Last post on Oct 12, 2006 at 5:30 PM
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Pontiac Grand Prix, Sedan
#323 of 980 97 Grand Prix GT won't start sometimes... SO CONFUSED!
Jul 23, 2005 (5:41 am)
I have a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 3.8 ltr that starts only when it wants to. Sometimes when I try to start it nothing happens, it makes no noise, and just won't start. All of the lights inside and out come on as if it is going to start normally but it doesn't do anything. It usually happens after I have been driving around for a while, but then after it sits overnight, it starts right back up. I have checked the battery and cables and they are fine. I am confused by the problem and the mechanic told me this morning that I just need to drive it around until it does it again then tap the starter to determine if thats what is causing the problem. He said that otherwise it could cost me hundreds of dollars for them to determine what the problem is. The car is in otherwise excellent condition. It is a one owner car with no past major problems except for the water pump being replaced. It has 151,000 miles on it. PLEASE HELP!
Jul 23, 2005 (6:10 am)
If you haven't already had this replaced, I would check the crankshaft position sensor. When this sensor goes bad, it causes the random stalling and start conditions you described. It happened to a family member's 3.8L and after this was replaced, the problem never repeated. Hope this helps.
#325 of 980 Re: prath20 & jamie1022 [cornellpinoy]
Jul 23, 2005 (6:46 am)
THANK YOU cornellpinoy! I noticed that prath20's message said that the car would stall out, but I don't have any problems with that. Is this still a possible solution for me. I don't me to sound elementary but I am completely lost when it comes to the mechanics of an automobile. One more thing, could this sensor explain why the starting issue has occurred only when I am at school, in the mountains of NC? While here I frequently park the car at an angled position. Just curious because I thought it was very odd that the problem never occurs when I am at home in Eastern NC where the land is flat. THANKS AGAIN!
#326 of 980 2000 Grand Prix GTP Issues
Jul 23, 2005 (8:25 pm)
Hey chiefs and chieftans,
I'm having some recent trouble with my "baby".. she's a 2000 GTP with 110k.
Trouble: For about the last 5,000 miles, she's been getting horrific gas mileage, about 50-60% of normal. Went from about 22 mpg average to about 12, and it worsens as time passes. Most recently, there's been some issues with accelleration, typically when the supercharger is engaged.
Recently, I did a full maintenance round: new tires (Potenza RE950s), synthetic oil change, fuel line cleaning (looked like an IV drip), oil system cleaning, etc. All in the hopes that my mpg problem would go away and I could move on. Nope -- now the new problems have surfaced.
Shifting problems, high revving before gear changes, and most recently, if the supercharger is engaged, the meter goes up but rarely does down (like its 'stuck').
Anyways, I'm at my wits end, and before I take it in, I want to go prepared and have some idea of what to say so I don't look like fresh bait to the dealer.
Within the last 100 miles, the service has been gone. Right now, it looks like I'll be getting about 150 miles on this recent tank since the maintenance round. I used to get 400 on a tank. With gas prices being what they are, you can see my frustration. I keep thinking that its "cleaning itself out" and just to give it time, but I also don't want to make anything worse!
History: At 8,000, tranny went bad, GM replaced 100%. OEM tires lasted for 70,000 miles (dont ask, I dont know!!), regular oil changes, regular service updates, etc. 2nd battery, new climate control deck (that went bad) and due to some hub/sensor issue, I've driven for a long time with no ABS or TCS. (If anyone has a suggestion on getting that turned back on, let me know -- I'd love to have it back but not for $600 to replace the hub).. now at 110,000, looks good, has run OK up until the last 5k. She's been a trooper, for sure.
Any help would be appreciated tremendously.
#327 of 980 98 Grand Prix problems
Jul 25, 2005 (8:46 am)
What are indications of needing a catalayt converter? My engine light will not seem to go off. I am not losing power, or smoking. The place I get my oil changes has told me I needed oxygen sensors and I fixed them.
also can a catalayt converter make your engine get so hot to a 275 degrees? and possible blow a hole in your engine?
Thanks for any help I can get.
#328 of 980 Re: 2000 Grand Prix GTP Issues [richardriga]
Jul 25, 2005 (6:31 pm)
Three things I didn't see mentioned in your message, O2 sensor, catalytic convertor, and timing. You can get an O2 sensor from parts store if your lucky, some emissions stuff you've got to get at dealer. It's easy to install. The converter my be gone, do you hear rattling from it? Back pressure and or bad readings at the O2 sensor may cause you to use more fuel than needed, but you would have noticed high revs, almost red line before changing gears. Also, timing, most expensive I think. If you have a belt like most cars today, not a chain, sometimes they will slip a cog or two. My dad had one slip, car had no power, none, reset the timing and got more power and gas mileage.
#329 of 980 Re: prath20 & jamie1022 [cornellpinoy]
Jul 25, 2005 (6:35 pm)
I read your reply to Prath20 & Jamie.
I would like to know, if you don't mind, how much that costs you?
Also, did you look into it being the O2 sensor or the converter?
Just curious, have a co-worker with this problem.
He took it to a "Reputable Shop" and gave him a new battery and alternator for $450. I told him next time he wants to do that to one of his cars, I'd do it for $450 and I'd come to him.
Anyway, he's got the same mileage and it sounds like he has the same issue as Prath and Jamie.
#330 of 980 Re: prath20 & jamie1022 [jamie1022]
Jul 26, 2005 (6:56 pm)
Jamie - If your Grand Prix does not stall, replacing the crankshaft position sensor only may not solve your problem. If the car won't start only when its parked on an incline, its probably something else. How do you get the car to start when this happens?
#331 of 980 Re: prath20 & jamie1022 [worleyguy]
Jul 26, 2005 (7:09 pm)
Worleyguy - The car was taken to a dealer and I just pulled the paperwork. Their diagnosis was a faulty crankshaft position sensor and bad electronic ignition module.
When we had this problem, the car had 81K miles. I don't think the 02 sensor or catalytic converter was causing the random stalling and starting problem. It now has 151K miles and still has the original O2 sensor and catalytic converter.
The crankshaft position sensor was $40, the ignition module was $140. The labor was rather high, but again, it was repaired at a dealership.
And I agree with you - $450 for a battery and alternator is pretty steep!
Hope this helps.
Jul 27, 2005 (4:09 am)
I have a 2001 grand prix, same problem, I have to tilt the steering wheel all the way up. Then under the steering colum on the right side below the ignition, there is a small slot that you can put your finger in. When you try and turn the ignition key, there is a small cylinder here that trys to ingage. If you fiddle with the cylinder while trying to turn the key it will release, Just try it a few times. GM in Canada wanted about $600.00 to fix the problem even though they knew about it since 1997. Good luck!