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Help!!!! My ss won't start...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a discussion on Help!!!! My ss won't start...!!!!!!!!!!!!!! within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hello All, I have a 2001 Camaro SS 1LE (6-Speed Manual) with 21,100 original miles on it. I bought it ...

  1. #1
    NastySS NastySS's Avatar
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    Help!!!! My ss won't start...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hello All,

    I have a 2001 Camaro SS 1LE (6-Speed Manual) with 21,100 original miles on it. I bought it in September 2012 with 19,000 miles on it, and it has been sitting all Winter long with a cover over it from Nov '12, until about 2 weeks ago. I had a previous '01 SS that I bought NEW and had it until 8-31-12 when it got totaled with 96,000 miles on it, so I know a bit about these cars. The only mods I have done so far to this car are (Free Ram Air Mod, SLP Lid, K&N, SLP 85 MM MAF, SLP Strut Tower Brace, Hypertech 160 degree Powerstat, Throttle Body Bypass, Hurst Comp Plus ST Shifter, and all Fluids to Synthetic (Engine, Trans, Rear)). I also changed the Anti-freeze, and as a precaution changed the three Radiator Hoses. The previous owner put an SLP Loudmouth Cat-Back on it, and that was all he did.

    Anyway, I have been driving it for the last 2 weeks with no issues. Two days ago on 6-6-12, I went out to start the car, and the Starter got no power when I turned the key. It didn't even try to turn over. The Battery is fine. When I release the key leaving it in the "On" position, the only 2 lights left lit on the dash are "Check Gauges" and "Service Engine Soon". I hooked up my OBD2 Scanner, and NO codes came back.

    Something nearly identical happened to my previous SS, but the "Security" light was on. This turned out to be the Ignition Switch, and I "Patched" the problem by overriding the VATS system by getting the Proper Resistor after measuring the Resistance of the Pellet in the Ignition Key. From what I have read here, it may be one of the following : Starter, Starter Relay, VATS, or the Ignition Switch. Since the car has such low mileage, that may rule out a few of these, but as we all know, anything can happen to a 12 year old car. I have no experience with Starter Relays or how to test if it had gone bad. I do know where it is located.

    I hope I have provided all pertinent information here for anyone willing to help me with this issue.

    As a starting measure, and since it was so easy and inexpensive, I have already measured the resistance of the key pellet. It came right in at 1130 (1.130K Ohms) in the "Nominal Column" (Pellet Code 5) on the chart of the 15 possible "Pass Key II Key Pellet Values". This is a chart I got here somewhere years ago when I last had this problem with my previous SS. I went to Radio Shack and the best they could do was to give me 2 Resistors that they said I would have to connect together (The counter guy is a student as the local Mechanics School, and told me he has studied car electronics extensively, and is very familiar with the VATS System). As a safeguard, I don't automatically believe everything I am told by a counter guy. He gave me a "1-kohm - 1 Watt Resistor" and a "220-Ohm - 1/2 Watt Resistor", which brings the total to "1.220 k Ohms", a bit higher than the pellet value of "1.130 k Ohms". I am not even sure if this is a good idea to string these together to test if overriding the VATS would work, and the fact that one resistor is 1 watt and the other resistor is 1/2 watt. JEEZ,,,,make sense to anyone?

    Any help or suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated. If you would like to talk to me on the phone for any reason to make communication easier, please PM me. THANKS!!!!

    Tom
    Last edited by NastySS; 06-09-2013 at 07:32 AM.

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    NastySS NastySS's Avatar
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    Man, I just went out to my car after 2 days of it NOT starting, and IT FIRED RIGHT UP!!! Now I have to worry about it happening somewhere besides home, where I was lucky enough to have it happen originally. GEEZZZ...!!!

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    NastySS NastySS's Avatar
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    Someone tried to update this post with a suggestion (I received the standard email when someone updates the post), but his update did not take for some unknown reason. I PM'd him, and he said it may be the "Starter Relay", and he suggested I swap a new one in to see if that makes the car start. This may happen again, and in a much more inconvenient place than my home. So, I did buy a new Starter Relay last night so I can try swapping it out if this happens again. At least I will be able to rule out the Relay if it does not fix the problem.

    I know there are MANY threads out there that are similar to this where members are unable to start their car, but I found none that are exactly like my particular situation. Although my car has since started without any intervention, I would still appreciate any comments or suggestion should this happen again.

    I think most of us know that there are many sub-systems in this car that are powered by incredibly THIN wires that tend to break INSIDE the wire casing, especially where there are sharp bends in the wire or where the wires tend to move a lot due to the motion of the car. In my previous SS, I had this happen in a wire attached to the left front ABS sensor in the back of the wheel HUB, and in a wire that powered the A/C compressor. The ABS and Traction Control were in-operational until I found the break inside the wire. For the A/C Compressor, it was easiest to just run a new wire from the fuse box under the A/C Relay to the Compressor, rather than trying to find the bad wire which was probably somewhere inside a harness who knows where. Thanks all.

    Tom

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Hey Tom I know it frustrating to have intermittent problem like yours. The starter relay is a good place to start since the relays can cause similar issues like the ones you describe. If the problem reoccurs(knock on wood it won't) and the security light is off then follow this thread to rule out is the starter.

    How to check if you have a bad starter

    I had the same problem on my old 88 crown vic years ago and turned out to be a bad ignition switch. As soon as I pulled it out it fell into pieces. Keep us posted.

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    NastySS NastySS's Avatar
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    Thank you for your input JayTA98, and the LINK.!! I really appreciate it. I will update this post if this ever happens again, along with my findings. Have a great week..!!

    Tom

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    I agree that relay is suspect. If it does it again open the fuse box under the hood and take the handle end of a screwdriver or something and pop that relay and then try it again and see if it starts. If so you know it was a sticking relay. Another thing it could be is a bad wire connection or corrosion on the battery ground cable. I know you said the battery was good but if there's a loose wire (especially ground) or a corroded ground the radio and everything might work fine but when you put the large amp draw from the starter it shuts down. Normally when that happens your radio will go off, lights will dim, ect ect when you turn the key to run. Just something else to check in case the relay is fine. I would give that ground wire from the battery a look and your hot wire back to the alternator and then over to the fuse box a look. I've seen those ground wires corrode inside the shielding. At a glance the wire looks fine but if you peel just a little bit of the shield back from the connector it'll be green.

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    NastySS NastySS's Avatar
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    Thanks for chiming in Orion. I will definitely check those things out. With only 21,465 posts, I will just assume you've had a little bit of experience working on and helping with a few issues...:-) Yes, I have already experienced 2 serious issues caused by wire corrosion INSIDE an undamaged wire casing, with my previous Camaro SS. So, I can totally relate to this possibility. Much appreciated......!

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    Mid-West Member Obsession's Avatar
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    I don't mean to sound like a broken record but I had the same thing happen to me in my 02 WS6 T/A I was frustrated because I could turn the key on and hear the fuel pump come on. I went to the relays located under the hood and started to swap relays thet was the same and that is what the problem was so I got a new relay costing about $27.00 I hope this helps

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    I'm going off memory here but I believe the air pump relay is the same?? Or am I thinking fuel pump and air pump are the same.....maybe it's fuel pump. I would have to go look. If it's the same I have my air pump relay here...pm me your address and I'll mail it to you if it's the same relay. I'd have to look. Now I'm doubting myself.....think I'm thinking about the fuel pump.

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