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Suburban no start-security light

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My 1999 GMS Suburban has the security light flashing and when I try to start it, it starts for an instant and the fuel pump shuts off. The owners manual states that this is a theft deterrent system and you need the proper key. I tried both keys and no start. This also happened about a month ago and I checked the fuse per the manual (it was good) and the light went away when I reseated the fuse. Didn't work this time. Anyone know what the cause could be and if there is a way to just disable the theft deterrent system?
post #2 of 14
jim,you more than likely have a bad key switch. do you have tilt wheel ? if so move it to another position ,if that does not work the to wires that go to key tumbler are broken. so the module cannot read the key code.easest way is to get another key switch put your spare key in it,it wont turn becuuse it isnt coded,its jest going to read the switch will have two wires and a plug,locate same plug under dash,plug it in,with spare key in. then put other key in and start car. should work,does for me,good luck.

pete(semi ret auto tech)
post #3 of 14
If it is anything like my 2000 Blazer, you may be able to start it by turning the ignition to the "on" position and allow the security light to blink until it stops. may take a few (10) minutes. When it stops blinking, turn the ignition off, then attempt to start as normal.
You probably will end up replacing the key switch/cylinder too.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies. I do have tilt wheel- will try moving it tomorrow. I guess if it starts, I still have to fix the broken wire. May try your suggestion with the extra key switch- I assume I have to get it from GM?

I have not tried letting it sit "on". Will try that tomorrow also. I have had this problem happen twice before, but it cleared up. Once I pulled the fuse for the security system and re-inserted it and the security light cleared. Didn't work this time. I disconnected the battery tonight and will reconnect it tomorrow after work- someone suggested I try this.

If I want to replace the ignition switch, does anyone know how big a deal that is?
post #5 of 14
I had the shop replace ignition switch on my sonoma and it ran about 200.00,course this was a couple years ago,naturally labor cost more than switch.
post #6 of 14
jim,switch is availible aftermarket, napa,etc. wire comes with the switch,jest hang it hidden under the dash with the other key in it, not a big deal to replace.but if yournot to handy you might want to leave it to a pro. if you were local id come over and do it , would take about 1 hr. to do.

good luck,pete
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Grumpy and all- thanks-
The truck did not start this morning after reconnecting the battery. I just tried it now and it started fine. No security light warning. I took off lower steering wheel shroud to try and inspect wires, but cannot figure out how to remove top shroud. Might have to pull key assembly and I don't know how to do it. It rained pretty hard this weekend when the trouble started. It's upper 80's today- not sure if drying had anything to do with it.

My issue now is will this happen again and where. Hate to be stuck on the beach one night. I would try the extra ignition switch trick you recommend if the light comes back. I also understand it can be the passlock sensor or computer. Any other ideas on my next course of action, or do you still think it's worth putting the extra switch in? I was able to wiggle the wires in the column and at the switch, as well as move the tilt column to all different positions and it seems to have no effect. Would a dealer be able to read any trouble codes? Would they disappear since I disconnected the battery for 12 hours?
Thanks again guys and Pete thanks for the offer to work on it if you lived closer. I'm sure I can do it, but want to make sure it's not a sensor or something else.
post #8 of 14
jim, i will check data base at work on wendesday and get back to you that eve between 7 and 9. to see how to do this one. if i was there i could tell rite away but i work one so many types of car lines its hard to remember with out seeing it

till tomarro pete
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate your advice and time to research. Thanks-Jim
post #10 of 14
hey jim , little late sorry about that. i have to appoligze to you,i made a misstake about what i said. i should have looked this up before answering you, sorry. your problem is more than likly in the key switch [90%] it has a magnetic window the tumblers pass by [yours does not read the key] after the cover comes off the lock cylinder can be removed,torks screws[male type],one thing you have to be very careful removing the wire plug it rotates a certain way,you should get a picture and discription of this before doing,or let a tech have at it. sorry again,wish you were closer would be happy to help you out. by the way in order to reset you have to leave the key on for 10 to 20 min. the other person was correct on that one.

the best pete

we miss more by not seeing than by not knowing
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks. I'm pretty handy so I'll probably have a go at it. I'll google and see if I can find more specific info on how to disassemble. Do I need to get the key cylinder from GM? Also, are there any sites you know of that describes the theory of how this passlock works? Sites I have viewed scared me because they said it could be the passlock sensor or the computer. Not sure I have that system. I agree that it doesn't read my key because I tried a non GM copy today and that also worked fine. Thanks again for your kindness in helping.
post #12 of 14
jim,pass lock sensor is in the lock cylinder assembly. i could print all this out , but its to long and with photos and i dont know how to send it. may your local library ?

post #13 of 14
Just do a google on "passlock car won't start" or "security light car won't start"

I have this problem on a 2002 Olds alero (not a car anyone would steal), it's a known problem on many GM vehicles, and most suggest changing the lock mech. Though it seems like this is a dealer only fix, so $. Also the problem is an intermittent one, it may happen 3 times in a week, then not for a month YMMV.

You would think how can they screw up something as simple as an ignition switch, but GM did.

Also if you know any places that install car alarms, stereos etc, they may know a fix/workaround.

Try the truck sites and other automotive forums, as many others have had this prob.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys-
I think I may have found a fix in a GM bulletin. The bulletin addresses a modification to allow the passlock system work with a remote starter. It involves cutting a yellow wire in the steering column harnes and installing a switch. You then start the vehicle with the switch contacts closed and after 5 seconds you turn the switch to the open position. Then you turn the engine off. It states that the car can now be operated with the remote starter (which I will not be installing) and that the passlock system is no longer in operation. The car will now start without passlock. The downside is that the security light will stay lit (I don't care) and that the computer will log passlock faults (again, don't care). If you disconnect the battery you will have to put the switch into the closed position to start the car and then open the switch and shut down. I guess after the computer receives the proper signal it latches and if you open the line and shut the engine, the computer stays latched in that position until you disconnect power. I paln on trying this mod next week. Will let you kno whow I make out. Of course I will only be able to tell if the car starts, not if I don't get the passlock failure as it is intermittent.
Again thanks to all for help and good fishing.
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