Oldsmobile Alero Defective Passlock Theft Deterrent System

Posted on Thursday, June 21st, 2007 at 11:36pm CDT by 8932ca49

Company: Oldsmobile Alero Defective Passlock Theft Deterrent System

Category: Other

The Olds Alero has a defective Passlock Theft Deterrent System. It shows up when you insert your key in the ignition, turn it, hear the engine cranking, only to fail to start. The dashboard's red warning light, SECURITY, flashes on and off. It believes it is being stolen, thus shutting off the gas to the engine.

I bought my '99 Alero GLS on the last Saturday in May 2004. I loved the 3.4 liter engine, leather buckets, all electric, AC/PW ABS, tilt wheel, electric adjustable driver's seat, tinted windows, and great sounding CD and AM/FM stereo. Peppy and sporty, I fell in love with it.

Then in March 2005, I had my first encounter with this issue, and it cost me time, worry, inconvenience and $257.58. I had the repairs done at the local GM dealership and thought the matter was settled. Guess again !!!

The second time it happened was July 12, 2005, only months after the first incident. I was indignant and told the dealership what I thought of having to spend even more for what appeared to me to be the same problem. Dealership service manager said that although it appeared (DUH!!) to be the same problem, the diagnostic code revealed that it was a different problem. HUH??? It was the freakin' same old issue! Again I paid through the nose to the tune of $253.71.

Fast forward to around October,2006, a little more than a year after the last repair. I was at a gas station twenty miles from home, had just filled the tank and put the key in the ignition to begin the balance of the trip home. I was not able to start the car, SECURITY light blinking, I got on the cell phone and called the dealership to give them a piece of my mind - that their "fix" was not fixed - that it was acting up once again. However, after 5-10 minutes the car was running again, Happy and relieved to be on my way home, I breathe a sigh of relief and put this issue out of my mind. Or so I thought.

For the next few months it happens about two more times. However, after getting out of the car and allowing it to sit awhile, the car always starts again. But now it is starting to act up with greater frequency. The relief I originally felt gives way to rage realizing that this is a lemon with factory defects.

Today, June 21, 2007, I got in the car this morning to drive the 53 miles to work when I discover that again, I am stranded in my driveway, unable to start the car. I call the boss, telling him my predicament. I have been with the company only a couple weeks and this incident is not getting me any points. The stakes are higher now. Realizing that this could cost me my job, I vow to take care of this once and for all.

I drove to the dealership that I had "fix" the car two times previously. After explaining that I was now having an issue with a repair that they had fixed on two other occasions, they refuse to repair the car at their expense, explaining that the repair was covered for twelve months and it has been nearly two years since the last repair. I feel totally used, abused and screwed. I signed the paperwork, authorizing the repair for the third time. Inisde me the rage is building. I am totally fed up having to constantly deal with this ignition issue. Cost today: $276.99. What could I do? I need the car to make a living. The dealership had me by the short ones and they knew it.

With the dealership's permission, I sat in one of the salesman's cubicles to borrow the phone. I called GM customer service at the phone number given to me by one of the men in the service department. It was to Buick customer service, but it went through to GM customer service in the Phillipines. 1-800-521-7300. I was on the phone for two hours - 9:30 to 11:30 am arguing my point to GM the fact that this recurring, repetitive repair is a factory defect. Their argument: thank you for bringing this to our attention, we'll look into it - but we will not accept any responsibility for calling this repair a factory defect subject to a product recall.

I made up my mind that once I got home I would Google "Alero ignition cylinder" and see if there are any other Alero owners out there being abused and given the runaround by GM. That's when I came across others' complaints concerning this same issue.

Seeing that others are experiencing the identical problem, and after having been kept in the dark by GM, I called GM and told the customer disservice agent that I was fed up, that they were very much aware of this ongoing issue with the Alero and the real reason why they refused to take responsibility and acknowledge it publicly was because it was not making headlines, that people were not being burned alive in overturned shells of a vehicle. After all, customers were just being inconvenienced (oh sure... uh huh!); plus, having to repair the vehicle was a bonus to GM. After all, they were selling these overpriced parts and this helped to keep their GM dealerships afloat in an otherwise bleak year of lowered sales. For the first time, GM's U.S. sales were eclipsed by those by Toyota. GM was not numero uno in their own country!

I let her know in no uncertain terms that I was looking for restitution. The agent, Stephanie Vokey (1-866-790-5700 x 21936) asked me exactly what it was I was looking for from GM. I told her that I had gone through endless hours of inconvenience, exprienced mental anguish, emotinal stress and had expended time, energy and money to try to rectify a problem that kept recurring unexpectedly. I would settle for a total reimbursement of what I had shelled out monetarily: $823.95. She refused, toeing the company line by parroting over and agian that the facts of these repairs I've outlined do not in and of themselves add up to a company recall. I told her that I knew I was NOT alone, that I had been surfing the Internet and found others that had complaints about this same issue. When she kept up the broken record of providing no assistance or acceptance of any responsiblity for thie problems I was experiencing, I asked to speak to her supervisor. She curtly replied that I would only be told the same thing that she had just told me.

