How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask GM Tech (Cam) Your Own Question
GM Tech (Cam)
GM Tech (Cam), Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 29578
Experience:  GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
Type Your Chevy Question Here...
GM Tech (Cam) is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

2001 Malibu: bypass..the passlock security system..ignition switch

Customer Question

I'm trying to bypass the passlock security system in my 2001 Malibu because it is just being a needless pain (and money drain). I have been told this can be done, and have been shown how to do it (by clipping the yellow wire coming from the ignition switch and adding in a toggle switch). My concern is, does the car need to be running in order for this to be accomplished? I have one source telling me it does, one telling me it does not, and a third never mentioned. I cannot get my car started (the theft system light is on SOLID and REMAINS solid even after the 10 minute and 30 minute reset procedures), and I am trying to avoid having to get the lock cylinder and theft deterrent thing replaced YET AGAIN. I am permanently done with Chevy if I can't get this fixed cheaply, so any help would be appreciated.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
Hello, I'm Cam. Please include all the details about your issue so I can accurately advise you. I cannot see your vehicle so please be detailed.

Clipping the wire does. It work as well. I do have an equally inexpensive bypass.
It requires a single resistor from a store like radio shack. Get a 2200 ohm resistor and with the key off, cut that yellow wire. Then splice the body side of the cut to one end of the resistor and the other to the black.

Next do the relearn and that will bypass this.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Cam, thanks for the quick reply.

So just to be clear, you're saying that the car does not have to be running when doing this fix? Someone else was telling me it does (I've posted his video below). I don't suspect that he's an expert ;) but I just want to make sure before I try anything.

Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
No, for this method, key off is needed. Anyway a resistor is cheaper than a switch and does not have contacts that can fail.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok thanks, I'll give it a try then and get back to you.

One last thing. You said "splice the body side of the cut to one end of the resistor and the other to the black"; When you say the other end to the black, do you mean the other end of the resistor to the black wire, and leave the second part of the yellow wire hanging? I didn't realize I was supposed to do anything to the black wire.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
yes, the black is simply the ground so it does not need to be cut but the yellow does and you need the side going to the body control module not the igntion cylinder to bypass.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok, I cut the yellow wire and spliced the body side to a 2200 ohm resistor and the other side of the resistor to the black wire, but still no go. :\ This is quite bizarre now. Either the theft system is still somehow kicking in, or something else is preventing the car from starting. I did do the relearn afterward and that had no apparent effect.

After a couple tries the starter began to turn over very slowly (the car hasn't been used in almost half a year) so I tried to have it jump started. Again after several tries the starter began to turn over at a normal speed, but it wouldn't crank. Something odd did happen, though. During one of the attempts, the clock reset itself to 12:00 and the dinging that you hear when you leave the key in the ignition with the door open, that noise kept going off even after I had shut the door and completely removed the key. It went off when I put the key back in the ignition and let it sit in the on position for a few seconds, but I don't know what caused it to begin with.

The car does have half a tank of gas in it, and I can hear a faint hum (which I'm assuming is the fuel pump) behind me after turning the key off after attempting to crank the engine.

I'm not sure what else to try. Do you have any thoughts?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
IF the battery was dead then the relearn would not have worked.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What about when it's hooked up to jumper cables? I charged the battery up and the engine would turn over just fine after a while (but just wouldn't crank), and then tried the relearn a second time (with the cables still connected), but again no apparent effect.

Also, I've read somewhere about a 30-minute reset procedure (key to ON for 10 minutes, then to OFF for 5 seconds, repeat two more times). Do you know anything about that, and what the difference is, if any, between that and the 10-minute relearn thing? I have tried the 10-minute relearn twice (though not back to back); I have not tried 30-minutes yet.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
Even a dead battery with a booster will not always be enough.
yours is not the 30 min, but you must try to crank for the one time in the 10.
Also with the starter working, what does the fuel pump do? Sitting that long can cause issues with it
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm skeptical that the battery is dead because I had it replaced not but a couple years ago, but I'll see what I can figure out about that for certain. I suspected that maybe it had just been sitting too long.

