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Pontiac Grand Am Service Engine Soon / ABS / Trac Off



  • miklamarmiklamar Posts: 1
    My 1997 Pontiac Grand Am has 140k miles on it, and the engine light comes on when I reach about 50-55 mph. It acts sluggish, esp. going uphill. Someone said it may be the engine coil. If so, how much would that run to fix? Any ideas or suggestions?
  • Take it to AutoZone to get a reading of the code(s), they can then tell you how much the parts are. Mechanics double the price for parts and add labor. Buying the part and doing it yourself is the lowest cost, but check the internet to see what is involved. Taking it to a mechanic will be the most expensive but maybe the most reliable - just don't agree to a whole lot of extra work - it's the old "gotta make a boat payment" joke...
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Has it ever had a tune up?
  • pr2008pr2008 Posts: 2
    I have a02 grand am,3.1 with 79,000 miles. The Service Vehicle Soon, Trac Off and ABS light come on, If my turn the car off and on the light go off. After 5 to 10 mines if a turn the car on the light come on.
  • romo4romo4 Posts: 1
    what are wheel speed sensors,I got my strut on the right side changed on saturday and on sunday my abs and trac off light comes on, when I'm driving it feels like the car is trying to leave from under me it also sometimes hesitate in the morning it doesnt come on only when I'm leaving work do you have any suggestions
  • ma1625ma1625 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Grand Am. The ABS, Trac off light and service vehicle soon lights have starting coming on as soon as put the car in gear and it has hardly any power for a few seconds. I can stop turn the car off and they go off but then they come right back on when put into drive. Then today they all came on and I got to a stop sign and then there was a jerking type action in the back of the car it almost felt like my brakes were locking up after that the Security light came on and it will not go off at all. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thank you
  • I have the same problem with my 2000 Grand Am GT. I think it has something to do with the ETS (Electronic Traction control System). I found that if I start my car and turn off the ETS, I don't get any more ABS, Trac Off and Service Engine Soon lights. It's just a matter of remembering to turn it off every time you start your car before putting it in gear. My car runs fine with it turned off, but if it's on, I get a slight hesitation in the gas peddle then, the light show. I hope this was helpful.
  • I have a 2000 Grand Am that recently felt like it was missing. Low idle and low power. Autozone codereader said Cylinder 1 wasnt firing. I replace all the plugs and Plug Boots and its slightly better but it still feels sluggish and like the timing is off. Any ideas?
  • kimijokimijo Posts: 3
    I was told by a mechanic friend that the trac automatically goes off when anything happens to your wheels. I had to replace the wheel bearing hub assembly on the passenger side and now have the same problem on the drivers side, it sounds like a freight train coming through. they are just plain bad. I have had the car refuse to start due to a security issue. After the guy at autozone told me it was the passlock and how to reset it I saved $600, not going to the dealer. Now yesterday the car died right after I got gas. the gas light came on at approx. 1/8 of a tank and I went to get some. I hadn't been to this sunoco before, but i only use shell and sunoco and get better gas mileage since I started this. I had no problem when I stopped the car. I also had to wait on the guy ahead of me to finish cause he had blocked both pumps. I started my car right up and pulled forward, no indication of any problems. then after i got about 8 gallons. I went to leave and the car was hesitating and the engine just kept going, I let off the gas and then tried again and it was fine. then about 5 miles dowen the road I lost all power and the car would not start. I got it pulled home and it started right up. then choked and died. fuel or fire? it is firing and the fuel pump is working. so what is next?
  • kimijokimijo Posts: 3
    I also rented the code reader form autozone as I could not get my car there. it comes out as a pass, no codes. I have checked all of the fuses in all 3 boxes everything is fine tomorrow is the relays. I also know that after a problem is fixed the codes should be erased with this same diagnostic unit. we ar thinking the gas is bad. and it would not code for that.
  • shontashonta Posts: 1
    As I was driving this morning, my check Engine Soon light came on. I have no idea what that could have been, my car was driving smoothly. Can anyone tell me what that is?
  • Here we go again, it is a sensor and a lot of money to fix. It does not mean you don't have brakes, you have regular brakes just not ABS. If you live in the snow you may want to get this fixed. I also found that if my tires were not equally inflated it kicked that sensor on also.