I was put on hold for ten minutes.

When Ms. Volkey returned, her attitude was more conciliatory; she said she would try to assist me by calling the dealership tomorrow and talk to the service department to see if GM could provide reimburse me for the repair.

My call to my lawyer is on hold pending whether GM is going to start taking this problem seriously, to admit that it IS a problem, OWN UP TO IT and REIMBURSE the people whose loyalty to GM led them to purchase a GM vehicle. A company that abuses,misleads and lies to its customers is treading on very thin ice, indeed.

I urge you to VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS. BOYCOTT GM. Join me in bringing these greedy manipulators to their knees.


If you have had this problem, contact me at the following email: COMPLAINTS.COM_FORM_MAIL_75664#


Post a Comment

171fd42f, 2008-06-09, 01:27PM CDT


My wife has a 2002 Impala with the same issue and we have been dealing with it for about a year now. Just wondering if you have had any resolution on this problem? We have been complaining to GM for about three months now.



Pittsburgh, PA

3cd62c65, 2008-06-22, 03:07AM CDT

My problems are just starting with this passlock crap. I had it happen once and took it to a repair shop not GM fortunately and they ran diagnostics and got it running. However, the owners manual tells that you have to sit with the key in the lock for 10 minutes unit the security light stops flashing. I have had to do this little song and dance twice so far this summer. I am not sure as to wheter to have this removed or deal with it till I get rid of it. I also had the intake manifold go bad so as it leaked dexcool all last summer. Had it repaired at a private shop and so far it is holding. But because I kept the dexcool in the engine for 5 years like the dealer told me to do, I now run higher than normal temps. I used to love GM cars, Pontiacs especially, but I think this the last one for me. Hey Detroit Nissan looks better and better each day

272b19f5, 2008-07-06, 08:16AM CDT

My name is Tonya McNeal and I have a 2003 Olds Alero 4 door GL. Yes I have had to repair my car twice for the same thing. The first time I still had a warranty so it was covered, but I had to pay a $100.00 deductible. The last time I was told it was my ignition and I was out of $300+ dollars and it still acts like it doesn't want to crank up. So I know it want be long before I'll be back at the dealership.

db5bc124, 2008-07-11, 04:37AM CDT

I have had my Olds. Alero since March of 2007. It is now July or 2008. A month after I bought my car I have been having problems with the passlock system. I have been dealing with GM for over year on fixing it. I called the yesterday as a matter a fact after it happened again at a gas station where I ended up parking a car in because of the system. Yesterday they told me that because the PASSLOCk system is connected to my electrical system they dont recommend disabling it because it could alter my entire electrical system. The passlock system has been getting worse and worse the past couple of months. It is to the point that my car won't start because of it just about every other time I get in the car. I too have a new job and have been late for it because of this rediculous system on numerous accounts. If there was a way they could take out the system I would keep my car, but I am to the point that I need to just sell the lemon and eat the money I've put into it because GM refuses to help.

7896516f, 2008-07-11, 01:29PM CDT

I purchased my 2001 Olds Alero NEW in May 2001. This defect happened twice while it was still under warranty, and the dealership replaced both parts of the ignition switch.

I moved 3 hours away from the dealership and my family, and then it happened again. This time I had to pay.

Then my father phoned a friend at an auto body shop, who told us the trick - turn the key to the "On" position, wait 10 minutes, and try to start it. It works every time - always 10 minutes, and never quicker.

I can not believe they have not been recalled. It happens more and more frequently now. It happened twice on my lunch break, making me exactly 10 minutes late back at work. I'm just fuming at GM, and will join you in the boycott. I would join a lawsuit, if necessary. When you purchase a car, you don't agree to drive it 10 minutes after sticking the key in the ignition. It's just ridiculous.

3ca6bb03, 2008-07-23, 03:12PM CDT

I first started reading your complaint and it sounded a lot like my current issue. However, I have owned my Alero for 6yrs and am just now starting to have a problem. I was told that it was my key. So, for $7.00 I bought a new one it worked for a while but it needs something else now. My uncel is a machanic and he knew it was my security system. See it cuts off fuel when it doesn't recongnize the key. Great if it is being stolen, but bad if it is the owner. I found a link that gives some good solutions that I thought might help:


In my experience it is usually sovable it is just a matter of finding the right person with the knowledge of the solution you need. Hope this link helps.

