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Pontiac Grand Am Starting/Stalling Problems



  • tzokotzoko Posts: 3
    Check to make sure all the relays are good, that you are getting spark from your wires and plugs, that your starter is turning over, and all connections are secure. Also check to make sure all connections are clean and corrosion free.
  • So I went to start the car the other day and it would turn over but never fire up. We took the battery to have it tested and they said the battery was not holding a charge. We bought a new battery hooked it up and sure enough it still would not start. My neighbor looked at it did all the usually fuses,spark plugs,battery again,everything that he could think of and knew how to do in googled a few things to try. He feels it was fuel related (as i was googling how much this may cost me) I saw this forum and tried the whole let the car sit for 10 mins in the on position then try to start and got nothing. So before I take it in an blow through my entire tax return to find out is something so dumb would would you suggest I try out next? :confuse: :mad:
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    Check or have checked the fuel pressure to see if the pump is working.
  • If you turn the key to "On" and there is no response from the starter engine there might be an issue with the ingnition switch.

    If the starter engine does "crank" then the Passlock system might have locked in, thus preventing the engine from starting properly
  • tigergaltigergal Posts: 4
    edited February 2012
    My 2000 Grand AM has started doing the same thing. When I go from drive to reverse, it stalls- all the lights on dashboard light up and it dies like its out of gas. I have to put it in park and start the car again. I just had the battery and cables replaced this week because it didn't make a sound when I turned the ignition. Also my dashboard lights come on while I was driving and it made the "ding ding" seatbelt sound too while driving! Have you had an answer to your problem yet?? I just had the engine replaced last month due to someone putting stop leak in the car too!
  • I have a 2000 Pontiac Grand AM. When I go from drive to reverse, it stalls- all the lights on dashboard light up and it dies like its out of gas. I have to put it in park and start the car again. I just had the battery and cables replaced this week because it didn't make a sound when I turned the ignition. Also my dashboard lights come on while I was driving and it made the "ding ding" seatbelt sound too while driving! I just had the engine replaced last month due to someone putting stop leak in the car too!
    Please Help! I am at my wits end with this car!
  • update on pontiac stalling in reverse...yesterday it stalled while driving. All the dashboard lights came on then about a minute later it completely shut off. I lost all power steering and almost hit a car in the turning lane trying to pull out of the way of traffic behind me! Had it towed and when the towman stopped to take it off the truck.... it started!
  • So i have a 1999 pontiac grand am 6 cylinder. It has recently been starting up funny. For example if I turn it on the first time it starts fine, but if i turn it off to go to grocery store or something and go back out minutes to an hour later and try to start it it wont start unless i use the accelerator and give it a little gas. I have it maintenenced regularly,never let it run on empty and have had the spark plugs and headgasket replaced about 4 months ago. I still love my car and the whole starting up a second time right away is the only mahor problem i have with it. If anyone can give me an idea of what could possibly be wrong I would really appreciate :)
  • Mine ended up being a short in a wire somewhere close to the driver's side around where the battery is located. It wasn't the battery cables or the battery- they had been replaced that week. The shop I took it to had to call the dealership to figure out where the wire was or what code the diagnostic machine was reading. My began not starting well , then started shutting off in reverse, then just one day stalled while driving! Hope this helps.
  • mcstankmcstank Posts: 1
    I recently put a motor and tranny in my grand am it has been running a little goofy and even had,to replace a sticking injector when I start it it starts rough and even smokes a little like the has is running rich when I come to a stop when in gear the car will sputter and sometimes even stall it seems to be fine when I'm driving at highway speeds but today the device engine light came on any ideas on what it could be I have all new spark plugs a new alternator and new battery I'm getting frustrated.
  • keith85keith85 Posts: 1
    new fuel pump,fuel regulator......turn key on pump comes on...other days turn key to on pump not on ,wont start, wait about 2 min. comes on..then starts. car has only 30,000 miles..never in an colision....
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    Ignition switch?
  • mmwiesemmwiese Posts: 1
    About two months ago, my '97 Grand Am was having some problems when you'd shift to reverse after starting it up. (Actually quite similar to tigergal's, above.) It would die and the battery lights, etc. would come on, but I got pretty adept at avoiding this by either giving the car some gas when it was still in park after I'd first start it up, or, if that didn't work, and the car did die in reverse, then turning it off, putting it back in park, and trying it again would usually elicit positive results. Once I'd driven the car a bit, I could reverse, park and turn it off and on again, and there wouldn't really be any problems.

    Anyway, I thought I'd be proactive and take it into a shop because I didn't want the problem getting worse, even though I could consistently get it running every time. The mechanic, after about a month of trial and error, deduced it was the fuel pump and replaced that. Yay. That was a $700 journey.

    But ever since he got it into his shop the first time (he kept giving it back to me and saying it was fixed only to have it break again), it started having electrical issues. We took it in with a minor problem besides the reverse problem -- that the left blinker had started blinking twice as fast as normal/as the right blinker -- and he seems to have fixed that. But then the battery would be drained every time I came to pick it up (two times in a row), at which point I replaced the battery, even though it was pretty new. The new battery then had issues and the car still wouldn't start.

    After more inspection by the mechanic, he gave it back to us, the car started, I drove down the road and had the car start dying on the road (lights shutting off, power steering freezing up). So, I took it back. I think that's when he did some more work on the fuel pump. Or replaced a different part of it.

