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Old 05-17-2008, 08:50 PM   #1
justin1982z28
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How to: Bypass Passlock II

Recently my 99 Grand Am SE (3400 Auto) has been having a problem where the car will not start. It cranks over but it gets no fuel and the security light comes on for 10 minutes. If I try again after the light has gone out, it usually starts. Otherwise I wait again. It has always started eventually. From reading posts here and elsewhere, I determined that the Passlock II module in the ignition keyswitch is probably failing, leading the car to believe it is being stolen, activating the anti theft. There are four solutions to this that I am aware of:
1. New ignition keyswitch (expensive and most seem to fail again)
2. Cut the small yellow wire (shown below) while the engine is running (results in the security light being on all the time and may lead to the car not starting if the battery ever needs to be replaced)
3. Bypass it using an aftermarket module designed for a remote starter
4. Trick the car into thinking that that the passlock module in the ignition is sending the proper signal using a resistor (I chose to go this way, as shown below)

***Warning: I am not an expert anything, let alone an expert mechanic. Follow my example below at your own risk***

1. Remove the plastic trim from around the radio and heater controls. Do this by pulling gently on it, it is held in place by metal tabs. After it is loose, disconnect the wires to the lighter socket. Then remove the the traction control and emergency flasher light buttons from the trim by unscrewing the three screws that attach them to the back of the trim. You can now set the trim aside and let the loose wires hang out of the way.

2. Remove the radio by unscrewing the three screws that hold it in. You can use a towel to support the radio against the shifter so that you don't have to disconnect it. If you disconnect the wires to the radio, you risk triggering the radio's anti theft. You can safely disconnect the antenna wire so that it can be positioned out of the way more easily.

3. Remove the ignition keyswitch. Unscrew the two screws just above and below the ignition. I believe they are 10mm. Reach in through the hole where the radio was and wiggle the ignition out of its place and into the hole where the radio was as best as you can. As you can see in the pics later, it won't come out very far. Maybe someone else can post regarding how to get it to come out further. I didn't want to disconnect anything. The goal is to get to the wires related to the Passlock II.

4. Find the three Passlock II wires. These wires come out of the top of the ignition. They are in a black anti friction sheath. They are small wires, maybe 20 or 22 gauge. Maneuver the bundled wires where you can access them through the hole the radio usually lives in.

5. Remove the sheath. I used a razor blade. An X-Acto knife would be ideal. Very carefully cut the sheath back without nicking the wires. You don't need to cut it off, just separate it so that you can pull it back. You should be able to see three wires:
black, yellow, white. You will be working with the black and yellow wires ONLY.

6. DISCONNECT THE BATTERY.

7. Cut the yellow wire. Leave enough coming out of the ignition that you can get to it later or reattach it if you ever want to. Leave enough coming from the car that you can solder to it. Strip back both ends of the yellow wire about 1/4".

8. Strip about 1/4" of the insulation off of the black wire. Do this in a place where you will be able to solder to it later. Again, use the razor. Take small bites out of it, like you were peeling a banana. DON'T CUT THE BLACK WIRE.

9. Make sure that none of the bare wires are touching each other or bare metal and RECONNECT THE BATTERY.

10. Following the multimeter's instructions, connect one lead to the black wire. Connect the other lead to the half of the yellow wire that is attached to the ignition (not the half going to the car). It will be much easier if you have alligator clip leads for your meter. Insert your key and turn it to run but do not start the car. I did not get any reading at this point. Try to start the car. It should turn over and run for a second but then die. Read the value on the meter. I got 2450 every time I tried it. Your car will likely have a different value, so you have to measure it.

11. DISCONNECT THE BATTERY and the meter. Make sure the wires are not touching.

12. Use a combination of resistors to come up with a value as close to the value you read as possible. I used a 2700 and a 27000 in parallel to get 2400 or so. I have read online that anything within 50 either way is ok, but I don't know. There are some useful calculators online to help you figure out which resistors to use. YOU DO NOT ADD THE VALUES OF THE RESISTORS TO GET THE FINAL VALUE.

13. Twist the ends of the resistors together so that they are connected in parallel. Use test leads (wires with alligator clamps on each end) to connect one end of the resistors to the black wire and the other end to the yellow wire that goes to the car (not the yellow wire to the ignition keyswitch). Make sure that none of the wires is touching another wire or bare metal.

14. Reconnect the battery and attempt to start the car. It should start normally. If it doesn't, I would guess that you resistors are not of the proper values. Mine started, so I didn't get into troubleshooting.

15. DISCONNECT THE BATTERY and the test leads.

16. Solder 2" or so of 20 gauge (or so) wire onto either end of your resistors. Make sure the joints are very secure. If a resistor or wire becomes disconnected YOUR CAR WILL NOT START.

