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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Car has 230,000 miles on it. I have had the passlock issue in the past. This is not that as there is no security message on the dash. It only happens below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. All the lights come on, radio works fine. When moving the key to the start position it will not crank at all. No clicking noise. Since we have a third car, I leave it sit and go to work. When I come home at night after the weather has warmed it will start right up. My local mechanic shop said they thought the ignition switch was going bad. I bought one and put it in myself. Today was the first cold morning and it is doing the same thing. Of course on a cold morning when I have to get to work I can't take time to test for power at the starter, so I may need to take time off to do so. Will a starter do this?
 

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Car has 230,000 miles on it. I have had the passlock issue in the past. This is not that as there is no security message on the dash. It only happens below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. All the lights come on, radio works fine. When moving the key to the start position it will not crank at all. No clicking noise. Since we have a third car, I leave it sit and go to work. When I come home at night after the weather has warmed it will start right up. My local mechanic shop said they thought the ignition switch was going bad. I bought one and put it in myself. Today was the first cold morning and it is doing the same thing. Of course on a cold morning when I have to get to work I can't take time to test for power at the starter, so I may need to take time off to do so. Will a starter do this?
I was thinking ignition switch, but we can rule that out now.

It could be the starter - in particular, the solenoid. Or, it could be the starter relay in the box on the passenger fender well.

The relay may not be moving when it's cold. Or it may still move, but not make a good connection. You can feel it click if you have someone turn the key while you hold your finger on the relay. While you're at, that's the time to have your meter on the starter solenoid to see if it's getting voltage when the key is turned.

Maybe hook the meter up and leave it there, but turned off, so that it's ready to go in the morning.

HTH.

Doug

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
15 degrees when I got home so I tried some things. Still will not crank. No click from the relay so I replaced it with a new one purchased today. Still no click or crank. All fuses check out. No power on purple wire at starter when key is turned to the start position. With the key in the on position, I can jump the starter solenoid and it will crank and then start but dies after a second. Took off the ground wires and cleaned them. Still no joy. I guess I would assume I am not getting power to the relay, but I got froze out for tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay so I couldn't leave it alone. Went back out, put the car in neutral and on the second try it started. Put it back in park and now it started several times in a row. Neutral start switch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
:gaah:11 degrees this morning and back to square one. No power to purple wire on starter solenoid. No click from relay. Retried everything I did last night but will not crank at all. Driving to work in the backup this morning wondering what to try next. This car does have an aftermarket stereo in it that was installed just this past summer. Right after I put it in, I had the paslock issue but did the 10 minute relearn and got past that. I thought about putting the factory radio back in in case that has something to do with it?
 

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At first thought I was thinking Relay, however you have changed that, I don't think it is related to your Shift I think that was a fluke to start from what I read... I think it maybe Related to your Ignition Switch. It sends info to your BCM and from there to your ECM, Checks all the things and then if the 2 computers have found a Start state will provide power to the starter... Seeing there was an issue with your Ign already with having to do a Relearn after having a Headunit installed there should be no reason for such with just a head unit! I guess my next question is was it done at a shop or did you do the install? It could be that your Ign switch was already going bad as they like to do this... And just was the next thing to get stressed out... Anyway was a Aftermarket Wiring harness used? Was one used that Retained the RAP or did you or your installer tap into your cars wiring at the IGN switch?

Sadly it is a weak part on the Impalas as I have known many in past years that have had to replace. Once done all issues related to starting was solved.

James
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I did the install myself with an adapter harness from Crutchfield that was supposed to retain the cars functions.
Since I have already replaced the switch, you're thinking the lock cylinder? Cold weather seems to be the only constant with this. I had bought a starter yesterday, but I am going to return it and maybe see if they have a lock cylinder in stock.
 

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Well thought maybe a bad Switch, I guess I didn't ask if it was new or used. I guess new so shouldn't be an issue and the key part not really going to help if your not having a Security issue, However you did say that you were able to start it outside and died shortly after?

