Question: My wife had a remote car starter installed about 3 weeks ago. 2 days ago there was a meltdown in the engine compartment. There was a ground wire attached to the fuse box near the battery that melted and melted some of the plastic sheeting around some of the wire harnesses (this wire goes from the ground on the fuse box along the fire wall and into the main car compartment via a hole near the steering column.
With that ground wire connected the car is absolutely dead (no lights no anything). If I disconnect that wire (which looks after market to me) and put a set of jumper cables on the car the lights all come on, but when I turn the key the display on the dash reads "service anti-theft". The company that installed the starter has offered to take a look at it, but are claiming that they don’t put ground wires into the engine compartment. They also cant look at it until next week. Is there a way to reset the Anti-Theft so I can start it and drive it until they can fix the entire problem?
Answer:Yeah, you obviously have a problem with that remote start/alarm that was installed. The wire you mention is probably a power wire, NOT a ground wire. Ground wires are not attached to the fuse block. They probably tapped a hot power feed from the main power wire at the fuse block, and ran that into the car to power up their system. If this is the source of your melted wires and plastic, they should take care of it completely. In the mean time, since you say you can power up the car when you disconnect that wire, you most likely have to relearn the factory theft deterrent.
Just a note, there may be more damage than you can see, and just relearning the theft might not solve your problem. The power overload could have smoked the BCM, ignition switch and/or ignition cylinder. If you want to try the relearn procedure, it will take about 30 minutes. Make sure the battery is fully charged for this procedure. With a good key, try and start the car and then leave the key in the 'on' position.
The security lamp with flash for about 10 minutes and then turn off. Turn the key off and wait 5 seconds. Try and start the car again, leaving the key in the 'on' position for another 10 minutes or until the security light turns off again. Turn the key off and repeat this procedure one more time for a total of 3 times and approx 30 minutes. Once the security light turns off for the final time, turn the key off, wait 5 seconds and then start the car. If it doesn't start, you still have a problem that needs checked out.