Question about 1990 Chevrolet Camaro

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1990 camaro was bought 3 weeks ago has a

1990 camaro was bought 3 weeks ago has a ''push button'' starter mounted on the dash, assuming prior owner was trying to bypass something. Problem: car runs, suddenly stops, dies, battery goes dead. 2nd brand new alternator installed, car died again after running for about 1 hr., any ideas to help us? Mechanic got fed up with it, says might be electrical. We need help , this car has to be running. Wondering if it has anything to do with fuel pump, or ignition?

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  • beankitty Sep 04, 2009

    How does one do that? It runs well, then, just stops. Mechanic thought it was the alternator first time, when car died, he installed second alternator. Car just died in traffic, second time. When he was testing it, he sprayed fuel into carborator, car would die when fuel stopped being sprayed. It was towed to mechanic, who installed the first alternator, then towed again for second alternator, but battery dies too. Don't know what else to do?

  • beankitty Sep 04, 2009

    Would this have anything to do with the heatshield for the starter? Would this cause so much heat as to affect the alternator and the battery?

  • beankitty Sep 04, 2009

    Thank you so much for your input. It DOES have a pontiac steering wheel, but we don't know if the column is different. And we understand that it did have an alarm system,has a light on dash that says "security" which goes out after the car starts, but comes back on sometimes and stays on, sometimes goes out. Also, one key works only hatch and passenger door as lock on driver side is damaged. Advice? Thank you again!

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I believe it is electrical, and someone,
1.Has tried to bypass the use of the correct ignition key,
2.Or a fusible link for the starter is blown.

Does the ignition key have a chip on the side of it? The 1990 Camaro uses an ignition key with a resistor on the side of it. (Chip)

I had a guy install a radio, cut many wires, then wired it up wrong.
I found fusible links in the engine compartment that were blown, and wires that weren't hooked up correctly.
Took a couple of days, plus the wiring schematic for the engine compartment, and interior, to figure out what he had done!

My suggestion would be to find out if the ignition key fits THAT car first. (Dealer info)
Find out if it's the correct steering column.
Then look under the engine compartment to check out the starter wiring. You'll need 1990 Camaro wiring diagrams.

The prior owner bypassed the ignition switch with that push button momentary switch, because either/or a fusible link has melted through, or it is the wrong ignition key. (And maybe a different steering column complete with key switch!)

The 'Chip' on the key is a resistor, and THE correct resistance is needed to bypass the theft deterrent system.

Posted on Sep 04, 2009

Testimonial: "Thank you! Now it's starting to make sense, we will have that checked out if possible"

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Sep 04, 2009

    From your additional comment it, 'sounds' a lot, like you do not have the correct ignition key.

    You need to find the correct resistance value, of that resistor on the side of the key. The computer reads this value, and will only turn off the theft deterrent system if it is the correct value.
    This isn't a 'Walk in the park' sort of thing.
    (Otherwise it's like having a Valet key. You can drive the car so far, then it shuts off)

    What would I do?
    Write down the VIN number. Remove the ignition key switch from the steering column. Go down to the nearest Chevrolet dealer, and see if THAT ignition switch, and THAT key should be the one for THAT Camaro.
    You're going to need to talk to the head of the parts department, and not some kid trying to get through school. (No offense meant to anyone)

    This will take someone with knowledge, and the willingness to track the info down. They can make a key for THAT ignition switch, ->Problem Is, does the resistance value of the key chip match THE computer in YOUR car?

    GM has the info, just need someone to obtain it.


  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Sep 04, 2009

    Excuse me!
    Eyes must be a little Fuzzy! PONTAIC steering column?
    I missed that!

    Probably out of a Trans Am.
    You definitely do not have the correct ignition key!
    Fortunately it is a GM item.

    You need to see if they can trace the above info, as I have already stated. You may need to also get the numbers off of the computer, for them.
    The ECC, (Engine Control Computer), is located;
    Front seating area, passenger side, under dash, mounted behind glove compartment.


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It just so hapens that I have built many camaros and know a few tricks that can help you out first thing to do is to get a voltage meeter and test that altanator yourself first test it with the car not running 2nd test it with the car running while running there should be a increase in amps you can also turn your heater on wile its running to check the amount of draw batery should be between 10 and 12 while not running and 14+while running for the fuel problem its eather fuel filter or your fuel pump for ithe problem of it just turning off like that by yourself a new key switch and get rid of that push button sounds like the run position is cutting out this could be a bad ground, power suply, or your switch is on its way out someone probely did a crapy job wiring it dont be scared to do the job properly your self all you need is a test light . hope I was able to help ps dont get mad get even.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009

Testimonial: "Thank you genstyling our mechanic said he would work on that very thing, but it will take a lot of time, as we don't have the tools. Thanks Again "

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First thing to do is see if getting fuel & spark when it dies. One or the other, or both must be missing when it dies.

Posted on Sep 04, 2009

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Sep 04, 2009

    If he was spraying fuel into throttle body or carburetor, and engine would keep running while doing it, then that tells me you have a fuel delivery problem, but do have spark. So now we need to know why it's not getting fuel, bad pump,, bad relay , maybe just a plugged filter. When it dies, try turning key to on, not start & listen for "Hum from tank. No hum, pump not working or not getting power, then go from there.

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