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Pontiac Grand Am Security Passlock Problems



  • I've never heard of PassLock kicking in once the vehicle is running. Sounds to me like you have some other difficulty added on.
  • illadelfilladelf Posts: 5
    Hey I just wanted to thank you guys for your help and advice on this site. I have had my car since '03 and am really short on cash right now. Rather than briging it in and spending $500 on some bulls***, I fixed this myself (with y'alls help). To everyone who is worried about doing this themselves, I don't know anything about cars and it was an easy fix. Save yourself the time and money by just following the simple steps clearly laid out by all of these guys. Thanks!!
  • Quote: What happens sometimes is when I start the car it will idle and out of no where it will shut off and that's when I can't get the car started without performing the 10 minute reset

    Most GM manuals advise replacing the fuel filter as the first step when you have problems similar to this. Often, with a clogged fuel filter, letting the car sit for a few minutes will allow the clog to free itself.

    At any rate, the security system DOES NOT require a 10 minute relearn when the light is on, but the car starts. You would be better off just turning the ignition off and waiting 10 minutes and trying to start again. That way, you don't drain the battery with those infernal DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS!!!
  • ace39ace39 Posts: 2
    I just had to write to, lovemygrandam, thank him and tell him he was right on! After being very frustrated with this auto problem, I found his article on fixing the 2002 Pontiac Grandam Passlock security system. I copied his step by step procedure (selected solution 3) and it fixed the problem 100%. What I can't figure out is why this wasn't a pontiac manufacture recall item? However, I am truly thankful for your easy to follow solution and saved the headache and cost of going to a dealer. Many thanks and kudos!! Ace39
  • dbstlsdbstls Posts: 3
    Hello all,

    I have been reading this message board for the past week. I have tried the bypass and have since respliced things back to the way they were before the "fix". when I turn the key on my 02 Grandam, all I get is a 3 second hum ( I assume this is the fuel pump) then the dummy lights and nothing. this has been happening for 4 days now. I have replaced the battery as well. The security light is on SOLID i am not a mechanic but have tried to follow the suggestions here however most of the posts here are with cars that are actually turning over... my car does nothing.... any suggestions? PLEASE
  • I have no clue. The sysptoms don't match what are normal for the security passlock problem. I suggest you get a manual for your car, and follow the diagnostic suggestions therein. Also, all my experience is with manual transmission vehicles. If yours is automatic, the security system may disable the starter, rather than the fuel injectors.
  • tripower1tripower1 Posts: 25
    You know that when the security light stays on it locks out your ignition so the car dosen't even turn over. I have a few question, 1. What happened in the past, did you do any thing that made it start like the 10 min wait or kick the tire twice?
    2. what lights come on, if its the passlock system all my lights were out except the security light. 3. When you turn the key to the on position and you here the three second buzz what happens when you turn the key to the start position, do you here any click sound, it could be real small. Have someone lisen with there head under the hood when you try to start your car. After all that email me with what you find.
    Just to give you some on what going on in my mind is. if all the idiot lights come on when you turn the key to the on position and you get nothing when you try to start it I'm looking at a starter problem ie fuseable link, relay....
    let me know

  • dbstlsdbstls Posts: 3
    In the past, I have done the wait 10 minute trick and it has worked. I have only owned this car for 2 years, bought it for my son. the first time it did this, I found the 10 minute thing in the owners manual. this is the second time since i have had the car, and this time, nothing seems to work. I have killed my battery trying the 10 minute thing as I had been told I have to to that 3 consecutive times before it will work. Now my battery is dead again...... brand new..

    2) when I turn the key to try and start the car, all the dummy lights come on, then all go out but the battery light, and the service light. but then if I turn it off and back to on the security light is on solid.

    3) when I turn the key to try and start the engine, i only hear the humm, buzz which I believe is the fuel pump and nothing else.
  • Quote: You know that when the security light stays on it locks out your ignition so the car dosen't even turn over.....

    Tripower, where did you get this information. I don't doubt that it is true, but it's not the case for my car, which has a standard transmission. When my security light came on and was flashing, the starter motor would crank the engine, but it would not start. Then later, with the security light on solid, the starter motor would crank the engine, but not start. Finally, after a 10 minute reset, the car would start. This is all verified by the shop manual for my vehicle, which says that the security system disables only the fuel supply.

    I believe there may be a different condition for automatic transmissions, and they probably disable the starter, rather than the fuel system. at least in some vehicles. Out of 640 posts, there must be someone out there who has a shop manual for a Grand Am with Automatic Tranny? Please tell us what it says about this.
  • dbstlsdbstls Posts: 3

    I just had someone else assist me with trying to figure out this issue, and to your message Tripower1, there IS a faint clicking as you stated.. what would that be?

  • jmay78jmay78 Posts: 1
    I have a 99 grandam se. Got it 2 years ago. It is fine in the winter time, no problems with security light. EVERY summer never wants to start. I had no problem waiting the ten min. but last week it started doing it 2 times in a row. Then yesterday it did it 6 times in a row. I need some suggestions. I have read what people are saying about a yellow wire by the radio. Then i have read about a toggle switch. Also have read about a bypass method. Any help would be very greatly appreciated. thanks
  • We've been over this problem before in this thread. Mine suffered the same problem. Cause is that it is a lot wetter in the summer time almost everywhere. Humidity is the underlying culprit, with corrosion.

    On the '99, I think you can use the method detailed by me earlier for the '97 (ignition on the column). Beneath the cowling on the steering column are three screws which you can pop in less than five minutes. Once inside you'll find the yellow wire. This is the one to the ignition. WARNING: DON'T CUT THE YELLOW WIRE TO THE AIRBAG!

