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Discussion Starter #1
hey all, dad's having trouble with his 98 malibu. the theft system randomly activates when we go to start the car. this cuts power to the fuel pump for 15/20 minutes then resets itself. anyone have experience with this? looking for a way to either permanently deactivate it or at least reset it when it does happen. pulling the battery cables does not help. thanks, Dave
 

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I think thats passkey II, has a resistor in the key right? I believe the most common problem is dirty/poor contacts. but I could be wrong.
 

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If it is the Pass Key System clean the key good around the resistor and also try the other key. The wires that contact the key break where they can't read the key. You can either get a new ignition switch, reburn the EEC not to check, or get a $2 resistor and permanetly disable it.
 

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nope, there is no chip or resistor in the key, just a plain old generic steel key. also when it is activated we just leave the key in the ignition in the off position until the theft system light turns off then we can start it
 

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It is the passlock sensor, inside the ignition switch. When I worked at the chevy dealer, I changed at least 2 of them every week. All the GM cars have the same problem. Unfortunately, once the ignition switch is replaced, the computer needs to be reprogrammed or it won't work, so you have to go to the dealer for that one. If he can't get to it right away, then when it does happen, turn the key to the on position and leave it like that for about 10 minutes. While the key is on, the theift light will be blinking, and after about 10 minutes, the light will go out, and then you can start the car right up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ok thanks mikey. once replaced at the stealership is it fixed or will it happen again (updated parts?) also how much in parts/labor are we looking at? car hit 198000 miles and still runs strong. thanks,
Dave
 

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Well it depends. They will probably hit you with about an hour to replace it, and another half-hour to reprogram. If you go in there and say "its the passlock sensor and I want it replaced" that will probably prevent them from charging you another hour for diagnostic time. I'm not sure if the parts are updated or not. I know it isn't a recall, but they might have updated the part to prevent it from happening again, or it might give out in another 9 years. Either way, I don't think it will be an issue with that kind of mileage.
 

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I've changed alot of these lately. Takes 15 minutes to 'reprogram'. Actually it reprograms itself. Leave the key in run for 15 minutes, turn it off and start the car. The cylinders cost about $150 though.
 

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I have heard of the Pass Key in the cylinder, but thought that was on newer cars. My 2000 Regal GS and 1998 TA have the resistor in the key. You can permanently disable them by measuring the resistor in your key, go to an electronics store and get a 1/4 watt resistor close to the same value. Remove the covering around the key and cut 2 wires that go to the switch (not the 2 for the key buzzer) and solder the resistor across the 2 cut wires that do not go to the ignition switch. You are faking out the PCM as it is reading the resistor and not the key. There are something like 16 different values of keys.
 

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Yeah, with no resistor in the key you have a Passlock II (or is it passlock 3?) system and need to replace the ignition lock cylinder. Stupid idea to have a hall effect sensor inside the cylinder...should have just gone right to the transponder system like Ford did with PATS.

Then again, I never did agree with GM's electrical engineering...
 
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