As for the fuel pump, I don't know much about that, or how to check it. What happens is I'll try to crank the engine, it'll turn over (or did with the booster anyway), but not crank. Then I'll turn the key to ON (between crank attempts), and I'll hear a faint 2-3 second hum from back in the trunk area. I assumed that meant the fuel pump is working properly. Are there other tests I can do to be sure?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
How long did the car sit for with out being started?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It would have been about 5 months, maybe a little more.

I used to drive the car almost daily, and then I shut it off one night around the beginning of August 2011, came out the next day and it wouldn't start. It's been sitting since then.

At the time, the engine would turn over just fine, it just wouldn't crank, and the Theft System light was on, not blinking, but solid. I reasoned that was likely the culprit, either that or the fuel pump. I have had persistent trouble with the car not starting in the past due to the passlock issue (although, in the past, when the Theft System light would only be blinking, I could just leave the key in the ignition for 10 minutes and then it would crank right up afterward. This time it was solid, and the light didn't go off after the 10 minutes, nor did the car start). This happened a few years ago, and I had a lot of work done on the ignition and passlock system and really didn't want to spend the money on it again if I could help it, so I started to do some research on whether it's possible to just disable the system altogether. Eventually I found this technique that involved cutting the yellow wire, but I hadn't tried it because the first source I had run across initially said that the car supposedly had to be running for it to work (I think the reasoning was that if the car is currently in "tampered mode," the system couldn't be bypassed until it was out of this mode), though messing with wires with the vehicle running doesn't sound too safe to me anyway...

So I did some more research and found another source explaining the same technique but which said nothing about having the car on when doing this, which is what finally led me here looking for confirmation.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
OK that helps.
Can you try cranking the engine and spray some fuel in the throttle to see if that makes it start?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I didn't spray much because I don't really know what I'm doing with the throttle, but it does act like it wants to start up.

By the way, the Theft System light is still on (solid, even after the relearn). I didn't think anything of it because I figured it would remain on permanently after cutting the wire. I did some more research however and found some other folks talking about the resistor method, claiming that the light should go off with this fix, due to it "replacing the passlock altogether." Is that correct?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
I am sorry for the delay in responding, there was a site issue.
When you did spray, did the engine even start for a second?

The relearn should have the light flashing for the entire you are waiting, so 10 mins. For it to go out means the security is not the issue or the BODY CONTROL MODULE is bad.

With the resistor installed, it does bypass the passlock sensor.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The light never went out, nor did it flash during the 10 minute relearn. It's been on (solid) the whole time and still is, even after the relearn. Should it stay on now that I've bypassed the passlock sensor? Or is the fact that it's still on be an indication that the BCM is the issue?

I'll try spraying again tomorrow and get back to you on your question.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I want to make sure I'm doing this right. Do you have any images that would help me understand how to access the throttle? I've been trying to get to it from the hose off the air filter. I don't want to be spraying in the wrong place.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
Ok i do not, so do this, take the air filter out and spray in there, 1 second bursts as someone is cranking the engine to see if that makes it fire.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok, spraying in the throttle did not make it fire at all.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
Can you test spark then at the plugs?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, it is getting a spark.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
I wonder if it is flooded. Can you pull out the front plugs and check?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I had pulled out one of the front plugs when I checked for the spark. The one I pulled out looked fine. A couple of them were in pretty good and I wasn't able to get them out. What do you mean by flooded, just filled with liquid?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
yes, too much fuel.
did you check more than one cylinder for spark then?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I did only check for spark in one cylinder. I tried to pull the plugs on the others but they were in so tight I felt like I might break something. I will try again when I get a minute.

I haven't had the chance to do anything else to the car over the weekend, I've been busy. But I wanted to ask, if I accept your answer now, will I be able to continue to post replies?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
Bookmark this page so you can easily navigate back to it, and so you know, you can reply at any time for follow up information regarding this issue, even after you accept my answer and I will reply. Please don't forget to click accept at some time as that is my only means of compensation for assisting you.
GM Tech (Cam) and other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I will do that, thanks for all your help. I just wanted to make sure it wouldn't lock the thread or anything.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 5 years ago.
No, not at all, I will be around.