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Pontiac Grand Am Security Passlock Problems



  • 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

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ms/Images.asp%3FImageID%3D761%26link%3DBULLDOG


    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.
  • tripower1tripower1 Posts: 25
    OK all, as per lovemygrandam suggested here's the info. My daughter Jamie's 03 Olds Alero automatic trans was doing the same thing as most here. The security light would be "flashing" when she tried to start her car nothing happened, the engine wouldn't turn over and I don't know if the fuel pump came on or not. Sometimes when she was driving down the road the security light would come on "solid" indicating she had a problem and most of the time it would lock her out the next time she tried to start the car. the 10 min reset always worked. She would put the key in, turn it to the on position and the security light would be flashing and after 10 min it would go out and she would start the car.
    she didn't turn it to the off position first then try and start it, that would be like starting all over. I found this site and did some reading and followed the instructions posted here, cutting the yellow wire, installing the toggle switch and it's been almost two years trouble free.
    Any questions email me.
    Thanks Grandam.
    PS I should have told you it's a V6 3.4
  • tripower1tripower1 Posts: 25
    That faint click should be the relay, I'ed check to see if you get power to the starter when you here that click. I think you have a bad connection on the battery or from the batter to the fues box or a bad Solinoid. You said the battery was new but you loss everything after you try and start the car, then it all come's back when you shut it off and turn it back on, Confussing. it sounds like a power problem ether at the fues/relay pannel or starter solinoid or starter it's self
  • I have a 2003 Pontiac Grand am. So 4 days ago my security light came on just out of nowhere. I turned the car off and turned it back on and the light went off. Well yesterday I was driving down the road and out of no where my car shut off and i had a time trying to get the steering wheel to turn into a driveway to park it. Would the passlock problem cause the car to shut down like this as well?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    No. The passlock system isn't designed to shut down a running car, just to keep one from starting if it's tripped. If the passlock detects a problem while it's running, the security light in the cluster comes on solid.
  • So what would cause a running car to just shut down like that? Fuel Pump?
  • So what happens If i cannot get the car to start and I cut the yello wire to see if it will work? Will I mess something up?
  • tripower1tripower1 Posts: 25
    in order to cut the yellow wire the car must be running first, if you cut the wire before you start the car the security system indicates a breach and wont let the car start...
    Look at the fuel pump, cam or crank senser first.
  • TriPower is correct. If your vehicle stalled while driving, the fault is not your security system, and you should not mess with the yellow wire.
    One of four things is likely wrong with your car
    1. no fuel is being delivered to the cylinders
    2. no spark is being delivered to the cylinders
    3. no compression.
    4. the starter motor is not running

    If your starter motor is not running, you may have a bad starter motor, or bad electrical connection.

    If you don't have compression, your engine will turn over faster than usual when you try to crank it.

