Last post on Dec 06, 2013 at 4:52 AM
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.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
For those experiencing the security passlock problem, please see long-time member lovemygrandam's GM Security Passlock Fix tutorial.
#789 of 1285 Passlock problems (Solved)
Feb 11, 2010 (12:01 am)
This is a response to an old post.
I have a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am V6 4 door.
Over a year ago I was having passlock issues where I couldn't start the car at all.
I even installed the bypass switch for the passlock and that solved my passlock issue.
But this year I started having other issues, they were,
The gauges (cluster) wasn't turning on until a long time into starting the car.
windows wouldn't roll down
air wouldn't turn on.
I used just answers.com and asked a technition questions and he said try to replace the "Ignition Switch"
I bought an ignition switch from a local store for $99.00 and if that didn't work I was going to return it.
Once I replaced the ignition switch, I had to deactivate the bypass switch I put in a year ago. ( If you don't have a bypass switch, then your ok)
Next I had to reprogram the key by turning it to the on position (not starting the car) for 10 minutes
After 10 minutes I turned the car off for 5 seconds and repeated the step 2 more times. (On 10 Min off 5 sec, On 10 Min off 5sec)
Then I started the car still with the bypass switch disengaged.
And the car started great with no issues. The passlock security light went off and everything worked well and still does.
I hope this helps for everyone.
If you really have a passlock issue then this wont help, but I would give this a try first if you are handy with installing things.
#790 of 1285 Passlock
Feb 18, 2010 (11:15 am)
My daughters Grandam, at 115,000 Kilometers has started to show signs of this issue. She hasn't had to go through the 10 minute procedure...yet. Our mechanic is certified GM with 25 years experience. He now has his own shop and drives the Alero version of this car so he seems to know the issues and the ways to get around them quite well. Rather than replace the ignition cylinder, which according to him became a habit by dealers for cars under warranty because it was relatively easy and quick for the shop to do (but not necessarily the solution) his suggestion is to purchase the bypass module commonly used by vendors that sell and install remote starters. According to him this is a simple and very reliable method to bypass the Passlock System. Up to this point he has been a very knowledgeable and reliable mechanic so I'll take his word for it. He explained how the Passlock works in great and painful detail, so I think he knows what he's talking about. If my daughter begins to experience issues I'll definitely let him bypass the Passlock.
Feb 20, 2010 (9:29 am)
My wife and I just purchased a 2003 Chevy Tahoe. It is very nice with on 60K miles. Yesterday (the day after I purchased it from a private seller) I went to start it using the remote start (Valet, I believe) it attempted to start then shut off, the remote start attempted several times. I then got in a tried the key and the same thing. I noticed the security light blinking. I went in the house and looked online and found this site. I went back out, did the 10 min. trick and it worked. Now I am worried this is going to happen more often. Do to the fact I have a remote starter doesn't that mean the Passlock is already bypassed? Does this mean I have a bad ignition key lock? How does the BCM affect all of this? What is my next move. This car is for my wife and we have a 17mo. old little girl, we are in MI and I do not want them stranded.
Please can anyone give me some insight on what I need to do to fix this. She is not crazy about the fix with the light being on (but like I said isn't that already bypassed for the remote start?). Also my keys do not have a + symbol on them, does that mean I have Passlock 1 or 2.
Feb 22, 2010 (6:08 pm)
To successfully bypass the security system on your particular vehicle, you will need a wiring diagram of your truck, including the circuitry of the passlock system. You will also need all the wiring information regarding the remote start system, which was installed by an aftermarket dealer. I have a tendency to suspect that the remote start system is the culprit in your case. If you look through all the forums, you will not find many instances of Chevy Tahoe trucks which experience the passlock problem, and since yours is such a low mileage truck, I would expect that it is still under warranty.
If, after removing the remote starter and putting the system back to the original wiring, you still have the passlock problem, I would suggest you do the resistor mod described on my website. For your truck, you will definitely need a shop manual, since my website does not describe where to place the resistor for your vehicle.
