Replaced battery and now certain things don't work

Asked by Jan 26, 2013 at 11:03 AM about the 2001 Pontiac Grand Am SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I got my battery replaced at Auto Zone last week and ever since my car has not been working
properly. The security light and service vehicle soon light won't go off. The clock/radio says LOCKED
and won't turn on. The seat belt light will flash occasionally even when I have it on at all times. The
auto locks don't work anymore. The remote for my locks don't work. The dome light does not come
on when I open the doors. The sensor for my headlights is not working. Is there something I can do to
fix this or is it something that I will have to bring to the dealership to have fixed?

32 Answers

There are codes as for the radio, that must be re set for it to work. They did that so thieves are less interested in them. What I would try is disconnect the battery , the new one, for a few minutes and see what happens, but I grant you that is a longshot, but maybe, just maybe it will correct some or all of what happened. For all this to happen just because a new battery was installed, to state the obvious, should not happen and they may have knocked something off installing the battery. Some of those guys at parts stores, not all of them now, you parts guys don't get mad at me, some of you know what you are doing. BUT some don't. First take it back to AutoZone and tell them. You will probably get a shrug of shoulders and a "wel I dunno" response. So make them read the OBD codes, write them down and bring them back here before you buy anything from them. That is a lot of things to happen all at once without them screwing something up. Now, if you end up needing a mechanic, avoid the dealer, find a reputable shop, the dealer will set you back 2,3x what a good shop will.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

I was thinking..(it hurt) and some batteries have an extra wire, a smaller one, hooked up to the positive terminal to operate different things, it leads to the fuse box. If your cable has two wires, one much bigger than the other, make sure that smaller one is connected

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

David is correct, for the most part they only know what the computer says. They know nothing about plugging the 9V battery adapter into the cig lighter to keep everything "alive." (It's an adapter that uses a smoke alarm battery to keep ALL the electronics memory from being erased.) Check the owners manual for the radio reset code. Usually those codes are hand written in the back or they are on a piece of paper in with the dealer paperwork. Last resort call a local dealer and ask for the code. You may have to give them your VIN for them to pull it up and lots of times it's part of the VIN itself.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Head over to

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I will send the relearn anti-theft process to you in a little bit, watching a race at the moment but can do two things at once. IF you don't disable the anti-theft and change or disconnect the battery you have to re-set it, if you have your owners manual that process is in there. Or you can wait a minute because I do have it and will send it to you. This LOCKED on the radio is the tattletale. So fear not.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

g'morning llregal, when you get time there is another 1998 Regal GS question, title: LED lights are out. Maybe a faulty diode? How do I know? Can it be replaced?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Having trouble finding the darn stuff,, my filing isn't the best, but I have found this much in the users manual. Theft-Deterrent Feature RDS Radios (If Equipped) THEFTLOCK is designed to discourage theft of your radio. The feature works automatically by learning a portion of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). If the radio is moved to a different vehicle, it will not operate and LOCKED will be displayed. When the radio and vehicle are turned off, the blinking red light indicates that THEFTLOCK is armed. With THEFTLOCK activated, your radio will not operate if stolen. WILL keep looking......

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Well this is one of the weirdest owners manual, on other GM's there is a more complected procedure for the theft feature and either this is it or it doesn't tell you how, I am surprised, maybe I'll lock at anothor year and I can't find the part, yet, that mentions what happens when you replace the battery and how to disable or reset. Only at Pontiac. Passlock Your vehicle is equipped with the Passlock theft-deterrent system. Passlock is a passive theft-deterrent system. Passlock enables fuel if the ignition lock cylinder has not been tampered with. During normal operation, the SECURITY light will go off approximately five seconds after the ignition key is turned to ON and the engine is started. ((If the SECURITY light flashes with the key in ON, wait 10 minutes until the light goes off. Then turn the ignition to OFF before attempting to start the engine. If the SECURITY light stays on with the key in ON, turn the key to OFF and then back to ON.))

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Well I am baffled as either it's as explained above to reset the entire theft system or it isn't, this about the weakest owners manual as GM always makes reference about the warning to do with a battery change or disconnect. So, if all else, go down to the auto parts store and read a Haynes or other about a theft deterrent reset. Got me...

