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  #1  
Old 11-11-2019, 01:57 PM
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Exclamation GM PASSLOCK SECURITY SYSTEM fix (why I had to take a break from detecting)

I very reluctantly took a break from detecting to take time to try to figure out how to fix my 1999 Astro van as it would not start and the battery would drain unless I disconnected it.

Our 1999 Astro van is what I would normally need to use to go detecting elsewhere, I have found more than I expected on my own 1 1/2 acre property with my new Nox 800 but wanted to try other areas now that I was feeling more comfortable using the Nox 800.

Doing research online I finally figured out how to fix the problems and fixed them, only thing is now that the van is running again, we are now going thru an unusual cold snap, morning lows in the 20's and 30's this week, what happened to our normal Fall temps of around 70 degrees ? I can handle the warmer weather much better than the extra cold weather, hopefully it won't take too long to get temps back to closer to normal for this time of year so I can get back out detecting again.

Anyhow, here is how I fixed my problems, I can't vouch that these same fixes will work for other's cars, only that they worked for our 1999 Astro van.

PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT an auto mechanic, this was a DIY fix I found online !
(I have fixed many things, automotive and otherwise, that I had never done before, thanks to the internet and youtube )

Research online showed it is not an uncommon problem for older GM vehicles to no longer start due to a failure of some part of the PASSLOCK SECURITY SYSTEM (or similar system) as it makes your vehicle think someone is trying to steal it and prevents the fuel pump from working.

Online research shows several different possible fixes, the one I used seems to be holding up as I have been starting the van successfully each day for about 4 or 5 days (only missed one day) as I wanted to make sure it was fixed before driving it off our property.

The fix I thought I would have to try was if you could not get the engine running at all and involved cutting 2 wires and connecting them together, but when I was about ready to try that I managed to get the engine running (sometimes the PASSLOCK SECURITY SYSTEM failure is intermittent and will sometimes allow the engine to start) so I was able to try the fix that did not involve cutting any wires BUT can only be done WHILE the engine is running.

The fix involves simply disconnecting a 3 wire plug that goes into the top of the ignition key cylinder but the page I read about it on the internet said it must be done WHILE the engine is running. The only side effects are that the security light on the dash stays on while the vehicle is running but it does not keep the vehicle from starting AND there is no longer the theft deterrent, but with it being a 1999 vehicle it doesn't look like something anyone would want to try to take anyhow , but you could still use one of those bars you lock on your steering wheel if you did have a concern about theft.

Here is a pic of the wires I disconnected
Name:  20191107_162925.jpg
Views: 124
Size:  132.7 KB

To find the battery drain problem I connected a multimeter between the positive terminal of the battery and the positive battery cable (with the key out of the ignition) and I saw a current flow on the multimeter, so one at a time I started pulling fuses until I saw the multimeter go to zero current flow. (you must ignore the fuse for the battery itself as that disconnects the battery) then I noticed hearing a click sound when I put the fuse back in and tracked the click down to the Remote Function Actuator Module (it receives the signal from a key fob to unlock the door without using the actual key). Well since it was no big deal to have to use a key to unlock the door I simply unplugged it and saw the current flow go to zero so now I can leave the battery connected without having to worry about it draining down if the van sits for a few days.

Here is a pic of the module under the dash -
Name:  20191104_142229.jpg
Views: 110
Size:  118.0 KB

(These fixes are more for when you have an older vehicle that you don't want to spend a big amount of money to replace parts that could be on the expensive side)

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Minelab Equinox 800, Bounty Hunter Tracker IV, Garrett Pro-Pointer AT, Cen-Tech Pinpointer
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2019, 07:01 PM
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Y
Originally Posted by GKL View post
I very reluctantly took a break from detecting to take time to try to figure out how to fix my 1999 Astro van as it would not start and the battery would drain unless I disconnected it.

Our 1999 Astro van is what I would normally need to use to go detecting elsewhere, I have found more than I expected on my own 1 1/2 acre property with my new Nox 800 but wanted to try other areas now that I was feeling more comfortable using the Nox 800.

Doing research online I finally figured out how to fix the problems and fixed them, only thing is now that the van is running again, we are now going thru an unusual cold snap, morning lows in the 20's and 30's this week, what happened to our normal Fall temps of around 70 degrees ? I can handle the warmer weather much better than the extra cold weather, hopefully it won't take too long to get temps back to closer to normal for this time of year so I can get back out detecting again.

Anyhow, here is how I fixed my problems, I can't vouch that these same fixes will work for other's cars, only that they worked for our 1999 Astro van.

PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT an auto mechanic, this was a DIY fix I found online !
(I have fixed many things, automotive and otherwise, that I had never done before, thanks to the internet and youtube )

Research online showed it is not an uncommon problem for older GM vehicles to no longer start due to a failure of some part of the PASSLOCK SECURITY SYSTEM (or similar system) as it makes your vehicle think someone is trying to steal it and prevents the fuel pump from working.

Online research shows several different possible fixes, the one I used seems to be holding up as I have been starting the van successfully each day for about 4 or 5 days (only missed one day) as I wanted to make sure it was fixed before driving it off our property.

The fix I thought I would have to try was if you could not get the engine running at all and involved cutting 2 wires and connecting them together, but when I was about ready to try that I managed to get the engine running (sometimes the PASSLOCK SECURITY SYSTEM failure is intermittent and will sometimes allow the engine to start) so I was able to try the fix that did not involve cutting any wires BUT can only be done WHILE the engine is running.

The fix involves simply disconnecting a 3 wire plug that goes into the top of the ignition key cylinder but the page I read about it on the internet said it must be done WHILE the engine is running. The only side effects are that the security light on the dash stays on while the vehicle is running but it does not keep the vehicle from starting AND there is no longer the theft deterrent, but with it being a 1999 vehicle it doesn't look like something anyone would want to try to take anyhow , but you could still use one of those bars you lock on your steering wheel if you did have a concern about theft.

Here is a pic of the wires I disconnected
Attachment 453394

To find the battery drain problem I connected a multimeter between the positive terminal of the battery and the positive battery cable (with the key out of the ignition) and I saw a current flow on the multimeter, so one at a time I started pulling fuses until I saw the multimeter go to zero current flow. (you must ignore the fuse for the battery itself as that disconnects the battery) then I noticed hearing a click sound when I put the fuse back in and tracked the click down to the Remote Function Actuator Module (it receives the signal from a key fob to unlock the door without using the actual key). Well since it was no big deal to have to use a key to unlock the door I simply unplugged it and saw the current flow go to zero so now I can leave the battery connected without having to worry about it draining down if the van sits for a few days.

Here is a pic of the module under the dash -
Attachment 453395

(These fixes are more for when you have an older vehicle that you don't want to spend a big amount of money to replace parts that could be on the expensive side)
Nice job on the repair. I used to rebuild tons of steering columns. My dad used to own steering column rebuilders in flint for 30 plus years . When a car would get stolen the thief would bust the column to start without a key. Thenthe insurance company would send them to our shop

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  #3  
Old 11-11-2019, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by yooper69 View post
Y

Nice job on the repair. I used to rebuild tons of steering columns. My dad used to own steering column rebuilders in flint for 30 plus years . When a car would get stolen the thief would bust the column to start without a key. Thenthe insurance company would send them to our shop
Thanks, the GM security system was designed to prevent such thefts if the thief did not have the key as the fuel pump would not get the necessary signal to allow it to run and pump fuel.

Unfortunately many people have found that that system was very effective at keeping legitimate owners from starting their own cars even with the key because some part of the system would fail and from what I read online GM did not agree to a recall back then as they said it was not a "safety" issue and some dealers would want to charge owners about $1000 to fix something that should have been GM's responsibility, but who wants to put that much into an older vehicle when there is a free work-around.

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Gary
Minelab Equinox 800, Bounty Hunter Tracker IV, Garrett Pro-Pointer AT, Cen-Tech Pinpointer
other (occasional) hobbies: astronomy, rockhounding, green screening
John 3:5__Acts 2:38__Acts 19:1-7
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Last edited by GKL; 11-11-2019 at 11:29 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-13-2019, 01:44 PM
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Thanks for posting this, GKL. I have not had to deal with these issues you describe, but can see a distinct possibility that the knowledge of these two fixes may become helpful in my future. Problems and solutions have been mentally noted.
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2019, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Foragist View post
Thanks for posting this, GKL. I have not had to deal with these issues you describe, but can see a distinct possibility that the knowledge of these two fixes may become helpful in my future. Problems and solutions have been mentally noted.
Thanks, I figure if the info saves even just one person from trying umpteen different things trying to fix it and/or paying a big mechanic bill then it is worth the effort posting it. Whether it's automotive problems or computer problems, I sometimes will email the "fix it" info to myself and save it in a folder if I think sometime in the future I might run into the same problem again, I make sure to use key words in the email so it is easy to find later on doing an email search.

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Gary
Minelab Equinox 800, Bounty Hunter Tracker IV, Garrett Pro-Pointer AT, Cen-Tech Pinpointer
other (occasional) hobbies: astronomy, rockhounding, green screening
John 3:5__Acts 2:38__Acts 19:1-7
Navy Vet

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