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Glitch or real problem?

11-18-2011, 01:16 PM
For the last day the "Security" light has been on at my dashboard, and even though I feel nothing wrong with the car, what really is the issue? What should I check? Maybe a wiring connection or fuse? My 1994 Lesabre will thank you for it.

Blue Bowtie
11-25-2011, 08:58 AM
Turn in the ignition without starting the engine, and watch the light. It should turn on for about 5-8 seconds then turn off. If it remains on there may be a problem with the VATS system detecting the correct key resistance.

The system uses two leaf contacts in the outer end of the ignition lock cylinder to connect to the resistor pellet embedded into the key blank just below the bow. The wiring from these leaf contacts travels down along the steering column wire harness, where it connects to the vehicle harness at the base of the column. Usually, the VATS wiring in the column is in an orange covered cable, sometimes black, and has a lone two-wire connector (no other circuits in the cable). The circuit continues from there to the VATS decoder module via purple/white and white/black wires.

It is common for the leaf contacts and/or the resistor pellet on the key bow to become contaminated to the point where the VATS decoder module cannot correctly sense the pellet resistance, or cannot sense any resistance at all. This would usually cause a no crank/no start situation. Cleaning the key pellet and leaf contacts can frequently restore system operation. Because of the risk of contamination and other reasons, NO liquid lubricants should ever be used on the ignition lock cylinder. The generally accepted lubricant for ANY lock cylinder, whether a plate or pin type mechanism, is powdered graphite ONLY. This especially applies to VATS ignition lock cylinders.

Tech II
11-25-2011, 03:01 PM
If you have a VATS problem, and it happens AFTER you start the car, the car goes into a backup mode and a code is set, the light is on constantly, but the car will continue to start ......if you clear the code, and don't fix the problem, and the problem is present as you try to start the car, it won't start now.....

The most common problem in the VATS system, is the wiring to the lock cylinder....... every time you turn the key, you flex those wires, and over time, one of the wires may break....sometimes they break but the insulation doesn't......this causes an intermittant problem.....if one of them breaks completely, then there is a no start condition.....

big white bufflo
11-27-2011, 08:45 AM
first try cleaning the key with alcohal or try the key that is used the least keys get worn with use and wont make contact

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