Engine Will Not Start, Security Light Is Flashing

2000 Oldsmobile Alero (Page 1 of 2)

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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
98,150 miles
Total Complaints:
23 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. put key in the on position for 10 min. (9 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
  3. turn key off wait 5-10 min then restart (3 reports)
  4. new ignition lock cylinder (2 reports)
  5. buy a honda or toyota (1 reports)
  6. bypassed the passlock system (1 reports)
2000 Oldsmobile Alero electrical problems

electrical problem

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2000 Oldsmobile Alero Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Nov 062014

Alero V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


This No Start-Security Pass problem has been going on for several years. We have had the Ignition-Security lock replaced twice. That only took care of the problem for a year or so. When this started happening again, my husband insisted on getting rid of the car and end our recurring, miserable problem. I said that I don't want to get used to a new car and I only drive it a mile or two when I do drive it. So, being mechanically inclined, he started trying various methods of "fooling" the system because he didn't want to get into some the aforementioned, high labor fixes. He asked me to push the accelerator to the floor once before I turned the key and see what happens. And, it started, and has worked very time (approx. 50 times) since then.

The only time this little trick didn't work is when I forgot to push accelerator down and release it before I turned the key. Once the engine starts, push on the accelerator again to keep it running. After that, it will keep running until I shut it off.

We are curious to see if this no-cost method works for any of you who have the same security lock problem.

Good luck.

- Irene H., Brookfield, WI, US

problem #22

Jan 012011

Alero GL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

I'm sure many people reading this are already familiar with the dreaded Passlock system, GM's darling brainchild that has stalwartly protected cars from being "stolen" by their owners for over a decade. If you've ever hopped into your car and turned the key only to have the engine kill and the security light begin flashing, you know my pain. Of course, GM was kind enough to provide a fix to this problem in the cars manual, "Wait 10 minutes until the security light goes off, then start the car again". Brilliant troubleshooting, GM. I finally took the car to the dealer, who graciously offered to replace the passlock system for only $900. A lot of cursing a little Googling later, I'd found another method. If your problem is indeed the passlock system (and not a faulty body control module), it's possible to bypass the system with a little wire splicing and soldering. Two hours and $20 later my car starts reliably every time, with nary a peep from the passlock system. Suck it, GM.

- Will C., Tallahassee, FL, US

problem #21

Jul 012011

Alero LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 248,000 miles

My husband has been having problems with this " demon on wheels" as I like to call it for over three years now. The tracking lights have been coming on since we bought it, the brakes don't last as long as John stayed in the Army, we've changed the bearings and calibers on both sides, bought so many tires I've lost count, fuel pump twice, starter replacement, water pump, and now we've been told it needs tie rods. Now we have this new deal with the ignition switch and a new set of damned lights coming on. I think we should just pull an Angela Basset in Waiting To Exhale an torch the damn thing and be done with it, but he wants to keep the infernal thing and get a SUV and spend more money. Maybe I should torch him and the car. :) LMAO I'm kidding so don't call the cops, I love the patsy.

- Mary H., Jackson, MS, US

problem #20

Jan 262011

Alero 4.0L cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,454 miles


I haven't had it completely fixed yet but, the 10 minute thing works def. It is a pain, but I found out recently... I hadn't had the problem in about a month. Then all of a sudden 4 times in less then a week. Well this happened bc we took my car on a trip, and my boyfriend used his spare key for my car. So it reset the magnet to the spare key. If you turn your car to the on position and leave it in like you would if you were doing the 10 minute thing it should reset your key to the magnet. Unfortunately you have to do this every time you get a new key or use a spare. Or you'll randomly have the issue in the most inconvenient time again. My boyfriend wants me to spend 150 on getting the passlock replaced. I'm just nervous because I've been reading that some people have done that and it only helps for a little while. Here's a site where you can permanently disable it, I haven't tried it but I've read a lot of people have done that too. And hey it's a free fix... My alero runs good, it picks up really well on the highway.. Oldsmobile just didn't test a lot of the little things out that you take for granted until they don't work! Signals, Key Starting, Cruise Control, Window....


