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Pontiac Grand Am Service Engine Soon / ABS / Trac Off

catdugcatdug Posts: 2
edited July 2015 in Pontiac
Well, those three things pretty much sum up what im going through right now. All three lights are on and when you make a hard right or left turn and accelerate at low speed the car seems like the drivetrain is missing, almost like it's skipping. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

See also: (Video- 6:31) Grand Am ABS/Trac light troubleshooting


  • kmajorskmajors Posts: 17
    Go to a parts store like O'Riely or AutoZone and use the code scanner. That should give you a good place to start. You can use the code scanner for free or very low cost. You do NOT need to buy one.

    This could be anything from a cracked vacuum line to a bad computer. The scanner will tell you what the computer thinks is wrong.
  • These lights are all on, I am more worried about the ABS and Brake lights. It won't let me shift out of park. I have to use the overide switch. The guys at tire pros said they replaced the ABS Brake relay.. that seemed to fix the problem... for a few weeks. Now I am having the same problem. First off does anyone know where the that relay is, and secondly does anyone know what the ATC is?
  • ac4ac4 Posts: 1
    I am going through the same thing but I am not experiencing the missing or skipping. One of the guys I work with has the same car and had the same problem. He had it serviced at the dealer and they replaced the hub assembly. This seems to have fixed it for the time being. I guess I will have to do the same thing. It sounds like it is a $700-$900cdn touch.
  • I have about 71k on my GA and I have already replaced both the left and right wheel bearing retaining hubs. Recently over the last 2 months these lights have been coming on intermittently, generally when driving in wet weather. Any ideas? Would it be one of the two hubs or is it likely one of the sensors elsewhere on the vehicle?
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,655
    Could be problem in wiring/harness 'somewhere'
  • could be, but the cost for me to take a look at the entire electrical system is going to be more than I can afford!
  • ATC stands for automatic traction control. If your car is a 2000 or newer you might find the anti lock brake relay underneath the battery tray along the left frame rail of the car.
  • If you go to auto zone they will plug the code scanner into your car for free. The code will probably come up as a vacuum problem, and or a 0300 code which is multiple misfires, but don't sweat the car is probably not misfiring it's all comeing from the faulty electrical system.
  • i"m new to this site so tell me what can i do besides take it in and be serviced, since late january 2007 abs trac comes on /serv engine /brake well brake goes off,but after 2-6 miles down the road brake comes on, and tires have a roaring soundwhen accelerating but other than that (i know its the wheel right hub) it drives great still when i first got it back in sept 06 checked for recalls and problems before on line excellent condition 98,000 actual miles [email protected] :confuse:
  • carguy38carguy38 Posts: 4
    I replaced all four of my wheel hubs, and put new calipers on all four wheels. The car drives fine, but all the lights are still on, with the addition of the red brake light. I have been working on and driving GM vehicles for years, and I have never experienced this problem. I am getting ready to run a full diagnostic check on the entire system of the car. From the engine all the way to the exhaust and everything in between. I will post a message as soon as I find out exactly what the problem is, and how to fix it.
  • carguy38carguy38 Posts: 4
    I ran a check on the system of the car, and I've discovered that the EBCM (electronic brake control module) is what's causing the problem with the lights. The module costs around $600.00 but you might be able to go to a dealer and have the tech reprogram the module. Besides that the only other thing I can come up with is the wheel speed sensors, but that won't cause the red brake light to come on. So I hope this will help anyone out there with problems.
  • jenwjenw Posts: 3
    I have a 99 Grand Am SE and the service engine soon and trac off lights have been on for awhile now. I used a scanner on it and the only thing it told me was the engine was misfiring. I replaced the hubs because I thought the wheel sensors were bad. They weren't because the lights are still on. When the trac off light is on, the engine will rev up and down when I hit the brakes. I took it to a mechanic who did a full body scan and he told me the trac off light was from the body control module and I would have to replace it and have it reprogrammed. Everything I read stated the engine control module needed reprogrammed, nothing about the body control module? Does anyone know for sure which one really needs replaced and reprogrammed? Also, the service engine soon light was said to be a problem with the idle control motor and I needed to replace it. Can the problem with the ecm or bcm be the cause of the idle control motor? I hate to replace all the parts if only one is bad. Has anyone else experienced this? How hard is it to replace the modules? They are in the dash but I'm not sure how easy it will be get to them and replace them.