Also, I do not agree with your boycot, because even good things have bugs. I am sorry that you have had to deal with this. However, it is not GMs fault that your dealer doesn't know about this. They should look into it. It is there job. Because my uncle is the one working on my car he has and I have not had to dish out unneed money. I do think that it is hard to find good machanic. Also, we do nothing but hurt ourselves and the economy even more be giving other countries even more of our money. Please do not take these as insults. I am just a concerned citizen affected by this bad economy. I hope this helps, and may you all have a great day.

343555b2, 2008-08-07, 09:59PM CDT

Here is a solution to your Passlock problem. My son just bought a 2001 Alero. we were told by the private sellers it needed a new ignition switch. It would cost about $500. I searched web sights and found it was the passlock problem. The cheapest and easiest solution was to bypass the passlock system. I went to a "remote start installer" and asked if I bought a remote starter would my passlock system be bypassed? He said only temporary until I put the key in and turned it. So I asked if he could permanently bypass it because we are haveing trouble with it. He said yes! And he said I do not have to buy a remote starter to do it. He charged me $50 and it solved my passlock problem. He put a matching resister in there to fool the computer. All I lost was a little bit of the theft deterent system and 50 dollars but no more trouble. I would recommend everyone with this problem do this, so much easier than doing it yourself or putting up with the dealer.

aea4edda, 2008-08-31, 11:47AM CDT

ok i bought my 03 alero 4 years ago and it has happened to me once on the freeway luckly i could get over to the side it just shut off and secirty started blinking i called my boy friend who works on cars he said geto out lock the dooor with the button on the door and then shut the door and unlock it with the key it never happened again

9ddec8a5, 2008-09-02, 07:04PM CDT

My daugher has a 2001 Alero and has been having problems with the car not starting as well... It is VERY frustrating for her. Although she does the "put the key in the accessory position thing for 10 minutes" and it does start then.... she is wondering if anyone has had the whole security system de-activated somehow OR if there is any other helpful ways to get this car to stop this problem with the passlock system !!!

e1c3fec1, 2008-09-06, 09:32PM CDT

I own a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero and originally loved it UNTIL the Passlock System started to have a mind of it's own. I have had similar problems with the Security light coming on as I try to crank the vehicle. This is occuring more often and is extremely frustrating. I too sit in my vehicle for ten minutes with the key in the ON position. After exactly ten minutes the Security light stops flashing and I can then go on my way. With all the complaints you would think that GM would try and save some brand loyalty and fix the problem with a recall. Please let me know if anyone finds a true fix or do we, as Alero owners, need to continue and spend $300 just to drive our GM products.

ad4804ea, 2008-09-10, 04:49PM CDT

Ditto for my '99 Alero that I've owned for 2 years now. It's happened SO many times! And I never know when or why. I start the car the same way, with the same key...yet sometimes it will start and sometimes it kicks the security system in. GRRR. It even happens when I use the remote start.

I then have to wait the 7 minutes for the light to stop flashing before I can even try it again. Sometimes it'll start on the second go-around...sometimes it won't.

I was late for work AGAIN this morning and my kids late for school because of this stupid security system. I want the whole darn thing taken out, but no one knows how to do that....

Totally Frustrated

80f96f39, 2008-09-30, 01:46PM CDT

Just had the ignition cylinder on my 2002 Alero (39,000 miles) replaced yesterday at a cost of $440.00. Vehicle would not even turn over, no click, just silence when the key was turned, no previous warnings. The repair shop indicated they had repaired a number of gm ingnition cylinders recently.

9a4a1ede, 2008-10-07, 09:47AM CDT

My Buick and three other vehicles of friends and relatives, one an Alero, have had problems with the passlock system. One Chevrolet Impala was repaired by the dealer under warrenty, the others were not. I repaired my Buick by bypassing the system. Two others have spent up to $1,500 trying to get the problem repaired before finding the true fix. My only solution is never to buy another GM vehicle.

0c7b6546, 2008-10-08, 11:53PM CDT

i have been late to work so many times i can't count- and leaving work its becoming a joke of if my car will start or not (not funny to me)and being stuck at a gas pump for ten minutes is not funny either also i work in memphis, tn one of the highest crime rate places in the u.s.- don't need to be stuck for ten minutes--why is there not a recall on this issue???????

0cbd8a1a, 2008-10-10, 10:32AM CDT

I am having the same problem as the rest of you the only difference is it is on a 2006 Hummer H3 that I own. I have been dealing with this for aproximtely 1 year. just got off the phone with GM, a bunch of idiots. They say it is not THERE place to google it and see if other people are having the same issue. They want it to reproduce the issue, well when they tow it to the shop of course it is going to start it is past the 30 mins I wait for the tow truck and it always has started after about 20 mins. they run the gas out of it and call the next day and say it is not duplicating the problem to come pick it up. Of course they are more worried about getting the loner vehicle they give me back, and not the real issue at hand. I will get an attorney and persue this I spen way too much money on this to have it at the shop more than at home. The one girl I spoke with at GM said GM is aware of the problem, but they just don't seem to care about it, or they would recall it. The supervisor I spoke with was of no help saying they are not aware of this problem. Do they get paid extra to bs us or what. I am really discussed with this, it is not a reliable vehicle when it does this and yes if you leave the key on and watch the light blinks, but they when it goes steady the vehicle will start. I think this needs to be a group effort to get them moving.

