Chevrolet Repair Questions? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
Hi , my name isXXXXX and I can help you with this problem.
you say that you can hear your fuel pump but the engine won't turn over when you turn your key.
Tell me about your security warning light.
You have a VATS/PassKey system on your car so I need to know what the light is doing when you try to crank it.
What does your light to when you try to crank it?
Your problem could be Electrical or your Security system. Since they aren't the same thing I need to know what your sec light does when you turn the key.
My experience with these goes back to the first one's. The first one's were also installed on Camaro's .
I'll help you until we have it solved, and
Thanks for using Just Answer
The light blinks when you turn the key.
Ok , it looks like your vats system, Security System is bad.
To make sure, take a jumper wire or even one of a set of jumper cables and hook one end of ONE cable to the small actuator lug on your starter, the smallest and hardest one to get on, and do this WITHOUT IT LAYING ON OR TOUCHING ANYTHING ELSE WHEN YOU TOUCH THE OTHER END TO YOUR BATTERY POSITIVE TERMINAL.
This test will show that your starter is still good.
What has probably happened is that one of the wires in your ignition that reads the chip on your key has broken inside your column and there is just one way to verify this after we find out if the starter is still good.
I learned the hard way not to forget to check the starter before making a repair decision on the Ignition, so do that first, then we'll get into testing the other.
To do that, you'll need to spend some money.
Do that and get back to me so we can go on from there.
To answer your question will depend on how much of a DIY'r you are: a little money or a lot but first we need to know so it will be a little.
Let me know.
I was a mechanic for almost 20 years and yes that was the first thing I did after putting it up on Jack stands. I hooked up my starter button and the heard the starter engage. This is when I started looking at the safety neutral switch and looking at the starter relay located in the engine compartment in the front left with the fuses. I exchanged the relay with the one next to it since they are the exact same relay. No change. I don't have a manual for this car so I found a schematic online and there shows some sort of starter relay that is supposed to be located under the right side of the dash near the blower motor, but I could not locate it. I started taking down the steering column last night to have a look at the ignition switch. But I didn't finish as it was late. Today at work I was online and found you, so I thought I would try and rack your brain about this. I've not been a working mechanic since the mid 90s. So this is somewhat new to me. Too bad it wasn't something easy like replacing the starter.
Good for you Rudy, I got away from Mechanics for over 20 years but got back into it in '86' and specialized this type of problem afer '92'. I ran into it so much I had to learn how to find it an fix it.
It's nice to know the guy on the other end can do stuff since changing your Ign is a job.
All righty then, since your starter turns you will need to stop at a parts supplier and pick up a new Ignition Lock Cylinder. Most people call this an Ignition Switch but you and I both know it isn't and most parts people with any experience know it too.
Your new switch will have an Orange insulator with two white wires inside and locking clips at the end.
To test your ign you will need two keys for your old lock and one must turn the ignition in your car now and the other must have a working chip.
Remove the modular wiring connection under your dash and unclip the turnsignal wiring connector so you can work on it and use a stiff spring end or a very, very, very small screwdriver end to remove the old white wires from the wiring block without damaging the holes. I use to use an old spring from a tilt wheel lock rod, but yours won't have one of these that can be used, the newer one's are too weak and too attached to the Ignition cam gear to be worth much for this job.
Once the old wires are removed insert the new wires and make sure they lock in place, then put the T/S connector back in the block and insert the modular assembly back into the receiver and screw it back on.
Once the wiring block is back in place use an old key to turn your ignition to crank with a chipped key plugged into the new ignition. The one lying on the floor under the dash.
Yea! I know it won't turn but just plug the chip key in anyway so we have a circuit with the right resistance value. The key in the old ignition doesn't even need a chip, or an ign for that matter, a pair of needlenose pliers will work just fine if the old lock is removed.
If it's the security system wiring from the old lock, it shoud fire right up, provided the battery isn't dead, or I was dead wrong.
If I'm right, and I have my fingers crossed, you won't need to buy any tools so all you'll need to so is buy a new key, OR TWO, for your new ignition and you're good to go.
I have my fingers crossed and I'll be available if needed.
I'll keep my fingers crossed just in case, and
Thank you John. I will get back to you either tonight or tomorrow on whether or not this works. Now that I think of it, it might even be tomorrow since it is Saturday and I'll have all day to play with it. Do you know if this is a dealer only item or Kragens or Napa or some sort of parts outlet might have this?
