Engine Turns Over, Will Not Start

2001 Pontiac Grand Am (Page 4 of 4)

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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
114,926 miles
Total Complaints:
80 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (53 reports)
  2. reset security system (8 reports)
  3. put key in on position for 10mins-turned off-then turned on (5 reports)
  4. clean and tighten battery terminals (3 reports)
  5. bang on gas tank (2 reports)
  6. cam shaft sensor replaced (2 reports)
2001 Pontiac Grand Am engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #20

Mar 132007

Grand Am SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,050 miles


Had the car a few months when the window regulators started going out. I have had the dealer replace three of them. since then two more have gone out including one that i had replaced. It lasted one day less than a year. The more aggravating problem(as if that is not aggravating enough) is that it won't start at times. First the key switch would not turn so the dealer changed it out for around $300. A couple months later, I started having this problem. It's the same old thing. The security light comes on while driving then the next time you turn off the engine, it won't restart! I took the car to a very well respected garage and they changed the ignition switch and said it's fixed. But it wasn't of course. I took it back a couple times by getting it towed and they still couldn't fix it. The next time it happened, I took it to the dealership and they replaced the ignition switch again(I didn't know what they replaced at the time) and of course that didn't fix the problem. Each time they reset the computer or whatever and got it started and said it was fixed. Next time it happened, I left it with the dealership for them to occasionally start and drive it to see if it happened to them. For three weeks they said that they drove it a little each day and it never failed. I picked it up hoping that in checking wires and plugs and things that they accidentally fixed it. It seemed so when it ran good for three months and then one day it happened again, but this time it wouldn't reset after the ten minute wait. I'm afraid to take it to any shop now including the dealership because I have spene $1,300 on it so far there and have gotten nothing. I'm looking for a cliff!

- , Dacula, GA, USA

problem #19

Feb 182008

Grand Am SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

The first time this happened, I had the car towed to a shop. When they got it there, they said nothing was wrong, it started right up. The second time, I had it towed to the shop, again, there was nothing wrong because it started right up. Now this is the third time so I tried the ten minute thing I found here on the internet and it worked. Thank you for the quick fix. But, guess what, it worked but when I turned it off again, it wouldn't start again so I did the ten minute thing again and it would NOT work. This is very annoying when it is cold out and with two children. I don't have time either to wait 10 minutes. I will never buy another Grand Am again!! GM needs to fix this problem, do a recall or something. CS in Ohio

- , Albany, OH, USA

problem #18

Sep 152005

Grand Am ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Drive to the store, fine. Shop, get back in car, motor turns over but would not start. Got a jump, car starts, runs for about 4 days, car would not start again. Took car to a mechanic, put on diagnostic machine, could not find the problem. Sent to a Ford dealership for diagnostic - determined that the "security feature" and the computer were not "in sync" had to open steering column & fix problem and additionally "update computer in car". What a financial set-back - living on social security and being disabled.

- , Buford, GA, USA

problem #17

May 252007

(reported on)

Grand Am 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


Same issue as a number of other posters. Car turns over but will not start. New battery, alternator is fine, so is the starter and flywheel. I had to get the car towed to my mechanic. He kept it for a week, did nothing but run tests, then it started working again. I took it home worked fine, but then days later same problem - back to the mechanic. The engine test reads normal, no codes. After some research, I found that this problem seems fairly common. I would encourage individuals with similar problems to post on this forum and contact GM. GM should consider researching this issue and finding a solution. I have owned various Pontiacs since 1994 and was considering a new G6 this fall. Providing a solution is not readily found this will be my last.

- , Takoma Park, MD, USA

problem #16

Nov 062007

Grand Am 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,900 miles

OMG! I hope someone out there sees this! I loved my car (neva' had problems except minor things like headlights) until... On November 6, 2007 (the day before my DAMN B-DAY) I started my car w/ my automatic starter on this cold morning. It ran for some minutes, and I sat in it for about 5 minutes. It completely shut off on me! (The car shook for a second, and it cut off) I thought it was cause' I had no gas, or because it being started with the remote starter. Nope, it wasn't it! My key was turned back, so it should've kept running! It wouldn't RUN for anything, and gas wasn't the issue. It was turning...but not running. The next day (yeah, my B-Day) some guy looked at it & he works on cars for a living (but not licensed). Other people & him decided it was the fuel pump, so I bought one. It costed $240. I'm a 21 year old female, works retail, and will be back in school...so that's alot of money! Oh, not to mention the damn fuel pump wasn't the problem! They're not refundable either! The car would definitely turn over, but will NOT run for s*! It would try to run when they used starter fluid (I guess that's why they assumed I needed a fuel pump). I even bought a fuel filter, and injectors...and it still did my car no good.

