pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
99,684 miles
Total Complaints:
19 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. turn key to ON for 10 mins, turn to OFF, then start car (7 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
  3. replace passlock system (3 reports)
  4. Put the key in the ignition, and put the car back in PARK. START THE CAR. CUT THE THIN YELLOW WIRE w (2 reports)
  5. replace lock cyclinder (1 reports)
  6. the disfunctional remote is the problem (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Oldsmobile dealer.

problem #19

Jul 162012


  • Manual transmission
  • 145,000 miles
  1. Turn ON the ignition, with the engine OFF.
    1. Attempt to start the engine, then release the key to ON (vehicle will not start).
    2. Observe the SECURITY telltale, after approximately 10 minutes the telltale will turn OFF.
    3. Turn OFF the ignition, and wait 5 seconds.
    4. The vehicle is now ready to relearn the Passlock Sensor Data Code and/or passwords on the next ignition switch transition from OFF to CRANK. IMPORTANT: The vehicle learns the Passlock Sensor Data Code and/or password on the next ignition switch transition from OFF to CRANK. You must turn the ignition OFF before attempting to start the vehicle.
    5. Start the engine. The vehicle has now learned the Passlock Sensor Data Code and/or password.
    6. With a scan tool, clear any DTCs if needed. history DTCs will self clear after 100 ignition cycles.

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #18

Mar 162011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

I spent so much money on this car after time and time again it wouldnt start. After replacing fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel line, rewiring fuse box, new EGR valve, new plugs and wires, the problem still continued, after seeing this site and reading number #15, i'm proud to say the problem cease to exist!! Cut the thin yellow wire behind the ignition to the security system and this should sovlve your problems!!.

- , Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #17

Jun 122011

Alero 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

Ok So this car sucks. We were in a situation where we had to buy what we could afford. The car was doing fine when we purchased it in 10/10. We had to some small stuff like brakes, alternator, tires but when the won't start/stalls when driving issue started....We took it to our local mechanic whom tried for 3 days to figure it out. He gave up. We took it to a GM mechanic whom said it would cost more to repair than the car is worth. Some days it would start right up then die when running. Other times it would not start at all. After my husband had to walk 10 miles home from work after a grueling day of physical labor on his job, we knew we were screwed. After speaking to the mechanic our dealership recommended, we were told to google pass lock system. Ironically, it brought us back to this site, which I was floored to see the same problem over 80 times, and it brought us to number 15. Well, we figured we had nothing to lose as we will not pay 85.00 per hour for the mechanic to tell us it cannot be fixed. We did what #15 said and so far so good. GM has to accept responsibility for this car, but we need more voices.

- , Gulfport, Florida, USA

problem #16

Oct 012009

Alero 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Replaced over $200 in parts and still having the same problem. Decided to visit Bing.com to see if anyone else knew the solution only to find the problem more massive than first believed....Thanks for the place to add our similar beefs. Will take suggestions from the list and see if that helps to solve the problem....

- , Fort Worth, Texas, USA

problem #15

Sep 012009

Alero 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

THIS FIX WORKS PERFECTLY!!!!!!! I haven't had an incident in over 3 weeks now on my 2001 Alero. This is the same car that the Passlock Security System would prevent me from starting my car up to 3 times a day. The time I am saving just by not having to wait for the system to reset has been fantastic.

I didn't install anything at all. This was a 10 minute fix for me, and I really don't know much about auto repair. In fact, this was the first time I have taken apart anything in a car at all. The most I have done is replacing spark plugs and changing oil.

I got full color pictures from http://www.bulldogsecurity.com. By clicking on the "Vehicle Wiring Diagrams" link and selecting the year of my Alero in the "Oldsmobile" drop-down link list, I was able to print pictures to ensure I was going to cut the right wire (see instructions below).

Here are some instructions that I followed for the easy and no-cost fix:

Pry up the plastic molding from around the Radio/HeaterAC controller and from around the Gear Shifter.

Detach the HeaterAC module from the molding by removing the four 7-mm hex bolts from the back side. Take out the 3 7-mm hex bolts to loosen the Radio.

Put key in ignition & turn to "On" position, apply brake, and shift into "drive" or lower gear.

Turn HeaterAC module to the left, sideways orientation, and pull out the Radio. Disconnect main wiring harness from back center of Radio if there is not enough slack to take the Radio out past the plastic molding. Leave the antenna connected.

Look inside and to the left at the back of the Ignition Cylinder assembly. Locate the THIN YELLOW WIRE which is bundled alongside the thin white and the thin black wire. You may have to stick you hand in and fish a bit to grab this "Thin wire Trio".

DO NOT mess with the main rear/downward ignition wiring harnesses (1 of which contains a Thick Yellow Wire - leave it alone).

