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Pontiac Grand Am Starting/Stalling Problems



  • 90k miles, all highway. Yes when I try to restart it just spins, almost like its not getting fuel, but everything else is working like the lights. I heard of the passlock problems in grand ams but I tried the 10 minute wait thing with the key turn to on, but that didnt work for me either....
  • My 2003 acted up again 4 months after the first episode. dash lights but no contact with the starter. This time it stayed "broken" long enough to eliminate most causes since automobile manufacturers continue to have a system critical to the car which does not even begin to throw codes, not even enough to isolate which part of the electrical system was out. Anyhoo.. it came down to a bad fuse-starter connection or the ignition switch.. I had to have both replaced after replacing the ignition switch just a year earlier.. but the other choice was a crap shoot to get stranded. I spoke with someone who used to work for a GM dealership and he said that the ignition switch in this class of car has never been strong and, needless to say, GM refused to track it and address the problem.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    If the security light is not flashing in the gauge cluster when this happens then it's not Passlock, most likely. Is the fuel pump running when you first turn the key to on position? You should hear a low whine from the rear for a few seconds or so.
  • I am not sure if the security light was flashing when it happened, but it is not flashing now when I turn the car on. Yes I can hear the fuel pump running when I turn the key to on position. I just dont understand what could be wrong this car is fairly new and the only thing that I ever really had problems with before this was my key sometimes would get stuck when I tried to turn it in the ignition, and sometimes the handle would get stuck when I tried to get it out of park, but I havent had a problem with the handle in a long time. When I tried the security passlock thing when positioning the key to on position and then turning it to off it will get stuck and I will have to take the key out to try to turn it back to run position, so maybe that is interfering with the process?
  • OK so, I just got a call from the dealer and they scanned it and they are saying it needs a new fuel pump. For some reason I don't think this is right. The car was running on the highway when it shut down out of no where, could this even happen if it were the fuel pump that was bad??? Also, anyone out there ever changed a fuel pump on an 05 grand am?? We are going to attempt to do it, and any info would help. Thanks!
  • OK so, I just got a call from the dealer and they scanned it and they are saying it needs a new fuel pump. For some reason I don't think this is right. The car was running on the highway when it shut down out of no where, could this even happen if it were the fuel pump that was bad??? Also, anyone out there ever changed a fuel pump on an 05 grand am?? We are going to attempt to do it, and any info would help. Thanks!
  • have an 03 grand am se with 54k miles. Had passlock issues a year ago and also the ignition replaced by the dealer. Now having problems starting, believe it is the fuel pump maybe. Had to have it towed last night from works parking garage. 2 weeks ago car stalled while on the road. Checked battery, has juice 1 year old and the electronics still turn on, so can't be alternator. I had to leave the car turned to ON, wait on the fuel pump then could start it. Took it to the dealership and of course the car worked perfectly, until they tried to pull my car around for me. they tried diagnostics all day, couldn't recreate the problem. Had to do my method for the next week to get the car to start. Towed last night. Tried my starting trick, but could not hear the fuel pump kicking in. Tow Truck driver looked at it for me and hit the bottom of the gas tank a couple time to engage the pump. Car starts perfectly. He thinks its the fuel pump as well b/c of that. Car gets towed to the dealer ship and of couse they can't recreate the problem. And they are hesistant of replacing the pump for me. Car will be at dealer for a full 3rd day tomorrow for diagnostics. Should I just have them replace fuel pump just in case? Affraid to drive car anywhere and having to get towing can get expensive. Any help much appreciated!!!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    If the fuel pump fails it won't run, irregardless if your idling at a stoplight or going down the highway.
    The fuel pump is in the gas tank, the tank has to be drained and removed to replace it. It's not a job for a beginner.
  • I also have a grand am 2000 I have close to 107,000 this stalling while driving has happened 3 times while driving on highway 80. First I got a tune up because it needed it real bad it was good for like 4 days now it has done it again my mechanic said something about ignition module
  • i have a 99 2.4L with a little over 90k, i bought it for what i thought was a great deal for my wife and myself just as another car for 3600$ when i test drove it, the car had no problems what so ever except for a few minor exterior details,like chiped paint, but nothing that would make the car not run correctly.
    a few weeks after the purchase the car started to idle funny when i came to a stop, after a few days of doing this it stalled for the first time, i thought it was something to do with the fuel system because the gauges still worked, so i started it back up and it did it again a few days later.
    i replaced the idle air control valve, beaucse i bought one of the diagnostic tools from autozone, and a hanes do it yourself book, and with both of those it tells me im running rich, and to change it out, so i drop 90$ on the sensor and replace it, of course 4 days later it does it again, and now it does nearly every time i stop, and i dont know what to do. the rpm's always go down below 500 before cutting out unless i catch it in time throw it in neutral and rev up the engine if any one has any thing on this let me know
  • My car is Pontiac Grand-am 96, v6. Maybe I have a problem with the EGR valve. Where is the EGR valve in my car ? How can I clean it?

