Pontiac Grand Am Security Passlock Problems

curlylocks1014curlylocks1014 Member Posts: 3
edited October 2017 in Pontiac
just a note i was having the passlock/security lite issue @ every 4 month or so.. now it has become a daily thing! i see where there is a class action lawsuit against gm for a wiper issue for the grand ams... hmmm i think perhaps we should start one up for this passlock issue...

i just contacted pontiac if anyone would like to join in and let GM/pontiac know that this is not just an issue affecting one car please do so i think thats the only way we can get some action on this... toyota had the same problem with the prius only they cared about their buyers and recalled them..

heres the link



  • kristenn16kristenn16 Member Posts: 2
    Someone help me please!! I think my car is possessed. The security light comes on and then I can't start the dang thing. The dealership says to put it in the ACC mode until the light is solid. But that takes 10 minutes. Does anyone know what this problem is? Also the new thing the car is doing is the Traction off light, ABS and service engine soon light is coming on. What is this from? Someone help me please.
  • rebelmanrebelman Member Posts: 3
    yeah i have the same problem too. when i first got the car it would do that every few days and you had to turn the car off then turn the key to "on" until the security light stopped blinking. it is just a security system issue though. nothing wrong with the car. i put dual exhaust on my 2001 Se and added a k&n air intake and some upgraded spark plugs so it starts with no problem now and doesnt give security a chance to shut it off. also if you use 89 or 93 gas it will help it start a whole lot better. the security system just cuts on if you fail to start it. thats my experience at least.
  • chelmchelm Member Posts: 2
    Please if it not too late I would totally join in. Only I have alot more problems with my car. It is a 2002 grand am and so far I have had to replace the Catillic (not sure on the spelling) converter, master cylinder, fuel pump, gastic manifold, rack and pinon (spelling), hazard light switch (which still is clicking), and power steering pump. Also I need a new raditor. I have forked out so far around $3000.00, and it is still sitting in the driveway broke down.
    :lemon: :mad: :cry:
  • n5445n5445 Member Posts: 28
    THE CLICKING IS from THE TURN SIGNAL SWITCH INSIDE THE STEERING COLUMN.It's not the hazzard switch.These (turn signal)switches get dirty and send false signals to the clicker switch which is also used by the hazzard lights.
    The car oviously over heated from a gasket leak and thus the need for radiators and such.
    Don't take cars to the dealer. I have a 2000 grand am and found all of my pronlems located on the internet and how to fix them.
    I have 100k miles with problems, yes, but not real bad unless you don't fix the problem when it first arises.
  • n5445n5445 Member Posts: 28
    traction light is likely one of your wheel hub sensors is going out. Had the same problems with the dsh lights.

    I was lucky as the first one I changed was the problem.
    It was very difficult to change it out. Lots of elbow grease if you know what I mean.

    Security light is likely something to do with the passlock system which is behind the ignition key hole.
  • n5445n5445 Member Posts: 28
    list the problems with your car. Maybe someone can help.
  • neptuneneptune Member Posts: 2
    I had a problem with my Grand Am not starting and found this on the web which describes my situation exactly. Is this what this forum is referring to as the Passlock problem and is there no known fix?

    (PRWEB) February 21, 2005 -- If you own a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am, you'd better hope you're not stuck somewhere bad when this hits: You go to start your car, and the engine cranks, but it seems like your out of gas, and won't start. Numbers of people then have the car towed to a shop, only to find that the car easily starts after being towed, but no cause is ever found.

    The problem is that the RKE (remote keyless entry) system has a defect in it that causes car not to start. As of now there is no recall on the passlock systems. As for a fix, the experts are honestly not sure.