4351b92a, 2008-10-18, 10:05PM CDT

My '01 Alero has done it more times than I can count! More and more lately. About 2-4 times per week. It never fails to happen when I am running late and can't afford 10 minutes. We are wising up and going out ahead of time to check. What sucks is, if it does start, we are afraid to turn it off and trust it will be ok so we keep it on and waste gas. In the beginning we were told by our mechanic it was the fuel pump. We replaced countless fuel pumps at about $250 each time. We learned fast how to do it ourselves and at least save the labor.

I once pulled into a rest stop to find a young woman in tears because her car wouldn't start. Jumping it didn't help, nothing would. She was traveling from Colorado to New York with her dog in tow. She finally called a tow truck (on a Friday night) and was in tears over her car, finding a hotel that would take a large dog, and finding a ride there! (She was in a Grand Am) I asked her if her security light was flashing, it was, so I did the whole turn the key for 10 minutes thing. During this the tow truck guy shows up. I ask him to give me 5 minutes to fix it. Sure enough it fired right up after the light stopped! She gave me the biggest hug and the tow truck guy stared in astonishment at me, this woman in a dress suit fixing her car! Lol, it was great! I explained to both of them it was a GM passlock II glitch and how to fix it.

58f57958, 2008-10-20, 07:34PM CDT

I have a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero (four door sedan) for about 8 months now. I just had the same problem. It happened the night before my early-morning flight next morning and I got stranded in a parking lot while it was raining. I didn't know it was the Passlock problem then and so called AAA to tow it to a local shop. The mechanic told me it was security problem and had to reset the car's computer. The error code is: B2960, U1128, U1088. They charged me 140$ for the labor of diagnosis and resetting, which I considered too expensive. But what else can I do? I came back home, searched on the internet, and found I am not alone. Now it is working and I hope it won't happen as frequently as many had experienced here. If there is any final solution or any further information regarding to GM. Please send me an email ([email protected]).

402307d8, 2008-10-26, 03:55PM CDT

I went to my 2000 Alero this morning and after I started it I noticed the time was changed and my CD was turned off, which I always leave on. After 2 hours I went to go home and my clicker wouldn't allow me to open my car so I used the key. I got in and my car would do absolutely nothing. No sounds or anything. So, I got my car boosted. It got me home but when I got home, turned it off, the gas gauge didn't drop back down like it always does.. I tried to start it and it did nothing. So we boosted it again and just let it run for 20 mintues. Turned it off, gauge didn't drop again, waited and still it wouldn't start. My parents assumed the battery was done but rather I googled the "symptoms" and found different sites all with this information. I put the key in to the ON position, waited ten mintues, my instrument pannel lit up and it started. Turned it off, the gas gauge dropped and it still continues to start. Now, I guess I will just wait and see if the problem persists.

6b9fc611, 2008-10-30, 10:23AM CDT

We have a 2001 Alero with the same problem. Have to wait the ten minutes each time to start it. Getting more and more often each time.

There should be a recall on this problem, no doubt.

6b9fc611, 2008-11-03, 03:49PM CST

I paid $511.00 today to have the cylinder lock replaced. I took the car to a Auto Electric Service shop that specializes in this area. They said they see these all the time and keep the cylinder locks in stock. This is a very broad problem by GM and they should do a recall and reimburse all us poor folks for theirterrible engineering mistake. 2001 Alero 2 door coupe 4 cyl.

248ed66c, 2008-11-09, 07:54PM CST

I can't even talk about this anymore! I have a 2000 olds alero gls, and believe it or not,so far it has not done this this for about 8 months( dumb luck)! I feel beaten down by GM between this problem, and the melted dashboard,and now splits in the leather drivers seat! GM deserves to go out of business. They will reap what they sew! Bitter? You betcha!

7a6d73d9, 2008-11-30, 03:24PM CST

I red This And Used My Wifes Key And It Wiorks/ runs good.

I first started reading your complaint and it sounded a lot like my current issue. However, I have owned my Alero for 6yrs and am just now starting to have a problem. I was told that it was my key. So, for $7.00 I bought a new one it worked for a while but it needs something else now. My uncel is a machanic and he knew it was my security system. See it cuts off fuel when it doesn't recongnize the key. Great if it is being stolen, but bad if it is the owner. I found a link that gives some good solutions that I thought might help:


In my experience it is usually sovable it is just a matter of finding the right person with the knowledge of the solution you need. Hope this link helps.

d20b7e48, 2009-02-10, 06:50PM CST

The best solution I have found, on the cheap, is to locate a mechanic - I did a search on Craigslist for passlock and found a mechanic that does a bypass pretty frequently, between 50-100 dollars.

