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If the anti theft light is blinking and you say that everything else fine.. My first thought is that the key is not programmed to the vehicle. The key has a internal chip that must be programmed to vehicle in order to start. Now my other question is, Is the key your using for the vehicle the original key or have you just recently had a key made? Regardless, in order for the yur Tribute to start, the key. Or keys have to be program to vehicle by your neighbor dealership. Thats the reason for your anti theft light is blinking
Hello: If the security light is NOT blinking when you hold the key in the start position then it could be the starter, If no security light blinking have a helper hold the key in the start position and the another person hit the starter with a hammer, medium blow, if car starts you have a failed starter. If security light is blinking with key in start then you have a immobilizer problem and you will need the failure code so you will know where to start your diagnosis.
If the engine doesn't turn when you try to start it. try starting it in neutral. if it starts then the neutral safety switch is bad. Usually they are located under the shift cable on the transmission. under the hood, drivers side. Not hard to replace. If it still doesn't turn the engine this is still what I would look at replacing first. If it is the security then when you turn the key on the light will not go out after about 3 seconds it will start blinking. Also you can make sure every door is locked and unlock the drivers door with the key. Some times this will reset the security.
If not, try this. Turn the key to on. Security light blinking? If yes, let it blink for 10 minutes + it will stop blinking. Remove key, then insert key and start car. Computers went bad on these often.
The security, antitheft or lock picture/icon is a visual indication that something in the car's antitheft system is failing. In most GM cars and trucks there is a hidden system that most people are unaware even exists. From the moment you put your key in the ignition, there begins a constant line of communication between your key's security chip or transponder, to the ignition's lock cylinder, and then to the car's TDM (Theft Deterrent Module). These 3 parts are in CONSTANT communication. If the key is in the ignition, then these parts are sending signals to each other. The security light illuminates when that signal gets broken, even just for a second. When the signal breaks, the car misinterprets this as an attempt at theft and goes into antitheft mode. The car thinks its being stolen or hotwired because it is not getting that signal from YOUR specific key. This is why the security light turns on and shuts down your vehicle. This link explains it pretty well.
With the new lock cylinder in it, turn the key on. The security light should blink. Leave the key on for 10 minutes, the security light will quit blinking and go out after 10 min. This will reprogram your security system and the car should start. Also leave a battery charger on it while the key is on, If the battery goes dead during the 10 minute reprogram sequence, you will have to start over again.