Passlock Problem, Won't Start And Security Light Is On

1999 Oldsmobile Alero (Page 1 of 2)


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
118,800 miles
Total Complaints:
21 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (15 reports)
  2. wait 10 minutes to start (4 reports)
  3. a locksmith said to keep key to "on" position while waiting (1 reports)
  4. replace keys (1 reports)
1999 Oldsmobile Alero electrical problems

electrical problem

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1999 Oldsmobile Alero Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Apr 052009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,500 miles


This car is a piece of crap. One problem after another and at very low mileage. Tires cost a fortune, battery is expensive and it randomly locks the ignition for ten minutes, sometimes several times in a row. We have to come up with money on a regular basis for stupid problems that should not be happening on a low mileage car.

- jrshernit, Canton, OH, US

problem #20

Jun 112012

Alero V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,259 miles

I have a 1999 Alero GL. Just started having the security light problem. My Low Tire Pressure light comes on all the time to.

But that stupid security thing is a pain. It always seems to happen when you are in a hurry

or are already late. Its got so now it never goes off at all any more. Other then that I like my car but not sure how long I want to put up with that.

- crystaliowa, Osage, IA, US

problem #19

Aug 012008

Alero GLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I have been having this problem with my security light for 3 years now (since I got the car pretty much.) It does it randomly, usually more than once, and in the most inconvenient times. I have heard of people replacing the whole security system, I've been told its to replace the ignition chip, and several other things, but yet, they all still have problems, after spending hundreds to $1000+. It is absolutely ridiculous. I've replaced my keys (lost both sets I came home with), but the only thing that seems to work is just letting it sit for 10 minutes. You don't have to have your key to the "on" position for it to reset itself. It has done it to me up to 5 times in a row. (Which was again, worst timing! At a parking meter, so I had to feed the meter...when it was middle of Jan in Wisconsin.......or at a gas station is the next worse!....UGH) Until I can afford a newer vehicle, I guess it is something that I'll just have to wait out, as much as it is a pain in the ass thing....that it seems like everyone has complaints would think they would recall the vehicle for this problem.

- Michelle M., Green Bay, WI, US

problem #18

Dec 302011

Alero ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles


The security lock out issue is common with Alero and I have been living with it over a couple of years. Is there a way to completely over ride this? No one is going to steal it even with the keys left in it. It will only irritate the thief. Now it is difficult to start sometimes like it is starving for gas or spark. Then it will start immediately like nothing is wrong. Runs good when it starts which happens most of the time. If security locks out I wait 5 minutes for lock out to recycle.

Any mechanic know what is up with sometime hard start; and if it is possible to eliminate security lock out feature?

- Allan M., Columbus, OH, US

problem #17

Jul 152010

Alero 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 199,000 miles

Well, I had this problem last year all summer long, only, in addition to the security sh*t, my air wouldn't work, all the gauges zeroed out, the window didn't work and the radio/cd player wouldn't work. Very frustrating since it was a billion degrees outside when it happened. It seemed, at the time, that it would occurred when it was extremely hot. Since I have moved, which was this past november, i have not had the security light issue anymore. I was looking at the complaints on this site and it hit me. I haven't had any security problems since I had lost my original key which was at the time of the move. I had gotten 2 keys (made previously to the move) at a True Value, just your regular generic keys, and that has been what I have using since the move. May not have anything to do with it, but I have not had that problem since and it has been hot as hell this year in KY. It's worth a $1.00 try, huh? Good LUCK! I do have another problem though....see other problem

- chicadeedle44, West, KY, US

problem #16

Sep 152010

Alero GS 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

this car is a bad choice never buy an 1999 oldsmobile alero i been having problems since day one the motor went out when i first brought it bad electric problems i really regret buying this vehicle its a pain in my ass problem after problem