It really is not a do-it-yourself type job, unless your fairly experienced, which I am not.

1531f88b, 2009-07-09, 09:40AM CDT

My boyfriend and I both have aleros. His is a2001 2 door and mine is a 2002 4 door. His car has been doing the same thing. He has been doing what is directed in the manual, wait 10 minutes until the security light flashes and then start it. It started 6 months ago and was doing it about once a month, now it is doing it almost everytime he starts the car. Shame on GM for not recalling these lemons. I will not be purchasing another gm product and I am telling everyone I know to beware. it will hurt Gm in the long run. Their reputation is at stake. Too many of us are having this problem.

c6b72f13, 2009-11-04, 10:00AM CST

I've had this same problem with my wife's 2001 Alero, and I regret that I made her pick that car when we went to go look at it to buy it. It started out fine when we test drove it. Then about 4 months after we got it, one morening when she went to take the kids to school, it wouldnt start. Called to have it towed since it was still under warranty, but the kids missed school and I got fussed at. Repair shop decided it was the fuel pump, and they changed that instead, so we thought the problem was fixed. Wrong. Two weeks after that, it did it again, had it towed once again to the same repair shop, when they finally said it was the Passlock security thing, and that if it does that again, to wait 10 minutes and wait for the security light to stop flashing, then try to crank it. What an inconvenience. The repair to fix the actual problem is very costly, and the added stress on the fuel pump after the passlock engages doesnt help. We have had that car for about 4 years and since, it has been one problem after another. It has now had 3 batteries, 3 brake jobs, a new fuel pressure regulator, new serpentine belt, two tune-ups, and the stupid ignition problem I refuse to fix due to the high cost to repair it. Water leaks onto the floorboard after a rainstorm with the car parked and the windows closed. The washer fluid box doesnt hold fluid. Lots of brake dust in just normal driving. Sometimes the signal lights dont wanna work. I personally own a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix that now has 150K miles and has NEVER had a tune up to this day, and it hasnt even come close to being in the shop as many times as the Alero has, and runs smoother. Matter of fact, I cant do routine maintenance on my car for the Alero taking up the expense for repair. I dont urge ANYONE to ever purchase this car, if they see one on a car lot, run from it screaming!

5d67b702, 2009-11-12, 04:21PM CST

I also have had a horrible experience with my '04 Alero and the rediculous Passlock System. My husband had a remote starter put in for me for Christmas 2007. In 2008 I had 2 episodes where the car wouldn't start due to "security" issues. I too did the 10 minute reset. In 2009, after several more episodes, the company that put the starter in, replaced their bypass module. A week later, after 2 more episodes, the module was replaced yet again, with a newer, more improved module. Guess what???? yep, more episodes. What Crap!!!

f6341dd5, 2009-12-12, 12:13PM CST

The 2004 Alero is a piece of work that is terrible. GM is the worst in their production of this car. They knew the problem existed and still sold these cars. The cars rolled off the assembly line in spite of the quality control that should have been in place and made certain this problem was fixed and a recall should have been in place. I will never buy another GM car and will make sure what car I buy is not GM or GM renamed to something else. I very seldom get an automatic start up. I have to click the the automatic door lock switch to open with the key in 'on position' 10-15 times until the dash

lights come on and quickly start the car before I lose 'that window of opportunity ' because I will have to do it all over again. GM does the customers wrong and they should never get a bail out for the deception.

6dbe7634, 2010-02-03, 10:13PM CST

Thanks to this web page I figured out after 3 days what was wrong with my car! I have a 2001 Alero that was having the same exact problem!! Please let me know if there is a final fix to this problem! Thanks for the help!!!

79939f51, 2010-05-24, 02:36PM CDT

I have a 99 olds Intrigue. I have had the car for about 5 years. it happened about 7 months ago. i thought it was a bad battery. I got stuck at a grocery store about 1/4 mile form my house the first time. my wife picked me up and i came back about an hour and a half later. the car started up.

it has been happening more recently. on tax day 2010, i got stuck at the post office in the second parking spot at the entrance. car would not start and was stuck at the post office for about 5 hours. got it towed (and pissed a lot of people off) after the car was towed to my house, i went for dinner and about an hour later, it started. SOB. it has happened about 3 times after that. some times it wont start until after 3rd attempt. again, i was stuck at the local grocery store. one time a friend had to come pick me up. i had my car set to on, so I could listen to the radio and put down the windows (did not bother to turn the key back to acc) when the friend got there. i tried to start the car. is started up. the next day, i read about the passlock issue.

i wont take it to GM or a mechanic because i know what the issue is. but i agree, this needs to be addressed

one thought i had would be to replace the security sensor. auto zone has a repacement part for about $60-$80. not sure if that would help anyone.

i feel all your pain.