This isn't a dealer only part Rudy. It should be available Over the Counter anywhere you want to get it.
I use to buy ignitions at Auto Zone and O'Reilley's and other places when I was out of them.
Unless you like high prices I'd stay away from NAPA, they're high unless they've come down in the last few years.
Auto Zone or O'Reilley's should be cheapest, and since it's a new, not a re-built part, you can get it just about anywhere safely.
Getting a new key for one can be a problem on a weekend unless you know a locksmith that's open.
My new price, wholesale, for a key for your ign is $1.99 or $2.50 depending on its look GM or generic. What you'll pay, if you know the value of the key you need, will depend on how much the seller needs in profit.
By value, I mean the resistance value of the key chip.
Since the price of a chipped key is against you, I'd wait until I checked it to see if the fix worked, then I'd see about getting a new key or two for your new lock.
An exact cut is needed for this key so I'd stay away from mall kiosks and hardware stores for this type of key.
Let me know Rudy, if your need anything else, I'll be around all weekend, so just ask, and
I'll get back to you.
Ok, we'll talk then.
Good luck and have a good Easter.
I put the new Ignition Lock Cylinder in and did as you said. I put the old key with the correct code in it and turn the ignition with a pair of plyers and it fired right up. I went out to a local lock smith and had new keys at $20.00 each made. I brought them home and after installing the cylinder back into the steering column started the car again. But, when I put everything back together except the steering wheel and tried to start it again I found that the key would not turn at all. I put the key that came with the new cylinder back into the cylinder and the mechanism turn but did not start. I found that with the small device that goes in under the cylinder in the steering column it would not allow the key to turn, but when I took it out the key would turn. Both keys would turn even the new coded key would turn and start the engine. But as soon as I put that little device back in it was back to not turning. Only the key that came with the cyinder would turn. This device makes contact with a small tab that drops down from the bottom of the lock cylinder. I'm not sure what it's for but if it's pushed up into the cylinder the key won't go all the way into the cylinder like it does when I'm able to turn the cylinder with either key.
So now I'm thinking that maybe the cut on the key is off. I went back to the lock smith but they had already closed. Have you ever run into this weird problem? I thought I was done when the car started up. The little device has 2 little rabbit ear looking electrical contacts that point off and to the driver's side of the car. When I put the turn signal asy. back in there are 2 matching electric pads that make contact with the little device plugged in under the lock cylinder.
I hope you had a good Saturday. Mine started out great when the car started but now I can't finish because it is still not working correctly. I hope the lock smith is open in the morning.
Yea Rudy, that's why I sent you to a locksmith, but since you have a vats ignition, with an old fashioned Ignition Lock Cylinder, the little piece coming droping down from the lock is causing you trouble.
It's called the key sentry cam. At least I call it that.
This cam operates the little plastic piece that slides down into the housing and covers the screw that locks in your ignition lock.
For this to work properly you will need to pull the plastic part out of the housing and the spring that is probably still in the hole before you put the lock back in.
You see, there's only so much room in there and the new key may have a little larger profile than the master that came with the new lock. Whatever the reason, remove that stuff then install the new ignition lock, then the lock screw, and then you can re-install the spring and contact that fills that little rectangular hole.
This little spring is in the shape of a Double Bent pin, kind of like a Bobby Pin but with a leg on it, like the Toe of Italy. This toe fits along the bottom of the plastic and copper contact piece with the contact facing the Ignition Lock and the spring along the other side with the leg on the bottom.
This is a snug fit, for your hand and for the part and many people leave it out. Just be aware, if you leave it out you won't have a key sentry to tell you if you are leaving your key in the ignition so, keep a spare door key in your wallet if you think that's better for you.
With the key sentry correctly installed or thrown away, the lock should work correctly for you.
Since I always removed the contact and the spring I never had this problem, even the first time I did it on my old pickup. Just lucky I guess.
Anyway, you should not need to worry about a locksmith being open on Sunday, recidulous as that thought is, just go ahead and put the lock back in, with or without the key sentry and you should be good to go.
Enjoy your sunday dinner.
I put an extra $20.00 in here for you. Let me know if you got it.
Thanks for all your help.
That wasn't necessary Rudy.
My job, as I see it, is to help the people who need me.
Don't get me wrong, I like getting paid, but enough is enough already.
Again, it's not necessary, but thanks.
I guess that was the key sentry contact set getting in the way. Huh!
Happy Easter, and enough already