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Old 11-20-2006, 01:52 PM   #1
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Default bad ignition switch?

Well this sort of came out of nowhere, started today actually. Was getting ready to park in the driveway and the car stumbled, rpms fell, id swear i saw the security light come on for a split second, then it fired back up and acted as if nothing was wrong.

Then a couple hours later, went back out to head to work, car just cranks and cranks and cranks, about the 3rd set of cranks starts up and acts fine.

Ok went out on a break about 4-5 hours later, out of curiousity decided to start the car, turned the key..nothing..I knew my battery wasnt dead so I turned the key back to the off pos. then tried it again, started right up.

Same thing about 2-3 hours later after i got off, first key turn, nothing, turned key back then tried it again, started right up.

Im thinking I have a bad ignition switch, any other opinions?

I also think my FPR may be getting slightly flaky given the hard starts, its had the occasional hard start for quite a while, just not with these other issues.
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Old 11-20-2006, 05:05 PM   #2
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Hmmmmm Found this.....

GM Recall
2/10/2004 3:52:13 PM

General Motors of Detroit is recalling 1.4 million Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Buick cars. There are problems with the ignition switches that can cause a fire. The models involved are certain 1998-2001 Chevrolet Cavaliers and Pontiac Sunfires built between March 1997 and April 2001, some 1998 Pontiac Grand Ams, Oldsmobile Achievas, and Buick Skylark cars built between March 1997 and January 1998. Most problems begin shortly after an unsuccessful attempt to start the car. Starting in early March, GM will begin notifying owners of the 1998-99 vehicles involved with instructions to contact their dealers. Owners of 2000 model year vehicles will be notified in May, and the owners of 2001 model year vehicles will be contacted in June with service instructions. To contact Chevrolet call 1-800-222-1020, Pontiac 1-800-762-2737, Oldsmobile 1-800-442-6537 and Buick 1-800-521-7300.
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:57 PM   #3
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A fire would be bad

But just from reading that I dont think my car is affected by it, my car does use the same ignition switch as the Grand Am, but only 99-02 models of the GA.

It was doing it again today, you turn the key to the ON position, and the headlights come on like the normally would, but nothing on the dash lights up at all, no odometer, no DIC lights, no nothing, and if you try to start the car it wont turn over or even think about starting.

If you turn the key back to the OFF position, then turn it back to ON, the DIC will light up, the odometer lights up, and the car will start fine.

This sometimes takes a couple times of doing to get it to work, but whenever the DIC lights up, the car will start every time.
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Old 12-01-2006, 05:05 PM   #4
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My '97 Bonneville just started doing the same thing. Usually it would take a couple tries to get it to crank but today it took about a dozen. My headlights worked but my car seats wouldn't move, no dash, no radio. I'm stopping by Pep Boys tonight to see what they say.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:03 PM   #5
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PASSLOCK !!!!!! you have a bad module in your ignition it is not reading your key...

just wondering when this happens what else doesnt work IE: radio windows and door locks??
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:20 PM   #6
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Now it hasnt done it in a long time, so Ive held off on replacing the switch, because this one still works.

When it did have problems, the radio would still work, not sure about the locks, never thought to check.

Im still 99% sure its an ignition switch problem and isnt related to the Passlock at all because theres no security light, and it doesnt make sense that turning it back to off and then on again would be a security problem.

For now im just lettin this one ride, but if it starts acting up again ill replace the ignition switch with one from the scrapyard for 35-30 bucks as opposed to paying the 100+ for a new one.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:30 PM   #7
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Poked my nose into the GXP area..

I'm not sure it'* an ignition switch from the description. If the switch turns and cranks the motor then it appears to be operating properly.

Doesn't sound like the passkey system either. It'* cranking and seems to want to start.

I have seen crank sensors inhibit this type of behavior, also battery cables. Have you checked and cleaned both ends of all battery cables?
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:47 PM   #8
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The ignition switch could explain the funky acting electronics when it does occur though right? The DIC not lighting up and whatnot.

But Ive seen battery cables behave the same way, and hadnt really thought of those.

But you would think if it was battery cables, that simply toggling the key back and forth would not suddenly make it work..but who knows.

I will check and clean the cables though, theyve been off several times and I keep them pretty clean, but couldnt hurt to check.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:50 PM   #9
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A loose connection can heat up when you attempt to pull power through it. Maybe it gets warm enough to make contact after a while.

We've seen tons of cable issues on the bonnies.. it'* probably worth a look.
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