General Maintenance & Repairs - 2000 Firehawk needs help!!!




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Lone Star Hawk
06-13-2012, 09:13 AM
Hey everyone, I'm a brand new member. So please bear with me if I'm posting this thread in the wrong section. I've owned my LS1 since 2005, and recently have had some major issues that I can't diagnose (and neither can the shop).

I own a stock 2000 Firehawk, LS1, 6 speed manual transmission, Borla Catback exhaust. I am encountering 'no starts' from time to time, and it now has become very regular. I'm not sure this is VATS related because the 'security' light is not lit up or flashing on my dash when I try to start. I hear no sound, no click, nothing. All that lights up on the dash is 'check engine' and 'service engine soon'. But I have full power to my radio, windows, etc..

I wait a couple hours, and the car starts right up. I've taken the car to 5 different shops, and nobody can seem to fix the problem because they can't get it to 'not start' when its at the shop. Apparently it likes to start for them every time...

Please note that about a year ago I had another mechanic already replace my ignition cylinder and keys, and another mechanic replaced the fuel pump system. This problem usually always occurs with 'cold starts', at the beginning of the day.

Is this still VATS related if 'Security' isn't lit or flashing? I've also tried replacing both the starter relay and ignition relay.

Any help on where to go from here would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!


Lone Star Hawk
06-13-2012, 09:31 AM
Hey everyone, I'm a brand new member. So please bear with me if I'm posting this thread in the wrong section. I've owned my LS1 since 2005, and recently have had some major issues that I can't diagnose (and neither can the shop).

I own a stock 2000 Firehawk, LS1, 6 speed manual transmission, Borla Catback exhaust. I am encountering 'no starts' from time to time, and it now has become very regular. I'm not sure this is VATS related because the 'security' light is not lit up or flashing on my dash when I try to start. I hear no sound, no click, nothing. All that lights up on the dash is 'check engine' and 'service engine soon'. But I have full power to my radio, windows, etc..

I wait a couple hours, and the car starts right up. I've taken the car to 5 different shops, and nobody can seem to fix the problem because they can't get it to 'not start' when its at the shop. Apparently it likes to start for them every time...

Please note that about a year ago I had another mechanic already replace my ignition cylinder and keys, and another mechanic replaced the fuel pump system. This problem usually always occurs with 'cold starts', at the beginning of the day.

Is this still VATS related if 'Security' isn't lit or flashing? I've also tried replacing both the starter relay and ignition relay.

Any help on where to go from here would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

2002ss335
06-13-2012, 09:38 AM
Several years ago my brother had what sounds like the same problem with his 98 WS6. I remember him telling me it had something to do with a fuse.

I don't think he had to buy a new one just switched two. It doesn't make sense but after a couple of years going to shops and trying things himself he hasn't had any more problems since the switch.

I will try and get a hold of him tonight and find out the details.

Todd


xxrillixx
06-13-2012, 09:47 AM
First of all you dont need to post it 3 times in 3 different sections.

But its most likely a VATS issue. If you have a volt meter you can eliminate VATS pretty easy & inexpensive. Plus if its not the issue (rare) you can undo it and search elsewhere. It could be the starter, but they arent as infrequent.

http://www.ls1.com/forums/f6/how-bypass-your-vats-61262/

(thats just the first one that popped up on google today)

Jeremy@RPMTransmissions
06-13-2012, 09:51 AM
The ignition switch on the steering column could be bad. My 94 Z28 would do the exact same thing. Everything would come on but the car would start intermittently.

http://shbox.com/1/ignition_switch.jpg

Lone Star Hawk
06-13-2012, 10:25 AM
Sorry about posting this in 3 different places. Forgive me, I'm a newbie!! This was my first thread.

Jeremy- Is the ignition switch the same as the ingition cylinder? I just had that it replaced about a year ago and new keys were cut. The mechanic told me it was due to a wire in the cylinder being snapped??

Todd - Please let me know what fuse or info you find from your brother and his former problem.


Keep the advice rolling in guys. I'm open to any and all suggestions!! Thanks!

Jeremy@RPMTransmissions
06-13-2012, 11:04 AM
No the key lock cylinder is just what keeps people from stealing your car and actuates the ignition switch. The ignition switch is what actually makes contact and starts your car. There is a rod that runs from your lock cylinder to the ignition switch. The rod moves a slide inside the switch to make contact with the different wires going to the switch giving your the accessory mode, power off, keyed on and then the cranking position.

lt1pwr1
06-13-2012, 11:27 AM
Two things that are somewhat common on these cars:

1. Bad starter relay
2. Bad ignition relay

These are very cheap to replace so if I were you I would either replace them and see if it fixes the issue or wait until you have a "no start" then replace them to see if it fixes it.


Those are cheap easy fixes especially if you can't get it to act up all the time.

One last note: if your car cranks then you don't have an issue with the starter or starter relay.

Lone Star Hawk
06-13-2012, 11:44 AM
lt1pwr1,

Thank you for the suggestion. I'd actually tried replacing the starter relay with a new one last night. But no luck..

