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1998 Pontiac Bonneville SE wont start

05-17-2007, 02:33 PM
I am working on a friend's 98 Pontiac Bonneville SE with the 3.8L, because one day it just stopped starting on her. I had the started tested, and it was bad, so I replaced it. The car still did not start. The cable from the positive battery terminal to starter is good, the solenoid switch wire is good, all fuses have checked to be good. The neutral safety switch is good. I replaced the starter enable relay, and I am getting power from the ignition switch to the relay, but I am still getting a no start situation. If I run a jumper from the positive battery terminal to the solenoid switch terminal, the car will turn over and start, then shut down after running for three seconds. The ignition switch turns on all accessories, and I can hear it turn on the fuel pump, buyt the new starter enable relay still does not click when I turn the key to start. The security light stays on constantly, and I have tried to reset the system by leaving the battery unhooked overnight, but no luck, still on. I tried cleaning the terminals on the chip in the key, and it made no difference. Is there a way I can reset or disable the security system? I guess the only other thing it could be is something with the ignition switch, but it seems like it is working fine to me since it is sending power to the relay in start position. Any help is greatly appreciated, I am getting very frustrated on what should have been a simple job.

05-18-2007, 08:42 AM
Welcome to AF, congrats on an excellent description of your problem. It could be the wire to the ign key cyl are broken, common issue. Get to the wires coming out of the bottom of the column, find 2 small white wires, not the yellow air bag ones! Disconnect that connector, check the resistance of the key chip, go to a Radio Shack and get a selection of resistors that match the key, jump it across the body side of the connnector, see if it starts.

03-18-2009, 09:32 PM
Hi there.... I have read quite a few of these threads that have been posted. This sounds a lot like the problem I am having w/my 96 Bonneville. She won't start & when you start to turn the key everything seems normal, however, when you actually try to start the car there is nothing happening. Also, the security light keeps flashing at me. I would like to try to disable the VATS if possible, how would you check the resistance in the key chip to get the correct resistor for the bypass method described by HotZ28 & Maxwedge. I would appreciate any help and suggestions that you all have(sometimes us girls need all the help we can get). Would you be able to use an MSD chip as a resistor?

03-18-2009, 10:17 PM
To check the resistance in the key's chip, you will need a multimeter. You would touch the multimeter to the silver line on the chip, one on either side of the key, and then read the resistance on the multimeter.

Or, you could probably take the key into a Radioshack or equivalent store, tell them you need to figure out the resistance in the key, and that you need a resistor that matches that value. I don't believe an MSD chip will work, unless you know the exact resistance of it.

03-27-2009, 10:33 PM
hmmm seems weird.. So the security light is not supposed to blink when you put the key in the ignition.? Seems as if im having a similar problem and ill discuss on this thread if possible.
Only difference is im getting a click. Someone said flywheel, Im hoping not.
and ive jumped batery and terminal under the hood. But im getting the 1 click as if the starter is failing.. Took old startter off and replaced with new starter from autozone. Come to find out, after testing at autozone, old starter is still good. :shame:
As far as checking for resistance and stuff like that, i dont think i have a tool for that unless its a cheap or everyday tool. I have that lil tool that u hook up to the negative and check for HOT or hook it to HOT to check for ground. Please help before i pay to get a mech to take the flywheel. thanks.

big white bufflo
03-31-2009, 09:32 AM
I have a car with simular issues what is the resistance on the key i have one key reading 0 and one key at 2 and one at 4 ohm what is a good reading

03-31-2009, 08:01 PM
You can go to your local GM dealer & ask a technician to check the resistance with an OHM meter. The dealer can also look it up or use a key reader to check this. We did the bypass after finding out the value of the resister(there are 15 different resister values). Once we found the proper wires(2 white wires in an orange sleeve underneath the steering column) it was simple enough to do at home. This saved a lot of money. There is a video on youtube on how to do a "GM BYPASS". Good luck, I hope this helps you.

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