Engine Turns Over But Won't Start

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
99,800 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. fix ignition cylinder (2 reports)
  3. switched the yellow (key resistance/code/recognition) wire (1 reports)
2003 Oldsmobile Alero engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Oldsmobile Alero Owner Comments

problem #11

Jan 052017

Alero 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,328 miles


2003 Alero turns over but wont start. I've read about the security defect and have been dealing with it for a few months I always unhook my battery when I shut it off but that isn't working now either. Has anyone had this problem escalate over time to not being able to reset it anymore or could it actually be a legit car problem? Can still hear fuel pump kick on and battery is strong.

- Heather P., Middletown, OH, US

problem #10

Aug 152015

Alero GL 1 2.2L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

For a long time my engine would stall and take a long time to start up. After a while it would not start up and I had to turn my car off for it to start up. This went on for a few months. I had to get my car towed and I paid for a new battery for my car and the charge for the tow, the battery and the fees was about $200.00.

I was driving up hill about two months ago and I came to a stop light and when it was time to go my car would only go backwards. I found out all of my gears went out and I had to get a new transmission. Two of my windows will not roll up and one of the windows in the front is starting to go out. This has all happened with in a few months of each other and it has all happened this year 2015. I have only had my car for five years.

Update from Dec 11, 2015: Also My oil change light stays on even after I have had an oil change, it stays on for months. I have had a few problems stopping my car and I have had my brakes fixed. Thank you.

- larkins26, Las Vegas, NV, US

problem #9

Aug 082012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

I bought a 03 Alero last Feb and it ran fine, like a champ all the way until August. That's when I started having problems.

First I thought it was the fuel pump and fuel filter so I changed them. It started up and ran for a day and then quit. It would only start when it wanted to.

So finally I did a whole tune up on the P.O.S and still nothing. I had to quit my job due to no ride and and my car is all paid off but I still owe garage fees and the people at the shop STILL don't know whats wrong with it. They put it on two different computers and it's still acting the way it was, still will turn over but won't start.

P.O.S I'm never buying an ALERO again. I'M STICKING WITH MY CHEVY'S.

- ljanis, Allen, SD, US

problem #8

Dec 162010

Alero 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Have and 03 alero 2.2L I was driving to get food and it acted jumpy and then got to place went in and came back out it would turn over but wouldn't start. When it started it sounded like a diesel. I had to gas brake it to keep it running and the next day it would turn over but wouldn't start. I then checked fuel pressure it was shooting 61 psi so not lack of fuel and not flooding. I then changed map and crank shaft sensor that didn't fix the problem either any ideas????

- David M., North Aurora, IL, US

problem #7

Sep 042010

Alero L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Like everyone else my car wouldn't start, I could hear the fuel pump kick on. Called my mechanic and he asked if my security light was on. Sure enough after I tried to start it and then turned the key back to on the security light was flashing. Bad ignition swich!

- Casey B., Indianapolis, IN, US

problem #6

Jul 052009

Alero GL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Like many Alero owners on this site, our car has been having problems starting. It turns over, but will not start -- especially when it's hot inside the car. We were actually going to try to trade the piece of crap in, but it died at the dealership, and we couldn't get enough money for the trade in to pay off the loan. We had it towed to a mechanic, who couldn't find anything wrong with it. Out of desperation, I think, the mechanic replaced the fuel pump, which cost 550 dollars. It ran fine for two days, and then the same thing happened. We took it back to the same mechanic, and he had it for five days without being able to find a problem. Since the car usually starts fine in the morning, we picked it up the next day, thinking we'd leave the windows down in the car to see if having the cooler interior would help. No such luck. The car kept having problems starting. At one point, we were able to start it, then the car died about a block away from home. That was the first time it died while driving. Now, it's sitting parked on the street and we don't know what we're going to do with it. I'm going to take some suggestions from this board, though, and see if another mechanic will look at it. If it's a wiring issue, maybe that will fix it. But I sure regret buying this car. It has been nothing, NOTHING, but trouble since day one.

Update from Jul 21, 2009: We took the car to another mechanic today, and this guy replaced the ignition. It started up fine, so my husband took it to get a car wash. After the car wash, the car died again -- fortunately, right next door to the mechanic. He had the mechanic take it back, and they are looking at it again. So now the car is dying WHILE it is driving. Not safe at all. We have now put 750 dollars into this car - new fuel pump and new ignition. They checked the wiring to the gas tank, and said it was fine. Not sure what else they will find -- if anything. I hate this car. LEMON!!

- marcia_eppo5, San Mateo, CA, US

problem #5

Mar 102009

Alero 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles


I have own a 2003 Oldsmobile Alero. My car will not crank, it sounds like it is out of gas but certainly that's not the problem. I have replaced two fuel pumps, coil pact, crank sensor and a starter. To this day the problem has not been resolved. I hate this car, I advise anyone not to ever purchase an Oldsmobile Alero, ever. I have to leave the car running if I go into a store. I get to work I have to find a ride home. This is very annoying.

- pamelap, West Point, MS, US

problem #4

Oct 012008

Alero GL 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

I bought a 2003 Alero about three years ago. For the first two years, I never had a single problem. However, in the last month, it all has changed. When I go to start it, it cranks, but it won't turn over. Sometimes it will start right up, sometimes it starts after three or four tries, and sometimes it just won't start. I am attending college and was trying to go home one weekend and couldn't get it to start at all. I called AAA and they sent a wrecker out. When he came, he got under my car and hit the fuel pump repeatedly until it started. When I got home, I took it to a shop and they said it was the module and the engine and I paid $300 to fix it. This did not solve it. I then had it taken to another GM dealer and they said it was the fuel pump and replaced it. Still, it didn't work. They said something was wrong in the fuse box and said the messed around with some wires on it, costing me a total of $1000. It worked fine for a day, then the same thing happened. I researched it and saw that many other people had the same problem I was having. I found if I turn it to ACC and listen for the fuel pump buzzing and then try to start, it starts right up. I don't think it is my security system causing the problem. Does anyone have any help?

- kwhippwv, Glen Dale, WV, US

problem #3

Feb 192008

Alero 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55 miles

I have read this complaint about other Aleros as well. Most of the time it would start fine, but occasionally the engine would only turn over and nothing else. I always eventually got it started after waiting awhile, My mechanic said the ignition cylinder was only functioning at 50%, something he had never seen before. He said they usually only function at 100% or nothing....go figure! Got it fixed and it's been great ever since!

- jessmb, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

problem #2

Jul 092007

(reported on)

Alero ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

engine will turn over but won't start. have put in a new fuel pump, filter and relay and still have the same problem. car will start early in a. m. and late p. m. but if the weather outside is hot the car will not start. have taken the car to the garage several times and they can't figure what the problem is. Help!!!! Has anybody been able to fix this problem?

- garciam, Wiggins, CO, US

problem #1

Oct 252007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

The security light came on while driving. Days later the car would crank but would not start. I imediately Googled the problem as I do all of my automotive issues. In a few minutes I found the solution right here at AutoBeef under "2001 Oldsmobile Alero Turns over but won't start" complaint page. It's report #11 by Tresa M.

I waited the 10 minutes then tried to start the engine. It started. I then installed the toggle switch in the yellow wire as referred. It's only been a few weeks...time will tell.

- Seben H., Porgera, Enga, Papua New Guinea

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