1a7b0359, 2010-06-07, 05:01PM CDT

I am having the same problem with my 2003 Alero. The car starts fine sometimes and others times I have to set for the 10 minutes with the key in the on position. This problem is very annoying at 4:30 in the mornibg and again after work. Is there any pace to write GM and get this problem resolved? So far it has cost me a Fuel pump and a fuel filter and many countless hours of just being pissed!

3e8b7bef, 2010-06-14, 09:59PM CDT

We just bought a 2003 Alero. Reluctently, we got it; it is acutally my sons car -- due to the fact this is his first credit purchase, he got this car.

Taken it in four times to Honda where we bought it - to not have it fixed.

It is frustrating to wonder if you can get to point a to point b.

is GM doing anyting about it yet?

d32fbb32, 2010-07-15, 08:10PM CDT

I am experiecing the same with my 2004 Alero. It's so frustrating. Was late for work today because of it. Why won't they do something about it? This is crazy!!!

2a22939c, 2010-08-08, 07:55AM CDT

I own a 2001 Alero and am having the same issues as others. My husband and I have paid towing and repair fees only for the problem to still exist. I've been told it's the fuel pump or possibly the fuel pump relay. We paid to have the relay replaced among other things and the car worked fine for about 3-4 months. My husband got in the car yesterday and the car made sounds as though it wanted to start, but it wouldn't turn over. This morning we got up and tried to start it and it still wouldn't start. That's when I logged onto my computer to see if other Alero owners were experiencing the same problems. I read each post and tried the 10 minute solution and guess what?...It started. I'm not happy about it knowing that I have spent countless money believing it was one problem when all along it's something that didn't require me to spend money on pointless repairs. I am a school teacher and can't afford to have this happen to me on a regular basis due to the fact I am on a tight schedule and I already experience the stress that sometimes comes with my job. My car is paid off and I wanted to enjoy the fact I have no car payment, but with the stress I'm experiencing with this car I just may have to invest in something newer (not from GM).

For the consumer who doesn't agree with the boycott of GM products and seems to think it's not GM's responsibility to know about the common problems that exist with these vehicles I would ask them to re-evaulate their thoughts. If a company puts out a product they should stand behind it 100%. Ignoring the issue is just as upsetting as the fact we are shelling out unecessary money to pay for this problem in an ailing economy. We are not mechanics, therefor we take the advice of the mechanics whom we seek service from. I do hold GM responsible because at the end of the day there are two things that we all have in common...we purchased a GM product and are not satisfied with the results we have seen thus far.

619e0ccb, 2010-08-19, 10:58AM CDT

I own the 2002 alero and have been tormented by this problem for the paast 3 months. we even bought the diagnostics computer and would reprogram the car to the key every few days. this worked for a month or so but now it wont. I bought a new ignition switch at the cost of 170.00, had my dash torn out and the new switch put in. now every time the battery cables are reconnected, the car starts on its own and the cables must be removed to kill it. whats up with that

0cdc17f8, 2010-09-12, 03:09PM CDT

have had the sasme problem on a 1999 Oldsmobile alero of my brothers have put probably 4 or 5 ignition switches in it with only luck being they seem to last about a year and then back to the same problem

51496cf1, 2010-09-16, 07:15PM CDT

We have the same probem with our 2001 alero, only now the 10 min trick stopped working. My husband was driving it to work this morning, he had the cruise set to 60mph, and the car shut down while he was driving it!!!!!!! He tried the 10 min thing, no dice. A friend suggested shutting down the security system completly but I cant find anything telling us how to do so.

dad2fee5, 2010-09-28, 03:53PM CDT


has the solution, how to install a resistor to bypass the constant hassle with the 2001 alero paslock system. it requires ability to follow instructions exactly, and read completely through the instructions before tearing into the problem, but its a permanent fix for about twelve cents. Since the car doesnt shut down during a trip it is not considered a safety issue by the idiots at GM , and after its done you dont have a paslock intervention in case of a theft....although most thieves have mores sense than to steal one of these when people ar giving them away to get them out of their life.


e7f8eaf3, 2010-12-16, 03:39PM CST

I have a 2002 Alero. I have had the same problems with it not starting. I replaced the fuel pump,relay.It still does it from time to time.The security light doesn't blink when it won't start. It has shut off while driving on several occasions. How do I fix this? [email protected] is my email.


