CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Security feature needs frequent resets

Our '03 Chevy Mailbu had a problem about 1 1/2 years ago and just wouldn’t start. It was Sunday and I was 100 miles from home. I took it to the only open mechanic - Firestone. They told me there was a problem with the ignition security system and they needed to replace a large portion of the ignition system, which meant getting a new key.

Their fix seemed to work, but months later, the car wouldn’t start again. It tries and tries, but just won’t turn, just like before. I called a local mechanic and they told me to try turning the key to ON, leave it there for 20 minutes, then turn it off and try starting it again. To my amazement, that worked. They told me that in some GM cars that resets the security system.

Since then we have had to pull this trick about 6 times- sometimes making us late for work.

Are there any well-known conditions that trigger this kind of security “feature”? Perhaps something we can avoid doing? Is there an easy fix for known causes?