How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby Dring [OP] » April 13th 2011, 6:11pm

Hi, has anyone tried buying/installing a controller from a web company called 'New Rockies' to permanently disable their PassLock/PassKey security system? Their controller is called the 'PRO GM VATS/PassLock Full Bypass Module'.

It's $180 for the controller and it looks like a tiny little web company so I'm not sure if the whole thing is 'legit' or not. Here's their website:

http://newrockies.com/buy-from-me/

Have been having the problem with our '02 Safari for a while now where the security light comes on while driving (every now and then) but more recently the system has locked me or my wife out and so the van won't start for 10 minutes until we wait it out and then it will start. It only happens once a month or once every 2 months (and it runs fine in between, so I don't think its a fuel pump issue) but it happens enough now where it's getting pretty annoying. Plus the van only has 50K miles on it, so it still drives like it's new...

Looking for an easy fix because with 3 kids at home all under 4 years old, I just don't have the time to do a bunch of trial-and-error fixes on this (building resistor packs, etc.). This is also the 'kid bus' for my wife so she's getting worried she'll be stranded for more than 10 minutes w/ a bunch of screaming kids one day...

Thanks! (1st time poster to the site...)
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Re: How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby ihatemybike » April 13th 2011, 10:58pm

Green did that to me as well. In my case the solution was to remove the aftermarket remote starter and locks. Whoever put it in did a poor job, the wires were loose and the electrical tape wasn't staying in place. After removing everything related to it, I coated the affected wires with liquid tape. Almost two months without seeing the security light come on.
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Re: How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby Leeann_93 » April 13th 2011, 11:43pm

If you don't have an aftermarket remote starter or keyless entry system, the biggest culprit in activating the Security system is a worn or poorly-made key. If yours is the original, I'd consider having your local dealer cut you a new pair of keys from the key code.

The second-biggest is loose or chafed wiring, as Aaron already said.
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Re: How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby Phantom » April 14th 2011, 1:17am

If you are good with electrical you can check out the wiring diagram and use it to bypass the system , I have the diagram but there is something wrong with the forum servers that will not allow files to be uploaded , you may find it at your library in the Mitchell books .
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Re: How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby Dring [OP] » April 14th 2011, 6:09pm

Thanks for the feedback so far. Our van did have an aftermarket alarm on it when we bought it a couple years ago, but when the security light first started coming on I figured it was that alarm so I took it out and all of its wiring. Luckily the installers hadn't cut any of the original ignition wires--they had just cut/pulled back the casing on those factory wires and wrapped their new alarm wires around them. So once I pulled those off and removed their aftermarket controller, I was able to just tape up the old factory wires into a more normal 'factory' condition. I had hoped that solved my problem--and the 'security' light did stay off for a few months after that, but then it's been coming back on every now and then for the last year or so. It wasn't until more recently though that the factory alarm started disabling the vehicle for some reason.

We're still using the factory keys and they look like they're in good shape, but I wonder if they could be worn down a bit...

Think I might be missing anything else? If it's the factory alarm controller that's going bad my hope would be NOT to have to replace that--I'd rather just bypass the whole alarm and not have to deal with it any longer (versus repairing an alarm I really don't want on the vehicle). Given the mess our kids have made of the van I can't see anyone wanting to steal it anyway! :D

That's why I was wondering about that aftermarket bypass controller--just to try and get around the old the factory alarm and not have to deal with it any longer.

thanks!
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Re: How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby ihatemybike » April 14th 2011, 8:18pm

If you just taped it up, I'd check the tape. You might of done a good job, but electrical tape really sucks.
Aaron

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Re: How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby Phantom » April 14th 2011, 8:53pm

I just thought I'd mention that I have spoken to a guy I know that works at a GM dealer and he told me that a design change happened in 2000 and is the same through 2005 and the Passlock/VATS system is contained in the case at the keylock cylinder switch, a new sensor costs about $53 . and the 99 and earlier ones are about $140 , the part number he said is GM # 19133611

Not sure if there is a module located somewhere else ,
Looking a exploded view picture of it , it looks a lot like the setup that older cars had , where it could be bypassed by inserting a resistor in series with the wire that come down the steering column , in older systems the key had a resistor chip in it and all you had to do is measure it's resistance value and then add the resistor , if you do not have a chip in your key then there will be some place where that resistor value is found .

I'll first have to get the diagram out and see and if there is wiring to a module and if so , we'll figure out a way to get it posted so you can get it , it will be the weekend before I can get to it
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Re: How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby Dring [OP] » April 19th 2011, 3:15pm

Phantom--

My Safari is an '02, so definitely falls within your 2000-2005 range where you mention the Passlock system is contained within the key cylinder switch(?). (And the resistor is not in the key like the older models...) Unfortunately it seems like the security 'lock out' is happening to us more frequently now (it's happened twice in the last week now...), so my wife is getting more nervous...! If we wait the normal 10 minutes with the key in the ignition it will still start right up--so it's definitely the security system versus the fuel pump.

