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99 Malibu: Turns Won't Start, No Dash Lights: NO PASSLOCK

08-07-2007, 11:47 AM
Hi everyone.
We're fighting with a 1999 Chevy Malibu, and it's winning.
Here's the problem...
It's turning over, but it won't start. The battery is fine. The fuses appear to be fine. There are no dashboard lights.
We have no idea where to go from here. Any help is appreciated.
We have read the magnitude of user problems that say it's related to Passlock. This car does not have Passlock, but we tried the suggestions anyway (leaving the key "on" for 15 minutes ... didn't work; disconnected the battery for 15 minutes ... didn't work).
I initially thought fuel pump until I realized the dashboard lights don't work. And there is no chime with the keys left inside the ignition and the car in park with doors open.
Of course some of the electrical still works (such as windows, aftermarket stereo, air conditioner fan, trunk release, etc.)
When we turn the key "on" but don't try to start the engine, we can hear a click of some sort that apparently comes from the starter.
And oddly enough, about 2 weeks ago I pulled into a gas station to get gas. I knew I was running real low. After filling up, the car was difficult to start. It took a couple of minutes to finally start. I figured I had literally coasted into the station on fumes and that I had run out of gas so it had to prime itself (I guess that is right term). Since the car started, I didn't think twice about it. Then yesterday it happened again, and now it won't start at all.
And yes, we went and got gas and put that in too just to rule out a faulty gas guage.
What should we try now?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
-- Brent

08-07-2007, 07:21 PM
It is probably either a fuel delivery problem or a "fire" problem.

1) Replaced the wires?
2) Checked the ignition coils?
3) Checked the ignition module?
4) maybe the fuel pump burned up.

08-07-2007, 07:44 PM
I'm sure your car has passlock, they started putting it on many gm vehicles since 96. I also have a 99 malibu and it does have passlock. When the guage lights and such came on did you have a light on the left side that said " theft system" or something along those lines?? Anyway, I had the same problem with mine and the way I fixed it was unplug the sensor in the ignition switch. The way to do that is, pull the trim around the key switch and then the trim around the radio. Also pull the dash bezel trim that goes all the way from side to side of the dash, and its real easy to get to if you pull the instrument cluster out also. Then it takes a 10 mm socket on the two bolts of the ignition switch. Kinda pull the switch up through where the cluster was and unplug the wires in the bottom, I think the plugs are white and blue, then put the key in turn it on enough to put the car in neutral and then the cable running into the ignition switch will come right out. Then its easier to get the lock cylinder out, turn the key to the run position and then locate the release plunger ( use screwdriver to press it in ) then the cylinder will come out. There will be a little black clip in plug on the bottom with 3 small wires running to it, press the tabs on both sides and pull it out. then put the cylinder back in and follow reverse procedure and it should work. If not I will see what else I can find out for ya.

08-08-2007, 04:23 AM
first check what did not turn it on with the key in the on position if the automatic headlights the dash lights tand the fuel pump did not turn on and did the temp and gas guages go up if not then it is most likely it is the ignition switch i had this problem and after i changed it works fine

that switch is not cheap though it was $115 at autozone

btw if u take those wires out of the key cylinder and leave them out the car might think it is being hot wired

that clicking is the fuel injectors

08-08-2007, 07:55 AM
What About the check engine is it on or what about the service vehicle soon light are those on.

02-28-2009, 05:15 AM
I bet the fuel pump filter is clogged with dirt and debris from the tank.
I ran an old throttle body injected blazer out of gas once, and it sucked trash into the filter on the pump. The pump was inside the gas tank, and it was a REAL pain in the ass to drain the tank, remove the tank, and then replace filter and pump.

The Nannybu is probably going to be even more expensive to get that done, if thats what it is. I always fill up at least at 1/8 tank.

02-28-2009, 05:17 AM
The ignition switch for the 99 Nannybu can be $200! Mine quit working once and disabled my car. It was $60 for the tow, and $250+ for the ignition switch and labor. Always use factory keys!

04-24-2010, 10:39 PM
Mine does a very similar thing. I have a 2000 Malibu and what happens is that I turn the key and my cluster shows nothing. I can crank her up, it starts and immediately the engine shuts off. What I do is just turn the key on and off several times until my cluster comes back on. I don't start the car just turn the key. If that doesnt work i'll go and crank it up to where it doesnt turn on it just cranks a little bit then that will get the gauges to work. Once the guages are on or there is that annoying chime I know the engine will turn and stay on.

At first I thought it was the ignition switch but I replaced it ($85 at oreilly's) but it still does the same problem. I even replaced the ignition switch with a new one just today and still the same. I don't know exactly what the problem is yet but hopefully I can figure it out. I've had this problem for about a year now.

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