'98 Camaro with security system (anti-theft) issues - Team Camaro Tech
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Old Aug 4th, 07, 08:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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'98 Camaro with security system (anti-theft) issues

Hello,

Brand new poster here, and in need of advice! We have a '98 Camaro that has recently been retired from everyday driving. We have two young children and a third on the way and two other vehicles that are far more suited to kids so we can finally keep the Camaro as a pleasure-only summertime vehicle.

I had some errands to run the other night and since I didn't have to haul the kids I took the Camaro - first time it had been driven in almost two weeks, not sure if that's important or not. At my last stop I turned the car off, dropped my catalogues off and returned to the car. Didn't even bother locking it as I was out of it for maybe 30 seconds.

Got back in, she wouldn't start. Wouldn't turn over, didn't even click. Plentry of battery power - lights, radio, power windows, etc all worked fine. Ended up having to get it towed home. The tow truck driver figures it's either the starter shot or something whacked with the factory-installed anti-theft security system. It has the chip-embedded keys. Neither key we have will start the car. It may be a combination of starter and security system - while the tow truck dude was trying to start her, she'd start honking (like the panic button was pressed) at various times.

Wondering if anyone has any experience with security systems? We're most likely going to have to have her towed to a dealership but we're hoping to not have to shell out a couple grand on this if there's something obvious we're missing.
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Old Aug 4th, 07, 08:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: '98 Camaro with security system (anti-theft) issues

Welcome to the Club, Pauline. With VATS, you should be able to start the car with the same key after waiting min 3 minutes after the first attempt.

There is a socket in the the key slot to read the resistance of the key chip. This socket has thin "leaves" and they do lose their 'springy' shape after having the key inserted into the socket how many times?

It is a job to exchange the key socket as it is under the locking plate and steering wheel. A home mechanic can do it if the right tools are present and would take a couple of hours to replace. Keep track of the path the wires under the steering wheel so none get pinched when assembling. You will need to replace the key socket and get a new set of ignition keys so proof of ownership and the car key will be needed at a GM dealer. Or make a appointment with the dealer to replace the key socket.

Another route is to bypass the VATS system with a resistor of the same value in place of the key resistor, but you lose the theft system. Do a search on VATS and bypassing the system will come up.
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Old Aug 5th, 07, 09:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Re: '98 Camaro with security system (anti-theft) issues

Hi,

Thanks for the quick reply! No luck at all with waiting the three minutes with either key (both originals). Tomorrow is a stat holiday here so we'll be calling the local GM dealership on Tuesday to book her in, as we have neither the tools nor the technical expertise to even attempt it ourselves.

I was just hoping there was a reset button or something.....wishful thinking, I know.
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Old Aug 5th, 07, 04:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: '98 Camaro with security system (anti-theft) issues

Let us know how the repair turns out. Good luck.
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Old Aug 24th, 07, 03:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Re: '98 Camaro with security system (anti-theft) issues

It turned out to be a broken wire to the VATS in the ignition. Cost slightly less than $600 at the dealership for the computer scan and to replace the ignition and keys.

Considering we were expecting something more along the lines of $1200, we think we got a pretty good deal...especially bacause neither of us have the tools or the knowhow to replace an ignition. While $600 was a bite in the wallet it was a lot better than what we were prepared for.

She goes into the body shop next week to fix the cracked front bumper where some bimbo backed into it in the gas station parking lot and then into the garage for fall and winter.

Thanks for your advice! Off to browse the rest of the forums......
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Old Aug 24th, 07, 03:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: '98 Camaro with security system (anti-theft) issues

Ouch! But glad its fixed, I know you all are.
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Old Aug 26th, 07, 11:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Re: '98 Camaro with security system (anti-theft) issues

and people wonder why 4th gen owners have tuners remove the VATS
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