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Car does not start, does not turn over

This is a discussion on Car does not start, does not turn over within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I'm about out of options. And about finished with this car. '99 Trans Am, M6 When turning the key, the ...

  1. #1
    Member transAMchubby's Avatar
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    Car does not start, does not turn over

    I'm about out of options. And about finished with this car.
    '99 Trans Am, M6
    When turning the key, the engine does not turn over, starter does not click or tick or make any noise what so ever like it is trying to start.

    I drove my gf and I on a date about a month ago. Came out, and the car would not start. Would not turn over, or even click. She has AAA so the AAA truck shows up, he tests the battery and says it is just fine.

    Security light is not on, not flashing. It does light up when turning the key, along with every other light on the dash, then they go off just like a normal startup sequence. Just to rule it out, I turn the key, then sit and wait at least 3 minutes, then turn key off, then try to start car. Nothing changes.

    After trying a few things including knocking on the starter with a hammer handle, then a screw driver handle, while turning the key, no change.
    I switched the starter relay with all 3 fan relays, no change.
    We ended up pushing the car, popping the clutch, and I drove straight home, parked in the garage.

    I took the starter off, took it to Advance Auto Parts: hooked it up to the tester and it spun immediately. The guy there is familiar with f-bodies (has a camaro and is active on a local racing forum) and said the starter sounds normal. Put the starter back on, no change. Still won't start.

    I bypassed the clutch switch today, still no change.
    Took the battery to get tested and charged at O'Reilley's. The guy there said it is good, needed a charge, but the battery is still good. Re-installed, nothing. Still not even a click from the starter.

    Sanded the connectors and brass bolts to the battery, nice and shiny (same as the connectors at the starter.) Still nothing.

    All the fuses look good, and even swapped the IGN and Starter fuses with others to make sure. Nothing changes.

    I have an OHM-meter (ameter?) on its way over this evening that I will use to check the key and do the VATS bypass just to rule that out, but again, the security light is not on, is not flashing.

    I have an INNOVA 3030 OBD2 scanner which will not pick up dealer codes, and I hooked it up: no non-dealer codes. Dealer wants $135 just to plug in their computer and check for codes (which takes all of 2 minutes to do) but I refuse to support that kind of BS from a dealership (a one hour tech charge for 2 minutes of work). Is there any other kind of shop that might carry the same type of scanner?

    Now my garage drywall has a hole in it the size of my hand, and I cant drive my car without parking on hills. I do have a daily driver, but I need to get this trans am running again.

    Any other ideas? At this point I'm desperate.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Member transAMchubby's Avatar
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    ohm-meter set to 20k ohm setting: reading is 1.85
    This corresponds to GM key number 7 which has a resistor of 1.87. I'm going to try finding resistors and bypassing the VATS. Will post results.

  3. #3
    Member transAMchubby's Avatar
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    so, I bypassed the VATS today. it Didn't help anything. I had a buddy help who has done his before, and after trying to start the car (nothing happened) I removed the resistor, tried to start it again, and the security light started flashing. so I plugged in the VATS again and the security light didnt flash. ruling that out.

    i'm going to go ahead and get a starter, replace that, and if it fixes it then i'm set. if not, i'll take it back off and return it.

    thanks so far for the help. if its not the starter at that point, then i'm going to get ahold of a wiring diagram and start diagnosing other components on the same circuit as the starter. i'll have to get ahold of a multimeter at that point.

  4. #4
    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    OK. Is the battery the original Delco? I ask as they are known to leak and the negative terminal has a tendency to separate from the battery casing causing a no-start or the negative terminal would just simply fall out. The VATS doesn't seem to be the culprit nor is the starter. Is it hard to turn the key in the lock cylinder in the column? You could have a faulty BCM as well. Keep us posted.

  5. #5
    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    Sounds like it could be the ignition cylinder. Remember it's the second part to alot of things your checked off already.

    I had to replace it on mine and I had very similar conditions that you do.

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    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    I would check to see if you are getting any voltage to the starter relay when turning the key. If not, I'd suspect the ignition cylinder as stated. If you have voltage, trace from the relay out to see where it's being lost.

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    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Try the ignition switch. That would be my first guess. Then I would check the body mount computer. After that I would try the battery. It may have internal issues and not make contact when a load is put on it. Good luck, let us know how you make out.

  8. #8
    Member transAMchubby's Avatar
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    thanks for all the help and ideas so far...i'll see what i can do before the weekend. just so busy with work and class.

