Disabling a 2003 Impala's alarm system

I have had to disarm my alarm system in my 2003 Impala (done via the radio) due to what appears to be a flaw in the system. It is telling my car I am trying to steal it and thus it won’t start. As soon as I turned the “alarm” system off the car started right up. From my research this seems to be a consistant issue with this car. My question is by switching off the alarm system, am I doing any long term/short term damage to the computer system/car? I have a scheduled appointment for later this week with the dealership, but from what I have read on line (going back to 2007) the car maker is aware of this glitch and has not been responsive in fixing it without being paid. I bought a wareenty when I got the car back in Dec of last year, but not sure if something like this would fall under it’s coverage. If just keeping the alarm system turned off allows me to start and drive my car without damage, unless they plan on fixing the glitch for free I can’t see spending the hundreds of dollars I am reading it will take to fix it.

If there is a switch to turn it off, then leaving it off won’t cause any damage. But I never saw such a switch on a car…


You have to go through the radio. It is where you can reset alarms and such, and one of the options you can pick is “alarm” and then you can either have it “on” of “off”. I chose the “off” option and I am guessing it shuts your alarm system off. As soon as I did that the car started right up.

The GM Passkey system is something that is best dealt with by a dealership, but expecting that aftermarket warranty to pay for this type of repair is unrealistic. In fact, I would be skeptical of that warranty paying for anything of substance.

It’s pretty well spelled out on what they will pay for. At first I thought my issue was the starter, when I spoke to the warranty company, I was told they would pay for it all outside of the $100 deductible. As for this issue not sure have not spoken with them on it. I was told by the dealership that shutting the alarm system off wouldn’t damage the car, just hoping they are right.

Shutting it off won’t damage the car.

What I can’t figure out, that if it won’t, why the dealership didn’t tell me to just do that to get it to start. Also I have not found anywhere yet on line that says to just do that so you can get it to start. I understand technology is here and such, but I so much wish that things were not so messed up with technology sometimes.

No dealer is going to fix anything for free on a 12 year old car unless it’s a safety recall like airbags.

I would have the problem repaired, if it’s what I think it is the cost isn’t very much. I had an 03 Pontiac Bonneville in recently with the same issue, I think it was less than $400 to fix.

$400 isn’t a little bit. but if just turning off the alarm system solves my problem, I don’t see why even worry about getting it fixed. IF the car is stolen, so what, I have full coverage and I just go get another car. Also if this is a problem not due to just age and wear and tear, but a system glitch, shouldn’t the manf. repair it for free?

"shouldn't the manf. repair it for free?"

On a 12 year old car?
As the Brits say, Not bloody likely, mate!

If the defect had to do with the braking system, it is very possible that the repairs would be done, gratis.
Or, perhaps a power steering problem might be fixed free-of-charge on an older car.

But…a problem with the alarm system?

What baffles me a bit is by just turning off the alarm system I was able to start my car. I have searched all over the web this morning and spoke with the dealership tihs morning and no where does it suggest that. I have found some info on reseting the system and such, but if just turning the alarm system “off” solves the problem, I am a little surprised that no one has suggested that or that the dealership didn’t suggest that. What am I missing?

Usually another or a new key can solve the problem. If you can disable it, no problem.

Unfortnetly the car only came with one key, so it means spending a bit just for a new key which may or may not solve the issue. I am hoping just turning the alarm off solves the problem and means little to no money out of the pocket because I really don’t see the need for the security system in the first place.

If I only had 1 key, I’d buy another in case I lost it.

I was planning on it down the road, at over $100 it isn’t something that I can just go out and buy…but now this may force my hand on that…

“It’s pretty well spelled out on what they will pay.”

Does it say they will pay for a security system failure?

You seem to have found a “work-around” that no one else has. Is this ON-OFF option spelled out in the owner’s manual? You would be doing everyone a favor to list the exact steps you went through to turn the system OFF.

Actually I could find nothing in the manual on the “alarm” system or security system. What I did was using the steps in the manuel that I used to reset the low tire presure. You follow those steps and select Alarm when it comes up on the radio. It will list tire presure, oil, FOB and such. I selected the alarm option and then toggled and it offered “ON” and “OFF”. It was showing “ON” so I selected the “OFF” option and a *appeared next to the off icon. I then exited out, turned the key in the ignition and it started right up without issue. I don’t know if this “shuts” down the entire alamr system or what as I can find nothing on line about this option via the radio on line and I have searched all day long trying to get something. The only “fix” I could find on line that didnt’ involve actual repair was turning the key and trying to start, then taking the key to the “ON” position and leaving it there for 10 minutes, then turning off the car and removing the key, then waiting 5 seconds and put key back in, move to the “ON” positing for 10 minutes, then turn off and remove, then wait 5 seconds then repeat that. So that is 30 minutes of the car in the “on” postion supposdly fixing the problem while draining your battery…

I will have to review the paper work, I know it was clear that something like the starter would be covered as was the “powertrain” for which I have never really understood what that is or ment. As for ignition issues I will have to check, cause repair wise it seems the starter gets old and needs to be replaced in this case. You would have “thunk” that the manufactuors would have come up with a way to turn off the security system if need be.

IF you do the relearn procedure, which takes a total of at least 30 minutes of the car being in the “on” position but not started, won’t that run down your battery to where it won’t start the car or can it handle (if it’s a good strong battery) that 30 minutes in the “ON” position.

If the battery is being drained at 5 amps for 1/2 hour, that’s 2.5 amp-hours. A good battery should have 30 amp-hours or so capacity. So no, that wouldn’t come close to draining a good battery.