I have 2 original/dealer keys that I tried using yesterday when the system locked us out, but neither one would override the system to start it up right away. Both keys look nice (no wear issues I could see...), so not sure if the keys are an issue and if new keys will solve it.

Unfortunately I bought just the Chilton's repair manual a while ago and it doesn't have a good section in it on the security system. It does have the wiring diagrams in the back of it but whenever I ask my 3 little kids to give me some 'free time' to go work on the car they usually want to 'help me'--which of course means I don't get anything done...

But per your note below--is the keylock cylinder switch easy enough to get to, to change out the sensor you're talking about? Is it just inside the steering column housing? I hate the idea of paying a dealer or shop $1000 to replace a $50 part...

thanks,
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Re: How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby Phantom » April 19th 2011, 4:38pm

Yea it is with the switch, yea inside the steering column housing , seems this is a common problem on some vehicles like the Impala , I did a google search and found there are a lot of threads on this matter with several people saying different fixes , from simple contact cleaning to replace , Steering wheel will likely need to be removed and before you start any repair work first go through the Air Bag Disarm procedure then disconnect battery negative cable , having an air bag deploy suddenly without reason can cause injury . Here are a few links I found that describe how others have fixed their problem , be worthwhile reading and learning as much as possible on how it works and is assembled before you go to work on it , it may be even more helpful to browse a junk yard and practice removing the passkey sensor on a junk car before attempting it on your van to get more familiar with how it is assembled .

Here are some videos on You Tube on how to bypass the VATS

I have not watched them all but likely to be helpful watching someone else do it :D

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... +VATS&aq=f

This link has a pic of the sensor
http://www.greatautohelp.com/oldsanswer ... urity.html

These links speak of how the sensor works and gives some details , of GM Passkey VATS

http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbullet ... p?t=454520

http://chevroletforum.com/forum/impala- ... fix-21877/

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... google.com

http://www.automotiveforums.com/t147983 ... blems.html
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Re: How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby Dring [OP] » April 19th 2011, 8:30pm

Thanks for all the links... I did some Googling too and was finding the same thing--that a lot of different methods are being told to people. But your links looked better than the ones I was finding. Guess I have some reading to do. I'll post back based on what I end up doing and if it works!

Thanks,
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Re: How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby txturbo » May 8th 2011, 4:33pm

Not sure about the 2002 models....but the earlier ones you can measure the resistance of the chip on the key.....unplug the two wire connector on the steering column and insert a resistor in the connector. Simple way to defeat the security measures if your key or switch is bad. Another option would be to find a local tuner and have them go into the ECM and disable the security completely.
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Re: How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby Dring [OP] » June 3rd 2011, 3:25pm

Just wanted to follow-up on this problem. I ended up buying the PassLock bypass/disabler kit I saw online from 'New Rockies' for about $180. They had listed some installers across the country that will install their kit in your car, and I happened to find an installer who was local in my town. So talked to him and he said he had installed several of the kits for people and they had worked well. Installed it myself a few weeks ago and the installation instructions were great (the wiring diagrams were exact--believe it or not!), and since then my security light has gone out, and I haven't had any of the no-start issues due the the security system disabling the vehicle. Seems like a great product so far! It was a nice assembly too--I work in the PCB-assembly business, and theirs was a professional little box put together nicely (not some garage-type assembly with solder balls falling off of it...).

Anyway, just thought I would let anyone know about this product that was having the same problem. It was definitely a lot easier than trying to play around with different resistor packs and seeing if I could find one that would work.
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Re: How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby webcat » June 5th 2011, 6:02am

txturbo wrote:Not sure about the 2002 models....but the earlier ones you can measure the resistance of the chip on the key.....unplug the two wire connector on the steering column and insert a resistor in the connector. Simple way to defeat the security measures if your key or switch is bad. Another option would be to find a local tuner and have them go into the ECM and disable the security completely.

You can bypass the 2002 models using resisters from radio shack , there'ss a post showing how (somewhere on astrosafari
http://www.jaycorptech.com/tech/passlock.htm
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Re: How to disable the PassLock/VATS security system?

Postby jcmastro » June 8th 2011, 2:49am

FWIW, on my 2K 'stro, I measured the resistance and inserted a metal film resistor -been working since about 2006. In my case, it was a key (my wifes) that was worn. She tried starting and it was a no start. Called me, took me about 30 minutes to get there....while waiting, a repair garage across the street from where she was sent their guy over. Well, he said she was out of gas or fuel pump went bad even though the gauge read 1/4+. He dumped some gas in and when it wouldn't fire told her he could have a new pump in by the next day. Lucky for him, he was gone when I arrived with my autotap and laptop. I used my key and it fired right up. Ran autotap which showed several security fails. end of story.
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