  • If the dash lights come on and car doesnt crank over and have enough power, would this be a starter problem? Doesnt click so I am sure its not the sullenoid. If it is the starter I need a step by step process on removing and installing. This vehicle is a 1993 Pontiac Grand Am GT 3.3 V6. Please Help ASAP.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I'd check the battery first. Just because the dash lights work doesn't mean the battery has enough power to operate the starting system.
  • So I had my fuel pump replace and drove the car one day before going out for the Christmas holidays. First night out of the dealership mechanic, the car seem to start perfectly. After being gone for ten days I came back and the car started fine. Until I went to walmart to pick up a few things. Got out the store and had problems starting again. I just spent $900 having the car towed and replacing the fuel pump. It seems as though the fuel pump is not always turning on when initially trying to start. Tonight the car stalled on me 3 times within 1 block, luckily close to home and on a side street. Now I'm going and starting the car and it starts right away all the time. Please help, I'm desperate for getting this thing fixed. Is it something electrical? Help.
  • Lemme start out with saying that I don't know much at all about cars. Recently its been raining heavily in Cali, and I accidentally drove through a large puddle. The water had to be as high as the undercarriage, and i stalled out, I waited a moment, and fired it up to be rewarded with a Click, and thats it, Its been about 5 hours sense i drove through the puddle and im still getting the same results, Everything electrical that i can see is working properly, when i start the car all the dash lights etc come on, Its A 02 Pontiac grandam, Any help or suggestions would be appreciated
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I'd say you either drowned the starter motor or you sucked up water into the engine and seized it. If this is a stickshift you can try a push-start. If it's an automatic, you'll probably have to remove the starter and bench test it, or if the starter checks out, take out a few spark plugs and look for signs of water in the cylinders. or vice-versa.

    If you hydro-locked the engine, it's toast. All the rods are bent. Hope it's just the starter motor.
  • Well me and my father think its the starter, I dont believe its hydro locked ive checked the engine oil, and its fine, usual color, no indication of water being inside, How do i bench test the starter? And how do you hydro lock it? sorry man, i Know nothing about cars, I checked the air filter, and it was Soaked through, if that helps at all.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You can't test the oil for hydrolocking. You'd have to remove the spark plugs and try to spin the engine. If the engine doesn't turn, well then you know.

    I think you did hydro-lock it, sad to say, but let's hope not. See if the engine turns or not! A water-soaked air filter is a bad sign.

    Is this a stickshift? If so, you can just put it in 2nd gear and push the car gently by hand and see if the motor rotates.
  • Well we pulled the front 3 spark plugs, and cranked it and sure enough water came out, We cant get the back 3 spark plugs. From water just being in there do we know if the engine is dead?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well it may not be dead, that depends on how much water went in---if the water filled the cylinders, well....water does NOT the piston comes up, hits the water and bends the connecting rods.

