Pontiac Grand Am Security Passlock Problems



  • mkirby5mkirby5 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for that reminder......we did just put a new battery in last month so hopefully we won't have any worries for at least a few weeks :)
  • vyrvyr Member Posts: 2
    I'm sorry that I don't check this forum more often since my passlock problem is over and I no longer own a Grand Am.

    Did your passlock bypass work Banjo?
  • wheelman5wheelman5 Member Posts: 1
    burdawg is absolutely correct. I am a auto tech and I am familiar with the passlock problem, and SO IS GM!!!. There is a technical service bulletin on the issue, but no recall which makes me furious as the owner of a 02 grand am. The problem is not the keyless entry, it is the hall effect switch in the key cylinder. This problem is inherent, but can be made worse by by having too many keys on your key chain. The weight puts stress on the assembly. Re setting the system only buys you time until the hall effect switch fails completely.
  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    I've heard of a few cases where a similiar problem was caused by corrosion/moisture in the PCM (or BCM, don't remember which one) connector, but haven't experienced it myself. Usually though I believe it also caused other problems at the same time, like dash warning lights coming on randomly, or other systems working intermittently.
  • oneman4u2coneman4u2c Member Posts: 4
    i have a 96 grand am won start i replaced the switch the reset the theft light and it is solid but no fire no fuel just turns over any help would greatly be appreciated
  • tripower1tripower1 Member Posts: 25
    It sound to me you have one problem causing all your trouble. Take it to a dealer and have the codes read, if you don't it will be a hit and miss thing which could get costly. If the dealer isn't an option then here's a start on the trouble shoot.. Put the key in and turn it to the run position, lisen for the fuel pump to come on for a few seconds then shut off, you may need to open the trunk to here it, If you don't here the fuel pump then the problem might be your fuel pump. If you here the fuel pump come on for a few seconds then it's not the fuel pump. Now go and get a spark plug tester from the parts store. it cost about 10 bucks, it looks like a spark plug with a spring clip on the side to attach it to the engine. Test your engine for spark by attaching one of the spark plug wires to the tester and clamping the tester to the engine metal, have some one try and start the car, if you don't get spark at the tester then your problem is more then lickley the crank shaft sencer or cam sencer, Change the crank sencer first because it's the one that failes the most, if that dosen't do it change the cam sencer.
    Let me know what you find.
  • nobullchitbidsnobullchitbids Member Posts: 53
    Yes, burdawg, in the long run, you're probably right, but not necessarily right away. With me, I've always had a problem with the blower connection -- unless the plug-in is just right, the blower quits.

    But, the anti-theft connections can go on their own, because the circuit is only about 5-7 milliamps, so any resistance (e.g., corrosion) invading the system can show up there first.

    For everyone else, be advised that my '97 grand am has been running perfectly since I cut in the switch and turned PassLock OFF. I do drive around with the "theft" light on all the time -- big deal.

    Everyone on this post bitches about these cars, but mine is still getting 37 mpg on the highway (which in these parts is everywhere), and the only things needing repair right now are the air conditioning and the left rear blinker. I do have hand-cranked windows, so no possibility of a problem there, and these days, I have to turn the lights on and off (otherwise the instrument panel is dark). But, that's about it, and the car is now twelve years old. The air conditioning can be a problem in the summer, but I tend to drive only in the early morning and afternoon, and I'm allergic to paying $1K for that. I replaced the front brakes at c. 50K, and at 75K all brakes are only half used. It will need tires soon, but overall, I must be doing something right. :shades:
  • transwarptranswarp Member Posts: 1
    I pulled out the radio and cut the yellow wire along side the red one and in stripping back the insulation to install a switch found out that there was no wire at all, just insulation. Some kind of small tube?
  • dcheiteldcheitel Member Posts: 11
    I have of course been dealing with the same issues as the rest of you.

    I am not sure my problem with the security light and problem start is guarantied to be the ignition switch. I also have some false low oil and service vehicle soon indicators with no valid reason.

    People have mentioned that possible causes are corrosion in the connectors i believe to the BCM?

    If I wanted to check the correct harness for things that would affect passlock, which and where would I look? I figure i check this prior to spening the money for the ignition switch.