17. Tape off the yellow wire coming from the keyswitch. This wire is no longer used.

18. Slide shrink tubing over the yellow wire coming from the car. Solder one of the wires attached to the resistors to the yellow wire coming from the car. Slide the shrink tube over the joint and shrink it.

19. Solder the other wire that is attached to the resistors to the stripped area of the black wire. Using good quality electrical tape (3M), tape this joint so that it is insulated and so that the tape supports the solder joint.

20. Reconnect the battery and try to start the car. It should start.

21. Slide the anti friction sheath back down over the wires if possible. Otherwise you can use electrical tape to stand in for the sheath. Move the ignition keyswitch back into place, positioning the new wires so that they don't touch anything that will cut them.

22. Put everything else back together.

I didn't take pictures of every step, but I will try to post what I have. If you have any experience bypassing the Passlock, I would like to hear about it. So far its been a day and the fix is still working. If my car starts for a month straight without making me wait 10 minutes, I'll consider it a success.

Last edited by justin1982z28; 05-17-2008 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:21 PM   #2
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Pic for step 8:
Passlock II Bypass 004 online.jpg

Pic for step 12:
Passlock II Bypass 013 online.jpg
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:25 PM   #3
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Pic for step 16:
Passlock II Bypass 016 online.jpg

Pic for steps 17, 18, 19:
Passlock II Bypass 030.jpg

Last edited by justin1982z28; 05-17-2008 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:28 PM   #4
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Another pic for steps 17, 18, 19:
Passlock II Bypass 035.jpg

I don't have any more pics, I didn't plan on making this into a how to, but it is working so far so I thought it might be helpful to someone else.
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:03 AM   #5
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Very nice work. This should def. be sticky'd. +1 rep
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:26 PM   #6
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Ok, so this has happened to me twice this month and am now motivated to try this fix. I did quite a bit of research online and your method looks sound. I did come across a few questions though that I have not been able to find answers to.

I found this qoute online in regards to option 2 posted above.

"So the solution is a switch so you don't have to tear the dash apart again? Right. Except for two things. One is the annoying security light all the time. The more severe is what would happen if you don't lose battery power for a year. You've been driving every day and the ignition cylinder components, while being bypassed, have still been being used every day and have been getting in worse and worse condition."

1st question; How valid is that statement? From what I read, he further went on to say that by incorporating a switch or simply leaving the wire cut, it will still eventually lead to the system failing. It doesnt make sense to me though becuase...if the wire is cut, isn't it still bypassing the passkey/passlock system? Wouldn't it mean that if you use the resistor method, it is still prone to failing after some time? If the system is bypassed, to me it means it is no longer used...so why would it fail??

My second question; You mentioned you used a few resitors to come up with the closest possible value. Would it be advisable to use one resistor or should i just split that value across 2 resistors.

I was leaning towards option 2 and incorporating a switch, but if the resistor method is the better way to go then will go with that. I just want to make sure I understand fully.
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Last edited by stillriza; 05-22-2008 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 05-29-2008, 06:51 AM   #7
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Yeah, I'm with Stillriza on this one – I wish I could just tear this whole "security" system out; it's happened to me twice in the past month, and I really don't want to get a whole new tumbler especially because I just had to pay to have my hub assemblies replaced.

Man, sometimes I miss having a car that just turns on and drive without all these "security" and "safety" systems, haha.
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:35 AM   #8
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Ya I'm still waiting for a response as well. It's a pain to sit there and have to wait 10 mins. I'm actually leaving for work 10 mins earlier in case this happens on a work day and i need to sit there and wait for the damn system.

Besides..after you disable the system, you essentially have no securtiy left on the car which sux as well..
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Ya I'm still waiting for a response as well. It's a pain to sit there and have to wait 10 mins. I'm actually leaving for work 10 mins earlier in case this happens on a work day and i need to sit there and wait for the damn system.
Thats exactly why I sold my Grand Am. Pass Lock is a bunch of crap.
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nascarnate326 View Post
Thats exactly why I sold my Grand Am. Pass Lock is a bunch of crap.
But that's just it, it's not just on the grand am. If you do a quick google you will see that all of GM's vehicle from 99+04 and some 05 & 06 that have this specific passlock2 system are affected with the same issue. There a quite a few who are lucky enough to not have this issue manifest but just as many who do end up with it surfacing where the severity runs from once every few months to every single start. There's guys with GMC sierra's who have this..malibus, aleros, chevy blazers, some saturn models, etc. etc

