Security System on 97 Park Avenue

My Granddaughter was playing around and set off the security system several times on my 97 Park Avenue. Next thing I know, the car seems to be totally locked down; everything is dead. Any suggestions?

Does this car have an ignition key with a resistor pellet at the base of it? If it does, the first thing to try would be to get a new key. Any real locksmith (not Walmart or the local hardware store) can duplicate your key for around $10-15. There are around 15 different resistor pellets they used for those keys, and a locksmith will be able to give you the right one, cut to the right pattern. This may not be your problem, but if you really suspect the security system, this is a good place to start.

If the brake lights don’t even work then you need to check the main fuse and the battery to make sure power is getting to the main panel under the hood at least.

Thanks for your response. I just went out and yes, the brake lights come on. What does that tell me? Thanks… Mark

Locked down in what way?
Do the doors no longer unlock with the key fob?
Will the doors unlock if you use the key in the driver’s door?
Does the radio work?

On some GM products, if the alarm gets tripped, you have to reset it by locking then unlocking the car using the key in the drivers door before you will be able to start the car again.


Approach this as if it is NOT a security system issue, can you measure the voltage at the battery for a start? even if you know the car won’t crank measure the voltage at the battery with the key turned to “start” also, let’s make sure we are not dealing with a simple dead battery first.

No, the doors will not unlock with the fob nor does the radio work. The doors will unlock and lock using the key. I am sure it is a security system problem because the problem resulted because of a child pushing buttons. Thanks for your response and any input is appreciated… Mark

I understand your “old school” approach. I just checked the (almost new) battery and it is fine. In fact, I just returned from Florida in the car and all was well until a child started playing around. I appreciate your response… Mark

No, there is no resistor pellet on the key. I believe they started that in 1998 on the Buicks. Thanks though! … Mark

Check the fuses under the hood very carefully and make sure they are ok. It sounds to me that the one for the ignition may be blown out. You may also need to reprogram your keyfob. The Owner’s Manual will tell you how to do that. You first need to make sure all the fuses under the hood and in the dash are ok.

Thanks. I will do that. I appreciate you taking the time to respond… Mark

The PASSkey system, which uses the resistor pellet in the base of the ignition key, was common to many of the midsize and full size GM car lines. My sister’s 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix had that system, and a lot of the LeSabres and Park Ave’s had it. It was phased out at some point in the mid to late '90s. Perhaps 1996 was the last year it was used on the full size FWD Buicks. I take it you have a double-sided key, then? And is this a full-blown no-start condition? I ask because you have not said anything explicitly to that effect, only that the car is “locked down” and the key fob doesn’t work. Will the engine crank? Do you have a light that says “security” flashing on the instrument panel?

Thanks for your reply. Yes, the key is double-sided and has no resistor pellet. The security light does blink but no dash lights work nor will the engine even turn over. It’s almost as if the car has no battery but the battery checks out fine. This all happened suddenly after the alarm was set off numerous times by a child.(Ironically, the key fob will open the trunk but nothing else.)Any ideas are sincerely appreciated… Mark