Question about 1999 Buick LeSabre
The resistors will only bypass the key and the lock, while the core security module will remain in the loop.
There is an easy DIY way of bypassing the VATS system entirely, including the TDM (that goes faulty very often with the age of the car). You can find the write-up here: http://newrockies.ca/vatsbypass
Posted on Jun 17, 2010
You have resistor in your key that some people call a chip, but it is simply a resistor. The ignition switch reads the resistance and enables the starter and fuel pump if it is correct and all 1990s GM products with the VATS (vehicle anti theft system) sooner or later have trouble reading the key resistance due to wear on the key and the ignition switch.
Your solutions are relative to your abilities and finances.
1. Most expensive, take it to a dealer or mechanic and have them replace the ignition switch and keys. Cost from $250 to $400 but leaves the VATS system in original condition.
2. Aftermarket VATS bypass modules are available in the $70 to $130 range but then a mechanic will want about the same to install it. All it really is is a box containing enough resistors that you can switch it to match the combination of the 12 different resistor levels produced in the original keys.
3. Requires a small bit of ability but is relatively easy and extremely cheap. (Cost less than $5 for me to do my '97 Riviera) There are 2 small wires leading from the ignition switch that are usually inside of a small rubbery covering somewhat like heat shrink tubing. They feel different than ordinary wires and come off of the ignition switch seperately from the normal ON/OFF/Accessory/Start wires. You will need to remove the lower steering column cover to gain access. Be sure to disconnect the battery and leave the big yellow wire alone, that's the airbag! I took my key to Radio Shack and measured the resistance of the 'chip' then bought 2 resistors that added up to that amount +5% and a pair of bullnose wire connectors. I soldered them in line with each other and a connector on each end of about a 3" piece of wire and put shrink wrap around them. Then I clipped the two 'reader' wires leaving the switch dead ended and put the matching bullnose ends on the two wires going to the VATS, plugged my wire with resistors in line, zip-tied it in place and now the car thinks the proper resistance is in the 'reader'. All other functions of the VATS system are unaffected. The car starts everytime.
Certainly cheap and effective, but if you wallet outweighs your confident as a do-it-yourselfer, please refer to solutions 1 or 2.
The only other option is to continually wait that 3 minutes for the VATS reset which is not only aggravating, it continues to get worse and more often with time.
Hope this helps!
Posted on Nov 13, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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