  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,655
    I wouldn't be at all sure the BCM would have anything to do with T/C light (other then perhaps haveing input to make it light). On other vehicles the T/C problem could be problem with connecter to speed sensor in wheel (either corrosion or broken wire)
  • kisbowlkisbowl Posts: 2
    I had the same thing happen like you Jen, I changed the ignition module and it was fine after that.
  • roxp55roxp55 Posts: 3
    yes...actually my 2000 grand am (127,000 mi.) is in the shop now as I speak. Service engine soon, ABS, trac off, low trac, all came on the other day. They told me it usually is the ignition switch which I am having replaced, cost around $250 (part & labor). Besides that I have had no problems with my car. :)
  • stevew2stevew2 Posts: 3
    Roxp or Kisb,

    Did replacing the ignition switch work? I have replaced hubs and the abs computer. I would have never guessed the "ignition" switch. I'm wondering what the ignition switch would have to do with the traction control and abs.

    PLease write back and let me know if it was the ignition switch. thanks
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Make sure your gas tank cap is sealing properly. You'd be surprised to know how many service engine soon problems are caused by gas tank caps either not being tight, on crooked, or having a broken seal.
  • christihchristih Posts: 5
    Hi - Did you ever find a solution to this? After reading other posts, sounds like a common problem for these cars. I have a 2000 doing the same things. I am starting to get a lurching motion when the "trac off" light pops on. My main question is, I'm going out of town tomorrow - 230 miles out and back. Do you think it would be safe to drive?
  • christihchristih Posts: 5
    Hi - Did you ever find a solution to this? After reading other posts, sounds like a common problem for these cars. I have a 2000 doing the same things. I am starting to get a lurching motion when the "trac off" light pops on. My main question is, I'm going out of town tomorrow - 230 miles out and back. How long did yours last before you (hopefully) got it fixed? Do you think it would be safe to drive?
  • christihchristih Posts: 5
    I'm having the same problems. Does the ignition module have anything to do with the car starting? I've noticed that it starts a little rough sometimes - did you experience that along with the lights popping on?

  • joe318948joe318948 Posts: 3
    It seems that it is the SLRS fuse underneath the hood. It is a 15 amp fuse. i had to buy a 25 pack and replace them about every week or so. Luckly GM is buying this POS from me for an incident that happened with it.
  • stevew2stevew2 Posts: 3
    Rox, the ignition switch or the ignition module?
  • ginny13ginny13 Posts: 6
    i have the same problem and just like everyone else dont want to replace parts not needed.. id love to know if this fixes yours.. please reply..virginia ;)
  • ginny13ginny13 Posts: 6
    i got the Hazard module and the plugs and hubs replaced and havnet had anymore problems .. i do have to get a new gas cap cause the vapors are causing caos with the check engine light it makes it come on when it is not a securly fitting cap.. :)
  • ginny13ginny13 Posts: 6
    first module i replaced was only $69.oo that was the Hazard module,the hubs and plugs were just $40.00 and now i have to do the gas cap approx $6.00 I did mine one thing at a time and that way i could afford the fixes.. you dont have to do it all at once.. wish we could but have tight budget also so i definitly understand.. :)
  • As our Alero is very similar to the Grand-Am, I hoping someone on this site, may br able to help:-

    Our 3.4 2002 Alero (65,000 miles), has a problem with acceleration. It is very sluggish when accelerating, although after about a 5 mile run on the freeway, it improves, but is not perfect.It's now virtually impossible to drive safely, and on an incline, we are in trouble!

    About 10 days ago, we filled it up with gas from our usual gas station, and inserted a well known make of fuel-injector cleaner, which we use about every 3 months. Therefore, we thought it may be some dodgy gasoline. So, when it dropped to about 1/4 full, we filled up again, but it has made no difference. Now the 'Service Engine Soon' light is on, but is not flashing. I've checked the fuel cap, and that seems to be fine.
    Can anyone advise before I take it to my shop for yet more remedial work!

  • Turns out the repair shop guys ran a scan, and the catalytic converter was shot! Apparently, the average life for the 3.1, 3.4 & 3.8 liter engines is 71,000 miles. Total cost to repair was around $450! HOWEVER, the good news is, GM waranty these converters for 8 years or 80,000 miles; at least for our model (2002). So, if you have this problem, check with GM, to see if it is covered by their warranty.
  • I have a 96 grand am, In the past month my ABS and ETS off light is constantly on. Once in awhile when I go to pull out my low trac light will come on and be kinda sluggish when it is on and I am pulling out. I was told it was my ABS sensor, Does anyone know if this is the problem and if so what it looks like? And is it something you can replace yourself? My check engine light doesn't come on at all. I would appreciate any help ! Thanks
  • ok i am having pretty much the same problems that yall are experiencing but with a few variations -- my security light is constantly on since i had to do the 'reset' thing with my key is the on position for 10 min. (that went on for about 2 months) now my "trac off" "security" & "service engine soon" lights are all on and it shifts so hard out of 1st into 2nd and then gets a little bit beter with the more speed i pick up or not pressing the gas pedal when it shifts. The whole engine shifts and it feels like maybe a transmission mount is broke. i have had several mechanics look at it and they all claim in 1 form or another that its the security override protection system.... PLEASE HELP!!! (i saw where somebody mentioned a switch under the battery?
  • Here are my problems! Hopefully someone knows whats going on or has the same problem.

