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2001 Oldsmobile Alero fuel system problems: turns over but won't start

Turns Over But Won't Start

2001 Oldsmobile Alero (Page 1 of 2)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Oldsmobile dealer.

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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
103,301 miles
Total Complaints:
39 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (21 reports)
  2. passlock security device (8 reports)
  3. replaced fuel pump (6 reports)
  4. fuel filter replacement (1 reports)
  5. i went to the dealer and got the original key for the car (1 reports)
  6. pound fuel tank while another person turns the engine over (1 reports)
2001 Oldsmobile Alero fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2001 Oldsmobile Alero Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

Jun 232013

Alero 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,699 miles


I want to thank all who have posted before me. I hope to update later with results after trying each of these suggestions. I drove my car to work, it sat for 7 hours, drove my car into the next county to have dinner, wouldn't start. I have had this car for three years, has low mileage, my grandmother was the first and only owner. My grandpa (may he RIP) took great care of this car to ensure I had a safe reliable vehicle to drive while I was over 600 miles away from home. NOW THIS! I am a struggling person and cannot afford to replace a fuel pump, so I hope it is just the security bypass problem or something I can temp fix until I am in a better financial situation. Now, on that note, I hope no one else will buy this vehicle EVER as I see that it is a continuous problem all over the U.S. and elsewhere. GM should recall this reoccurring issue and take care of business. At least Honda advertised and did the right thing in the safety recall of brakes was it? Anyway, I hope to post back with the results and maybe something positive to say about my car (which I once loved)

- , Canton, GA, USA

problem #38

Jun 282012

Alero 3.2lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

I bought this car or m 16 year old daughter. A mechanic did the 100 point inspection and the only thing they found was the car needed new rotors and brakes. Now, 3 months into owning this car, it decides when to start.

Yesterday, there were heat advisories, with the temp over 100 degrees. The car is still in a parking lot, since yesterday morning, because it won't start. It sounds like it wants to.

I ran a diagnostic on the car and no codes were found. Very frustrating! Very scarey to think my daughter may get stranded when she is at work or out with friends. The sad part is, I did not see this site before I bought the car. Otherwise, I would have passed on this clean and "reliable" car!

- , Blaine, MN, USA

problem #37

Dec 282011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

I BOUGHT MY 2001 OLDS ALERO IN 2006 . I HAVE HAD A FEW THINGS FIXED ON THE CAR BUT NOTHING MAJOR UNTIL A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO.One morning I went to start my car to go to work and it would crank over but would not start. I would try several times but no luck. I told my husband to see what he thought was wrong. He couldnt get it to start either so he went next door to get the neighbor who is the next best thing to a mechanic but he also was not sure , so my husband went to the parts store and between the 2 of them put a fuel pump on and fuel filter. After all that it still would not start. Frustrated to say the least my husband borrowed the neighbors car trailer and hauled it to another local mechanic . The next day the local mechanic called my husband to tell him that when he went out to start the car just to see if it would and lo and behold it did and ran for the next month in a half with no problem other that taking a couple of times it might take a couple of times taking the key in and out to start. Then one night I stopped at the gas station to put about 5 gallons of gas in and the next morning ..car would crank over but would not start .So I went to my computer and found this website and read several stories with almost the same problems as what I have had. Lucky for me I found for now a definte underlying problem and it has something to do with the flashing security light/ I did what one person on this site said to try and it worked..Turn the key to acc wait about 10 mins if the security light stays on and is flashing more than likely that is where the problem stems from and is a security issue . After 10 mins it stopped so I pulled the key out and waited 10 to 20 seconds and put the key back in to start and it started right up. Now I just have to find a mechanic that can fix the problem , whether it be a sensor or a fuse or a new passlock assebly ..I am not sure and if anyone on here would happen to know please feel free to let me know because just finding this website helped me immensely . ALso when I bought the car it was used and did not come with a key that has a automatic unlock and lock , it came with just a key.