    To reset the computerized system, put key in the ignition and leave it in 'On' position for about ten minutes. Then turn it off, and try - it should start then. Warning: Continued resetting of the computer this way will eventually damage computer and will cost lots to replace/fix.
  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    Well, there's truth here and there's not. The passlock system really isn't part of the keyless entry. It can be repaired by someone with the diagnostic tools and skills needed to find the root cause, usually the Hall effect sensor on the ignition switch, which typically means a trip to the dealer.
    I can't think of any reason why "re-setting" the computer will cause any damage, but eventually it won't work because the root cause will completely fail, and will re-trip the passlock as soon as it re-sets and you try to start it.
    The Hall effect sensor runs about $125, with labor I believe the repair costs about $375 if I remember right.
  • cheryl8cheryl8 Member Posts: 2
    I am having the exact same problems as you kristenn16, my security light will not allow me to start my car for about 15 minutes after I place it on the on position I had the computer replaced along with multiple other things. Now it is happening multiple times a day a really pain. I did find on a recall list today that the security chip is what needs to be replaced the recall number is 01-00-89-009 may 01 was the date and description is key/ keynumber/ security chip-replacement this is for the 2002 pontiac grand am v6-3.4l vin E. I am going to check into this and see if they will replace.
  • cheryl8cheryl8 Member Posts: 2
    I have had the security passlock issue since I bought the car it is getting to the point where it is happening multiple times a day. I am in Canada and went to the pontiac site that U left on the page and can not do anything because it is for united states. I did find a recall # for the key/keynumber/security chip- replacement for the 2002 pntiac grand am v6-3.4L vin E the # is 01-00-89-009 it was issued may of 01 I have not contacted any one yet but intend too. If U intend to go ahead with the class action count me in, I am so sick of dealing with this problem. I have so much time and money put into this car to fix it and the dealership could not find the problem. It even had a new computer installed.
  • blackcobaltblackcobalt Member Posts: 3
    i have a 1999 grand am se 4 door. the security issue started with me back in november 2005 when the security light started coming on but nothing would be wrong with the car till about 2 months later when the damn thing wouldn't start and the security light was flashing. about 6 months earlier i had replaced one part of the ignition because all of my dash lights and gauges would just shut off in the middle of a drive then come back on but the car would stay running. when i took it in for the security light they replaced the tumbler (or something like that) anyway i had to get it keyed to my key and now most of my spares won't work. i thought that was all fine untill last month when the security light started coming on at odd times. now the damn thing will not start again. they say that i need to replace the other part that made all my dash gauges shut down. i don't want to pay another 300 to replace a part that has already been replaced. i thought i had a pretty good car untill i read all these problems on these forums that i have experienced. what i have replaced since buying the car in 2001 include:
    brakes and rotors
    ignition (switch twice)
    ignition tumbler
    3 (out of 4 windows) because something was scratching them when they roll up and down
    1 power window thing
    serpentine belt (3 times)
    fuel sending unit
    water pump
    and some general stuff that i consider wear and tear like tires and battery terminals

    it is crazy stuff, i will definatly do more research before buying a new one which seems to be coming soon. but i keep fixing her because she is at least paid for!
  • ronmanbronmanb Member Posts: 1
    I am having the same problems with my 2001 Grand Am. Cost @ 400 this time last year.Security etc.I am now trying the wait 10 minutes with the ignition in "On" and if starts am headed to the dealer for the fix.If not , will be towed to the dealer for the fix.If a class action is started , throw my hat in the ring.RB
  • blackcobaltblackcobalt Member Posts: 3
    I just installed a remote start on my car which will bypass the gm security system. Everyone that I have talked to said that this should work "in theory." So I tried it and we will see if it works. Seemed like the people at the Audio shop where I had it installed knew more about the problem than the repair shop at the dealership. Of course they wouldn't guarantee that it would fix THAT problem it was the cheapest fix at $200. So I hope it works, time will tell. If it doesn't at least I have remote start....
  • needmycarfixedneedmycarfixed Member Posts: 9
    Earlier this year, our car wouldn't start, we tried EVERYTHING... bought a new coil pack/iginition control module and still nothing. Turned out it was the security feature -it shut the car down, we reset the security and back to running - with the new $300 pack/module.