Isolate the THIN YELLOW WIRE from the 2 others. As a precaution, RECONNECT the MAIN RADIO WIRE HARNESS, and let the Radio hang to the right side.

Put the key in the ignition, and put the car back in PARK. START THE CAR. CUT THE THIN YELLOW WIRE with the car running. Tape both ends of the cut wire. Place black electrical tape over the "Security" light (less annoying).

Turn off the car engine. Disconnect the Radio main wire harness to Re-Install the Radio, if necessary. You may need to crawl under the passenger-side dash to push the main wire harness back into the radio while holding the Radio from the front.

The rest of the installation is the reverse of removal. YOUR LIFE JUST GOT A LOT BETTER if you want to keep driving this car !!

- , Pleasant Grove, UT, USA

problem #14

Jul 102007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

Well, the first time this problem occurred was in 07, but sense then I have had to do other work on the car because I was having problems starting it and it was cutting off on me. The last thing I got done was buying fuel pump...costing my parents almost $700...a big hardship, especially sense I am a full time college student. And even after we got this fixed, THE CAR STILL ACTED UP!!!...So, I'm REALLY UPSET!!!!

- , Selma, AL, USA

problem #13

Jul 012009

Alero GL 4.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,153 miles

repair shop replaced fuel pump, fuel filter fuel pressure regulator and fuel rail. still didn't start. tleft key on by stupid luck. runs now. what a waste of money. found lots of people with same problem. will GM ever admit to error in design.

- , Fort Atkinson, WI, USA

problem #12

Feb 012007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

After I have been stranded multiple time and towed my 2001 Alero to a service station, I have replaced fuel pump, oil pressure switch, cam sensors, cam sensor wires. The problem still exists where my car will sporadically not start. Now, I have been advised to replace the module at the dealership in order to setup authorized codes. But what I found out was the NO START will most likely continue to happen (after spending MORE money on a problem that is not fixed). After speaking with many mechanics and engineers I found out that the ignition switch may be bad. If the voltage codes match, the BCM sends a class 2 message containing a password to the powertrain control module (PCM). If the voltage codes do not match, or the voltage is in the tamper range, or there is a circuit fault, the BCM will not send the correct password to the PCM, and the vehicle will not start.

BE WEARY TO PUTTING ANY MORE MONEY INTO THIS PROBLEM. A temporary fix that I have been using to start my car once it is in NO START status is the following:

(It works every time and will prevent you from being stranded)

Crank the car. When it does not start leave the key in the ON position for ten minutes. After 10 minutes the SECURITY light will go off. When this happens turn the key to the OFF position. Wait 5 seconds and then start the car. It is not the most convenient remedy but it will prevent you from being stranded. I hope this helps anyone who is having the same problem.

- , Harper Woods, MI, USA

problem #11

Mar 202008

Alero LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

went to start car ti go to work...wouldn't start checked owner page 2-20...turn key switch to on....wait 10 minute until security light stops blinking...then turn off.....then try to start...

- , Orlando, Florida, USA

problem #10

Apr 102007

(reported on)

Alero V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

After I finally purchased the correct remote for this year car (2 avail) I took to the larger GM dealer they diagnosed to security system unit in the car was not signaling and could not program the new or old remote. I called and begged GM to help me with a Goodwill repair. This is my third GM car and this year I need to buy 2 cars. If they don't help I will have to live with the problem until I buy something more reliable.

New or used cars I have learned my lesson, wait a little longer and do the research.

- , Ventura, CA, USA

problem #9

Mar 012008

Alero 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,567 miles

Car would not start, change fuel pump still did not work. Everyone told me to change the computer box. I came to this web site and found the answer to my problem. cost me nothing but I am still mad about that fuel pumper.

- , Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #8

Oct 232007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I am a college student just barely keeping my head above water as it relates to finances. I purchase a used 2001 Alero to get me to and from school. On several occasion I stopped the car and upon returning the car wont start. This happens almost every day

On three occasion I had my car towed to the mechanic to diagnostic check but it didn't help.

I changed the fuel pump, the batteries, the alternator, the coil, the starter but all this didn't help All it did was cause me to pay a bunch of money unnecessarily. It was so annoying that I was afraid\d to move the car as I was not sure if it would stop on the way. At one time I went to put in gas and upon my return guess what ???? You were correct the cat\r did not start. After pushing it away from causing obstruction the tow truck was called Money Money Money. I am sick and tired of this situation. After reading some of the complaints that the other consumers have to say I realize that I have the same problem yes and it has something to do with the alarm system. Now I have to make

arrangements at least 0ne hour in advance because I know everytime I go to start the car I will have the same problem. Can you imagine sitting in the car in the snow for almost one hour to try and strat a car . That is re\ridiculous and something has to be done. I think the Oldsmobile dealer should make a recall on all of these cars as this is clearly a manufacturer defect. I need the dealer to reimburse me for all the money and time I spent on this junk they call car. I need to hear from the da\eale and what they are going to do to compensate me.

