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Old 08-21-2006, 08:47 PM   #1
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Default Passlock Light prevents starting.

I have a 2004 Saturn Ion automatic in basic configuration - no remote entry key fob, no alarm, just the basics. About once every 3 weeks, the passlock light comes on along with a "service vehicle" message and the car won't start (barely cranks then dies). After repeated and continued attempts to start the car, it fires up and runs normally after trying for about 10 minutes. The passlock light is now out and the service message is gone. It then repeats a few weeks later, although the interval is variable. This happens whether the vehicle is cold (parked overnight) or has just stopped for gas after driving for an hour. The local dealer is reluctant to diagnose the issue unless the failure is occuring at that time, but the failure only lasts 10 minutes, and there is no chance to present the vehicle in the failure configuration.

Any ideas - I've read many of the other postings about the BCM, the ignition key sensors, the remote entry fobs, etc. but nothing seems exactly on point.
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Old 08-23-2006, 10:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Passlock Light prevents starting.

Perhaps it would be better to leave your vehicle with the dealer for a few days to a week with the agreement to have the dealer make several attempts to start your car to duplicate the random Passlock problem. Of course you will have to have an alternate means of transportation during this time because of the random recurrence of the same problem. I presume you still have a warranty left so take advantage of it while you can otherwise you may have to foot the bill on repairs later down the road. It seems you have diagnosed the symptom to the Passlock sensor in the ignition key cylinder assembly and the reluctance of the dealer to fix anything unless they can positively identify the same symptom while in their possesion.
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Old 08-23-2006, 11:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Passlock Light prevents starting.

Normally the passlock issue prevents the vehicle from cranking at all. Perhaps you have a weak battery or starter.
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Old 08-23-2006, 11:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Passlock Light prevents starting.

Stupid edit timeout!!
I think the passlock light is flashing for a true passlock failure. There are other conditions which cause a no-crank situation. On my manual trans if I don't push the clutch in BEFORE turning the igintion to the ON postion (not start) it will fail to crank also. Perhaps the brake interlock on automatics works the same. I have to turn the ignition completely off before attempting to start. Remember the computer is in control fo the starter on this car. You can release the key before it starts and it will continue to crank as well as attempt to start it with the engine running. Like any computer, reset seems to be the key when you get stuck.
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Old 08-23-2006, 02:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Passlock Light prevents starting.

Either way, you are in need of a new ignition switch. If it is about the bulletin, there should be codes stored in the BCM. If not, you probably have a bad passlock sensor, which is located where?, in the ignition switch....
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Old 09-05-2006, 12:27 PM   #6
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Dizzy Re: Passlock Light prevents starting.

I have a similar problem. I have an 05' Ion2 which has the keyless entry and auto trans, i never knew what that light was "the car and the big lock" until i read all these posts about a passlock. That light comes on at random times while im driving and I never knew what it was for, I always assumed it was just a faulty light.
So anyways, at random times when I get in my car and turn the key *silence* nothing happens. But when the key is in the regular "on" position, the radio plays and everything. I do have a pretty heavy aftermarket stereo system but this problem happend before I installed that. And as the earlier poster said, it takes about 10 minutes before the car will start and run normally. This only happens like once every few weeks and sometimes not for a month or so. I know the batery is fine because my capacitor is always full and everything power works fine. I have been hesitant to go to the dealer because I have an exhaust and coldair intake along with the stereo that I assume they will tell me voids any warranty I still have.

Any ideas?

Thanks
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Passlock Light prevents starting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdaddy94sc2
Either way, you are in need of a new ignition switch. If it is about the bulletin, there should be codes stored in the BCM. If not, you probably have a bad passlock sensor, which is located where?, in the ignition switch....
What Bigdaddy said. Just have them replace your ignition switch. Mine was doing the same thing. Get it replaced before you're stranded.
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Passlock Light prevents starting.

It's not the ignition switch. It's the passlock switch, which mounts on the back of the ignition switch.

The unit costs about $40. If you're handy, you can do the work yourself. When you change the unit, the BCM has to relearn the new switch. You can do this without a scan tool simply by trying to start the car with the new unit three times in a row. Each time, you try to start it, the passlock disables the starter for about 10 minutes then reenables. After 3 times, it figures that you must have changed the passlock and relearns it. Good luck.
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:44 AM   #9
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Idea Re: Passlock Light prevents starting.

Thanks so much for your help. I was positive it had something to do with a safety feature since it was 10minutes each time before it would start.
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:11 PM   #10
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Information Re: Passlock Light prevents starting.

Have them check out your ignition and BCM too. My 05 ion had a problem where it would start up and all the gauges would not register properly. The RPM was the only thing that worked correctly. The speedometer would "jump" 10 MPH at a time instead of gradually climbing. The steering wheel would also lock up for about ten seconds when first starting it. It was very hit and miss in reference to when it would happen but luckly i was at the dealer with my other car and right when I was leaving it did it so they fixed it right away. I heard this was a problem with a lot of Ions. Could be related to what yours is doing or not. Either way thought it would be a good FYI. Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:32 AM   #11
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Default Re: Passlock Light prevents starting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kohnen
It's not the ignition switch. It's the passlock switch, which mounts on the back of the ignition switch.
The IGNITION SWITCH is mounted to the back of the ign lock housing.

It CONTAINS the passlock SENSOR.

Period.
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