That night, I looked up this wonderful site, Autobeef! I read others complaints. I felt comforted knowing others had same issues as mine, but also felt left out. I was wishing I had a "10 minute" issue with the ignition. The next day I told my dad about the complaints I've read, and solutions that might help us. I told him to tell the so called mechanic about the key being turned back for 10 minutes. The car ended up being over this guy's house for 2 weeks. I was going to put it in the shop, but I had to wait to save. Cause' I spent all that money, including $80 for this dude to even look (and mess around) with the car. So, finally on Thanksgiving day, my dad decides to get the car from over the guy's house. Now, Thanksgiving day, my car is in my father's garage now. I gets a phone call, and it was my dad. He told me that he was bored, and tried that "10 minute" thing...


P.S. Today is November 24, 2007 & I'm still driving...my "Service Engine Soon" light is on & "Low Coolant". I got a reading at Autozone, and I need sparks, etc. I don't think this will ever solve the problem. I don't have to wait "10 minutes" everytime I start the car. It starts up every time now...like a champ! But' I also read from this site to expect it unexpectedly for my car to stall on me somewhere. Plus, my car runs good...but sounds a tad bit rough in the motor now.

This is major Bullshyt!

Update from Nov 21, 2009: "UPDATE" - Car still runs good, but it did that "thing" again (lol'). This year, I haven't had any start up issues until last week. Last week, November 12th... My car wouldn't start. I bitched for minutes of course (lol'), but I almost forgot about "leaving the key turned back". I mentioned that problem to my boyfriend, and he told me to try it. Well, I left the key turned back (or on its "on" position) for about forty-five minutes. Then, I tried to start the car and it started! That particular day wasn't very cold. So, I don't think November's weather has anything to do with this problem (who knows lol').

(If you notice, it seems to do this every year in November. Last year, I believe it did the same thing back in November 2008. See my previous complaint for 2007 details).

I'm just posting my comments, and complaints to hopefully help someone... Just like I've been helped!

- , Flint, MI, USA

problem #15

Nov 062007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

Problem is intermittent so tried to leave the key in on position for 5 to ten minutes based on the other users with the same problem and it works! Thanks for your help. I really find it hard to believe GM won't step up to the plate on this!!!!!!!

- , Fenton, MI, USA

problem #14

Oct 292007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


My car has now twice not turned and we discovered this website and did the 10 minute wait and it just started right up. This is ridiculous! Now how long is this going to continue? I am 125k miles and it runs great otherwise and the best shape ever. I take care of my Grand Am.

The first time I paid $40 to tow and $100 to troubleshoot and he couldn't figure it out and it just started up. Guess he had it turned to the on position for 10 minutes.

Yet to take it to the dealer but as a single woman, I can't wait 10 miutes everywhere.

- , Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #13

Aug 242007

(reported on)

Grand Am SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

I just brought a used 2001 Grand Am 93,000.00 miles. I had it only one week before I was driving it and it cutt off and I had to coast to the side of the road with emergency lights blinking. A couple days later I was getting ready to come home from Star Bucks and it would not start. It keep trying to turn over but would not start for over two hours. I finally called the tow company to pick me and the car up. When he got there he tried to start it and it would not start so he towed the car to my house. 24 hours later I tried to start it again but it would not start. I finally had it towed to a licensed mechanic and it started up for him as if nothing had ever happened! He put it on the machine and everything but could not find anything wrong. I remember the weather being rainy and muggy when it happened. We need to join together and try to sue! I am scared of this car cutting off on me while driving on the freeway!

- , Madison Heights, MI, USA

problem #12

Oct 162007

(reported on)

Grand Am SE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

I purchased the 2001 Grand Am used in 2005 with only 9,000 miles on it. I have driven it about 45,000 miles in the past two years. Drives and runs excellent except for pulsating front brakes and it has failed to start on two or three occasions with the security light illuminated. My solution was to tow it from work at 2 am in a crappy section of New Haven, CT to my house via AAA service. I let it sit overnight and the car started right up the next morning. I will try the suggested fix of leaving the key on for ten minutes and starting it. I tried to jump start it after the battery wore down and it would turn over, then die out in a second or two, with the security light illuminated. I understand this is a passlock problem. The vehicle is way out of warranty so I don't want to spend the bucks at the dealership. I take it to a Ford Lincoln Mercury Service Center for routine maint and they haven't mentioned any recalls or other issues. A review of the internet shows several TSB's for this vehicle including water leaks, wind noise, brake issues etc. Overall, I still think it's a good vehicle, but there should be a recall on the security light passlock issue.

- , Beacon Falls, CT, USA

problem #11

Aug 212007

(reported on)

Grand Am SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

i'm having lots of problems with this damn car. i just need some answers. the fuel won't spray out of the injectors and into the cabrator.

- , Cotulla, TX, USA

problem #10

Jul 292007

(reported on)

Grand Am SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


Thank youhttp://www.carcomplaints.com/cgi-bin/search.pl?q=passlock+theft+security

- , Hyattsville, MD, USA

problem #9

Apr 162007

(reported on)

Grand Am SE 2.4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,899 miles


- , Victoria, TX, USA

problem #8

Mar 132007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT 3.4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

Purchased a 2001 Pontiac Grand AM, used. Came with a 30 day warranty from the dealer. During that time the car "died" and was towed to the dealer. They claimed it was a "fuel pump" issue and replaced that. Just AFTER the warranty was up, the car started acting up again and would turn over but NOT start. After reading some other complaints we tried letting the key sit in the "on" position for 10 minutes and then it would start. The dealer said they "can't assist". It appears this is a major issue with this vehicle and GM should do something!! Spoke to GM this morning (on the phone for over an HOUR) got nowhere. There is no recall for this problem (There SHOULD be!!) and they cannot help. We did find out that the ignition switch has been replaced twice. Apparently trying to "fix" this problem. We are at our whits end!! Any suggestions?? Start a class action lawsuit??

