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Pontiac Grand Am Security Passlock Problems



  • illadelfilladelf Posts: 5
    OK, I took my radio out and am not finding this yellow wire. There is a large bundle that looks like these wires

    there is another small bundle of skinny wires, but it is about 5 or 6 of them. I cannot find the yellow wire for the life of me and it is really hard to get to them. anyone have advice or another picture???

    Edit: Scratch that, I just found it. the yellow black and white wires were in the large bundle when I took the tape off. My next question is, would it be bad if I just cut the yellow wire without doing any soldering immediately? I dont have a soldering iron, so would it be fine to drive without taking that next step??
  • malbolsmalbols Posts: 19
    Your choice - the car has to be running though before cutting the wire & your warning light WILL stay on .
  • I realize it is too late for illadelf; however, those who read my post on this subject some time ago know that they don't have to rip out the radio or unwrap a bundle of wires or anything complicated like that. The yellow wire runs to the ignition switch on the steering column; I undid three screws holding the column's cowling in place, located the yellow wire, and cut in the SPST contact there. The switch is mounted on the cowling, under the column, after drilling a proper-sized hole for it (use low drill speeds so the plastic does not melt). IF YOU GO THIS ROUTE, BE CERTAIN TO CUT THE CORRECT YELLOW WIRE -- THERE ARE TWO! The second one goes to the airbag.
  • lovemygrandamlovemygrandam Posts: 330
    This is good information, nbc, but not necessarily applicable on all Grand Ams. On my 2002, the ignition switch is in the dash next to the radio, as shown in the pictures in post #50, not in the steering column. If you have any pictures showing how you did your mod, they would certainly be helpful.
  • jaye6982jaye6982 Posts: 1
    That is a bad place for trying to work on the ignition system considering the lack of room supplied. If i were you i would perform this action under the passenger side dashboard. Go to the website below which contains step by step instructions along with pictures.
  • lovemygrandamlovemygrandam Posts: 330
    Right, jaye. I know. That's my website. I wrote the article, but later found out that it doesn't apply to a lot of other cars. If you use the instructions on that website to modify anything but a 2002 Grand Am, you may end up using the wrong two wires, as the wiring changes from model to model. You really need a shop manual for the car you are doing the work on.

    I'm going to repeat myself again.... "There is no substitute for a good shop manual."
  • aha002aha002 Posts: 4
    I used the same link ( ) and followed the instructions step by step (VERY HELPFUL, THANK YOU)… After turning the key to ON position my Security light started flashing which it never did before (always stayed on solid) and after 10 minutes it went out. I turned the key back to off and tried starting the car and car still doesn’t start. All the light on the dashboard came on and went out after a few seconds as normal when the key is ON position. I asked a friend to bring over his code reader and no codes were showing. I used a 2.2K NEXTECH resistor 2200 ohms (Red/Red/Red/Gold). Any input and help in this area would be appreciated. Thank you, :sick:
  • malbolsmalbols Posts: 19
    The resistor fix didn't work for me either ( i used the same link - i have a 2002 grand am) - i undid my work then i cut the yellow wire next to the radio and installed a toggle swicth . My light stays on but the car starts all the time now .
  • aha002aha002 Posts: 4
    Thank you malbols. From what I’ve been reading the car has to be running when cutting the yellow wire. Was your car running during this process? And also did your Security light go off after the 1st process as mine did? Did you follow post #209 when you installed a toggle switch?
  • aha002,
    It looks like you did a good job bypassing the security system, now you will have to find out what else is causing your car not to start. You need:

    Check to see if you have all three.

  • rebel67rebel67 Posts: 1
    car is running badly,hesitating and missing and no power. has new plugs wires and fuel filter and still runs the same. now my security light is on . will this make it run poorly also? :cry: :cry: :cry:
  • markjr54markjr54 Posts: 7
    temporary solution.
    after screwing with this passlock crap for three months, i went ahead and took the fuel pump relay out and hard wired it closed. the car started right up. has anybody
    else done this . i tried every thing else, ( lock cylinder,lock cylinder and switch,
    bcm , pcm , bypass, relay ), and every combination you can think of and still got no voltage to close the fp relay. any other ideas ?
  • malbolsmalbols Posts: 19
    car has to be running yes Aha - I did not follow post 209 - if you have a Grand Am , use the remove radio method .
  • aha002aha002 Posts: 4
    The car turns over but doesn’t start. So I guess removing the radio wouldn’t work in this case… I noticed that there is no pressure in the line going to the engine. I’m wondering if the fuel pump needs to be replaced or is it still the security system that cut off the gas. I turned the key to ON position and I don’t here the fuel pump going. Car has gas in it and the plugs were recently changed. Any ideas?
  • aha002
    OK, As I understand it, your history is:
    1. Security light On solid, car won't start
    2. You performed resistor bypass, did 10 minute reset... Security Light out. Car still won't start.
    3. No pressure in the fuel line.