    This November we go out to leave on Sunday and it wouldn't start. We figured it was the same thing, we go through the security reset and nothing...except smoke - the coil pack got so hot that it cracked on the underneath side. Since we had the factory coil in the garage, we replaced it, and it ran good on Monday, Tuesday, we start it up and it's running like an old truck - ses light, trac light both on, no power - running on 2-1/2 to 4 rpms and takes forever to get enough power to hit 40mph. It's shaking and puttering. We took it to AutoZone, they read out 2 missfires - we replace the spark plugs and still no difference. Take it to a local mechanic, he says need to replace the iginition control module, coil pack and plugs - AGAIN! So,

    Why would it go through 2 in this short time? The car has less than 40,000 miles. What's the deal? And why can't we find a pack/module for less than $300?? AutoZone said you can't buy one without the other and we bought it, it only had the coil - not the module with it - for $175. A local dealer can get it for $400 and a salvage yard for $100 (???) O'Reilly, who we bought the other one from now says they can't order it - only dealers can. Any ideas what's happening with the car - and these parts?

    Appreciate the advise - I'm driving my husband's gas guzzling Dodge Ram!
  • bward1bward1 Member Posts: 8
    Just wondering, How is your remote starting working? Has it failed yet? My car will not start AGAIN. I might try that remote start.
  • blackcobaltblackcobalt Member Posts: 3
    so far so good, have not seen the security light since, unless i start it with the key it will sometimes appear.
  • bward1bward1 Member Posts: 8
    Where is the Pontiac Class Action Lawsuit. I would like to add my name to it??
    My car has left me stranded 2 times for the security problem. The dealer said they never heard of this particular problem and for me to resolve the problem by selling the car.
    They sure have confidence in their products.
    Again, I woud like to get into the class action lawsuit.
    Thank you,
  • virgo58virgo58 Member Posts: 10
    I couldn't agree more with all of you. I have been dealing with this turn the car off one minute and the next minute - totally dead. The people at the dealership look at you like your some sort of psycho making all of this up. AAA won't even tow me any longer, used them all up for this year! I'll spare you all of the details because I'm sure you have all been through the same things. I have been in contact with the WONDERFUL (yeah right, only when they are TAKING your money) Pontiac customer service center. Was assured that if this happened again, I was to call her and they would help me deal with it. Needless to say, she won't even return my phone calls now. I am very serious regarding a class action suit. I can't tell you the amount of time and money this has cost me. Not to mention the aggravation only to be treated as if they are doing you some sort of favor by taking your money while raking you over the coals financially. Their so called "Certified Technicians" who are charging a premium price for their useless knowledge and their fancy analysis machines that are suppose to be able to tell them what is exactly wrong with your car (this service also very pricey) only to be told after a year and half "We really don't know whats wrong with your car, we've replaced everything". That about sums it up. One idiot telling the other what to do. I think its time that the giant money maker GM/Pontiac take responsibility for the shoddy product. Maybe they need to shell out some money to those of us who have endured this nightmare and get nothing in return for their money and then, just maybe they will understand how it feels to hand over your money and get nothing in return for it. If interested, I'll be more than happy to help with a lawsuit and I'm currently researching my options for legal recourse. Best of luck to all of you and I can only say I certainly hope you don't reward this company in the future by purchasing other makes or models from them.
  • raycorriraycorri Member Posts: 13
    If you want the fastest way to disable the Passlock---You just need to be able to start your car one time. Start it--leave it running--put car in neutral-- remove your radio, but do not unplug it.(Let it hang)Reach inside to the left and locate 3 tiny 22 gauge wires wrapped in black friction tape.(Yellow, Black, and White Passlock Wires)These are with the Ignition switch harness. Cut the (Yellow Passlock) Data Wire (while the engine is running). Security light will come on and stay on forever--- this tells you that Passlock is disabled.(PCM is in fail enable mode)Tape up both ends of the Yellow wire. Your car will crank from now on with no worries. I would suggest that you add a toggle switch, though. Disable Passlock --- it's not necessary to add a remote starter. Do a google search for "Passlock I or II Disablement" to see the written document for adding the toggle switch.
  • bward1bward1 Member Posts: 8
    raycorri, do you attach the toggle switch to each end of the cut yellow wire??
  • raycorriraycorri Member Posts: 13
    Yeah, that's right. You are putting the switch into the line. It will connect or disconnect the "cut wire" at the flip of a switch. You can even add a length of about 20 gauge wire so you can mount the switch in a more convenient or "hidden" location.(If you are good with wiring.)Flip the switch (while the engine is running)to turn the Passlock off. I have decided to leave mine off permanently.
  • bward1bward1 Member Posts: 8
    Thank you.
    I will do this soon.
    Thank you very much for saving me $400.00 and Screwing Pontiac out of the $400.00 I almost paid them.
    Thanks Again,
  • passlockhaterpasslockhater Member Posts: 2
    I just followed your proceedure. If it works I will be forever indebted to you. I have been stranded so many times because of this faulty passlock garbage- too many times to count. I fume as I sit in my car waiting for the stupid security light to stop flashing, and every time it happens I say "I'm gonna disable this $#@! somehow!"

