Passlock Faulty, Nothing Happens When Turning Key To Start Car

2002 Pontiac Grand Am (Page 1 of 4) Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
85,200 miles
Total Complaints:
63 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (29 reports)
  2. wait 10 minutes with key in ignition on position (6 reports)
  3. leave key forward for 10min (5 reports)
  4. replaced passlock module (5 reports)
  5. replaced ignition lock cylinder (3 reports)
  6. towed to the mechanic, where it started right up (3 reports)
2002 Pontiac Grand Am electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #63

Nov 122015

Grand Am GT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 152,000 miles


This Passlock Problem is really a safety issue. I have been stranded with this problem at least 20 times and have to sit and wait until it resets. Sometimes the car starts right up and then all of a sudden will not turn over at all and the security light is on. I have had the car towed to a automotive shop and they said it was a passlock problem. I have also taken the car to another dealer and because the problem was not happening at the time they did not know how to fix it. This is a very big safety issue that has left me stranded many times. This needs to be a recall.....

- Jocelyn B., Cape Coral, FL, US

problem #62

Nov 032014

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Everyone I spoke to is saying its a pass-lock problem you put in the car when made. I am so tired of waiting all the time just to get my car started.

- Florence L., Delta, CO, US

problem #61

Aug 252014

Grand Am 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

I also started having problems with this passlock thing which is an unnecessary thing to add on a vehicle. What ever it was is purpose it is unnecessary. Anti theft haha. If some one wants your car that badly they will take it no matter what security is on it. Haven't you seen tow trucks towing vehicles with the alarm still on.

Well never the less this became an annoying issue. Especially when it won't start when your stuck in downtown Los Angeles and you ran out of change for your meter. Or on a day when the street sweeper is gonna pass by. At first the reset worked. Then it wouldn't work at all and only stayed when it wanted to. The blinkers and wipers also didn't work when the security came on. After the reset i did the cutting the yellow wire thing which didn't work.

So me being very Awesome when it comes to problem solving I put my skills to work and ignored all other solutions mentioned. I put the hood up and removed the cover to the fuse box. I pressed down on the fuse for the ignition switch and my wipers went on. So I got in my car and stayed it and sure enough it started. So I left it alone for a few hours and tried to start it but the security light came back on and the car didn't start again. So I went under the hood again and wiggled the fuse and went to start the car and it started right up. So I went and removes the fuse. Cut me some wire about a half inch and stripped half of it. I put the stripped side into one of the sides the fuse goes into and then inserted the switch again. I did this to keep the fuse from being loose. Started the car and it started right up.

I haven't had a problem with the security light or my car not starting again. Made my Kids happy because I have weekend visitations and now we can get out of the house and not worrying about being stuck somewhere. So before you do anything else check this out and hopefully it will help solve your problem also.

- Gus B., South El Monte, CA, US

problem #60

Dec 022008

Grand Am SE 2.2L 4 cyl ?

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles


This issue was a real pain in the ass. Looked online for solution. Finally found out how to bypass the system and a trip to Radio Shack and an hour later, no more issue.

- DeAnn B., Olive Branch, MS, US

problem #59

Jan 072014

Grand Am GT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,992 miles

Three days ago my fiancé was leaving work and tried to start the car and it didn't start. He connected out battery booster, and on the third try was able to start the car. Drove to a store and shut the car off, and when he tried to leave the car would not start again. He was able to boost it again and got it home. I left for work shortly after and was able to start the car, but on my lunch break the car would not start. Tried boosting it with the battery pack and another vehicle and nothing. Had to leave it at work overnight. We went back the next day and were able to boost the car and get it home. Now it will not start, even with a boost. Not the passlock system, as the security light does not come on at all. When attempting to turn on the car the lights and radio will come on, and a short whirring sound will occur, but the engine does not start. The battery is reading decent voltage. This is such an inconvenience as it is the middle of winter and we just had a week of deep freeze. I am sickened with Pontiac, will never ever buy from GM again. This is not the only issue we have had with the car- the signal lights will only work intermittently and will make a clicking sound even when not turned on. Pontiac should really step up an admit that they produced a cheap, sh*tty car and start taking responsibility for the multitude of problems Pontiac owners have had with their vehicles. I have never talked t to someone who owned a 1999-2003 grand am and not have had problems.

