Broke into my Camaro, need help. - Team Camaro Tech
Tech 2001 General Tech questions from 2001
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Nov 25th, 01, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Armona, CA., U.S.A.
Posts: 2

Hi everyone, I had my 91' camaro broke into a few weeks ago right outside my house. Fortunatly they didn't steal the car, but it wasn't for their lack of trying. They cracked open the steering column on the left side and really tore alot of things up, now the ignition switch freespins. Now the car has no power to anything, no lights at all the alarm had worked even a few days after it was broke in to, that will not engage either. The battery is fully charged so it's not that. My question is, is this the result of the vehicle anti-theft system that was factory installed on the car, And if so what do I need to do to get her running again. If anyone has any experience with something like this I would be very greatful for your response. Thank you.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 01, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 565

I feel your pain. I had a 1988 Iroc and caught three guys trying to get into it. Lets just say they will not be breaking into cars any longer.

All Camaro's made from 1982 - 2002 are very easy to get into with no tools. They pull the window out from the car at the top with just your hands and reach in to unlock the door. This is because there is no window frame. From there all you need is a screw driver to break off the column guard and start the car. They start from the left and work their way to the ignition breaking off the shroud.
They may have broke to much and were not able to take your car. Or they stopped in the middle because you still have the right side of the shroud. This also means that you will have the same problem getting the car started.
You are going to have to replace the ignition and the column shroud. I do not have any direct experience with the vehicle anti-theft system.
Good luck and tty leaving a pitbull in the car.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 01, 06:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 650

Ouch, that sounds brutal. You may be best just taking it (get it towed obviously, heh) to a place to get the whole steering column rebuilt. I don't think it's something you want to tackle on your own, as I am sure the thieves' tools have probably damaged a lot of insulation on various wires, and you don't want to risk a short (or worse, a fire!). Come to think of it, the thieves may have very well shorted something out in their attempt, and this may be why your car stayed put. I dunno, have a boo at the fuses if you have not already done so, and look for melted wires around the battery and alternator.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 01, 01:30 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Toney, AL United States
Posts: 166

Try and find a used column at a salvage yard. That will be the easiest and probably the cheapest way to go.
The thieves use a screwdriver and bust out the left side of the column to expose the key "rack" that the ignition lock cylinder moves that in turn moves the rod down to the ignition switch (electrical part). They then break this piece and manually move the rod to start the car. The key "rack" (as i call it) also positions the pin that locks the steering wheel. With the piece broken, it allows the pin to drop down thus unlocking the steering wheel also. If your car has a "chip" in the key thats why they probably didn't steal it because of the anti-theft system. If not, they just didn't accomplish their goal because they got scared or didn't know what they were doing!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 01, 06:54 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Va Beach VA
Posts: 32,005

Call insurance company, if you have Comprehensive coverage.

If not, as others suggested, get a column from the yard, transplant the stuff.

Good luck,

Everett 68/350/PG/11.90/115mph
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