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1993 Sedan Deville; 1997 Deville D'Elegance; 2010 DTS
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111 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A couple of issues have started around the same time. First, the security light is showing some sort of error. It continues to flash when the ignition is off and the alarm is not armed. Doors open, doors closed, locked by hand, uplocked by the power switch, etc., etc....doesn't matter; it'll flash for days if unarmed. When the alarm is armed and the door closes, it stays on solid, again for days. The only time it goes out in either situation is when the engine is running. Problem does not affect starting, and use of different ignition keys makes no difference.

Second, my neighbors have reported that the alarm will go off occasionally with no apparent reason, doing the honking\lights flashing thing for a couple of minutes, then shutting down. This is a very intermittent issue (maybe twice a week?), but it's never happened before, and having this problem about when the security light behavior was first noticed is suspicious.

Third, my battery drained out to nothing with the security light on over a period of about a week with no driving. Part of the time the car was inactive the light was solid (it was initially armed) while the remainder of the time it was flashing (the alarm went off and I disarmed the system). I'm assuming that the drain is linked to the flashing\solid security light over a long period of time.

No relevant codes pop up. The official shop manual doesn't describe this exact sort of situation in regards to the theft deterrent system, though security light issues are addressed for the separate PASS-Key II system. Given the age of the car and what we use it for, I would have no problem permanently deactivating the deterrent system and alarm, but I'm not quite sure of the best way to approach the task.

Thanks for any advice you can provide...

Nick in Palm Springs
 

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1992 DeVille
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2,339 Posts
Hey nick in Palm Springs!

Did you post about this before? I vaguely remember a similar post but don't think it ever got resolved.

I and or other members might have mentioned a faulty door-ajar switch. Not sure if that was/is the problem in this case but that's where I'd start.
 

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1993 Sedan Deville; 1997 Deville D'Elegance; 2010 DTS
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111 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Nope, never posted about this before (I've been lucky to avoid such a thing in the 15 years I've owned this car). I'll check the door-ajar switches and I guess inspection of the cylinder and trunk tamper switches is in order as well.

I'm thinking, however, that it might be a more straightforward temporary "fix" to somehow disable the entire theft deterrent system, perhaps removing a fuse or a relay that drives the whole shebang. Defective sensor switches could be difficult to diagnose and if gone bad, pricey. If you have an idea of how to disarm the system, that might be a nice way to avoid dealing with the issue until the weather cools off where I live. It was 117 degrees here on the 17th, and this weekend will easily be in the 'teens as well; not exactly prime car fixin' conditions!

Thanks,

Nick in Palm Springs
 

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1992 DeVille
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2,339 Posts
I'll take a look in my fsm to see what I can find about temporarily disabling the system and get back. Hopefully someone knows off hand.

In the mean time you can always unhook the battery if you're gonna let the car sit for a while

----------

The door switches are easy to spot
 

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1993 Sedan Deville; 1997 Deville D'Elegance; 2010 DTS
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111 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Alas, the car is a semi-daily driver, so shutting her down isn't an option.

Thanks for checking the FSM...when my version started talking about utilizing GM testing unit J-35628-A (the amusingly named "Interrogator"), I figured that this was getting waaaaay more complicated than it needed to be.

Cheers,

Nick in Palm Springs
 

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1993 Sedan Deville; 1997 Deville D'Elegance; 2010 DTS
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111 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Just to follow up on this in case someone searches for a discussion on a similar problem...

My issue was a flashing "SECURITY" light that never stopped when the car ignition was off. Starting was fine. After about four or five days of constant flashing, the battery would drain out. Google searches for this (in this forum and elsewhere) revealed that a number of people have had a similar issue (e.g., "My security light has been flashing and when I went to start it up this morning, all I heard was a click"), but that most responders believed that the answer lay in either a faulty battery (thus ignoring the security light aspect) or had to do with the PASS-key II system, since a constantly flashing security light was one sign of trouble.

I didn't think my issue had anything to do with either the battery or the PASS-Key system. My battery, while not new, isn't that old, and I never had the draining problem until the security light started up. Moreover, my car started every time with every key I had, and once the engine kicked in, the security light went out within 5 seconds. Also, my neighbors had reported the occasional blaring of my alarm without anyone nearby. My bet was that this was related to the theft deterrent system and nothing else. FSM was pretty clear that the PASS-key system and the theft deterrent system were totally independent of each other.

I tried to follow the advice of "dchavezo" above to look at the trigger switches for the deterrent system. There's one in every door jam, plus one in each of the cylinder locks (two front doors and the trunk). I partially tested the door jam switches, confirming that they at least turned off the interior lights when the doors were shut. and also manually depressed them fully with the same result. I say "partially" because all that sort of test does is suggest that there isn't anything dramatically wrong with them (e.g., loose, completely broken, etc.). The interior light connector is only one of two, as a separate spade is there for the deterrent system. It's possible\likely that if the interior lights are triggered as designed, the jamb switches are also working for the deterrent system, at least that was what my assumption was.