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

I like Johns idea as it did say in the owners manual the theft lock on the radio is part of the vin and I do know when you set them you make up your own code, but I did think there was a work around.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Bye the way Netterz1226 Don't forget to mark Johns answer as BEST or whatever it says, this is a points thing... LOL But myself, his answer is dead on and solid advice great job John!! Have heard of the 9v gizmo but never have seen one.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

You can make one your self with a cig lighter adapter and a 9V pad thing from a cheap toy or device, you just gotta know how its wired

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

that's right, John's answer IS the best one

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I'm not gonna argue but I did say David IS correct. The only thing I pursued was the radio because david covered the other issues and didn't touch much on the radio.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Ok then I'm gonna say my key answer was the best to reset the theft crap stuff.LOL Everyone gets one point and I will be looking into the 9v thing as I have been doing it different but this sounds a little easier, I have used jumpers as if to jump the car and then disconnect, works but a pain, keeps car hot and you have to be very careful, one spark and you will screw your PCM or can.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Connect this

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

To this and add a battery, radio shack and amazon should both carry the stuff.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I'm going to guess that the installation was not done properly as many positive wires lead to the battery terminal. Corrosion happens, like it or not. One must start with absolutely clean conductive surfaces, including the ground lug. Semi conductor devices (your radio for example) do not to well in a 'brown out' condition from NOT having the installation done properly. Double check all connections to the battery, make sure they are all there and granted full conductivity.


3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Thanks guys, I was getting the jest of what you were saying but Dave if that's the battery installed in this car, well no wonder there's problems that's a stupid 9v and that's not enough power to run a car, you need a battery that looks a little like this

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

smart ass

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

The little battery will keep things like radio presets, seat positioning, and ecm fuel trim memory alive so it won't have to be reprogrammed or relearned and yes that is the 9V I was referring to.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


1 of 1 people found this helpful.

With our old time mechanical radios, presets were an actual pawl that would physically affect the position regardless of any power. Now it's this beep-beep-beep take your eyes off the road for this exciting circus device instead of just pushin' the damned button and having the selector turn the capacitor till the right place is selected. How far we've come?,,,yeah up the garden path-

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Wow, this has to be the longest postings of all time, I do know what you are all talking about and Dave you know me and of course I ribbing you. This is what I use and you can buy one at Harbor Freight cheap and it can be plugged into the smoke lighter or the are many ways to do this. Best is to not forget the codes, but buying second hand this happens all the time, I think we all know that. So this is just one way and what I find easiest with 12v

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Another way, but dangerous potentially because of air bags is using this, and the 12v jumper

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

And finally I have taken all the parts you fellas have given me and yes along with the 9v and quickly made this,

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I just went and marked all the "that was stupid, I mean helpful" buttons, holly cow that was a lot off of one question and the guy who asked it is long gone, and I don't blame him, this is hysterical . You guys are the best and Dave you never responded to my question about if you wanted some really cool pictures like this one? and more modern also??

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

You bet I do. I lost so many when my laptop died.I know I can look for them but it's easier for you to do it for me haha

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Delete the spaces 76 answers and i just got 2 emails on it http:// Discussion-t2560_ds529221

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I appreciate people who know how to share without confusing the novice....A Big Thank You from all us who hate having a car....


k I have a 2005 grand am se and changed the battery in it the lights work and radio and will turn over but wont start and the security light flashes the hole time and if I turn the key to let the fuel pump and everything re boot but still wont start what can it be

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Grand Am

Looking for a Used Grand Am in your area?

CarGurus has 1,147 nationwide Grand Am listings starting at $1,000.


Search Pontiac Grand Am Questions

Pontiac Grand Am Experts

#1 tenspeed
Reputation 7,730
#2 John Saffrahn
John Saffrahn
Reputation 1,600
#3 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 1,470
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Pontiac Grand Prix
25 Great Deals out of 2,827 listings starting at $1,850
Used Pontiac Firebird
15 Great Deals out of 764 listings starting at $2,995
Used Ford Mustang
682 Great Deals out of 44,482 listings starting at $1,500
Used Chevrolet Camaro
372 Great Deals out of 31,228 listings starting at $2,500
Used Chevrolet Impala
548 Great Deals out of 35,509 listings starting at $899
Used Honda Civic
831 Great Deals out of 83,705 listings starting at $750
Used Chevrolet Malibu
1,099 Great Deals out of 79,828 listings starting at $2,500
Used Pontiac Bonneville
3 Great Deals out of 542 listings starting at $1,799
Used Honda Accord
1,050 Great Deals out of 66,925 listings starting at $1,000
Used Toyota Camry
1,221 Great Deals out of 82,694 listings starting at $750
Used Chevrolet Cavalier
3 Great Deals out of 989 listings starting at $695

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.