How To Replace GM Passlock Ignition Key Lock Cylinder and Relearn Procedure

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NOTE: These instructions and pictures show how to replace the Ignition Lock Cylinder for the following vehicles:
2004 – 2005 Chevy Classic
2000 – 2005 Chevy Impala (Includes 04-05 Impala SS)
1997 – 2003 Chevy Malibu
2000 – 2005 Chevy Monte Carlo (Includes 04-05 Monte Carlo SS)
1999 – 2004 Oldsmobile Alero
1997 – 1999 Oldsmobile Cutlass
1998 – 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue
1999 – 2005 Pontiac Grand Am


 The ignition lock cylinder contains the pass-lock security chip that is extremely common to fail on the above vehicles. A typical symptom of failure is the security light illuminating on the dash. Also keep in mind the electronic ignition switch is located just behind the lock cylinder. It is the plastic part that the ignition lock cylinder fits into. It contains the actual electrical connections and wiring and it sends current to numerous different components. This part is not as common as the lock cylinder, however many times it also needs replacement. You can purchase both the lock cylinder & electrical ignition switch below. A proper diagnosis is needed to verify these parts are failed or possibly failing intermittently.

OEM: ACDelco D1493F Ignition Lock Cylinder & ACDelco D1432D Electronic Ignition Switch


Aftermarket: Standard Motor Products Electronic Ignition Switch & ACDelco Ignition Lock Cylinder

Removal and installation:

  1. Remove Trim panel around radio, usually held in with snap-in clips, some vehicles may have a screw or two
  2. Unbolt and remove the radio to gain access to the back of the lock cylinder
  3. Press the small release tab (see pictures) While turning key to the ON Position
  4. Slide out old lock cylinder
  5. Installation is the reverse of the above procedures, see below for the relearn procedure

Pre-Relearn Procedure Check List

  1. Fully Charge Battery
  2. Clear all Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC). Record and/or repair your DTCs before clearing. You can clear the codes by disconnecting the battery for 10 minutes.

Relearn Procedure

  1. Turn ON the ignition, with the engine OFF
  2. Attempt to start the engine, then release the key to ON (vehicle will not start)
  3. Observe the SECURITY telltale, after approximately 10 minutes the telltale will turn OFF
  4. Turn OFF the ignition, and wait 5 seconds
  5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 two more times for a total of 3 cycles/30 minutes (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)


    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.


  6. Start the engine (the vehicle has now learned the Passlock™ Sensor Data Code and/or password)
  7. With a scan tool, clear any DTCs if needed (history DTCs will self clear after 100 ignition cycles)


ASE Certified Technician

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63 Responses

  1. Phil says:

    I replaced the lock cylinder and ignition switch, followed the relearn procedure and car will not start. Anything else I could do?

    • Mellow says:

      Did you use a scan tool? Step 8. With a scan tool clear any DTC’s.
      I was going to switch out the ignition lock cylinder with an AC Delco part but the instructions that come with it state you must use a scan tool. Since the scan tools cost a couple of hundred dollars. Guess I will have to take it to a dealer for a diagnosis and repair. Cars now are not friendly for back yard mechanics because of the technology built into the vehicles prevents do it yourselfers from saving big bucks on repair. They have to go to the dealer.

      • Eric says:

        I know this reply is belated, but you could simply use a smartphone/computer to clear the codes on your car yourself. You can get an ELM327 usb/bluetooth/wifi device and use an application like torque(android) to reset the DTC in the comfort of your own garage. Technology built into vehicles does not prevent do it yourselfers – it simply requires diffrent tools. At 15 dollars i dont think this is out reach for anyone wanting to work on thier own car.

        • loretta says:

          So are you saying if i buy this i can reset my security system on this damn car its a 2002 monte carlo ss and it has given me grief since i bought it and i have a heart condition that i have to go to doctors allot and ive missed my last 3 appts because my car has a mind of its own wants to start when it decides, I need this reset to were it doesnt do this to me can you tell me if this will work. I live on disability and cant afford much but i need my car to be reliable it wont start at all now and i have a doctors appt in 3 days any help would be greatly appreciated

  2. Daniel says:

    yeh same here i just replaced the one in my 2000 chevy silverado because the passlock cylinder was bad installed a new one and still the start the die immediately condition…how can i fix this?

  3. Joel says:

    If the vehicle starts and then dies immediately, then most likely you are still in the middle of the relearn process. All you have to do is follow the relearn process for your specific year, make, and model. The relearn procedures varies by vehicle model and some models require programming at a dealership. However with all of that said, 9 times out of 10 you just need to finish the relearn procedure and it will start like a champ.

  4. Randy Brown says:

    What if the key hole is locked up and wont turn so you can release it and replace it?

