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Topic: My 1992 Corvette won't start

My 1992 Corvette won't start (1/32)
 11/23/09 3:17pm
WEGOTYM
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1992 Corvette Coupe LT1 Six Speed


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My 1992 Corvette won't start. The lights and radio, etc. come on, but the starter won't engage or even make a sound.
This is a six speed.
It has been running great and I drove it the day before this problem first occurred.
There are less than 50,000 miles on the car.
Could the Neutral Safety Switch be the problem?
In researching things, I have seen where the ECM or security may also be the cause.
I have tried both keys in case there was a bad one and to no avail.
What about starter?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
Russ...
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My 1992 Corvette won't start (2/32)
 11/24/09 12:31am
ZR1CK
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Liverpool, NY - USA

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'91 ZR1


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Russ, diagnosing a problem afar is very difficult.  What I usually do is to plan a process of elimination, and start with the easiest first.  If you don't already have one, and it doesn't sound like you do, get yourself a good maintenance or shop manual.  Chiltons is usually pretty good, although I don't think they're as good as they use to be.  Anyway, it should show some directions to take in diagnosing your problem.  It could be any one of a number of things, try with the simplest first.  It could very well be a safety switch and that's probably where I'd start.  I've also had starter solenoids in the past get what's known as a "dead" spot.  That's where the starter is completely lifeless at times and others it responds normal.  If you know how to "short" across the solenoid, this will tell you if it may be the solenoid.  This "shorting" is actually bypassing the ignition and any other safety switch to engage the solenoid and the starter.  If you don't know how to do this then let it be and try another direction.  Good luck.
Rick
My 1992 Corvette won't start (3/32)
 11/24/09 12:44am
Adams' Apple
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Duncanville, TX - USA

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1985 Coupe-L98/Auto,Bright Red/Carmine. 1974 Coupe-L48/4speed, Medium Red Metallic/Black Deluxe.


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Do the dash lights dim when you turn it to "crank", with the clutch in? Turn the key to "crank", with the clutch out, then, while holding the key to crank, push the clutch in. If the dash lights dim a little when you push the clutch in, the NSS is probably not the problem.
Does the "Security" light come on/flash at any time?
The ECM will probably not cause a no crank, but the BCM/CCM could, if the '92 has that...I don't know off-hand if they do or not.
Have you had it scanned, or is it possible to get it scanned for codes? There is a thread here on how to get codes out of it if you do not have access to a scanner...codes(if there are any) would help with the diagnosis.
Of course, the first things to check would be battery cable connections, and fuses...


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My 1992 Corvette won't start (4/32)
 11/25/09 12:54pm
Turquoise91
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Roscommon, MI - USA

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Russ,
It sound like the identical problem with my 91 last year. I eventually found the problem in the C100 harness connector ( this is the main harness to the powertrain) the connection to the starter was failing. I cleaned the complete interior of the connector (harness) and used an electronic grease and it has worked perfectly since. This is not the easiest harness to get to and work on because I had to remove the battery and work behind the battery cavity. Also used jumpercables to remotely rig the battery up to test it. I hope this helps. I found this trouble shotting  method in the service manual which is a great purchase for older vehicles.
My 1992 Corvette won't start (5/32)
 12/1/09 3:37am
FLDAVE
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Had you recently washed down (hosed) the engine or driven thru heavy rain or a puddle?
If you did it's the Optispark distributor. These things are worse than the old Chyrsler products. A dark cloud passes over and moisture forms in the distributor. They do not like water.
Had this happen to me while driving through a heavy downpour.
Just a SWAG.
 
Good luck.
My 1992 Corvette won't start (6/32)
 12/26/09 12:38am
LeesVette
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Sherwood, AR - USA

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1992 Bright Red Coupe


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It's not the optispark.  A dead opti would still let the starter engage.  The opti gets a bad rap for a lot of things.  The opti is not the bad of a distributor.  Matter of fact, its one of the most precision built and operating pieces ever constructed.  of course it has its weaknesses but even the first gens can last for well over a hundred thousand miles.  Mine has.  It's still ticking at 135K.
My 1992 Corvette won't start (7/32)
 12/26/09 7:35pm
91corvette
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Warsaw, IN - USA

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1991 Coupe ACI ground effects,billet specialties wheel,flowmaster,k&n.


