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Dave Nova
Dave Nova, Buick Technician
Category: Buick
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Experience:  ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
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1996 buick skylark: pos..security system light would come on randomly

Customer Question

I have a 1996 buick skylark with the pos passlock system. For quite a few months the security system light would come on randomly but not cause any problems. Then recently I would have to start the car a couple of times for it to go without the fuel being cut off, but I didn't have to sit with the key in the ignition at all. Then last week, finally the car decided to fully decide that I was stealing it. The light blinked and it cut off and would not start at all. The next day I did the relearn procedure and after an hour and half of sitting in the car and waiting and repeating the procedure it worked, for one start. Had to do it again to get home and it worked for maybe 4 more starts and then nothing since then. I towed it home and had a friend install a resistor that matched the resistance, or ohms or something of the yellow wire to that, and did the 30 minute relearn procedure and it had no effect. I'm not sure if I need to reset the computer, unplug the battery, install relays to the black wire or what. I have heard that replacing the ignition won't always work.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. My name is David and I will do my best to help you with your Buick problem.

The system works with a transponder in the key and a sensor in the ignition lock cylinder. Adding a resistor to the wiring will sometimes work to bypass the system, but not always. Replacing the igntion lock cylinder with a new one and then doing the 10 minute relearn works 99% of the time. There are a few instances of vehicles having bad ignition switches or faulty BCMs (body control modules) where that would not work. My suggestion to you is to replace the lock cylinder and be done with it. You will of course need to return the wiring to the way it was before and remove the resistor.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This system doesn't have anything at all in the key. It is a plain old key like the one I use to get into my house. Everything is inside of the car. Is there any way to find out what exactly is the problem so that I am not replacing 323 parts and spending more than the car is worth?
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 2 years ago.
The transponder is hidden in the key, it is not a visible chip like in the older models.
You can use an advanced scan tool like the dealer and some independent shops have to look at data from the BCM and the PCM to determine if you are getting the proper signal from the passlock sensor in the ignition lock cylinder. Beyond the use of the advanced scan tool, there is not much you can do in the way of testing. Nearly every time the problem is fixed by replacing the ignition lock cylinder.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The magnet on the end of the lock cylinder passes over hall effect sensor inside the Passlock sensor and the resistor is in the passlock sensor.

There is nothing in the key, it just makes it so a key that is cut right will be able to rotate the cylinder. I don't know if you are thinking of passkey, but. Theres no way there is a transponder in my key.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
Expert:  Michelle-Mod replied 2 years ago.


Hi, I’m a moderator for this topic and I wonder whether you’re still waiting for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will do my best to find a Professional to assist you right away. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!

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