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2001 Chevrolet Camaro won’t start after sitting

I have a 2001 Chevy Camaro 3.8 AT. The problem I am having happens at different times. I will drive the car for sometimes a short distance and stop. When I get back in a short time later, the car won’t start again until it sits for as long as an hour or more and then starts back up with no problem. On other occasions I can drive the car for longer stretches and then park it for awhile, come back later and it won’t start again until it sits for a longer period of time and then starts up again. The engine won’t even crank. The voltage meter looks like I have a dead battery. Once the car starts up again the voltage meter shows a fully charged battery. I have noticed a couple of times while driving, the voltage meter swing back and forth from one end to the other. I have had several mechanics check it out and even the dealership and no one can seem to figure out the problem. Any input would be greatly appreciated, getting stranded with no warning sucks.

Remove both side mount battery cables from the battery.

Look at the positive battery cable connector.

Does it look like this?

Replace the positive battery cable assembly.

Tester

Fails to crank is probably the most common problem reported here. Not just on Camaros, but all cars. Usually it is one of these three

  • battery connections to battery posts not making a good low ohm contact (inspect/clean/tighten connection)
  • battery is near the end of its life, not taking a full charge (have it load tested)
  • starter motor is near the end of its life (if you measure at least 10.5 volts on both terminals (terminal to SM case) with the key in start, and it doesn’t crank the engine, replace it)

Make sure there’s no heat shields missing too. Sometimes – this is more common on performance cars than econoboxes – the exhaust system heat will cause the starter motor to overheat. They put heat shields on the starter motor to prevent that on some cars.