The cylinder lock switches were another story. I couldn't figure out how to test them without digging into the frame of the car, especially for the two door locks. This just sounded like a lot of work with perhaps minimal payoff. While I suspect that "dchavezo" is right that it's a switch issue, and the possibility existed that it might be a computer problem, I wasn't sure I wanted to spend all days digging around for the cause.

So I decided to give the car a prefrontal lobotomy, at least in regards to the theft deterrent system. I figured that because the system was an option for this year and model, there was a good chance that disarming it wouldn't have negative consequences for some other aspect of the car. I don't really need an alarm (who breaks into a 22 year old car? and if they did, there's nothing I keep in it that's worth stealing), so getting rid of the whole shebang wouldn't be a big loss. It would also allow me to get the car driveable today, rather than spending days messing with lock cylinders or waiting for replacement parts.

The steps I took were as follows:
1) Disconnect cable from the negative terminal on the battery using an 8mm wrench (note: all references to bolts refer to the size of the head, not the threads).
2) Go under the left side (as if you are facing towards the front bumper) of the dash and remove the two 7mm bolts from the left side sound dampener as well as the cheap "wing nut" that helps hold it in place. The dampener is mostly to the immediate right of the drop down fuse panel, though the "wing nut" is in front (meaning towards the front bumper). The dampener (which is really just a plastic plate with some foam rubber glued on) will drop away.
3) Drop the fuse box panel like you were going to check out some fuses.
4) The fuse panel has two "arms" that attach it to the bracket under the dash. If you pull outward on the right arm, it'll detach from the bracket. At that point you can push the panel out of the way.
5) The brains of the deterrent system consists of a rectangular deterrant control module and a more squarish deterrent relay. Looking up into the dash, the relay will be sort of to the left of where the fuse panel was, and the module to the immediate front of the relay. My module had part number 6158276 on the label. What you are going to do is to simply pull the wiring harness connector to the module. You don't have to do anything to the relay. The problem is that the connector is locked to the module via a clip that's on top (meaning towards the roof of the car) of the module. You might have better luck than I unfastening the clip and pulling the connector while everything is in place, but I had to drop the module to do it.
6) There are three bolts that affix the module to a bracket hanging down from the dash. I removed the two in the rear with (I think) a 7/32" socket. The one in the front was difficult to access because some other wiring mess was blocking my socket driver. I wound up very carefully bending down the module which gave me access to the wiring clip.
7) A flathead screwdriver inserted between the clip and the module was used to unsnap it. At that point, the connector slid right off. With an abundance of caution I put a little duct tape on both the connector and the bare receptors of the module.
8) Installation, as they say, is the reverse of removal.

So far everything seems to be OK. The Security light does come on for five seconds when the ignition is turned on, which is exactly what it's supposed to under PASS-Key II. The flashing light when the car is shut off is gone, and I assume that the battery drain is gone as well. Power door locks, lights, horn, etc. etc. all seem to be working just fine.

Not the most elegant of solutions, but it got me back on the road...

Cheers,

Nick in Palm Springs
 

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93 Deville
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3 Posts
Thank you, Nick! I had the exact same issue. For months I had just resigned to plugging the car into the wall every night.

Your step-by-step was a perfect fix, thanks for the write-up. I can confirm everything you said: it's a hell of a time getting that connector out from around that wiring harness. Impossible to unbolt it fully. Just bend it down after you've got a couple blots out and use the long screwdriver on the back clip.
 

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1993 Sedan Deville; 1997 Deville D'Elegance; 2010 DTS
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111 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Landohanno:

Happy to hear that the instructions were helpful! I always figure that's it's good karma to write up the solution to a question one originally posted to the forum, because folks with similar problems are going to be searching for help just like I did.

It's now six months later for me and I've never had a problem with battery drain or false alarms since. I'm sure your experience will be the same!

Cheers,

Nick in Palm Springs
 

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1993 Sedan Deville
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7 Posts
I had the same problem on my 93. I removed the bulb from the dash and have had no issues since.
 

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91 Fltwd Coupe (93 Regal Coupe & 90 LSC SE)
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394 Posts
This information is interesting to me, thanks. I have bypassed VATS with a module soldered into the ignition wire but over the past month or so have found the alarm to go off as soon as it's engaged and the door shut. My battery did die while I was waiting a week or two to have my fried catalytic converter and clogged exhaust replaced. I returned that battery to Costco and upgraded to their larger more heavy duty 800 cold cranking amp battery for now just in case. I plan to drive the car at least a few times a week but that damned flashing SECURITY light was what I believe killed the battery; this sort of confirms it. The weird thing is the flashing does seem to go out at times but I guess whatever was causing the alarm to go off was engaging it back on.
 

