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99 Deville Concours
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
99 Deville Concours

"theft system problem, car may not restart"

This message has been popping up every time I start the car for probably the past two years or even longer. I had a friend at the dealership tell me not to worry about it, it's probably just those little wires. I thought the same thing, but if it was, they most likely would have failed completely by now. The message doesnt' bother me, I don't even notice anymore. The problem is that I want to sell the car, and that's the first thing people notice, and it scares them off. I can't say I blame them, I probably wouldn't buy a used car that told me it might not start next time you turn the key.

I have already tried my other key and even bought a brand new one from the dealer and that didn't work.

I've tried soldering in a resistor, and bypassing the ignition lock cylinder and those little frail wires (orange sheathing two little white wires), but that didn't work either.

So just for fun, I removed the resistor (with wires still cut) and the car still starts.

As I see it, there are two possibilities.


1. I've cut the wrong wires.
or
2. I have a much bigger Vats problem.

If #1 is correct, please point me in the right direction.
If #2 is correct, now what the hell do i do? Anyone know about this guy? http://newrockies.com

any help is appreciated
 

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2010 DTS
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Do a google search for GM VATS. There are plenty of instructions on how to bypass it and which wires to cut. Just don't buy any of their expensive "kits". Their nothing more than the resistors you buy at Radio Shack for pennies.
 

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99 Deville Concours
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As stated in my post, I've tried the resistors. The vats system is more than just a resistor in the ignition circuit, that is just a part of the whole system. Because my car still starts and gives me the "theft sys" message with out completing any circuit (wires are currently cut) I have reason to believe this is a different problem. I have seen very little on the internet that is more than just a resistor.
 

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1997 Seville STS, 2000 Seville STS
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The two white wires in the orange sheath come down the steering column to an electrical connector C202 terminals E12 and E13. From this connector on the other side of it a wht/blk and ppl/white pair of wires exit the connector and lead to the instrument panel. Measure your key resistor and buy one or more resistors that match it exactly (you can only be off by about 5% of the nominal value of the resistor), or get a potentiometer and adjust it to match the value of your key. There are 15 distinct resistor values that you could have. Disconnect or cut the two little white wires and place the resistor across terminals E12 and E13 of that electrical connector. You can not leave the key wires in the circuit if they are still intact because when you put the key in you now have two resistors in parallel and the VATS will read that as the incorrect key and prevent you from starting the car for 3 minutes. Make absolutely sure you have the correct wires, because the airbag wires also run up the steering column, usually inside a yellow cable jacket.
 

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96 ETC 03 DTS, 77,81,83,89,91 Devilles, 79,82,91,92 Brougham
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Assuming you have cut the correct wires, I can only think of two possibilities here. One is that at one time a resistor was already hidden in the system someplace between ignition lock cylinder all the way to the instrument cluster connectors under the dash pad. (aftermarket remote starter or alarm??) If I already have the cluster out anyway, that is where I like to install my resistor to bypass as much wiring and connectors as possible. Just so you know, 1996-1999 Devilles do not have a passkey2 module. It is an integral part of that cluster itself. The only repair is to send out cluster (IPC) for repair or replace with another unit. Have you ran your codes and checked for anything IPC turning up?

Used clusters can be had reasonable on ebay but 2 things to note are ....

(1) the mileage on your car will change to whatever is on the cluster.

(2) the seller of the cluster must provide you with a vin number or preferably the ohms of ignition key from donor car. Rare but instead some sellers or yards MAY have provided the passkey code value 1-15 that can be translated to ohms. If you at least have the VIN someone working at a GM dealer or someone on forum I am sure can look up info in GM database and retrieve the key code. At least for the time being. It tried a 1994 a few weeks ago and was told records were purged on models that old.