- Tyler H., Chicago, IL, US

problem #15

Feb 222010

Alero GL 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles


My security light comes on if I drive on bumpy roads, and will stay on, one morning before work I get into my car to find out it turns over but wont start with security light flashing, I wasn't sure what to do so I ran back into my house to get some info online and see it was a common issue, so I gathered the instructions to leave the key in "ON" position for 10 mins until security light stop flashing and go off and then turn key to off wait 2 second and start, the car started on the spot, this happened to me 3 times so far since I bought the car, but I realized it usually happens to me after I fill up my tank for some reason, the last time it happened I was at the gas station and right after put gas in the car then it would start, I had my son with me (1 yr) and I had to take him out and go sit at a McDonald nearby until the security light quit flashing and once again it works, I refuse to fix it because its a defect that will always be hunting you as long as you own an Alero, my advice if you wanna get rid of this situation just sell your Alero, or wait the 10 mins rule instead of having your car towed to a dealership that will cost you an arm and a leg for something you could have done by yourself just waiting 10 mins its not worth fixing this, just be patient or get rid of your Alero.

- mannyco, Denver, CO, US

problem #14

Jan 012007

Alero 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

The security light comes on and you have to wait 10 minutes for it to stop before you can restart. After the 10 minutes good luck that it starts right up. One time I had 5 attempts and it never started. Is there a way to disable the security feature?

Now 2 window motors are broke and I have to put some cardboard and rubber in between the window and existing rubber to keep them from sliding down. Oh and that cost $160.00 per window to fix. Also if feels like the car has no shocks in the back although they were just recently changed like when I ride over bumps and cracks in the road the car feels like it is going to fall apart in the back. That's my story.

- bnj, Paterson, NJ, US

problem #13

Apr 152009

Alero 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

I hate my car. First the security system goes off ALL the time all the time. Which doesnt let me start my car. Then both of my window motors went out and had to roll around with plastic on my windows. Then the thermostat. Finally THE ENTIRE just shut down. Seriously. The head gasket blew. Dad replaced it for me. Then all the other gasket in the entire car blew. Then it was the water pump got a new one put it on still didnt start, the starter went out, finally after 3 weeks of labor and 500 dollars the radiater blew. So now i need a new freaking radiator. SCREW THE ALERO NEVER EVER EVER EVER BUY AN ALERO!

I have been carless for freaking almost a month now and it still does not run, if it doesnt start after this one part i am threw i am going to run it off a cliff i swear. THis car is the worst car i have ever owned in my life. I bought a 90 cavilier before for 500 dollars and that car ran better then this stupid peice of sh*t.


- CInda S., Akron, OH, US

problem #12

Aug 032009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

I am afraid to drive my Alero anywhere from fearing that my car would not start. I go to work at 3:30 in the morning and I am afraid to cut my car off. If I cut it off and that security light comes on then I am late for work and it is really embarrassing to have to sit and wait until the car decides that it wants to start. I really feel that Oldsmobile should do something to fix this problem. I am going to have to buy a new car, because I can not depend on the one that I have if I wanted to travel. With the economy the way it is now, I am trying to get to a place where I am comfortable....buying a new car and having a payment is not it. Please if anyone knows haow to fix this...please advise!!!

- Janice J., Blackstone, VA, US

problem #11

Sep 012007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles


when my security light is on the car wont start, at frist it only happened once every few months and now its everyday. what can i do, besides throw something through window from being so mad

- Margie J., Mt.Sterling, OH, US

problem #10

May 112004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

First off, I would like to say that this is my wife's car. I am riding to work, i get up at 3 in the morning, I stop to get gas, go to start the car back up and it sputters and stops. My wife says i am starting the car to fast. Whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. unfortunately even if you get the ignition switch replaced as I did it will continue to happen. the electrical system in the alero is substandard inside of the three years i have driven the car I have replace the both window motors, and have to replace the driver's side again , both tail lights blew, both keyless entry switches, two keys, an alternator, battery, ignition switch, and the fuel pump. I have run the circle of all the things that i have heard from everyone from the dealer's to outside sources. Finally i find out 3 years and $4,000 later, there is nothing i can do about it. If I hadn't lost my Altima in Hurricane Katrina, I wouldn't even have to write this. This is why people buy foreign!