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My guess is its the VATS. They suck! Get a bypass and drive on.
My 1992 Corvette won't start (8/32)
 12/26/09 9:54pm
AZJoeD
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Scottsdale, AZ - USA

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ZRICK is correct.  You need to troubleshoot this by working through several tests.  It could be anything from the neutral safety switch you mentioned, to the ignition switch, to the starter solenoid, to the battery, to fuse, etc.

Start by elimnating the starter/ solenoid and work back.  A wiring diagram will help.

My 1992 Corvette won't start (9/32)
 12/27/09 9:15am
LewLinda1199
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Odenton, MD - USA

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1987 T5 5 speed ,cast iron head motor (no history on this) Z-51 Bright red with gray leather interior Greenwood spoiler,Corvette Central muffler eliminators and American Racing 16" Gotti replicas.


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My first guess would be the clutch switch. That would keep the engine from cranking if it is defective. You can jump it by removing the harness from the switch and running a jumper accross the 2 wires. Please make sure you are in neutral!!!
My 1992 Corvette won't start (10/32)
 12/30/09 5:00pm
C4master
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Cedar Lake, IN - USA

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I still think its the opti-spark.
My 1992 Corvette won't start (11/32)
 1/3/10 11:35am
96LT1
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Powhatan, VA - USA

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If the starter is not engaging--I'd suspect VATS problem first. Have you tryed another ign. key in the switch ? There are contacts inside the steering column which "read" the resistance of the "pellet" in the key. The pellet must be clean and the contacts must be clean. You don't have a "neutral safety switch" w/your manual tranny--you DO have a clutch switch as someone else mentioned.. There is also a starter relay behind the I/P or the starter itself may be bad. I'd suspect VATS first because that system has given enough problems that(also as someone else said) there is a aftermarket VATS bypass kit available  Since the starter is not turning-- the "opti distributor" is not your problem.  Thumbs Up
My 1992 Corvette won't start (12/32)
 1/22/10 11:59pm
WEGOTYM
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A big THANK YOU to everyone for your comments on my recent post that my 1992 Corvette would not start.
Many of you suggested that it was the VATS (Vehicle Anti Theft System) and hat is exactly what it was.
I checked the OHMS reading from my keys, purchased the proper resistors, soldered them in-line, enclosed them in shrink tube, made the bypass per instructions and within minutes, the new connection was made and the car started right up.
It has been a great week!!!
This forum in incredible and has a lot of merit.
It is great to be a part of a group of people who share a common bond among Corvette owners.
I hope to be of assistance to others in the future.
With greatest appreciation.
Russ...
WEGOTYM (We got time)
My 1992 Corvette won't start (13/32)
 1/23/10 12:11am
Adams' Apple
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Duncanville, TX - USA

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1985 Coupe-L98/Auto,Bright Red/Carmine. 1974 Coupe-L48/4speed, Medium Red Metallic/Black Deluxe.


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Glad you got it taken care of! It sux when ya can't drive your Corvette!
Did ya happen to take any pics of the modification? If so, pleas feel free to share!


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My 1992 Corvette won't start (14/32)
 1/23/10 12:33am
WEGOTYM
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It is such a closed in space for trying to take photos that I didn't.
I will grab the web sites that had diagrams and post them.
They were quite valuable.
Thank you for your input.
Russ...

My 1992 Corvette won't start (15/32)
 1/23/10 11:49am
redvette89
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Huron, OH - USA

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Every now and then, I have the same problem. When this happens to me, I just take the ignition key for a walk and get it about 2 blocks away from the car for 5 minutes. After this brief little exercise, the car starts right up

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My 1992 Corvette won't start (16/32)
 1/23/10 1:11pm
redvette89
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Huron, OH - USA

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forgot to say, a good GM tech once told me the signal between the ignition key and the VATS can get hosed. When the key is moved 100+ yards from the car, the signal is broken. The VATS needs 5 minutes to exhaust its retries. Then when you return to the car, the VATS is refreshed and the signal is refreshed

