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Old 10-12-2004, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default Security system problem

My wife'* 96 Bonneville has been having off again on again issues with the Pass Key security system for a few months (I was in Iraq at the time and couldn't do much about it from there) and it has progressed to being a problem that has made it permanently unstartable. There is nothing mechanically wrong, but when you put the key in and try to start it, the Security light just sits there and flashes. Is there anyway to bypass this system or at least get the car started long enough to get it to the dealership so they can fix it? These cars get stolen all the time, there has to be a way to override this security system. Thanks in advance for any help anyone has.
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Old 10-12-2004, 05:04 PM   #2
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If you haven't cleaned the keys, that is step one. Clean the key[*] with alcohol and a q-tip. Then insert the key in the ignition cylinder, and remove, clean again, and repeat a few times.. until you feel compelled to stop I guess. Try the key then. If that doesn't work, wait for the senior techs to jump in.


-justin
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Old 10-12-2004, 05:17 PM   #3
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I tried cleaning the key and the contacts for the key inside the steering column. No dice. We only have the one key so I haven't been able to test a different one to see if that'* the problem. I checked with the dealer on the price of a new key and they said it would be about $35 which isn't too bad. They proceeded to say that they had never seen a key be the cause of this kind of problem. However, since it'* a dealer, I take all of their advice with a big grain of salt.
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Old 10-12-2004, 05:54 PM   #4
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I've seen the key be the problem. A few times here. Go to your local locksmith, but call around first. I have a couple within spitting distance that can 'read' the chip resistance, adn duplicate the key for $12.
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Old 10-14-2004, 07:15 PM   #5
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Well I got and tried using a new key and no dice, same problem. After looking around the Internet a bit I found that there are bypass setups available for people looking to install remote starters and such. I assume the basic idea of most of these systems is to install a resistor into the circuit to emulate the resistor chip in the key. Is there a cheap way to install a $.05 Radio Shack resistor into the system to override this system?
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Old 10-14-2004, 09:27 PM   #6
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Old 10-14-2004, 11:10 PM   #7
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You can wire in a resistor to fully bypass the VATS. Read the resistance of the little chip in your key. You may need to "build" one to get to within 5% of measured value by combining two or more. Another thing to do would go to a local shop that installs remote starters and ask then to give you an unused VATS resistor pack. Many remote starters include a pack of 15 resistors (one for each value) in the installation hardware. If it is installed into a vehicle that doesn't have VATS, then the resistors go unusued. Packrats like myself keep them for future use. If you strike out there, let me know. I can probably dig up one and mail it to you.

While at the Shack, pick up a package of very small, yellow butt connectors. They usually say "telephone wire connectors" or something like that on the card. The VATS wires are a very small gauge (24ga I think) and are more like string instead of wire. They don't solder for crap either. These little butt connectors work well for this application
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Old 10-15-2004, 01:33 PM   #8
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I am a bit confused about where to wire the resistor in at. Will it go in series with one of the wires (I would assume I would need a key with no resistor to make that work) or can I just bridge the resistor across the two wires and cut the ignition out altogether? I tend to think Idea #2 would work better because I could use any key as long as it was cut right and it eliminates the wiring at the ignition in case that is where my problem is. Thanks for the help on this.

Very bad diagrams of what I'm talking about are shown below.

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Old 10-15-2004, 03:03 PM   #9
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You got it... #2. This will permanently bypass VATS.

And I think those are good diagrams.
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Old 10-15-2004, 04:45 PM   #10
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Sounds good, I'll take care of that this weekend.
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