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Chevrolet Cavalier anti-theft help



  • ok im not completely car stupid but i have a few questions about my car i got the car about a year ago this is my second one same year and everything i have the 2.2 non eco tech engine and currently i had alot of work done to it but i have now takin it all back out to figure out what my problem is ...anyway all that is done is an aftermarket radio and after market cold air intake now i just had my car to the machanic when this all happened had a new clutch and transmittion put in it ran fine for the first day the second day was my sisters birthday so i woke up about 9 and went to pick her up still ok about maybe and hour and a half worth of drivin that day car ran perfect and wasnt acting bad in any way after i was done with that about 2 hours after sittin with our friends we go to get back in the car and was drivin maybe 20 minutes to a half hour and then stalled i got it started agin and made it to the nearest gas station got to the gas station and once i shut it down it wouldnt start i got it to start off a jump and when i went to drive away it stalled again like i was dumpin the cluth on it with no gas then i have a friend push my car with his truck got it goin about 15 tried to pop start it and it would sound like it was tryin and just shut off on me i replaced my spark plugs and wires battery and altinator what else could it be i have done everything i could think of the coil packs even its a 2.2 manual car that used to do almost 8 seconds flat to nothing at all can you please help or give me some addvice ......i have read some of these and my security light is on and have had my car back to the shop twice since then noone can figure it out please help me i dont get on the computer often cause im tryin to fix my car please if you have any info please post it on here for me or email me its it is sent directly to my phone and i will get it faster thanks in advanced :sick: :cry:
  • My daughter's car, a 2005 chevy cavalier just started having issues with the ignition switch. She pulled the key from the ignition and this set off the alarm. While trying to silence the alarm she put the key back into the ignition and was able to silence the alarm. Now the ignition switch won't turn. Thinking it had something to do with her key she had her husband try his key and it will not turn either. They live in a remote area and a tow to a dealership would be very expensive.
    Could this have something to do with the "anti-theft" portion of the vehicle or could she just be having ignition switch issues?
    Thanks, any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055
    I am from GM Customer Service. I apologize that your daughter is experiencing an issue. Is the steering wheel locked too, or is it just the ignition switch that won't turn? Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • Steering wheel does turn but the ignition switch will not.

    Thank you for your time on this matter.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055
    Hello Heathersdad,
    Did you get the ignition to unlock? If not, have you tired to turn the steering wheel and turn the ignition at the same time? Sometimes this can take up to about 5 minutes. This may/may not work If you cannot get it to unlock, you are probably going to have to tow it into the dealership. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • plug1plug1 Posts: 1
    Im having problems with my cavalier it turns but it wont start the theft light is on at all times i need to know how to make it flash so im able to program it
  • My 'Theft Lock' system started disabling my '97 Malibu more and more frequently and waiting the 10 minutes was quite frustrating. Then it started doing it back to back... wait 20 minutes (and sometimes more). Then I found gonogo's post. I have started my car in Neutral for years (since '07) without failing once (the 'Theft Lock' light was on, but I didn't care)... until yesterday. It wouldn't start at all. So I did the reset... trying to start the car and leaving the ignition on after each time for 3 times and it started. I drove it around, came home turned it off and started it again (in Neutral) and it's fine. I was curious so, for the heck of it, I just went out and started it in Neutral and the 'Theft Lock' light was not on. I turned it off and started it in Park (without any problem) and the 'Theft Lock' light was not on. I think I will continue to start it in Neutral and hope that I don't have any other problems. It's a habit of starting in Neutral... when I drive other cars, I am tempted to put them in Neutral.
  • Where is the anti-theft relay located? I think it may be defective. Is this a manufacturer design defect? My car sometimes won't start. When it doesn't, there is a humming sound and the anti-theft and engine light stay on while the switch is turned to the start position. Sometimes when this happens, I can't move the gear shift lever; so, it won't go into nuetral. After a while it will start. Sound's like others have had the same problems. Is there a recall for this problem? Could it be the switch for the linkage that prevents starting if the car isn't in Park or nuetral? Will the anti-theft system lock up the gear shift lever so the car won't go out of 'Park'? My car just past Calif. Smog; so, I don't think anything is wrong with the engine. It doesn't seem to be an issue with the starter. I don't think it's the crank relay. I removed it and it makes the car not start at all; if removed. How do I reset the anti-theft system on my car? I noticed some people had been told to unplug a three wire plug to their ignition switch. Does this apply to my car?

    Any information will help. My son was late for work today. Now the car starts again like nothing is wrong with it. I need a 57 chevy .....
  • i have a 98 chevy cavalier 5 speed and i was driving it down the highway and i noticed my gas light came on but i had a full tank of gas then my temp gauge went to hot then dropped down to cold in seconds. Then shortly after that every single light came on in my dashboard and then i lost acceleration and my car died when i pulled over i noticed my hood was smoking and i popped the hood and the engine and the water coolant was smoking... I towed my car home and i look at my oil and when i tried taking the oil filter off there was a yellow substance where the oil should be but no oil and i looked at the dip stick and it said it was full.. The car turns over but will not start i really need any ideas you could give me.
  • My Theft System light stays on; never happened before. I tried disconnecting battery and removing fuses both under the dash and on the engine (Fuel Pump, etc)
    I have tried doing the three ten minute sessions of leaving the key in ACC, etc.
    Any suggestions?

