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Discussion Starter #1
So I changed my oil and after I was finished I tried to turned the car on and it wouldn't start and the Check Gauge light comes on . I thought maybe the starter went out so I changed it , put the new one in and still the check gauge sign comes on and it wont start. I went out and bought a new Alternator and nothing it clicks but it wont start. Battery is a NAPA brand and I bought it about 3/4 years ago fully charged. Any ideas whats going on ? I plugged the Stanley car battery charger and it still says alternator is bad ?
 

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the Check Gauge light comes on
This comes on every time you start your car.
If it stays on in the key's run position it means check all gauges. Oil, temp, and voltage.


Do you mean the Check Engine light?(MIL) It too does a bulb check and will go out if the engine starts and there are no problems.


I thought maybe the starter went out so I changed it .........and it wont start.............and nothing it clicks but it wont start

If the clicking is coming out of the starter check that the battery wire to the starter is good. Get someone to check that the battery wire at the starter has battery voltage when you turn the key to start and hear the starter click.
Also check that the negative battery wire to the engine is OK. If you put one wire from a voltmeter to the battery negative and the other voltmeter wire to the engine and try to start the voltmeter should not show voltage if the battery wire is good.Check the negative battery wire to the fender is clean and tight.



I went out and bought a new Alternator

I can not think how this would help you. You can start and run a car for a short time on a good fully charged battery.
 

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so I am guessing that the engine does not CRANK ... if so check battery connections and clean them .. do the lights dim when you try to crank ? that can be electrical connections battery/starter..

if the lights do not dim then check that the security light key is on .. can be a ignition key issue .. or not in neutral etc etc..

no engine crank key on CEL and other light should be on ..

http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/11949745-post210.html
 

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If you have a 94, check for the connector post at the fuse box. If it is not copper/brass, that may be your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Z09B4U - I will check the connection to the battery etc , its been hard to get to it because of the heavy rain in the area no garage. The check gauge sign stays on with the key ignition key turned back to turn the car on, it comes off when I turn it back take it out key



j cat - yes the car wont crank , lights do dim when the car is on and I use the window switch, lights will dim inside i think outside havent really checked it definitely will. Will check on the ignition issue.


Fred Kieh - its a 96 bro , Ive had all my fuses checked in the box before my neighbor moved away who was a 30+ year auto mechanic. I will look at them again.


Thanks for the tips guys will get on it ASAP once the rain goes away.
 

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as you say the lights dim when you power the windows well that is a bad battery or connections.. power cable to the under hood fuse box and battery connections including the ground.. also check the engine block ground on front of engine driver side next to the ignition coil..


use wire brush shine up the connections ..


sometimes the starter will use 250Amps on the crank of engine ..so these type connections will create your no crank..
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Ive done all tests listed above and nothing . Its gonna be the VATS system I realized my 'Pass Key Fault' light keeps blinking and wont stop , Ive had a lot of problems past 3 years with the car VATS system coming on and off waiting 5-15 min just so that the car will start sometimes it would do it back to back ,when the light would come off I would try to turn on the car on again then bam "VATS' come on again wont start! Pass Key Fault would stay on but not flash like its doing now ! It will come on sometimes while driving witch I thought was weird also !
 

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Under the steering column remove the four screws that hold the plastic cover.
Remove the four bolts for the black steel plate.
Look for a small white(?) connector. It will have two wires on the down side:white/black and purple/white. The cable plugged into it should be orange.


Unplug it. If the VATS is working it will now let you start the car. But now the VATS light will blink all the time.


Unplugging will not let a standard Caprice start and run.


See next two posts.
 

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A batteries life expectancy is about 4 years, you said the battery is 3-4 years old. I would stop right there and replace the battery THEN continue on with any testing if that doesn't fix your issue (pretty sure it will based on the info). As far as the VATS I was having issues with mine to I disconnected the ignition switch from the system and then installed the proper resistor with a switch inline so as to be able to activate the disabling effect of the VATS system still. You might choose to do the same after you get the first issue under control.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Under the steering column remove the four screws that hold the plastic cover.
Remove the four bolts for the black steel plate.
Look for a small white(?) connector. It will have two wires on the down side:white/black and purple/white. The cable plugged into it should be orange.


Unplug it. If the VATS is working it will now let you start the car. But now the VATS light will blink all the time.
Will get on it for sure once I take the battery for testing, If anything I will do what the VATS thread say might do it with out the blinking , then again I could just pop the light out from behind the dash . Thanks for the tips about the wiring.

A batteries life expectancy is about 4 years, you said the battery is 3-4 years old. I would stop right there and replace the battery THEN continue on with any testing if that doesn't fix your issue (pretty sure it will based on the info). As far as the VATS I was having issues with mine to I disconnected the ignition switch from the system and then installed the proper resistor with a switch inline so as to be able to activate the disabling effect of the VATS system still. You might choose to do the same after you get the first issue under control.
I put the stanley battery charger on it says 12.8 volts meter I could have sworn it means fully charged then again battery dont last forever , might pull out my Silverado battery test it. I will try my best follow instructions on the VATS thread , thanks for the tips guys
 

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Under the steering column remove the four screws that hold the plastic cover.
Remove the four bolts for the black steel plate.
Look for a small white(?) connector. It will have two wires on the down side:white/black and purple/white. The cable plugged into it should be orange.


Unplug it. If the VATS is working it will now let you start the car. But now the VATS light will blink all the time.
If you unplug the connector under the dash the car WILL NOT crank or start, the VATS system needs to "read" the resistance pellet in the key or it will not crank and wont allow the fuel pump to run.
 

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If you unplug the connector under the dash the car WILL NOT crank or start, the VATS system needs to "read" the resistance pellet in the key or it will not crank and wont allow the fuel pump to run.
4X4high


Sorry all for MY misinformation.


I was sure I had cranked my car with the VATS to key cylinder unplugged the FSM says I am wrong.



9C1 cars will crank with the VATS module disconnected.But will not start.



The VATS module needs the correct resistance to energize the relay for the starter circuit on normal cars.


All b body cars need the VATS signal to the PCM to activate the fuel injectors.



Baby-D you said:
it clicks but it wont start
If you mean the starter under the car clicks do not play with the VATS system.


If the clicking is coming out of the starter check that the battery wire to the starter is good. Get someone to check that the battery wire at the starter has battery voltage when you turn the key to start and hear the starter click.

A damaged starter cable will "fool" a voltmeter or test light but still be unable to pass enough power to run your starter motor. when you turn the key. This might explain your "dimming lights"



If the click is inside the car check that the key resistance is the same when you measure it at the key and at the lock cylinder. To measure at the lock cylinder unplug the connector and measure the orange end.(aftermarket yellow). Do NOT meter the VATS purple/white or white/black.


Standard key values are here:


http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/7-concerns/615705-vats-key-resistance-values.html


Cheap meters may be 10% out of calibration.
 
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