    • Dick Woodcock says:

      If the key is locked up, you may be stuck also replacing the switch that the lock cylinder is mounted in. There may be a way to drill it out, but I don’t know how.
      To get the whole switch out, I believe you have to pull the instrument cluster to get to the other side. The cluster isn’t much harder to pull than the radio. The worst part about it is buying a new switch. It’s more expensive than the lock cylinder.

    • Jacob G says:

      If your cylinder is locked up theres two ways of doing it. 1- Stick the key into the ignition and use the handle of a screw driver and start to tap it fairly hard. make sure to hit the top AND bottom portion in order to engage the tumbler. the other way is to drill down the middle of the cylinder to dismantle the entire locking mechanism so you can turn it freely. way 2 is how the process is done at the dealership. i found way one myself.

      • slleebe says:

        Jacob–when you drill out the lock, how do you know how far to go. In other words, how do you avoid drilling into the switch? Also, can you give me some specifics on how to pull it once it is drilled out?

  5. JIm says:

    I followed all the instructions and found that I only had to go through the relearn 10 minute process once. The “security system” light flashed for the 10 minutes, then it would start up just fine with no security system light. Just thought I would comment on this in case others had this same thing happen.

    Appreciate the help. It saved me a ton from what a repair shop wanted.

  6. D Kmberly Thompson says:

    I have been having this problem too. except that now the whole system goes black. then calibrate comes acrossed the radio. I have a 2003 grand am. auto part store said that it was the switch. so i replaced it already and still the same thing

  7. Lynn says:

    I just had the dealership replace my ignition key lock cylinder and passlock system in my 2004 Monte Carlo SS. Now the left half of my instrument panel is about 30% dimmer than my right side. Even the speedometer is dimmer on the 0-60 mph side, but the 65-155 mph side is just as bright at is was before they fixed my car.. Could the tech have loosened a wire or something to cause the dimness on the instrument panel.

  8. sammy says:

    here is the problem mine just all of a sudden froze up and i know you got to turn the key half way and puch the little button down in back and slide it out here is the problem the key wont turn becasue it froze up i spryed super lube in there i have put compreste air in there, so i cant push the little button in back to slide it out and i cant figuar out a way to get it out tommarow im going to run a drill threw it and tear it out if you got any sugg. please tell me

  9. Rodger Long says:

    If the lock won’t turn at all even with the key the EASY way to get lock out is to drill for the spring used to keep the retainer on. Look at the line drawing, you drill carefully IN FRONT of the hole where the retainer is, keeping that area intact. Once you drill through the housing and hit the retainer spring keep drilling until the spring is cut in half. Next just pull the retainer out of the housing and remove the lock.

  10. walter says:

    my 2002 oldsmobile intrigue want start i replaced the starter,ignition switch,and the battery.still nothing the security light goes off still nothing i i dont no wut else to do

  11. Kelly White says:

    I have an 88 corvette that has the VATS system. Someone stole my only key. I have purchased a non-vats ignition lock for my car. How do I bypass the VATS and use just the standard lock and make it start?

    • chuck says:

      you probably have your vette fixed by now but i did the same thing on a cutlass, you need to get the dealer to tell you the key resistance and put in a resistor in the car side of the harness that the tumbler plugs into. this only will work for the key with the resister in it.

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  13. FooFlinger says:

    I have a 97 olds cutlass, the ignition locked up and the key wil not turn,the auto parts store wants a $160.00 for a new lock, how can I bypass this I dont care if I have to use a screwdriver to start it from now on. Steve

  14. BRIAN says:

    i waited over 20 minutes and the theft system light still will not go off

  15. Mark James says:

    Key is hard to operate on my 2002 4 cyl. Grand Am SE. I wait 24 hours and it tries to start then no fire after 2/3 of a second. No security light flashing. Key has to be giggled to start for past year. Any ideas?

  16. Allishia L. says:

    I have a 2003 Chevy Monte Carlo my car starts most of the time, but sometimes it flashes “Security” and does not start for about 10 minutes. Based on this article, I’m wondering if I can just do the process listed above, and see if my system will relearn the code. I am going to try it out, and see if it works.

    Thanks for the post!!

  17. Anthony says:

    Sometimes if you cant release the key you just have to wiggle your auto trans shifter when it is in park. wiggle it up and down and it should click. your key should release.

  18. dave says:

    I replaced the ignition cylinder in my 2003 grand am, now it start’s fine.Thank;s for posting pic of the release button. Only thing now the security light stays on but hasn’t afected anything yet, any sugestion’s??

  19. r. adams says:

    On a 1988 mercedes 190e if I drill out ignition switch at location of retaining pin will the ignition relaease and come out when in the off position? I cannot turn the key to ACC.

