Chevy Uplander Starting Disabled: Quick Fix!

The Chevy Uplander is a reliable and popular vehicle, but like any car, it can encounter issues that may leave you scratching your head. One of the most concerning messages you might see on your Uplander’s dashboard is “Starting Disabled.”

The “Starting Disabled” message indicates that there is a problem with your vehicle’s starting system, and it’s crucial to address it promptly to avoid being stranded. Let’s dive into the common culprits behind this issue.

In this guide, we’ll explore common causes of this message and provide step-by-step troubleshooting tips to help you get your Uplander back on the road.

starting disabled chevy uplander

# Before you dive into the detailed fixes, try this fix-

  • After getting the starting disabled warning, turn the engine off and wait a couple of minutes before trying again.
  • After a couple of minutes, use the Key Fob to start your car. (Key with the chip in it)

In my experience, 80% of the Chevy Uplander starting disabled issue gets fixed by using the key with the fab in it instead of spare keys. So, try this before you try the next solution.

Common Causes of “Starting Disabled” Message

1. Faulty Passlock System

The Passlock system is a crucial component of your Uplander’s security system, preventing unauthorized starting of the vehicle. If it malfunctions, it can trigger the “Starting Disabled” message.

Symptoms of a malfunctioning Passlock system:

  • The engine cranks but won’t start.
  • The security light on the dashboard remains illuminated.
  • Frequent stalling or no-start conditions.

Troubleshooting steps for Passlock system issues:

  1. Attempt a Passlock system reset.
  2. Inspect Passlock sensor wiring for damage.
  3. Consider replacing the Passlock sensor if necessary.

Resetting the Passlock System

To reset the Passlock system, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the “On” position without starting the engine.
  2. Wait for approximately 10 minutes until the security light stops blinking.
  3. Turn the key to the “Off” position and then back to “On.”
  4. Attempt to start the vehicle. If it starts, the Passlock system reset was successful.

2. Dead or Weak Battery

A dead or weak battery can trigger the “Starting Disabled” message, as it may not provide sufficient power to start the vehicle.

Testing and diagnosing battery health:

  1. Use a multimeter to check the battery voltage.
  2. Attempt jumpstarting the vehicle (covered in the DIY Troubleshooting section).
  3. Replace the battery if the voltage is too low or it fails the load test.

Jumpstarting the Vehicle

If you suspect a weak battery, here’s how to safely jumpstart your Uplander:

  1. Park another vehicle with a good battery next to your Uplander.
  2. Connect the jumper cables, ensuring proper polarity (positive to positive, negative to negative).
  3. Start the donor vehicle and let it run for a few minutes.
  4. Attempt to start your Uplander. Once started, remove the jumper cables in reverse order.

3. Faulty Ignition Switch

The ignition switch is responsible for sending power to the starter and other electrical components. A malfunctioning ignition switch can prevent the vehicle from starting.

Signs of a malfunctioning ignition switch:

  • Difficulty turning the key in the ignition.
  • Intermittent starting issues.
  • Loss of power to accessories.

Steps for testing and replacing the ignition switch:

  1. Consult your vehicle’s repair manual for specific testing procedures.
  2. If the ignition switch is faulty, replace it following manufacturer guidelines.

4. Wiring and Electrical Issues

Faulty wiring or electrical connections can disrupt the starting system and trigger the “Starting Disabled” message.

Common wiring and electrical problems:

  • Corroded or damaged wires.
  • Loose or disconnected connectors.
  • Blown fuses or faulty relays.

Troubleshooting steps for wiring and electrical issues:

  1. Conduct a visual inspection of wiring and connectors.
  2. Use a multimeter to test for continuity and voltage at key points.
  3. Replace or repair damaged components as needed.

Checking Fuses and Relays

To check fuses and relays:

  1. Locate the fuse box and relevant fuses/relays using your vehicle’s manual.
  2. Use a fuse tester or visually inspect fuses for damage.
  3. Replace any blown fuses or faulty relays with compatible replacements.

Professional Diagnosis and Repair

If DIY troubleshooting doesn’t resolve the issue, or if you’re unsure about performing these tasks yourself, it’s advisable to seek professional help. Certified mechanics have advanced diagnostic tools and expertise to pinpoint and fix complex issues.

Preventive Maintenance

Regular maintenance can help prevent “Starting Disabled” issues:

  1. Battery Checks: Regularly inspect and maintain your battery. Keep terminals clean and secure.
  2. Ignition System: Ensure your ignition system is in good condition, including spark plugs and the ignition coil.
  3. Wiring and Connectors: Periodically inspect wiring and connectors for signs of wear or damage.


In summary, the “Starting Disabled” message in your Chevy Uplander can be caused by various factors, including a faulty Passlock system, weak battery, malfunctioning ignition switch, or wiring issues.

By following the troubleshooting steps outlined here and performing regular preventive maintenance, you can keep your Uplander running smoothly and avoid the inconvenience of a disabled starting system.

Remember that when in doubt, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic for a thorough diagnosis and repair.

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