Every car manufacturer has it's share of problems within models..but to me..the GA just seems to have more than comparible competitors for it's class and year...say a civic or a 6 or eclipse or camry, corrolla whtvr the fuk car.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Thats exactly why I sold my Grand Am. Pass Lock is a bunch of crap.
So the Grand Prix is so much better huh? (don't tell him it's got passlock too.)
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:09 AM   #12
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Stillriza: Sorry I didn't answer your questions sooner. In regards to cutting the yellow wire (and possibly installing a switch), the risk (according to what I've read) is that the passlock module in the ignition may eventually fail entirely. My car had the problem occur more and more often, so presumably this can happen. If your car ever loses battery power, you have to reconnect the wire and have the passlock module work once for it to start again. Then you can "cut" the wire again while the car is running. If the module has failed entirely, you will not be able to start the car this one time and you will have to replace the passlock before you will be able to start your car at all. The resistor method is not vulnerable to this problem because the resistor replaces the passlock module entirely.

In regards to using one or multiple resistors, it doesn't matter if you use one or two as long as the resistance is correct. I have a friend with an assortment of resistors. There wasn't one single resistor that was correct, so we put pairs of them together and measured the resistance with a meter until we found a pair that was close enough.

So far, I have not had the problem come back since the day I posted the how-to. Hopefully it will keep working.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:58 AM   #13
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My 02 Grand Am GT did this. When I turned the key, nothing! But a security light. I had a 400 or 500 dollar body module? replaced. No problem since.
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Old 06-12-2008, 03:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justin1982z28 View Post
Stillriza: Sorry I didn't answer your questions sooner. In regards to cutting the yellow wire (and possibly installing a switch), the risk (according to what I've read) is that the passlock module in the ignition may eventually fail entirely. My car had the problem occur more and more often, so presumably this can happen. If your car ever loses battery power, you have to reconnect the wire and have the passlock module work once for it to start again. Then you can "cut" the wire again while the car is running. If the module has failed entirely, you will not be able to start the car this one time and you will have to replace the passlock before you will be able to start your car at all. The resistor method is not vulnerable to this problem because the resistor replaces the passlock module entirely.

In regards to using one or multiple resistors, it doesn't matter if you use one or two as long as the resistance is correct. I have a friend with an assortment of resistors. There wasn't one single resistor that was correct, so we put pairs of them together and measured the resistance with a meter until we found a pair that was close enough.

So far, I have not had the problem come back since the day I posted the how-to. Hopefully it will keep working.
thnx justin. this will be my weekend job along with cleaning the blower out.
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Last edited by stillriza; 06-12-2008 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 06-15-2008, 08:34 AM   #15
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Ok i did it. And your step by step instructions worked out perfectly!! Thnx Again Justin. The only thing I changed was... I ended up using 2 resistors in series as apposed to 2 in parallel. I was hoping to find one resistor with close enough resistance but no luck and the dozen resistors I had..i couldnt come up with a close enough value to get them in parallel.. Also, the reading I had was quite a bit dif from yours. My reading was 1.29 Kohms.

Again, it worked like a charm. So far so good!
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:16 AM   #16
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FYI: How to Calculate Resistors.

Resistors in Series:
When connecting resistors in series, simply add the values to get your total resistor value:
Resistor Total (Rt) equals Resistor #1 (R1) plus Resistor #2 (R2) and so on...
Rt=R1+R2....
So if Justin had put his resistors in series, he would have ended up with:
Rt=2700+27000
Rt=29,700 ohms or 2.97 kohms


Resistors in Parallel:
A little more tricky, you have to calculate the reciprocal number of the resistor value:
1/Rt=1/R1 + 1/R2 and so on...
Again, if we use Justins resistor values, we would have:
1/Rt= (1/2700) + (1/27000)
1/Rt= 0.00037037 + 0.000037037
1/Rt=0.000407407
To find out your total resistor value, enter 1 divided by the total decimal number into your calculator.
Rt= (1 / 0.000407407)
Rt=2,454.547909 ohms rounded off to 2,455 ohms.

I know this is a bit off of the mechanics side of things, but it might help someone to figure out what resistors they need to bypass the passlock security system.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:27 AM   #17
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I just used one 22K ohm. Works like a charm.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:55 AM   #18
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So the Grand Prix is so much better huh? (don't tell him it's got passlock too.)
z but my Grand Prix doesnt have passlock problems, and GP's dont have passlock problems near as much as Grand Am's do.
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:52 PM   #19
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Just wanted to say thanks tothe original poster!

I followed the instructions exactly, and it worked like a charm!!
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Old 09-06-2008, 09:24 AM   #20
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My cars doing the same thing cranks but doesnt start! But after awhile it still doesnt start, put gas in in the throttle body it starts no problem. Ive tryed putting the alarm in valet mode and let it sit for 11 min then start it agian, and stillnothing!!! Anyone got any suggestions?? Because im stuck on this one. Is there any other was to try and reset the passlock system and does it work the same for an after market alarm/remote start?
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