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My 1992 Corvette won't start (17/32)
 1/23/10 7:46pm
WEGOTYM
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Thanks for the information.
I hope I never have to use it but will be ready if needed.
Russ...Wink
My 1992 Corvette won't start (18/32)
 1/24/10 9:53pm
91corvette
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I was ready to sell my vette the first year that I got it. That vats thing would drive me nuts. Puy the bypass on and 3 years now and no trouble. Glad to hear you got yours fixed.
My 1992 Corvette won't start (19/32)
 2/8/10 11:38pm
LeesVette
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Sherwood, AR - USA

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1992 Bright Red Coupe


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[QUOTE=redvette89]forgot to say, a good GM tech once told me the signal between the ignition key and the VATS can get hosed. When the key is moved 100+ yards from the car, the signal is broken. The VATS needs 5 minutes to exhaust its retries. Then when you return to the car, the VATS is refreshed and the signal is refreshed[/QUOTE]
This isn't correct. The VATS doesn't work that way especially in the cars that didn't come with the proximity FOB. The VATS strictly works with the resistor in the key.  And it doesn't take 5 minutes for the VATS to reset or "your tries" to run out.
My 1992 Corvette won't start (20/32)
 2/9/10 8:35am
redvette89
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Now I'm curious... when the car is "dead" and I get the key away from it for a short period of time, it starts right up. This happens to me anywhere from 1 to 3 times a year over the last 6 years. I'm not very knowledgable in electronics but know enough to recognize the key doesn't have anything more than a resisitor as you pointed out. I just know this quick step gets me going again. So technically, why does this work?



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My 1992 Corvette won't start (21/32)
 2/9/10 9:21am
Adams' Apple
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Duncanville, TX - USA

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1985 Coupe-L98/Auto,Bright Red/Carmine. 1974 Coupe-L48/4speed, Medium Red Metallic/Black Deluxe.


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The VATS system does have a timer on it. If the system "arms" itself, for whatever reason, you'll have to wait a few minutes, usually 3 minutes, before it will dis-arm. Walking away from the car with the key does nothing other than kill 3 minutes.

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My 1992 Corvette won't start (22/32)
 5/13/10 8:43pm
Amanda918
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Hi, I am having the same problem with my 1992 vet, it is automatic though. I dont know much about these things can someone point me in the right direction on where to do this bypass thing?
My car has 43k miles on it and a brand new battery. Which  I know now that is not that problem. A light comes on that sae INF RESt comes on along with the security. I have tried both keys and neither work. I drove car and went to drive again 10 minutes later and now no start all power starts but not even a little start.. nothing!! Help!!!!!
My 1992 Corvette won't start (23/32)
 5/13/10 11:04pm
Adams' Apple
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Duncanville, TX - USA

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Having the "Inf Rest"(air bag) light on , the Security light on, and a no start, sounds like there may be an issue within the steering column.
Does the Security light flash, or is it on all the time?


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My 1992 Corvette won't start (24/32)
 5/14/10 9:33am
WEGOTYM
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It is definitely the VATS system. I had the same problem recently with my '92 six speed.
It is simple fix.

I have the specs sheet on Bypassing the VATS system.
It is the perfect solution.
Great diagram, info, and simple directions.
It took me about 3 months to research what to do and when I confirmed it was the VATS based on all of the great info from the members on this forum, I went to work on it. It took about 45 minutes once I had the two under dash panels removed.
I did find however, that Radio Shack does not carry these type of resistors.
Go to an electrical supply store.
I spent less than $4.00 for everything.
That is because I had to buy the resistors in packages of 10.

E-mail me direct at russ@capstonecreative.com and I will send you the info sheet that includes diagrams, instructions, and photo of what you need to do. Follow it and you will be running in no time.
Please feel free to contact me if you need further assistance.

I am glad to help.
Where are you located?
I am in Minnesota.

Good luck!
Russ...





My 1992 Corvette won't start (25/32)
 8/4/10 1:03am
fenderman
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I also have  a 1992 c4 that wont start sometimes.Crank no fire, with security message and service ASR lite on when it happens. New keys and ignition  lock cylinder, New ecm. The fuel enable seems like it shuts off for a few minutes. I've owed it for 10 yrs and this started about 3 yrs ago. Any Help? 