    My Trac Off light has been coming on quite frequently over the past couple of weeks. Usually if i would turn off my car and turn it back on again the light would go off. I noticed that when I am driving with the Trac Off light on my car kicks back when ever i accelerate.
    Yesterday my Service Engine Soon light and my Trac Off light came on at the same time. Again, whenever i accelerated my car would kick back. I pulled over and turned off my car and turned it back on a couple of seconds later and my car did a powerful kick back when i put it in Drive. That scared the crap out of me! After I left my car off for a about 10 minutes and turned my car back on, both lights turned off.
    Now the day after, both my lights are now on and they do not turn off. I still get that horrible kick back when i accelerate. BUT if my car has been turned off for a couple of hours it does not do the kick back when i put it in Drive.
    Another is the shaking my car does when I drive, it might mean that my tires need to be rebalanced. Does that sound right?
    My last problem is this rattling noise that sounds very very loud when i am braking or the first time i accelerate. The noise eventually fades away once i am driving (or so i think). I notice that when i have my car on and i put it in park, the noise quiets down. And it quiets down when I turn off my air.
    Ok that is the jist of it! Hopefully someone else can help me :)

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  • Have your EGR valve checked for the service engine light and have your tires and or rotators checked for the wobble. I am having the same problems that you are having with my car. Margaret
  • :mad: Ok, I just bought a 2000 grand am this morning. I drove it around today and this evening got on the interstate got about 10 or 15 miles down and was going about 75mph. The car just lost power, starting slowing down, got off on the shoulder and the whole engine started jerking and it died. I waited about 15 minutes and started it again. I got about 2 miles and it did it again. So I waited again, did it all over again and this continued until I got home. When I got into town and was driving slower, it didn't happen again. Does ANYONE know what this could be? I will be calling the man I bought it from in the morning, but I would really like to know what it is. It also has the Trac off light on and I don't know what that means. Thanks!!
  • What plugs did you change, and did you have to have the system reset to get the lights off or did they go off on thier own? Also I changed my hubs, and I wish they only cost me 40 dollars.
  • I think I've got a similar problem with my 00 2.4L SE Grand Am,101k miles.My service engine light came on several weeks ago and when I took it to autozone the reader said Cylinder 1 misfire.Took it to a repair shop & they said it needed a tune-up,new plugs,wires,the works.Well, $200 later,the car had the same problem.They said it needed a new 'computer'.Took it to another shop and they charged me $70 to tell me the same thing.My question is how easy is it to replace the Ignition Control Module and where can I get it cheaply?
  • Last night i was driving home and the service engine soon light came on then the trac off light came on and then the car died on the side of the road and wouldnt start back, my dad thought it might be the oil so we put oil in it nothing, it turns over and acts like it wants to start but wont go all the way. Also when i try to start it the trunk is now popping open on its own.............? any suggestions?
  • I have a 2000 Grand Am GT and my trac off light keeps comeing on! I don't even know what that means! Can someone tell me what it means and how I can fix it! Thanks so much! :cry:
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    It means that the traction control in the transaxle is being disabled. It could mean a transmission problem or a problem in the control systems for it. The only way to know for sure is to have it diagnosed.
  • hook2hook2 Posts: 6
    I have a 2002 grand am, and the abs light, traction light
    and service vehicle soon, lights come on when i put the car in reverse. when i put the car in park, turn it off and restart it , they go off. but come back on again when i go in reverse. any one know what causes this?
    thanks , Hook
  • We just bought a 2000 pontiac grand am, 93000. miles. My son went to move the car and there was no power, you could put it in gear, but it would not do anything, When you press on the gas there is nothing. Can anyone help?
  • If the engine revs up, but the car does not want to move, then check the transmission fluid level. If the engine seems tired, the fuel pump would be the first thing to check.
  • I had the same lights flashing on my 2003 Grand Am. It all started in wet weather but did not completely go away when it got dry. I have read a lot of posts here and other places, but tried the simple route first - check fuses and connections. I checked the fuses by completely pulling them out - one at a time. While I had them out I coated the blades with a light coating of dielectric grease. After all were checked and greased, all the flashing ABS and other lights went away. No guarantees, but a pretty cheap fix that may help with your electrical problems..
    Good luck,
