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Security Light / Car Not Starting

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Old 05-21-2011, 12:50 PM   #1
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Default Security Light / Car Not Starting

Hello,

I have searched many threads on this forum in regards to the security light issue / car not starting, and have tried many solutions to fix the problem.

My car is a 1997 Firebird
3.8 V6
4L60E Automatic Transmission
Only modification is an Edelbrock Cat-back exhaust system, other than that the car is 100% stock.

The issue:

-Security light came on about 3-4 months ago, solid not flashing.
-Car drove perfect for those 3-4 months, no check engine lights or anything like that. No drivability issues at all. Kept driving the car and didn't think anything of it.
-Three days ago I left school at 3 pm, and drove home fine, no problems. I tried to start my car later at 6:30 PM to go to work and it would not start.
-All fuses checked
-No fuel pump noise
-Starter motor inoperative
-No warning lights at all when the key is in the "on" position, just the security light. Still solid, it has never flashed.
-Interior lights, radio, power windows still work fine.

I have read about and tried the resistor method, I managed to get the security light to turn off but the car still will not start. No dash warning lights, no fuel pump, no starter motor.

I have tried leaving the key in for 10 - 15 minutes to try and get it to "read" the key. I have done this several times and it has not worked.


From what I have read, it may be the ignition switch that has gone bad. Am I correct in my assumption? All signs and symptoms seem to point to this. I would like some input before I fork out the cash for a new ignition switch. I am a full time student and unfortunately don't have tons of extra spending money to try and solve this problem. I am desperately in need of my car to be running next week for school.

Any input, help and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

-Gregg
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:15 PM   #2
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Bypass the VATS and see what happens.


Or it just feels bad that it's a v6 in a v8 world. . . .LMAO
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samson_420 View Post
Bypass the VATS and see what happens.


Or it just feels bad that it's a v6 in a v8 world. . . .LMAO
Bypassing VATS = Resistor method?

Or is this incorrect?

I really don't feel like messing with the wiring in my car because I will somehow find a way to mess up!

And don't be hating on the V6, this is the first problem my car has given me in nearly two years of owning it.
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:38 PM   #4
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Yes bypassing the VATS is the resistor. It takes less then 5 minutes and all you have to do is unplug the connector and slide in the resistor. There's not really a way to mess that up
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:48 PM   #5
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The OP already said he bypassed VATS.

When the security light comes on solid, it means it's not reading the correct resistance from the key. If it flashes, it means the circuit is open.

How did you check the fuses? Did you just visually check to see if they were blown, or did you test them for continuity? A continuity test is the only way to make 100% sure the fuses are good. I'd also check the relays.

If everything checks out OK, it might be the ignition switch.
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:37 AM   #6
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How close did you get to the resistance of the key with the resistor you put in? It needs to be pretty close and I always solder the resistor and don't just place it in the connector. Measure resistance at the small white wires on the big connector and if it is open that means one of them broke right at the cylinder.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:20 PM   #7
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We had the resistance very close to what my key measured, I don't think that was the problem.

I lightly tapped the top and bottom of my steering column and managed to "reconnect" something inside. My dash warning lights are all back on, and the fuel pump primes, but my security light is now flashing constantly. The motor still will not turn over. I think this more or less definitely narrows it down to the ignition switch, correct?

I phoned a parts store and the earliest they can get a new ignition switch in is sometime later on this week, I will hopefully have it installed by next Saturday.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:37 PM   #8
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Lock Cylinder..... not the switch more than likely. The ignition switch should not set the security light. Measure resistance between the two tiny white wires under the dash. If they are open you need a lock cylinder or to successfully bypass the passlock system. Also try to just leave the key on without cranking it for ten minutes and see if the security light stops flashing and turns off. That is how to reset a lot of the GM passlock systems.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:16 PM   #9
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Updating the thread:

Removed the old ignition lock cylinder and replaced with a new one.
One of the two wires on the old one was frayed right in half, the other well on its way.
Got a new key cut with the resistor in it and the car is now running.

Anyone who has a similar problem as I did in the future, I recommend you check your ignition lock cylinder!

