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Huskie

Disabling theft security system on car

Question

Huskie

My daughter has a 2001 Grand Am, and twice for no apparent reason the security system malfunctioned and would not let her start her car. After getting it towed in to a shop a mechanic showed her how to get it started, but she has to wait about ten minutes first. Does anyone know how difficult and expensive it is to disable that system and would it need to be done at a dealership or could any mechanic do the job? Thanks for the ideas in advance.

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Powerstroke

Is it a factory system or an aftermarket installed system?

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PierBridge

After martket car alarm systems most notably the auto start models are known for this.

Many people have been stranded because of these alarm/auto start systems. mad.gif

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Jeremy airjer W

As far as I know it can not be disabled. I run into this all the time. The key has a resistor. when it it inserted into the ignition tumbler the anti theft modules reads the resistance of the key. If the resistance is correct the module sends a signal to the ECM or computer (or the F.R.E.D. - frickin rediculous electronic device grin.gif). Once the computer recieves the signal it will start pulsing the injectors allowing the vehicle to start.

When we run into this there are four suspects. The key, The ignition tumbler, the two wires from the tumbler to the module, and the module. Typically the first step is to do the reset procedure, like you have been advised to do. If the vehicle starts then there is not a whole lot that can be done to find the source of the problem.

What I tell my customers is the very same thing. Some things you can try are; making sure you use the key F.O.B. to unlock the doors and have a new key made at your favorite G.M. Dealer.

The other option is to call Dealer Automotive Services (DAS) and see if they can shed some light on this. They do a lot of aftermarket stuff for dealers and may have come up with a solution for this problem.

Good Luck!

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Angler Don

Hey Huskie.

airjer pretty well nailed it for you. The most common failure I have found is one of the two little white wires breaks at the ignition cylinder. Having that replaced, with 2 new coded keys, around $ 400. I have seen a few cases in which the vehicle battery was the cause. Sometimes when starting the vehicle, the system voltage momentarily falls low enough to disable the passive anti theft system. These electronic systems are sensitive to low voltage situations.If you have to perform the reset / initialization procedure for no apparent reason, this may be the cause. The car is a 2001, is this the original battery ? If so, it should be tested. In my opinion, it should be replaced due to it's age. Something to check . Good luck,

Don

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18 inch Crappie

Take it to Mach one. The only thing that will not let you start the car with the key is the starter kill wires. All they did is cut your purple starter wire and put a realy in line that opens when the alarm is on the you try to start it. I installed alarms there for years and most of the time when people thought the alarm was bad it was the starter or something else. I do not know what kind of alarm or who put it in but if it was done right and it is a brand name alarm you should not have any problems.

What did the shop tell you how to start it and have to wait 10 min. Sounds like they do not know what there talking about. But with out more info I can only guess.

A car stereo shop would know more then a auto repair guy who does not install them, you have to know how they work to repair one.

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LMITOUT

Another thing to check is the Pass-Key (or is it Pass-Lock?) bypass that is needed when they put the auto-starter in if that's indeed what is installed. A lot of installers will go cheap and use the "resistor" style. Those are junk. Get the appropriate bypass module and there won't be an issue.

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Jeremy airjer W

18inchcrappie, This is a common failure with the factory equiped anti-theft system. This system can be reset in most cases by leaving the key in the run position until the security light stops flashing. This is what the shop recommended and was right on the ball for making the reccomendation. There have been many times that this has happened only one time to many of our customers. If this is the case it is just about impossible to accurately diagnose the true cause of the problem. This is not a solution for a no crank situation for any aftermarket security system that I'm am aware of. It sounded like you may have missed something so I just wanted to clear up what was going on!! grin.gif

Angler don, It never accured to me that the battery could be the fault as I have yet to have a repeat of this failure on the same car but it does make sense. In fact I just had a Dodge Dakota that had an extended crank that was caused by a week battery. Like you said if its the original battery its due anyways. Might as well get it done before it leaves you stranded when the snow flies!!

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18 inch Crappie

Airjar, He did not say it was factory or aftermarket. But the waiting 10 min would make me think it was a factory unit. I thought it may be aftermarket. But I installed alarms and auto starters for 10 years and seen it all. We also got into repair of the electronics on cars. You can take out the Factory alarm if you know what your doing.

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Jeremy airjer W

Removing a factory security system in late model vehicle would be very difficult in my opinion based on over 12 years in the automotive repair business. It cannot be easy to remove a system that is integrated into another. Its like removing your hard drive from your computer and expecting it to work when you turn it back on. The only thing that could be done is to fool the ECM by sending a signal to it with some sort of emulator. Then it would be o.k. until the emulator stopped working or the programing/hardware in the ecm for the anti-theft went bad and then your back to square one.

I'm sure its a possibility to disable it somehow and I'm sure someone will come up with a plan but I don't think it will be easy/cheap by any means!

With ten years of experience you must have run into this on the GM vehicles. Would you like to share how you would disable the anti-theft system on the them? I as well as many other techs would like to give our customers another option!!

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Huskie

I think we will check the battery first, replace it if necessary. Does one have to wait 10 minutes to reset it? I am not sure if it is factory or not, I live in Southern Mn. and my daughter goes to college in Duluth. I am hoping it does not cost $400 to fix and need to get it done by winter. I would suppose checking the key is the next option. I bought it from a small outfit in Austin Mn, he didn't have the keyless entry key and had one made for me. She tried to activate that on her own, using info on the internet, could not get it to work, could that be part of the problem? Thanks guys for your help.

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Jeremy airjer W

If the security light is flashing and the vehicle will not start you will have to wait until the security light stops flashing wich is 10 - 20 minutes. The normal procedure for this is to turn the key to the run position and leave it. Make sure all the accesssories and light are off so that you do not drain the battery while you are waiting. Check periodically to see if the security light has stopped flashing. When it has stopped the vehicle should start.

If it does not start then we know there is a fault. If there is a fault than taking it to a good independant shop or the dealer would be a good idea. These are not hard systems to diagnose but you do need a little skill and patients.

I don't think programing the remote (key F.O.B.) is the cause. If it was it would have not started after trying to program. I do believe the only thing that happens when programming the new FOB is that you are telling the module to accept the new frequency of the key FOB itself.

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