The engine does not turn over.

by Mark
(Manhattan Beach)

I own a 2003 Corvette C5 with relatively low mileage (58,000 mi.). Off and on for the past six months, I have experienced the following problem. When I turn the ignition key, absolutely nothing happens. There is no sound of any kind. I will then wait for 10 or 20 seconds and try again, with the same result. Usually, after a third or fourth try, the engine kicks over. When it does, there seems to be a very slight delay, and I have a sense that the engine is not responding immediately with full power. However, this is more of a vague feeling on my part. The key problem is the complete lack of response when I turn the ignition key. That is the situation right now, as I compose this message. I just had a new battery installed, so that is not the problem. The radio, lights, etc., all work when I turn the ignition key, but the engine is simply dead silent. There is no whirring or clicking sound. Nothing. The fact that the engine usually starts up after the third or fourth try is perplexing and adds to the difficulty of diagnosing the problem. When I took my car in for some other work last month, I mentioned this problem to the mechanic, who specializes in Corvettes. However, the engine turned over with no problems the entire time the car was at his shop, so he did not experience first hand the problem I described. What does this suggest? A problem with the starter mechanism? What is the best way to diagnose the problem?

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Jun 14, 2016
Checking In
by: Chris


I hope this comment finds your inbox. I wanted to check in and see if you were able to try any of the things I suggested previously. Just wanted to let you know I'm still here and ready to help.




Jun 10, 2016
Key to your problem
by: Corvette Braniac


Thank you for your submission and the excellent description of your problem. The details help us theorize a key point in the process at which your problem might exist.

The first thing that comes to mind is the security chip on the key not making full contact in the ignition electrical contact. This chip is a resistor based on the key near the big end of the key. It will be black with brass looking contacts. This resistor is one resistance of several available resistances that disable the car as a theft deterrent. This resistor value completes the circuit via the saved resistance value stored in the body control module. This feature verifies the key is actually turning the ignition lock and not something else like a screw driver mechanically overriding the lock mechanism.

My advise to you is to try another key. Preferably your spare key if you still have it available. Please try this and see if we have changed the symptoms of your problem. You could also try jiggling the key in the ignition or try pushing is slightly as your turn the key to start. If any of this changes your problem definitively please respond back and I will help you with your next step.

Either way respond back to this comment section.


Chris Trautman

Corvette Master Braniac.

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