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Tim's Auto Repair
Tim's Auto Repair, Mechanic
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 16027
Experience:  Have owned a repair shop for 25 yrs.
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1996 buick regal 3.8 . starting problem. have changed key and

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1996 buick regal 3.8 . starting problem. have changed key and tumbler. purchased from dealer. sometimes car starts ok. Next time no start. Have found out when no start I can leave key on for a while (5 to 10 min.) car will start ok. It is an inition problem as I have no spark at wires, until set with key on for a while. Prior to changing tumbler, Security light stayed on and starter would not engage. after swapping key and tumbler security light goes out aprox 5 sec. and engine rotates and sometimes starts. at a loss ?

Edward :

Hello and thanks for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do all I can to help.

Edward :

Let me first ask, Does the check engine light come on everytime you cut the key on? How often does this problem happen? 1/2 the time you attempt to start it? once every 10 times? I want to make sure the ECM is powering up everytime you cut the key on.


Lite comes on everytime. It happens every time (no Start) I leave key on a few minutes and it starts.definate ignition problem as I have a timing lite as I try to start. The security light is now out sinse I put on a new key and tumbler in. Prior to that lite stayed on and I had no starter.

Try relearning the key 1st here is the procedure.


The Passkey II system has the Theft Deterrent Module (TDM) function stored in the
Body Control Module (BCM). The TDM portion of the BCM will validate the resistive chip in the ignition key. If resistance value read by the BCM is what the BCM is expecting, the BCM will send a message over serial data to the PCM informing the PCM that a valid key is present and the PCM may start the vehicle.

To perform a relearn on a Passkey II system, make sure there is a fully charged battery in the vehicle. The battery will be used for 30 minutes without the alternator available for charging. Connect a battery charger to the battery to ensure power is available while programming. Both the BCM and PCM must be working and communicating with each other.GM Vehicle Theft Deterrent (VTD) Relearn



1.Insert ignition key and turn to the “ON” position. Do not attempt to start the engine. Leave the key in the “ON” position for approximately 11 minutes. The security light will be steady on or flashing for the 11-minute period. Do not proceed to Step 2 until the security light
turns off or stops flashing.
2. Turn the ignition switch to the “OFF” position for 30 seconds.
3. Turn the ignition switch to the “ON” position as in Step 1 for 11 minutes.
4. Turn the ignition switch to the “OFF” position for 30 seconds.
5. Turn the ignition switch to the “ON” position as in Step 1 for 11 minutes for a third time.
6. Turn the ignition switch to the “OFF” position for 30 seconds for a third time.
7. Turn the ignition switch to the “ON” position for 30 seconds.
8. Turn the ignition switch to the “OFF” position.
9. Attempt to start the engine.
If the engine starts and runs, the relearn is complete.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not available to try right now. Will get back later. Thanks.

Great! let me know how it goes.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am sorry ,This is my sons car, I said the engine light comes on, it does not. More up date on past info (I wasn't aware of till now) Starter and battery were changed, then this no start occured. I tried 11 min .30 sec. thing. No help, actually tried twice. Some times it will run ok. Yesterday it ran ok, today engine rotates,no start. no timing light on while rotating.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

last question not answered yet.

To better help answer your question i need to know more details.

When starting does it crank? Does it tick or hear a single knock?
Does the security light stay on or off?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

cranks good, no tick or knock security lite off.Car ran good friday. Sat no start. Sec. lite off. Sun. no start, sec.lite off. no ignition with timing lite, tried several wires.Sec.lite off in a few seconds.No engine lite sat. or today.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Also tried key on ,key off procedure again today. Battery charger on to main

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no reply since sunday at 2:41.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Have not got a reply since 8/11 2:36. He asked for more info 8/11 2:21. I answered at8/11 2:36 and have not heard from since. Tried what he suggested, that did not work.

i have read your question above,,and,,from what you are saying,,to me,,it sounds as if you may have a bad crank doesnt seem to be a security problem,,,sometimes the crank sensor will do this when they go bad and most times,not give a code for it...
also,,it is posible for the ignition module to do this,,,auto zone and most parts stores can test the module if you take it off and take it to them

Please RATE my answer by clicking the RATINGS button so I can get credit for my work,, the [BAD SERVICE] and [POOR SERVICE] rating does not give me credit].i don't receive commission if you give a less than 3 star/smiley rating ..I'm not always going to be giving you good news, so please don't let this stand in the way of you accepting my answer. .it does not cost you more money and we will still be able to communicate, ,.please understand, i can not see, hear or touch the vehicle and only know what you tell me. Bonuses and positive feedback are appreciated.. if you are not satisfied with my answer, please do not leave bad feed back ,i will gladly opt out and let another expert handle the question. .if i have sent any diagrams, ,please print them. .sometimes you may need to right click the image [,then save picture as]to save it to your computer so you can open it with your picture program...PLEASE ASK IF YOU NEED MORE HELP

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Will try a new CPS later today and get back to you. Thanks

let me know
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Today I changed cam &crank sensors,and ignitional module. Couple days ago I replaced key and tumbler at dealer. Ran the 11 min key on 30 sec.key off that was suggested. As it stands now security light off in a couple sec. I DONOT ever have a engine lite, key on motor not running or running. Sometime car starts ? when won't run I have no fire,check for fire with timing lite and tried several wires

are you saying you still have no spark after all this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No spark right now, possible may start up later. If it starts I can shut it off and on several times ok if done imediately. Than perhaps after several on/off times it won't start. The security lite go off ok.

can you drive the car after it starts and have no problem till you turn it back off?
Tim's Auto Repair, Mechanic
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 16027
Experience: Have owned a repair shop for 25 yrs.
Tim's Auto Repair and 3 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

car runs good once started, have help wiggling wires as trying to start, no luck there.

i think now your problem is the ignityion switch itself//////
not the lock but the electrical switch
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Just finished changing ignition switch. Did not help.

stand by
i will opt out,aybe one of the other guys has a better idea of what is going on here,,,,someone will be right with you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

After all your suggestion and my idea did not, I junked the car. Changed key tumbler, ignition switch, ignition module, crank sensor, can sensor, traced all wiring, had pcm checked. What else ? I junked the car. WILL NEVER buy a general motor car again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!