    You should probably remove all the plugs, spin the engine to get all the water out, and do a compression test for starters. If compression is decent, put in new plugs, drain the oil and change the oil and air filter and crank 'er up and see what happens.
  • Mr Shiftright, Thank you, All your information got my car back on the road, I didnt know how to do a compression test, but drained the engine of water. replaced everything you suggested, and charged the battery, and she shot back up with a wee bit of hesitation. Shes moving though. Thank you very much man.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    phew! Lucky man! Good for you! It must have doused the spark plugs before the water could compress, or not enough water got it to fill the cylinders.
  • 2001 pontiac grand am, car won't start. hi their, if your car turns over but will not start try this. turn the key to the on position for ten minutes or until the serucity light goes off. then start the car. if you have to do this again you are most likely having some kind of fuel or elect problem. my problem was low fuel pressure even though the the car would run for a while. i had to change the fuel pump to get the proper press back. the car has 112000 miles and has been pretty good to me. lucky for me i was able to change this pump myself and saved alot of money. i hope this helps some of you out in getting your car back on the road. thanks for all of your help.. td
  • I had similar problems recently. But it didn't have anything to do with the Passlock systme. The security light was on. Had low fuel pressure so had the fuel pump replace. That worked for only 2 days. Had to get ignition switch replace. Car is working fine now.
  • jt1987jt1987 Posts: 5
    i got the same problem. The problems started a few months ago, with the car in idle, i rev the engine and it will only rev to between 3500 and 4000 rpm, it didnt do that last year. Then it started to not want to start in my driveway and the ignition was loose (i had to wiggle the key just right to get it to turn over) so i had the ignition replaced. That was an expensive, but not necesary repair i found out about. A week ago it stalled out on the freeway, i had it towed to a dealership and they said the fuel module with the fuel filter had to be replaced because of a bad bearing in it causing the fuel flow to stop. That got fixed for over $700 but that is still not the problem. Now it stalls while im driving down the road, ive had over a grand in repairs in less than 3 months. I would never recomend a grand am to anyone i know.
    :lemon: :sick: :mad:
  • jt1987jt1987 Posts: 5
    i have the same problem, it was a bad bearing in the fuel pump, i got it replaced for 734 dollars but it still stalls on the road
  • jt1987jt1987 Posts: 5
    my 2003 GA now has a service engine soon light, it will stall in the street during acceleration (from red light), i recently had the fuel pump replaced because of a bad bearing and they charged me $734, including parts and labor. does anyone have any ideas, cuz i think i will be selling it soon because i can't afford to keep repairing it. Having 2 major repairs in less than 3 months totaling over a grand is rediculous!!! Any in put or ideas is appreciated rhanks.
  • jt1987jt1987 Posts: 5
  • jimmbojimmbo Posts: 2
    Changed bad battery, the car now spins over but will not start. was a security feature tripped? There was no problem before the bad battery issue, any ideas?

  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Is the security light flashing when you try to start it?
  • jimmbojimmbo Posts: 2
    yea it is, thanks for the reply,
    It was the pass lock system, I reset it and is working fine,
    this is a great site.

    thanks for the help and information

  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Re-setting it doesn't fix it. Most likely you need a new Hall-effect sensor which means a new ignition switch. It may not be much of a problem for a while, and seems to be worse in wet weather according to my experience.
  • My son has a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am SE with the 4 cylinder engine with 58,000 miles on it. The last few years I have been having problems with it but I wont go into all the stuff since most of it has been covered in this thread already to the "T"!.

    The lastest was 2 days ago. He came home from work in the evening (car was running fine). He went to go to college the next morning and the car briefly started and then died out. Couldnt get it started again. I went to Auto Zone and picked up one of those $40 code readers. The code came back on his car as (P0171 Bank #1 Lean) So he took my wifes car to school and Dad went to work on his car.

    I pulled the car into the garage (unheated but warmer than outside) and put 2 bottles of heat in the gas figureing since it was 10 degrees outside where he parks and that he just got gas the night before he probably got some water in the system which plugged the fuel system. I put the battery charger on his battery to bring it back up and went and got a small space heater to keep the inside of the garage above freezing while I worked.

    I tried allot of the info I got here but nothing seemed to work. I really didnt want to drop the tank but after checking and swapping out fuses to make sure the obvious wasnt wrong I decided the fuel pump had to be the culprit. The key hear like others have said is if you turn the key to the on position without cranking the car and you dont hear a humm under the center of the car where the fuel pump is located its more than likely the fuel pump.

    Theres some other issues. I live near O'hare airport so theres always planes flying overhead so I really couldnt hear well till it was in the garage anyway. Then you have the ding-ding-ding to contend with when the doors open or the key gets turned on. I found out to eleminate the ding-ding-ding you go to the passengers side of the car, open that fuse box by the door pillar and the bottom fuse that says RADIO is the one you want to pull. That will disable the radio and also the ding feature which was worth it to me! Theres also a neat fuse puller thats located in the engine compartment in the main fuse box if you dont want to use pliers or needle nose to get it out.

    Now for anyone wanting to do this themselves I would rate this as about an 9 out of 10 in the skill level department to pull off. The fuel pump cost at my Auto Zone was $240. It comes with basic instructions, fuel pump assembly and a new rubber O-ring. The same part at the Pontiac dealer was quoted as $505. So naturally I went with Auto Zone.

    I would like to caution anyone doing this job that theres lots of gas fumes to contend with so extreme caution is urged so you dont blow yourself up and think before making power changes in a potentially enclosed area with gas vapor! Common sense rules.............