  20. r. adams says:

    I have tried every other option short of drilling out ignition. I cannot find a site that has video on this or clear instructions. The ignition acted funny one time then quit working. I really hate removing the dash. That never turns out good.

  21. charles says:

    my passlock has already been bypassed on 2003 alero. lost keys to car and replaced ignition lock cylinder. car starts fine, but will not turn off. Any suggestions?

  22. George says:

    I tried the above steps and it wont work. The security light will not go off. It just keeps alternating from battery light to the security light. I tried this 3 times with no luck. I guess I’ll try to unhook the battery, and unplug the ignition switch and try it all over again.

  23. paul says:

    it looks like I’m the only 1 that paid attention on your site of the actual steps to retrain the keys work for me I thank you so much

  24. johnny says:

    My problem is the key slot is physically damaged so i can insert a key but i cant turn it. Therefore i am unable to release it with the tab.
    I understand there is a certain spot that can be drilled to release the cylinder.
    Can you help me here with specifics?

  25. John B. says:

    I have a 2005 Impala and the key would not turn. I removed the entire lock assembly then drilled the lock spring and removed the lock cylinder. I was able to repair the cylinder so it now turns as it should, then replaced the whole unit and reconnected all the plugs. Next I went through the relearn procedure cause although the ignition turned it would not crank. The telltale on the dash just blinks from ‘change engine oil’ to a picture of the battery to ‘security’. After the third time I switch to OFF then CRANK with nothing still. I’ve even waited 30-35 minutes with key in ON position but the telltale never stops. Any ideas? I’ve checked the Passlock connection and everything is as it should be – I’m stumped. Would appreciate any help.

  26. Dave H. says:

    For my 1998 Intrigue, the security light is on solid with the key in the ON position.
    Seat belt light may flash, but no flashing security light, just a solid red security light.

    The learn procedure does not work for me when the security light is on.
    The car will not start, only turns maybe a quarter rotation, and stops.

    For me, the idea is to do the learn procedure with the security light OFF.

    The Intrigue stopped on the road, and would not start. 136,000 miles on the odometer.
    I was getting P0300 codes from my OBDII.

    I replaced the Ignition Control Module (ICM) and Ignition Coils.
    I had a grinding, sqealing sound, so I replaced the starter as well, which took care of the noise.

    For my 1998 Old Intrigue, the security light goes off immediately after trying to start,
    if you only release the key to the ON position. (Do NOT turn to OFF position.)

    After attempting to start, leave it in the ON position, with the security light OFF.
    Wait 10 minutes.
    Next, turn to the OFF position for 30 seconds.

    Repeat three times (with the security light OFF).

    I have a plain metal key, there is no remote start.

    Now the car finally cranks over, but does not kick in (No RPM’s, except for a small jump on the
    needle when I end the start attempt).

    If you have a buddy, open the gas cap and turn the key to the ON position.
    You should be able to hear the fuel pump engage.

    Next replacement will be the crankshaft sensor. I bought the part, but that takes special
    tools that I do not have, so I will have that crankshaft sensor installed.

  27. chris says:

    I have a 2002 Monte carlo. I have security light issues like everybody else. The car cranks but no start. I replaced the ignition swith and key lock cylinder with passlock sensor. I tried the re learn but it kept blinking on the 3rd cycle. Any suggestions? Im wondering if it is the BCM? Or is the re learn for this car only 10 mins? Can you change the BCM and get it to start and then take it to the dealership to get it programmed?

  28. Kilo says:

    I am having the same issue with my 2003 Chevy Impala. The car will not start and I have done the relearn process, but my Security light is no flashing, it just comes up in a cycle of alerts, Service Engine Soon, Low Fuel, Low Washer fluid, etc. Is there something that I did wrong? I have read somewhere that you can’t have the door open and some other stuff. Please help

  29. patrick says:

    OK i don’t know what to do i have a 2000 Monte Carlo and had to replace the ignition and mine starts runs and drives how do i turn off the security light

  30. kaye says:

    I have a 1998 olds intrigue. i cannot get the ignition key out of the ignition. why is this and what do i do to get it out?

  31. Douglas Stanny says:

    I drilled out the show under. Replaced with a new one. It only took I believe 1 cycle my car started but he door chimes don’t sound nor does my key chain lock work. It was an easy sex the car runs great just the door chimes now. Any suggestions

  32. Douglas Stanny says:

    okay now I get it the reason why the door chime she did not work was because I did not have the radio connected. Now security system works great thanks for your help

  33. Wes says:

    To the vats question. You can put vats to sleep but you need a key with the right resistor or a resistor to put in line. Start the car remove the resistor then shut the car off. It is now sleeping and will now work with a regular key. Next removing the ingintion with no key or one that will not work. GM uses a side bar locks you will notice that the slot for the key is offset. The side bar is on the wider side. Drill half way from top to bottom about 1/4 inch from the key slot toward the wide side. Drill a 1/8 inch then look should see a piece of rectangular metal if not drill again. Have to pull that piece of metal out then the lock will turn.

