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car not starting, electronics dont work when turning key.

This is a discussion on car not starting, electronics dont work when turning key. within the LT1 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; car has been doing fine. over the weekend it had some slow starts, battery was bad (low voltage and case ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    white
    1995 z28

    car not starting, electronics dont work when turning key.

    car has been doing fine. over the weekend it had some slow starts, battery was bad (low voltage and case was bowing out). replaced it and all was well.

    yesterday - no problems, until i went to come home. the car was turning over, and over, and over. no fire. waited a sec and tries again, cranked and drove it home fine.

    this morning - turn the key, nothing. it beeps with the key in and door open. headlights work. remote works. accessory position doesnt turn anythign on, run position doesnt turn anytthing on. checked fuses for PCM, crank, ignition, accessories, and a couple other but i was late for work and had to take the trusty 85 caprice classic.

    so im sitting here brainstorming. the car is getting low gas mileage (11/19. no codes, no driveability problems), cooling problems (fans wont come on. replaced sensors/relays, etc.), and now this.

    looks like im going to have to take it to someone with diagnostic equipment and get charged out the rear to get it straigthened out.

    edit: 95 z28 a4
    61k miles
    Last edited by maleman876; 12-20-2005 at 05:33 AM.

  2. #2
    lt4ever
    Guest
    Sounds like either an electrical short that's causing a drain on the battery, or your alternator could be going. My Hanes manual describes a method for checking if you have a short causing a drain on the battery (I don't recall the method at this time) and you could pull the alternator yourself and bring it to an Auto Zone and they'll check it for free.

  3. #3
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    white
    1995 z28

    got out there with a wiring diagram and a multimeter. fuses are all good. battery is putting out 12.5V

    PCM fuse - has voltage
    PCM IGN fuse - no voltage with key in any position
    ignition fuse - no voltage with key in any position

    according to the wiring diagram the PCM IGN and Ignition fuses should have voltage with the key in the run/start position. this would point to either the PCM itself or the ignition cylinder.

    also, the radio/accessories do not work at all with the key in any position. this points to the ignition cylinder.

    so im thinking its the ignition cylinder
    any way to confirm this for 100% before i go get molested by the repair shop and i bet this is a dealer-only deal too

  4. #4
    Member Since Aug 2000 LS1 Eddie's Avatar
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    When my car did what your was doing, I had to have it flatbeded to the dealer, and it ended up needing a new battery and battery tray.They were able to lift the battery right out, it was not secure. I know it sounds small, but it sounds similar, and that was the problem. Just a thought.

  5. #5
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    actually i fixed it but forgot to post back here what it was.

    i was talking to a GM mechanic at the dealer today about what all ive found. he said to check the little rod that runs down the steering column that moves up and down when you turn the key. it hits a switch at the bottom that actually does the accessories and starting and such.

    i get under there, and have the key in run (because in "off" the beeping gets annoying), and im following down the rod with my hands and lo and behold the lights come on and the fuel pump starts, i turn the key the rest of the way and it cranks! i guess i bumped the wiring around and something was loose before?

    i reassembled everything and tried it, it still works. i shook the steering column around, still works. i didnt actually get down in there too much for fear (paranoia) or an air bag going off. to really get at the switch thing i would have to drop the steering column because its on the top between the column and the bottom of the instrument panel.

    my question is: has this happened to anyone else? do i need to replace whatever little switch the rod goes into? is disabling the airbags (remove fuse and the plug for each bag according to the haynes manual) 100% safe?

  6. #6
    lt4ever
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    Holy crap batman.... I'd never heard of such a thing. So this "rod" is located on top of the steering column? Is it a solid rod that actuates a mechanical switch or from your description, the rod almost sounds like electical wire. Which is it?

    I personally wouldn't worry to much about the air bags. I've been under my kick plate on the drivers side so many times that I can even get comfortable laying on my back looking up into the mess of wires. I've replaced the ABS brake "PCM", hot wired my electric cooling fan switch to turn them on manually, ran fog light wiring thru the firewall connecting to the headlight switch, and ran more wire thru a hole I drilled in the firewall to run wires and vacuum/ boost gauage tubing. I just don't mess with the yellow wires and the fuses. Maybe I've been lucky so far... but I'm a bull in a china shop when I get pissed off and working on cars.. tends to piss me off sometimes. Disconnect the battery and stay away from the wires the best you can... and to be safe... remove the fuses of the airbags.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lt4ever
    Holy crap batman.... I'd never heard of such a thing. So this "rod" is located on top of the steering column? Is it a solid rod that actuates a mechanical switch or from your description, the rod almost sounds like electical wire. Which is it?
    this is a mechanical rod about 1/8" diameter that moves up and down as you turn the key. theres a switch on top of the steering column above the pedals that it goes into that does the off/run/start/acc stuff. theres a second rod that actuates the hi/lo beam switch in the same area.

  8. #8
    lt4ever
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    The loose electrical connection is probably inside that switch and chances are that switch is probably a dealer only item... for about $1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bucks!

  9. #9
    Ole Skool Shoyoas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maleman876 View Post
    this is a mechanical rod about 1/8" diameter that moves up and down as you turn the key. theres a switch on top of the steering column above the pedals that it goes into that does the off/run/start/acc stuff. theres a second rod that actuates the hi/lo beam switch in the same area.
    yeah, back in the day GM was notorious for these columns. that's why the f and g bodies where high on the theft list. people in my home town knew about these rods on the tilt and straight neck versions. the police used to spot stolen cars because that high beam rod would become dislocated when the column was cracked by the theif. so they'd see the high beams at night and know it was a stolen vehicle.

  10. #10
    Dealing Powder ntimid8r7's Avatar
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    1994 Z28 MQBM
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    4 year old threads never die! lol

  11. #11
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    Well, there isn't much else going on in this section!

    I had a co-worker that went back home to Texas. She said that her town was so small that they would hang out at "the light" - being the only traffic signal in town.

  12. #12
    Homebrew Master irishpenguin13's Avatar
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    damn technology.

  13. #13
    Impounded
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z28srock View Post
    Well, there isn't much else going on in this section!

    I had a co-worker that went back home to Texas. She said that her town was so small that they would hang out at "the light" - being the only traffic signal in town.
    Sounds like it came right outta the movie CARS

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