  9. #9
    Member transAMchubby's Avatar
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    well, still searching. when I bypassed the VATS there was this click (or tick, or pop, or light bang) that happened when releasing from turning the key, and only made one "click." It came from kind of within the dash, but was easier to hear from under the hood up by the clutch fluid reservoir. My buddy and I figure it was related to the relay "kicking." In addition to taking his working starter relay out of his t/a to try, we determined the relay is again not the issue.
    I put a new starter on tonight (just wired it, didnt blot it in) and a new starter changed nothing. i had this suspicion, but figured i would at least give it a try.

    i'm going to start searching for 2 things: a wire issue; and someone in the St. Louis area that might be able to replace the ignition cylinder (or a walkthrough)...
    again, thanks for the help so far. i'll keep this thread posted and will definitely let you all know what the culprit is if i ever find it.

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    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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  11. #11
    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    Let us know if you need anything else.

  12. #12
    Member ls1ws6ben's Avatar
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    ok so i had an issue like this in my TA a few months ago.. drove it from my work place to the store.. came back out and it wouldnt start, no gauges worked, nothing.. called a friend of mine that is a mechanic.. it was a blown fuse for the gauges.. i think it was a 10 amp fuse.. he told me to put a 15 amp in there.. went to lowes next door and got some fuses and put in a 15 amp fuse and it fired right up.. i would have never guessed a gauge fuse being blown would stop a car from starting.. sorry i didnt see this post sooner, but try that.. its really going to suck that you have gone through all of this and it is that blown fuse.. i was lucky and called my mechanic right away.. hope this is all thats wrong.. its always the smallest things we over look!

  13. #13
    Member transAMchubby's Avatar
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    i got some results...I took the car to an LS-anything genius, CBI just outside St. Louis, MO.
    Turns out the ground to the starter relay was bad. now it's fixed and I'm picking it up this weekend.
    big thanks to CBI! and thanks to all the suggestions and help in this thread!

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    I am literally having the same issues as you, even went through the same damn processes of replacing all the parts. Batteries, VATS Bypass, starter, etc.. The last idea would have been the ignition cylinder lock, however with your results a buddy of mine will be printing out wiring diagrams and check that tomorrow afternoon. The only additional problem I have is that when I go to try and start the vehicle it blows out my 50 amp ignition fuse. I'll let you know the results tomorrow but if anyone has additional information on other possible ideas please help! I'm seriously fed up with this car and about to freaking dump it.

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    If your blowing fuses, sounds like a dead short. Would be looking for a burnt or bad wire ...... Good luck.

  16. #16
    Member transAMchubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerIcK View Post
    I am literally having the same issues as you, even went through the same damn processes of replacing all the parts. Batteries, VATS Bypass, starter, etc.. The last idea would have been the ignition cylinder lock, however with your results a buddy of mine will be printing out wiring diagrams and check that tomorrow afternoon. The only additional problem I have is that when I go to try and start the vehicle it blows out my 50 amp ignition fuse. I'll let you know the results tomorrow but if anyone has additional information on other possible ideas please help! I'm seriously fed up with this car and about to freaking dump it.
    Best of luck jerick. I thought I'd just dump the car when I couldn't figure it out. Now I have a better understanding of the fbody and the term "electrical gremlins!"

    I've been daily driving mine for 2 months, did a burnout on an entrance ramp last night, and am glad to have it back. The only fall out I have now is the trip meter resets every time I shut off the car. Oh well.
    Keep pushing forward man
    '99 Trans Am Pewter M6
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    I know members here scream about SeaFoam. Many voted for Obama also.

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    Ended up fixing it after-all.
    Things I changed:
    1. New Battery
    2. Ignition Switch
    3. Ignition Relay
    4. Did the VATS bypass.

    Now shes running good as new and no more security light! haha... still thinking about getting rid of it, shes a headache and a half especially when I need her as a daily driver!

  18. #18
    Member transAMchubby's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you got it worked out!

    If it weren't for having another car to use as a daily driver I wouldn't be able to rely on my t/a and would have to ditch it. I just beat on it too much for it to be reliable.

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    Junior Member arvizu9618's Avatar
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    More info needed

    Quote Originally Posted by transAMchubby View Post
    i got some results...I took the car to an LS-anything genius, CBI just outside St. Louis, MO.
    Turns out the ground to the starter relay was bad. now it's fixed and I'm picking it up this weekend.
    big thanks to CBI! and thanks to all the suggestions and help in this thread!
    The ground to the starter relay comes from the BCM when you turn your key to Start. I've got the same problem as you had and have already put a permanent ground on the starter relay, which bypasses the BCM. Still have random no start condition. What did they really do to fix your problem? Thx

  20. #20
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    ASVIZU9618 you do realized your responding to a 3 year old reply/thread.

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