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Old 06-06-2015, 02:51 PM   #1
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Angry VATS, or other?

Hello, I'm sorry if this is going to be a long winded post, but i want to include all details I can remember.

Subject: 97 Camaro, wife'* convertible, no crank, no start.

My wife has been using this car for a few months, only issue was an intermittent radio failure.....until one day.
I went to move the car, the power seat wouldn't move, she had to move it as I couldn't fit in there.
She was driving home on a warm day, windows would not go down.
I drove the car, running fine, then the gauges started to go haywire, speedo, tach., volt gauge would drop from a high of 12v down, the car would slightly "miss".
I got home to check the charging system, gauge on dash showed 12v, multimeter showed 14.5v ruled out charging sytem/batt.
Now when attempting re-start, the car would start, and then die immediately, have not since been able to get it to stay running, now won't even crank.
I suspected the VATS, so wired in a resistor pack to bypass the "chip" reader. I checked the ohm value multiple times, and feel it has nothing to do with the resistance "reader" in the system, however the car will not even crank now. I removed the BCM to inspect for poor , or damaged solder joints, I fixed the most common joint I've heard of , as it was cracked, and still no crank. All other electrics are working fine, as far as I can see now.
I can hear the fuel pump "whirrrr" as I turn on the key, but the starter does not turn anymore, not even a click.
Ideas? What did I miss, the obvious?

Thanks,

Last edited by Wife's Camaro; 06-06-2015 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:37 PM   #2
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The VATS should never cause gauges to go haywire, or cause the car to stumble or die once it is running, aside from possibly just after initial start.

I would take a look at the basics, looking for corrosion and checking for tightness on the main battery cables, as well as the main battery feeds that run to various relay/fuse boxes.

I had similar issues in my Regal, only to find that the feed for the fusebox that feeds the ignition switch, etc, was loose. It was causing voltage concerns, no start, ABS
issues, and stalling.

Main grounds that are corroded or loose can also cause similar havoc.
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:03 PM   #3
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In addition to checking what rjolly87 said,

1. have you checked for codes?

2. Does the SECURITY LIGHT go out after 3 seconds, when you turn the key to on(do not attempt to crank engine)?

3. If the light does go out, do you have power at the "*" terminal of the starter solenoid, when the key is in the crank position?

4. Have you checked the connections at the starter/starter solenoid?
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:46 AM   #4
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1. I have tried to read codes, I get a read error, so I have been unsuccessful.
2.Security light does go out after 3 seconds, as it should.
3.Have not checked yet
4.Have not checked yet
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:07 PM   #5
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1. I have tried again to read codes, I continue to get a "link error". No progress there.

2.With the key in the ignition, in the "on" position, the only thing lit up is the clock on the radio.All electrics work, windows, locks, radio, top, fan, etc. When I turn to the "start" position all other lights on the instrument panel light, and gauges start to move. The security (red LED light on top of dash)will flash when I turn the key off.
3. I can't even get to the starter, too tight, and I can't get the shield off of it without butchering it. Reserved for later if absolutely necessary.
4.same as #3

I have tied to jump the TDR , and still no action at the starter, not even a click.
To back track, the car was running, and driving, the gauges were acting erratic, with the voltmeter reading low, I pulled into my driveway, and checked the battery with a multimeter, battery was up, and charging ok. After I shut it off, it would not re-start, correction, it would re-start but die after a few seconds. Since this I have bypassed the VATS "chip" with an inline resistor pack (3 resistors), resistor on the key read 12.08ohm on the 20K ohm scale, the resistor pack I've installed reads 12.11ohm. Now I get no crank, no start, but I do hear the fuel pump. I've tried every reset I've read about for the BCM, and have jumped the TDR , and still no crank. I know it sounds like the starter, or solenoid may be bad, but why would my guages act up, then do the re-start die etc.??

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Old 06-14-2015, 11:28 PM   #6
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Indicated voltage is usually read at the pcm. I am thinking there is issues getting power to the computer, a bad ground, or even a bad pcm. Could even be something as simple as corrosion at the pcm harness.
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:17 AM   #7
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Thanks, I can check that out, at least it'* more accessible !
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:15 AM   #8
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The SECURITY/THEFT LIGHT is in the dash cluster........when you turn the key to "on", it should come on for 3 -5 seconds, and then go out......does it do that?
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:12 AM   #9
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When the key is in the "on" position, all that is on is the clock, no dash lights, or gauge movement at all, until turned to the start position. No security light is on at all.
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Old 06-21-2015, 03:42 PM   #10
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When you turn your key to on, the SECURITY light should come one for 3-5 seconds and go out....the read BAT light should be on, the CE light should be on, etc...


If they are not, you have cluster, wiring, module problems, etc.
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