- Shannon R., Jacksonville, FL, US

problem #19

Sep 012010

Alero 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,500 miles

Thanks to the website for helping me find this solution. Turned the key to the ACC position (between off and on), the security light was flashing along with the battery and oil light being on. Kept the key in the ACC position for 10 minutes, security light stayed solid for 10 seconds and then shut off. Turned the key to off and took out of the ignition, waited about 15 seconds put back in and started right up.

Everyone thought it was the fuel pump or the timing chain but no it was as simple as the procedure above. Thank GOD because I had already lost my job, my marriage but no not my car and sure enough this is the one thing I get to keep. Never had any ptoblems at all like this before until now. My Alero always ran great until now.

- debbiewi, Kenosha, WI, US

problem #18

Apr 062010

Alero GLS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,500 miles

Bought Alero in 2003. great car until 2008. Everything is going bad at the same time. Blower motor replaced, coolant gasket replaced, rotors, brakes,heater went out, AC is now out, tires, hubs,the interior is starting to peel away, I have put out about 6 grand in about 4 months, now the fricking security light is blinking and I have to wait ten minutes to start the mother. It is a fun car to drive but it is a pain in the but to maintain

- mjeffe3907mn, Golden Valley, MN, US

problem #17

Aug 052008

Alero 3400

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles


This has been a big problem for me but I have solved it for you to thanks to all of you.

It is true the light comes on to keep you from flooding the car.

The thing to do is to keep your car tuned up 1 time a year at lease so you don't have this problem.

Just to let you know this can also blow the intake on the car.price of this over 550.00

To replace the security module was over 400.00

I hope this helps you. Charles

- Charles B., New Castle, IN, US

problem #16

Jun 092008

Alero 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

Took car to dealership replaced key cylinder for $500 and still had problem. They kept it for month and said it had no problem. first day back it did the same. I had my digital camera and started to make video clips to show dealership. I was angry at them for saying nothing was wrong . Their manager saw clip put head mechanic to fix it . They replaced whole key cylinder and said last time they didn't replace some security solenoid.

- bencan2, Houston, TX, US

problem #15

Oct 152009

Alero 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

the 2000 Oldsmobile Alero is a pice of SH*T! a week later I fixed the problem it was the anti-theft system I had to go buy a repair manual to troubleshoot the problem. NO LUCK so I did the key thing & it started up how long will this work?

- Kelly B., Milwaukie, OR, US

problem #14

Jul 182009

Alero LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

I've had this happen to me several times,,car won't start because of the security,,,I've learned over these times to leave the key on for about 10 mins, turn back to the off,,then start my car!! It really is a pain in the ass especially when your in a hurry and you have to set there and wait for your car to start, its also embarrassing! I thought that the makers of these Oldsmobile's had a recall on these cars for that problem? So what happened to that? Just another way for someone to make MORE MONEY trying to say its the fuel pump or whatever, which cost you more money!

- Sharon P., Poplar Bluff, MO, US

problem #13

Aug 142008

Alero 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles


just like many other here i have had this problem for a while. Now when i go out i think well i got a 50/50 chance of driving my car now or i may have to wait the 5-10 min before I go. I am calling the 1 800 222 1020 and tell then all about what this piece of well lets just say this unwanted car i have been trying to sell this car for 2500 but no one will touch it. I am ready to take it fishing and use it as the bait.

- Latoya F., Greenville, NC, US

problem #12

Nov 152004

Alero V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

I have had the same starting problem for years. If the security light is flashing when I try to start my 2000 Alero, the car will not start. I wait for the light to stop flashing and the car starts. At least I am aware of the problem, so whenever I am going somewhere important I leave 10 minutes early. I give GM credit. After over a hundred years of trying to perfect the car making process and not being successful, it gave up and shut Oldsmobile down.

- Larry P., Columbus, OH, US

problem #11

Jun 142008

Alero GL 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

I have had my car for 61/2 yrs. and never had the slightest problem. But now I sit here typing this complaint 2 hrs before I am scheduled to take it in the shop. The god damn security light keeps coming on. I am very pissed about this. I thought it was just me until I seen this web site and that enrages me that there are this many people with the same problem . I am getting tried of sitting in my car for 10-15 min just to get the SOB to start. Also It now runs like sh*t . It has an extremely annoying miss to the engine when you are driving between 50-60 mph but no dummy lights ever come on.

