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F-Body Problem Diagnosis Got a problem you can't fix? Post here and one of our members will answer as soon as possible.
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:16 PM   #1
RamoneB87
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96 Camaro RS wont start without jump

Saturday morning my car started fine twice I drove it to a friends house it sat for a while then I drove it to the store. When I came back to my car it wouldn't start i asked for a jump and it worked until I turned the engine off. After a few days of jumpstarting it I took it to auto zone and they told me my battery was dead so I bought a new one, but the problems are the same. It runs fine after a jump but won't start without one. I also did the alternator test where you disconect the battery while the car was running and it seems fine. My dashboard voltage reading seems low now that I have a new battery and drops significantly whenever put into park. What is the problem I've been told multiple diagnosis: I bought a bad battery, My alternater could working just not recharging, or I have bad cables and connections. After being told so many different things I would like to know what is wrong and if I actually even needed a new battery.
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:41 PM   #2
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Re: 96 Camaro RS wont start without jump

I had the same issue 3months after I bought mine and it was a draw in the system a faulty seat switch that was causing it.

Except I discovered it when it kept snowing here and once day after a huge snow storm happened like it wouldn't start.

So after going through the trouble of buying a new battery I took it to the dealership and they found the source of the problem. Till you go to the dealer I would recomend d/c the battery if not in use. Yeah its a pain but it will save you money.
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:36 PM   #3
RamoneB87
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Re: 96 Camaro RS wont start without jump

Later I had it actually tested at autozone and everything(the batterie and alternator) was fine though they said my serpinetine belt looked bad. Also they said to never use that "alternator test" on a new car as it "throws the computer in a loop" and screws things up. I currently havent replaced the belt as I am skeptical of autozone and don't understand how a bad belt can stop it from starting but when its jumped it works.
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:10 AM   #4
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Re: 96 Camaro RS wont start without jump

First of all, the concern about that alternator 'test' is because it might produce voltage spikes that might damage electronics.

Your electrical system should have been checked before the battery was changed. The tests are simple...... use a digital volt meter and attach the leads to the battery. A good system will measure approx 12 volts when the engine is not running. Next, start the car. The voltage should increase, and read between 13.7 to 14.5 volts. Any less means the battery is not being charged properly.

Your dashboard volt meter gives you this information, too. Unfortunately, these gauges are pretty inaccurate so when your dashboard gives you unusual readings (as yours is now) you need to follow up with a more accurate volt meter.

A battery can be charged and load-tested quite easily, to see if its good. If your new battery is bad (unlikely) it can be changed under warranty.

Poor electrical connections at the alternator and/or battery can cause these problems.

A severe electrical drain as the above poster noted, can also be tested for, quite easily.

Did the Autozone people tell you to change the battery in the first place? Don't go back to that particular location as they are giving you bad advice. Find a good independent mechanic (NOT the dealer - they are too expensive) and go to him. Try asking your friends/relatives who they use, if you do not know an honest one.

Finally, in the old days, a bad V-type belt could cause a no-charge and no-start situation because it slips and does not turn the alternator enough to produce a charge.
But then newer serpentine generally never slip under normal use, even if they are about to break.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:27 AM   #5
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Re: 96 Camaro RS wont start without jump

Don't take there word at auto zone when it comes to solving an electrical issue like this they are not an auto shop, just a parts store.

There thing is to get you in and out as quickly as possible, a new battery will solve there problem fast,not yours.

The belt would have nothing to do with a draw in the system anyways. My best has looked like shit for the longest and it still run's great.:sarcasm1:
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