    I will never buy another Pontiac again!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I have read through all these posts and my car is doing the same thing....2.4, 93,000 miles on it. It has been hesitating and recently died while I was driving it. Had the cat convertor checked and it was not clogged, changed the fuel pump, changed the spark plugs. Drove it for about a half an hour and died again. Then we changed the crank sensor and the coil pack. I had the radiator flushed out last year because I had to change the water pump. My ABS, traction contol and service vehicle lights are all on. My service engine light was on, but we coded it and it just came up "misfire"...nothing else no codes or anything just "misfire". After changing all these parts we can drive the car and it wont die but there's still a hesitation there. I've been reading through all the suggestions and the ignition module keeps coming up...has anyone with similar problems changed the ignition module and had any luck? I also thought maybe it was water in the gas or bad gas. I just had the fuel filter changed last year, but thought about trying that as well. After the work I've just had done and the parts I'm up to about 400$ Looking for any suggestions....I've also seen about cleaning the EGR valve, and possibly the PCV valve??? I'm at a total loss here.
  • I have a 2003 Grand Am and for the past 4-5 months I have been feeling a jerking while my car is idle (stop light, stop sign). My TRAC OFF light has been on for the past week and my SERVICE ENGINE SOON light comes on and off. When I turn on the heat or defroster, i smell gas fuels that get worse when I accelerate. In September, I had a tune up and the fuel filter replaced. Still the car jerks. All of these problems started at the same time. About 2 years ago, I had the fuel pump replaced (from a shisty mechanic friend of my husband), and the floor of my trunk gets moist and I don't feel as though I am getting a full tank of gas even though the gas gauge reads FULL. For the past two month, I have been using fuel injector cleaner as well as had my muffler checked and my injectors checked.

    I know this is a lot, but I am tired of having all of these problems at one time. Do you think it could be the fuel pump? or maybe I need a new gas cap? there is definitely something going on with the fuel system. HELP!!!???? :cry:
  • I can't offer any suggestions to fix the hesitation, but the ABS and Traction lights are controlled by the ABS brake computer and the $100 readers at Auto-Zone and others will not see the codes. You need to go to a dealer or a better repair shop as the ABS readers cost many hundreds of dollars.

    My ABS and many other lights were ON in my 2003 Grand AM and the ABS reader said both front wheel speed sensors were bad. I also had one wheel bearing that was noisy after just 50K miles. The Grand Am wheel speed sensors are very cheap and water gets sucked-in and corrodes the wires and the bearings. When I tore apart the old ones it was obvious that water had gotten in. I replaced both front wheel bearings and used silicone RTV to seal out further water problems.

    You should get the ABS fixed as soon as possible because an intermittent ABS can so some very dangerous things.
  • Wow, two dangerous problems at once. First you should have a competent mechanic find and fix the gas leak under the hood. It could be fuel rail, the pressure regulator, an injector, or a pipe / hose fitting. A leaky injector would also cause poor idle and performance.

    I assume by a wet trunk you mean wet with water, the trunk seal on my 2003 Grand Am was not installed correctly from the factory, but it was easily corrected.

    The fuel pump for most new vehicles are pretty standard so I think the pump should be OK, but it sounds like the mechanic didn't re-install the float correctly to make the gas gauge read correctly. It's a big annoyance but also some work to correct. I'm in favor of only paying a mechanic half until you see if he did the right thing - can you tell I don't go to a mechanic very often...

    The ABS and Traction lights are controlled by the ABS brake computer and the $100 readers at Auto-Zone and others will not see the codes. You need to go to a dealer or a better repair shop as the ABS readers cost many hundreds of dollars.

    My ABS and many other lights were ON in my 2003 Grand AM and the ABS reader said both front wheel speed sensors were bad. I also had one wheel bearing that was noisy after just 50K miles. The Grand Am wheel speed sensors are very cheap and water gets sucked-in and corrodes the wires and the bearings. When I tore apart the old ones it was obvious that water had gotten in. I replaced both front wheel bearings and used silicone RTV to seal out further water problems.

    You should get the ABS fixed as soon as possible because an intermittent ABS can so some very dangerous things - but so will an engine fire...
  • FOLLOW UP: I finally took the car to a reputiable mechanic. They worked on my car for two days, only to find out that the 2003 Grand AM's have one of the most complicated engines ever made. The "misfire" that the computer was reading was the the result of the bolt holding the Tension & Timing Belt in place. The only way for the mechanic to find out if any damage was done by the "floating bolt", was to take my entire engine apart..$2,000. However, the bad news is that there could be more damage done and they would not know until the engine was fully taken out. Well as luck would have it, a 2003 Grand Am with 1,000 miles was totally wrecked this past Friday and the mechanic called to say that he could install the new engine in my car for $1500.00. I will now have a 1,000 mile engine in car that actually has 103,000 miles.

    I would suggest to anyone, have your mechanic check with local salvage/junk yards, before committing to doing the work.