- , Houston, MO, USA

problem #36

Feb 072012

Alero 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,000 miles


so, i know all about the damn PASSLOCK crap!! ive been doing it for about a year now, well i went to the store at 12:30a.m. car ran great i get home go to bed get up it won't start so i think oh no big deal just the dam security bullshit well this time my light isn't staying on like it did the other times, so i tried it anyways, well that hasn't worked we've been outside for hours trying to fix the problem. i tried un hooking the battery, checked my fuel line, (barely anything) and i can hear my pump kick on but it won't turn over/start. it sounds like its close and it'll fire for just a second and then she'll die out trying to hit the gas doesn't keep it going either, im dumb founded what should i do wait longer in the ACC or on the ON position? idk what to do i've put 1400 in this car its has a new coil, plugs, new aic sensor, map sensor, air filter, oil change, tranny flush, radiator flush, new struts, brakes, rodors, wheel barrons, ty-rods. this is not a minor problem these systems aren't replaced cuz there not a road hazard, and thats a load of crap!! cuz being stranded with children in -20 degree weather with no money, no way to tow, or phone to call anyone is a big deal to the people it happens too! if gm was any type of car manufacturer, they would fix this problem so there wouldn't be thousands of complaints making them look like sh*t on line!! they should know this has discouraged me from any further purchases from them as well as my family, friends, mechanics and extended family! good luck to u all if theres anything u can think of for to fix this let me know!! please!! (obviously get a diff car is number one ) but i have 3500 tied up in this car and this sh*t shouldn't happen i'm good to all my vehicles! PLEASE READ AND HELP!!

- , Skowhegan, Maine, USA

problem #35

Aug 032011

Alero 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

1st off I wanted to say thanks to the people that took the time to report or post this issue.

I drove my car home 2 weeks ago and come morning time for work it wouldn't start. I knew it was the fuel pump after I paid 5 bucks for starter fluid and it started up. well, 250 for a fuel pump wasn't in the cards at the time. I borrowed cars,got rides etc. well the fuel pump was turning on, the gas tank vibrated when the key was turned on. OK, now its something else or is it a firing issue. why does it start with starting fluid still? now I have to ask my buddy for help , rent a fuel pressure gauge, check prices on numerous parts and I still don't know the real problem. OK, my buddy has to ask some real mechanics and we are now going to scan for hidden codes that didn't pop up. he runs home to get his scanner and I go to return the fuel pressure gauge. I now google this car and I end up here. to my amazement I see the complaints and very similar symptoms. I know it can't be as easy as turning the key to the on position for 10 minutes and then off for 30 seconds. WOW! my car starts right up when this process is done.

I will let you all decide on who is doing what and charging us what. its bullsht honestly and all of us get bent over unless of course u have taken the time to do any research. I was stumped and I dont know a single person who has heard of this. I bet oldsmobile and not to mention GM knows this and its ironic it happens out of warranty. read these posts and look at the costs , the time, the headaches and not to mention the time off work taken to get your car fixed. I could go on and on about this but you can do the math. WE ARE GETN RIPPED OFF ON A DAILY FOR THIS SHT!

- , Granite City, Illinois, USA

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problem #34

Jul 302011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I don't understand a car like this can have so many problems when you continually have all this happening.....oil pressure switch 2 weeks ago now i have the fuel pump and ignition changed....This is not a problem that I expected from a high class GM maker...Gm has to make a recall on this regardless of what they think is right. Thank you so much for your complaint online so I could best understand what was going on with my vehicle....My mechanic said that you can wait 10 minutes after your securtiy light has come on and then restart or recrank your engine....Is this f...in stupid or what??????Time and money......People please call gm and tell them about this problem.......

- , New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #33

Jun 232011

Alero 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles


My daughter came to visit at my job in the hospital. She parked in the parking garage with her sister, brother and her 4 month old son. She went back out to her car and it would start. Her dad was able to get a friend tow the car from the parking garage home. We had to share 1 car for 4 people to get to work every day. It took a lot of planning and back tracking of driving since we all work at different times and places.

Her dad replaced the fuel pump thinking that was the problem, she had 3/4 tank of gas he had to drain. After that the car still did not start. He replaced the fuel filter and it still didn't start. Thanks to this website we were able fix the problem with the security light bypass.

I agree I think GM should recall this car for this problem.