  • oneman4u2coneman4u2c Member Posts: 4
    i have had the crank shaft sensor replaced there is no fire getting to the spark plugs and there is no sound to fuel pump that i hear i figgured the anti theft thing had it all shut down i did the 100 minute wait 1or 2 minute and 3 times any help would really be appreciated
  • tonyawtonyaw Member Posts: 3
    I also have a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am GT. And I have been having constant problems with the passlock system. It may do fine for a couple of weeks then it starts again and I have to sit for ten minutes to let it reset before it will start. The weird thing is when it does start it will do it continually for days and then it might go a month and not act up. My security light usually comes on before its fixing to start acting up, so I usually know its coming. Any suggestions????? Im not keen on paying the $450.00 to fix something that shouldnt be happening in the first place.
  • nobullchitbidsnobullchitbids Member Posts: 53
    Exactly how mine behaved. It may be the result of changes in the weather -- in Florida, we have periods of wet and dry -- or it may be that residual code is getting trapped in the computer and not being fully erased. In any event, I eventually tired of the aggravation and cut in the switch [$10-repair if you do it yourself] to scuttle the anti-theft system. :shades: No one around here is going to steal a 1997 Grand Am when, for the same risk and effort, they can get a Cadillac, BMW, or Mercedes, so PassLock really is a nickle-plate item here, at least for my car. :D

    See my previous posts for instructions good for 1997. ;) N.B.: These may not apply literally to a 2004, since I do recall reading that the location of the several components were changed in recent years.
  • zeevettemanzeevetteman Member Posts: 3
    1999 Grand Am had all the symptoms of a passlock problem: Would start but die after 5 seconds and security light stayed on...power locks would not work either. (already replaced Ignition Cyl a few years back). After a lot of digging and looking the problem was something I never saw posted here so thought I would let everyone know: Water in the BCM (body control module) that shorted out the circuit board. Grand Ams are notoroius for water in the blower motor compartment, which is also something I had and I assume it got in the same way (could not find any rust holes or borken seams). So, don't forget to check this one guys!!!
  • fixinagainfixinagain Member Posts: 1
    My 2001 Alero runs for 1 sec then dies (fortunately in the driveway and hasn't moved since). The 15 minute reset method did'nt work for me. The doors locks also stopped working at the same time the 1 sec run problem started. I was thinking to clip the yellow wire during the 1sec the car runs, but not sure if that will work or is the real problem. I did find my BCM was also full of water, so suspect that is the real cause of both problems. Dryed it out but still won't run. Question: did you install a new BCM to solve your problem, and did you have to do anything special to initialize the system to recognize the new BCM? Did the BCM come with any instructions as to how it must be installed or is it simple plug and play.
  • mw4841mw4841 Member Posts: 1
    I cut the yellow wire( the small one) and my car would not start so I put the yellow wire back together and it starts every time !!!! dont cut it while it is running!
    any way good luck I hope it helps
  • zeevettemanzeevetteman Member Posts: 3
    Yes, I replaced the BCM and the problem went away. Less than $100 at my local autoparts store (plus core). All I had to do after the swap was the standard Passlock 'learn' sequence. (Leave ignition on for 10 minutes until the security dash light stops blinking).
  • nobullchitbidsnobullchitbids Member Posts: 53
    Update: Battery died a week ago, so I replaced it with a Die Hard, :P and even though this obliged disconnecting the leads, :confuse: for whatever reason, PassLock did not reset, :) so I did not have to use my switch. Car starts dependably, runs fine, and the red light stays on. :shades:
  • gocubbies08gocubbies08 Member Posts: 2
    Hi All- you have been an amazing help with my passlock issue, its been driving me CRAZY for years now, otherwise I like my car.
    I read and saw the pictures about which wire to cut- but do I cut it while the car is running, or while it is off? I was a bit confused and dont want to screw it up!- Thanks for everything, I've been so frustrated with this, and am SO happy to hear that it is fix-a-ble without having to pay an arm and a leg, So do i cut when the car is off, or on?
  • tonyawtonyaw Member Posts: 3
    Hi....Could you send me what ever info you have on disconnecting the passlock system...Its driving me Mad!!!!! :mad:

    Thanks in advance for any help... ;)
  • gocubbies08gocubbies08 Member Posts: 2
    Hey- scroll back on this forum a few pages and there are directions by other people on here-- I didnt know how to fix it, but if you look back a few pages they explain it, and even have links to pictures-- I still dont know weather or not to cut the wire while the car if running or off...
  • raycorriraycorri Member Posts: 13
    Cut the wire while the car is running! This triggers fail-enable mode. Your security light will come on and stay on permanently.
  • nobullchitbidsnobullchitbids Member Posts: 53
    Corri's right: If you cut it with the car off, you'll never get it to start until you reconnect the wire. That is why you install the switch -- if the battery dies, PassLock could be reactivated, in which case the wire has to be "reconnected" by turning the switch on.

