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Pontiac Grand Am Starting/Stalling Problems



  • i have a 2001 pontiac grand am 2.4 engine it will only start with starter fluid it runs great untiol yoy turn it off i have cheched the fuiel pump opressure and changed the fuwel filter and the fuel pressure regulator still no luck
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,874
    Have you ever tried to start it with a jumper battery in addition to your own? I'm wondering if it's cranking fast enough.

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  • Car driving normally and suddenly stumbles and stops. Towed home and found fuel pump relay is not actiivating. #18 fuse is good and relay tests fine. Tried jumping out relay but fuel pump still does not run. and relay coil is not getting power. Is this the security system problem I have read about? What else can keep relay from getting activated? Will try the 10 sec reset idea in the morning but would this happen while the car is driving? Help.
  • Update 9/22, theft light NOT flashing. Voltmeter reads 12v at power pin on relay but voltage disappears as soon as relay coil is connected. In other words, 12v reading is a no-load reading only. Any ideas?
  • Further update. Finally fixed it! Since jumping out the FPR did not make the pump run I crawled under the car, unplugged the fuel pump and put 12v directly to the pump. It groaned but did not run. Replaced the pump with a low mileage junkyard part and everything worked perfectly.

    Apparently, the computer recognizes a defective fuel pump and prevents the FPR from pulling it to energize it. Probably a safety feature so a bad pump does not overheat or spark while immersed in gasolene.
  • my 01 grand am wont start it was running fine today but when i parked for 20 minutes then went back out to start the car it wouldnt start it acted like it was going to ive been told to buy a coil pack but unsure how many it needs could this really be the problem i dont really wanna buy something and it not fix it

    thanks kimber
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Don't start throwing parts at it. Find out what is wrong and fix it once. Was the "security" light on the dash flashing?
  • tzokotzoko Posts: 3
    Having an issue with my Grand Am. It will start with starter fluid, but will taper out until its dead. Have changed the spark plugs and in-line fuel filter. Would i be safe to assume that the fuel pump needs to be changed? I hear it kick on before i try to start it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,874
    edited November 2011
    Or your injectors might not be opening. You can test the pressure in the fuel rail with a gauge, and you can test the injectors with a NOID light (cheap to buy).


    Also you could have a fuel pressure regulator problem:

    The fuel pressure regulator is a diaphragm-operated relief valve with fuel pump pressure on one side and manifold pressure on the other. The function of the fuel pressure regulator is to maintain the fuel pressure available to the fuel injectors at 3 times barometric pressure, adjusted for engine load. The fuel pressure regulator is mounted on the fuel rail and may be serviced separately.
    If the fuel pressure is too low, poor performance and DTC P0171 could result. If the pressure is too high, excessive odor and/or DTC P0172 may result.
    Refer to Fuel System Pressure Test.

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  • tzokotzoko Posts: 3
    Would it help you any if i told you before the car died, the code P0440 was pulled from my car? It said evaporative emission control system malfunction. that code has been pulled a couple times from the vehicle, and the first time it was pulled I replaced the gas cap, and nothing changed.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,874
    I don't see that as something that would keep the car from starting.

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  • Ok, this will be a little long and possibly confusing so bear with me. I started having problems with the passlock system last year. We eventually figured out (after replacing the battery, starter, alternator, etc.) that all I had to do was the 10 min bypass for the passlock system. I've had the same problem a few times since then, and the bypass proceedure always works.

    And now, of course, something new has started. Let me insert here that I HATE this car, but it is paid off. About a week ago I went to my car to drive home from work. I hit the button on the keyless entry- nothing. Unlock the car manually, try to start. All the dash lights come on. Try to trun the car over-nothing. No clicking, no attempt to crank, nothing. The security light DID NOT stay on or flash as it usually does with a passlock problem. Turn it off, turn it back on-nothing. After doing this a few times, the car finally starts. I drive home.

    No more problems for a few days. We thought it was possibly the battery going out. Two days ago I pack the baby up, finally make it to the car, try to start- nothing. Again all lights come on, security light does not flash or stay on, but the car will not even click like its trying to turn over. No amount of turning it off and on will make the stupid car start. Now I am pissed. Any of you with children understand what a fiasco it is just to make it out the door on time with a 3 month old infant!

