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Car won't start!! VATS experts inside please...

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Old 03-13-2017, 09:57 AM   #1
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Default Car won't start!! VATS experts inside please...

So, for some background information before getting to the current problem. About 3-4 years ago I had a VATS issue with my 2001 Z28 and resolved it with the commonly used "resistor bypass". Worked perfect until yesterday.

I have installed a larger new motor, a Big 3 wire upgrade, Racetronix pump and harness, larger intake and throttle body and all new sensors, etc(except the TPS and IAC sensors). I adjusted the tune with HPTuners so I could crank the car and load it on a trailer to carry to the dyno/tuner.

Before yesterday, the engine had been spun over numerous times with the coils and fuel pump disconnected with no sign of a problem. So I started the car, it ran for 2-3 seconds and died. I presumed it was due to the tune being a VERY rough baseline. Stepped back to the door and reached in to crank it back up and noticed the Security light was on solid, not flashing. When the key is turned, no dash lights at all (except Security!!), the fuel pump kicks on and the ABS cycles but that's it. I have searched for a few hours and haven't run across this type of problem after the resistor bypass was installed.

I did the BCM relearn procedure, nothing changed. I then disconnected the battery for an hour, still no change. I also tried the VATS relearn via HPTuners, nothing. Before going in for the night, I disconnected both battery cables just to see if that might have any effect. I'm at work now, so I plan to reconnect the battery late this evening when I get home.

If I need to replace the switch, that's fine. The thing about it, unless the resistor has failed for some strange reason, I do not see how a switch could fix it so I'm stumped. I'm at a loss as I am uncertain what else might cause this. Help!!!!!!

I'm not above deleting VATS altogether, if it's possible without butchering my harness. I'm off to search for info on that option now...

Last edited by TimE; 03-13-2017 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Forgot to include year model. Gee Whiz!!
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:17 AM   #2
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you didn't mention the year of your car, but if it's 98 or newer, you should be able to go to the SYSTEM - GENERAL tab and simply select "disable" under the VATS menu
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:57 AM   #3
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Sorry about that! It's a 2001 Z28. I'll update the initial post with that info...

Disabling VATS with HPTuners only allows the fuel pump to function. Forgot to mention that I had tried that yesterday, too, and when it didn't change what the car was doing I researched that a little further to see why. I'm functioning on about 2-3 hrs sleep right now so I may not be as clear as I should be.

I've been reading that the starter relay can be grounded and that will effectively bypass the BCM. Unfortunately, that method will also leave the Security light on. As a last resort, that's what I will do but for now I am still searching for a way to actually fix this mess, lol.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:00 AM   #4
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It was a pain to push the resistor into the yellow wire harness coming off of the steering column. I'm willing to bet the resistor just came loose in the plug.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:27 PM   #5
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After a LOT of reading, research, and troubleshooting, turns out it was a blown fuse that caused the constant on "Security" light.

A flashing security light means the key is not being read. The resistor and bypassing VATS with HPTuners accomplish the same thing-allows the fuel pump to run when the switch is turned on but has no affect on the starter. A solid security light can be caused by many things but, from what I found, the major cause was the BCM did not receive a signal from the switch letting it know the key was in the ignition therefore it wouldn't send a ground signal to the starter relay to allow the starter to turn.

In my case, I had a power wire run from the IGN terminal to a gauge. Somehow, one of the wires to the gauge grounded out which caused the gauge fuse to blow. This, in turn, killed power to the "strg whl control" fuse, "IP Dimmer" fuse and the IGN terminal inside the car. It also killed power to the "PCM Bat" fuse under the hood. Once the gauge fuse was replaced, everything was powered as it should. Since the PCM was not being powered, this caused the security light and no starter engagement. This is the condensed version of my issue.

Hopefully this may help someone else in the future as most of the info that pops up when searched is about using the resistor or bypassing VATS with HPTuners. Information on the constant security light takes a littl more digging. (At least it did for me.)
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