    See my previous posts for directions and what to buy.

  • oneman4u2coneman4u2c Member Posts: 4
    i installed a pbjlx bypass remote start and mine stil wont start and answers would be greatly appreciated
  • tripower1tripower1 Member Posts: 25
    Sorry I've been busy with family. I'm not an expert but I do know a few things and like I said, it didn't sound like a passlock problem. The way it should all work is like this and please correct me any one if I'm wrong. When you turn the key on the fuel pump runs for 2 or 3 seconds then you try and start the car, the crank sencer and the distributor/cam sencer send a signal to the computor and the computor sends a signal to the coil pack to fire each spark plug, also the computor sends the signal to the fuel pump relay to run the fuel pump. If any one of these signals is missing the who thing will not work but the engine will turn over. It could be the crank senser, cam sencer in the distributor, the computor. When my passlock screwed up the engine wouldn't even turn over, it was like everything was dead.
    Hook the wire back up and look else where. keep me uptodate.
  • richardromero8richardromero8 Member Posts: 1
    I own a 1999 Grand Am SE V6 coupe and am having trouble getting it started. I tried to bypass the security passlock, and nothing. when I try to start the car i get a flickering check engine light. turns over but nothing. also the door chime doesn't ding anymore either. I checked all fuses, and all are fine. I do know that the engine is not getting any gas to it. I sent the car to a local repair shop where they told me that I needed a new BCM to which one was purchased and they sent the car to a local dealership Pitre Automotive In Albuquerque where they fried the new BCM, twice! I got the car towed to my house where I decided to do the thing myself. I replaced the original BCM and dont' think there is a problem there. Has anyone had similar problems?? PLEASE HELP!! :cry: :sick:
  • nobullchitbidsnobullchitbids Member Posts: 53
    "Flickering" (as opposed to "pulsing") "check engine" lights in a Pontiac that old could indicate you have the same corrosion problems some of the rest of us have. If the corrosion has affected the anti-theft leads, PassLock does not receive the (very low amperage) signal it must to allow fuel to get to the injector.

    To rectify by bypassing, follow my procedure (previous posts) and, as you try to start the car, wiggle the yellow wire exposed in the steering column. That might work, and for taking out three screws, it's free. DO NOT cut the wire before starting the car!

    If your "check engine" is pulsating (regular beats), you have a multiple misfire. That also can prevent the vehicle from starting, and the solution is a tune-up and replacement of the coil units, plus (in either case) thorough cleaning of all leads and plug-ins.
  • poorstudent123poorstudent123 Member Posts: 1
    WIth my car the Security light has turned on while I am driving. I haven't had too many problems with the Pontiac Grand Am except when I would try to turn it on occasionally it would start and turn over strong but would not catch. When it would do this I would pump the gas and invariable the car would start and I would have no other problems with this.