Thank you everyone for your help and input!
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:45 PM   #10
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Glad to help. Almost all security lights on the Camaro is a broken wire at the lock cylinder.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:17 PM   #11
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Updating again:

Car ran fine for 24 hours, started and driven 4 times.
I went to start it in a parking lot and... nothing. Left me stranded and I had to get the car towed home. It was running perfectly fine 20 minutes before, no warning lights, no problems.
So, when I tried starting it:

No fuel pump prime.
No starter motor.
No dash lights (Nothing at all, no security light either)
No "dinging" when the key is turned forward.
Radio, interior lights and power windows still work fine.
All fuses checked.
Removed the battery to reset the car/computer, didn't help.
Checked the key and ignition wires for resistance, both showing 2.37 thousand ohms.


I have removed the steering wheel and internal steering column parts to get to the ignition cylinder again. Everything appears fine, it turns forward and backward. The wires are still intact. I am at a loss and ready to torch the car for insurance money.


Does anyone have any ideas as to what could be wrong now? Could the ignition cylinder be faulty? The parts store most likely will not take it back as it has been installed.

Last edited by 97Firechiken; 05-26-2011 at 08:20 PM.. Reason: Left out important information
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:39 PM   #12
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You will get the same concerns as your having if the battery cables are loose/ bad ground to the battery. When it acts up get under the car and touch the two terminals together with a screwdriver. If the engine cranks you likely have a misadjusted / or bad ignition switch. I doubt its the cylinder because the cylinder does not tell the car to go to accessory and crank the ignition switch does. With the cylinder out put the key in it and try to crank the car with a screwdriver in where the cylinder goes.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:57 PM   #13
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Jumped the starter and the car turned over fine.

Currently in the process of checking the ignition switch / replacing the ignition switch.

I'll update the thread when I have more info.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:20 PM   #14
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Replaced the ignition switch.

All the dash lights come on, and the security light turns off.
Radio and all lights work.

When I turn the key to the "start" position the ABS and LOW TRAC dash lights come on, then turn off after a few seconds... Turn the key to on and ABS, LOW TRAC are illumintaed again... wait, they turn off... turn the key to on, ABS, LOW TRAC.... etc.

No fuel pump, no starter motor. Bypassing VATS isn't working.

Suggestions?
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:07 AM   #15
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97firechicken,sounds like you took care of any theft deterent issues since the light goes off after the 5 second power up when key goes on.When the key is turned to START,voltage is sent to small purple wire on starter.To find the actual cause of this problem you NEED to know if that 12 volts is present - if not ,it could be the neutral trans switch(stops car from turning over if not in neutral) or theft deterent relay.
This can be solved--but you need to know how to use a voltmeter.So if you do,let me know if the voltage is there at purple wire connection on starter during START-the results will let me direct you to the next voltage test point to find the cause of the problem,Good Luck
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovin myls1 View Post
97firechicken,sounds like you took care of any theft deterent issues since the light goes off after the 5 second power up when key goes on.When the key is turned to START,voltage is sent to small purple wire on starter.To find the actual cause of this problem you NEED to know if that 12 volts is present - if not ,it could be the neutral trans switch(stops car from turning over if not in neutral) or theft deterent relay.
This can be solved--but you need to know how to use a voltmeter.So if you do,let me know if the voltage is there at purple wire connection on starter during START-the results will let me direct you to the next voltage test point to find the cause of the problem,Good Luck
No voltage in the purple wire when the key is turned to "START".

Where is the neutral trans switch? My car has an automatic transmission.

Where is the theft deterrent relay?

Could this be a BCM issue?

All help very much appreciated, thank you!

Last edited by 97Firechiken; 05-31-2011 at 05:29 PM.. Reason: Left out information.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:31 PM   #17
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Trans switch is usually mounted near gear shift lever so, when in park, switch is closed but we can check that at the relay.I think you will find relay in underhood electrical center#2-labeled starter.Pull it out it should have four prongs on it.The four holes the prongs go into should have some labeling -A1,A2,C1 and C2.When the key is turned to start(and trans in park) there should be 12volts from ground to the prong hole C1 and prong holeC2-If there are no volts at C1, it's a bad ignition switch.If none at C2,then its a bad neutral switch.If both have volts get back to me.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:31 PM   #18
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My car is now put back together and running and driving with no problems.
Hopefully my no-starting problems are solved, thanks to all that helped!
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:56 PM   #19
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What did you end up fixing the second time around? I am having a similar issue.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:50 AM   #20
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I didn't see it mentioned but any time you have a VATS issue, the best thing to do first is to make sure the key is clean.
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