 3-5 minutes, restart with the same key, should start right up.

Do a couple more episodes to make sure the symtoms are the same.

The cause will probably be the key & key socket in the steering column. Replacement is warrantied. Need proof of ownership at dealer to buy new key with new socket. Steering wheel has to be removed to replace socket.

Good luck, pay attention to symtoms.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 16th, 06, 11:13 PM
 
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Re: 94 Camaro Frustration

I have a pretty much the same problem on a 90 firebird. I even bypassed the VATS system (atleast @ the ignition) and it still does it.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 17th, 06, 09:54 AM
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Re: 94 Camaro Frustration

A common 3rd gen hard/no start problem is the neutral safety switch.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 18th, 06, 12:29 AM
 
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Re: 94 Camaro Frustration

can it be bypassed?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 06, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 94 Camaro Frustration

Everett, The key and socket (if Im correct we are talking about the ignition switch in the steering column) have been replaced (cost me $447 mostly for labor).
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 06, 02:28 PM
 
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Re: 94 Camaro Frustration

my next stop is replacing or bypassing the neutral safety switch, because i had already bypassed the the vats system which didnt help. I just need to figure out how to bypass the safety switch.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 06, 04:16 AM
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Re: 94 Camaro Frustration

Several things you can do here. The ignition cylinder and ignition switch are two different items.

The ignition cylinder is in the column and with the key socket reads the key resistance for VATS. The electrical side of the ignition switch is mounted on top of the column down by the firewall. Could be a possibility the ignition switch needs adjustment physically to match the stroke of the cylinder with the electrical function, e.g., IGN = IGN. Or the ign switch contacts could be carboned up, a high resistance built on the contacts not allowing the full current load to energize the starter relay.

You could add in a light bulb, back-up light & socket, and wire it into the circuits to test for electrical checking, e.g., solenoid, starter relay, etc. and have it come into the interior to "see" if the electrical point chosen is getting start power.

Starter relay could have the same fault, carbon build up on the contact points.

If the dealer couldn't find it, you might talk to the service manager for a rework. Most GM dealers do you guarantee their work for 1 year and you have collected more than a couple visits in 1 year. However, the fear of them finding something else wrong and replacing it and it not be the fault is a possibilty. However, the car is 12 years old. Maybe you should find an auto electric repair shop.

You could always have the shop rig up a toggle switch for the starter and wire it direct.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 06, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 94 Camaro Frustration

OK socket has been replaced. next on my agenda is to just bypass the ignition switch as you suggested. thanks for the info. I've had it in to the dealership twice to no avail. each time it costs meover $300 so it is definitely a fear on my part that it willjust drag more money out of me.
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