    However tonight the security light went on, When I tried to turn it on, I turned the key it turned over but did not catch! When I tried to pump the gas it did not catch which it did before leaving me stranded. Could this be the Security Passlock or the fuel pump? Thanks!!!!!!!!
  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    If the security light is coming on while it's running, or it comes on and flashes when you try to start it, then yes, it's a Passlock issue.
    "Pumping the gas" in a fuel injected engine won't do you any good.
  • ksmith1240ksmith1240 Member Posts: 1
    What yellow wire do you need to cut? Can you let me know. Thanks, Denise
  • tripower1tripower1 Member Posts: 25
    What year is your car? There's a web site posted on one of these threads that tells you were to go to find the info for your car, My daughters car is an 03 oldsmobile alero and if you have one of these I can help you but if you don't let me know and send me an email address and I'll find the info for you, my address is [email protected]
  • nobullchitbidsnobullchitbids Member Posts: 53
    See posts ## 209 (mine) and 56 (Ray Corri), supra, for instructions, depending on year.
  • bferlandbferland Member Posts: 1
    Absolutely not your problem at ALL!!! My husband and I have a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix. We have owned the car for not even a year yet and roadside assistance has had to tow it to the dealership 5 times for just "stalling out" on us. There is no rhyme or reason to it, you could be driving or stopped or in your driveway... It just shuts off. They have replaced the ignition switch twice, the crankshaft sensor once and now a whole new PCM. We have had it back now for two days from the dealer, and last night it decided to die on my husband again, only this time, he couldn't save the car and in mid-turn slammed it into a guardrail. NOW, does anyone think that this is our problem? ABSOLUTELY NOT! This is a glitch with Pontiac. For some reason, the "best mechanics in the world" cannot figure out why our car, an '07 Pontiac, is such a piece of junk. They take the car in and replace a part, reset the computer and then send you on your merry way! Buyers BEWARE!!!

    :sick: :lemon: :mad:
  • tripower1tripower1 Member Posts: 25
    I feel for you but I don't think its a Pontiac problem, every car out there has a problem be it a Ford, Dodge or Chevy. The fix is the Mechanic and there's none out there. All we have today is MPR's Massive parts replacer's, they only know what the computer tells them, there like little robots bumping in to a wall and the keep bumping until the wall falls or we go broke. Try going to a different Mechanic.
  • cmk3cmk3 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am. I have been having some of the problems I have seen described with the Passlock system....car not starting and then having to wait 10 minutes for the security light to stop flashing so that the care will start.
    Today I washed my car, then I started it and moved it and it didn't want to start back. The little red light which is located on the left hand side by the panel where you turn on your headlights started flashing. Once I finally got the car to start the light continues to flash and the hazard lights and all the interior dash lights flash. What is going on!! :mad: I assume that there is some kind of security issue, but I can find no where in the manuel of how to reset it.
  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    There's been some reports of moisture/corrosion in the PCM connector. Since you just washed it this may be something to check.
  • oneman4u2coneman4u2c Member Posts: 4
    i have bypassed the anti theft with a pljx bypass its suppose to by pass i still have no fire to plugs no fuel on the rails and no fire to starter but the car will turn over and over but will not crank any suggestions
  • sk8erboisk8erboi Member Posts: 2
    i just bought a remote starter and got everything installed but the starter part. so what i wanted to know was is there anyway i can bypass the passlock stuff so i can use the remote starter i have a 99 grand am se. any help would be nice cause i dont want to buy a bypass computer and wanted to know if there is any other way to get around thank you
  • nobullchitbidsnobullchitbids Member Posts: 53
    Follow links at Ray Corri's post, # 56, supra.
  • sk8erboisk8erboi Member Posts: 2
    are u tellin me to just cut the wire and then wire the remote starter in or find the passlock module and do that. i read it like 20 times and i am not sure which i should do
  • nobullchitbidsnobullchitbids Member Posts: 53
    I don't have a remote in mine. I did cut the wire and cut in a toggle -- AFTER I started the car (it MUST be running). I took the instructions from Corri's manual links (scroll up to one of my recents for a reference to my instructions). No problems since.

    Corri's manual references are specifically for installing remotes. They speak for themselves. Can't offer more. Sorry.
  • davey204davey204 Member Posts: 1
    Does this mean that if I suspect that I have passlock problems, such that the car still starts, but there are times when I turn the key and nothing happens, or that it cranks excessively (not to mention that my dealership's computer could not find anything wrong).... the bypass module that I would receive with a remote starter would have no effect and would not help my possible passlock situation at all? What do you mean by intermittent wiring problems?
  • timkellygpitimkellygpi Member Posts: 10
    I had the same issue when I put a new ignition tumbler switch in. I did this in sequence and the car starts fine now. Mine is a 2002 Grand AM SE.

    I turned the key to the on position then back one click and then hit the drivers door unlock button 3 times and then it started and I have not had a problem since. That seems to have reset the security system. :) Good luck
  • butch05butch05 Member Posts: 1
    Passlock issue
    Burdawg wrote:
    Occasionally the problem has been found to be corrosion in the connector on the BCM (there's no Passlock "computer"), or a problem in the BCM itself.