  • ckwwilsonckwwilson Posts: 7
    My 2003 Chevy Cavalier has begun to turn it's Passlock system on by itself. I have owned the car for 7 years and never had this issue until 3 days ago. Since then it has happened three times. I have done nothing different to activate it, and it's parked in my garage when not in use, so neither has anyone else. I tried the 3 times 30 minutes trick that I read online, didn't work. I tried starting in neutral, didn't work. What do I do now to FIX the problem permanently? I had it towed to a local repair shop the first time it happened which is how I knew what was happening. They killed the code with their computer, but I can't have my car towed every time I need to use it.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,822
    I know it's a different vehicle... BUT, your problem sounds very similar to the one experienced in our Grand Am Security Passlock discussion. There's an easy do-it-yourself solution, so you might hop over there.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
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  • ckwwilsonckwwilson Posts: 7
    Okay, I went ahead and read that thread. My cavalier does not have an electronic key though, and my security light is not staying on or flashing. The only reason that I know this is the problem is because the code came up after I had it towed to the repair shop. According to my research it has the Passlock II system though which is the same as the Grand Am and other cars close to that year, but they all have electronic keys. Do you still think that putting a resistor in will work in my case?
  • cjblack1cjblack1 Posts: 1
    I was driving the other day and my theft system light came on. I brought it home and took the cables off the battery to see if I could reset it. It did the same thing. Now when I start it, the Theft light comes on and when I put it in makes a noise and all the panel lights start flashing and stay on. I can still drive it, but something is wrong and I would like to fix it! Help!
  • lovemygrandamlovemygrandam Posts: 330
    I'm afraid you misread the Passlock thread on the Grand Am. The Grand Am, Alero, and Impala (1999-2004) have ignition keys that are not electronic... same as your Cavalier. If you know that your car has Passlock II, then go ahead and do the modification described on my website.
    Click on the 2003 Oldsmobile Alero Passlock Repair link, to learn how to make the repair at or near the ignition switch. You will probably need a shop manual to figure out how to access the ignition switch, but that's much cheaper than having the thing repaired at the dealer.
  • ckwwilsonckwwilson Posts: 7
    Lovemygrandam: I wired in a 2200 ohm resistor that cost me 20 cents at Radio Shack and it seems to be back to normal. I've started it 15 times or so and no passlock interference as of yet. I have to note that one really should buy a Haynes manual for $25 so that if nothing else, they may follow the step by step instructions to get the dashpad and instrument panel covers off since you have to remove both to get at the radio. More importantly, the wires are not the same on the Cavalier as was described for the Grand Am and Alero. I'm sure that is because they are on a different chassis. The THICK ORANGE wire is the one you need to CUT because it is connected to the 'Multi Function Alarm Module', and the THICK BLACK wire is the one to STRIP and solder the resistor in between. There is a yellow wire, but it is a speaker wire for the left rear speaker, and another thin black wire that should also be ignored on the Cavalier. Other than that, I did exactly what you described on your website and it seems to have fixed the problem. Thank you very much for your help! You're a life saver!
  • ckwwilsonckwwilson Posts: 7
    cjblack1: Not sure if this is the same problem I just fixed or not, my Cavalier is a 2003 so it has the second generation Passlock II system, I believe from my reading that pre-2000 models have the Passlock I system, but if you are having the same problems as me, this fix should work for you as well. I didn't have any panel lights flashing, and mine happened when I went to start the car rather than while I was driving. The difference between generations of our Passlock systems may be the reason for that, I don't really know but it's worth checking out this guy's web page to see if it helps.
  • remanentremanent Posts: 1
    Had the same thing with my 96 Cavalier and had to replace the ignition switch.
  • crielismicrielismi Posts: 1
    Hello, I have a 2002 Chevy Cavalier w/ a 2.2 OHV. My locking cylinder went out - and instead of paying $202 to the local dealership for a new cylinder I paid a local salvage yard $79 for a whole new steering column. Turned out I needed it anyway, because the key in the old column would not even turn to the "on" position to get the old cylinder removed and we actually couldn't even get it removed from the column - completely locked up! So, my father has successfully removed the old column and put the new one in - it has a key with it and a new remote. But now the antitheft will activate when we try to turn the car on and it won't start. How do I reprogram the system for my new column/key/remote? I am a single mom and can't afford a dealership!! Any help would be great!!
  • I have a 96 Chevy Cavalier. It sounds as though we are all in the same boat, here more or less. Being a former GM employee I feel it's shameful that the Passlock Security system supplies so many probems.

    Okay off my soabox and on to my questions.
    !. How do you determine is the Igintion Lock Cyl. is bad or if the problem is rather the Ignition Switch?

    2. On my vehicle...attempting to run the bypass that "lovemygrandma" has provoided us, on my Cav. does anyone know what two wires I will be looking to use for the bypass?

    There is on the year's car..and bypass procedure one can use. It is something that you have to use per start up though. It goes as follows;

    Insert the key in the drives door lock.
    Go to Lock
    Back to unlock
    Back to Lock
    Back to Nuetral
    Back to Lock ..hold in that position for 5 seconds.
    then rotate back to unlock.
    Your theft light should now have gone out.

    You can start the car on a time per time basis using this procedure.

    Please if someone could...enlighten me on the two above posted questions.
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