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Jerry, Master Mechanic
Category: Pontiac
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Experience:  ASE Master tech. 30+ years mechanic, shop forman, service manager
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Does the Pontiac Grand Am have a chip in the key?

Resolved Question:

Does the Pontiac Grand Am have a chip in the key?
Submitted: 6 years ago via
Category: Pontiac
Expert:  Jerry replied 6 years ago.

Hello and welcome to Just, Super mechanic here. About your vehicle.

No chip in the key itself but the lock cylinder does use a passlock sensor.

Description and Operation

The ignition lock cylinder fits inside the ignition lock cylinder case and operates the ignition switch when turned by a key with the proper mechanical cut. When the ignition key is used to turn the ignition lock cylinder to crank, start, a magnet on the lock cylinder passes close to the Passlock Sensor within the ignition lock cylinder case. The magnet activates the Security Hall Effect Sensor in the Passlock Sensor which completes a circuit from the security sensor signal circuit through a resistor to the security sensor low reference circuit. The resistance value will vary from vehicle to vehicle.

If a magnet from outside of the ignition lock cylinder case is used to attempt to steal the vehicle, the Tamper Hall Effect Sensor will be activated. This completes a circuit from the security sensor signal circuit through a tamper resistor to the security sensor low reference circuit bypassing the security resistor. If the ignition switch is forced to rotate without the correct key, or if the ignition lock cylinder is removed by force, the Passlock Sensor will be damaged and will not operate.

The ignition lock cylinder performs all of the functions of a lock cylinder on a non PK3 equipped vehicle. The ignition lock cylinder for vehicles with PK3 may be located on the steering column or on the instrument panel. In either location the exciter coils surround the ignition lock cylinder such that they are very close to the head of the key which contains the transponder pellet.

If an ignition lock cylinder is replaced, the PK3 keys must match the mechanical coding of the new lock cylinder. When replacing an ignition lock cylinder, and new PK3 keys are required.
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