    If I don't get stranded within a couple of days I will know it worked!
  • virgo58virgo58 Member Posts: 10
    I think that's great for you but I still feel Pontiac should pay for a pourly made product. My car has been doing this for over a year. They have replaced everything. I am fixing to take them to small claims court for the money and time and anguish that I am out and have suffered. They have charged me over and over again to make repairs that obviously didn't do any good. I think everyone should stand up to Pontiac and maybe this sort of crap would stop. Best of luck,

  • bward1bward1 Member Posts: 8
    I cut my yellow wire last night. I did not install a toggle switch. We will see how long it works.
    Good luck to everyone.
    I will let you know if I get stranded again because of this JUNK.
  • missouri65401missouri65401 Member Posts: 1
    More info on Passlock problems! I have a mechanic friend who says that if your "security" light comes on when you are trying to start your car and then won't let the car start, to turn the key off, and then to the "on" position (not initializing the starter, just to the power on position) and let your car set for about 10 minutes, until "security" stops flashing. This allows the key and the body computer to resink themselves and that you should be able to start your car after that. He said that his wife's car does this sometimes and that the Passlock problem may happen several times in a row or once every few months, no rime or reason to it, but that allowing the chip in the key and ignition to reconfigure with the body computer works. I hope that this helps some folks.
  • virgo58virgo58 Member Posts: 10
    Thanks for the help and yes, I have done that several times now and it does work. The problem isn't really what disturbs me any longer. What bothers me is it took "us" to figure it out. Pontiac has yet to tell me they know whats wrong with my car nor do they seem to care. They built the car, have their own "certified" mechanics" and yet they still can't seem to understand our problem. When I bought my car brand new, I paid what I consider to be a "decent" price and I don't feel that I should have to disable anything nor do I feel I should have to sit somewhere for 10 minutes or longer at a time while my car re connects with its computer. Am I the only one that this sounds just a little absurd to? I can't tell you how many times I've been to the dealership over this, lost time from work, not to mention lost pay, deductibles that I had to pay for nothing, not to mention the pure aggravation. My extended warranty has now run out and still the car problem remains a "mystery" to them, the manufacturer. I think its time that Pontiac steps up to the plate, deals with the problems that they created and maybe, just maybe try to make their "Customers - who I thought were suppose to be the number one priority" happy. Maybe I'm asking too much but I think not!
  • bucko1980bucko1980 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 grand am that I bought used and Has a DEI remote start in it. I have never used the remote start before. I think it is an add on one that you use you existing keyless entry remote.

    Well to get to the Crap!!!

    I am having the same problem as all of you. But I already have a remote start, just have no clue on how to use it. My wife is getting really sick of the, turn the key on for 10 minutes, then start the car. It seems to be happening more and more. Is it the Body Control module, pass lock, ignition cylinder?
    Any help would be appreciated.


  • ginkle7ginkle7 Member Posts: 3
    ok i as well cut my yellow wire but noyhing happens. it still will not start, well it starts but doesnt stay started. this is getting very old and i really dont have the money to spend to try and do all that they say is wrong so i was hoping that this would. please tell me what i can do now??? :cry::cry: :mad:

  • delone26delone26 Member Posts: 1
    :D I had the same problem my security light would com then my car would not start until i truned my key on for about 10 minutes. call gmc customer service and they sent me back to the dealer after the dealer said they did everything they could. The customer service rep was great. they end up replacing those three wires you are referring to. the wire are call connectors. they replace those three wires from the passlock cyclender to the bcm and I haven't had any problem since then. they took a year to figue it out but the rep told them they had to fix it. now she is looking into getting my money back for all the parts i had replace that didn't work. they fixed it for free as a recall problem from GMC. :D I have not had any other promblem with this 2001 grand am :surprise:
  • travishagertravishager Member Posts: 1
    my car will yurn over and start for about 2 seconds then it dies the security light stays on the whole time i tried leaving the key on for ten minutes and still nothing. after about a million tries it atarted then i turned it off now it won't start except for 2 seconds. my car is a 99 grand am if you can help, i woul appreciatte it..
  • passlockhaterpasslockhater Member Posts: 2
    I am replying to my own message here- actually, i am following up.