Finding a cluster available that you can get both mileage and this info is rare but be sure to ask before buying. Very few on ebay even have the mileage. If you find one with the mileage you like or an exceptional bargain, worse case scenario is you can get all resistor values 2-15 (rumor has it that 1 was never used) and try each. You have to turn off key and install each resistor one at a time until you find the one that works. I have done this but very time consuming and you have to wait 3 minutes each time you swap resistors for system to reset. Good luck and dont hesitate to ask if anything was confusing. I am sure my explanations can be overwhelming to some people :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Amazingly, I only have one code

B2711 PASSKey Open/Shorted Pellet After Good Key
 

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That means that the VATS circuit to the lock cylinder is open circuited, and the last time the VAT reader got a signal it was the correct one. This gives you the DIC message that says something like "Vehicle Theft System Trouble - Car may not restart." The break in the circuit could be in the little skinny wires, in the fingers in the lock cylinder that contacts the pellet in the key, or the little metal tabs on the key itself can be worn down so they dont touch the lock cylinder fingers. If you've got a resistor in the circuit now, its attached after the break in the wire.
 

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Yeah, i was thinking possibly that there's a bypass already in place up under the dash or by the cluster (like DevilleDan said) and maybe it's starting to lose continuity causing the problem...

but we've also seen a handful of these clusters recently that were having weird problems
we would send them out to specmo for repair and when they called us back with the estimate specmo would say that they didn't find any problems with the clusters
it turns out that in order for specmo to bench test these clusters they first have to clear out any theftlock, and once that's cleared out the clusters operate normally

it is really cheap to get this done (if all they do is clear out the theftlock)

my working theory is that somehow there's some corruption in the theftlock within the cluster that can cause all types of weird things to happen

---

all that said, i would double check thoroughly following all the advice above to make sure there's nothing else that it could be along that vats circuit before sending out the cluster
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There is no resistor in the car right now. In fact the wires are currently cut and there is NO CIRCUIT at all. theoretically it shouldn't start at all.

If there is already another bypass in place, I can't find it. I've bought the car with 40k mi and there is 135k on it now. There was only one previous owner, and no mention of any alarm/remote start or anything like that. The first time i got under the hush panel there was absolutely no sign anyone had ever been in there. Everything still looked brand new and no evidence of any foreign wiring or work of any kind.

Rippy, where or how do i get the theft lock cleared out? I'm new to all this work "inside" the car, I'm much better under the hood.

Just had an idea as i'm writing this post:

Is there any chance this has anything to do with the aftermarket stereo? the stock hu was relocated to the trunk with homemade harness including 2data and 2 power wires.

Although, this problem didn't really turn up until years after the stereo was installed.

maybe i'm over thinking this.
 

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Rippy, where or how do i get the theft lock cleared out? I'm new to all this work "inside" the car, I'm much better under the hood.

...

Is there any chance this has anything to do with the aftermarket stereo? the stock hu was relocated to the trunk with homemade harness including 2data and 2 power wires.

Although, this problem didn't really turn up until years after the stereo was installed.
you would have to send it out to specmo (or one of the other GM authorized ESCs - electronic service centers) to get it checked out

it is very possible that your aftermarket install has somehow got a loose connection over time and now it's causing this problem

i'm really at a loss as to what to recommend you do next though
 

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96 ETC 03 DTS, 77,81,83,89,91 Devilles, 79,82,91,92 Brougham
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I agree with Rippy and am also at a loss for what you should do next other than just try cluster service or another cluster (with correct resistor) off from ebay / salvage yard. If there is no resistor already very well hidden in this car from under the dash up to the cluster, then each start could be the last in my opinion. I do agree that the factory radio being messed with can really mess up one of these cars. I had one I was stripping for parts awhile back and one minute it started, next minute it wouldn't. Simply plugging in the stock tape radio of a 96 base deville made the car start again. Please be sure to keep us posted on your progress. This is a thread that is sure to be able to help other people in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I really don't feel the two are related, but I guess you never know. I installed the stereo sometime in 2004, dealt with those funky issues, relocated stock hu to the spare tire well and haven't even thought about it since. The B2711 "car may not restart" issue probably didn't start until sometime in 2008 or so. It has started every single time I've turned the key. I really wouldn't care, but I want to sell the car now and people are really leery about the "car may not restart" message.



I will do a little more hunting under the dash, but I think I might just bend over and take it from the dealer on this one. I just dont have the time or skills to start guessing at and replacing/servicing the ipc.

The only one I saw on ebay for a Concours had 197k on it, either way it would be hard to sell the car.
 
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