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not in the greatest of moods

This is a discussion on not in the greatest of moods within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; So i got my car in october and it has been the biggest pile of crap. it is a 2000 ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member zach_ws6's Avatar
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    not in the greatest of moods

    So i got my car in october and it has been the biggest pile of crap. it is a 2000 ws6. problems include:
    1.the car will randomly not start. i turn the key and nothing will happen. then after 25 plus times of turning the key, it will fire up.
    2.headunit does not work at all.
    3.i know they are known for this, but my passenger window motor is shot.
    4. my whole alarm security system is completely screwed up. this is just one of the problems that has to do with it, but when i click the lock button, my headlights flip up and down, then they proceed to do problem number 5. also, my alarm goes off after i click my lock button, then i have to press the lock button again to turn it off.
    5.when i turn my lights off, the drivers side light makes this god aweful noise after the light is already down. it lasts for over 5 seconds, but it is extremely loud.
    6. i took my car to the track one time, and now my 3rd gear is just about useless to me. but atleast that happened because of a reason i know of.
    7. my gas gauge does not work
    8. my tripometer has a mind of its own

    thats not even all the problems. i dont mean to sound like a whiney bitch. it is just very depressing. i am young, i dont have lots of money. i pay for the car, the mods, and insurance with my money. not to mention i have another vehicle that i pay for and try to fund that project as well.
    i hate how i spent $13,000 on this car and it has been nothing but trouble.
    do the camaros do this?
    GM really let me down on this one. maybe i should have gotten a mustang instead.
    i dont know if i am exactly looking for help to solve these problems at this point in time, but i am extremely frustrated. the car is at a point where it is barely even drivable, it sure as hell isnt dependable.

  2. #2
    Member BlinkFan0072's Avatar
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    alright i understand your mood but lets calm down and take a look at it. i too am young and poor (no offense). which is why i got my car it's a 98 z has lights out all over the dash and headunit. it keeps throwing a p1416 code and it kinda pings when it's cold needless to say i started talking about all this and realized i was being a whiney bitch like you said. it has 126000 miles on it starts up first try carries good oil pressure runs great and averages 22-25 in town gas milage and 30-32 interstate. can't beat that! and by the way ls1's are VERY reliable. now lets look at your problems

    doesn't start first try.. on my key there is a little black chip that has a code in it. not sure if they have this on pontiacs but if somethings wrong with it (water inside, cracked, or anything else) it might not start could also be your ignition. both are reasonably cheap and that would solve alot of trouble.

    second. your headunit, CHECK FUSES, if that doesn't work check pawn shops and ebay heck if you wanted to.. go pick up a special at wal mart or circut city and install it.. overall wouldn't be concerned about it. or if you want i'm putting in a system for my seinior project this fall. if you'll pay shipping i'll send you mine FREE OF CHARGE!. but like i said this is not essential for reliable transportation. it's electronic. these things will break

    third. window motors... both mine are going just use it till it goes then spend 20 bucks and get a new one (i'll look for the place i saw them for 20 bucks and get back to you with it)

    fourth. alarm system...common problem open your rear hatch.. take off the cover for your spare tire and you will see a little black box there will be a knob on there (probably white) turn it all the way down. this is the sensitivity switch for your alarm) mine was adjusted so high that when you locked the doors the alarm would go off.. but easy fix. if that doesn't work unplug the wire that runs to the box. the clicker will still work and screw the alarm thats what i said.

    fifth. never had anything with flip up headlights so can't really help you there my guess would be the motor is going out or hey may just need some oiling or adjusting. like i said these things will break weather it be ford chevy or dodge electronics will fail.

    sixth. i assume your driving a m6 so yeah have to get used to 3rd gear check out a new shifter if it bothers you, but otherwise just keep trying.