- Kenny G., Liberty Center, OH, US

problem #10

May 012008

Alero V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,099 miles

I'm just wondering if I'm paying this money for nothing. Is it a problem with the BCM? They're installing a rebuilt, a new one would have been over $700. Apparently, the BCM is positioned behind the windshield washer fluid, so if there's a leak in it, it leaks onto the BCM, causing corrosion and eventually causing malfunction. I will keep you updated with the repair once I get my car back.

- Johanne V., St. Catharines, ON, Canada

problem #9

Mar 192008

Alero GLS 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

I bought this car in 2003 w/ appx 50k miles. The first day I owned this car the turn signals started working intermittently. Since then, I have had a new manifold gasket, water pump,master cylinder, serpentine belt and now this security sensor issue. A coworker told me to let hte sit for about 10 minutes, and it should reset. So far so good; I am going to look for new cars tonight, hopefully it does not cause me any problems at the dealerships! When I called to ask a price estimate of the security issue, i was told by my local mechanic that it was a dealer only fix; so when I called the dealership I was told they couldn't even estimate with out a diagnostic test for $49-$99. BULLSHIT!!! I hate this car; I wish I would have never purchased it!

- Stephanie S., Fort Wayne, IN, US

problem #8

Jan 112007

Alero V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles

This problem has reoccurred and reoccurred for over a year and it seems that nobody knows what the problem is. I replaced my pass lock sensor it was better for awhile and then started up again. I took it back to the dealership and they wanted to replace my pass lock sensor again. I didn't have it replaced again because I thought that was ridiculous. It stopped doing it again and still does it every once in awhile conveniently when I'm in a hurry to be somewhere. When the sensor light comes on my car will not start for at least 10-15 minutes and sometimes this happens more than once. So, say it does it once and then the light goes off and I try to start it - the light comes on again and I have to wait another 10-15 minutes.

- Natosha L., Camby, IN, US

problem #7

May 052007

(reported on)

Alero 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

security light came on 2 weeks ago.... then 10 mins later it went out and car started. today car was working fine and then later went out and car is completely dead. the battery is good... i think it has something to do with the security system. the security light is not flashing... no power to car at all... turn the key in the ignition and it doesn't make any clicking sound/no noise at all.

- Tom S., Atlanta, GA, US

problem #6

Oct 252007

(reported on)


  • Manual transmission
  • 74,565 miles

It has been a real pain in the ass, making me late for work and sitting for at least 15 minutes. So far I've had it into the garage 3 times and have spent a total of $1,300. Had the key sensor replaced and now they replaced the ignition switch.

- Ed K., St.Thomas, ON, Canada

problem #5

Aug 272007

(reported on)

Alero GLS 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

This happened to me numerous times before I combed the internet for answers. This is apparently a widespread problem with the Alero. I discovered that the security system in the alero uses magnets to determine whether or not you have the right key for the car. If your key is worn, or well used, the car's security system won't let you start it. Incredibly inconvenient, yes.

So the fixes that I have found are:

A. Buy a brand new key from a dealer. (A copy of a key won't work. It has to be cut by the VIN number of your car)

B. Leave your worn key in the "ON" position for at least a minute or so (it may take longer). This resets the magnets and programs them to that specific key. The only bummer about this is if you ever have to get a new key or use a spare you have to reprogram the magnets to that key.

I went with option B and so far, knock on wood, I haven't had any problems. It's been over 6 months. Good luck everyone! :-)

- promusicman123, Enfield, CT, US

problem #4

Sep 122007

(reported on)

Alero LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I have a 2000 Alero and its security light is driving me nuts half the time the car wont start then i wait 10-15 minutes praying please please start and the other day it took me 5 trys before it started that is 50 minutes wait. I got a new key made well that didn't work and I have been reading web sites about people spending $400/600 to get new key and lock made and still problem stays ... I don't have that kind of money to pay to have the problem still there, please if anyone knows how to fix this let me know !

- Sam K., Colchester, CT, US

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