    I first disconected th battery from the car so theres wasnt any sparks with gas later on and messing with quick disconnects/cannon plugs. I jacked up the car and put 2- 4X4's under all 4 tires to get the car up about 8" up in the air. I also set the emergency brake and kept the car in park so there was no tendancy for it to roll off the blocks. After that I also put a few jacks up un the engine frame so if the car slipped off the wood blocks I wouldnt get crushed under the car

    Theres 2 cannon plugs that need to be disconnected underneath by the back right corner where the fuel tank is located. there was also a third plug there but it was a dummy plug with no wires. Maybe for a differant option that my sons car didnt have? Theres little red safety clips that will first need to be pulled out before the quick connects can be undone. Theres also a big black vapor box that you use a single 10mm socket on and then it slides off to one side and can be removed and put somewhere out of the way. Theres a heat sheild that you have to remove with 4 screws and one plastic push in plug and then you can wiggle that out and put that away. Theres also 4 connections that will have to be undone. 2 go to that black vapor box. They gave me a little trubble until I figured them out. You have to kinda grap the clip in the middle, flex it forward and then pull it off. I didnt need any tools or screwdrivers for it just a little muscle. Theres also 2 fuel lines that need to be disconnected. There differant sizes so you dont need to worry about reconnecting them wrong on the reinstall. Theres a pretty well thought out clip that has to be undone to get them off. You take a very small flat bladed screwdriver and you have to use it to unsnap the first segment of the clip apart. When you do this you will have one piece that kinda flaps around on a hinge. Then you need to push the smaller end up and sorta through the sleeve but not all the way out. After this is done the end can just be pulled right out and off. I would also have a drip pan under there first since when you undo these I got about a cup of gas that flowed out of the fuel filter line. The other line only a few drips came out. Next I undone the main fuel entry rubber hose thats about 1-1/4" a round. It had a regular type clamp on it. I undid it at the upper joint. You have to work a small screwdriver around the rubber to break it free after the clamp is undone. Then pull it off.

    Now basically the fuel tank in completely undone with the exception of the 2 large straps that hold it in place. Now if your like my son and have a full tank. 14 Gallons times 8# per gallon and you have a fuel tank that weighs 110#. So I got a piece of plywood about 1' by 1-1/2' long. Put it under your floor jack and get it under the plastic fuel tank and straddle in between the 2 holding straps. Now remove the 2 bolts that hold the straps. Fuel tank should be supported by plywwod and floor jack. Once the bolts are undone you can turn the straps sideways and completely remove them and get them out of the way. Now start lowering your floor jack about 3". You will need to pull the tank over towards the passengers side to get it clear of the exhaust pipe. Now lower it to the floor and slide it out from under the car.

    I decided to remove the fuel while replacing the pump to make it easier to reinstall. If you do this you will need up o 14 Gallon capacity depending on how much is in the tank. I had my other son help me lift the 110# gas tank up on a cart about 2 feet in the air. This is going to be for when I drain the tank later (gravity). Now you will see the top of the tank and the large round area is where the fuel pump lives. Theres a locking colar on there that will need to be turned to remove the fuel pump. Make sure all the tabs a straight. I used a socket wrench and tappen the end of the collar to undo it. Once its undone the fuel pump will pop up about 4". Its under spring tension to hold it in place. Theres one fuel line connection on top and 2 cannon plugs (one has a safety tab that needs to be pulled before you can remove it) that will also need to de disco
  • Its under spring tension to hold it in place. Theres one fuel line connection on top and 2 cannon plugs (one has a safety tab that needs to be pulled before you can remove it) that will also need to de disconnected before removal. You can leave the other 2 fuel lines connected to the fuel pump since the new pump already has them on there. I then cyfined the tank with a small hose almost dry into my other fuel tanks. When you remove the fuel pump theres a float assembly and a filter strainer in there so you have to kinda turn it a litle and work it out. Theres also about 3 cups worth of fuel trapped in the fuel pump and when you pull it out I would have the drain pan handy again so you can empty the fuel pump into it. Reinstall the new fuel pump with the new rubber O-ring.

    Now just reverse order everything until you got it all back together. When it was completely assembled I turned the key to the on position and finally for thr first time heard the humm under the car! It only humms for about 3 seconds and then turns off. What its doing is pressureizing the fuel manafold. I did this like 3 times to make sure there was a good fuel head pressure up to the injectors. Then thend the key to start and the car fired right up. I let it run a while to make sure there were no leaks. Also make sure your garage door is open before you try starting it and let it air some of the fuel vapors out first!