    seventh.. my gas gauge is off by about a 16 of a tank. check your fuses. if that doesn't work and your that worried about it take it to a shop and have the new sensor put in there total cost for a new fuel pump installed and a new sensor and fuel pump was 550.. steep but i think you can ball park it till you get the money just don't let it get too low since the pump is cooled by the gas in the tank

    eighth.. yeah good luck with that one

    but enjoy your car a ws6 is not a car to be trifled with heck i already respect you. and i can promise you those mustangs will. look at it like this, a brand new mustang with working stereo, windows, alarm, gas gauge (that works) and trip odometer (that works) still can't catch you.... besides anything goes wrong with your car you got us to talk to and i can tell you the people on this site are willing and able to get you headed in the right direction

    good luck!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Orcus79's Avatar
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    Check all your fuses and all the harness you can get to, almost sounds as if someone in the past added some stuff and f'ed up the wiring. look for missing and broken grounds, stretched wires any thing thats seems abmormal. Start by removing the cover under the steering columb and look for bundel of e-tape that don't look stock and type of crymp, from there follow it back to the fuse block then to main harness in the engin bay right back to the battery. Yout head light isssue with motor making nooise in the gear box attached to the motor chances are the gears are stripped/ing, just replace it with a good one, and good luck.

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    Member Transam388's Avatar
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    I can help at least on the headlight issue. Like was said in the previous the gears inside the headlight motor are plastic and get stripped. You can do two things. The first will work for a while but you will run into the same deal. You should notice on the top of the headlight motor a heax looking deal in the middle on top of a spinner. If you remove the linkage from the side of the motor that goes to the headlight then spin that motor deal I spoke of you will notice the mount where the linkage was move. Spin the top till that is basically 180'ed. This will get the gear inside the motor onto a side that is not as stripped. Re assemble and try the lights. This is only a temp fix though.
    Second, on Ebay you can find steel headlight gears to put in the motors. This you will need to take the motor out and put the gear in which although not to difficult can be tedious at times. Once the steel gear is in though make sure to use TONS of epoxy on the cap you took off to get the gear in. I did this on mine and have not had any more problems. As all have said, good luck!!
    98 T/A: HPE 5.3 Heads, 238/242 113 cam, Kooks 1 7/8 stepped LT headers, Custom Y pipe, Cut out, Borla, NW 90MM TB, FAST 90MM Intake, TB Bypass, Under Drive Power steering and Crank, 150 Dry NOS, Yella Terra rockers, 3400 TC, HPE tuning,

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    Moo cow f**k milk Demon_Speeding's Avatar
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    The not starting definitely sounds like the VATS system. The "chip" in the key is nothing more than a resistor. There are contacts in the ignition switch. The PCM needs to read a certain resistance to allow the car to starts. Sometimes it's the key, and on more rare occasions it's the ignition switch. You mentioned you have two vehicles...Maybe you could find someone close to you with LS1Edit or HPTuners. I'd be if they can do your model year you could probably throw a 6-pack or a value meal their way and they'd hook up to your PCM and disable the VATS system.

    I hate to tell you, but the window motors are an F-body tradition.

    It sounds like somebody had an aftermarket alarm on your car and really dee-dee-dee'd the wiring either when they put it back to stock or during the install.


    Blinkfan0072; You could pick up a couple packs of light bulbs for your instrument cluster for a few bucks. It's not too hard to remove/re-install. The bulbs have a little socket they plug into and it twists/locks into the cluster.

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    10 year lurker DrMilhouse's Avatar
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    Well, believe me, I definitely can understand the frustration. I've had plenty of other issues in dealing with my car. The good thing is, you've got a place like this one where you can come to for a wealth of help for free. People here don't steer you wrong and are really just here to help. It's not quite the same as taking your car to the shop where there's money to be made by telling you something is broken when there's a pretty easy solution.

    Here's my response to your issues.

    The not starting thing... 90% sure that's VATS, and there's a really simple solution to that. You find out the resistance of your chip in your key. Use a multimeter and put a probe on each side of the chip in the key. Once you know the resistance, you can wire a resistor of that value under the dash. It'll cost about 50 cents to $1 to fix it. It'll take about 15 - 20 minutes if you DON'T know what you're doing.

    Head unit doesn't work? Is it a factory head unit or is it after market? Start with the fuses, if all your fuses are good, we'll go from there.