- , Ludlow, MA, USA

problem #7

Aug 022006

(reported on)

Grand Am SE

  • 55,000 miles

It has happened to me twice in the past 6 months. Both times it started back up the next day without any repair.

When this occurs all the gauges stay at zero. The last time it happened I replaced the battery and tried resetting the passlock to no avail. My mechanic towed it to his house, hooked it up to his diagnostic machine and it showed absolutely nothing! When the car started back up the next day the diagnostic machine reading was perfect.

The only thing in common both times it happened was 'water'. I had driven through a substantially large puddle the first time and it was extremely humid out the second time.

What the @#%!!

- , Glens Falls, NY, USA

problem #6

Feb 202007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT 3.4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

I don't know if you have resolved your problem with you Gran Am but I have something for you to try. I had all the "wont start and passlock problems" and everything else with my 2001 Gran Am also. No one could figure it out and so on. One day while messing around under the hood I noticed that the rubber boots that go over the battery terminals seemed to be of a poor design for the electrical system to get the proper current and for everything to work properly. I took the terminals off and noticed how they (rubber boots) wrapped around the metal plate that is supposed to be making contact with the side post battery. So in other words all that was making contact was the stud or bolt that threaded into the battery. When the bolt gets a little loose or gets a little corroded it doesn't make enough contact. Now for the CHEAP FIX that worked for me is pull the terminals off, cut the rubber away that is blocking the "Contact plate" from making good contact, clean the terminal and then re-assemble. The only other thing to do that I didn't do, is to take the discarded rubber pieces mail them to GM and tell them to put them in another place that will drive people nuts trying to figure it out. I hope this helps everybody I know it was a pain in the butt for me too.

- , Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #5

Dec 052006

(reported on)

Grand Am SE 3.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 151,000 miles

The car acts as if it wants to turn-over, but doesn't. I'm not sure if it's getting gas to the needed area. We had the Fuel Pump replaced last year. Maybe we got some BAD GAS or something, not sure? My mechanic says it could be an array of problems, he'd actually need to test the vehicle. I can't even get the car started to take to the shop. Besides all that, while attempting to start the car, the battery continues to die out. It's FREEZING COLD out her in Chicago and now isn't the time for this to happen. I'm not sure even if the spark plugs are getting a spark, we need a Tune up as well, could this interfere?

- , Park Forest, IL, USA

problem #4

Oct 232006

(reported on)

Grand Am ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,731 miles

Well, i advise people to not take any dealship's word because they full of it. I got a pontica am and it is a nice car until one day it wouldn't start at all and also on cold days. I've been having this car for about 3 weeks now and the first payment is coming soon. Also, I have a extended warranty on the car and i have just found out that i have to pay out of pocket ($100) to get the thing fixed. Never heard of it and didn't know it but i know that my boyfriend had a Kia and he didn't have to pay a dime with his warranty. I guess that i got myself in a sh*t hole on this deal.

- , Lexington, KY, USA

problem #3

Jul 292006

(reported on)

Grand Am GT1 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

My car ran well until one day I went to start it, it would crank over nice and strong, but not fire at all. My first thought was this DAMN alarm system Passlock III, usually the security light will flash, and I would have to turn the key in the ON position for 10 mintues, then back off, then on and start, this time the light wasn't flashing. I had it towed to a garage, they let it sit in for a couple hours, then got in and started it right up. He told me I could come get the car, but when I got there, it happened again. This time the mechanic went thru everything, but when he came to the fuel pressure, even tho the pump was running, the pressure was low, he told me to reach under and "bang" the gas tank with my hand. I did this with confusion and the car started right up. He told me it could be a couple differant things, one being the sending unit which cost a few hundered. but I've put another 6K miles on it, and it happened maybe 3 or 4 times after the garage scene. Not sure if this is a common problem, but its one of mine.

- , Canaan, NH, USA

problem #2

Apr 172006

(reported on)

Grand Am SE

  • 49,000 miles


- , Colorado Springs, CO, US

problem #1

Apr 142006

(reported on)

Grand Am SE

  • 49,000 miles

The car will not start, the engine will turn over, but it will not fire. I took it to a certified mechanic, he told me it was not getting a pulse signal for the injectors to fire. The problem was not fixed, it just started working again. Now it just quit again, and on a weekend.

I also ended up paying for the fix on the bad solder joint for the turn signals, I was never notified of a recall. I have tried Ford vehicles and now GM, I guess the next step will be a Dodge.

- , Rocky Mount, NC, US

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