    Can you tell me where the BCM is located so I can check for corrosion? I'm working on a 96 GA. :lemon:

    Thank you for your time.
  • romankowalromankowal Member Posts: 2
    The passlock reset worked great!! I own a 2004 grand am GT that has 37,000 miles on it. Last thurs. 5/22 was my first encounter with being stranded by the passlock system. Luckily I was litterally right around the corner from my house. However, after trying to start the car again that night and then the next morning to no avail, I had it towed to my local mechanic. Of course when he got it the car started every time. They told us that we would have to take the car to the dealership for diagnostic testing. I did not take it to the dealership. Mainly because I am Cheapo the Cheapster and have been hosed by dealerships before. Well last night the car wouldn't start again. I checked this sight more thoroughly last night and completed the reset as outlined by missouri65401. IT WORKED!!!! Just turn the key to the on position, wait exactly 10 minutes or until the security light shuts off, then start your Pontiac. Thank you so much for your post. You saved Cheapo the cost of another tow bill!! I'm sure this passlock problem will create a horible inconvienence sometime soon. Therefore I plan on cutting the yellow wire to permenately disable the stupidest security system known to man.
    Thanks again for everyone who has psoted re:passlock,
  • gmsucsgmsucs Member Posts: 1
    Sell your GM product and buy a Ford.The last 6 pontiacs and my K2500 with a diesel all had major MAJOR problems right from the get go. So I ditched GM (they dont give a rats butt about you guys anyway) and bought a good Ford. Now my Ford has 326,543 miles on it and the only thing that I've done is normal maintenance on it (oil ,filters and tune-up and brakes).whoorhaa!!!!!!!! :shades:
    And for your "do it yourselfers" Ford are much much easier to work on.
    I used to be true blue chevy fan but the blues really got me down :cry:
    GO FORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • johnnieutahjohnnieutah Member Posts: 4
    I have experienced similar issues with my 1999 Buick LeSabre, where the security light stays on and occasional random non starts occur. I had a shop replace a relay that was bad, I guess, and it ran pretty much fine for a couple months. Just recently we drove the car and it would not restart for about 4 hours. Of course as soon as I got it towed home, it started right up again. If the security light is flashing when you are trying to restart the car, it cannot be restarted, and when it stays solid, you can restart it and it almost always stays solid when are driving down the road. I called a GM dealer yesterday and they told me that due to the fact that the other car shop may have tried to bypass the system the way it was wired (I am not really sure exactly what they did but will find out) they are not really interested in trying to find out what's wrong or repair it. On this board some mention cutting a yellow wire to bypass the system when it is running for a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am. Because the Lesabre is GM and the similar year, would it likely have the same yellow wire to cut? Any suggestions on how to get rid of this issue forever (other than selling the car, which I would not do until this is corrected) of the security light unable to start car issue. Thanks. :mad:
  • romankowalromankowal Member Posts: 2
    It does make sense that the GM bretheren would have the same infastructure. I would note that the Lesabre is not have the same platform as the Grand Am. (I think the Grand Prix would fit that category). Therfore they may be wired differently. I would suggest trying the reset option as mentioned in my last posting. Turn the ignition to the on postion without engaging the starter (all you dash lights will remain on including the security light). Leave it on for ten minutes. Your security light should then go off. If the reset is the same as the grand am this should reset your security system and your car will start. I have not had a problem since I reset the system in this manner. The next time your car won't start I would try this before you take your interior apart.
    Hope this helps,
  • johnnieutahjohnnieutah Member Posts: 4
    Thanks Roman for the reply.
  • mikemontmikemont Member Posts: 3
    I have a 99 Tahoe with the same exact issue. I cut the yellow wire and it seemed to work fine, but ocassionally it still had the the security light problem occur.

    I removed the the large multi-wire connectors on my BCM(body control module) and noticed that a few pins were corroded. I cleaned them, but it did not help. So I reconnected the yellow wire and replaced the BCM. I bought it on ebay for $99. I have not had the problem for close to a year now.

    Check your BCM connectors, if you find the corrosion on a few pins, look for a replacement. Check with your service department at your dealership for the BCM location. Mine was very simple to replace.
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