  • are you ready for the novel?? lol ok first my car started not starting every time you went to start it. it would take a couple times to actually start then it went to taking 30 or 40 times to start it. so they told me to replace the battery i did. it continued to do this and then it started to turn off while driving and the battery light would come on so they told me to replace my alternator so i did. it continued to do the same thing so i took it and paid 65 dollars to get it put on the computer and the computer printed out all the codes on the car saying everything on the car was bad the man said that meant my computer was bad so i called around to the dealer i bought it from to see if they could reprogram a new computer they told me to let them see it they put it on the GM computer and nothing came back wrong with it so they called me to come get it i did the next day and it wouldn't start they looked at it and said it was the starter they replaced that well still the lights came on (check engine and trac off) so then they said it was the ignition switch which we replaced and ran good for a month and a half and then when the trac off was on the transmission switched gears so hard it would nearly jerk you out of your seat so we would stop and put transmission fluid in it and it would stop we did this for months and come to find out that i put too much in it because it didn't need it. i took it back they said they couldn't find anything wrong with it cause it always ran good when it was there. still the lights would come on and took it back and they replaced the throttle control sensor??? or pedal position sensor (they are the same thing i think) the light still came on once or twice a week and when you are going over 50 mph the car will sometimes jerk like the RPM's will go up and down and the speed-o-meter will do the same. then one night the ignition got stuck while the car was on... i couldn't turn it off so i took it and they replaced the ignition... and worked ok for a month now the trac off light comes on twice a week or so and the service engine light too and when i comes on autozone scans it and says its the pedal position sensor (which i already replaced) also sometimes while the trac off light is on the windows will not roll up or down and then a few hours later they will work fine and also my trunk pops on its own. if the lights are on and you turn the car off for a while the lights will go off but the transmission will only switch from first to second gear if you let off the gas (and that is always except when the ignition was stuck on the car drove perfect i mean perfect you just couldn't turn it off lol ) ok so i think that raps it up. every mechanic says it is just a short somewhere that is making all these things go bad and no one can find the short what do i do? i really hope someone has had this problem please help
  • I have a 97 grand am,2.4 with 193,430 miles.I recently had to replace my radiator.My coolant level is full,so that is not the problem.Also Ive had to replace the wire and plug that plugs into the coolant temp sensor since my fan would not come on at all and still dont by the way!Ive replaced the relays for the fan,fuses,temp sensor and Ive even had to wire the fan direct.Why is it my antifreeze is not getting as hot as its supposed to?ive also had to replace the transmission line going from the radiator to the trans and now my transmission shifts hard.But anyway,I guess since my car is not getting very hot that is making the fan not come on or is it due to that low coolant light that wont shut off?Guys at autozone and advance auto dont have clue as to whats wrong with it can someone help me with all this?thanks :mad:
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    The low coolant light is operated by a switch and float in the resevoir tank. If the coolant is up to the full mark and the light is on then probably the switch or float is bad, or just like my old 95 GA was, it just gets stuck. Anytime I had to drain the cooling system I always had to shake the resevoir tank to get it unstuck.
    As far as the coolant temp, since it's winter and you have a new radiator then maybe it's just normal? The low coolant light itself won't have anything to do with the operation of the fan.
    193K is a lot of miles for a Grand AM!
  • ok thank you for your info.I did notice that there is a plug in of some type connected to the bottom of the resivior you know what that is?Also shouldnt I be worried about the fan not coming on at all? You seem surprised that my car is still running with all the miles I have on it(ha ha)Yes that is a lot of miles but when you dont have the money for another car you make due with what you have right?thanks again for the info and I will try that with the tank and see what happens! :(
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    The connector is the wiring for the low coolant level switch. I wouldn't worry about the fan unless it's running hot. Not knowing where your from I don't have any idea of the ambient air temperature. If your in Minnesota, for example, it may be so cold it won't warm up, if your in the Southwest or southern Florida I would feel different. If it never seems to warm up at all you may need a new thermostat.
  • jt1987jt1987 Posts: 5
    the same thing happened to me in my '03 GA, but the trac off light didnt come on, i took it to a dealership, and the diagnosed the problem as a bad bearing in the fuel pump, thus causing the car to shut off while on the freeway. the dealership quoted the repair/parts and labor to be a grand total of about $734. That fixed the fuel pump, but the car is still stalling in the middle of the road, thats why i will be selling it to a dealership soon. :lemon:
  • These lights all came on at the same time and I took it to VIP and they said it was a computer issue and needed to take it to the dealer.

    Also, a couple times when coming to a stop there is a grinding sound (abs??) and the car slides a few feet before stopping. It has only done this twice since the lights came on almost a week ago. I have an appt with the dealer in a few days.

    HELP ME! what could be wrong and how much could it cost!

  • My fuse coating did not work for long. I am still looking for a solution on-line and may try another dealership but will try to get a guaranteed repair. I still like my Grand Am and wild buy another, but I am troubled about all the problems I read on-line. I realize two things, there are a lot of Grand Ams on the road and the dealerships must all be worthless.
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