- Julien S., Gulfport, MS, US

problem #9

Jun 282008

Alero GLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,722 miles

This is becoming a nearly daily occurrence. Once again stuck for 10 minutes with the blinking light.

I have noticed that when it is time to restart the car, if I turn the key to "on" and wait for the lights to clear, then start, it's not so hard to start. Normally after the 10 minute wait it is pretty hard to start.

- nikkieve, Richland, WA, US

problem #8

Jun 062008

Alero GLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,527 miles

Security light came on, stuck for 10 minutes. This time it did start after the first time, lately it's been 2 or 3 (or more) times being stuck for 10 minutes each.

- nikkieve, Richland, WA, US

problem #7

Jun 242008

Alero GLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,706 miles

Had to be at work for an all staff meeting. Blinking security light came on, waited 10 minutes. Tried to start again, light came on again. Waited 10 minutes, tried again, light back on. Waited 10 minutes, damn light came on AGAIN, 4 times!!!! Had to get a ride to work, was almost an hour late.

After I left my boyfriend called a mechanic who said they may be able to learn what the problem is with a scanner but can only do it while the problem is happening, so that's out. Also talked to a locksmith who said that while the light is blinking, keep the key to the "on" position (between off and start). After the light goes out, turn car off, then back to "on", wait for all lights to clear, then start car. My boyfriend said he tried this and it worked. Will have to see if it works in the future.

Will also be looking into getting a kit I've seen online that will actually completely disable the passlock system so it won't happen anymore at all.

- nikkieve, Richland, WA, US

problem #6

Jun 082008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 206,000 miles

I really couldn't complain about my car until recently. All hell has broken loose. It all started with the power windows coming out of the tracks ...not staying up. In addition the interior and exterior seem to be falling about . Alot of plastic junk pieces. I tried to start my car yesterday and noticed the security light flashing. It will not start! I just had my air condition and upper radiator hose fixed yesterday! Are you kidding? I waited for about 10 minutes...which felt like an eternity in this hot weather and all of a sudden it started. It did it to me today on my lunch break again(wouldn't light flashing) and I felt like I was going to have a stroke! After reading other peoples experiences I realize I am not alone. I should have kept my Honda Civic!!!!!

- zcolleenp, Prince Frederick, MD, US

problem #5

Jun 132007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Ok, where do I start?....This car is my mother-in-laws, and I unfortunately am the only one she has to work on things for her. I have now "rescued her" quite a few times because her car would not start. She will be ready to leave, and it just won't start! I have tried everything to my knowledge from working on older cars and have come up with nothing. Somebody mentioned that I may have to change the ignition.......I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, but this is getting ridiculous! Without knowledge of the ten minute rule, we have gotten lucky and it has started in the past, but it is getting worse and more frequent as time goes on. If any one knows a solution, or comes up with one, please email me at Thanks, it will be greatly appreciated.

- Jeff R., Middle, MI, US

problem #4

Apr 102008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,000 miles

Everytime we try to drive our car the security system goes off or something and we cant drive it. My husband thinks that its everytime we use the sun roof. its gettin to the point the shop says they need to replace the dash panel but who the hell has 6 thousand dollars just layin around?? thats how much we were told it would cost to fix. its outragous. we owe less than that for the car... does anyone know what else it could be?

- wambam, Rantoul, KS, US

problem #3

Jan 032007

Alero GLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

This has been happening more and more lately. As a single woman it is very inconvenient and could even be dangerous. I never know when it will happen. Basically, I get in and try to start my car and the security light starts blinking. I have to leave the key in the ignition and wait for at least 10 minutes for it to start.....after that it is sometimes very difficult to start. Once I was stuck in an empty parking lot after work for 45 minutes not knowing if I was stranded or not.

This has happened many times before. It usually does it off and on for a few weeks and then it stops for a few months. I'm really sick of it and plan on getting a new car, NOT an Oldsmobile.

- nikkieve, Richland, WA, US

problem #2

Dec 012007

Alero Alero Gl 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

It takes 10 minutes for car to start when security light is on.

- Shaquan M., Florence, SC, US

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