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KMP1171, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 224
Experience:  Mech for 20yrs and GM Specific for 15
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i have a 2001 chevy malibu and it wont start; it will crank

Customer Question

i have a 2001 chevy malibu and it won’t start; it will crank but will not turn over. i have spoken with the previous owner and he indicated that it had happened to him a couple of times, that it was the anti-theft/passlock system, and that he was able to get it started after finding out about the key-in-the-on-position-for-10-minutes-then-off-then-start trick. actually, that’s not quite accurate, since he said that he was certain he used ACC and not ON.

at any rate, i have tried repeatedly to start it by turning the key from the off position to the position, waiting 10 minutes, and then to start. i’ve also tried the same thing using the ACC rather than ON. the last thing i tried today was the repeat-three-times method, in which i turned the key from off to on and waited 10 minutes, turned it to off, and then repeated two more times before trying to crank. the anti-theft system light was on solidly when the key was in the ACC and ON positions during the earlier attempts but went off during this last, the three-stage attempt, which is supposed to clear the codes, as i understand it. however, by the time i had completed the last of the three 10-minute intervals, there was just not quite enough power left in my battery to get a good crank. kind of in desperation, though, i tried it several more times and it not only got weaker but the anti-theft system light came back on during the last crank attempt.

i have a neighbor who offered to use his his auto club membership to help me get the car towed, but that would be my last resort, having read about the added frustrations and rip-offs of people who have had their cars towed in to the shop only to have them replace fuel pumps and/or starters and all sorts of things and of course find out that that was not the problem.

i am going to try to have the battery charged up tomorrow and try the three-stage attempt one more time, and i think i will have enough power to get at least one good crank out of it, and probably several.

>>do you believe that the anti-theft system is the immediate culprit?
>>do you think that the fact that it did not respond to the single-stage 10-minute wait attempts indicates that it will require replacement of the anti-theft system/ignition parts?
>>is there something more/different i should try to get it started?

even if i can get it started tomorrow, everything i have read about this indicates that it will happen again, and at some point will happen over and over again. i do not think i entirely trust myself to attempt to bypass by cutting the data wire and soldering a toggle switch or resistor to it.

>>can i install a remote start device on my car to bypass the anti-theft system, or is that only for the “passkey” systems?
>>any ideas on what that might cost, if it is applicable to my car?

along those lines, i should add that although i have had the car for a year and have certainly started it many times with the keys that i got with the car when i bought it, neither of them seem to produce to a truly smooth turning action in the mechanism; they both appear to be copies and they kind of catch when i try to turn them out of the off position, often making me have to play with them just a bit to get them to turn from the off position.
>>since i don’t have an original key, how can i get a better key to use?

thank you.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  KMP1171 replied 8 years ago.
ok do this charage batt for about 15 min. Then disconnect batt both terminals for 3 min turn key to run while batt is disconnected leave it on run reconnect batt the turn key from run to start. Run to start do not turn off veh should start. GM has had a problem with pass locks. To get a good key need to go to dealer. You will need to take registration and picture id. If this helped please accept if need more please ask

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
i don't have a charger, so i will have to take the battery out and up to autozone to have it charged. to try what you recommended, i'll just start by putting the key in the "on" position, then reconnect the battery, turn to start, and hopefully it will start? (there is no "run" on my ignition, just ACC and ON, so i assume you mean ON when you say RUN.)

before the battery ran down, i tried disconnecting it overnight and tried to crank it, but it wouldn't start then either. but i guess what you are suggesting is a little different.

will i need to have work done to prevent this from happening again? or can i have a remote starter kit put in to bypass the problem?
Expert:  KMP1171 replied 8 years ago.
Do you have jumper cables or access to them? woule be quicker and yes run is on. if have cables let me know if you need to know what to do. And yes do this and it should start.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
i can get some jumper cables...but i'll need at least a 6-cylinder car to jump it because mine is a 6-cylider, right?

i guess you can't say if i will need work done to avoid having this happen again?

and do you know anything about having a remote starter kit installed on cars like mine?
Expert:  KMP1171 replied 8 years ago.
You just need a car engine size doesnt matter. As far as work being done. Lets get it started first. OK

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
ok, i will give that a try. will i need to pay again then to ask you about having work done on it? or can i ask you later?
Expert:  KMP1171 replied 8 years ago.
No you will not if u request me and remind me! No more money/


KMP1171 and 4 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK, i will try that and get back with you. let me know when you will be on here again please. thank you.
Expert:  KMP1171 replied 8 years ago.
I am on here often thru the day but am on steady most all nights

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
i need to follow up with kevin KMP1171. is he going to be online tonight?
Expert:  KMP1171 replied 8 years ago.
Yes well what is result??
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
the car still won't start. i followed the steps and it seemed like it might start but didn't..tried twice.
Expert:  KMP1171 replied 8 years ago.
Please give me a moment to go back and review everything!
OK R U sure this is a pass lock issue have you checked fuel pressure and spark?


Edited by KMP1171 on 9/25/2009 at 7:49 AM EST
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
i have not checked anything else. i'm not sure how to check fuel pressure. don't think it could be spark because it seemed to be running fine until it wouldn't start.
Expert:  KMP1171 replied 8 years ago.
U need to get a fuel pressure gage does your auto parts do Loan a tool? If so get Fuel press gauge. Also lets just cover our bases pull plugs one at atime and have someone crank engine and check 4 spark should only take about 5-10 min. If Fuel filter never been replaced replace it . even if not cause it will be soon
let me know

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
ok, i will try it. will let you know. thanks.
Expert:  KMP1171 replied 8 years ago.
Ill be here! good luck