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Old 05-12-2005, 10:08 AM   #1
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'98 Ignition switch/VATS problem ?

I have a '98 Z28 and am having starting problems. All circuits are powered up with the key on but the starter won't engage, so I've pretty much narrowed it down to the ignition switch/key/VATS. When the problem began, the car would start intermittently/randomly, and when it wouldn't, it would usually start if I removed and reinserted the key in a slightly different position, usually requiring multiple attempts. I think perhaps that's a clue the VATS isn't seeing the resistance value in the key? This approach is becoming less effective and most times it won't start at all now. I've read the excllent VATS info on Shoebox's site, but the info is for LT1 cars. Can anyone tell me if the info, specifically bypassing the resistor pellet in the key with a like value resistor wired into the harness, is applicable to my '98 LS1? If not, any suggestions on how to verify the problem and cure without replacing the switch? Thanks,

Bob
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Old 05-12-2005, 06:12 PM   #2
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Re: '98 Ignition switch/VATS problem ?

if its a stick check your clutch saftey switch.
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Old 05-12-2005, 10:04 PM   #3
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Re: '98 Ignition switch/VATS problem ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 96formulaLT1
if its a stick check your clutch saftey switch.
Thanks for the response. Should have stated it's an auto, not a stick. But it occurs to me that a defective neutral start switch could have the same affect. After playing around with shifter postion, it didn't seem to make any difference, while moving the key slightly did.

Bob
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Old 05-12-2005, 10:15 PM   #4
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Re: '98 Ignition switch/VATS problem ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobscogin
Thanks for the response. Should have stated it's an auto, not a stick. But it occurs to me that a defective neutral start switch could have the same affect. After playing around with shifter postion, it didn't seem to make any difference, while moving the key slightly did.

Bob
If its Vats related you should get a security light. Are you getting the light? If not i'd look at ignition switch.
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Old 05-13-2005, 07:43 AM   #5
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Re: '98 Ignition switch/VATS problem ?

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Originally Posted by Z95m6
If its Vats related you should get a security light. Are you getting the light? If not i'd look at ignition switch.
When I turn the key to the "on" position, all circuits power up, I can hear the fuel pump run momentarily and all the following dash lights illuminate: ABS INOP , LOW TRAC , Air bag, Security, Service Engine Soon and Check Gauges. After a few seconds, all go out (including security) except the "Check Gauges" and "Service Engine" lights. I'd expect those to remain illuminated with switch in "on" position and engine not running. When I then turn the key to the start position, the "Security" light does not come back on. If I'm understanding correctly, I think you're implying that if it was a VATS problem (switch not recognizing key), the "Security" light would come back on? Thanks,

Bob
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Old 05-13-2005, 09:20 AM   #6
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Re: '98 Ignition switch/VATS problem ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobscogin
When I turn the key to the "on" position, all circuits power up, I can hear the fuel pump run momentarily and all the following dash lights illuminate: ABS INOP , LOW TRAC , Air bag, Security, Service Engine Soon and Check Gauges. After a few seconds, all go out (including security) except the "Check Gauges" and "Service Engine" lights. I'd expect those to remain illuminated with switch in "on" position and engine not running. When I then turn the key to the start position, the "Security" light does not come back on. If I'm understanding correctly, I think you're implying that if it was a VATS problem (switch not recognizing key), the "Security" light would come back on? Thanks,

Bob
Yes, if your car is anything like the LT1 cars if you have a Vats problem, like the car not recognizing the key, you will get a security light and not beable to start the car for 3 mins. It should explain the security light in your owners manual. I would suggest you look at the ignition switch in my opinion.
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Old 05-13-2005, 02:59 PM   #7
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Re: '98 Ignition switch/VATS problem ?

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Originally Posted by Z95m6
Yes, if your car is anything like the LT1 cars if you have a Vats problem, like the car not recognizing the key, you will get a security light and not beable to start the car for 3 mins. It should explain the security light in your owners manual. I would suggest you look at the ignition switch in my opinion.
Here's an interesting development. When I *slowly* rotate the ignition switch from the "ON" position to the "START" position, there are two relays that energize in sequence. About 1/4 way throught the switch rotation, a relay somewhere under the hood energizes and turns off the headlights, apparently to reduce amperage demand during starting. Rotating the switch the rest of the way, I can hear another relay click. At that point, the starter should have engaged, but doesn't. I trace the relay back to a plastic covered box which has fuses and a couple of relays labeled STARTER and IGNITION. The one labeled STARTER is the one that clicks and doesn't do anything. I remove it and put it on my work bench, and set up a test circuit with a 12V power source and ohmmeter across the contacts. It works fine. Pulls in and also has continuity across the contacts. I put it back in and the car starts. What's curious is that the relay checked good. Maybe it wasn't making contact in the socket. I don't know. After doing a bit of net research, I think that the relay in question is the "starter interrupt" relay for the security system. Is this correct? I'm going to replace it even though it checked good and see what happens.

Bob
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:28 PM   #8
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I have a 98 camarov6 and same problem although mine turns on sometimes but shuts off within a minute or two! Lately it rolls over but does not start.If anyone has the answer to GM's little secret please help!
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:57 PM   #9
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I have a 98 camarov6 and same problem although mine turns on sometimes but shuts off within a minute or two! Lately it rolls over but does not start.If anyone has the answer to GM's little secret please help!
Wow! I originated that post way back in May of 2005. Three months later Hurricane Katrina took care of the problem by flooding the car. Totaled, gone, problem solved! Hope you can fix yours without resorting to such drastic measures.

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Old 07-27-2010, 10:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by !catchcam22! View Post
I have a 98 camarov6 and same problem although mine turns on sometimes but shuts off within a minute or two! Lately it rolls over but does not start.If anyone has the answer to GM's little secret please help!
Better to start a new thread than digging up a 5 year old one that is not exactly like your issue. Yours could be ignition switch.
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:52 PM
 
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