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My 1992 Corvette won't start (26/32)
 8/4/10 8:48am
WEGOTYM
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Boy, I'm puzzled on that one.
My problem was with the VATS which would not allow the engine to crank at all.
I had full electrical but no turn over.
A quick by pass procedure and the problem was solved.
I'll ask around and respond if I learn anything that might help you.
Re: My 1992 Corvette won't start (27/32)
 9/23/16 4:37pm
Tesla220
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Normally if the VATS system is keeping the engine from cranking the security light will continue to flash after you tirn the ignition switch to the on position.

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Re: My 1992 Corvette won't start (28/32)
 8/8/19 9:09pm
Bruce Lee
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Amanda918 said: Hi, I am having the same problem with my 1992 vet, it is automatic though. I dont know much about these things can someone point me in the right direction on where to do this bypass thing?
My car has 43k miles on it and a brand new battery. Which  I know now that is not that problem. A light comes on that sae INF RESt comes on along with the security. I have tried both keys and neither work. I drove car and went to drive again 10 minutes later and now no start all power starts but not even a little start.. nothing!! Help!!!!!

Did you get your problem resolved? Mine is 1992 automatic also. Just got a new battery after previous one lasted just four years because just sitting around and I didn't get it running for a couple of months. I went to a radio shop and replaced the original radio/blutooth system. The shop has it crank up and I drove home and let it sit overnight. The following morning I tried to set it started and all it does is cranking but no sign of fuel being ignited. There is 3/4 tank of fuel. I call the shop and asked about the possible electrical problem of malfunctioning fuel injector due to the computerized program being mess-up. He was going to check with his company but I haven't heard anything. I thought it was the security and VATs issue but I went through the steps of the recommended actions to get it started. I used the manual and look up some of the YouTube videos but all it does when I turn the key to start, it makes the cranking sound but no ignition sound. I haven't had this problem ever. Just happened after replacing my old radio system. What do I need to do? Reprogram the system? I'm ready to have it haul over to the GM dealer. 




|UPDATED|8/8/2019 6:09:02 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|
Re: My 1992 Corvette won't start (29/32)
 8/9/19 10:12am
Bruce Lee
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How do I need to do to by pass the VATS? Radio shop just replaced the old radio system (1992) with Kentwood and the electrical system on fuel injector may be impacted. I can get it crank but won't fire it up. Any suggestion is welcome? Bruce. 

 

Re: My 1992 Corvette won't start (30/32)
 8/9/19 10:15am
chevykid
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Ephrata, PA - USA

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1995 Std Coupe Dark Purple Metallic Auto Trans Z07 Suspension Just under 23K miles (7.7.13)


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I would suggest you look into a Service Manual from Bishko Automobile Literature;  they have the complete GM manual on CD for less than $37 + shipping, or maybe you could find  it somewhere else for less money.  Not only will it help trouble-shoot your current problem, but also any difficulties that show up in the future.

I have one of these for my '95, and it has been very helpful.  The books are model-year specific, not generic like some after-market manuals.

Re: My 1992 Corvette won't start (31/32)
 8/9/19 1:45pm
Bruce Lee
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My problem resolved. The new battery which was installed day prior to taking over to the radio shop was low in charge. The shop was installing and took 4-5 hours and had the electric lights running all day and drained the battery. The battery reading was less than half mark and it cranked but did not turn over. I hook the battery charger/jumper and hook it up for a few minutes and then set the charger on Start and it cranks up immediately. So it was simple, the C$ 1992 will crank but won't fire up if the battery charge is less than half charged. 

Re: My 1992 Corvette won't start (32/32)
 8/9/19 1:49pm
Bruce Lee
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My problem resolved. The new battery which was installed day prior to taking over to the radio shop was low in charge. The shop was installing and took 4-5 hours and had the electric lights running all day and drained the battery. The battery reading was less than half charge mark and it cranked but did not turn over. I hook the battery charger/jumper and hook it up for a few minutes and then set the charger on Start and it cranks up immediately. So it was simple, the C4 1992 will crank but won't fire up if the battery charge is less than half charged. Lessons learned!

 

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