Passlock Problem, Won't Start & Anti-Theft Light Is On

2001 Pontiac Grand Am (Page 1 of 4)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Pontiac dealer. Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
105,800 miles
Total Complaints:
75 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. reset for 10 minutes with key on (23 reports)
  2. not sure (14 reports)
  3. replace module (12 reports)
  4. wait 10 min with key in start to reset passlock then restart (9 reports)
  5. was told my ignition had to be replaced (5 reports)
  6. replace ignition again and passlock system (3 reports)
2001 Pontiac Grand Am electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Pontiac Grand Am:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2001 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #75

Aug 012009

Grand Am SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


Many electrical problems, many other issues resulting from electrical problems. $4000 spent in summer of 2009 on that car. It had 30,000 miles when I first purchased it in 2003. It had less than 110,000 miles when I finally sold it in 2010.

- goliath157, SAN MARCOS, TX, US

problem #74

Dec 012014

Grand Am SE 2.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 132,000 miles

I had the ignition replaced in 2007, cost around $400. Now it's doing it again. It always happens when I need to be somewhere.

- carolkentucky, Ashland, KY, US

problem #73

Aug 232013

Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,977 miles

My car randomly was hard to start, or would just turn off while driving down the road. Sometimes the security light would trip and disable the fuel injectors, leaving you stranded up to 30m. Sometimes it would take 15 minutes or more to start if the security light wasn't tripped.

Took it to the dealership, ended up being a completely corroded BCM and a faulty ignition switch. The BCM was so corroded I'm surprised it worked at all. The replacement has a more sealed enclosure in addition to some electrical grease. The ignition switch had to be replaced because it would not send proper/consistent values to the BCM.

I found this site after I got my car, unfortunately.

- Matt P., Columbus, OH, US

problem #72

Aug 102013

Grand Am SE 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 189,000 miles


I own a 2001 Grand Am SE V6 3.4L with 189,000 miles and a 2004 Grand Am GT Ram Air V6 3.4L with 104,000 miles and have NEVER had a problem with them what so ever. I will only own GM auto's period. i have owned fords and they are literally a POS and no ford would last over 125,000 miles. Fords are habitual break downers and need towing constantly. Good Job GM keep up the good work.

- Steven S., Lawrence, MI, US

problem #71

Jan 022013

Grand Am Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

I have had the passlock problem just like everyone else seems to have where the car wont start unless u turn key to ACC for ten mins then start car!!! this seems to be a common problem that GM will not fix i say we all get together for a class action lawsuit! please anyone with 99-05 pontiac grandams with the same issue contact me at if we get enough pontiac owners together GM will be forced to do recall or something about all the common problems these cars have. I had my 01 pontiac grandam gt towed to the dealer twice and each time paid $100 for a complete diagnostic and estimate on what the starting issue was only for them to tell me they couldnt find the problem, yet i google the symptoms find out about resetting the security and within 10 mins the car was started! now it has effected my electrical and car wont start

- Abby S., Groton, CT, US

problem #70

Sep 042010

Grand Am 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,000 miles

I was at work one night and went to my car but it wouldn't turn over. The engine would make a noise but would not catch. The lights worked and the radio would work. I sat in the parking lot for almost an hour and half, waiting for the tow truck to tow my car home. This happened more and more times. I called the mechanic and he thought it was the fuel filter and the fuel pump. I paid all this money have these two things replaced, Well guess what, I got stranded at a Walmart store 20 minutes away from home. Again I had have the car towed. The mechanic searched the internet and found a solution of leaving the key in the on position for 10 minutes to allow the reset of the passlock and then the car would turnover. So every so often I will have to do this. But now the security light will not go off. It has now been in the on position for about a year or more.

- lcabral, Pinole, CA, US

problem #69

Apr 162013

Grand Am SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


I have had problem with the "Passlock" antitheft system 3 times in the last 3 years. I have paid 2 times for replace it, more than 600 dollars each time, and now already is damaged. I'm thinking to bypass this system, any way...the "antitheft" is a great theft!!