- , Freeport, Bahamas, Bahamas

problem #7

Aug 082007

Alero 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

Ive had the same problem with car not starting. People say you have to lock car when you get out, so your saying everytime I get gas and get out to pump I need to lock the car. Crazy! This has happened to me about 6 times. It drains my battery too. Just got a new battery thinking that was the problem. Guess not once again car won't start when I came out from store. I had to leave the car in parking lot. I tried the 10 minute trick it worked twice. Apparently there is a problem with these POS Alero's. I should have known to put the red flag up when I was buying a 2001 alero in 2007 with only 10,000 miles. They told me it was a military car. So I believed it because those cars do have low miles. I also bought it from a repitable car dealer in Mt. Holly NJ named Miller Ford! Never again will I believe a line like that about why a car has low problems.

- , Brunswick, GA, USA

problem #6

Nov 282007

Alero 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

my car would not start one morning for work. found this website and thought i was really screwed. never knew aleros had so many problems. after checking through this site, realized that my security light would flash when i had the car on the ON position. after reading the entries, i turned the car to on ON position for 10 minutes and the security light stopped flashing. i turned the car off then tried to turn the car over and it actually started. so glad i found out this trick before i spent hundreds or thousands of dollars trying to fix. hope this info can help someone else like it helped me.

- , Springfield, IL, USA

problem #5

Nov 232007

Alero GX 3400

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,274 miles

My Alero won't start most of the time. Cause is the GM Passlock 2 security system. A temporary fix is to turn the key to the run position (motor not running) for ten minutes until the security light stops flashing then it turns off. You have reset the BCM (body control module). Then turn the key off and the car will now start. In the future when you go to start the car and it don't start the first time, the second time keep turning it over until it actually starts. I have had no problem starting it since I take this approach. I have been told this is an anti-flooding feature??? This problem has left me sitting at many different places for ten minutes at a time. I think this is the reason GM put a clock in their cars so you could actually time how long ten minutes is before your car will start!!!!!! Hope this saves you a tow call and bullshit from a mechanic.

- , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

problem #4

Aug 282007

(reported on)

Alero 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

Had no problems with the car till we hit 70K. Since them it is falling apart. Windows falling out of the tracks, Plastic clips, radio changes presets on its own, Blower motor stopped working. The list goes on. I can see from this site that I'm not the only one who bought into a money pit.

- , Madison, WI, USA

problem #3

Jul 122007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

car wont start because of security system. would leave you stranded in a parking lot. it would think you're breaking in and would not start

- , Sharon, TN, USA

problem #2

Apr 242007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

Right before Christmas, the car would not start... it would turn over, and you could hear the fuel pump kick in and then kick off. My husband called one of our friend's who is a local mechanic and he told us how to reset the pass lock system but that only a dealer could actually fix the pass lock system. we took the car to the local dealership and got it fixed to the tune of nearly $600. Less than a month ago, my daughter got stranded at my sister's home. I went out and did the same reset trick that I did once before and it started. I took it back to the dealership the next day and the pass lock system was redone once again; then this pass weekend, the security light came on and stayed on most of the day, although it started fine. The next day when we started the car, the light had gone off. I called the dealership and was told that they do not think it's the same problem but rather that it could be a module problem or even a fluke thing! I just hope it's a fluke think and continues to run b/c my 17 yr old daughter is driving the car. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Also, I agree, there needs to be a recall on these items on this car!

- , Arkadelphia, AR, USA

problem #1

Mar 192007

(reported on)

Alero V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

When you don't lock the door every time you get out of the car and you go to restart the car the security light comes on thinking that the car is being stolen and shuts down the fuel pressure. Each time I have had it towed (three times) the tow truck driver thinks he can get it to start but fails. I took the suggestion of another posting, to put the key in the ignition and turn to the on position for about 10 minutes or so, when the security light goes off turn the key to the off and then try to start. Worked like a charm. I found a website (keyless ride) that sells remotes for half the price the dealers wanted, but the key still has to be programed by the dealer. When i called the dealer service department i told him this was going to fix my security light problem. He asked how i knew, i suggested that he as well as all gm service employees need to do research instead of trying to charge customers for unnecessary repairs. I suggest that anyone who feels robbed by your dealer contact your state deptartment of motor vehicles to complain since they typically oversee auto dealer repair complaints. good luck to everyone

- , Ventura, CA, USA