‘Automotive’ Category

Malibu will not start, disable Passlock II

A common (and totally random) problem with GM vehicles that have the Passlock / Passlock II anti-theft system is that the vehicle will suddenly refuse to start.  The problem is a poorly designed GM Passlock anti-theft system that erroneously enters anti-theft mode and disables the fuel injectors. GM should be forced to recall this Passlock system — it is simply unacceptable to strand motorists because of an incompetent anti-theft system.

The vehicle in this example is a 2002 Chevy Malibu, but this Passlock system was employed in many GM models.  Thousands of motorists have been stranded and left helpless by these GM vehicles that refuse to start for no apparent reason.  The owner of this Malibu was stranded three times over the past two years, incurred 2 towing bills to a Chevy dealership, two “repair” bills from the incompetent Chevy dealer who obviously failed to solve the problem.  Now she was stranded for a 3rd time.  This time she called me.

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NOS NEW Tucker Torpedo Auto Radio

Occasionally I plan to write about a few of my favorite items from my personal collection. Here is an NOS NIB NEW* genuine Tucker Corporation auto radio, built for the 1948 Tucker Torpedo car.

Tucker Corporation was the company founded by Preston Tucker to sell his revolutionary 1948 Tucker Sedan, known by most people as the Tucker Torpedo. This is the genuine Tucker factory radio for the Torpedo, NOS NIB NEW.

NOS NIB NEW Tucker Torpedo Radio

This radio was found from a very elderly man who had “put a down payment on the car” and someone told him that he “had to buy the radio right now” (even though the Tucker Torpedo had not been built yet!)

Obviously, the Tucker Torpedo was never built, so the old fellow was left with a new car radio that he could not use. So, it sat on a garage shelf for more than 50 years until I purchased it from him.

Here are some interesting facts about the radio….

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Corvette problem – Service ASR

[Update: May 24, 2008]

A rebuilt ECM solved the problem.  While troubleshooting, I noticed that the ECM would not store the error codes.  This was an obvious sign of a faulty ECM, so I purchased a rebuilt ECM.  Problem solved, and rather cheaply also.  This is the benefit of having skills to troubleshoot your own “equipment.”  Also, it is VERY important to buy a rebuilt computer from a known reliable vendor.  It seems as though a lot of these ECM “rebuilders” are not shipping properly rebuilt units.

After my original post below, I parked the car for the winter (like I do every year, from November to March.)  Once I fired the car up this year, the problem was worse — the symptoms would occur on every drive.  This is when I noticed that the ECM would no longer store any error codes, and would only flash “1, 2”.  Hence, the problem was rather easy to diagnose once this behavior was consistent.

(Original Summary of problem, posted October 24, 2007)

I have a mint 1993 Corvette, garage-kept, purchased new by me in 1993, with only 10,000 miles, Automatic. It has developed a problem. While driving, it will occasionally flash the Check Engine light, and sometimes (simultaneously) flash the `Service ASR` light, flash “SYS” on the LCD dash.  When the problem occurs, “Service ASR” lights, the car may give a hard jerk, momentarily stall, etc. When this happens, it may be hard to keep the car running, and if it stalls, hard to restart. Let the vehicle sit a little while, maybe 20 minutes, and it will start and drive normally (like no problem ever happened). The problem has not occurred on very short trips (5 minute “trips-to-town”). Typically occurs after 12-15 minutes of driving.


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