Still no crank, no noise, no security light, nothing... but full power to radio, windows, etc.

I'm guessing I should try putting a new ignition relay as well just to be safe?

Can relays be flakey on working only sometimes and not working others?

If that's not a fix, any more suggestions?

Reckless
06-13-2012, 01:58 PM
Don't forget to check the neutral safety switch for your clutch. If it is going bad the PCM will think the clutch is not depressed. it is a small switch down where the clutch pedal is.

lt1pwr1
06-13-2012, 02:50 PM
lt1pwr1,

Thank you for the suggestion. I'd actually tried replacing the starter relay with a new one last night. But no luck..

Still no crank, no noise, no security light, nothing... but full power to radio, windows, etc.

I'm guessing I should try putting a new ignition relay as well just to be safe?

Can relays be flakey on working only sometimes and not working others?

If that's not a fix, any more suggestions?


If it isn't cranking, don't waste money/time on the ignition relay. If that is bad the engine will crank, you just won't get spark so you can rule that out.

As Reckless said, very well could be an issue with your Clutch Safety Switch.

If it were me, the next step I would take is get a test light or multimeter and put it on the starter solenoid. Have someone try to start the car (make sure in neutral for safety reasons) and see if you get power to the starter. If you get power there, then you have a bad starter.

If you don't have power there, then you can look at the Clutch Safety Switch. Hope that helps

Lone Star Hawk
06-13-2012, 03:39 PM
Thanks Reckless and lt1pwr1:

The clutch safety switch seems like a possible solution. As well as the solenoid.

Where exactly is the cluch safety switch located?

Does somebody a have a link to performing this procedure? It sounds not too difficult.

LS6427
06-13-2012, 07:16 PM
Thanks Reckless and lt1pwr1:

The clutch safety switch seems like a possible solution. As well as the solenoid.

Where exactly is the cluch safety switch located?

Does somebody a have a link to performing this procedure? It sounds not too difficult.

My friends Vette has been doing exact thing for 6 months.......he had no idea what was wrong.

My engine failed a few weeks ago in my Trans Am and he let me borrow his Vette till my new engine goes in. He forgot to mention this issue, so I was getting stuck places. I called him and asked if he had a spare key.......I went by the house to pick it up and I haven't had the no-start a single time in the past 5 days.

It would happen every single day on almost every start.

The resistor in the key he gave me was worn out.........try a new key. If you don't have one, go to the dealer, give them the VIN, they will give you a key with the proper resistor in it, then you have it cut.

Just a thought........worked for us.

.

2002ss335
06-13-2012, 07:26 PM
I just talked to my brother about his WS6. He said that when he turned the key everything was normal, all the dash lights came on and he had power to everything. It just wouldn't turn over sometimes.

After many trips to the dealer and local shops they could never find the problem.

For whatever reason he started pulling fuses and checking them and switching like sized ones then trying to start it. He couldn't remember which one it was because this was maybe 10 years ago, but he thought it was one of the bigger ones.

You might want to give it a try and use some contact cleaner on them. It doesn't cost anything but your time.

Good luck!

Todd

Reckless
06-13-2012, 07:44 PM
Part number 11 in this diagram:

http://parts.nalleygmc.com/showAssembly.aspx?ukey_assembly=379726&ukey_make=1024&ukey_model=14491&modelYear=2000&ukey_category=0&ukey_driveLine=0&ukey_TrimLevel=15624&ukey_modelRange=0&searchString=clutch

Lone Star Hawk
06-14-2012, 08:25 AM
Reckless,

Thanks for the diagram. It appears that the clutch safety switch is just a plug-n-play part, no stripping or soldering, and cost like $15.

If I pull the panel cover below the dash / steering column will it give me access to this part?




Thanks everyone for the feedback, you've all been more helpful than 4 different shops that have tried addressing this phantom issue.

lt1pwr1
06-14-2012, 09:30 AM
Reckless,

Thanks for the diagram. It appears that the clutch safety switch is just a plug-n-play part, no stripping or soldering, and cost like $15.

If I pull the panel cover below the dash / steering column will it give me access to this part?




Thanks everyone for the feedback, you've all been more helpful than 4 different shops that have tried addressing this phantom issue.


It should be located near the top of the clutch pedal arm that goes up your floor board....I believe. But to answer your question, yes you should be able to see it although it might be farther up than you think.

All that is, is a switch that makes contact when you press the clutch pedal. You could disconnect it and jump the wires with a jumper wire and just see if the car starts. Basically bypassing the switch temporarily instead of just buying a new one. Up to you though, I guess they are cheap enough.

Reckless
06-14-2012, 09:55 AM
Yeah you will likely have to lay on the floorboard and look up in there. It is awkward to get to.

bwkmaro
06-14-2012, 10:02 AM
i think its the clutch safety switch or your ignition switch both are plug and play and cheap parts always worth a shot. since a shop already changed a fuel pump on a car that didnt even crank hahaha