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[SOLVED] 2002 Impala won't crank

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] 2002 Impala won't crank within the Automotive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. So I am aware of the passlock system but am looking for some more precise directions. Here is the story.


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Old 04-30-2008, 07:50 AM   #1
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So I am aware of the passlock system but am looking for some more precise directions. Here is the story. Nieces car- She drives it home with no problems, gets in it the next morning and the key will not turn. I go and get a key and tumblers for it which also has the pass lock 3 wire sensor on it. I get that installed and it won't crank, security light flashing 3 times then battery light, back to security and so on. I let it set for ten minutes and the security light is no longer flashing but is steady, still alternating between security and battery light. Try to start it, still no crank and the security light goes back to blinking.So I read where this ten minute thing needs to be done 3 times, try that same result. Try the reset six times, try the E-brake set while doing it, door open, locked, unlocked, battery unhooked and rehooked after a minute, reaching through the window while on my knees and praying, etc. you get the point. Got the old key to turn in the old tumbler, put it back in and went through the resets and it does the same thing. Jump a screwdriver across the starter and it cranks fine. Next step is to haul the car to my house to work on it, just not sure what I am going to do once it is at my house.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 04-30-2008, 10:56 AM   #2
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I am also having a problem with the pass-key (VATS) system on my Camaro. Luckily it seems to have failed safe in that the "security" light is on steady (no flashing) and the car starts and runs normal. Been like this for a couple of years.

But when it first happened I got worried so I asked around and found a procedure to bypass/disconnect the system here: http://shbox.com/1/vats_bypass.jpg. It's for mid-1990s f-bodies but might be close enough to give you an idea as to how to proceed. I may do it myself at some point just to get rid of the light.

Good luck.

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Old 04-30-2008, 11:29 AM   #3
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Thank you for the link.

This is the passlock 2 system. I do have instructions on bypassing this system also but I believe that I need a good reading when the vehicle is starting to get the correct resistor, unfortunately, I cannot get to the point of getting a reading.
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:12 AM   #4
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So here is what I have done. I had hauled the car to my house to work on it rather than going to where it was at every night after work. I took the locking piece out from the old key and tumbler set that keeps the cylinder in place (normally the key must be in a certain position to release the cylinder) just in case the key locked up again and would not turn I could now pull the cylinder out at any time. I run the whole reset/reprogramming thing on the old key/cylinder. It works this time and when the key will turn, it starts and there are no security lights. I take the old key and cylinder out and put the new one in. The car starts but the security light is on steady. Stick the old one back in and it still starts with no security light. There are 3 wires (black, white and yellow) going to the passlock sensor, I cut the yellow and hook one end of my OHM meter to the yellow end coming from the cylinder and pierce the black wire with the other end for the OHM meter. At this point the car will still start but has the security light on and will not give me a constant reading so I put the car in reverse (won't start in reverse) and turn the key to the start position and hold it there. The meter slowly climbs to a steady .887K of resistance. I mention the slow climb because when the car was starting it would crank longer than I would expect before starting, in fact it cranked for about the same time it would take for the reading to settle. I do not know that much about resistors, normally if I need a resistor I just go to radio shack and find the one closest to my reading. The problem that I ran into is that they did not have anything that matched what I was looking for. So I buy an assortment of resistors for $12. There are literally hundreds in this bag. I plan on experimenting with resistors in series and twisting two together and such to get the correct resistance. I learn that by twisting two together you get roughly half the advertised resistance (some or many probably already know that but I did not). After testing numerous resistors with the meter I find one that reads 1.7??K, I twist two of those together and get a reading of .879K, close enough to the .887K a was looking for. So I strip some of the coating off of the black wire, not breaking it's connection to the cylinder. I hook one end of the resistors to the stripped section of black and the other end to the previously cut yellow wire (end going to the BCM this time, tape off end to cylinder). I solder these connections and tape everything. Now with new key and cylinder it starts immediately and there are no security lights.
All of the searching that I had done shows that the passlock system is a known problem on these cars, leaving people stranded until the 1/2 hour key reprogramming is done. This could be something that could be done to avoid that problem in the future.
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:28 AM   #5
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I had a similar problem. Had the passlock sensor replaced a few years ago and all worked well until last summer. The door lock fuse blew, would only blow if I used the lock/unlock button inside the car not the remote keyless entry. I stopped replacing the fuse and went to using the key to get in.

Soon after then the security light would come on and the car wouldn't start. I discovered that the remote for the door locks still activated a small relay in the dash and would allow the car to start. That worked most of the time, so I tried the passlock resistor trick - didn't work even though I got the resistance value exact. So most of the time I could get the car to start using the remote keyless entry button even though it would not unlock the car (stopped replacing the door lock fuse).

When I couldn't get the remote to do it's thing, I found that pulling the CLSTR/BCM fuse would reset the BCM and allow the car to start. Not wanting to throw money at the problem I would pull this fuse when the remote would not activate the relay under the dash.

To make this easier, I installed a momentary push button (N.C. contacts) on the dash and an in-line fuse, inserting this circuit in the fuse block where the CLSTR/BCM fuse belonged. Note: put the fuse closest to the top fuse pin location (the hot side when the key is on), this will protect your wiring in the event of a short to ground.

I refuse to spend the money that the dealers want on this beater. Most people get charged about $500 and the problem comes back. 10% the value of the car is beyond my threshold to keep the car.

Anyone want to buy a sweet 2002 Impala?
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:32 AM   #6
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Wow, you're description fit my clunker(02 impala) to a t. I pulled the CLSTR\BCM fuse like you said and the car started right up. I'm going to probably install the same type of switch you did, pushing a button is a lot easier for the wife than having to pull the fuse. Thanks a lot.
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:09 AM   #7
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This push button BCM reset has been working perfectly since I installed it. I don't need to use it every time, but when the car won't start, this does the trick for me.
I know as soon as I open the door of the car if I need to use the button; the dome light doesn't illuminate when the BCM needs reset.
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:18 AM   #8
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I wired up a switch and installed it that day. I did notice that the dome light didn't come on and the door locks didn't work even though the fuse was not blown. Everything is working fine now. Thanks again.
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:04 PM   #9
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can some one give me a little more detail on how to install the push button and the inline fuse?

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