- cubamar2013, Miami, FL, US

problem #68

Jun 142011

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,050 miles

this POS car will be the death of me!!! it started acting up a little over a month ago and i had it towed to a shop where they couldn't really find anything wrong with it but decided it needed a new fuel pump which cost me $355 (a friend did it so it was quite a bit cheaper). I got the car back a little over a week later...2 weeks after having it back, the car stopped running again leaving me and my 2 kids stranded. i had it towed AGAIN only the find out that the security system was failed and all i had to do was reset it. well 3 days after getting it back, it stopped running AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i made my complaint with the transportation dept. today hoping for some needs to be RECALLED!!!

- tiffhoward1984, Marion, IN, US

problem #67

Oct 182011

Grand Am SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles

I have had my car in the Pontiac repair shop 6 times in the past few years every time the dealer always get my car started and charged me for work I now know they didn't do.

I have been told my fuel pump was frozen, I had trash in my fuel tank, I needed a new fuel pump because your fuel pump is weak or about go out and several other explanations.

After getting the information from this web site I got my car started in 10 minutes.

- mjg, Atlanta, GA, US

problem #66

Nov 102008

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

Well I've had my pontiac 4 years as of febuary. I've had this fliping problem twice. Once in Oct. of 2008 and again 2months later in Dec. 2008. Now just saturday it's happening once again. I'm a fulltime college student and a fulltime single mom who lives out in bfe. I commute 90 miles plus to college. OMG I can't afford to go through this once again, nor can I afford to get a new car. My scedule is so tight I cant afford for a break down. My child goes to school 18 miles from where we live, so not being able to pick her up is not an option... FYI if I when the lottery I'll by all of you who posted a comment,a new car... And trust it will NOT be a GM nor a kinfolk to the gm..............................................................

- sunhinetexas, Bedias, TX, US

problem #65

Jul 022011

Grand Am SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles


I purchased a 2001 Grand Am from a private seller (friend of a friend). I was told that the security light stays on all the time and sometimes it stalls out...told me to wait a few minutes with the car in on position then start the car to prevent it from stalling out. Worked perfect for 2 mos until I was headed to a funeral. I forgot something at the house and was already running late so I turned around to go and get it, ran in the house, and back out to the car (2min max) when I came back out to get in the car it wouldn't start. Waited 20miin tried again still wouldn't start. Had to get it towed to the dealer only to be told it's a $590 fix and that this is an issue with this kind of car but yet there is not recall for the part. Clearly it is a GM problem since I see just about EVERYONE with this car has this issue.

- R D., Pottstown, PA, US

problem #64

Feb 162011

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,784 miles

I thought it was just an expensive problem, but from what I have read here it's a GM problem. And they just won't man-up. I've had my car for less than 2 years and now the nightmare on elm street or where ever I happen to be at the time damn car won't start. I paid $586.90 for a fuel pump that I didn't need and within 2 days it won't start. had it towed again to have them tell me they don't know what's going on with my car. Then 8 days later here we go again,thank God for triple A. Now the dealer says I need to replace the ignition and the cost is $900.00, WOW and GM just won't do the right thing. So now I'm doing the 10 minute waiting game, while praying when i do try to start it. I am so heartbroken over this.....why GM why.........

- Vanessa A., Baltimore, MD, US

problem #63

Mar 152011

Grand Am SE1

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Same sh*t, different car. was told it's the passlock and that it could cost between $600-800. like i have that kind of money laying around. was also told eventually it will not start at all and will have no choice but to get it fixed. now everytime i'm about to drive, i have to say a lil prayer and hopefully it will get me from point A to point B and back home again.

btw..i've only had the car for 3 weeks now. first it was the O2 sensor and now the passlock...wonder whats going to happen next weekend.. :/

i miss my Toyota :(

- lisandra, Midwest, WI, US

problem #62

Dec 012009

Grand Am SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,566 miles

car won`t start cuts fuel supply to engine via fuel pump the fuel pump is controlled by faulty alarm which has no off switch by law, By Law all alarms must have a red power off switch to the engine for the alarm system

- pontiac321, Lehigh Acres, FL, US

problem #61

Jul 062010

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,766 miles

My son had this problem with his car, solution was to turn key to on position for 10mins. The security light will go out and car should start. He has only had it happen twice but both times this worked. I do believe if you have the owner's manual it says something about this procedure. Hope it helps!

