Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

Security Light Flashing, Engine Turns Over Won't Start

2001 Oldsmobile Alero (Page 2 of 3)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Oldsmobile dealer. Seal Of This Might Hurt


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
101,198 miles
Total Complaints:
45 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. key in ignition for 10 minutes turn off and restart (13 reports)
  2. not sure (10 reports)
  3. turn key to ON for 10 mins, turn to OFF, then start car (7 reports)
  4. left my key in the ignition on acc (3 reports)
  5. replace passlock system (3 reports)
  6. Put the key in the ignition, and put the car back in PARK. START THE CAR. CUT THE THIN YELLOW WIRE w (2 reports)
2001 Oldsmobile Alero electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Oldsmobile Alero Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

May 112009

Alero 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles


My 2001 Olds Alero 2.4L wouldn't start. Checked fuel pump by putting key to "ON" position and heard the fuel pump operating for two seconds as expected. Checked for spark at spark plugs by following the Haynes manual's procedures (had to buy a set of cheap spark plug wires for a Ford Festiva 1992 for this check as the the Olds Alero has does not use spark plug wires - $21). It did have a spark.

Then I looked on this website and tried the putting the key to the "ON" position for 10 minutes (the security light blinked during the 10 minutes). After the ten minutes, the security light stopped blinking. Once the security light stopped blinking, I put the key in the "OFF" position for 10 seconds, then tried to start the car, a sure enough, it started!

What caused this?

- , Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #24

Jun 012007

Alero V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

I actually spent over $1,000 to get this fixed, the whole thing was rekeyed, but it was never fixed. They told me at the electrical auto-fixer place it would probably never be fixed. So for the past few years I've had to constantly do the ten-minute reset thing. It's a pain in the butt and happens randomly with no warning. The Alero is truly the worst car I've ever had, with this inconvenient stressing problem being the tip of the ice berg!

- , Sioux Falls, SD, USA

problem #23

Feb 022009

Alero GLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

Thanks to the postings related to this issue I was able to get the car started without spending any more money or time. I applaud all of the efforts of the people who have posted on this issue. I have spent too much money having my car repaired due to it not starting. Finally, with the grace of God, I was near a computer and came across this site and remarks. I did what was told to do and the car started with a roar like a Demon out of Hell!

Make sure to keep the key turned to the ON position for TEN MINUTES and then turn to OFF when the SECURITY lights stops blinking. Count to five at the OFF position and then start the car .

Post your results here!

Beau F.

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #22

Jan 182009

Alero 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,129 miles


I didnt get into it with my mechanic but I have the feeling that the car started when the tow truck {$60.00) dropped my car at the mechanics. Mechanic did a complete computor {90.00} diagnostic and cleared all the codes. Then I had some service work done oil change 1500Km early , new plugs , boots , distributor housing. The total bill I feel was reasonable for the work My Mechanic performed , the point is WHY DID I HAVE TO SEND IT IN ON A TOW TRUCK 1500 KM EARLY

- , Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

problem #21

Jan 242009

Alero 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,129 miles

Security light came on on the dash after just getting car back from mechanic two days ago because of the security system CONCERNED YOU BET!!!! That was 550.00 with taxes

- , Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

problem #20

Nov 162008

Alero GLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

I started having this problem about two years ago. I spent approximately 1200.00 for a mechanic to get this problem fixed. Charged for a carburetor and a fuel pump before a co-worker told me about this fix action. Turn your key to ACC, wait for the security light to stop flashing or go out, then turn the ignition off, then back on again to restart. This happens about three or four times a year. Definitely a pain! I have two of these beasts, but only one is giving me problems.

- , Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #19

Nov 012008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles


I did the sit for 10 minutes thing for a few times, then the security light comes on and stays on solid, and it wont go off. Thats when they tell you that you need to change the sensor AND have it collaborated. THAT MY FRIENDS WILL COST YOU $350, $200 for the sensor alone. Well now that, that is done, I took it to another dealership and am gonna trade it in on something thats not a pain in the ass for me anymore. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER OLDSMOBILE AGAIN.

- , Perry, NY, USA

problem #18

Oct 102008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I have looked online and seen a million complaints for the passlock system in GM cars!!! I am in college and a female and don't need to be worrying about my car not wanting to start!!! It is terrible that I have to worry about this problem all the time! I have see on the internet that you can fix it by putting your key in the on position for 10 mins with your radio off..until the button stops flashing..Then put your keep in the off position for 10 sec. It works, but it is soo inconvenient that I have to do this about every couple months! I am just very worried that one day my car is going to not start and I am doing to get hurt or kidnapped or something. I think as a young girl in my fourth year of college i should not be worrying about this!! I really think that GM should place a recall on this because one day someone is going to get hurt!! GM doesn't realize that a women has to worry about these i think everyone who has this same problem should report it so we can get this fixed and not have to worry about these things!

