if your car has a anti theft device system built into the igniton. fusible link next to the battery cables . neutral safety switch. poor groundMore detailedI have a 1995 Camaro Convertible and this happened to me a few weeks ago. Battery was only a few months old, and I had just driven the car 5 minutes earlier. It seems the anti-theft device built into most 93-97 Camaro's (and other years, probably) completely shuts off the ignition switch. When you turn the key absolutely nothing happens, even if the anti-theft 'key' is properly inserted below the dash on the driver's side. (What I did to trigger it I have no idea, since I've had the car for 10 years now and it's never happened before.)
If you wait about 15 minutes the power should be restored, and you can then start your car and drive away. It doesn't sound like one of the detailed battery problems below, since even with a bad battery you would get *some* kind of response (clicking, a voltage signal,..)
This can be hazardous. You will be working on an automotive electrical system that can not be tested with the battery disconnected. Be careful at all times, and DO NOT attempt any of this if you are not familiar with working around automotive electrical systems safely.
First, check the battery voltage, I use the 20 volt DC scale. Minimum should be over 11. Starting takes a lot of power, and a bad battery will not do it. A common sign of low battery is a clicking sound (once or continual) from the selenoid when you try to start.
Check the voltage at the battery both with the ignition key off and with it in the start position. If the voltage drops under 10 volts with the key in the start position, then the battery needs recharging or replacement.
Next check the ground to the starter (with the key off) by leaving the red lead on the positive battery terminal and moving the black lead to the outside metal of the starter. If there is a change of more than 1 volt, you have a problem in the grounding for the car.
If the battery voltage is OK, move on to testing the selenoid. This is done by putting the black wire to the metal fender inside the engine compartment, and using the red probe to check the external terminals on the selenoid.
One large wire (the battery feed) should be hot (11-14 volts) all the time, and the other (one or two) should only be hot when the key is in the 'start' position.
The small wire ignition (key) wire. If there is no voltage on that wire while the key is in 'start' then your trouble is in the key circuit and you need to track that issue.
The third wire (it it exists), attached to the starter itself is the power feed to the starter. If there is power to the ignition wire but no power out, then the problem is that the selenoid has failed.
[Key wire problems]
I had this happen lots of times on my 89 IROC-Z which I still have. If you take apart your steering column and look at where you switch is you will see two white small wires that lead into where you put your key into. These wires is what your key chip connect to for your anti theft device. They are very small and over time will break because with each key turn it pulls on them. (I had the same thing with having to wait a few mintues to start the car, I thought it was a batt problem but it wasn't) All I did is go to Chevy order your key mech and switch it out. You might have to get new keys made depending if they have the right one in stock because the voltage differs with each car. The part is about $50 or so and should only take you about an hour to remove old one and install new. After I removed the old one I installed the new and left the wires out of the bundle for easy removal at a later date for when this one goes out.
Might also check out the bolt that holds battery cable to battery. Ran across this last week. The bolt felt as though held by one thread as i cleaned and retightened. Replaced with longer bolt from parts house and got into the deeper threads in bottom of hole in battery. Fixed it.
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