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Discussion Starter #1
If my ignition key has a 09 on the Knock out, is this the VATS code?
I have searched but haven't found an answer, will the VATS system totally disable the starter as in a no crank situation?

Thanks.
 

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DC Crew
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You have to ohm out your key then look at the table and see what the value is.

Key #1 = 0.41 K Ohms resistance
Key #2 = 0.53
Key #3 = 0.68
Key #4 = 0.89
Key #5 = 1.13
Key #6 = 1.47
Key #7 = 1.87
Key #8 = 2.37
Key #9 = 3.02
Key #10 = 3.73
Key #11 = 4.76
Key #12 = 6.05
Key #13 = 7.47
Key #14 = 9.55
Key #15 = 11.76
 

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197 Posts
I have hear VATS doing one of the 2 typical scenarios. Allowing to crank but no start condition OR No crank at all condition.
I believe original design was to allow to crank but NO start condition when an incorrect value "chip" key was in the ignition and fit the tumbler positions needed to move ignition lock cylinder to start/run position.
Just like raid said....there are 15 different possible values you could have on your key. The "chip" is actually just a resistor. The ECM looks for a preprogrammed value from the factory when you put your key in. If it matches and it will unlock the lock cylinder then the VATS will allow the car to start. Its actually a simple system. There are 2 contact that are fixed in your ignition lock cylinder that contact the resistor on your key when it is put in. This effectively puts the resistor in series with the input of your ECM for VATS. You can easily bypass the vats by simply measuring the resistor and get one at your local radio shack, etc. and find the 2 very small gauge (28ga i believe) that come off the lock cylinder. Cut both and solder your resistor across the 2 that head down your steering column.
I am not sure what the tolerance is for the resistor but if you measure it and install one that is close you can always put one in parallel to get it even closer. (assuming VATS is working correctly).

Your resistor on your key may be oxidized over causing a poor connection when key is put in the ignition. Try taking a pencil eraser and rubbing it over the 2 silver pieces on the resistor (on your key).
 

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Darwin award nominee
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Discussion Starter #4
You have to ohm out your key then look at the table and see what the value is.

Key #1 = 0.41 K Ohms resistance
Key #2 = 0.53
Key #3 = 0.68
Key #4 = 0.89
Key #5 = 1.13
Key #6 = 1.47
Key #7 = 1.87
Key #8 = 2.37
Key #9 = 3.02
Key #10 = 3.73
Key #11 = 4.76
Key #12 = 6.05
Key #13 = 7.47
Key #14 = 9.55
Key #15 = 11.76
I measured the resistance last night on my keys and came up with 2.99 to 3.01. I have ordered 2 new #9 keys.
Thanks
 

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Highly doubt it is your key causing the problem. Try rubbing the resistor contacts with an eraser to make sure they are clean though.

Problem could be in your contact set at ignition lock cylinder. (dirty contacts OR wires broke off the contacts). To check this you have to take the steering wheel apart. (make sure you disable air bags!)

Easiest check is to just place a 3K resistor (your cars value for vats) across the 2 wires that lead from your contact set in the ignition that lead to the ECM. If car starts setup like this then you have a problem downstream of where you put the resistor in the circuit. If still no start then problem is wiring toward ECM or the ECM itself.

This is of course assuming it isnt a starter/wiring problem or ignition switch problem. You might troubleshoot those first.
 

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Darwin award nominee
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Discussion Starter #6
Highly doubt it is your key causing the problem. Try rubbing the resistor contacts with an eraser to make sure they are clean though.

Problem could be in your contact set at ignition lock cylinder. (dirty contacts OR wires broke off the contacts). To check this you have to take the steering wheel apart. (make sure you disable air bags!)

Easiest check is to just place a 3K resistor (your cars value for vats) across the 2 wires that lead from your contact set in the ignition that lead to the ECM. If car starts setup like this then you have a problem downstream of where you put the resistor in the circuit. If still no start then problem is wiring toward ECM or the ECM itself.

This is of course assuming it isnt a starter/wiring problem or ignition switch problem. You might troubleshoot those first.
Car starts, I think what happened is Saturday night I had the key with the pellet which is severly worn to the point where the contacts are flush with the plastic it is in. Car would'nt even crank, security light on. It was so damn dark in the driveway, I didn't realize which key I had. Now that key is hanging in the closet, not on my ring. Car started a little later with one of the better keys.
Thanks for the help.
 

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I know atleast back in the late 80's early 90's you could get those keys cut while you wait at True Value or maybe it was Ace Hardware store. Don't know if you have those stores in your area. They actually stocked the GM vats keys in all 15 different values. They use to be like $15-$20 each.

Atleast you aren't stuck with no wheels.......

But that's what you get for waiting so long to deal with the key knucklehead! :rolling:
 
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