If you want to save money on repairs, you will need the shop manual anyway, and $27.00 is not that much to spend for a year's subscription to the online version of the manual.
#793 of 1285 passlock prob, but dying on hwy?
Mar 01, 2010 (3:08 pm)
hello all, i do believe we have a passlock problem since our car when it doesn't start has the security light on, so I'm going to try the 10 min reset when it happens again... but my question....
twice in the past month, the car has died while on the highway. needless to say this has been extremely dangerous, losing power steering and all, two tows later, the car restarted hours later. i read in one of the many posts the security light should stay on if passlock fails while the car is running, but the car should not shut off.
is this a problem that could be caused by passlock? if not what?
Mar 01, 2010 (4:56 pm)
You are correct: Passlock is not supposed to fail while the car is running. That is the secret behind bridging the system -- with the car running, one cuts the wire and installs the toggle.
You probably need to report this problem to a dealership and, if there is no satisfaction there for a reasonable price or for free as a recall, contact the NTSB. Losing all power while you're on an interstate definitely is a safety problem.
#795 of 1285 2003 Grandam Passlock Problems
Mar 07, 2010 (11:08 am)
Hi, I have been reading many posts about bypassing the passlock system on my 2003 grandam. About 2 years ago it started not wanting to start, where it made no attempt to start, no starter turning over or clicks, just nothing when you turn the key. I figured out it was the security and could leave the key on for 10 minutes and it would start up fine. This would work for a while then do it again. I finally got tired of it and read a post on bypassing (http://www.bergerweb.net/grandamsecurityfix.htm), so I did that with the transistor, following it step by step. It seemed all fixed up, the only issue I have had is that the security light stays on constantly now, but I have just been dealing with it. Well all has been great for about a year now, but all of a sudden it is doing it again. I'm a little confused on how it can do this with the system being bypassed.
It happened about a month ago, I let it sit for 10 minutes with the key on and it started. I assume the BCM and transistor somehow got out of sync on the electrical pulse??? But since it started up after waiting, I didn't think too much into it, hoped it was just a fluke. Well it happened again today and now it will not reset. I left it for 10 minutes twice and the third time I let it sit for 15 minutes, and nothing. Do you think the transistor could have gone bad? I am thinking about changing it, but the car is in a hotel parking lot 40 miles from my house, so trying to figure out what to do. I would really like to bypass that passlock system altogether if possible but don't know how or if that is even an option with all the electronics. I appreciate any help you can provide.
One other slight detail is that there has always been some electrical 'gremlin' in my car (I bought it new in 03) and something I have been able to recreate is after I shut the car off and the fan speed is on high, I turn down the speed to 1 or off and all the dash lights will blink. I try to not touch the fan speed after shutting the car off, but both of these occurrences have been around a time where I accidentally changes the fan speed.
#796 of 1285 Re: 2003 Grandam Passlock Problems [kelbb2]
Mar 07, 2010 (12:05 pm)
There is no transistor in the bypass circuitry on my website at http://www.bergerweb.net/grandamsecurityfix.htm
I assume you are referring to the RESISTOR mentioned there, rather than a transistor.
If you did the modification correctly, you would have bypassed the security system. If your Security light is on solid, then something is wrong with your modification... probably the resistor is not connected to one of the two wires, or to the wrong wire. It is also possible that your wiring is not exactly the same as that shown on the website. The only way to know for sure is to get a service manual and check to make sure you are connected to the correct wires. You can subscribe to an online service manual at:
If you have trouble identifying the correct wires after you have your manual, post back again, or send me an E-mail at:
#797 of 1285 Re: 2003 Grandam Passlock Problems [kelbb2]
Mar 07, 2010 (12:50 pm)
In addition to what Richard pointed out, it does not sound like your problem initially was PassLock. The PassLock system never stopped my car from turning over; it simply cut the fuel at the injector as soon as the engine rolled. If you are not getting even a starter click, my guess is there is at least one additional issue.
