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Multiple Electrical Gremlins


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
83,400 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. change the ignition switch (1 reports)
  2. no solution, unhooked battery (1 reports)
  3. not sure (1 reports)
  4. replaced ignition switch (1 reports)
  5. replaced the ignition switch/harness assembly for $300 (1 reports)
2002 Pontiac Grand Prix electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Pontiac Grand Prix Owner Comments

problem #5

Sep 012011

Grand Prix 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


It started with the driver info center.. flashing off and on. Then I saw that by moving the a/c from 1 thru 5 would cause it to come back on. Also restarting the car it would come on. Once it was on and I was driving, it stayed on. The a/c switch stopped working on 2. Then 3... then 4... then 1 went out. Now, The a/c will only work on 5. Automatic headlights work only when they want to. The DIC is completely gone now although occasionally you might see a flicker of red light in the dark. The car is still running good as far as tranny and engine go, but these little inconsistencies are such a pain in the ass!!

I'm a single mom on a budget and this POS is my only means of transportation to work! I'm worried!!

Update from Dec 20, 2011: Thankfully I was able to find out that all the problems, even the ones that didn't seem to be related to one another, were all caused by a faulty ignition switch. It wasn't a repair that I was able to do myself or my boyfriend, but I bought the part at Autozone for around $95 and a local body shop put it in for another $75. An inexpensive fix, yes! Difficult to diagnose, yes! All auto repair people wanted to do a LOT more than was really needed. I am very thankful that I found information online that helped me diagnose this problem. I'm sure not ALL mechanic shops would try to take a person with no experience in auto mechanics for granted... but the ones I went to did. Maybe they just didn't know for sure what was causing so many different problems.... I'm glad I studied and I'm grateful for websites like this one where we can all work together and get an accurate solution! Although, I still have the issue where the key gets stuck in the ignition. The repair shop said that there is a tiny plastic bar that is supposed to be in the ignition which will release the key all the way when parked. This apparently fell out and was long lost before I ever knew it. This is completely unrelated to the ignition switch wiring harness and all of the other problems, and is the only problem of the many that the part did not fix. I can live with that since I found that there is a key "release" button on the bottom of the steering column. I just had to pop out a small plastic plug and now keep a small screwdriver or even a toothpick worked for a while! When the key gets stuck, no more restarting, backing up and pulling up... etc... just pop the screwdriver in there and turn the key. I'm getting really fast at that! Thanks again and I hope this review might help someone else if you experience this problem.


problem #4

Dec 162010

Grand Prix LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

gas gauge would go all the way down and say low fuel, then security light would come on and off, then service engine light would come on, I swear this car is a lemon

- , Emporia, KS, USA

problem #3

Apr 022010

Grand Prix GT 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

key is stuck, cant get out, heated seat is hot, unplugged heat seat switch, still hot, car is off with key out, heat seat still hot after 2 hours, right side radio going bonkers, trac lights on, steering wheel controls malfunctioning from time to time. its electrical issue but where and what? is it bad ignition ? I believe short ground somewhere near shifter ?

- , Hampton, MN, USA

problem #2

Mar 252010

Grand Prix GTP 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

the driver info system goes blank, the auto headlights quit working, the heater blower stops and the rear window defrost stops working, checked all fuses and no solution, looking for any ideas, Pontiac has NO idea > No recall from Gm

Update from Apr 6, 2010: I changed the ignition switch and it fixed the problem. The switch was $100 and took 1 hour to change. It's not a job if you don't have a good selection of tools. You will need a E4 and E5 socket to take the switch off the column.

- , Janesviile, WI, USA

problem #1

Sep 292008

Grand Prix 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

My automatic daytime running lights turn off the moment I try to turn on my heater fan blower. The heater fan sometimes only works in position 5. The air conditioner won't turn on unless I manually turn on the headlights. The radio digital display sometimes goes blank or displays random LED segments. The rear defogger won't turn on.

The worst part is that it's intermittent, which causes me more grief because I can't bring it in for service unless the dealer can witness it.

Update from May 8, 2009: My automatic daytime running lights turn off the moment I try to turn on my heater fan blower. The heater fan sometimes only works in position 5. The air conditioner won't turn on unless I manually turn on the headlights or run the fan at position 5 with the air conditioning set at MAX. The radio digital display sometimes goes blank or displays random LED segments. The rear defogger won't turn on. Sometimes I can't turn off the air conditioner after I've gotten it to turn on. And worst off all, everything may work perfectly one day and not the next.

Update from May 9, 2009: I'll add a photo of the switch/harness.

Update from May 17, 2009: Added reminder....After you replace the switch/harness, make a point of turning off the fan before you switch off the ignition so the problem does not happen again.

- , La Mesa, CA, USA

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