99 Malibu continuing to take all my money and ruin my life

I left my 99 Chevy Malibu (103,000 miles) with my roommate for the two weeks I was on vacation. I came back to a car with a key that wouldn’t turn in the ignition. I believe my roommate pulled the key out without the car being in park and broke the lock cylinder. I bought a new lock cylinder at the junk yard and put it in. Now the car will turn on, but it immediately shuts off. It sounds like the engine is not getting any gas. The malibu has the passlock2 anti-theft system on it that has caused problems for years. I feel like that is to blame. Is there an easy fix for getting my car to run again? I’m planning on selling it in the next couple of days so i’m not looking to put any more money in this POS than I have to.

You need to get this fixed and fixed right, simply so that you will be able to sell it.

Contact the dealer, who might merely refer you to a security specialist. There may indeed be an easy fix but it has to be done by someone who knows what he is doing.

Sounds like the Passlock system for sure.

Any chance your roomie will at least split the bill with you?

Just had another thought: If you still have your original key, take the lock cylinder to a locksmith to re-key the cylinder to use the original key. Should cost in the are of $25.

I’m no expert on every variation of the system but all the GMs that I have seen with either VATS or Passlock have a dash lamp labeled “SECURITY”. When the system goes into protection mode, that lamp is illuminated. If yours has this lamp, that should eliminate the guesswork as to whether or not your system is triggered.

Did the problem start after you installed the junkyard lock cylinder? Or has there been an on-going issue with the passlock system?

The stalling problem could be a separate issue. If the fuel pump is powered thru the oil pressure switch and the switch is defective it could cause the same type of stalling problem. I would be interested in knowing if it is losing spark or fuel when it stalls.

It could be the passlock system causing the problem but I think some diagnostics is needed to be sure.

You are right, I suspect the anti theft system. However you are stuck, you are going to take a really big hit trying to dump it if it will not run.

Unless you’re omitting a lot of details, I don’t see anything here that points to the car being a POS. It’s 9 years old, has a 100k+ miles, was screwed up by a roommate, and it’s a bad choice of words by referring to a junk yard part as a “new” one.
It “sounds” like the engine is not getting gas and you “feel” that the security system is to blame is not much of a diagnosis.

You replaced one broken lock cylinder with a used unit, not a new one. Your symptom of starting and immediately dying could be caused by a faulty ignition switch (not part of the lock cylinder) or one that is out of adjustment.
This problem should not be hard to figure out.