    I have not been stranded since I disabled passlock by cutting the yellow wire. I no longer wonder if I am going to be late getting to work because of that faulty piece of crap.
  • bward1bward1 Member Posts: 8
    I have Cut My Yellow Wire As Well. So Far So Good.
    Crossing My Fingers.
    Will Keep You All Updated.
  • ginkle7ginkle7 Member Posts: 3
    i dont get it then...i have had the same problems as everyone on here has talked about. i cut my yellow wire and still i get NOTHING. what is up with that???? :mad: :cry:
  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    Perhaps your having a different problem? Maybe the root cause of your problem is not Passlock related. What were the symptoms again? Is the security light coming on?
  • hsilverhsilver Member Posts: 2
    I am having the same problems as everyone else. This has been ongoing for years and started about a year after I bought my 01 grand am brand new. I do the reset set for 10 minutes blah blah and late for appts./work and etc. This will make the 3rd time the reset does not work and I will have to tow it in for fixing. Does cutting the yellow wire really work ? I am ready to try anything and absolutely would like to join in the lawsuit if there is one. I called GM cust service and they were no help. All I got was the run around.
  • hsilverhsilver Member Posts: 2
    If anyone is filing a lawsuit be sure to let me know im all for it. They need to take responsibility for this.
  • bwegleybwegley Member Posts: 1
    Add me to the list for the lawsuit. I've had this problem multiple times and just now learned about the shortcut (10 min delay). I'll be trying the yellow wire thing soon also. Let's take GM down!! Ok, probably won't get that extreme...let's just get our money back.
  • virgo58virgo58 Member Posts: 10
    I'm in the process of trying to do just that right now. I sent a certified letter to both the dealership that I dealt with as well as the Pontiac Customer Service Rep who was suppose to help me and didn't. I stated in my letter that it was no longer about just fixing the car but I wanted to be reimbursed for all of the time and moeny that I am out. The Pontiac Customer Service Rep contacted me on Friday and told me the first step would be to get my car back in there and try to get it fixed and then we would deal with the rest. I however, don't want anything disabled on my car. I guess I just feel I shouldn't have to start disabling things and disconnecting things in order for my car to work. I want it FIXED! I'll keep you up to date but I had had enough and no one was doing anything. I guess we will see how it goes.
  • virgo58virgo58 Member Posts: 10
    By the way, I forgot to add that along with my certified letters, I enlcosed copies of the posting on this website so I'm quite sure Pontiac is well aware of how we all feel by now so don't let them tell you they know nothing of the problems with others. Maybe if everyone wrote to pontiac and sent copies of these posting they would get off of their duffs and actually take some action to fix these cars. I've already decide and stated to them as well that my car would either be fixed and I would be reimbursed for all of the time and money that I am out or else I would file a small claims suit against them both or either try and follow up with the class action along with all of you wonderful people. Just remember, there is always power in numbers but only if you speak up for yourself! What have we got to lose?
  • hgosinskihgosinski Member Posts: 22
    :mad: :cry: :confuse: Well, I must say although I am superpissed about my 02 piece of #@!% grand am, I am relieved to finally know what it is, and not have anything else replaced just to wake up the next day, to have a car that won't start again. I have been going through the same things as all of you, getting stranded, using up all my triple a tows, and having machenics look at me like i'm nuts after getting my car towed some where, and then having it start right up. Please, if the yellow wire thing works, let me know, and I am so for getting on the lawsuit list also.

