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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
77,375 miles
Total Complaints:
33 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (16 reports)
  2. replaced passlock module (4 reports)
  3. leave key forward for 10min (3 reports)
  4. replaced ignition lock cylinder (3 reports)
  5. towed to the mechanic, where it started right up (3 reports)
  6. reset the computer to get your car to start (2 reports)
2002 Pontiac Grand Am electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #33

Jan 072014

Grand Am GT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,992 miles


Three days ago my fiancé was leaving work and tried to start the car and it didn't start. He connected out battery booster, and on the third try was able to start the car. Drove to a store and shut the car off, and when he tried to leave the car would not start again. He was able to boost it again and got it home. I left for work shortly after and was able to start the car, but on my lunch break the car would not start. Tried boosting it with the battery pack and another vehicle and nothing. Had to leave it at work overnight. We went back the next day and were able to boost the car and get it home. Now it will not start, even with a boost. Not the passlock system, as the security light does not come on at all. When attempting to turn on the car the lights and radio will come on, and a short whirring sound will occur, but the engine does not start. The battery is reading decent voltage. This is such an inconvenience as it is the middle of winter and we just had a week of deep freeze. I am sickened with Pontiac, will never ever buy from GM again. This is not the only issue we have had with the car- the signal lights will only work intermittently and will make a clicking sound even when not turned on. Pontiac should really step up an admit that they produced a cheap, sh*tty car and start taking responsibility for the multitude of problems Pontiac owners have had with their vehicles. I have never talked t to someone who owned a 1999-2003 grand am and not have had problems.

- , Winnipeg, Manitoba, canada

problem #32

Apr 232012

Grand Am SE 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 161,000 miles

My 2002 Grand Am battery keeps getting drained and not sure from what. I changed the starter and put in a new battery and a week later it started doing it again. Put a battery disconnect on it so i didn't have to use battery booster pack every time to start. Has anyone had this problem or have a solution?

- , Mcgregor, IA, USA

problem #31

Mar 192012

Grand Am GT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,206 miles

I have had it up to here (over my head!!!) with my Grand Am. About a year ago it started to act up, I tried to leave work and my car would not start. After a lengthy phone call with my dealership he suggested to leave the key in the on position for 10 minutes, and then try. It worked, but since then has done the passlock deal many times, which is an easy enough fix. Here's where it gets messy, now it will not start when I turn the key in the ignition. No security light flashes, which means that its not the passlock, the radio comes on and other lights come on so I know it's not my battery. This car drives me absolutely bonkers. Sometimes it will start right away (on colder days Ive noticed) and others I will sit and try 15 times to start the car and then it will just magically start again. Very inconvenient, makes me want to never turn my car off for fear of it not starting again. VERY FRUSTRATED!!!

Pontiac obviously needs to step up and recall the vehicles so that us owners don't drive off of bridges in frustration!!!

- , Winnipeg, Manitoba, canada

problem #30

Aug 152011

Grand Am GT1 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,000 miles


To add to the endless list of other Pontiac Grand Am owners that are having a similar problem with a malfunctioning Anti-theft system, I have had two incidents so far of the car not starting. It usually results in trapping my wife at some distant location, and I have had the car towed twice, only to start right up once I got to the mechanic. Twice now they've tried to trace the problem, but when it's gone it's gone, and they couldn't find anything. The Security light did come on while driving it, and after shut down, it would not start back up. This is unbelievable. I am NOT going to pay hundreds of dollars to troubleshoot a problem that really should be a factory recall. I would sooner try to bypass my anti-theft system. I can't believe there's no recall on this. Of course, it's no longer General Motors; it's Government Motors, and like the illegal alien problem, this too will be ignored. I'll drive it until it quits, then I guess I'm done with it. Too bad because it's been a supremely reliable car until this started happening.

- , Clovis, NM, USA

problem #29

Feb 182011

Grand Am SE2 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,700 miles

I bought a 2002 Grand Am about a year and a half ago with 65,000 miles on it for 4500. It was an amazing deal nothing wrong with interior or body, test drove it and it was wonderful. After I got this car paid off it starts being a little sh*t. First the windows never roll up and down right. I take it to a local place to fix it and they roll up and down just not very fast or the way they should. Then my battery kept dying, and dying. So again I took it to a local place, and took them awhile to fix it. I also had to put a new front suspension on. After I recently got that on my car wants to FREAK out and not start sometimes. My boyfriend being the mechanic he is, he looked at my switch wires and everything is good. Then he hooked the battery back up and it started just fine. I NEED HELP CUZ IM TIRED OF THIS.