    The window motor? Yep, it's gonna happen at some point, just like warped rotors. easy fix on that one (not free though). If you have a friend in a shop, they can get ya the new window motor for like $60 or something like that. Retail I think is like $90 or $110 or something like that. Complete detailed instructions: Click here

    Head light problems? here is your solution (yes, I know it's a read, but it's worthwhile. Free fix as well as an upgraded gear available on their site).

    3rd gear? What happens when you try to use it?

    Gas guage? Does it read ANYTHING or is it just off by a bit? Fuses fuses fuses! If it's reading, but it's off, then I'd say you need a new sensor.

    Tripometer? Does it reset at pretty much random times when you come back to the car? Does it read correctly until it's reset (either manually or by this "fluke"). Tell us a little more.

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    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    I can email you the instructions for the vats bypass w/pictures if you want....post or pm me your email. I did it on my Z and it works great....it turned out my ignition cylinder was bad. Is your security light on or flashing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon Speeding
    The not starting definitely sounds like the VATS system. The "chip" in the key is nothing more than a resistor. There are contacts in the ignition switch. The PCM needs to read a certain resistance to allow the car to starts. Sometimes it's the key, and on more rare occasions it's the ignition switch. You mentioned you have two vehicles...Maybe you could find someone close to you with LS1Edit or HPTuners. I'd be if they can do your model year you could probably throw a 6-pack or a value meal their way and they'd hook up to your PCM and disable the VATS system
    The resistance value in the key is actually stored in the BCM....i'm not sure you can tune it out or not. Like demon speeding said, the prob is either with your key...the contacts or wireing for the ignition cylinder...or the BCM and/or the wiring going to the BCM. You'll have to buy/rent a multi-meter and follow the instructions I can send you to narrow it down.

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    Member BlinkFan0072's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demon_Speeding
    Blinkfan0072; You could pick up a couple packs of light bulbs for your instrument cluster for a few bucks. It's not too hard to remove/re-install. The bulbs have a little socket they plug into and it twists/locks into the cluster.
    yeah i checked all the fueses and they're all good so i know it's the bulbs i'll do it when i get the time.. thanks though!

  9. #9
    Senior Junior Member warpwr's Avatar
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    One other thing. Did you carfax this car before you bought it?
    I have heard many cars (all kinds) are coming out of New Orleans and the surrounding hurricane area. These are being sold around the country after just enough reconditioning to put 'em out there.

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    Junior Member zach_ws6's Avatar
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    Well thanks for everybody's suggestions and advice. i really do appreciate it. there is so much wrong i didnt even know where to start. my other hobby is my jeep cherokee. i am into building jeeps up and then going on crazy trails. but my point about my jeep is that it is a decade older than my car and way more miles on it, but it has no problems at all. i am just shocked at how much has gone wrong with my trans am. basically so many damn electronical and computer problems i guess.

    to answer some of the questions:
    my head unit is stock, and i did check fuses. they are all good.
    my 3rd gear...well the shifter barely makes it far enough into 3rd gear for me to use it. like there is a block there now (thats what it feels like) and i cant down shift into 3rd, it just stays in nuetral. i spoke to a knowledgeable guy, he explained what the problem probably is.
    my gas gauge sometimes will not go up at all, and even if it does, it will just go back down to empty. oh, and i understand some of you gave me advice about this already, i am just answering a few questions people asked just to be a little more specific.
    the tripometer, it will randomly decide to go back to zero while i am driving. its not a big deal, but its obviously not supposed to do that.

    thanks again for everybody thats helping me through this crisis, i need to stop hating my car.

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    Junior Member zach_ws6's Avatar
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    oh...and yes i did carfax it. good point though.

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    Western Maryland LS1's
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    My Two Cents

    Take a deep breath, print all these responses to your post, grab a beer and a note pad and make a plan of action to fix your car. All the stuff you mention has been dealt with here by some cool folks on this board.

    I will tell you, start with the window motor, there is a sticky on the main page that will get you through that. Get the motor from Auto Zone - $55.00 and a lifetime warranty. i just did mine and when I put the old and new motors next to each other it was obvious that the Dorman motor from Auto Zone is superior to the crap GM uses. Do one or two things a weekend and a month from now you'll be in love with your car again.