With that said it brings up loads of other things related to computer or sensors. IT could be a bad Neutral safety switch. Even as one time it did work it could be a fluke. Or could be that it made a connection but next time didn't. Maybe check the wiring at the N safety, and Crank sensors? Could be bad wiring?

Don't think it is Starter. Seeing you were saying that the Relay isn't getting the info you need to tell the starter to turn... Plus you can get the starter to turn when not using the switch...

Almost sounds like a computer scanner is going to be needed to figure this one out...
 

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I did the install myself with an adapter harness from Crutchfield that was supposed to retain the cars functions.
Since I have already replaced the switch, you're thinking the lock cylinder? Cold weather seems to be the only constant with this. I had bought a starter yesterday, but I am going to return it and maybe see if they have a lock cylinder in stock.
The lock cylinder shouldn't have any effect on this. About the only thing the cylinder can do to cause a no-crank is for it to lock up and prevent the key from turning.

You have replaced the starter relay, but it's not clicking. So it's not getting a signal. Since the ignition switch is new, it's either in the wiring (such as a loose wire going to the relay) or it's in the neutral safety switch. I would play with the gear shifter some more. Besides moving it to N, also, while in N, try pulling it to one side or the other - ie, towards D or R - to see if that allows it to crank. Similarly, while in P, try moving the shifter to see if that helps.

Since the relay is new, I doubt it's part of the problem, but if you wanted to check, you can remove the relay and put your voltmeter on the contacts for the coil. It should read +12V, then go low when the key is turned to crank, unless of course the PCM is preventing that.

Since you are not getting a security light, my instinct is to focus on the neutral safety switch. There is a white wire at pin J on the transaxle connector. That wire should be at GND when the shifter is in N or P.

Doug

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Didn't have time to work on it last night. 14 degrees when I got home and as I walked past the car I just stopped long enough to put the key in and try it. Started right up. I let it warm up and drove it into the garage where I will work on it Sunday. I have a commitment that will take me out of town all day on Saturday. I appreciate all the helpful advice and will update when I have more info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sunday I couldn't get it to NOT start. I followed through with checking the grounding wire at the transmission connector. Of course it was fine. I went ahead and cleaned the contacts and reconnected everything. Since I had the lock cylinder I went ahead an put it it. The original one required a practiced hand to jiggle the key for it to rotate. Did the 30 minute relearn on the new key and it started fine........yesterday. Temp was about 30 F. This morning at 20, no start again. I tried every gyration of the shifter hoping against hope it would catch but no luck. Options now are to take time off work to chase a ghost, or get it to a shop. Really frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Found this on another forum. 2000 Impala with 3.4 and 150,000 miles. Not sure how the multi function switch has anything to do with a no crank?

Got in the car one day turned the key and got nothing. It was almost like the battery was dead but I had full power to all my lights and radio. I got out of the car really pissed off and was pacing back and forth trying to figure out what it could be. I left the car where it was and came back a day later. I figured what the heck and put the key in the ignition and low and behold it started.
So I got on my tablet and Googled 2000 Chevy Impala not starting. It came back with a ignition switch failure. That made sense so I ordered one and took the whole dashboard apart to put the damn thing in (It really wasn't that hard, just a pain in the ass). I started the car several times to see if everything worked. It seemed fine so I drove home.
The following day I went to the store. Came out and turned the key to guess what? NOTHING!!!! I sat in the parking lot and cried. I called my brother and told him the car wasn't fixed. He happened to mention it to a friend of his that used to have a 2001 Impala. He said that it was the Multi-Function switch. I didn't believe him but I ordered one anyway. Turns out he was right.
So if your Impala has any of the following issues it's more than likely the Multi-Function switch which I found on Amazon for $37.50 plus 7.99 expedited shipping. (if you can wait shipping is free). Intermittent problems: headlights go out, turn signals don't work, fuel gauge bounces everywhere and car doesn't start. The longer you wait to replace it the more frequently it won't start.
 

