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Pontiac Grand Am Security Passlock Problems



  • Read the rest of this thread and you will find a fix that costs 10 cents, plus some soldering. Specifically, read post #599
  • eapeap Posts: 1
    I bought this 2001 GrandAM for my daughter a yr.ago. Last week as she was driving home from work the car just quit running. She managed to get it off the road and at midnight she was stranded. I towed the car home and the next day started looking on the computer and found this excellent site.The car would start and run for a few seconds and shut down. It had done this several times before but I mistakenly thought that it was the after mkt. remote start that the previous owner had installed. I had that remote removed by the people who had installed it and thought I was in like Flint.The posts here gave me insite as to what it might be,I took the BCM OUT AND IT WAS COVERED WITH CORROSION.One pin was totally gone another was bent and loose.So I bought a new BCM for $300 and then contacted local Pontiac dealer and was told that I would have to have it towed to their shop so that they could flash the BCM. I WAS TOLD IT WOULD BE LESS THAN 1/2 HR. COST $45. WHEN THE CAR AND I GOT THERE , I WAS TOLD IT WOULD BE AN HR. COST OF$75. I told them go ahead and I would be back in an hr.I came back and the shop manager said that they had to stop work on the car because they needed my permission to clean corrosion out of plug ins. Which I had already done the day before. Now it was going to cost $112. ALSO THEY SAID THEY WOULD HAVE TO PUT THE BCM IN A PLASTIC BAG. This was their fix for a design flaw. A plastic baggie with a few ties on it. The BCM was the problem, the car started and has run fine for 2 days now ,even the radio and power windows are working. I have started a complaint with the Attn. General of State of WV.A plastic baggie come on now! I also called the Pontiac Division of GM. They said that they have never received any complaint concerning the BCM. OR ANY PROBLEMS WITH THE PASS LOCK SYSTEM. THERE IS NO RECALL BECAUSE NO COMPLAINTS HAVE EVER BEEN FILED SO I SAID MAKE A FILE FOR ME BECAUSE I'M FILING A COMPLAINT.She then said that this was not a safety issue. I then went spastic on her. I stated that it might not be a safety issue for GM BUT IT SURE WAS FOR MY 17 YR.OLD DAUGHTER. SO I GOT A FILE # NOW.I want to thank the people who have posted their stories and solutions here on this site. I no doubt would have spent hundreds of $'s more if not for you . Thanks for sharing.
  • Does anyone know how I can shut my alarm off for my 01 grand am with out the remote. My remote is broken and I opened the door using the key and cannot disengage the alarm. I too have also started having the security light problem that I have seen everyone discussing.
  • what about re-programming w/ the new keys?? is this necessary, as i am having the same problem with the key switch itself, and if i can't make it run once i change it out w/ the part from autozone, i won't be able to go anywhere to have it done...
  • Report that dealer to the better business bureau, and take your car to different dealer... preferrably a Chevy dealer.
  • There is no factory installed alarm on your car. To shut it off, you should contact the aftermarket place that installed it.
  • When you install a new lock cylinder, all you have to do is the 10 minute reset. There is no programming to do.
  • milwrigmilwrig Posts: 3
    I was having problems with the lock cylinder so I replaced it and while I had the radio out I figured- what the hey replace that too. So I put in a new radio- but there was no power (voltage) from where it should have been so I ended up using the cig lighter power for the radio- did the 10 minute deal 3 times and it started right for a few days. after 3-4 days the car would not start right away- key would need to be turned 2-3 times- now it won't start at all-(week later) tried the 3 10-30 minute on- off start mode and even replaced the battery still nothing- security light does not come on just the service engine soon, oil and battery light. Does not turn over just a low hum for about 3-4 seconds. Should I just keep trying to relearn the passcode and then use the toggle switch method or did I mess something else up by disconnecting the radio and not having all those wires reconnected?
  • I bought the 2002 Grand Am GT almost two years ago and have not experienced the passlock problem. I do watch many GA forums and like to get familiar with common problems associated with this vehicle. Can anyone clarify what the passlock problem fix is. Does the ignition switch need to be replaced or the lock cylinder when the problem occurs. Of course I am ruling out a bad connection, faulty BCM, etc.
  • matrixscmatrixsc Posts: 1
    edited August 2010
    I thought I may as well add to this thread. I have been having problems starting my car intermittently. I was under the hood alot trying to figure out what is going on. The car would start sometimes, and not other times.The security light would come on while driving and go out months previously. Later it would come on and sometimes be on when I got to my destination and occasionally not start. Then the last few months it's been real aggravating at times, like going grocery shopping and get in the car and nothing happens. Turn the key and all the instrument lights would illuminate then go out except the security light and battery. Never read my manual about how to get it started when this happens. Anyway I would be persistant and it would eventually start, at this point I knew there had to be a fix for this I started reading this thread and thought about not wanting to cut wires and replace the bcm, ignition etc. and I had a fairly new key so I knew that wasn't the problem. I thought the only thing I should try before I do anything else was get a can of electrical cleaner (spray) went to Walmart and got it, got in the car and sprayed inside the ignition switch, really blasted it clean! Then put in the key and started it, then drove about a hundred yards when the light went out! Have been driving it now for 2 days without a problem. It was a daily occurance before this. No more security light coming on and no starting problems! I hope this is helpful to some of you! This Has been a nightmare. I hope this may be helpful to some of you that may have a security problem causing you to not be able to start your car when you want to go!
  • lovemygrandamlovemygrandam Posts: 330
    edited August 2010
    Read post 599 of this thread, and all the referenced posts mentioned there, and you will have all the information you need.
    Or... go to
  • This is a very good suggestion. Many times, the Passlock problem arises because after years of service, metal filings build up around the magnet that is used to activate the hall effect switch in the ignition module. I actually helped someone temporarily relieve a Passlock problem on an Alero by blowing high pressure air into the ignition key opening, thus cleaning the filings away from the magnet.
    It is also possible to fix the problem by removing the lock cylinder and cleaning it out with a solvent and shop air. Just remember that you need to get all the metal filings away from around the magnet.
    There is a post in this thread that tells you how to remove and clean the lock cylinder. It's worth your time to go through all the posts to find it. Good luck.
  • milwrigmilwrig Posts: 3
    Follow Up question and steaming mad- So I broke down and took it to a dealer- explained what I had done already- after 3 days he calls me and says that it is the ignition switch- which I just replaced and is charging me $407 what can I do? Please help.........
  • tommyo1tommyo1 Posts: 36
    Not sure if my eyes are starting to show their age but I skimmed over this long thread to try and find that posting on how to take out the ignition switch and clean it. I can't seem to find it... Does anyone happen to know where it went?