  • jmb2jmb2 Member Posts: 2
    I too, have had the problem w/ the security light and wasn't really sure if that was the root of my problems until I found this website and everyone elses problems. We cut the yellow wire, but I am not sure if it was the right one. The car was not running when we cut it, but as soon as he cut it the light went off and the car started right away. Reading your post it says that the light should remain on though. Could we have cut the wrong wire and for whatever reason we just were lucky that the light went off when it did and it started. The car does not always do this so it may be awhile before I find out if it works. Prior to these past few days where the security light would come on when I was driving or not allow me to start it was a good 6 months that it had happened.

    All in all I want to thank you so much for this post cause even if we cut the wrong wire, we will find the real one!! And I appreciate the help you gave us!
  • debtdebt Member Posts: 10
    I also have a 1999 Grand Am SE and my security light started coming on about the same time yours did. There were a few days I would go out to crank my car and it would be blinking and wouldn't start. After about 5 minutes or so, it would then start. I took it by the dealership to see what the problem was. Without looking at the car, they said it was my brain box (Computer) and that it needed to be replaced about $600. I said well thank you and drove off. My brother-in-law kept saying it was the battery that was bad. So I took it by Auto Zone and sure enough it was bad. I had it replaced and the problem was solved. Until today, I started my car and the damn security light came on and stayed on. I'm in fear that it will not start. Also my service engine soon light has been on forever but the car seems to run fine. I keep a close check on the gauge to make sure it is not running hot. The reason I've been told is the cylinder 4 misfired (code 304) and P440 Emission control system malfunction. If I disconnect the negative on the battery for about 15 minutes it would go out. Not! I just recently had to have the motor replaced on the back passenger window. I too have the scratch marks on my windows where they roll up and down. Things I have replaced on my car and I bought it new. 2 batteries, alternator, 3 sets of rotors, 4 sets of brake pads, struts, strut mounts. My front wheels roar while driving down the road. My ac fan roars too plus the ac takes a long time to get cold. I've put coolant in it but to no avail. I tried to talk to GM about the piece of crap car but they were no help. Good luck to anyone with a lawsuit. If you find a cure for the passlock system please let me know.
  • tadams2tadams2 Member Posts: 1
    Ok, We have an 03 grand am and now are experiencing the Passlock issue. The security light will come on once in a while and it will disable the start feature of the car as well. Pontiac/GM knows of the problems as the first time, my wife called me, I had to leave work to get the car started. We down loaded the User Manual from Pontiac and low and behold its in black and white. This is how we found out about the 10 minute reset time. Now it is happening very often, almost daily the light comes on. Then it goes off by itself and may not come on for days. Just last night, going to the movies, the light was not on, but after watching the movie, the car did not start and we had to wait out the time limit. I am new to this forum and now it seems this problem has be going on for years with no apparent recalls. One of the writers mentioned changing out a connector. I would much rather do this insted of cutting wires. Any feed back on the new connector? Anyone brave enough to take this matter to court? I will if someone would help me get started... Never filed a suite before but whiling to step up.
  • debtdebt Member Posts: 10
    Where is the yellow wire to disconnect the passlock?
  • virgo58virgo58 Member Posts: 10
    Hi - as per my prior posts, my car is at the dealership as we speak at the request of the Pontiac Customer Service Rep. I have already notified them via Certified Mail that if my car isn't FIXED this time and I'm not reimbursed for all of the time and money that I'm out because of this that certainly either small claims court or a class action suit would follow. I will keep you all posted!
  • virgo58virgo58 Member Posts: 10
    One other thing to consider: Your car insurance company gives you a discount for having a security system and when you disable (or cut the yellow wire) your security system no longer works (in other words, now you've just screwed yourself out of your insurance discount). Something to think about.
  • hgosinskihgosinski Member Posts: 22
    I have taken my car to the pontiac dealership. They are replacing the theft modual in the ignition, he said this is part of the passlock system, and my starter relay. This is costing me 600.00. If it works, i'll let you all know. The guy at the Pontiac dealer seemed to know what I was talking about with the passlock system. Now, I don't know if replacing it is going to help anything, but they won't cut any wires for me, and they said they were absolutly positive this would work. we'll see... :confuse:
  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    This is the Hall-Effect (magnetic) sensor on the ignition switch. I don't know what the starter relay has to do with it, unless they suspect it is also intermittent.
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