How To Disable Passlock On Chevy Colorado?

Do you have an old Chevy Colorado whose Passlock Security System is starting to become problematic, and you want to know how to disable it permanently? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.

Permanently disable the Chevy Colorado Passlock Security System by splicing a wire that goes to a module under the steering wheel close to the accelerator pedal.

However, if you are only attempting to bypass the system rather than a permanent disablement, try any of these alternatives: 

  • Newrockies Inc. PRO Module (must be purchased and professionally installed)
  • Keep the key in the ignition
  • Keep the door open
  • Wait it out

Let’s talk more about how to permanently disable the Passlock Security System on your Chevy Colorado in the sections below. Moreover, learn about workarounds to start your Colorado without disabling Passlock below.

Read on!

The GM Passlock Security System

The Passlock Security System is GM’s version of an immobilizer system.

An immobilizer is a car theft prevention system that stops any vehicle movement unless done by the owner. In contrast, another type of vehicle security system focuses on recovery after the vehicle is stolen.

An immobilizer will automatically turn on after the vehicle is turned off. The system will then prevent the vehicle from starting by disconnecting electrical continuity to vital components of the engine.

Your key fob communicates with a chip inside your car. They will exchange and verify a pin code to deactivate the immobilizer. If you’re using the wrong key fob, then the pin code that it will submit to your car’s immobilizer will not be accepted, and the immobilizer will not deactivate.

Chevrolet keys on black wood table

Some companies have upgraded immobilizers that use two codes. One of the codes is embedded into the key fob, while the other code is modified and recorded each time you start your vehicle. The immobilizer will check the first code, then checks the second code after the first code passes.

Both codes must pass for the immobilizer to be disabled.

GM’s Passlock from the mid to late 90s became known for being problematic—preventing thieves and owners from starting GM vehicles whether they have the correct key to the vehicle or not.

GM has several security systems, and Passlock is only one of them.

Faulty Passlock System Sensor -You Get Locked Out!

When you insert your key into the ignition, the key sends a magnetic signal to the ECM (Engine Control Module). The ECM will check the signal and will disable Passlock once the signal matches what is in its memory.

However, problems with the sensors or oxidation on Passlock sensor plates make the system less sensitive to the signal. Once it loses the ability to detect the signal coming from your key, then the ECM will lock you out of your own Colorado.

Fixing Passlock: Replace the Ignition Cylinder

New cylinder lock

Replacing the ignition lock cylinder will fix the problem.

The ignition lock cylinder has a sensor that reads the grooves on your key. It is also the one responsible for sending the go signal to the ECM to disable the Passlock system so that you can start your Colorado.

How to disable the Passlock on Chevy Colorado?

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 truck at the North American International Auto Show

  1. Activate the parking brakes on your Colorado.
  2. Start the engine. Keep your Colorado in “Park (P)” after you start the engine. Your Colorado must remain running until you finish all the steps below. You might need to follow one of the workarounds above to get your Colorado to start before you proceed.
  3. Go under your dashboard, near the steering column. Look for a module in a white case with light blue brackets on its side.
  4. Look for a white wire with a thin blue stripe. It is normally on the bundle of wires on the side of the driver’s door.
  5. Cut the white wire with a thin blue stripe.
  6. Cover both ends of the cut wire with electrical tape. You do not have to strip the wire before covering it with electrical tape.
  7. Turn off the engine of your Colorado. Wait for a few seconds and turn it back on again. It should now turn on each time.

Get electrical tape on Amazon.

Alternative Methods to Bypass the Passlock on Chevy Colorado

You can use the workarounds below so that you can still use your Colorado while you’re still waiting to replace the ignition lock cylinder. Keep in mind that the sensors will only get worse with time, and these workarounds will eventually stop working.

Newrockies Inc. PRO Module

There are modules on the market that mechanics can install on your Colorado to bypass the Passlock. This will permanently disable Passlock while it is installed. However, you have to pay for labor and buy the module.

Keep the Key in the Ignition

Keep Key In Ignition

It is essential to strictly follow the times provided in these steps.

  1. Make sure that the parking brake is active.
  2. Insert your key into the ignition and start your Colorado. This will fail because Passlock is still active.
  3. Stop trying to start your Colorado after two to three seconds of trying but leave the key in the ignition without doing anything for exactly 20 minutes.
  4. Turn the key to the “Off” position but do not remove it.
  5. Wait for exactly 30 seconds.
  6. Turn the key to attempt to start it once more for two to three seconds.
  7. Repeat Steps 3 to 6. Repeat these steps three to four times. It should start on the fourth attempt. If you miss anything while doing these steps, it will take more than four repetitions.

Keep the Door Open

  1. Again, make sure that the parking brakes are active.
  2. Keep the door of your Colorado open. Do not close the door until after your engine starts. Your Colorado will start to make rapid pinging sounds after a few seconds.
  3. Wait for 10 seconds and then place the key in the ignition.
  4. Turn the key to the “On” position. You will notice that the pinging sound will immediately slow down.
  5. Wait for five seconds.
  6. Start the engine of your Colorado.
  7. Close the door of your Colorado after the engine starts.

Locking your door will reset what you did, and you will have to do this process all over again to start your Colorado.

Wait It Out

This method can take the longest to perform, which is why it is third on the list.

  1. Once more, make sure that the parking brakes are active on your Colorado.
  2. Insert the key and try to start your Colorado.
  3. Stop trying to start your Colorado and take the key out.
  4. Wait for at least 15 minutes without doing anything to your Colorado.
  5. Get back into your Colorado and try to start it once more. Your Colorado should now start. If it doesn't start, repeat the whole process from the beginning.

Disadvantages of Disabling the Passlock on Chevy Colorado

Chevy Colorado on display

If you decide that you’d prefer to permanently disable the Passlock on your Colorado, there is a way to do it. However, there are disadvantages to disabling the Passlock feature permanently.

Read the disadvantages carefully below before you decide to permanently get rid of the Passlock feature on your Colorado.

Lose Security

The Passlock system is a security feature that makes your Colorado harder to steal. If you decide to permanently get rid of it, you will lose the security benefits that it provides.

Replacing the ignition lock cylinder will permanently fix the problem and you get to keep the security benefits of the Passlock system.

AUTOKAY ignition lock cylinder is available on Amazon.

If you still decide to go down this route, make sure to install a replacement security system for your Colorado to avoid theft. Compare what you’ll spend for a new security system versus fixing your Passlock system.

Voided Warranty

Tampering the Passlock system in any way will void your warranty. Although most Colorado models that use the Passkey feature are likely out of warranty, keep this in mind in case you have a Colorado model that is still under warranty.

Lower Value

When you disable the Passlock system, the security light on your dashboard will be permanently on.

Keep in mind that any system failure notification light on the dashboard of your Colorado, like the Check Engine light, will be deducted from the value of your Colorado when you decide to sell it later.

If you plan to sell your Colorado later, you’d be better off replacing the ignition lock cylinder.

Losing Features

Another disadvantage of permanently disabling the Passlock feature is losing some related features. Any feature that is connected to the module that controls the Passlock system will stop working.


Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept truck at the Chicago Auto Show

Disabling the Passlock on a Chevy Colorado brings with it some disadvantages that you should carefully consider before deciding to get rid of it.

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