  • nobullchitbidsnobullchitbids Posts: 53
    edited August 2010
    When is everyone going to realize that GM dealers are running a racket on these PassLock problems? The silliness of it all is reflected by prices all over the place in terms of what it takes to make a claimed fix. I've heard every number under the sun from $189.95 to almost $800 -- every dealership has a different price for something that really costs less than $5 and a half hour of work!

    Tell the dealer that it cannot be the ignition switch, that you just replaced the ignition switch, that he needs to hire a new head mechanic, and that you want your car back. If he's recalcitrant, threaten him with a lawsuit for civil fraud (that might help) or report him to your state "lemon law" administrator.

    Then, go back in this thread and find the entries re resetting the PassLock codes, bridging the system with a resistor, or cutting it out entirely by installing a Radio Shack SPST switch for $1.99. That's what I did, and my car has not failed to start since (3.5 years). :P
  • Tommy01,
    That post is somewhere before post 599.
  • Yeah it sure seems like it- I ended up being told that the switch I installed was defective- which is why I was having problems after I installed it. They replaced the switch and charged me 250 bucks for labor (which was bull because I already had the radio out and the lock removed- all they did was unplug it and put a new one in and all they did was put the lock back) 150 for the switch which was 50 more than the parts store. I took the switch back to the parts store, got my money back and turned in all the dealer paperwork to them to test the switch and possible get some money back from them for selling me a defective part that cost me more money. If it was defective and they fork over some store credit I'll gladly sing their praises... I'll continue with this later. Thanks to all
  • Thanks so much lovemygrandam; I will locate it this afternoon. I'm going to tinker around with it before the cold winter season sets in here in Massachusetts.
    Thanks again my friend...
  • Tommy,
    The post is #59, but unfortunately, the links on that post don't work any more. When I first read the post, there were photos showing the various parts of the ignition switch after disassmebly, and how to clean out the fine metal filings and put it back together. Those links are now empty.
    Here is a photo of my dash board, with the radio bezel removed.
    Note that there are two hex-head screws above and below the ignition switch, and slightly to the right of the centerline of the switch. These hold the switch in place. I think you can remove them and slide the switch assembly out through the radio hole. ">
  • 2005 grand am start problem same as all above.. Ihave no interior lights or other dash gauge functions.changed bcm still nothing. engine cranks buy wont start need help thanks
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    "Ihave no interior lights or other dash gauge functions" So the security light is not coming on and flashing?
  • From what you said it sounds like you lost all power to your fues box, Check the main power lead going to the fues box under the hood, and in the car. you may have poped a fuseable link.
  • poppyken,
    It doesn't sound like your problem is the passlock system. You are losing power to your dash some other way. Just follow the troubleshooting procedure in the shop manual and you should find the problem. What??? You don't have a shop manual? Get one online from ALLDATAdiy. Best $27.00 you will ever spend.
  • thanks for the answers have not had a chance to work on it since. the only light on the dash is "service engine soon" thanks again
  • I've posted many times here, and followed this forum for a couple of years. For those of you who have experienced this problem, I have written a tutorial on how to bypass the "Passlock II" security system on GM cars, and enable you to drive your car forever without worrying about the security system leaving you stranded.... not even for 10 minutes. My tutorial can be found at:

    Have a look. If you are having Passlock security problems on 1999 - 2004 GM cars, chances are my tutorial will help you.

    Dick Berger
  • Has anyone tried the PLJX passlock bypass kit with success, or any bypass kit for that matter? I have read it works even if you are not putting in a remote starter, just need to permanently ground the ground wire you would connect to the remote starter to the chassis instead. You have to get the car started first before you start. . Today I tried the work around, leave in the ACC position for 10 minutes then start 3 times, it would start for a second then shut off. I gave up in frustration. Any help with this would be appreciated.
  • I see in your posts you mention a 97 GA, would you happen to know if this would work on a 96? Thank you in advance.
  • Hi, I see you have a tutorial for the 1999-04. I have a 98 grand am. Do you have a bypass for it?
    Thanks David
  • My method of cutting the data wire and installing an SPST switch probably would work for a '98. Mine is a '97, and since I did this several years ago, my car has not failed to start once. :shades:
  • Thanks for the suggestion, but did not work for me. I start car, its runs for a second or two and then dies. Cutting the yellow wire made no difference, it still died. The first time i did the 10 minute wait, it worked. Now it does not. I replaced the ignition switch, did not help. Would replacing the BCM help since cutting the yellow wire did nothing? After car dies the security lights blinks for between 2 and 5 seconds, then turns solid. It never goes out no matter how long I wait. I have a 98 grand am, and I think the BCM is part of the computer. Any help would be great. The car is not worth taking to the dealer and spending a ton.
    Thanks David
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