  34. MALABU OWNER says:

    a 2000 monte carlo is a no start after changing ing switch and doing the 30 min re-learn procedure listed .(dash mount) can’t get to work so out of money and no credit cards NEED HELP THANKS

  35. Joe says:

    Make sure your battery in the vehicle is clean and fully charged! Just worked for my son, thanks!!

  36. Darrell says:

    I have a 2000 chey malibu that will not It doesn’t have any spark.Tha theift light is on. So i tried to clear it buy turning the key to on for ten min. Then of for 5 sec. I did that 3 times but still no spark

  37. Lorne says:

    2005 Impala. key will not turn easily once inserted into ignition. It will eventually but not without numerous tries. Do I have to replace ignition tumblers and if so can I do it without dash removal? Any ideas on a quick fix?

  38. Amiri says:

    I took my car to the dealer for the key recall on my 2000 Oldsmobile intrigue on 12/22/2014 two days later my security light comes on and won’t start up until 10 mins waiting for the light to stop flashing; Today 12/26/2014 i was about to go and the security came on & drained my battery, so i have to get someone to jump it, been going through this a year now, car runs great just when the light comes on its all bad, im so frustrated!

  39. Chris Wascher says:

    So posting this here. I have messed with this just once so far and worked out great. First thing here with this bypass, the security light will stay on. With that being said after the bypass, no learn process will be needed. The vehicle will start every time.

  40. Chris Wascher says:

    So for the bypass I opened up the culumn and traced down the pass lock wire. Once I found this wire I cut it and homed out the wire in the start position. Once I did this I got a resistor with the corresponding resistance, and wired it in. Once that is done, put everything back together and drive on. With no start up issues anymore. Only thing with this bypass is the security light will stay on when you are driving.

  41. D says:

    My 2002 Malibu won’t turn to the on position? How can I fix this?

  42. Jahzma says:

    I have an 2001 Alero that the key keeps sticking and won’t turn. I am thinking of changing the ignition key lock cylinder to see if that helps. When it does turn the car starts with no problem. My question is would it be acceptable to use a used cylinder from a junk yard? Seems much cheaper than the $150 that the autoparts want.

  43. gil says:

    COST 800 to do my car key wouldnt turn so the drilled threw and repalced everything my question is if the drilled threw it how did we end up with the same set of keys are they saying eveery 2003 malibu keys and key hole are the same same they just all have different program to be reset

  44. Cathy Tropiano says:

    2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue — Security Light!

    I’m having the same problem as everyone else. My security light comes on when driving and when I do the 10-minute quick fix it seemed to work until today! This morning I got in the car and I did the quick-fix for 3 times for 10 minutes and the car still won’t start. My mechanic knows about my issue and he’s on his way around the house to get my car! It’s extremely frustrating cause I never ever had a problem with this car until the security light. I’m hoping my mechanic can figure it out!


  45. robert says:

    I have a 03 impala it had a 3.4 and it in i replaced it with a 3800 no q en I turn da key to crank it it doesn’t turn over but if I leave. Da key on in start it from starter it runs for 2seconds in shut down can someone please help me with this

  46. Dave says:

    Thank you.
    2004 Monte Carlo ignition switch reset took only 20 minutes did the process twice fired right up.

  47. Amanda says:

    I have a 2004 Impala with the passlocm enfagrd. What is the next step if the re-learn procedures do not work? I tried for hours and the Security light never stops blinking. I can not even shift the car to neutral to tow it. Any idea’s would be greatly appreciated, the dealer will not help and I have only had the car 30 days.

  48. Santino says:

    Followed everything you described above. Only difference on my 2003 Impala LS is that you have to remove the bottom metal panel under the steering wheel instead of removing the radio. Whenever I removed the radio, there was no gap to get to the ignition. It was a solid piece of plastic. Other than that, did the relearn process as listed and car is running and starting perfectly. Thank you.

  49. Goldpanner says:

    This swap was so easy. The key position NEEDS to be in the acc position. Everything else went smooth. One thing you mentioned was car would not start…..mine fired up right away!

  50. Rene Peralez says:

    Just replaced ignition cylinder in my 2004 Malibu classic due to theft system light staying on and not starting, did relearn procedure but still won’t start. Someone please let me know what else I need to do?

  1. October 25, 2013

    […] – See more at: How To Remove/Replace GM Passlock Ignition Key Lock Cylinder Replacement and Relearn/Recode Procedur… […]

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