No Codes, No Start ... 1999 Sunfire


Denman123a
09-07-2009, 04:47 PM
I've looked back 15 pages and haven't found this one: the key will turn on the ignition, power windows etc, but won't turn far enough to crank the motor. I did the "learn the key" routine per the passive anti-theft sequence about 27 times, no luck. When in "run" I can crank the motor under the hood (B+ to S) and it starts for a few seconds then dies. Removing the ignition switch and turning it manually also makes it run a few seconds then die. My OBDII reader gets nothing, dead, key on or not. The reader does work in my other car. I've been chasing this one for two days and am like :banghead:, .... any thoughts would be welcome prior to dragging this thing down to the dreaded GM dealer, .... thx, ... Dennis

exalteduser
09-08-2009, 02:39 PM
ok. if they "key wont turn past on position" like its jammed,
maybe its worth replacing whether it fixes the issue or not. if its wont turn now its not going to turn later. unless im unaware of some likely anti theft mechanism that locks it from start position.

in all likelihood your answer lies in the anti theft crap, do a search of anti theft and read through the various problems and solutions

instead of going back pages, use the "search this forum thing" it goes back years :P

Denman123a
09-08-2009, 02:52 PM
ok. if they "key wont turn past on position" like its jammed,
maybe its worth replacing whether it fixes the issue or not. if its wont turn now its not going to turn later. unless im unaware of some likely anti theft mechanism that locks it from start position.

in all likelihood your answer lies in the anti theft crap, do a search of anti theft and read through the various problems and solutions

instead of going back pages, use the "search this forum thing" it goes back years :P

thanks exalteduser (http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/member.php?u=396437) for the tips, .... today I refreshed all the fuses (they all test "good") and pulled the block terminals off the PCM, sprayed them clean and reassembled. Now there's response to my code reader "no codes" so I'm currently doing the "learn key" sequence in case there's some anti-theft glitch there. I'll report back, and when I solve this thing there will be jubilation, .... I'm on day four of going around this pole :banghead:

disignition
09-08-2009, 04:06 PM
I don't believe your theft system has anything to do with your starter issue. This passlock system is injector disable. I agree with Exaulteduser, I'd check the lock cylinder and ignition switch. I'm not sure if the tranny is automatic?

Denman123a
09-08-2009, 05:50 PM
I don't believe your theft system has anything to do with your starter issue. This passlock system is injector disable. I agree with Exaulteduser, I'd check the lock cylinder and ignition switch. I'm not sure if the tranny is automatic?

thanks disignition, it's AT, ... when I pulled the ignition switch off the lock cylinder and twisted it as the keylock would it started but quit in a few seconds. I tricked the fuel pump relay to run full time and still no start. That would support your "injector disable" theory, which gets us back to the PCM and passlock areas. And with the ignition on and I hot-wire the starter, it starts'n'quits. And around the pole we go. I've got some GM dealers in the area so tomorrow will ask around and see if they can take the PCM over the counter and check it out, or do they need the car (and I need a tow). :shakehead Edit Answer: they need the whole car to do PCM work; I found that out today from Mr Goodwrench :)

Airjer_
09-08-2009, 11:26 PM
With everything assembled and the key turned to the run position the car will still start and stall if you jump the starter to get the car started?

Before replaceing or checking any thing else you need to resolve the key not turning to the crank position first. With out that happening nothing else you do will help make anything better. Get the key situation handled and work your way through the other problems, if they persist, after.

manicmechanix
09-09-2009, 03:14 AM
With everything assembled and the key turned to the run position the car will still start and stall if you jump the starter to get the car started?

Before replaceing or checking any thing else you need to resolve the key not turning to the crank position first. With out that happening nothing else you do will help make anything better. Get the key situation handled and work your way through the other problems, if they persist, after.


I agree. If the ignition isn't physically turning all the way to the start position and it's a passlock system the code to enable the injector might not be getting to the PCM. At any rate, the ignition switch is not working properly. Assuming it's an AT, maybe your gearshifter interlock is jamming up. Have you tried shifting the gear shifter through the range to see if it will then crank?

Denman123a
09-09-2009, 09:27 AM
I agree. If the ignition isn't physically turning all the way to the start position and it's a passlock system the code to enable the injector might not be getting to the PCM. At any rate, the ignition switch is not working properly. Assuming it's an AT, maybe your gearshifter interlock is jamming up. Have you tried shifting the gear shifter through the range to see if it will then crank?

thanks manicmechanix (http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/member.php?u=603014), it's AT, .... I tried to key start in all gears, no luck but certainly worth a try. Yesterday I pulled the block terminals off the PCM and sprayed them with contact cleaner and now I have response to my code reader where before there was none. Still no start. I have a band of three tiny wires coming out of my key lock cylinder and from other forums I understand that they report the electronic characteristics of the key to the PCM and if that negotiation goes OK then we can start. Thus when I remove the switch itself and crank it as the key would it start-quits same as if I hot wire the starter. Two comments that condemn GM design: 1) there should be a fail-safe mode to allow one to limp the car to a shop, and 2) what an idiotic place to put sensitive electronics like a PCM. :nono: My Toyota and Diesel Dodge have them safely tucked inside the firewall. :grinno:

manicmechanix
09-09-2009, 04:45 PM
[QUOTE]thanks manicmechanix (http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/member.php?u=603014), it's AT, .... I tried to key start in all gears, no luck but certainly worth a try. Yesterday I pulled the block terminals off the PCM and sprayed them with contact cleaner and now I have response to my code reader where before there was none. Still no start.

