Question about Ignition System for Buick Reatta

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1990 Buick Reatta starting problem. Whether it has been idle for weeks or running errands all day...sometimes starts immediately, sometimes starts after trying to start it for 10-15 minutes. When it does start, it starts strong, other times, when it makes me wait, I turn the ignition key and nothing, no noise, no clicks...but headlights work, radio works, dash lights up, etc., just silence. However, it does (and always has) eventually start RIGHT up, after a 10-15 minute wait and 3-4 attempts at starting it.

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THIS sounds like a VATS security problem if ive ever heard one. Double check to see if there is a light on the dash that say "security" when this happens. Try the 10 minute trick below. If this fixes it, you are going to need to get this fixed or bypassed. Luckily your car is on the list for a bypass made by newrockies. I have one in my Regal and all the same symtoms you describe have never come up again. Im not sure if you will have this light because of the age of your vehicle. The Reatta was one of the original cars with these systems other than Corvettes, Camaros and LeSabres. Read this info and check out that link. Alot of info and a cheap alternative to replacement.

. So the Security light is on or flashing in your vehicle and you are looking at 1 of 3 things. Either the vehicle won't crank over and start, It cranks but dies in a few seconds, or your vehicle shuts off while driving scaring the **** out of you. You have now experienced GM's worst security system ever created. GM's security, also known as Passlock Passkey or Vats.

There are 3 parts in this system.
1.The CHIPKEY ($75-$100)
Normally a black resister chip in key which "communicates" to the lock cylinder. Sometimes is hidden in the plastic part of keys in new models. Same concept, might say PK1 PK2 PK3 PL or something similar to that. The newer ones work on frequency. Same thing tho.
2.The LOCK CYLINDER ($250-$350)
Inside there are pins that read the chip in the key or the part that reads the frequency on new models. This then "communicates" to the TDM)
3.The TDM ($500-$700)
Theft Deterrant Module-Sometimes called the "computer" or "brain". This is the part that sends the signal (**NOTE**) to your car and allows your car to start or continue running depending on your type of system.
If any of these parts are not communicating properly, your SECURITY light will come on and shut down your vehicle. The idea being, that without the chipped key or FOB key, the vehicle wont start and cant be "hotwired" or stolen. Pretty nice when working, but these systems are flawed and the average life is 6-10 years. Every single aspect of this system is expensive to replace and can only be worked on by "authorized" GM service men with out voiding warrenty. Most garages dont even touch them and if they do,
they will sell you every part they can before "fixing" the problem/
*QUICK FIX TRICKS*
1st trick
Try a spare key that is newer or used less. The pins wear down with use and so do the keys causing the security to fail.

2nd trick
(if not starting) turn the key forward 2 clicks till right before it would normally start, leave like that for 10 minutes. ( no less ) After 10 minutes, turn key back then forward and your car might start. I did this in my Buick for more than a year. If its shutting down while running, I'm sorry I have no quick fix...

*PERMINANT FIX*
Well since the lifespan of these systems are so short, and are extremely expensive to fix, and in my opinion far worse of a threat to owners than theives, my only perminant suggestion is to eliminate it completely. After a year of 10 minute tricks and a "key bypass" that lasted 2 months and stranded me out of state, ($375 tow charge) i have only one good suggestion. After surfing the web for hours thru forums and websites i came across http://newrockies.com/passkey to the starter or injectors and so on. Thus eliminating the ENTIRE system completely. I came upon a fork in my road. A TDM for $600 in my $1000 car or the $200 bypass. Or throw my car away. Lets say i now drive a Buick with the chip ripped out of the key and the TDM sitting in my glovebox for show
and tell. If you have any questions or anything else. Comment on this post
and i'll get an E-mail to reply to you. If you do choose to buy the bypass,
i have pictures of what a TDM looks like and will definately help you when
installing the newrockies bypass. Good luck
Here is a list of known effected cars that can be fixed with the
newrockies bypass. This is the same list from the site and updates
frequently.

Buick
2004-2007 Rainier
1994-1996 Century
1993-1996 Regal
1982-1999 LeSabre
1991-1996 Park Avenue / Ultra
1994-1996 Roadmaster
1991-1996 Roadmaster Estate Wagon
1982-1999 Riviera
1988-1991 Reatta
1996-1998 Skylark
1982-1990 Electra (all models)
.

Posted on Mar 28, 2011

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I think your problem is a faulty solenoid switch on the starter!

Posted on Feb 04, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1990 buick reatta starting circuit problems


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1990 Buick REATTA Recall ID from NHTSA: 90V164000 Auto Recall Date: 09/06/1990
Vehicle Component: POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:LEVER AND LINKAGE:FLOOR SHIFT
Estimated Vehicles Affected: 63964
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Notes: GENERAL MOTORS CORP., 1990 Buick REATTA Recall ID from NHTSA: 91V158000 Auto Recall Date: 09/13/1991
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Notes: GENERAL MOTORS CORP., 1990 Buick REATTA Recall ID from NHTSA: 90V031000 Auto Recall Date: 02/12/1990
Vehicle Component: AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:SENSOR/CONTROL MODULE
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THE FORWARD SENSOR FOR THE AIR BAG MAY HAVE BEEN INCORRECTLY CONSTRUCTED WITH PART OF THE WIRING HARNESS TO THE SENSOR REVERSED.
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Remedy:
REPLACE FORWARD DISCRIMINATING SENSOR AS NECESSARY.
Notes: GENERAL MOTORS CORP.

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