    Anyway, I got the car back again, made it all the way home, drove three more days with it, and then came down to my garage to find the battery drained. Again. It won't even pretend to start up when you turn the key. No reaction. It's not the battery. Could it be the alternator? Bad wiring? Something else? The blinker apparently had corroded wiring, is why that was broken. Is that indicative of probably other bad wiring in the car?

    Sorry this mesage is so long, I figured more details were better than less.

    I'm taking it to a different mechanic this weekend, assuming I can get it there without it dying again, but ideas of what he should be looking for, etc. would be wonderful.

  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    "I'm taking it to a different mechanic this weekend" That's probably the best thing you could do.
    Your first problem sounds like a simple cold start enrichment issue to me, but it could be something else. Since it seemed to improve after it warmed up though that's where I would start. I'd like to know how it was determined that the fuel pump was bad from these symptoms though.
    The blinking fast problem is almost always due to a burned out bulb or bad connection (usually at the socket) on the circuit and I don't see anything here to conclude it was anything else.
    As far as the battery issue I suspect one of two possibilities - the alternator isn't charging the battery, or there's a drain on the battery when the ignition is off. The first could be caused by the alternator itself but I've seen bad tensioner pulleys for the serpentine belt cause this also, especially on the 4 cyl. Pontiacs of that era. The second could as simple as an interior, trunk, underhood light that isn't going off, or as bad as some subsystem staying on when it's supposed to be off.
  • jar410jar410 Posts: 3
    My car recently started stalling when I would stop at a stop sign or stop light, so I initially thought it was the battery, and went to get that replaced. A few days later it wouldn't start up right away, so I decided to take it to the dealership. The dealership said the fuel pump and fuel filter needed to be replaced, so I got them replaced and it drove fine for about a day, until it stalled out again going down a hill in my parking garage at work. I then had the car towed back to the shop and the mechanic said the first fuel pump was bad, so they had to replace it. It staled again that night turning a corner, so I had it towed to the shop again, and they said they needed to replace the ignition module, so I got that and the crank shaft position sensor replaced. I figured everything they needed to replace was replaced. Well I thought wrong, I took the car home, and then drove it to a friends house that night. On my way home, my car stalled once again at a stop light, and wouldn't start back up for about 45 min. I really want to figure out what the problem is, so I can stop wasting money. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • illadelfilladelf Posts: 5
    Wow! So I have come here in the past and everyone has been extremely helpful. Just read through nearly every page on this topic, and once again, it seems that many of my fellow "Am" owners are experiencing the same problem as I am.

    My car started doing this whole stalling thing sometime last summer. I had a new fuel filter put in, and the problem stopped for the most part. Just recently it started back up, and is having no mercy on me. When it initially began happening, it was only at low speeds and I was always fortunately on back roads. This past week it started happening on the highway a couple of times.

    I can't continue to drive this thing around because I'm putting myself and others in danger. Got it towed the other day and like others have said, it of course started right up when we got there. They couldn't find any problems with it, said the fuel pressure was fine, etc., etc. If it's an easy fix such as the wiring, I'd love to be able to do something myself. If it's going to cost me a good amount of money, I've had this thing for 10 years and it's time to say Sayonara.

    It doesn't seem like there is a clear cut answer to the problem, and many have spent money on fixing parts to no avail. There has really been no consistency to when it happens (i.e., what speed I'm going) the only thing I am thinking that might make a difference is it seems to happen more when the gas is low (below 1/4 tank). The other crazy thing is that when it does stall out and doesn't want to start back up, if I shake the car it magically turns on. So before I get rid of my baby once and for all, does anyone have any answers or do you think this is a big money problem?? Thanks guys!

  • doofus54doofus54 Posts: 21
    edited April 2012
    this sounds similar to, but not exactly like a bad crank angle sensor. it will work ok cold, but after the engine is at full temp it will fail. after some cooldown time it will start again, but usually only for a short time. it can be intermittent and maddening to diagnose. if you don't want to buy a new one (prices have about doubled since pontiac was murdered) go to your fav junkyard and pick up a couple; if they both work you have a spare. parts are plentiful and most years, if not all are interchangeable. at pull a part about 5 bucks each. the sensor is located above and just right of the oil filter on 4 cyl motors. don't have a clue on v6's. the shaking the car thing, if not a coincidence, may indicate a fuel pick up problem, or water in the tank. has the fuel pump been checked? is your area in its wet season right now? if so, it could be electrical. find every connector in the path of the ignition and fuel system and work them several times, including the relay. if you get under the car, use jack stands. good luck. and i forgot to mention the easiest thing. make sure the battery terminals are clean and tight. weird things can happen if corroded or loose.
  • doofus54doofus54 Posts: 21
    and i forgot to mention the easiest thing. make sure the battery terminals are clean and tight. weird things can happen if corroded or loose.
  • jar410jar410 Posts: 3
    So my mechanic finally figured out what the problem was $1,000 later. He replaced the ignition switch that controls the cars electrical system, and that seemed to do the trick. It will run you around $265, but my car has been running great since that. I hope this will help some people.
  • skill34skill34 Posts: 1
    03, pontiac grand am 3.4 liter engine. Hard to start. There is no check engine light or trouble codes present. Turn the key and everything sounds find as the engine is turning to start but it does't start. After the 5th attempt it almost started and on the 6th attempt I pressed on the gas and it started. Just for a brief second it sputtered and then the idle went back to normal. Any info on what could be causing this?
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