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1993 Coupe Deville, 2009 XLR-V 1 of 6 Crystal Red
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2,484 Posts
I just looked and that security module is above the emergency brake pedal. I's hell getting in there especially if you have big hands like I have. Been awhile but I might have had to take the fuel data center and a few more pieces out to get to it.
 

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Just to follow up on this in case someone searches for a discussion on a similar problem...

My issue was a flashing "SECURITY" light that never stopped when the car ignition was off. Starting was fine. After about four or five days of constant flashing, the battery would drain out. Google searches for this (in this forum and elsewhere) revealed that a number of people have had a similar issue (e.g., "My security light has been flashing and when I went to start it up this morning, all I heard was a click"), but that most responders believed that the answer lay in either a faulty battery (thus ignoring the security light aspect) or had to do with the PASS-key II system, since a constantly flashing security light was one sign of trouble.

I didn't think my issue had anything to do with either the battery or the PASS-Key system. My battery, while not new, isn't that old, and I never had the draining problem until the security light started up. Moreover, my car started every time with every key I had, and once the engine kicked in, the security light went out within 5 seconds. Also, my neighbors had reported the occasional blaring of my alarm without anyone nearby. My bet was that this was related to the theft deterrent system and nothing else. FSM was pretty clear that the PASS-key system and the theft deterrent system were totally independent of each other.

I tried to follow the advice of "dchavezo" above to look at the trigger switches for the deterrent system. There's one in every door jam, plus one in each of the cylinder locks (two front doors and the trunk). I partially tested the door jam switches, confirming that they at least turned off the interior lights when the doors were shut. and also manually depressed them fully with the same result. I say "partially" because all that sort of test does is suggest that there isn't anything dramatically wrong with them (e.g., loose, completely broken, etc.). The interior light connector is only one of two, as a separate spade is there for the deterrent system. It's possible\likely that if the interior lights are triggered as designed, the jamb switches are also working for the deterrent system, at least that was what my assumption was.

The cylinder lock switches were another story. I couldn't figure out how to test them without digging into the frame of the car, especially for the two door locks. This just sounded like a lot of work with perhaps minimal payoff. While I suspect that "dchavezo" is right that it's a switch issue, and the possibility existed that it might be a computer problem, I wasn't sure I wanted to spend all days digging around for the cause.

So I decided to give the car a prefrontal lobotomy, at least in regards to the theft deterrent system. I figured that because the system was an option for this year and model, there was a good chance that disarming it wouldn't have negative consequences for some other aspect of the car. I don't really need an alarm (who breaks into a 22 year old car? and if they did, there's nothing I keep in it that's worth stealing), so getting rid of the whole shebang wouldn't be a big loss. It would also allow me to get the car driveable today, rather than spending days messing with lock cylinders or waiting for replacement parts.

The steps I took were as follows:
1) Disconnect cable from the negative terminal on the battery using an 8mm wrench (note: all references to bolts refer to the size of the head, not the threads).
2) Go under the left side (as if you are facing towards the front bumper) of the dash and remove the two 7mm bolts from the left side sound dampener as well as the cheap "wing nut" that helps hold it in place. The dampener is mostly to the immediate right of the drop down fuse panel, though the "wing nut" is in front (meaning towards the front bumper). The dampener (which is really just a plastic plate with some foam rubber glued on) will drop away.
3) Drop the fuse box panel like you were going to check out some fuses.
4) The fuse panel has two "arms" that attach it to the bracket under the dash. If you pull outward on the right arm, it'll detach from the bracket. At that point you can push the panel out of the way.
5) The brains of the deterrent system consists of a rectangular deterrant control module and a more squarish deterrent relay. Looking up into the dash, the relay will be sort of to the left of where the fuse panel was, and the module to the immediate front of the relay. My module had part number 6158276 on the label. What you are going to do is to simply pull the wiring harness connector to the module. You don't have to do anything to the relay. The problem is that the connector is locked to the module via a clip that's on top (meaning towards the roof of the car) of the module. You might have better luck than I unfastening the clip and pulling the connector while everything is in place, but I had to drop the module to do it.
6) There are three bolts that affix the module to a bracket hanging down from the dash. I removed the two in the rear with (I think) a 7/32" socket. The one in the front was difficult to access because some other wiring mess was blocking my socket driver. I wound up very carefully bending down the module which gave me access to the wiring clip.
7) A flathead screwdriver inserted between the clip and the module was used to unsnap it. At that point, the connector slid right off. With an abundance of caution I put a little duct tape on both the connector and the bare receptors of the module.
8) Installation, as they say, is the reverse of removal.

So far everything seems to be OK. The Security light does come on for five seconds when the ignition is turned on, which is exactly what it's supposed to under PASS-Key II. The flashing light when the car is shut off is gone, and I assume that the battery drain is gone as well. Power door locks, lights, horn, etc. etc. all seem to be working just fine.

Not the most elegant of solutions, but it got me back on the road...

Cheers,

Nick in Palm Springs
Thanks for the advice Nick followed your instructions and everything turned out right . Three thumbsup
 
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