Major Problems!

eshaw725eshaw725 Member Posts: 1
I bought my 2002 Pontiac Grand Am less than a year ago, and have had nothing but problems. The day I purchased the vehicle it overheated on the way home and was leaking antifreeze. I took it to my mechanic and he put in a new thermostat, flushed everything out, and replaced my fan. That solved my overheating problem $300 later I might add. The next thing I knew I was replacing the water pump, which cost me about $200. The next thing to go was both my front driver and passenger side windows went off track and no longer work. After the windows my heate quit working, which I have yet to get to windows or the heat problem taken care of. My car seemed to be running fine mechanically wise for a while but then all of a sudden it wouldnt start, i mean it wouldnt even turn over. I replaced the battery, starter, alternator, and still nothing! I finally had it towed to a garage, where I was told that the person I purchased the vehicle from had completely butchered all the wiring and that was why my car wouldnt start. My car was in the garage for over a week and needless to say I ended up paying a pretty penny. I had my car rewired over 6 months ago and it was running great then thursday when I tried to leave work, the same thing happened, my car would not start. The battery wasn't dead, and it was a repeat of the last time. I had it towed to a garage that day and was told that it has to be the wiring again. I got a call from the mechanic the following day telling me that I need to have my ignition switch replaced along with an all new wiring harness, and that my previous mechanic just rigged the wiring so my car would start and run for a short amount of time. This all makes no sense to me what so ever. I mean has anyone else ever had this much trouble with their grand am???


  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    Sounds to me like your problem now is due to the passlock security system. I'm just guessing but go over to the passlock problem area and educate yourself on it. Did the "security" light come on and start flashing when you tried to start it?
    The most common passlock problem is due to the hall effect (magnetic) sensor on the ignition switch, which may explain why they want to replace the switch. I would think the wiring harness could be repaired though unless it's torn up real bad. Someone may have tried to bypass the passlock (you can learn about that in the passock topic also) and cut some wires in the harness.
  • cagleracingcagleracing Member Posts: 3
    I found this tonight while searching for help with the same problem. It worked in my case and the advice saved me a lot of trouble. Prior to the internet, I would have checked fuses, voltages and codes. Here's what worked in my case...

    The security system no longer "likes" your key. Sounds like the Grand Am thinks it might be facebook. In our case, the Grand Am didn't like my wife's key, or my key - so I suspect it has more to do with hall effect sensor deteriorating. Here's how to make your Grand Am like your key again.

    1. Key On - notice that the security light is blinking.
    2. Leave the Key On & Wait 10 minutes
    3. The security light should be off by now
    4. Key Off - Remove the key if you like
    5. Start the car

    The source I found for this process said he has to repeat this about every two months. I plan to leave a copy of the process for my wife in case it happens to her again.

    Hope this fixes your Grand Am problem as well.

    Steven Cagle
  • cagleracingcagleracing Member Posts: 3
    One more thing, the 2003 Pontiac Grand Am is the worst car anyone in my family has ever owned. Other than Corvettes, I will no longer purchase any car made by GM. My most recent vehicle was a 2011 Subaru Outback w/ H6 engine. It now has just over 7500 miles and so far it has been a great vehicle for all the things we need it for.

  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    Actually, the "key" has nothing to do with it on Passlock equipped GM vehicles, only on Passkey equipped ones (an older system) that actually have the resistor chip built into the top of the key. The 10 minute procedure only resets the passlock.
    Funny how these things work out, I had a 99 GA that was extremely reliable until some moron dialing their cellphone plowed into the back of me at 35-40mph (according to the CHP). The 04 GAGT I have now is at 116K without any major issues.
    I did look at the Outback at the Orange County CA auto show and liked it quite a bit. I was advised to go with the larger engine.
  • cagleracingcagleracing Member Posts: 3
    Test drive an Outback with the 3.6R engine (H6 config). It has decent handling, turning radius, acceleration and pulling power. In a recent long trip, with my family of four and loaded with luggage, the OB gave us around 25 MPG highway. Around town, I get 19 MPG. It's our first Subaru and it was bought partially due to Subaru's reputation for owner loyalty (people I know) and well built cars that last a long, long time.

    Steven Cagle
  • ksn95ksn95 Member Posts: 2
    I own an 1999 Grand AM SE , and I'm having problem after problem with this vehical . Power steering pump , brakes , Transmission , and more recently an over heating issue . I think I blew a rod or something of such sorts because I cannot go very far before my vehical is running to hot . I've tried looking for new parts for this make and model and I'm not having an easy time .
  • bw22092bw22092 Member Posts: 1
    I was driving down the road with my ac on. While I was driving the car it stallebut it kept running. Half a mile down the road it did it again and turned the car off. I lost power steering and the brakes wouldn't work. I had to stop the car with the ebrake. I let the carsit and tried to start it up agina nd it did but stayed on for approximatley 30 seconds then turned back off. I'm not sure what's wrong with it. I have already put in a new ac compressor, new 02 sensors and knock sensor a new water pump. Anyone have any ideas?
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Member Posts: 1,964
    What year is your Pontiac, bw22092? Any luck in getting this resolved since your last post?
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
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