- , Loganville, GA, USA

problem #17

Jul 262008

Alero GLS 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

I have the same problem as every1 else in here. Had noticed for about 6 moths now the car was hard starting, and then one day it just didn't start. All I got to say is thank god for this website cause i tried a new fuel pump to and wasn't it!! I was about to try a fuel pressure regulator also till i found this website. I also feel that GM should be able to solve this matter at no cost to us! I have never heard of a problem like this before and ive fixed alot of cars this is a manufacture defect and GM should address it TKS!

- , Hermantown, MN, USA

problem #16

Apr 252008

Alero V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

THIS IS ANNOYING AS HELL... I am not the only one with this damn problem.Years of 2000,2001,2002 I have seen reporting the same problem .....The shut off for 10 mins and turn on for the duration of a half and hour some have said and it will start ...and yes it does ,I almost was late for a family member funeral playing this game with my car and it doesn't do it all the time so it is a pain in the ass you r playing a game of'mmmmwonder if it will start today' it's BS ! I have contacted GM to no avail and they say bring car in well I have and I am going broke ...they need to be true to their school.....AND they wonder why Americans are purchasing Foreign cars ...My fience has a Honda over almost 20 years old NEVER a problem as other friends and fam and their civics etc. THIS SUCKS GM SUCKS never again will I purchase an American made car...Sorry Detroit !

- , Ferndale, MI, USA

problem #15

Feb 012007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


After I have been stranded multiple time and towed my 2001 Alero to a service station, I have replaced fuel pump, oil pressure switch, cam sensors, cam sensor wires. The problem still exists where my car will sporadically not start. Now, I have been advised to replace the module at the dealership in order to setup authorized codes. But what I found out was the NO START will most likely continue to happen (after spending MORE money on a problem that is not fixed). After speaking with many mechanics and engineers I found out that the ignition switch may be bad. If the voltage codes match, the BCM sends a class 2 message containing a password to the powertrain control module (PCM). If the voltage codes do not match, or the voltage is in the tamper range, or there is a circuit fault, the BCM will not send the correct password to the PCM, and the vehicle will not start.

BE WEARY TO PUTTING ANY MORE MONEY INTO THIS PROBLEM. A temporary fix that I have been using to start my car once it is in NO START status is the following:

(It works every time and will prevent you from being stranded)

Crank the car. When it does not start leave the key in the ON position for ten minutes. After 10 minutes the SECURITY light will go off. When this happens turn the key to the OFF position. Wait 5 seconds and then start the car. It is not the most convenient remedy but it will prevent you from being stranded. I hope this helps anyone who is having the same problem.

- , Harper Woods, MI, USA

problem #14

Mar 202008

Alero LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

went to start car ti go to work...wouldn't start checked owner page 2-20...turn key switch to on....wait 10 minute until security light stops blinking...then turn off.....then try to start...

- , Orlando, FL, USA

problem #13

Oct 202006

(reported on)

Alero GL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

I had just came back from the store and was about to go out again when my car wouldn't start. I fooled with it for a while and attempted to start it repeatedly, damn thing wouldn't start. I went in the house for about an hour, then I decided to attempt to start my car again. I couldn't find the keys. I remembered I left the key in the car. I walked out to the car and noticed I left them in the ignition in the ACC position. When I sat in the car I had noticed the security light had stopped blinking. Car started right up... I have no idea if this really works but when I think back, I remember when I had my car towed and the car started as soon as it was taken off the flatbed. The key was in the ignition the entire time. Well its worth a try, Im not sure how long it takes but if it happens again ill keep u guys updated.

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #12

Apr 102007

(reported on)

Alero V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

After I finally purchased the correct remote for this year car (2 avail) I took to the larger GM dealer they diagnosed to security system unit in the car was not signaling and could not program the new or old remote. I called and begged GM to help me with a Goodwill repair. This is my third GM car and this year I need to buy 2 cars. If they don't help I will have to live with the problem until I buy something more reliable.

New or used cars I have learned my lesson, wait a little longer and do the research.

- , Ventura, CA, USA

problem #11

Mar 012008

Alero 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,567 miles

Car would not start, change fuel pump still did not work. Everyone told me to change the computer box. I came to this web site and found the answer to my problem. cost me nothing but I am still mad about that fuel pumper.

- , Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #10

Mar 012008

Alero 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,419 miles

Considering how many Aleros are out on the streets and knowing that it is a problem that obviously GM knows about, there should be a recall for this. It is not just the Alero by the way. My nephew also owns a Sunfire (Gee another GM vehicle) that also does the same thing. GM should be honorable and offer a recall on this situation, but wait that would cost them money wouldn't it? I wonder how the engineers and executives would feel if each time they went to start their car they had to wait 10 minutes to 1 hour before they could actually drive it. Imagine sitting in a parking lot in -22 degree weather waiting for your car to start. All the while you have your 2 month old infant in a car seat screaming as it is so damn cold while you wait. Or imagine their wife or daughter leaving work, perhaps on a late shift and they are alone in the parking lot. Yet they have to wait 10 minutes to 1 hour to get the car started. God forbid they need to leave in a hurry.

GM knows they have a huge problem here, yet they still will not honor all those customers who purchased their vehicles. Perhaps if they would keep their manufacturing in North America instead of outsourcing to cut costs they would solve their problems. Perhaps the plant in Mexico who manufactured the Alero took one too many siestas while installing the security systems.

Well fear not this is yet another person who will never purchase a GM vehicle again.

- , Windsor, Ontario, Canada

problem #9

Oct 232007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I am a college student just barely keeping my head above water as it relates to finances. I purchase a used 2001 Alero to get me to and from school. On several occasion I stopped the car and upon returning the car wont start. This happens almost every day

On three occasion I had my car towed to the mechanic to diagnostic check but it didn't help.

I changed the fuel pump, the batteries, the alternator, the coil, the starter but all this didn't help All it did was cause me to pay a bunch of money unnecessarily. It was so annoying that I was afraid\d to move the car as I was not sure if it would stop on the way. At one time I went to put in gas and upon my return guess what ???? You were correct the cat\r did not start. After pushing it away from causing obstruction the tow truck was called Money Money Money. I am sick and tired of this situation. After reading some of the complaints that the other consumers have to say I realize that I have the same problem yes and it has something to do with the alarm system. Now I have to make

arrangements at least 0ne hour in advance because I know everytime I go to start the car I will have the same problem. Can you imagine sitting in the car in the snow for almost one hour to try and strat a car . That is re\ridiculous and something has to be done. I think the Oldsmobile dealer should make a recall on all of these cars as this is clearly a manufacturer defect. I need the dealer to reimburse me for all the money and time I spent on this junk they call car. I need to hear from the da\eale and what they are going to do to compensate me.

- , Freeport, Bahamas, Bahamas

problem #8

May 262007

(reported on)

Alero V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,536 miles

Everything was just fine and after getting gas my car would not start. It turned over but would not start. I noticed the security light was flashing. Cleaning the key did not fix it so I assumed it had something to do with the anti-theft mechanism. My car had to be towed home and I worried that this was a problem that would eat up hours of a mechanic's time and many dollars. I immediately went to Google, did a search, found AutoBeef and read Justin B's solution. I tried his security "reset" -- put key to "on" for 10 minutes, take out, wait 10 seconds, start it up. Worked like a charm. Thank you Justin B.

- , Bronx, NY, USA

problem #7

Aug 082007

Alero 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

Ive had the same problem with car not starting. People say you have to lock car when you get out, so your saying everytime I get gas and get out to pump I need to lock the car. Crazy! This has happened to me about 6 times. It drains my battery too. Just got a new battery thinking that was the problem. Guess not once again car won't start when I came out from store. I had to leave the car in parking lot. I tried the 10 minute trick it worked twice. Apparently there is a problem with these POS Alero's. I should have known to put the red flag up when I was buying a 2001 alero in 2007 with only 10,000 miles. They told me it was a military car. So I believed it because those cars do have low miles. I also bought it from a repitable car dealer in Mt. Holly NJ named Miller Ford! Never again will I believe a line like that about why a car has low problems.

- , Brunswick, GA, USA

problem #6

Nov 282007

Alero 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

my car would not start one morning for work. found this website and thought i was really screwed. never knew aleros had so many problems. after checking through this site, realized that my security light would flash when i had the car on the ON position. after reading the entries, i turned the car to on ON position for 10 minutes and the security light stopped flashing. i turned the car off then tried to turn the car over and it actually started. so glad i found out this trick before i spent hundreds or thousands of dollars trying to fix. hope this info can help someone else like it helped me.

- , Springfield, IL, USA

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