How To Start A Buick Century Without A Key [5 Simple Methods]

If you’re wondering how to start a Buick century without a key, there’s no easy way to do that. Most Buick century vehicles are protected with the immobilizer system and it’s going to be difficult to bypass it. 

how to start a buick century without a key

The foolproof solution to start your car if you have lost your key that will always work is to call a locksmith and have him make a new key for your car and program it.

But it can cost around $200 or more and that can be expensive for many people.  There are some other methods you can explore to get past the security system in your Buick Century. Let’s explore these different methods.

How To Start A Buick Century Without A Key [5 Simple Methods]

We’ll discuss how to start Buick without a key in this section. Buick Century vehicles have been in production from 1936 to 2005. The older models don’t have any security system and they’re easy to bypass.

If your car isn’t equipped with an immobilizer system, that means making a duplicate key is all that you’d need to do. But if your car has the immobilizer system, you’d not only need a duplicate key but also find a way to bypass the security system.

Here are the different methods you can use to start a Buick century without a key:

Note: You can also read how to start a Chevy Cavalier without a key.

Method 1: Make A Duplicate Key

If you don’t want to do the dirty work yourself and want something that will work 100% of the time, your best bet is to call in a locksmith with a whole lot of experience.

If your car doesn’t have an immobilizer system, the locksmith will make a copy of your key and you’ll be able to get in.

But if there is a security system in your car, he’ll need to program the new key according to your car using the VIN number and that’ll get you past the security system.

The biggest upside of this method is that it’ll always work and you’re doing everything legally. The downside is that it can be expensive, especially if you have an immobilizer system and your key needs to be reprogramed.

Method 2: Use A Flathead Screwdriver

If you don’t have the budget to call in a locksmith at the moment, you can use a flathead screwdriver to start your car temporarily.

This method will help you start your car only if you don’t have an anti-theft system in your car. Follow these steps to complete this process:

  • Identify the screws that hold the plastic trim on the steering column.
  • Unscrew them and take out the plastic trim pieces by lifting them. You’ll have access to the ignition switch.
  • Take off the bolts that hold the ignition switch to the steering column. That’ll unlock the steering column.
  • Unscrew the screws that hold the electrical and mechanical parts of the ignition switch together.
  • Put the flathead screwdriver into the keyhole and turn it in the same direction that you’d when you start the car.
flathead screwdriver goes in ignition

That should start the car if you don’t have any security system. If you do have an immobilizer system, there are additional steps that you’ll have to follow. Keep reading the article to find out how you can bypass the security system as well without making a duplicate key.

Method 3: Hotwire The Car

If you want to know how to hotwire a car with a chip key, you’ll find the answer in this section. Remember that hotwiring cars that have a chip key in them is much more difficult than ones that don’t. Use the tips we share to hotwire the car and then follow the next section to get past the security system.

  • Remove the plastic covering of the steering column.
  • Locate the different wire connectors.
  • Disconnect the cables from the ignition, starter, and battery. Ignition wires are generally brown in color and starter wires are yellow.
  • Use a sharp blade and strip the ignition and battery wire.
  • Tangle the wires together after cutting them. The car’s electrical components should start to function at this point.
  • Connect the starter wire with the battery wire to get a spark.

That should start the engine if there is no security system. When you’re working on these wires, make sure you wear gloves and follow safety precautions so that you don’t get electrocuted.

Just connect the wires together and don’t bend them too much as that’s not necessary.

This trick will work on the Buick century cars made before the 1990s. For the ones that are made after the 1990s and come equipped with an immobilizer system, you’ll need to learn how to bypass the security system.

Method 4: Drill The Lock Pins

If the above methods don’t seem appealing to you and you’re still wondering how to unlock the Buick century without keys, you can try this method. Once you’re inside the vehicle, you can start dilling the keyhole.

Drill the metal keyhole up to two-thirds of an inch to follow this method. There are two sections in each lock pin and that’s why you’ll have to drill twice.

When you’re happy that you’ve drilled enough to match the length of the key, you can stop drilling. Going too far can damage the wiring and keep your car from starting altogether.

Then, use the screwdriver to put the locking pins down and get access to the car. Turn it as you would do with your key and that should start the car.

Method 5: Power The Dashboard

If you want to know how to start a car without a key or hot wiring, you can try powering the dashboard of your car. First, you must locate the red coil wire in the hood of your engine.

You’d need jumping cables to complete this process. Connect the positive positive terminal of the battery to the positive end of the coil using a wire or the red wire to the coil. Your car’s dashboard should get power.

But you still have to start your engine and to do that, you must locate the starter solenoid. You’ll find it under the steering wheel in most Buick century vehicles but refer to your owner’s manual to be sure of its location.