It also sounds like "piling on." Richard's resistor bridge makes the light go out; cutting the wire and installing the toggle makes the light stay on solid. It sounds like you tried to install the wrong component and, in effect, cut the wire (no toggle). This is adding an issue.
If the starter does not even click, that sounds like perhaps a bad battery or corrosion at one of the battery posts, cutting off the juice. In this case, recall there is a reason for the toggle: When the battery goes bad or electricity is cut off, PassLock can rearm, which means you have to get the car started again before "recutting" the wire by turning off the toggle. Since you have to turn something on again before you can turn it off, that's why it's there! Otherwise, the wire would be cut with the car off and PassLock engaged, which prevents you from starting it at all.
Try this first: Take some steel wool plus pliers, screwdriver, wrench, whatever you need to pop the battery post, polish everything good and clean, and reassemble. If you still get no click from the starter, your battery (or the starter) may be dead. So, don't forget the jumper cables, and see if someone else can jump you. If PassLock has re-engaged, this won't work, but at least the engine should turn over. That tells you the problem is the battery, not the starter. Assuming that's true, get a good battery from Sears and install. Try the 10-minute fix to see if you can get the car to start. If it starts, drive it home and don't drive it again until you get the problem fixed, either with the cut-and-toggle or resistor bridge.
If it doesn't start, you may have to have the vehicle towed to a place which can fix it, and that will cost. But, before you put a lot of cash on the table, first make sure you did the ten-minute reset with the PassLock data wire connected. Because, like I said, if PassLock has rearmed and the wire is cut, there is no way to bypass it until the data wire is whole again.
#798 of 1285 Re: 2003 Grandam Passlock Problems [lovemygrandam]
Mar 07, 2010 (6:00 pm)
Thanks for the quick response, much appreciated.
You are correct, it is the resistor that I installed. I was reading many posts and there seemed to be two methods, one using the resistor to bypass the passlock system, or to install the toggle switch, and I chose the resistor since it seemed to be the most non-visable method to fix this problem.
I did this about a year ago, and could have messed it up, but I did follow your instructions step by step, which are excellent by the way, and I have been problem free till about a month ago. I did have the one symptom of the security light on solid, and ran through your suggestions if that occurs, but couldn't get it to go away. I guess with that light staying, there must be something incorrect. Your pictures and my car's BCM wiring were identical by looking at them, no extra wires or differing colors.
To give a little more background, when this first occurred, I was driving down the highway and the car just died, sort of like running out of gas, but I had a full tank. I was not aware of any security issues at the time, had the car towed to a mechanic, and they replaced the fuel pump. Almost $600 later, the car was running and I thought all was well. Then about two weeks later the car wouldn't start, no turning over at all. I thought the battery was dead, tried jumping it and nothing, so purchased a new battery and must have accidentially left the car on for 10 minutes, resetting the security and didn't know it. Then this happened again a week or so later, so I called the dealership and read in the book, learning about the security issue. Then just got used to resetting it all the time, till I read the fixes and tried yours. I really don't know if I needed to change the fuel pump or not now after learning about these passlock issues. What is interesting is that my issues have always been the same, where I have full power (gages, windows, fan, lights, etc) and nothing happens when you turn the key to start position. I read many others where the engine will turn over but will not start since the passlock system doesn't let fuel to the injectors.
Sorry for the book
I think I'm going to re-run your proceedure with a new resistor, along with checking the service manual. Also going to try the 2nd key, sometimes one key would not have as many problems as the other. I will also check fuses, I was rushed this morning.
I saw another post after yours, but I really don't think it is a battery or starter issue, not 100% sure, but I have been dealing with this problem for two years, and it seems to be the same thing, especially since this occurred a month ago and sitting for 10 minutes fixed it then. Do you think an unexpected electrical signal could fry the resistor?
Please let me know if you have any other suggestions.
Thanks again. Eric