    If all this is true, your problem is probably either:
    A. bad fuel pump
    B. bad fuel pump relay
    C. problem with Pwrtrain Control Module (PCM)
    D. broken wire.

    If you aren't getting pressure in the fuel line, the fuel pump is either defective or not running.
    If the problem were with the Security system, the light would be flashing, or on continuously. Since it is off, you have eliminated that.
    When the Body Control Module senses a theft condition, it starts the security light flashing, and simultaneously sends a signal to the Powertrain Control Module telling it to shut down the vehicle. Then the PCM turns off the power to the Fuel Pump Relay, thus shutting down the Fuel Pump. In most cases, that's why the engine starts, runs for a second or two, and then stops. (because there was residual fuel pressure in the lines, but as soon as the theft attempt was detected, the fuel pump was shut down, then there was no more fuel pressure, so it stalled.
    Now, if you want to fix your own car, you definitely need a Service Manual, because you need to trace down your problem and determine which of the many possibilities is causing you not to have fuel pressure. A scan tool would help too, because then you could determine for sure whether or not the BCM is telling the PCM to shut down the vehicle.(This signal is on the Serial Data Link)
    If it were me, I would take it to Veks Garage in downtown Fenton, Michigan. He has a perfect record with all my cars.
  • aha002aha002 Posts: 4
    After checking the relays, wires and few other parts I decided to replace the fuel pump this morning. I bought a used one from the junk yard for $100 (with 4 months warranty on it) and installed it. Car started with no problem. Security light is out and car runs great. I guess the issue with the car was the security system and the fuel pump.

    Thank you Dick for the bypass instruction. It was very detailed and helpful. Yesterday I tried the same steps on another Grand AM and it did the job and both cars start and run great, and security lights are out. :)
  • brainpainbrainpain Posts: 1
    I am looking at the problems with the passlock system. I am thinking of buying this car but the owner is hinting towards the passlock system problem. I have read about the by-pass and ect... My question is if I choose to replace the ignition switch do to key wear and poss. passlock problem, will doing the key on / off after 10 minutes reset-relearn the system for the new ign. lock. The dealer is saying that it will cost me 200.00 to reset the system? Sounds confusing and crooked, any help much appreciated.
  • If the car otherwise is sound, with a '99, I wouldn't even bother with keeping PassLock. I don't know where you are, but these cars are subject to electrical corrosion in humid climates. Inevitably, your anti-theft system will act up again. Spend the $3 at Radio Shack and bridge the thing. The dealer won't help you here -- it is an unauthorized repair -- and everything he tells you costs big money (why Pontiac is going belly-up?). But, you can do it by yourself for $3 and half an hour's work max. Or pay someone at Firestone or Tires Plus to do it for you (about $75). Keep the toggle off except after changing out batteries, and it will be fixed forever for the inconvenience of driving with the red light on. And that does not bother me a bit.
  • Don't worry about replacing the ignition switch, and don't worry about having to pay $200 to have a Pontiac dealer reset the system. Bypass the security system as described in the link on post 394 by using a 12 cent resistor, do the 10 minute reset, and be done with it. Then keep the car, cause it's one of the few made by a US manufacturer that gets over 30MPG, and soon the price of gas will be back to $4.00, and you'll be glad you can afford to drive.
    Note: Be sure to read all the posts mentioned in post 599, and most of all, be sure to get yourself a service manual, or subscribe to an online service manual. GM makes some good cars, but their dealers are crap.
  • I have been plagued with the infamous Pass Lock issue. The Security Light doesn't blink but it does stay on. I have replaced the Fuel Pump Relay because it fried the first one. 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. I have never had the car stall while I was driving. I found this website with someone having similar issues except his lock cylinder broke. I believe it is the part that is needed and it would include the Hall Effect Sensor for those of us that are having issues with the Pass Lock not allowing to turn on the car. Just wanted to post my similar issue I have been having.
  • 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?

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