- , Conestoga, PA, USA

problem #32

Mar 172011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

Got the dreaded call...Mom my car wont start AGAIN. Had it towed to my garagae this time after her fathers attempt didnt work. My friends looked at it and right away said he thought it was the ignition module..as soon as they toyed with the ignition module, it fired up. It was thought to be a bad ground from the coil not being bolted down? I don't know what they are talking about...but its running...cost $0.

- , Cheektowaga, NY, USA

problem #31

Mar 302011

Alero GX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles



- , Jamaica, New York, USA

problem #30

Sep 032010

Alero GX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I have 2001 Oldsmobile Alero. it has stalled on me over three times. I have had it towed to the mechanic and the car has started once there with no problem. The third time it stalled I ended up paying $800 dollars to get it repaired. the car is now at the mechanic and he can't seem to fix it. Reading the complaints on this site, this is unacceptable and someone needs to be held accountable. Please make complaints to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration they can authorize the recall but they need enough complaints - the number is 800 424-9393. also make complaints to the better business bureau at 800 955-5100.

- , Jamaica, New York, USA

problem #29

Jan 152011

Alero 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,234 miles


MY 2001 Oldsmobile Alero would turn over but wouldn't start. First we tried to reset the Passlock system (Goggle it) which is a common fix before you bring it to a dealer, but that didn't work. So I went online and an experienced mechanic had left a post explaining that sometimes the fuel pump on the Alero sticks. His advice was to pound on the gas tank while someone else turns the engine over. After a few seconds of this the car started right up and it's running fine now. Gotta love those experienced mechanics and their posts!!!!

- , Bullhead City, AZ, USA

problem #28

Jun 032010

Alero V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

My Alero wouldn't start today. The last time it happened, I had it towed to a Pep Boys and they told me it was a security feature that kept fuel from pumping into the engine. They didn't tell me exactly how they fixed it, but I was satisfied at tihe time.

Today, I got on the net searching for "Oldsmobile Alero Security" and Pep Boys phone number at the same time. I found the answer was to turn the ignition on for 10 minutes at which time the security light stops flashing. Turn the car off and then it starts up again! and for free! and without the worry of having to cut a yellow wire and wonder what exactly will happen!

Thank you interweb!

- , Dunlap, Tennessee, USA

problem #27

May 172010

Alero 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

This car was purchased from my sister who was the original owner. I know that there was never an issue with this before but yesterday the damn piece of crap would not start, it would just sit there and crank over and over, but would not run. i read on here about leaving the key in the ACC. position for like ten minutes shutting the car off and removing the key for 30 seconds then trying to restart by cranking the key and hitting the gas pedal once and the thing started right up. I had been messing with this all day yesterday and it was not doing anything, not sure why but the key to the acc position trick worked and saved me a trip to the garage and a bill I could not afford at the time.

- , Kalona, IA, USA

problem #26

Mar 282010

Alero V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Thankfully I was at home when my problem occurred. I tried to start the car and it just wouldn't start. I had a few male counterparts take a look and we all agreed that maybe the fuel filter was clogged or maybe the fuel pump wasn't working. I bought a fuel filter and installed it, but I still had the problem. I didn't have the $250 to buy a new fuel pump and was hoping for an easier fix so I went online to research what to do with the pressure regulator to see if that might be easier than dropping the fuel tank. WELL, thank you all for finding the easy fix and posting it on this site. I saw that many people had had the same problem and fixed it with the twist of a key a short wait (10 minutes) and poof my car was back on the road. I just wanted to say thank you.

- , Brooksville, Florida, USA

problem #25

Dec 022009

Alero Sport 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

this alero is a good car we have the 2.4 liter engine,(the v-6 is junk) but we have had bad problems with the passlock theft system.let me caution you people its a waste of time to change the fuel pump,computer brain(ecm,pcm) ect..this car should have a recall on the theft system(pas loc) its clear gm knew of this problem because the owners manual gives you the way to override the system with a 10 min.wait. the problem seems to be the key switch which is a easy fix to replace it , but the security system has to be recoded @ a dealer,$$$$,i am gonna try the cutting the yellow wire as the last gent.did..my daughter drives this to college and work everyday,i am tired of her having to wait on this loout feature to reset because today it left her 1 mile from school and would not reset,so im sure after it sets it will start,but i am gonna go to the car and unhook the battery to reset the computer,then hook the it back up and do the 10 min.wait deal to get it started,this weekend i am gonna try the cutting of the yellow wire,but i will take the bulb out of the security light instead of putting tape over it,will let you know if this works..