    I was driving mine with no AC and a FU drivers side window motor. I replaced the motor sunday, and my neighbor (who is an excellent mech) charged up the AC tonight and i swear the car picked up 1000 HP, and looks better too! LOL

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    10 year lurker DrMilhouse's Avatar
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    Hey man, how's things with your car? have you started doing anything to get it back to being a car you enjoy? What's the attack plan?

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    Evr sena bdgr killa snak? Roastem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demon_Speeding
    I hate to tell you, but the window motors are an F-body tradition.
    I am starting to think it is a Chevy tradition. Mine are acting lazy as hell, and in 88 GMC stepside, I think I have replaced both window motors over the span of 18 years. (damn, 18 years, I am getting old)

    The 01 Cobra's driver's side window motor went out at 80000 miles, so at least Ford is also in the "can't make a reliable window motor to save my ass" boat.

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    Junior Member zach_ws6's Avatar
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    yea, i am getting a plan started. for starters, i disconnected my alarm. it solved one of the small issues.

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    Junior Member
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    Well i had the same issue with not getting my car started its a rare thing people think it is the key.. but in my case it was not the key. It was a 14.99 part from napa the ignition relay located under the hood my car did it the second day i've own'd it i just couldnt get it started. and another thing with the cars problems think about the speed you get by owning this car you could give it up but when your done you can still look back at the car and all the work you've done to it and how much potential it realy has ahead of it. and hows the tranny's 3rd gear?

  17. #17
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    I may be able to get you started on your fuel gauge. I had tons of problems with mine this spring and finally got it sorted out. My car is a 98 but the ohm readings should be the same. Previous GM level senders used 0-90 ohms 90 ohms being a full tank. Our cars use 40-259 ohms with 259ohms being full. You have to test across the plug coming out of the tank. On the 98's it goes straight to the rear firewall but I'm not completely sure where it is on the 99+ cars. Either way, find the plug coming out of the tank and test ohms with the key off across the blk/white wire and the purple wire. That should tell you if your sending unit is at least sending something out of the tank. While you're back there test acoss the ground and make sure you don't have a bad ground. It sounds like someone done a hack job on some wiring on your car at some point. Hate to hear your having all these problems. Some of them are just f-body problems ( window motor and headlight motor) but the wiring side sounds like a hack job.
    I'm having the headlight problem as we speak and have the metal gears here. Just have to install them. I tried flipping the gear but it didn't work for me. I'd suggest trying that first because it took me all of 15 minutes to do. Piece of cake and if it works it may last you quite a while before you have to replace the gear.
    Tackle all of these problems one at a time and you'll get it sorted out. Let me know if you're getting any ohm readings from the tank on that sender. Also might want to look and see if there's a relay box under the brake line bracket back there to see if someone put a techtronix kit on it. Maybe their ground isn't good and you can redo the ground there. Just a thought.

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    Junior Member zach_ws6's Avatar
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    hey, thanks yet again for more advice guys. you all are kick ass!

    amit...you asked about my 3rd gear. oddly enough, it seems to be getting better, like the more i drive it. i was thinking i bent something when i was shifting hard at the track. after that, it wouldnt even let me downshift into 3rd. now it lets me. IDK. we'll see how that goes. dont short throw kits have a "stop" on them to keep from bending some parts in the tranny. i need to get one.

    Orion, i will agree with your comment about the wiring hack job. that is what it seems like. although my car was bonestock when i got it. but who knows....

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    I got the drver side window motor problem really bad. Not only is it annoying
    but one day at the strip it caused me embarasement. I had the window
    down waiting to go to the line. The guy signalled me to roll up my window and
    proceed to the line. It wouldn't roll up and I had to drive it to the side
    because of window failure.

  20. #20
    Junior Member zach_ws6's Avatar
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    so i fixed my headlight problem. yes!
    i went to the link that drmilhouse posted up and read through all of that.
    i took apart my whole headlight assembly and took the headlight motor off, and inside was the crappy plastic gear. teeth were chipped horribly bad. but only half of that gear is used, so i rotated it 180 degrees. now it works perfect. but eventually i am going to get the brass gear to fix it better.
    and the lights acting retarded and flipping up and down for the stupidest reasons, was directly related to this, now it all works. cool. thanks!

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