Did the connecter look corroded? Some year of Cavalier/Sunfire there was a corrosion problem at the PCM where it was located under the fender. I'm thinking this was 95-96 years though. Not sure why you weren't getting communication with your code reader before, but maybe it was coincidental.


I have a band of three tiny wires coming out of my key lock cylinder and from other forums I understand that they report the electronic characteristics of the key to the PCM and if that negotiation goes OK then we can start. Thus when I remove the switch itself and crank it as the key would it start-quits same as if I hot wire the starter.

This sounds like a theft lock issue. I think '99's used the theftlock system but maybe someone else can verify this. My memory is they all used the theftlock but proir to '99-'00 (?) the ignition code went through the instrument cluster and after that through a BCM. None of that really matters because either way your problem is probably the ignition cylinder.

Two comments that condemn GM design: 1) there should be a fail-safe mode to allow one to limp the car to a shop, and 2) what an idiotic place to put sensitive electronics like a PCM. :nono: My Toyota and Diesel Dodge have them safely tucked inside the firewall. :grinno:

There is a failsafe limp home mode once the car is running, but if you shut it off and your ignition switch is not working properly, it won't start. If it could be started without the ignition code it wouldn't be much of an anti-theft device. Where is your PCM located? At first GM tucked the PCM under the firewell on these models, but some of them had corrosion problems as I mentioned earlier.

Anyway I think you need to get to the bottom of why your ignition switch won't crank and then you'll probably get the car to run.

Denman123a
09-09-2009, 07:33 PM
[quote=Denman123a;6033786]

Did the connecter look corroded? Some year of Cavalier/Sunfire there was a corrosion problem at the PCM where it was located under the fender. I'm thinking this was 95-96 years though. Not sure why you weren't getting communication with your code reader before, but maybe it was coincidental. The PCM block terminals looked OK but obviously weren't since it made the difference in being able to interface with my code reader. I think I may have helped myself a bit doing that work. I also had the steering column covers off so the tech could do just his part, and I reinstalled them (a pita awkward bit of Leggo).




This sounds like a theft lock issue. I think '99's used the theftlock system but maybe someone else can verify this. My memory is they all used the theftlock but proir to '99-'00 (?) the ignition code went through the instrument cluster and after that through a BCM. None of that really matters because either way your problem is probably the ignition cylinder.
You're correct on this, Passlock or Passlock II not sure which.



There is a failsafe limp home mode once the car is running, but if you shut it off and your ignition switch is not working properly, it won't start. If it could be started without the ignition code it wouldn't be much of an anti-theft device. Where is your PCM located? At first GM tucked the PCM under the firewell on these models, but some of them had corrosion problems as I mentioned earlier.[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=3] My PCM is just ahead of the inner fender of the front right hand wheel, needing the wheel off and a horn removed. Craziness!

Anyway I think you need to get to the bottom of why your ignition switch won't crank and then you'll probably get the car to run.

Problem resolved, .... thanks folks who helped, particularly Manicmechanix, ... turned out to be the keylock coming apart a bit making the key hard to turn. The disturbance around the key invoked the Passlock system and there I was. I forced the lock to turn to "start" with a BIT of help of a wrench, it started in "theft" mode and I was able to limp down to Mr Goodwrench who fixed the lock and cleared the theft codes for one hour labor. All's well that ends well. :wink:

manicmechanix
09-09-2009, 08:52 PM
[quote=manicmechanix;6033968]

Problem resolved, .... thanks folks who helped, particularly Manicmechanix, ... turned out to be the keylock coming apart a bit making the key hard to turn. The disturbance around the key invoked the Passlock system and there I was. I forced the lock to turn to "start" with a BIT of help of a wrench, it started in "theft" mode and I was able to limp down to Mr Goodwrench who fixed the lock and cleared the theft codes for one hour labor. All's well that ends well. :wink:

Thanks for the reply and glad to hear you got it fixed and at a reasonable cost. Yeah that's where the PCM was on the 95-97s I've mostly worked on, under the right fender. I said firewall but meant fender, my mistake. They do seem to be sometimes slightly corrosion prone down there so it probably was a good idea to clean the connector out yourself. It sounds like it must've needed it.

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