- , Brewster, KS, USA

problem #28

Mar 212011

Grand Am SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

My car decides to not start at the most inconvenient times. When I need to get my child from school and I am already running late so I have to wait an additional 10 minutes, or when I am just trying to pump gas and I try and turn the car back on but then have to wait 10 minutes just to leave the stupid gas station. This happens more times then I can remember.I took it to the dealer and they wanted $1200 to fix it. I said forget that!

- , Racine, WI, USA

problem #27

Mar 042011

Grand Am SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles


I am doing this a bunch of times even though this problem has happened more then 20 times

- , Racine, WI, USA

problem #26

Mar 232011

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

This is the 2nd time my car would not start... tried and tried... lights on, radio on but nothing when I turned the key, After calling for help, it just started up and I felt like I was some kind of nut.. now I read on this site about the security system... Funny that after owning this car since new that it suddenly is doing this.. Everyone reported how to reset the system to get started but no one has said how to make it stop doing this or why it "locks" and needs reset.. I would like to know a prevention, if there is one.. thanks everyone...

- , Cumming, GA, USA

problem #25

Jul 302010

Grand Am 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

It all started about 2 years ago! The car was cutting off while going down the interstate. We had the fuel injectors cleaned for about $300. Shortly after the car began having electrical issues sometimes the turn signals will not work along with the radio, wind shield wipers, heat/ac. Also the motor that controls the electric window in the driver side died a short time ago. But most recently and the most awful is that the car only starts when it feels like it. There is no codes showing and cannot be fixed because the problem cannot be properly diagnosed. What a piece of Sh*t no wonder GM had to be bailed out by the government because you build Sh*t for a living. Thanks for ripping me off GM!

- , Maiden, NC, USA

problem #24

Mar 252010

Grand Am GT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

I bought this car in December of 2008. Two weeks after i bought it, the car won't start. It happened to be the Starter. Then in May before leaving for vacation it happens again. They replaced it. In August my car wont start at all, no clicking just battery power. Had it towed once again...and to find out my computer module lost the memory of my key so they had to reprogam it.

Then just about a few weeks ago my security dash light would come on..then go off.. i didn't think too much of it. Thursday march 25th, i was running errands and the last stop i turn the key...no turnover. few choice words so i was able to use the remote start that was installed after manufacturer but before i had it. (thanks..not!) I went out of town, got a ride to work Monday, tried it after work..both ways and got nothing. Towed it to the mechanic and that's where it sits. They took the remote start out cuz i didn't like it and it seemed like it was causing more problems than it was worth. They think it's a relay switch. The car's computer thinks its in Drive so won't turn on at all. From the day i bought it i've been having issues. I owe more than its worth. I'd like to trade it in but i don't want to mess up my finances. GRR What to do...NEVER BUY A GRAND AM. :)

- , Madison, WI, USA

problem #23

Jun 222009

Grand Am ES 2.2L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles


Sometimes when I start the car it will not allow me to, use the directional, run the windows up and down and the radio, fan and the instrument cluster, will not work either. Then without any warning it will all come back on. Occasionally they will all start to work when I try to use the directional and then and only then the Service Engine Soon light comes on. But each time that I turn the car off and restart it I am in for a different adventure. My son-inlaw is a mechanic and when he scanned it, the ignition was at fault. But later it read nothing, he will scan it again tomorrow.

- , Commack, NY, USA

problem #22

Jul 162008

Grand Am V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

First of all, carcomplaints.com says you should enter this once for every time it happens -- well today was the fourth time it's happened. I guess I'll enter it three more times if that helps GM do a recall!!! Who has ten minutes to wait every time their car feels like doing this?! The first two times I had it towed (luckily I'm in my mechanic's auto club -- Eliot's Auto Repair in Lakeview, Chicago, IL -- and the towing was free). AS SOON AS THEY GOT IT THERE, IT STARTED RIGHT UP! BOTH TIMES! So I never knew what was wrong, except that it was a Passlock glitch. So then it happened 6 days ago for the third time, and my fiance googled the problem and found the solution of leaving the key in "ON" or "ACC" while the SECURITY light flashes for 10 minutes and goes off... then I was able to turn the key completely OFF and then tried and it started up again. I was ELATED! Well NOW it happened AGAIN for the FOURTH time SIX DAYS LATER. I just can't afford the $500 everyone says it costs to disable the Passlock "SECURITY" System. That's a friggin laugh -- the only person it prevents from driving my car away is ME! GM NEEDS TO DO A RECALL ON THIS PROBLEM!