- proy, Windsor, Ontario, canada

problem #60

Oct 032010

Grand Am GT1 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

This is a bunch of crap. It happens when I need the car the most!

- sheltonb13, Mena, Arkansas, ar, US

problem #59

Aug 032010

Grand Am SE 2.2L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I went out to get into my car to go get my nephews and the stupid thing wouldnt start!! The service light was on and the security light was flashing. Last week I noticed that the security light stayed on while I was driving and I was like "What the heck?" well i stopped shut the car off and then turned it back on and the light was off..! Well I had my father come over to take a look at it and he wasnt sure what it was everything seemed fine he thought maybe a fuel pump but he listened and said he could hear it so it must be working so he went home to get some tools and I can in and googled 2001 Ponatic Grand Am and this was the 1st site that came up so I started reading and there were LOTS of others that had the same issue well I figured what the heck I will try the 10minute thing and sure enough it started right up!

Does anyone know if there is a way to get that fixed for good and it it costly? Anyways THANKS to everyone for making these post there were very helpful!!! :)

- kaeb, San Pierre, IN, US

problem #58

Jun 172010

Grand Am SE 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

Had to call in work. Got it fixed by resetting passlock system before next day of work.

- schoneman, Merrill, WI, US

problem #57

Mar 122010

Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

Ok as i have read the stories about other people having issues with there grand am i would like to share my story as well , one morning i was driving to work nothing was wrong dropped my 2 year old daughter off at her grandmas before heading to work , while i was on the nys thruway i was going 60mph and all of a sudden my speedometer starts dropping and my gas peddle wouldn't do anything nervous being on the thruway and pulling over i got to the side of the road and the car just shut off , i freaked out wondering what could have caused this i didn't understand it was acting up nothing - so i called my brother a mechanic and says maybe u just ran out of gas considering it was below a quarter tank, so he brought me gas still nothing then my brother tried banging on the gas tank to try and kick the pump on bc that was our only other thing we could think of - called a tow cost me 120.00 to tow 10 miles off the thruway - and the garage said nothing was coming back on the scanner for anything - checked the fuel pressure and it said zero then they said as well it was the pump and quoted me 700 dollars me being a single mom and not being able to afford that had another tow come get the car and bring it to my brother costing me another 50.00 - as soon as it got there the thing started up shocked we checked everything still not knowing what happened , so i drove away and nothing happened till recently trying to leave for work in the morning got my daughter and myself ready , ready to go and yup nothing , so again had to call in work and advise my POS wouldn't start for me i missed couple days of work and tried everyday to get tit started that when i came on here and Googled and found out the security issue it helped me out before i had to go and buy the fuel pump thanks to everyone for helping me save a ton of money that i dont have :) f

- rene2286, Lackawanna, NY, US

problem #56

Aug 132008

Grand Am SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

Way to go GM you have made me now a ford person. I will never buy another piece of s@%i from you again. I have already had this problem fixed and replace not even 2 years ago. I am not going to do it again. I almost have the thing paid off and then I'm buying a ford truck. I have always been a GM person, but after this sh*t, screw you and your government funding no wonder why you are now in the same category as Toyota. Way to go I have already dumped $2,000 into the car and your not getting another dime for parts. Leave it on in the on position and yeah it will work for awhile and then you are screwed. let's see what piece of sh*t you come up with next.

- jessiemanning69nd, Minot, ND, US

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?