- hartk, Winnipeg, Manitoba, canada

problem #58

Apr 232012

Grand Am SE 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 161,000 miles

My 2002 Grand Am battery keeps getting drained and not sure from what. I changed the starter and put in a new battery and a week later it started doing it again. Put a battery disconnect on it so i didn't have to use battery booster pack every time to start. Has anyone had this problem or have a solution?

- Logan E., Mcgregor, IA, US

problem #57

Jun 062009

Grand Am SE 2.2L Ecotech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,992 miles


So I walked out to my car after work one day, feeling relieved that I would no longer have to change oil on school buses and pretend to converse politely with bitter drivers who were mostly resentful mothers that had changed their minds about the merits of raising a family once they realized actual work was involved and no, their husbands would not forever support them as trophy wives. Anyway, I got into my car, stuck the key in the ignition, and turned it. Engined turned over but wouldn't start. Having not a clue what else to do, I called a tow truck. Car got towed to Canadian Tire, they cleared some codes and replaced a blown fuel pump fuse. About a month later, the car did the same thing again. Got the car towed back to Canadian Tire. Same thing, they cleared some codes, but warned me that the next time this happened, I'd have to take the car to a GM dealership, because they didn't know what the #%^ was going on. So about a month later, the same thing happened again, outside my apartment. By now I was

Update from Jul 20, 2012: By now I was about $900 poorer from tow truck bills and getting mechanics to clear trouble codes and replace blown fuses. I went online and behold some poor guy had the same problem as me (only his car was a 2001 Grand Am). I followed his advice, put the key in the igntion, turned it to key on, engine off position, and waited until the red "Security" light in the dash stopped blinking about 15 minutes later. I turned the key and behold the car started right up. This made me happy. I could drive around in circles again without fear.

- darth tater, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Canada

problem #56

Mar 192012

Grand Am GT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,206 miles

I have had it up to here (over my head!!!) with my Grand Am. About a year ago it started to act up, I tried to leave work and my car would not start. After a lengthy phone call with my dealership he suggested to leave the key in the on position for 10 minutes, and then try. It worked, but since then has done the passlock deal many times, which is an easy enough fix. Here's where it gets messy, now it will not start when I turn the key in the ignition. No security light flashes, which means that its not the passlock, the radio comes on and other lights come on so I know it's not my battery. This car drives me absolutely bonkers. Sometimes it will start right away (on colder days Ive noticed) and others I will sit and try 15 times to start the car and then it will just magically start again. Very inconvenient, makes me want to never turn my car off for fear of it not starting again. VERY FRUSTRATED!!!

Pontiac obviously needs to step up and recall the vehicles so that us owners don't drive off of bridges in frustration!!!

- hartk, Winnipeg, Manitoba, canada

problem #55

May 172011

Grand Am 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,809 miles

First time happened - called AAA for towing to auto repair shop - fluke repair fix

shop owner wasn't sure what worked but he was very helpful otherwise

Second time - called AAA - driver was aware of problem with security system

Has happened a total of five times within past 6-8 months

- Wayne H., Edmonton, AB, Canada

problem #54

Jun 062011

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,604 miles

Started with security light flashing and not being able to start. Initially waiting 10 minutes with the key in 'ON' solved it. But later I got stuck 1000km from my hometown due to a defective passkey system. Took the shop ages to figure out what it might have been, they replaced the BCM but couldn't reprogram it so had to take it to a GM service center. Now 5 months later I had to use the 10 minute wait trick again....

- terbar, Prince George, BC, canada

problem #53

Dec 012010

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


This happened to me more times than it's worth to report. I never documented it so I wouldn't know which days/months/miles it was anyway. I'd be late for work CONSTANTLY because of this issue. And of course when I left for work early, it would start up fine. I've had over $700 of electrical repairs done to this car and this started happening a year later, and maybe even before. It used to be my mom's car and I can remember several times when the car was towed because it wouldn't start- this is probably what it was. Annoying as hell, but it hasn't done it to me in a long time. Maybe it finally got over its rebel phase.

- Erin B., East Amherst, NY, US

problem #52

Jul 102011

Grand Am SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

As I was leaving for work, my car wouldn't start, it seemed to me like the fuel pump had gone, but that would have been really crazy because I just replaced that thing 7 months ago! So we had to have it towed, and taken to my trusty mechanic, were I thought for sure he was going to say it was the fuel pump again, but no, he said it was the security system, that i didn't even know i had! he reset the computer for it, and sent me on my way. though i don't know why it cost $75 for someone to reset a computer!