Use a flathead screwdriver to unlock the steering column and push the lock pin away from the wheel. Then, you’ll have access to the solenoid. Take out the ignition switch wire from the solenoid.

Use a screwdriver as an insulator to Shorten the positive end of the solenoid on the terminal connected to the ignition switch. Completing all these steps correctly should start your car if there’s no immobilizer system. If your car has an immobilizer system, read this next section to learn how you can bypass it.

How To Bypass Buick Century Security System Without A Key

If you’re wondering how to start a 2003 Buick century without key, you know that it’s not going to be easy as it has an immobilizer system. That means you’ll need a transponder key with the correct chip so that your ignition switch can read that you have the right key.

So, how can you bypass it if you don’t have the key? You’ll understand how to do it once you understand how the system works. A certain amount of resistance goes into the key pellet once you put the right key in.

If you know the right resistance, then you can put a resistor between the wires and that’ll help you get past the security system. Here are the most common resistance settings on a Buick century:

  • 1 – 402
  • 2 – 523
  • 3 – 681
  • 4 – 887
  • 5 – 1130
  • 6 – 1470
  • 7 – 1870
  • 8 – 2370
  • 9 – 3010
  • 10 – 3740
  • 11 – 4750
  • 12 – 6040
  • 13 – 7500
  • 14 – 9530
  • 15 – 11800

The values at the right are the resistance value in ohms. There are two wires at the ignition switch which read the resistance setting in the key. The values given above represent the most common resistance settings found in Buick century vehicles.

If you have proper resistance between the two wires, you’ll be able to bypass the security system. There are resistors you can find on radioshack and use them to match the resistance settings that your car needs.

But how you can find out which is the correct resistance setting for your car? The first thing you can do if you have the key fob is to measure the resistance from it using an ohmmeter. But considering you’ve already lost your key, the next thing you can do is to ask a GM dealer that cuts keys.

He may be able to help you out and tell you the correct resistance for your car. Once you know that, you’d need to get a combination of resistors to match that resistance setting and bypass the security system.

For example, let’s say the resistance setting required for your car is 1470 ohms. You won’t get a resistor that has the same value. You’d need a combination of resistors in that case.

You won’t get a 1470 ohms resistor, but you can get a 1000 ohms resistor, 4 100 ohms resistors, and one 70 ohms resistor. Combine all these together and they add up to 1470 ohms. Put these between the wires when you start your vehicle and doing so will bypass the security system on your Buick Century.

How To Unlock Buick Century Doors Without Key

If you’ve locked yourself out of your Buick century and you’ve lost the keys, you’ll learn how you can easily unlock the doors following a few simple steps in this section. All you need to complete this process are an airbag and a reach tool. Follow these steps:

  • Come to the passenger side of the vehicle if you’re right-handed.
  • Make sure the airbag is emptied out.
  • Slide the airbag all the way in through the window.
  • Pump up the bag until the door opens up enough to get your reach tool through the doors.
  • Slide the reach tool through the window.
  • Get to the flipper lock on the door and flip that backward.
  • Pull out the reach tool.
  • Empty the airbag and pull it out as well.
reach tool or airbag

You’ll be able to open your doors after you’ve flipped the lock backward. You can also hit the unlock button next to the flipper lock to get into your car using the reach tool. Unlocking the car doors on your Buick century is a simple job if you have access to the right tools.


Is it illegal to hotwire a car?

Hotwiring someone else’s car is illegal but hotwiring your own car is legal. Since hotwiring is strongly associated with theft, it’s good to have your driver’s license and proof of ownership with you in case a cop wants to see it.

How long does it take to hotwire a car?

If you know what you’re doing and you have access to the right tools, you’ll only need a few minutes to hotwire a car.

Can you hotwire a car with a chip key?

For a Buick century vehicle, you can bypass the security system using resistors. After that, you can hotwire it like any other car.

Is the push button system reliable?

The push-button system is reliable and is a cool way to access your car with a keyless system. If you don’t have your key on you, you can use the push button system using a phone to start your car.

Where can I get a Buick key made?

You can find some Buick keys on amazon but if you have one that needs one with a chip in it, you can go to a General Motors service center. They’ll replace your key and reprogram it for your car.


If you wanted to learn how to start a Buick century without a key, now you know the main ways you can do it. The main challenge is to get past the security system. The rest of the work is easy and you can hotwire it.

We hope you’ll find the methods we shared in this guide useful and be able to implement them successfully and start your car if you’ve lost your key. Leave a comment below if you have more questions about Buick century cars.

About John M

John contributed as a technical head at an automobile company just 2 years after his post-graduation in Automobile Engineering. He loves to lead a free life, so he left his job & started blogging. Now, he does research on every automotive problem, part & product and seeks a better solution & best products & shares his findings with his readers to help them as well as to minimize their struggle.

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