    I will keep you posted on how this works out. ;)
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I think I would tread a little lightly here. I don't don't see how a problem with the tensioner bolt (what's a "floating bolt"?)could cause a misfire, nor do I believe a 1000 mile car of the exact same type just happened to get wrecked right when you have been convinced you should swap out the engine
    Also, the statement that the 2003 Grand Am has one of the most complicated engines ever built, either the 4 or the 6, is interesting. With either engine it's not even close.
  • I agree with all of burdawg's comments. First I do hope this cures all your problems, but I cannot fail to add that an engine swap in a FWD car is not trivial and could easily cost $1500 in labor and misc belts and hoses to make it all top notch. If you really did get a low mileage engine then this is a great deal... but anytime something costs more than a few hundred dollars, I automatically get a second opinion. In this case I suspect the mechanic found the real problem for the misfire and just made-up a complicated story - one good for $1500... After all $1500 for a new engine seems like a bargain against a $2000 repair for the old engine. Sorry for the skepticism, but I do hope all your problems got fixed.
  • hi dsudelta. I had the very same problems you describe on my 2000 grand am gt. The smell of fuel was especially concerning to me. It turned out to be the fuel pressure regulator. It was a cheap and easy fix to boot. IOf you have any questions on how to fix this feel free to email me*%^^%. ttake out the funky characters.
  • big3carsbig3cars Posts: 1
    My son has a 2002 GrandAm 2.2 that is driving me crazy and broke.

    Early this year it the Service Engine Soon (SES) came on and I took it to my local service station. P0300 was the code for which they replaced the ignition control module, ignition coil pack, and plugs. total bill $667.

    The SES light was off for three days then came back on with a P0130 code. Went back to the service station and they want to replace the exhaust manifold and converter for $1039. I said no and brought the car back to my garage and parked it for a couple of months and sent my son off to school without his car while I thought this over.

    I heard an autozone commerical for OBD II testing and took the car there which threw a P0130 code that related to the first O2 sensor in the exhaust stream. For $150 for the O2 and special tool I replaced that and after 10 miles the SES light went off. Hurray... four days later the SES light is glowing again.

    All the above brings me to today... I took the car to Autozone again and now its throwing P0130 and P0141.

    The SES light it making me crazy and I'd like to know if someone can make sense out of this for me. The car itself runs well and has 86K miles on it so it's not a high mileage car.

    Drop a line if you have an idea of what this could be... I have put alot of $ into this car since owning it and am trying to stick with American made cars but it's times like this that makes it difficult. Your help would be appreciated
  • gmccabegmccabe Posts: 1
    got a 95 grand am in a basket . the car is coming along beutifully,except the abs light always staring at us and the rear brakes locking up.does anyone have the procedure to bleed the complete ABS ?
  • tobijs87tobijs87 Posts: 2
    this is a really common problem with early grand ams (before 99) and with cavaliers, sunfires, etc. it isnt a matter of just bleeding the brakes, the reason your light is on and your back brakes lock up is because your abs motor pack has gone bad, these are not incredibly cheap, usually about 200 for the part and then the shop bill if you cant do it yourself, I had this same exact problem with my girlfriends 97 cavalier. Good Luck!
  • tobijs87tobijs87 Posts: 2
    To all of you with these lights on, this is because of your wheel speed sensor wiring, the only thing about that though is that you cant just replace the wires, the wires are sealed in the hub assembly, so you have to replace the entire hub assembly. This is a major issue with grand ams, if you keep your car for a while you WILL have this problem again. I have had a 2001 grand am for 4 years now it now has 165,000 on it and i have had to replace the hub assemblies twice and need to again! These hubs usually last about 60,000 to 90,000 miles, depending on whther you buy the cheapos and how you drive your car.
  • My TRAC OFF light has come on and when it does I get hard shifts. It has come on a few times now and if I turn the car off and on again it goes away. Today though the service engine soon light came on with it. I have noticed a lot of you have had this problem. I am hoping someone can tell me what the problem is and the what they had done to fix it. Thanks in advance for your help!
  • pgpk2000pgpk2000 Posts: 1
    Hi I am new to this site and I have a Grand Am 99. If any body can tell me why the Engine not runing in slow runing? It is very hard when it comes to traffic, I have to keep my both foots in breaks and the accselartor so that I can keep the engine in a high runing mode. I am out of U.S living in Qatar, and there aren't lots of cars like this in this part of the world so help me.
  • azamor2azamor2 Posts: 1
    Have you found a solution to your problem? I am having the exact same problem but my Engine light has not yet come on. Like yours, it is an intermittent issue and it shifts hard, most noticeably from 1st to 2nd gear. If you have found a solution, would you mind emailing? Thank you. Alex.
  • im having this problem for the third time. Im brining my car into Lannan Chevrolet in woburn, MA today. I will post the diagnostic later today.
  • tbendertbender Posts: 1
    I have taken my 04 Grandam to the dealership because all these lights come on every now and then. There is no consistency in when the come on. I go for a long time and then one day the pop on and are a problem for a day or two. Then we are right back where we started. They say the problem is in the right wheel but they cannont distinguish if it in the HUB or the Harness. They say it is ok to drive until the light stays on consitently so they can tell which one it is. Has anyone else had this problem?
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