Question 96 Tran Am wont start after wash - LS1LT1 Forum : LT1, LS1, Camaro, Firebird, Trans Am, Engine Tech Forums

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Old 05-28-2012, 07:14 PM   #1
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Default 96 Tran Am wont start after wash

I have had this issue a couple times. I washed my car on Sunday. When I say I washed it I mean I used a garden hose and a wash bucket. I did not wash under the hood or inside the doors. Got in it to go out for the night and the starter would not turn over. Lights came on and fuel pump ran but thats it. I let it sit over night and it has started right up. This has happened 3 times. Anybody have any ideas? 96 Trans am. automatic no mods.

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Old 05-29-2012, 10:18 AM   #2
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Check for power at the small purple wire on the starter when turning over, get a friend to help. If there is no power there, you have issues inside the car. If there is power, your starter is intermittently failing and should be replaced. Also, ensure there is power on the large wire going to the starter from the battery. Never know with corrosion etc.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jcpax12 View Post
I have had this issue a couple times. I washed my car on Sunday. When I say I washed it I mean I used a garden hose and a wash bucket. I did not wash under the hood or inside the doors. Got in it to go out for the night and the starter would not turn over. Lights came on and fuel pump ran but thats it. I let it sit over night and it has started right up. This has happened 3 times. Anybody have any ideas? 96 Trans am. automatic no mods.

Thanks
Is your "Security" light on or flashing at all? This could be a VATS issue.

I've had this issue but not necessarily after a car wash - it turned out to be that I needed to replace my key as the pellets on the ignition key were so worn down (1993 Z28 with original ignition key) that it was not always sending the correct resistance to the VATS computer

- if the VATS computer does not receive the correct resistance from the key, the "Security" Light is supposed to light and shut down the fuel injectors and starter connection for a period of 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, the "Security" light should turn off and you can try it again.

If your "Security" light is flashing once per second, you got a short circuit in the system.

Here is a nice explanation of the VATS system and some diagnosis for this problem:

4th Gen LT1 F-Body Tech-PassKey/VATS

Good luck.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:01 PM   #4
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The first time it did it the security light was on. Thought is was just the key being dirty.Second time no security light. 3rd time the light was back on. I waited for about 15 minutes and light was off and never came back on but still never started. Thanks for the help. I will do some checking and post what I find.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:29 PM   #5
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Good point, bigdog. Sounds like that is just what's going on. I would bypass the vats system, its just a hassle especially when it intermittently goes bad like you are describing.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:57 PM   #6
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Credit to shbox.com for the VATS/PassKeyII info...
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:15 PM   #7
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Thanks guys for all your help. The funny part is I have sprayed 1000 gallons of water since the post and I can't get it to do it again. When it does it again I will disable the vats system and see what happens. It's nice to have a place to go and get information from people who deal with the same issues.
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