    I cut my toggle in here (Radio Shack, $3), mounted it underneath on the cowling. Your red light will stay on if you use this method, or more likely flicker, since it is subject to the humidity too. THE CAR MUST BE RUNNING BEFORE THE WIRE IS CUT, AND THE TOGGLE MUST THEN BE SWITCHED TO THE "OFF" POSITION (wire disconnected) BEFORE YOU TURN VEHICLE OFF. Toggle is used to restart car after changing out battery (PassLock can rearm under those circumstances). Flip it "on" (wire connected) and wait as previously (you may have to unscrew cowling again and jiggle the wire while turning the key).
  • ace39ace39 Posts: 2
    Hello, Has everyone who has had Security light/Passlock problems on their Pontiac Grandam checked out lovemygrandam web site at; I was totally impressed with the solution and detailed solution, including photos. Most importantly, it corrected my problem the first time. Check out berger's web, it may be helpful and solve your grandam problem.
  • Jmay78 wrote: I need some suggestions. I have read what people are saying about a yellow wire by the radio. Then i have read about a toggle switch. Also have read about a bypass method. Any help would be very greatly appreciated. thanks

    Jmay78, read post #599. Then read all the posts mentioned in that post, and also the blog at:
    Grand Am Passlock Security Fix

    After you have read those posts and that blog, you will know as much as anyone here about all the possible fixes to the Passlock(tm) system.
    Dick Berger
  • corbin_09corbin_09 Posts: 3
    omg, my grand am is doing the exact same thing.. the security light is on solid. Now my new battery is dead(thanks to the 10 min thing I had to do several times). A brand new starter and fuel pump have been put on there and it was only a short time b4 the problem was there again, but if you have the solution to this recurring problem that wont allow my car to start, please email me at
  • corbin_09corbin_09 Posts: 3
    hi, my grand am's passlock security problem has been giving me the blues. do you think a reputable mechanic would be able to disarm the security system via the instructions on the website u mentioned successfully? one more thing... so has your car tried to hesitate to crank since you've tried the disarming?
  • corbin_09 wrote:
    hi, my grand am's passlock security problem has been giving me the blues. do you think a reputable mechanic would be able to disarm the security system via the instructions on the website u mentioned successfully?

    Yes, but be sure to go to post 599, and print out all the posts mentioned there, and all the photos in the links on post #50. You will probably have to look around to find a mechanic willing to do this mod, since it is electrical, not mechanical. You would probably have more luck going to your local computer geek shop, showing him the stuff, and asking him if he could do it.

    This is a job that requires electronic knowledge, and the ability to solder. That's why you can't take it to a dealer to have it done. Pontiac dealers know nothing more than "replace parts". They are hired because they don't know how to think. If it's a wiring problem, they replace the wiring harness. If it's the motor, they replace the motor. But then, the same holds true of Honda mechanics too.

    That's why it's important to obtain a shop manual for your particular car. These are written in such a manner that by following the diagnostic procedures, even an 8th grader could find and replace the right part. The problem is, most people who can read are not mechanics.
  • Hello to all...
    My Screen Name says it all, I too am a victim of GM's Passlock Security System Malfunction.
    I own 2 Pontiac Grand Ams.

    The 1st(2000 4cly.4 dr. SE) I purchase as a gift for my daughter used as her 1st car. This car has been very good with no major problems other then maintanence issues related to a car with 80,000 miles. We have owned it over a year..

    The 2nd(2001 4cly.2 dr. SE) is the CAR FROM HELL, also a gift purchased for my son about 6 months ago with only 42,000 miles on it. I too, like a previous poster thought i got the deal of the century. I will save you my long drawn out story similar to most of you but just so you know i have replaced every sensor related to the ingnition plus the cam, crank & fuel pump. Still exprienced the Passlock Gremlin my general mechanic is really just sick of the car as well & is frankly so frustrated that when the last incident happened he took it to the local general motors dealership himself & believe it or not paid for the repair because he is tired of charging me for the repairs only to have it towed back within 4 to 6 weeks later. Unfortunately he also told me he no longer knows what to try & I should probably get rid of it.

    So here's where I'm at... Lastnite it happened again & the reset sequence did not work, you know turn to on for 10 or 15 mins. back to off then start... So we called a tow again, at least the 6th or 7th time in the 6 months we've owned it... Well you should know the tow truck driver was totally aware of the problem, he pulled the main ignition fuse under the hood(green 30amp bottom lft corner of fuse box) & it that reset everything & started right up.. Now feeling I have no other alternative I cut the yellow Passlock Data Wire, while the car was running & put the toggle switch in.. The car seems ok & the Security idiot light stays on continuously.. I think my son will be able to deal with that as long as it bypasses the Passlock Glitch.. I just don't know if we will ever really trust the car, it has proven to be so unreliable. He honestly is afraid to drive the dam thing & wind up getting stranded again.

    How General Motors can put a product out like this and still stay in business is unbelievable!! Oh that's right, they're ready to go belly-up.. Going Bankrupt & washing their hands of the thing.. How convenient!! & they wonder why the [non-permissible content removed] Companies are crushing them...

    I'll post in the future if the car hits the crapper again but so far so good.. Thanks to all who have tried to help & if a classaction is really possible count me in..

    Here's helpful links: 05/169809/article.pdf

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    Good Luck!
  • tripower1tripower1 Posts: 25
    I was referring to my daughters Olds Alero, it's been so long ago since I installed the toggle switch and cut the yellow wire that I don't remember if the security lite was flashing or solid but the car did nothing, no fuel pump, starter or anything until after the ten minute wait. It's been almost two years since I did the fix with out one problem yet.
  • Tripower1,
    Is the Olds Alero an Automatic, or Stick shift? I think that information would be useful to the blog.
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