    The hubby comes home, takes the battery out and has it tested. Battery is good. Hubby thinks it may be the ignition switch. We had it towed to the shop this morning so they could take a look. The mechanic hooks the car up to the diagnostic thingy (forgive me I'm female and have no clue what it's called), but cannot even get a read. Its almost like the car has locked us out?

    Help!!!! We do not have the money to start replacing random parts in the hopes that it miraculously works...
  • Update: The mechanic charged us $150. He jiggled some wires under the dash and the car started. Meaning the problem (tho still unknown to them) is electrical, right? Oh joy!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    You need a different mechanic. If he (or she) could "jiggle some wires under the dash" why couldn't they see what connector was jiggling and possibly where a bad electrical contact is? If there's no CEL or SES light on hooking up a code scanner won't help since there's no codes to read. Electrical problems like your having most likely wouldn't set an error code anyway.
    Your symptoms do sound a lot like failing ignition switch to me, or possibly a poor connection at some major harness point.
    My 04 GT just turned 116K and has never been in the shop for any repair. The 99 I had was at 120K when some idiot dialing their cellphone plowed into the back of me at around 45mph. It had been in the shop once for a mechanical repair (intake manifold gasket). I can't complain, based on other cars owned (foreign and domestic) they have been pretty good.
  • I am kind of irritated that they did not figure out what was loose or where the problem was. He jiggled the wires because he was not getting a read on the code scanner. When he finally got a read he decided to try starting the car again. When it started, instead of finding out where the problem was, he parked it and called it 'fixed'. This just means it will probably happen again (and it always happens at the worst times!). I can just see myself sitting in the car with a screaming baby in the back seat, jiggling random wires trying to get the POS to start! I have had more problems with this car and replaced more parts than I did with my clunker '96 Hyandai Elantra! The engine on this stupid car should be just about brand new with everything I've had to replace! :mad:
  • christikatechristikate Posts: 2
    edited December 2011
    1996 Pontiac Grand Am 3.1L

    Car has been running well. Parked it and came out the next morning and engine would crank over, but would not start. Have determined that engine is lacking spark and fuel. Upon key on, i hear the fuel pump run, along with everything else powering up ok. All fuses ok, including the pcm and ign fuse. Have replaced the coil pack along with the ignition module and crank sensor, but with no change. Ignition module getting the 12 volts at the 2 pin conn. on left side. Crank sensor ohmed out at 901 and with engine cranking was getting 1.1 volts. All grounds look good. Unplugged map sensor, no change.
    Wondering what to look at next?? Also, if anyone has a link to the ignition wiring diagram, that would help out a ton. Thanks!!!
  • i have a 1999 grand-am the car wont start but it thinks it is being stolen every time i ut the key in it the lights flash until the battery goes dead , the starter will not engage at all not even a clicking noise . should i just blow it up or push it into a river we have been trying everything we can think of for a week now
  • doofusmageedoofusmagee Posts: 1
    edited January 2012
    hello all. yesterday while sitting in the drive thru at md's, my car died without warning. after waiting about 10 min it restarted and ran fine for less than 5 min, then died again. pushed it home. the next day it started fine and idled for 10 minutes, then died. replaced the ign module. could not measure fuel pressure, but it did give me a healthy spray when i disconnected the filter and had someone hit the key. it continues to start ok, then die after running a few minutes. is there some interlock that will disable the car in that fashion?
  • I've never had any problems with my car. My man always changes the oil and makes sure its always running great. I live in Iowa and here recently it has gotten very cold. We both work graveyard, and one night he dropped me off first and then went to his plant. When we got off I called him and he said it wouldn't start and even tried jumping it,still no start. We've had our buddy, who is a mechanic look at it and he says the fuel pump is good, spark plugs are good, fuses are good! Pretty much he's stumped! It turns over but won't start, not getting a spark or fuel, but pump is working?!We even tried the passlock everyone is talking about and I kept it in the on position for almost twenty minutes and the security light never shut off, just stayed solid. A guy suggested ignition switch module I believe, but would like more advice. Thanks!
  • 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: 1,524
    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.
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