66b6407c, 2011-01-07, 09:52AM CST

I just purchased a 2001 Olds Alero 2dr 6cyl on Nov 17th. I have poor credit and the dealership convinced me that this was the only car on the lot that they could help me with to re-establish my credit. All I had to do was ride this car out for 8 months to a year, all payments on time, and then could exchange it for almost any other car on their lot. One month to the day of the purchase, I started having issues with this car, low tire pressure light came on, low oil light came on, service engine soon light came on, my RPM's jump like crazy when I accelerate after 40mph and stutters the car back and forth, I go through almost 1/2 tank of gas driving to highland park where the dealership is and back to my home and I live by Allstate Arena and now this da*n security light issue. It has only been a month and a half since I purchased this car. Before the security light came on, I called the dealership to speak with the people who I dealt with for this sale, and suddenly, all of them (4 people) are no longer with the company. I was told by the receptionist that they were no longer there (with a look on her face like something went down), then another person told me they all left on their own. Now I am furious because I am getting run around already...whatever. So I started to explain my situation to someone over there and they told me to bring the car in to be looked at. I brought the car in and was given a loaner. They next day they told me that they cannot repair anything on this car yet for atleast another week. When I asked why, they stated that the paperwork with the bank and the service warranty contract has not been finalized. So I have to take responsibility for the bank being too slow? WTH? I said fine whatever and asked what happens next? I asked if they keep my car until they can repair it since it simply is not working properly, and I keep the loaner? I was told no, because they will not be reimbursed for the time the loaner is off their lot and that I need to pick up my car. This is when I get furious and start accousing them of selling me a lemon. They start telling me that there is no lemon law for a used car and basically I am screwed. So now here I am with all these problems and now the security light thing? I was driving home the other night and all of a sudden the security light came on. The car never shut off while driving, thank goodness, but I called the dealership right away because I have never seen this before. Mind you, I got this alero from a volkswagon, nissan, and subaru dealership....shoulda seen this one coming. So I called the dealership immediately, scared of what is wrong with my car and if its gonna blow up or something. So the person I spoke with, claiming to be the owner/attorney for the dealership, didn't even know what the security light was and what it is for. Told me the service department was closed and to call in the morning. Pretty much...s.o.l. My father is very good with cars and knows a lot, so I called him, worried, but he was not sure what this was either, but he said just make sure you keep it running until you get home, turn it off and wait an hour and try to start it. So I did just that and it started with no security light on. I have not had the problem with it not starting yet, but the looks to all these comments sure looks like I will be soon. I called the dealership and spoke with the service manager, and get this, he said that its just a computer error...sometimes when you're driving by construction, it will trigger it. YEAH, BS! So now what? Why isn't this recalled yet?!?!?! I can't afford this. I am a receptionist taking care of a household of 4 adults, 1 child, a dog, and a cat all by myself (no one else works), I cannot afford to replace and repair all these issues. Even if there is a 2 year warranty, I know the dealership will get around that somehow saying that, "oh that isn't covered under this warranty...". What should I do? Please help.

Desperate mom in need of help. =(

57439a47, 2011-02-24, 04:17PM CST

my name is Nikkia Howell and I have had the same problems over and over and over again! I have considered replacing it but after reading so many different sites with the same complaints and reading other's have tried to get this issue fixed with no avail, Im going to just ride it out. I'm 32 with 3 children, my husband is laid off and i'm the sole provider and can't afford to waist money... This is sooo freakin frustrating!

6190f5a2, 2011-03-08, 09:29AM CST

I am having the same problem. I don't have any other transportation. I can't afford to continue spending monies on this car when it's not my fault. I have a 2002 Alero GLS. I really need help!

6190f5a2, 2011-03-08, 09:30AM CST

I am having the same problem. I don't have any other transportation. I can't afford to continue spending monies on this car when it's not my fault. I have a 2002 Alero GLS. I really need help!

91886ae4, 2011-03-25, 10:39AM CDT

I am in the process of talking to GM about this problem. I am getting the same mumbo jumbo as you got. A recall is by vin # and they have to check with the dealership to see if the repair was necessary. I told them if I want the car to start then it is necessary. I am waiting to hear from them again. I spend over $800 not including the tow for this problem. They need to reimburse us.

91583a31, 2011-04-04, 04:44PM CDT

wait ten minutes ,,pull down your pants and,SCREAM like a chicken. Thanks GM.for

giving us these wonderful vehicles. I wish the Taliban would visit you.