    The job took me 4 hours to do. I have never done a fuel pump before or removed a fuel tank. But I am a very hands on, skilled mechanic type so judge yourself if this is something you can do yourself and "BE CAREFULL"

    I myself hate going to the dealers and paying the big money an appreciate forums like this that help problem solve. This is just my hopefully way to give back. ;-)

    Cheers, Jim
  • I had the same problem with my 99 Se.Yet it was the headgasket.
  • My 99 Se's gas gage started messing up two yrs ago.It doesn't give me a correct reading.It never tells me when it is empty.I was told that it might be the senor module in/on the gas tank,or the fuel filter.Since I had used the tripometer before this happend.It is what I use now,because I can't afford the so called $400.Why is this happening to me!!!! :surprise:
  • The samething to my 99 SE.I would do the samething,I sent it in,because in the morning it wouldn't stay running.Found out it was the idle senor.Because that was another terrifing expense,I forgot the price of that repair.
  • My pontiac doesn't always want to start. sometimes I have to hold the key much longer to get it started and sometimes it starts just fine and other times it takes 3 times to get it started. I have no idea what may be going on. Also the blinkers work sometimes and sometimes not. Anyone have any ideas.
  • sbobosbobo Posts: 4
    My trunk use to pop open from inside now i have to use the key. Do you think it is a fuse?
  • what would it cost for a fuel pump for 2003 pontiac grand am se
  • We just had a problem with our 03 Grand Am not starting. We went to get dinner and a half an hour later it wouldn't start. It would turn over and maybe start for about 2 seconds and then die. We ended up having to reset the passlock by putting it in the inginition for 10 minutes and then starting it. It worked, but the mechanic said that it will only help so many times, and then all of the sudden it will just completely go out. The security light flashed the whole time it was being re-set. The next morning after we took it to the mechanic, it did the exact same thing. It just depends on the car as to how long it will work after you reset it. We just had to have it fixed, and it will run about $400-$500.
  • my car is only stalling when in reverse does anyone no what it could be please help
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Only in reverse? That's a new one for me. What does it do, just die out immediately, or does it stutter a little and then stall?
  • yes only in reverse and it completely stops and all my dash lights come on like my battery and stuff then i put it in park shut it off and turn it back on and its fine im soo confused
  • I had to have my fuel pump changed out in my 2003 Pontiac Grand Am SE about 10 months ago and with the labor and everything it was $690. The part itself was almost $400.
  • Hello everyone. I have a 2005 pontiac grand am that I just got stranded because my shift is stuck in park and wont move. Any suggestions on what may be wrong? My car is still sitting in the parking lot at work...I'm wondering if this is going to be a hard fix or if there is just something that could be possibly stuck??? Any info is appreciated.
  • About a week ago I was running errands and had to stop back at my house to pick up. When I came back to the car about 10 min later it wouldn't start. It appeared to turn over, but not fire. The whole engine block shook and sounded like it wanted to escape from under the hood. A nieghbor guessed fuel pump. Had the car towed to a repair shop the next morning (after once again trying to get it started with the same results). 1 hour later the repair shop called to find out what's wrong with the car - apparently it started just fine for them. I described the 'symptoms' and was told that perhaps ' got knocked loose on the tow truck on the way over here'. The kept it 2 more days to try to duplicate the problem - without success. My son finally picked up the car and parked it in front of my office building - less than 1 mile away from the repair shop. About 1 hour later he tried to start the wouldnt start - same sound, same nothing - it appeared to turn over (or want to turn over, but wouldn;t fire). The engine block, again, shook. We took it back to the repair shop the next day (it started fine and we drove it there). This time they kept it 3 days, drove it regularly and again could not duplicate the problem I finally picked it up today and drove it home ( after having starting problems again). My son borrowed the car earlier this evening and 20 min. later I got a call: apparently the engine stalled while drivign uphill. He was able to coast into a side street (with great effort was able to steer and break). Will have car towed again tomorrow am..........maybe this time to dealer? Any ideas? BTW - although the problem only showed when my son and I are driving the car - we HAVE witnesses........really :):):)
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    From your symptoms, it sounds like a fuel delivery issue to me. Unless the security light is flashing when you try to start it, it most likely not a Passlock issue, and Passlock wouldn't cause it to stall while running under normal conditions. A failing fuel pump can cause the very symptoms your describing. Unless it completely fails it can be hard to diagnose the way you've tried so far. I would take it to a known competent shop and have the fuel pressure & delivery rate checked to try and find out the condition of the pump.
  • sometimes it will start and run for a few seconds and sometimes it wont start.I've replaced the battery,oxy sensor,map sensor,and crank sensor and no luck. any one have any suggestions. oh it is a 3.1 3100
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