Grand Am doesn't like to start in nice weather - security problem?


#1

My 2003 Pontiac Grand Am often doesn’t start in warm weather. The engine will crank but not start, but if I then leave the key in the run position for exactly ten minutes, the security system seems to calm down and I can switch it off then start the car (a kind tow driver taught me that trick). This doesn’t happen in the winter in Pittsburgh, but might happen one start out of six in the summer.

I had the ignition cylinder replaced once, and it took care of the problem for about a year. After it came back, I was told to do exactly the same thing again. At first I decided to punish the dealer by spending another summer loafing in parking lots, but this year I can’t take it any more. Should I replace it again? Should a dealer warrant the longevity of the repair?


#2

Do you have a bunch of stuff on the key ring? The weight can ruin ignition switches. There is a magnetic part in the key that is read to allow start and this is what is causing the problem.


#3

That is the Passlock Auto Learn procedure. It signals the computer to store the new reading as the standard value for your key. It’s usually only required when the key or some component of the system has been replaced.

If the lock cylinder gets worn out or the contacts inside the lock cylinder get damaged, oxidized or polluted in some way or the key is damaged, then the reading will change from what the computer expects. The fact it is temperature related means it is marginal.

Dealer repairs are usually only warranteed for a short period like 30 to 90 days. You’ll have to ask about their specific policy.