- Jessica A., Martinsville, VA, US

problem #51

Aug 152011

Grand Am GT1 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,000 miles

To add to the endless list of other Pontiac Grand Am owners that are having a similar problem with a malfunctioning Anti-theft system, I have had two incidents so far of the car not starting. It usually results in trapping my wife at some distant location, and I have had the car towed twice, only to start right up once I got to the mechanic. Twice now they've tried to trace the problem, but when it's gone it's gone, and they couldn't find anything. The Security light did come on while driving it, and after shut down, it would not start back up. This is unbelievable. I am NOT going to pay hundreds of dollars to troubleshoot a problem that really should be a factory recall. I would sooner try to bypass my anti-theft system. I can't believe there's no recall on this. Of course, it's no longer General Motors; it's Government Motors, and like the illegal alien problem, this too will be ignored. I'll drive it until it quits, then I guess I'm done with it. Too bad because it's been a supremely reliable car until this started happening.

- Tony E., Clovis, NM, US

problem #50

Feb 182011

Grand Am SE2 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,700 miles

I bought a 2002 Grand Am about a year and a half ago with 65,000 miles on it for 4500. It was an amazing deal nothing wrong with interior or body, test drove it and it was wonderful. After I got this car paid off it starts being a little sh*t. First the windows never roll up and down right. I take it to a local place to fix it and they roll up and down just not very fast or the way they should. Then my battery kept dying, and dying. So again I took it to a local place, and took them awhile to fix it. I also had to put a new front suspension on. After I recently got that on my car wants to FREAK out and not start sometimes. My boyfriend being the mechanic he is, he looked at my switch wires and everything is good. Then he hooked the battery back up and it started just fine. I NEED HELP CUZ IM TIRED OF THIS.

- Aleisha B., Brewster, KS, US

problem #49

Mar 212011

Grand Am SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

My car decides to not start at the most inconvenient times. When I need to get my child from school and I am already running late so I have to wait an additional 10 minutes, or when I am just trying to pump gas and I try and turn the car back on but then have to wait 10 minutes just to leave the stupid gas station. This happens more times then I can remember.I took it to the dealer and they wanted $1200 to fix it. I said forget that!

- Nicole H., Racine, WI, US

problem #48

Mar 042011

Grand Am SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

I am doing this a bunch of times even though this problem has happened more then 20 times

- Nicole H., Racine, WI, US

problem #47

Mar 232011

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

This is the 2nd time my car would not start... tried and tried... lights on, radio on but nothing when I turned the key, After calling for help, it just started up and I felt like I was some kind of nut.. now I read on this site about the security system... Funny that after owning this car since new that it suddenly is doing this.. Everyone reported how to reset the system to get started but no one has said how to make it stop doing this or why it "locks" and needs reset.. I would like to know a prevention, if there is one.. thanks everyone...

- dendebbie, Cumming, GA, US

problem #46

Jan 012010

Grand Am SE 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

The car locked up and would not start because the security system thought we were stealing the car. I did find later that it is possible to start the car when this happens. All you have to do it put the key in and turn on the electrical and leave it for 15 min. Then it should start. The issue I have with this whole thing is that it could happen again!

Update from Nov 16, 2023: Sold the crap

- Kyle R., Oconomowoc, WI, US

problem #45

May 002010

Grand Am 2.2 ecotec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

ugghh!!! My car been giving me problems for a couple of years now.... I had changed the fuel pump like 3 times in the past 3yrs, and this last time was a waste of money due to the fact that it wasn't that,.. Just last night my car wouldn't start again, due to the theft system it wont allow me to start my own car.. I have to reset with key in ignition tun, and wait about 20min and then start it up for it to get started... smh!.. To cold outside to be going threw this.. this is about the 10th time it happen to me this year, dnt have money to get this problem fixed... ??? Y is this happening, I have the key to my car so y does it think im stealing it.. dnt need no theft system on vehicle if its not gona allow me to start my own car that im makn payments on..... This problem needs to be a recall for the simple fact that its happening to a lot more people then just me.....

- hidiyah812, Hbg, PA, US

problem #44

Aug 232010

Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

This is an on going problem and there is no end to the cost. They need to have a recall on this and get Pontiac owners cars fixed and even reimbursed. They need to do this like yesterday..

- Janine R., Pacifica, CA, US

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