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2001 Won't Start



My 2001 convertible won't start all the time. When I turn the key, the engine 'catches' and immediately dies. It dies so quick that the gauges don't even start their 'sweep'. Sometimes it will happen 10 times before it will start and run, sometimes just once or twice, sometimes it starts first try. No pattern with warm/cold starts. It's been to the dealer three times. They have witnessed the problem, but every time they attach the diagnostic hand-held computer, the car starts and runs first time! They claim they can't fix it without using the tool and they also claim it is just a coincidence that it always starts when they attach the tool, which is logical, but... Anyone seen anything like this? Any ideas?
Have they been able to determine if any trouble codes have been set in the computer? Is the check engine light coming on at all?
Nope. No check engine light. Everything looks normal. When the hand-held is attached it has cranked up every time and no error code is generated. Everything shows being normal. I wish just once it would refuse to start while they've got it hooked up. Thank goodness the tech watched me try about 10 times (unsuccessfully) to start it, otherwise they'd probably think I'm nuts! They know there is a problem, but they don't know how to find it.

I bought this car used with 1900 miles on it from a BMW dealer. The previous owner added trunk carpet, chrome tips, integral garage/gate remote, key fob window controller, K&N filter, etc. etc. and then dumped it in 3 1/2 months. I think now I know why!
Hi there,
I would ask your dealer if they can install the vehicle data recorder to your car.
This is device, wherein, when the car develops the fault, you push a button, and it records the data within the module requested.
Now, are they sure that there is no codes in the BCM, or the antitheft system??
If you look at the JBsc5 post, you can see what battery acid can do, so I would look at that first, and then proceed with diagnosis.
Look for the simple fix, correctwiring condition, and no mods.
Please keep us posted on your issue, besttoyou, c4c5:hb

Do you think the after-market visor-installed garage door opener or key fob window controller could have something to do with it?
Sorry to here about your problems with you C5, but you are getting advise from the right person. c4c5specialist will do his best to help you. He knows exactly what he is talking about. You just need to give him as much information as possible. Good luck and Happy Holidays.:grinsanta
Picked it up today

After they started it 100 times in a row without a failure (and bought me 5 gallons of gas to make up for what they burned), I got behind the wheel and it failed the first time. The tech nearly had a heart attack. They have decided to replace the ignition and keys just to be able to say they did something for me. I don't have a plate in my head, and I was never struck by lightning (which they asked me). They called Detroit and Bowling Green and they claim they have not had anything similar to this reported.

After I burn out the starter, I'm just going to trade it in for a Cavalier. It might be slow and uncomfortable and ugly, but I bet it will start!

I'm thinking fuel.....
You say it will crank every time, right? ( Not a NO CRANK CONDITION )
when it dies..It fires then sputters away, right?

I would put a pressure gauge on the fuel rail and monitor that FIRST.

When the computer gets stupid.. or suspects a theft
it shuts down the fuel pump & injector ( including gauge). When the car wont start but cranks leave the ignition on and see if the fuel gauge reads correctly ( assuming you pay attention how much fuel you have when you shut things off.)

And if your really brave try squirting some quick start down the throttle plate and see if it will run ( for a second ) that will eliminate the spark system.

The no error thing has me going though.....

At 1900 miles there should be no worn out issues ( like the key pellets or ignition switch).

Need more info.


I checked for recalls and didn't find anything. What are you referring to?

I'm having a little more luck by holding on to the key in the start position a couple of seconds after it 'starts'. It still isn't right though. I still have to crank it an average of three times to get it started.

According to the dealer, the regional service guy supposedly checked with HQ and claims that they have not had this problem with any other Corvettes. However, I used to be a Mack truck dealer and I know that may or may not be true due to the complexity (expense) of the fix.

Originally I thought it might be a fuel problem, but I can smell fuel after trying to get it going 10 times or more. I'm suspicious of the security/anti-theft system.
Try this

Take an OLD plug and remove a wire, lay the old plug on the metal part of the rocker cover ( or clip lead it in) have somebody crank the car and see if you have spark.Dont let the enging run if it fires. I am assuming that you cannot predict when the NO start condition happens.I think a couple of quick blips of the key will tell the story.

Most aftermarket alarms have an IGN kill function
see if there are any AFTER MARKET wires running around under the hood.

Any updates on your problem?

I haven't taken it back in yet because I'm waiting for them to get an ignition switch in. They want to change that out first before they do anything else. I am going to have them try some of the stuff you recommended while they have it. Quite honestly, I don't have a lot of confidence in them anymore. They were supposed to order the switch before Christmas. When I got back from my skiing trip on January 4th, I called and they said the switch wasn't in, but they would call me. They called on Friday, the 11th and said that it was never ordered, but they would order it that day.

Amazing that there are no switches at any of the Chev dealerships in the 4th largest city in the USA. I'd be really upset if I thought this would fix the problem.
Getting that GREAT GM feeling

I'm sorry...... I would be ALL OVER those guys

That's why I have a C-4 and do MOST of the work myself.

I just bought the 3 shop manuals from Racer 78
for a 1998.

The electrical SHOULD be close on most issues

I'll get it in about a week to 10 days.

Keep us posted

Have a thought here

If the C-5 fuel system is like the C-4,
The oil pressure switch maintains current to the fuel pump AFTER the engine starts.

See the post that I wrote to Bro-Ken in the C-4 section to gleen the theory.

The wiring will be different, and this is JUST a hunch,AND my Bud destroyed my C-5 books so I'm guessing here. We should ask C4C5 about this.

You state,
"I'm having a little more luck by holding on to the key in the start position a couple of seconds after it 'starts'.It still isn't right though. I still have to crank it an average of three times to get it started.

Once you get it running it's ok though....right?

And the colder it is...the more of a bear it is to start, right?

The key switch thing I'm thinking has less & less
to do with the problem...

It runs great oncwe it starts.

I can't say that it's harder to start when it's cold. I thought that in the beginning, but there doesn't seem to be a pattern anymore.

Insult-to-injury. I Just got this email from Chevrolet;

Dear Mr. Kochman,

Hello! I am writing to inform you that I will be closing your file, c05856451. The reason for this action is due to the dealer not being able to duplicate the concerns with the engine stalling on a
cold start on your 2001 Chevrolet Corvette.

If you have any additional questions or comments, please include them in e-mail upon writing me back at cac@chevrolet.com or call the Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-222-1020. Advisors are
available from 8:00am until 11:00pm Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.


Gail E. James
Customer Relationship Manager
GM Internet Response Center

That BLOWS......



Keep track of the funnt things it does(or doesn't) do.....

It's Over!

Well, the new ignition switch did the trick! I could feel the difference when I put the key in the new ignition the first time. The old one had slack in it. This one is nice and tight. The key doesn't have any play in it. Looking back on it now, I think the old switch would probably work if I had pushed it into the switch hard while turning it. Anyhow, it cranks every time now.

I knew it had to be a simple problem, but I didn't think it would be THAT simple.

Thanks to everyone who took time to offer their two cents, especially Vigman.

Well..guess I was wrong.....

But cool for you!

Glad I could...er...um.....talk about the problem with you!


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