Last post on May 13, 2013 at 1:41 PM
You are in the Pontiac Grand Am
What is this discussion about?
Pontiac Grand Am, Security System, Sedan
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
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For those experiencing the security passlock problem, please see long-time member lovemygrandam's GM Security Passlock Fix tutorial.
#203 of 1226 Re: Disable your Passlock! [paracad]
Sep 13, 2007 (8:51 am)
My 1999 Grand Am SE' security light has been coming while driving and staying on. I have had two episodes when I would turn the ignition to start it the security light would start blinking. It will not start until the light has stopped blinking. I called the dealership and the service tech said it is the chip in the ignition switch but the ignition switch will have to be replaced. I am taking it to my mechanic and NOT to a dealership who will charge an arm and leg for it. My car now has 133,000 miles on it and I bought it brand new. The first six months I had the car, my rotors and brake pads were replaced. Under warranty still so I didn't have to incur costs. Since then I have put 3 sets of rotors, 4 sets of brake pads. I've replaced the altinator, 2 batteries, struts 2 X, mounts 1 X and now they say my rear wheel cylinders are seeping. Other than that not too many major problems. I will never purchase another Pontiac. They are a piece of junk and should have never been put on the market.
#204 of 1226 Re: passlock problems [meredith80]
Sep 13, 2007 (5:39 pm)
i had the same prob for 2 years. i finally went to a mechanic and he replaced the ignition, had to take a new one to a dealer and have it coded with my key. haven't had a prob since and it only cost 250.00. if i had gone to the dearler it would have been twice that amount.
#205 of 1226 Re: Disable your Passlock! [debt]
Sep 14, 2007 (10:00 am)
There's no "chip" in the ignition switch. It's a Hall effect sensor (magnetic).
Most of the repairs you mention are maintenance. Did you think you would get 133K without doing anything?
The rotors and brakes (front) are a known deficiency, but not just for GM. Many manufacturers were using the cheap South American and Chinese rotors. A good aftermarket rotor and pad set usually solved this problem.
#206 of 1226 Re: Disable your Passlock! [burdawg]
Sep 14, 2007 (2:56 pm)
I have to disagree with you about the maintenance part. I bought a low mileage Grand Am GT and the lock has been changed once and it is bad again. The Pass Lock system is a very poor design.
#207 of 1226 Re: Disable your Passlock! [pontiac4]
Sep 15, 2007 (2:10 pm)
I wasn't referring to that. I meant the struts, brakes, etc.
#208 of 1226 Re: Disable your Passlock! [burdawg]
Sep 15, 2007 (3:43 pm)
Ok sorry about that.
Sep 16, 2007 (7:43 pm)
For those of you who have not done it yet:
Mine is a 1997 GrandAm. I warrant what follows for 1997s only, but perhaps yours is the same.
1. The manual says to isolate the yellow data wire through the radio compartment, but I did not have to do that. Pop the top off the steering-wheel housing (it snaps on) and remove the tilt-steering lever (unscrews -- mine had some locktite on it, so be careful).
2. Now remove the bottom portion of the housing (three screws underneath).
3. BE CAREFUL! There are two yellow wires underneath -- one to the air bag, one to the ignition. Obviously, you want the one to the ignition. It is the wire "most" underneath (obvious what that means when you see it) and closest to the driver when he or she is behind the wheel.
4. START THE CAR! START THE CAR! START THE CAR! This is an essential step! If the car won't start (like mine), jiggle the wire as you turn the ignition (many of these PassLock problems are old, corroded wire connections, not the Hall sensor).
5. Clip the yellow data wire, leaving at least some wire to work with on both sections. Once the wire is cut, you may (but don't have to) turn off the car.
6. From Radio Shack, obtain SPST mini-toggle switch # 275-612 (total cost including tax: $3.17).
7. Remove switch from packaging; make sure it is in the "off" (contacts open) position (check it with a meter).
8. Strip a short section of insulation from each end of the cut data wire, slip some shrink wrap over the wires, and splice in the switch.
9. Maneuver the shrink wrap over the soldered terminals and heat to form a completely insulated splice.
10. The toggle can be left inside the housing or mounted on the underside of the lower housing section (drill a 1/4-inch hole carefully so the plastic does not melt around the drill bit).
11. Reinstall lower housing (three screws) and tilt lever (you may want to use some locktite, but I didn't). If you opted for outside mounting, screw on the locknut for the switch.
12. Snap top half of housing in place.
13. If you turned the car off, turn it on to test. It should start right up.
That's all there is to it!
Now: Don't write back and say your "theft system" light is on -- it's supposed to be on. What you have just done is disable PassLock, and YOUR CAR IS NO LONGER PROTECTED FROM BEING HOTWIRED AND STOLEN. So, you must take all the old precautions against auto theft, like locking the car and pocketing the keys.
IF YOUR BATTERY DIES (or if your local dummy repairman disconnects it to work on the car): PassLock probably will reactivate -- that's why you spliced in the switch. Flip the toggle to "on." Now, in effect, the data wire is reconnected. You must get the car started again to disable PassLock. Once started and running for more than five seconds, flip the toggle to "off." PassLock once again is disabled, and the red "theft system" light will come on. Ignore the light.
N.B.: If you accidentally (or deliberately) flip the toggle while the car is off, PassLock will reactivate, and the car must be restarted again before the toggle can be turned off again. If PassLock is engaged and the toggle is off, the car will not start. If you flip the toggle while the car is running, again PassLock will engage and stay engaged unless you flip the toggle off before turning off the ignition.
#210 of 1226 Re: Disable your Passlock! [burdawg]
Sep 17, 2007 (1:10 pm)
No I didn't expect to have 133K miles on it before having to do anything. I'm surprised I haven't had more problems already that most of you have named. It's in the shop now hoping that whatever the heck is causing that darn security light to blink and not start.
Sep 18, 2007 (3:16 pm)
I have a 2002 Grand Am and going through the passlock issue. I have had numerous repairs done to my car and they never work, I use the 10 minute reset, but have to do it more frequently then ever. We have called the local dealership, we have called the national GM representatives, we have called our regional repair representative. If you call them you will get the same answer. First they deny they have ever heard of the problem then you make your way up the ladder and suddently its not a safety issue therefore its not their problem. Although I am 24 years old and a female and I find being stuck random places by myself a safety issue. What I am wondering is how long they will still install the passlock system knowing that they have such a high rate of problems. It amazes me that there are whole companies out there advertising technology (bypass devices and remote start) to help go around the passlock system after it has failed. If a problem becomes so abundant to make it profitable to spin off sub-industries you would think they would just choose a different security system, or at least design in a way to disengage the system without having to Frankenstein internal wires or buy an aftermarket device. This has been such a costly frustration.
#212 of 1226 problems with security on grandam
Sep 18, 2007 (5:35 pm)
GOSH! I AM HAVING SUCH A HEADACH WITH THIS 1999 GRAND AM AND ITS "SECURITY" THING!!! I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO, I CALLED A DEALER AND ALL THEY TOLD ME IS THAT IT WOULD COST ME 80 BUCKS TO RUN A DIAGNOSTIC TEST ON MY KEY IGNITION!!! DAMMIT ITS GOTTA HAVE SOME KIND OF DISABLE THING IN IT, AND THEN AFTER I WAIT FOR 15MINS SO SECURITY CAN GO AWAY, I DRIVE OFF AND THEN MY CAR DIES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY!!!! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!