Can you relate to the following scenario? You love your Chevy Camaro. You might even be a die-hard fan who knows everything there is to know about the car. But lately, taking your Camaro for a spin, you’ve noticed a few issues.
A brand new, shiny Camaro is a dream car for most. But even dream cars have their quirks, and the Chevy Camaro is no different.
But you’re in luck. You’ve found us, and we’re Camaro parts experts!
While this power car is generally reliable, we’ve compiled a few of the most common Chevy Camaro issues we’ve seen (and recommended solutions to get them corrected).
Here are eight of the most common problems:
1. Premature Wear of the Timing Chain
We see this Camaro problem happen with several model years. But it’s definitely a common issue with pre-2010 Camaros.
You may notice a strange noise (that doesn’t sound like a normal engine noise), or you may feel the performance of your Camaro suffer. In some cases, your “check engine” light will come on. All of these may be the result of a failing timing chain.
The timing chain connects the camshaft to the engine crankshaft. When the chain works as it should, both shafts rotate together with synchronized timing. But, if the timing chain begins to wear, the shafts become out of sync, which ultimately disrupts the smooth operation of your Camaro.
With regular oil changes, you may be able to prolong the life of your timing chain. But sometimes, even with good maintenance, the timing chain will wear out sooner than it should. Unfortunately, it’s not cheap to replace your timing chain. To save money, consider buying your parts separately from the mechanic who does the repair work.
2. Key Gets Stuck in the Ignition
Another common Camaro problem (especially with the 2014 model) is the key getting stuck in the ignition, and drivers reported that it can take as much as ten minutes to get the key removed after turning off the car.
Others report that the car won’t turn off, meaning that the key won’t move from the “on” to the “off” position.
Sometimes a jiggle of the gear shifter helps dislodge the key. Other times, it’s necessary to start the car again and turn it off several times until the key comes free. Ignition issues are a severe problem.
If it’s an ongoing issue, you might need to replace the gear shifter. This can be another expensive repair, so be sure to check whether or not gear shift replacement is covered under warranty.
3. Car Won’t Start While Security Light is On
This is one of the more frustrating Camaro issues.
You’re ready to go, but the car won’t start until your security light goes off. But the security light DOESN’T go off with your key in the ignition, as it should. Or maybe the light blinks on and off while you try to start the car.
Whatever the security light may be doing, the car still doesn’t start.
The Camaro’s security light is a red light on your control panel. It shows you if the anti-theft system is armed or not. When the security light is on, the system is armed and ready to deter thieves and vandals.
But when the system is malfunctioning or the wires in the ignition lock system break, your key doesn’t communicate to turn off the anti-theft system.
Your Camaro’s key has a chip inside that communicates with the anti-theft system. When you put the key in the ignition, it’s supposed to tell the anti-theft system to turn off so you can start the car.
To resolve this issue, both the ignition lock cylinder and the key need replaced.
4. Water Leaks With T-Tops
You love riding open-air in your T-Top Camaro. But when it rains, your closed tops leak (either a little or a lot).
If you notice any moisture in your car with the tops on, act fast to seal your T-Tops. A small leak can grow to a bigger water problem. Left unresolved, water in your Camaro will mold, mildew and ruin your interior.
Weather stripping lines the opening of where your T-Tops sit on your roof, and leaks typically happen with faulty weather strip steals. The good news is that leaks caused by bad weather stripping are a fairly easy fix.
A little time and new weather stripping for Camaro T-Tops should solve the problem.
You can tackle this project without a mechanic. But if you want to be sure the leaky roof seals without further issue, find a Camaro expert to help you. No matter if you drive a T-Top model or another Camaro model, floor mats are also a good idea (saving your car from water drips, dirt, coffee spills and other random debris).
5. Hatch or Hood Support Failures
This particular Chevy Camaro problem has the potential to be dangerous.
When you lift the hood or raise the hatch, a support failure causes the hood to fall back down.
Don’t risk getting trapped under your back hatch door while putting things in the trunk.
Rather than propping the hatch open, replace the supports.
Replacing the support is the only fix for this issue, and you are certainly better safe than sorry on this one!
6. Power Window Stops Working
Rolling in your Camaro with the windows down is how things should be. But when your power windows stop working, you may be left out in the cold.
Sometimes, the window will move slowly or even stop moving midway because the window’s motor has stopped working. It might start working again after it cools down, but if so, it will only be a temporary solution.
Why is fixing this issue important? Answer: when the motor stops working, the window can be easily pushed down to gain access to your car.
Don’t risk making it easy for thieves to break into your car. As soon as you notice your window slowing down or getting stuck up or down, get it fixed.
It’s an annoying issue, but it’s not uncommon, and simply replacing the window motor resolves the problem. You’ll spend a couple of hundred dollars on the repair with a mechanic. Or, purchase the part, remove the inner panel of your car door, and tackle this one yourself.
7. Weak Brake or Tail Lights
If you notice your Camaro’s brake lights or tail lights seem too dim, you could have a problem. And, if replacing the bulb doesn’t work, it could be a bigger issue.
Dim backlights happen when there is a faulty ground connection inside the light socket.
(Also, remember to check your third brake light — it’s the one inside your Camaro, located in the middle of your back windshield. In most states, you can get a ticket if your third brake light is out even if your two outside brake lights work.)
Don’t wait until your lights stop working. When you recognize your tail lights seem dim, it may be time to replace the light sockets.
8. A/C or Radio Shorted Out
If anything electrical shorts out or is not working the way it should, get your Camaro checked.
Most often, we see shorts happen with the air-conditioner or the radio.
If your car’s radio flickers in and out or if you smell anything burning, don’t wait to take a look at the issue. (We’ve also heard of some Camaro drivers experiencing the CD player ejecting CDs at random.)
It could be something as simple as replacing a fuse. Or it could be a more serious repair.
Ongoing electrical issues can lead to other issues. When your Camaro is fighting to send proper electrical communications to the right components, this can also drain the car’s battery.
Before a flicker or a flying CD becomes a bigger and more expensive electrical issue, get your Camaro checked out.
New Parts Resolve Chevy Camaro Reliability Issues
The Chevy Camaro is a high standard of a muscle car with a deep history and healthy rivalry with the Mustang. The Camaro is an icon.
Don’t let problems with your beloved car turn you off. Just like other performance car, Camaro has it’s known, common (and often frustrating) issues. But the good news is that when Chevy Camaro issues are common, solutions are readily available!
RPI Designs started in 1998 as a company with an idea to bring innovative Chevy Corvette parts and accessories to Corvette drivers. Today, we’ve grown to provide parts for Challenger, the Camaro, and yes, the Mustang.
We have parts for the newest models, and we have parts for most late 1990s and early 2000s models. But, even better, buying your parts from us can save money over dealership parts and labor.
Best of all, we love to talk shop. Contact us to chat about upgrades or potential problems that we can help you resolve with your car.