How do I turn off my Saturn's car alarm without the keyless entry remote?

Three weeks ago, I purchased a used 1996 Saturn SL1. It came with two sets of keys. They both have keyless entry remotes, but apparently the battery inside one of them is dead, as it does not function at all.

The alarm has gone off a couple of times since then, and the only way I can make it stop is by pressing the trunk release button on the working remote. If I happened to lose that main set of keys (or if that remote goes bad, too), how would I turn the alarm off manually?

The owner’s manual says absolutely nothing about the matter.

As a test, I tried locking and unlocking the car doors with the key, but the alarm just kept on blasting. Seems to me that if I actually have the key to the car, it should know I’m not trying to break in, but, inexplicably, that is not the case.

Any ideas?

(Oh, I might have to come back to this thread in a couple of days to test the ideas out, since the car is already in the shop for a dead alternator. Ugh.)

Forgot to mention: I also tried opening the trunk with the key to stop the alarm, but that didn’t work, either.

I’ve replaced the battery on my Saturn’s remote before. It uses a watch battery. You can probably find a replacement at the drug store. There should be a little slot along the side of the remote where you can use a coin to pry the two halves apart to get at the battery. If you don’t want to do this yourself, you can take the remote to a Saturn dealer, or you could try a store that changes watch batteries.

I think you have to actually put the key in the ignition switch and turn it to silence the alarm.

Thanks, guys. Either one of those ideas should help. I thought the plastic on the remot was molded, but it popped open surprisingly easy using only my fingernails.

I hadn’t tried starting the car to stop the alarm, so I’ll keep that under advisement, too.

I called Saturn, but they said they couldn’t offer any specifics until I got the VIN number from the car, which I can’t get right now, since it’s in the shop.

At any rate, at least one of those solutions will work.


I know that works, because the first couple of times I pressed the alarm button by accident on the remote for my Saturn, that’s how I shut the alarm off. (And then I read the manual and learned that pressing the alarm button a second time would shut it off. Duh!)

I have a 2000 Saturn, and a 1997 before that with keyless remote. If you have to open the door without the remote, the alarm will go off. IIRC, you then have 30 seconds to start the car with the key to reset the alarm or it locks out the ignition for 30 minutes. I’m not dead sure of this since I’ve never tried it, but that’s what the dealer told me.

I have a 1998 Saturn and I think this is probably either true or close.

It locked out the ignition for sure. However, I don’t know if it locked it out for 30 minutes because while I couldn’t use the ignition I was able to pop the clutch and get it going. It honked and its lights flashed for about 5 minutes as I was driving it–very distracting.

One other time it did the honking and flashing lights thing beginning moments after I had already started it, for no reason I could figure out.

Just for kicks you could try using the key in the passenger door. I have no idea about Saturns, but that’s the trick for (at least some) Chryslers.

That was actually the first thing I tried, since my dad’s 1990-something Buick was like that. Alas, it was a no go.

The shop hasn’t even looked at the car yet, so I don’t know when I’ll be able to test it out, but thanks again for the replies, all.

Saturnalia is an excellent website. It’s got the largest collection of enthusaists, techs, and experts around. Hey, even Saturn execs go to the site!