The problem is the factory installed Passlock system. At times for some unknown reason it senses an intrusion even if there is not one and locks down the injectors. I disabled the system permanently about 10 months ago and have never had the problem since. Underneath the steering column there is a metal plate the needs to come out to access the steering column. You may or may not have to remove parts of the dash to take off the plate under the column (held in place by a few bolts. Coming up the steering column is a set of (3) wires Yellow + Black - and white (neutral). These will all be bundled or tied together but they are the only group configured as such. START the car and while the car is running (vitally vitally important!) snip the yellow wire ONLY and tape the ends off. Put everything back together and you are good to go. The yellow or orange security dash light WILL stay permanently illuminated but that will not cause any problems. Life is so much better when your car starts every time.
I had a similar problem with my 2003 Impala. My wife called me to let me know that the Impala wouldn't start for her; it didn't make a sound when she tried to start it. By the time I got home about 20 minutes later, it started and was OK for a month or so. The next time it happened we took it to an automotive repair shop and they said they couldn't find anything wrong and it needed to be taken to a Chevrolet Dealer because it was probably a key problem. The Dealer replaced the key cylinder ($500) in the dash and it has worked fine ever since.
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If turning the steering wheel to the left or right doesn't allow the key to turn, it sounds like your tumblers in the lock cylinder have failed. Unfortunately, there is no way to know when this is going to happen, but eventually, it happens. Not a real expensive fix. Replace the ignition/lock cylinder.
Well without a diagnostic code provided I cant really help you. Have the throttle position sensor and mass air flow sensor tested or looked at. Most likely the issue is one of those. Its possible you may have a vacuum leak as well.
after the alarm stops going off... do not touch anything... wait 10 minutes or longer... if you are in the car with the doors closed, and the alarm has run through it's cycle and is no longer sounding, do not touch the locks or open the door you will set off the alarm again each time you do this.... attempt to start the vehicle, it will probably just turn on but wont crank or start. this is the immobilizer. It thinks you are tying to steal the car. Since the 97 does not have a key with a chip in it, it will eventually start. However, only after I waited almost 20 minutes without touching anything except to put the key in the ignition and try to start the car withdrawing the key completely each time. This has only happened to me twice because I just don't lock the car anymore. I keep nothing of value in it ever. Each time I got the car to start after waiting and apparently it will start after some time if you push to roll down the driver side window... Haven't been able to find any other mention of this on the internet, somehow this was the trick to getting the car to start again after my remote quit working, and like you i only have a worn down ignition key. It worked for me with all doors except for the drivers side closed. I just kept trying to insert the key and start it, while rolling the drivers side window up and down. Eventually it started after like 30 minutes and after one press to roll down the drivers side window.
the ignition switch is a very common problem with these vehicles. when the problem is occuring check the pink wire coming off the ignition switch and see if there is power. the computer controls the starter on this vehicle and if there is insuficient voltage going to the ecu it will not power up.
Check all of the battery terminals and cables and check the wires on the starter/selonoid, start from the battery and follow the cable out and check all conections , clean and tighten them and if it still does it the starter/selonoid is bad and needs replacement...