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Sunday I couldn't get it to NOT start. I followed through with checking the grounding wire at the transmission connector. Of course it was fine. I went ahead and cleaned the contacts and reconnected everything. Since I had the lock cylinder I went ahead an put it it. The original one required a practiced hand to jiggle the key for it to rotate. Did the 30 minute relearn on the new key and it started fine........yesterday. Temp was about 30 F. This morning at 20, no start again. I tried every gyration of the shifter hoping against hope it would catch but no luck. Options now are to take time off work to chase a ghost, or get it to a shop. Really frustrating.
Sorry to hear of the all the problems. About the only thing I can think of is to run some of the tests again. That is, put the meter on the starter solenoid and see if it's getting the signal. Then pull the relay and look for the signal there at the coil contacts. (One contact should always be +12V; the other will be a 0V. Set the meter to ohms, and test the 0V contact. With the key off, it should be open (very high resistance), and with the key turned to cranked, the contact should ohm out to GND (very few ohms).

At this point, I'm wondering if you have a bad (new) ignition switch. It would be a PITA, but if you could measure the crank/starter wire while turning the switch, that would help rule it out.

After that, it's time to look at the PCM, which is not good news.

I'm thinking a shop with the right tester (ie, Tech2) should be able to determine if it's a PCM issue or something else. That is, the PCM should be able to signal the tool whether or not it's seeing the crank signal and the neutral signal.

HTH.

Doug

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update: Last night (temp was 30 degrees F) car started fine. Drove it back into the garage. Removed both ground and positive cables from battery and cleaned them. Removed ground wires from body and engine and cleaned (again). Removed all wires from the starter solenoid and cleaned. Disconnected harness plug to the power distribution panels on RH fender well under the hood. Blew out the connectors with compressed air then closed and opened the connection a few times to shine up the contacts. This morning it was 15 degrees and the car started right up on the first try. I took a chance and drove it to work, along with tools to disconnect battery if necessary. Fingers crossed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update: Car started every time for me yesterday in temps below 30. This morning at 14.........no start. Tried disconnecting the battery cables and holding them together to reset controllers. Disconnected and reconnected power distribution trunk harness connector. Messed with the shift lever. No luck. Swore a little (actually a lot) and got in the van to go to work. Today I am reading that the passlock sensor in the ignition switch can change resistance with temperature change. Some guys have devised a method of bypassing the sensor by cutting the wires and soldering in a resistor to mimic the signal. That idea I will keep in que. I guess my next plan will be to use a hair dryer or heat gun to start warming different things up to see if I can pinpoint an area to focus on.
 

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Today I am reading that the passlock sensor in the ignition switch can change resistance with temperature change. Some guys have devised a method of bypassing the sensor by cutting the wires and soldering in a resistor to mimic the signal.
Did you get the flashing SECURITY message ?

Another fix for the security message is to clean the connectors on the BCM. I'm wondering, even if it's not a security/passlock issue, if cleaning your contacts might help.

To do that, with the battery disconnected, remove and re-insert each of the connectors several times. That's all that's needed. Don't try brushing the pins or using solvent.

The BCM is located above the driver's left foot. It has three connectors on it. Just pinch the handles to pull them out.

HTH.

Doug

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't recall seeing the security message when it fails. In one of the videos I found the tech had shorted the starter solenoid with the key on as a test. The engine started, ran for about one second, then died. He said that was symptom of the passlock system not getting a correct resistance reading from the key sensor. Here is a link to the first of two videos he did on the problem and the solution. This is very similar to what my car is doing. Part two should play right after this one.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think I have this critter treed! Went back through all the connections as before with the same results. No security message of any kind, not even door ajar message now. Started to pull the pcm fuse in LH dash panel and suddenly the security message came on steady and the car started. I found that if I pushed the fuse back in, the security light went out. I disconnected the harnesses and removed the panel. I intended to disassemble it and find the problem but I could not get it apart. Reinstalled the panel and now I can make it work or fail by pushing on the panel in different spots. So far I have been unable to find this panel for sale online. Salvage yard?
 
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