    If something else is wrong, I suggest you take it to a trusted mechanic. If you are smart, you will choose someone other than a Pontiac dealer. Their prices are inflated, and they aren't as friendly as the Chevy dealers.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Could be lots of things. If it's intermittent, it's quite often very hard to find the root cause.
  • markjr54markjr54 Posts: 7
    after months of trying to get this car started , i found a way. after repairing the lock cylinder, replacing the switch and cylinder, replacing the bcm , having the pcm reprogrammed, replacing the fp relay , and other things that i can't remember because there were so many,i still had no voltage at the i put every thing back to original condition. at wits end i thought i'd try one more thing before scrapping it. i took the fp relay out and with a paper clip i jumpered # 30 to # 87 .
    ( IT STARTED ) glory be. the security light is still on and now the air bag light is too. wonder if they are related or just coincidence.
  • My daughters 02 grand am is having issues. The history is that we bought it wrecked a couple years ago. Just a rear end and front corner wreck. pounded out, screwed the rear bumper cover back on and good to go is what it looked like the previous owners did. Has always run strong until now. We are in AZ where its about 115 right now during the days. She ran it out of gas on Friday on the freeway. I took her gas and no problems Friday, Saturday or Sunday. On Monday her hubby used it to drive to work because his water pump went out on Sunday. Tuesday or Wednesday he drove to work and then she dropped him off and drove home. When she got home she noticed that he had taken his keys out of the ignition and left it running. After all don't you know its cool for a car to run and drive when you can take the key out? STUPID! So she put her key in to turn the car off. She drove to work and it started fine. She went to leave work and it would just rrrrrrrrrrr.... and not get gas, so she did like I showed her when I rescued her on the freeway and turned the key on and off a couple times to give it gas and then it started fine. All was well until this morning when it just won't get gas at all. So hubby of course keeps turning it over until he wears the battery down some. STUPID! So I tried to jump it and it still isn't getting gas. We read up and thought maybe its the security system. But the security light isn't flashing. We have of course tried the 10 minute key thing and it doesn't change anything. With the key "on" what we see is the oil light, security, check engine, and wiper fluid lights are on solid. The wiper fluid thing has a leak so it always stays on. Her oil is low but she only has a few dollars and doesn't want to waste money on oil if its not going to start. When we turn it over to try and start it, the only light that stays on is the check engine light. Any clues?
  • It's throwing no codes and is making a gurgling noise at the fuel pump. not the ggggggrrrrr that my cadillac pump makes and is pretty much the same pump. sounds like someone making milk bubbles with a straw? then of course the stupid battery is completely dead now that I turned the key on and off like 5 times! you know we really thought this was a decent car but not so sure now. ALSO when we were turning the key on and off, the stupid dinger got possessed and wouldn't stop dinging even with the key on for awhile and the door closed.
  • tripower1tripower1 Posts: 25
    Did you read post 665 where he jumpered out the fuel pump relay, this would rule out the fuel pump. then chech the relay contacts to make sure the relay is getting a good connection also try replacing the relay, it's cheep and it may have bad contacts inside which could reduce the voltage to the fuel pump not letting it run fast enough to pump up pressure. that would be why you had to turn the key on and off several time's to get enough pressure built up to start the car, the gurgling noise could be a slow running pump or partley plugged up pump. Every time I've had a problem with a car not getting fuel all my test show the fuel pump was working and the problem wound up being the fuel pump.
    Let us know what you find.
  • malbolsmalbols Posts: 19
    Could it be the fuel filter ?. You said your daughter ran it out of gas . When the fuel gets that low in the tank , particles could get pumped through the system .
  • Markjr54 said: i took the fp relay out and with a paper clip i jumpered # 30 to # 87 .
    ( IT STARTED ) glory be. the security light is still on and now the air bag light is too. wonder if they are related or just coincidence.

    You can find out if the fuel pump relay has anything to do with the air bag light if you have a Service manual for your vehicle
  • You may have better luck finding a solution to this problem in a different forum. This doesn't seem to be a SECURITY issue. Try searching for fuel pump problems, or difficulty in starting.
  • danswwdansww Posts: 1
    The car died on the freeway thought was out of gas. Got more gas no start?@#$%! Replaced the fuel filter and messed with this car for some time before I found this blog. I removed #18 relay and jumped 30 with 87 wataboom it started. I will be replacing the relay shortly. I will let you know. Thank you. Dan
  • Yeah it was my fuel pump!
  • if your security light is still on like mine, a new relay probably won't fix it, but try it any way. the ones that say the sec. will not shut the car off driving down the road
    just haven't had it happen to them. with the jumper in, is your air bag light on along with the sec. light on ?
  • Hello, I have a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am SE 3.1L AT. For quite awhile now I have been having intermittent passlock probs that just wont go away. I have noticed that in the summer months (100+) it sometimes won't start. It cranks and starts for about a sercond or two then quits. Yep, just like about 99% of these posts. My "Theft System" light stays illuminated when in the ON position. When it does start for that 1-2 secs the Theft System light goes off. Anyway, one thing different on my diagnostic that I have yet to hear (I have not read all 600+ posts) is that when it does start, sometime my Tach and Speedo gauges go whacko until I shut it off and restart it. Then they perform like normal. One mechanic told me that was an indication of a defective BCM. Problem, I cannot find my BCM anywhere. Does anyone know where the BCM on a 1997 Grand Am is located? or if it even exists? One mechanic told me it doesn't have a BCM. I found the PCM but, not the BCM.
    I have not tried the toggle switch or electrode thing yet. What I did do was remove the plastic connector for the 3 passlock wires and hard wired them (well, currently with just some wire nuts but, they'll meet with solder soon) with the yellow, black and white wires they were originally connected to. At the time I was troubleshooting corrosion of those tin connectors and my high humidity area. I am just not 100% sure if it's the Passlock or the BCM at this point. As soon as I turn the key to ON, the Theft System light flashed for about 5 times then goes solid. The tach and speedo gauges are all that is telling me it's the BCM. I live in a high heat (100+) and high humidity (73%) area in Southern CA. Thanks for any help! -Tim
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