its a shame gm will not own up to this and even worse the dealers always seem to want to replace the fuel pump,i had the fuel pump go out in my gmc z-71,they wanted to replace it for 800 dollars,haha,did it myself for 130 dollars and 3 hours work.gm dealers know of this problem and what it is they are making good money off this deal,every alero needs to have a recall on the ign.swith and key..and they wander why thier loosing sales....

- , Hermitage, TN, USA

problem #24

Aug 202009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

It will turn over but wont start. I had the fuel pump replaced and that did nothing. I cannot locate where it connects to the engine to see if there's any pressure. It is one thing after another with this car. Why fix what is wrong when something else is going to mess up. If there are any CLASS ACTION LAW SUITS taking place or in the works please let me get involved. My mom also bought an Alero and sent it back after 6 months. I have come to the conclusion that these cars SUCK. The maker needs to recall and reimburse people who fell for this trap!

- , Lexington, KY, USA

problem #23

Oct 092009

Alero 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

Turns over strong. Won't start. Right now, I have my fuel tank off, with the pump out. I came online to see how much I was gonna spend on a new one and found you guys. Whew, hopefully someone will have found a REAL fix by now, but I'm skeptical. I'm gonna try checking some wires, changing the fuel filter, and any other "relatively cheap" fixes, but I'd really like to know if there is a true FIX. Please let me know if you've had any luck yet.

Update from Nov 2, 2009: Really easy fix for me (10 min.). Read your owners manual under "passlock" and it will tell you how to reset it. If it acts up again, I recommend bringing it to a remote-start installer and have them bypass the system all together (they have to do this in order to install their products, so they'll know how. $75 max.)

Nevertheless, I'm still pissed about this, because I don't have a car lift, and I had my fuel tank off and pump hanging out. Try putting a half-full fuel tank back in by yourself (I had nothing to empty it into). WHAT A STUPID PROBLEM TO HAVE.

- , Duluth, MN, USA

problem #22

Aug 152009

Alero GL 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

F*ck oldsmobile aleros!!!! dont buy one at all i just bought one used 4 days ago with 124,000 miles and the mother f*cker wont start, it just keeps cranking, but wont start, i thought it was the fuel pump so i searched online to see how much it would cost and i found this site and all the complaints about the same damn thing. my alero came with a full tank of gas because the mother f*cker new the fuel pump was f*cked up, i swear alero needs to fix this f*cking problem before i f*ck somebody up. moneys to tight in todays world to f*cking deal with this sh*t f*ck, and once again do not buy any oldsmobile models their pieces of sh*t.

- , Collinsville, IL, USA

problem #21

Aug 012009

Alero GL 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

My car drove fine yesterday. I had an appt to go to this morning. Went out to my car and it turns over but wont start. My "service engine soon" light and "battery" light came on stays on while ignition is engaged. Battery is not that old. What is the problem???? My neighbor thinks clogged fuel filter or fuel pump. After cruising through this website, it could be anything!! Geez. Its the only car I have. Its paid for. But right now I am unemployed and I have to move in 2 weeks. Bad timing for this kinda b.s!!!!

- , Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #20

May 052009

Alero 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

This car has been nothing but trouble since the month after we bought it. First the service engine light would stay on. got that fixed then the low tire pressure light stayed on Got that fixed. Then the started went out. next we had trouble with the fuses. Fixed that now the stupid thing wont start. New battery.turns over cranks then dies. Now nothing on the instrument panel works. Car still wont start. Finally got it started took it to diagnosis center couldn't find anything wrong. Said it could be the alternator but tested it and it's good tested the fuel pump its good. Oh my favorite is put the car in park and it cut off. Started after 15 min next day wouldn't start yet again. after working on it 3 hours it started like nothing was wrong. This car is a piece of sh*t and I wont my money back.

- , Fort Worth, TX, USA

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