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #21

Jan 132009

Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,757 miles

in the summer i was getting ready to go camping and my last stop was the beer store before i got a couple of hours sleep, then drive a couple of hours up north. i got my beer and put it in the trunk and got back into the car only to find out that my car was dead. i was pretty angry because i thought the weekend was ruined. i called my friend who knows a little bit about cars to come look at it before i had to call a tow truck. we tried a few basic things but nothing worked. just as we were about to call the tow truck, some other kid pulls up to the beer store with the exact same grand am and saved the whole weekend by telling me to turn the key forward for about 10min and wait for the security light to stop flashing and stay on. then you turn it off , then start like nothing happened. It then happened again today in January at Dominos pizza. I am pissed this is ................. no wonder everyone hates general motors thanks to the guy at the beer store in the grand am..

- , Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

problem #20

Sep 022008

Grand Am GT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

I hate this dumb car. I was so far from home when this happened. when I went to start the car nothing happened, so I got someone to give me a jump, but the piece of crap still wouldn't start. I called roadside assistance, but they couldn't come tow the car till the next morning. I had to get a hotel room and wait (what kind of roadside assistance is this) The next morning they towed the car to a local mechanic and they couldn't figure out what was wrong. They told me to come back in 2 hours. Luckily my boyfriend had come to help me out. So we waited. Finally, the mechanic called me back and wanted to charge $450.00 to fix it . I told him I didn't have that much, I did but I just didn't want to spend that much. He was so kind he fixed it for $275.00 instead (Thank God). Two weeks later the car does it again, this time I found this site and through the complaints on here I found out what to do. I love my car, but I am going to trade as soon as I can. Thanks to this site I didn't have to spend any more money on a annoying problem.

- , Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #19

Feb 022008

Grand Am SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Again I'm a pizza delivery driver and have had pay lost because of these car. I'd love to trade it in, but its not in my name. Go figure. Anyway, if you haven't my first complaint about the car shutting off in the middle of driving you may want to go look for it, especially if you have to push on the gas pedal to get it to start or if it won't turn over. I believe this has to do with the security light coming on or blinking when you turn the key into the start position but nothing happens. I've had my security light come on once or twice but didn't really know enough about it. It's come on before in my old car which was a 91 mercury cougar, but it didn't keep it from starting so I never was really concerned about it until I was, once again calling into work telling them that my car wouldn't start. My brother the mechanic had it towed to their shop where they said it was the security system. He said that I had to reset it by leaving the key in the start position and wait for the security light to stop blinking, take the key out, and it should start back up. It's done that probably about five times over the past six months. Which it did it about three times in one week after I got it from the shop - one of those three times was when I was still in a customers driveway and stay there waiting for the light to stop blinking - talk about humiliating. Then once about five months after bringing it into the shop. I was about to go on a delivery when my car wouldn't start. I had forgotten about the security system since it hadn't done it for so long that I ended up having to miss out on getting tips which accounts for the greater part of my income...until the end of the night when I was racking my brain about why it wouldn't start and it clicked in my head to check the security light to see if it was blinking..BINGO...problem solved.......sort of.

- , Moss Point, MS, USA

problem #18

Aug 182007

Grand Am GT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I went to North Carolina for school in August 2007 when this first occurred. My car had been sitting out in the freshman parking lot and I went to go drive to a friend's and the car wouldn't start. I fixed it this first time but turning everything off and flipping random switches and eventually it came on again. The next time it happened I had to have my car towed to the dealer where they kept it for over a week. They ended up replacing that passlock which cost $500 to get done. It happened again for a third time a couple months later before I came home for winter break and I had to have it towed again where they just reset the passlock. When I was home, the car wouldn't start again in February 2008. Again, the car was towed to the dealer and they reset the passlock. Again. In May 2008 the car would not start. By this time I was completely fed up and my mom was pretty pissed off too. The car guy emailed us how to reset it ourselves and thankfully it worked so I wouldn't have to waste anymore money. But this is like 5th time in a year that my car hasn't started. This is complete bullshit.

- , Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #17

Jun 092008

Grand Am GT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,250 miles

While driving home this week the security light came on not far from the house. I was immediately freaked out and felt and impending sense of doom! I have had this light come on before in August of 2006 (65,000 miles at the time!). When I called the dealer they said to bring the car in fast because eventually it would not start. Lucky for me I had an extended warranty that covered the problem. Well, when it happened this time I called the dealer again and told the service guy how this was fixed almost 2 years ago and all he can say is sorry but your not under warranty anymore. There was also a 1 year warranty on that that particular part after they fixed it but that has also expired. I also asked him to look at my turn signals because every once in a while they don't come on. I've gotten by with pushing the hazard lights on and then when I turn them off the signals work again. I need that fixed because my car is due for inspection this month and I have a horrible feeling that would be a time for them to act up. So I just came from dropping it off to be fixed again because I don't really have a choice do I? What has really started to infuriate me is that while I was waiting for the dealer to call me back the other day to make an appointment for service I stumbled upon this site and am absolutely appalled at at the list of complaints for this and other problems with the car. I have had many of these problems and some of them twice! I guess I never really paid to much attention to it because of having the warranty! So let's count: passlock- twice, driver's side front and back window motor( I hardly ever used the back one!) - twice, manifold gasket leak - twice, turn signal issues - three, ambient temperature switch (I think it was a switch!) - once, my door lock button- once, and I know ther a few other ones but unfortunately the paperwork is in my car at the dealer! I really still love my sick little car because well it's mine! I paid it off 3 months ago and it can really go and it's a nice for just me! I am extremely unhappy with GM! My family has always had GM cars and we got most of them through the same dealer but I no longer know if they will have my loyalty!

- , Cape May, NJ, USA

problem #16

Jan 312008

Grand Am GT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

So the problem started a couple months ago with the security light flashing in my car. I thought it was no big deal until I went to go start it and nothing. The lights come on, music is blaring, but no running car. I brought it to a local body shop which fixed the problem for about 3 hours. I was stranded at work, at school, basically everywhere you could imagine. I finally realized the cheap way to fix it with the 10 second thing, but it is really annoying. So I brought it to a GM certified dealership thinking they would know, and the charged me up the ass to "fix" the problem when really all they did was change something that didn't need it. So yet once again I'm stuck with no car, and sh*tty mechanics who won't listen to what I have to say. Wonderful!

I will never ever own another GM car again! They are the worst!

- , Fredonia, NY, USA

problem #15

Oct 312007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT Coupe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

I am hearing that their are a lot of people who have also had this problem with their Grand Ams. However, mine seems a little different. Most people are saying the security light is flashing. Mine either never comes on or just stays on for 3 or 4 days and then goes off again. Same thing with the Service Engine Soon light. Everyone is saying that you can reset the passlock system by turning the key to On and waiting for 10 minutes for it to reset. Mine seems to take about 15 minutes to reset. However as soon as I try and start it again after resetting it, it shuts off again. I have to wait about 3 hours after resetting the passlock system before it will let me start it without shutting off. So far I have been stranded 4 times. Luckily each time my boyfriend was able to come and help me with it so I haven't had to pay for a tow yet. Since resetting it with the key hasn't worked, we've found that disconnecting the power to the battery and waiting a few minutes before reconnecting it will also reset the passlock system. And it doesn't shut down immediately again either. I'm worried it's going to stall on me while I'm driving down the highway one day!

- , Bishopville, MD, USA

problem #14

Oct 112007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I ended up trading in this car because this happenned twice in 9months resulting in a tow to the dealer and 2days without a car. Once I could understand but the second time it happenned that was it, I no longer wished to own the car. The dealer would not warranty the part past 10000 miles and I had gone 12000miles. Definitely a HUGE reliability problem being ingnored by GM. This car had numerous other breakdown/reliability problems during its history (Head gasket, ABS brake failure, Thermostat, Brakes shoes/rotors etc., Oilpan Gasket,window motors x2,tire mounting problems, etc.) Never again will I by a GM car, they have had decades to work out reliability problems and they are just not competitive in that area anymore.

- , Flower Mound, TX, USA

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