Question about 1998 Buick Regal

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98 buick regal won't start, will let set for a few hours and then will start.

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Not really a lot of info hear (i.e. is the motor turning over, or is the starter clicking, or no sound at all.....) I have a 1997 Buick and just went through a "won't start" problem, and I know it is an extremely common problem so I'll describe what was going on and then you see if this fits to your situation. If the motor turns over but doesn't start then it is a different problem, but if you have no response at all to the key here's what's up.

Your car is equipped with a Vehicle Anti-Theft System (VATS). The key has a small resistor built in (the little black square with a metal line across it). With all GM products built in the 90's the VATS fails sooner or later. The ignition switch has a connection to the key's resistor. When you try to start the car the VATS checks for the proper resistance. As the key and switch wear over the years they no longer make contact 100% of the time.

When you try to start the car and it won't do anything, check and see if your "security" light is on. If so then you can wait 3-4 minutes (hours not needed) and the light will go off after the VATS resets and the car will start fine.

There are several solutions at different cost levels. The best (and most expensive) is to replace the ignition switch and keys. Second is to have a VATS bypass installed. If you are reasonably mechanical you can pull the bottom steering wheel cover, locate the 2 leads from the key reader and disconnect them from the switch switch and put resistors in line so the VATS reads the proper resistance. Or you can wait 3 minutes each time it does it. That of course gets old in a hurry. If this doesn't fit your situation please post a new question with a little more info.

Thanks and good luck!

Posted on Nov 15, 2009

Testimonial: "Thanks for the info, that may be whats going on I'll give that a try"


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