471e1931, 2011-09-17, 03:58PM CDT

This is very sad I'm having the same issues. I'm using my mothers Alero to go to work I live in New Jersey and work at the naval shipyard in Philadelphia. Now I take the Waltwitman or Benjamin Franklin bridge to work. I'm surprised I'm not dead as of yet because of this car all it takes is for it to cut off on me while I

In front of a semi. Now the car is stuck at my job and won't start. In the past it just wouldn't start or it would cut off while I am driving on the highway. Gm should take responsibility for this death trap and I'm very afraid for my mother. Safe to say that I will never buy a Gm ever and wouldn't recommend any to buy one. I'm buying either a Honda or some type of foreign car. Atleast they are dependable and reliable. And the funny thing is that the security guard has the same car and the same problem what a horrible car and car company

e771fcf8, 2011-10-10, 01:05PM CDT

I have a 2000 alero and also have the same problem. Only this time it won't start at all.

I'm a 21 year old student taking 12 credit hours plus working 40hours a week. No time for anything and my car does this. Its been 4 days since my car won't start. Even if I just put my key in the sercuity light comes on.

This is bullshit.

63814d49, 2012-05-30, 05:08PM CDT

I have a 2004 Alero and the problem just started happening with the security light and having to wait 10 minutes. GM knows its a problem when they have the 10 minute solution in the manual!!!!!Should be a recall. Not nice having to push the car from the gas pumps!!!!!

Debi V., 2013-01-15, 03:52PM CST

I love missing work because my 2003 Alero doesn't want to act right. From my horn honking at me to not being able to start my car because of security system issues I'm done! You would think with all these complaints GM would do something. Nope. Guess who got a bailout though? The same company that cheats their customers. There's nothing like being stranded in 27 degree weather with two small children and having to push your car away from gas pumps so you're not an inconvenience to others. I say boycott!!!! I will NEVER BUY ANOTHER GM car!

8a8284e8, 2013-04-04, 06:28PM CDT

We had a problem with the pass lock sensor on our 2004 Alero. After three tows to the mechanic , the mechanics discovered something. Every time we used our remote to unlock the car, it would mess up the sensor somehow. Each time they had to reset it. They recommended we unlock the car using the key and quit using the remote. Happy to say this has worked for us.

c0604f00, 2014-03-14, 06:55PM CDT


I have a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero and for the past year and a half I have been having the same issue with the security system. I have been stranded on several occasions for more than 2 hours trying to get the car to start. It?s scary at night when no one is around and you are waiting to start your car. I am so fed up with it I would like to push it off of a cliff. I can?t get an American to talk to me when I called GM and either it?s the plan to discourage us not to call or to hang up after getting absolutely NOWHERE. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. I am really getting upset and tired of having to get up 2 hours early to make sure the car starts for work. I have to work all my schedules such as grocery shopping, regular shopping, Etc. around the problems with the car, as not to get stranded late at night. I guess some single woman/women stranded due to this issue would have to get beaten, robbed, raped, or murdered before GM may take this seriously??? It's a damn shame if you ask me!!

Rick R., 2014-09-14, 01:14PM CDT

Hello, I have a 2003 olds alero and just started having the passlock issue. I have read so many complaints about this same thing so my question is, how can we all get together and file a class action law suit against them to force their hand to do a recall?

There has to be a way to get our cars repaired from this pass lock bs.


R. Raven

28c522ac, 2014-10-05, 04:52PM CDT

I would like to chime in on this.......wow 250.00 was cheap compared to what I was charge. Those bozo's replace wiring harness's and everything else TWICE. NOW, I have an AWESOME mechanic and the problem is the ignition itself. You have to replace your ignition and this should take care of the problem. (key and all)

The trick to over riding the security pass lock is to turn the key as if you're going to start it, (either first or second click, doesn't matter), and let it go for 9 minutes; however, you can't open the doors or windows during the process or you have to start all over.......trust me, been doing this for YEARS.

6cf63611, 2015-10-22, 03:44PM CDT

2015 now, seeing this is an old thread but someone actually took action to GM, my 2003 grand am has the same problem passlock has made me late or actually shut off my car well driving. Take to to the dealer asked them to look at it and do the key cylinder recall, $900 to fix it.... this is my first car, 20 years old and a student how am i supposed to just pull out 900 dollars like it's nothing. I just said to leave it as it only caused the car not to start, but this month it has died on me twice well driving and yes the security light came on. really thinking about calling that same dealership and getting them to fix it no charge and it's becoming a life and death matter if i'm in traffic. found many and i mean many people that are having this problem but GM hasn't done anything

Rick R., 2015-10-22, 05:55PM CDT

Hello everyone, I have found that the dealer is charging $250 + to "reset" the security system.

To do the same and save some money, turn your key to the full on position and let it sit that way for 10 mins., turn the key off wait 30 secs. the car will start right up.

I hope this helps to save others money from g.m'.s bullshit.


Rick R., 2015-10-22, 05:56PM CDT

Hello everyone, I have found that the dealer is charging $250 + to "reset" the security system.

To do the same and save some money, turn your key to the full on position and let it sit that way for 10 mins., turn the key off wait 30 secs. the car will start right up.

I hope this helps to save others money from g.m'.s bullshit.


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