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1985 Chevy Camaro Z28 5L 5 Speed Transmission

More times than not, when I turn the key to start, there appears to be no power. No dash lights, dash gauges don't move, radio doesn't come on, headlights, horn, and flashers don't work. I've checked for loose or damaged wires but have found nothing. Does anyone have ideas on that could be wrong?

  • If you turn the key back and forth a couple of times, will it come to life? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Nov 7 '16 at 18:43
  • You said "when I turn the key to start". How about when the key is in the ON position? Start usually cuts power to everything while the starter is engaged. Is that what you are saying? – CharlieRB Nov 7 '16 at 19:24
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things to look at:

  • bad battery terminals. typically when the car cranks it will sound normal even if the cables are loose but loose / frayed battery cables can shut everything off if they don't give enough amps.
  • check your ground cable too.
  • look under the dash where your ignition switch is (thing you put the key in) there should be some wires coming off of it. wiggle them while trying to start the car.
  • I am assuming there is nothing when you turn the car to ACC or ON not just crank. When in crank position usually the car turns all accessories off to give the starter as many amps as possible. if everything is on except when trying to crank then it may be a bad starter.

Let me know with some more details and I can give a new set of things to look at.

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Turn the key OFF and remove it. Hit horn. On most american cars, the horn should work with the key out. If the horn does not work, it is something electrical - closer to the battery, probably cables and/or clamps.

If horn does work, check the keyswitch and/or starter motor shorting down the battery.

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