Engine Turns Over, Will Not Start

2001 Pontiac Grand Am (Page 1 of 4)

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
114,950 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 1 of 4)

problem #80

Aug 172016

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


I bought this car in August. It has a lot of trouble starting for months and it on occasion, would stall if I had left it running for a while, like in a parking lot or a stop light. On Sunday, I noticed it was hesitating when I would press on the gas. Then, I parked it and when I went to get back in my car, the engine would turn over like it was starting, it just wouldn't get there. Then it made this AWFUL noise that sounded like my engine blew up or something. I immediately popped the hood and checked everything, but nothing seemed to be wrong. I go to start it up again and it worked! So I back out of the spot and immediately my car stalls and I'm stuck in the middle of the lot because my car would not start back up. I called my dad who thought it was the battery, put the radio and the lights were still on so I knew it wasn't that. After about 40 minutes, I tried to turn it again and some how it started and I was able to go home fine. Yesterday, the car had trouble starting worse than before, and on my drive home from work, I was stopped at a stoplight and it decided to stall after I drove a couple feet after being stopped. Today I tried to start it and it made a HORRIBLE noise like something was scratching the engine. Now the check Engine soon light has gone on. Once I got to my school, I plugged in my code reader and it gave me the P0336 code. Upon looking it up it suggested the Crankshaft Position Sensor 'A' Circuit Range/Performance was defective. Reading most of these posts sounds like that is what is wrong with most cars too. If you're looking into this problem as well, I HIGHLY recommend looking into it, the part is only around $30-$40. It will deteriorate the engine and is a very serious problem so try to get it fixed as soon as possible.

I am a high school student and this was the first car I purchased. I love my car but I hate all the problems that are coming along with it. I can't afford to have a car that's breaking down all the time. I work a fair bit away from home and take dark windy back roads and I'm afraid if my car was to give out on me there, it would be very easy for another oncoming car to not see me until it's too late and smash into me. As you all know, my car is pretty tiny and easily crushed. I am incredibly stressed out by this car and the repairs will soon add up to more I paid for it. Should have bought a Honda or Toyota. I'm planning on working on it as soon as I get home and if this works I will be updating.



- sadpontiacowner, Portland, OR, US

problem #79

Nov 302013

Grand Am 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,100 miles

Why Why Why!!! Why have they not recalled the 2001 Pontiac Grand AM since all it does is die or not start or want to spend the money on something that won't fix the problem!!!!!!

A single mom of three and our only way of transportation.. How do you live and go to work and take your children places they need to go without stalling or not starting.... So tired of this.. So broke from trying to fix it and I'm ready to stand outside Gm and with signs that says "we're not going to take it!!!" Fix the problem you created GM.

- Meg W., Fargp, ND, US

problem #78

Aug 212013

Grand Am SE 2.4L Twin Cam

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,800 miles

New problem....or the original/another/first problem - however you want to describe it.

The car has on several occasions simply refused to start, the car tries to turn over but wont "catch".

After I go through the "security system reset" process I learned about online, I have been able to get the car to start - although on more then one occasion it has taken more then one attempt. Still, it is EXTREMELY ANNOYING to have a car I have to wait 15 minutes to start, or is likely to not start.

This has happened on several occasions and I will report any future incidents as new complaints.


I have spent a great deal of money trying to get this "fixed" but have yet to find a mechanic who understands the problem.....anyone - need help.

- Robert G., Grand Rapids, MI, US

problem #77

Feb 082013

Grand Am 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 182,000 miles


I cannot get it to start even after the 10 min. sec. issue. I have done this up to 20 min. still acts like it wants to start but won't fire. Other thing, my security light does not flash like it did once before when i had this problem. Now it stays lit without flashing and never goes out until i shut the key off. What could be the issue ? I know the pump is working, won't take a jump. New Battery, Gas is fine but no spark. This security thing has only happened 1x before but and worked the first time. Now, nothing. Just turns over but won't fire. It has been a month and this is my only transportation. Being a single person and recently lost my job. I can,t go very far job hunting. In a town of around 4500 . Please Help !!! Anyone .. My E-mail is jeri5454@yahoo.com

- jeri5454, Eveleth, MN, US

problem #76

Sep 022012

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Car wouldn't start (things happen) replaced fuel pump....Ok lets drive...One week later guess what car won't start, 200 miles from home....Car towed to different fix it shop. You guessed it need to replace fuel pump. After telling mechanic the fuel pump is 1 week old he says I will need the car for a few more days. I go to pick up car and was told turn car to start 10 min.....So for 10 min fix I blew a vacation...At what point does GM step up and do the right thing. They paid there debt to Gov early good news now spend some profit fixing your F_ _ _UP..

- Dennis B., Cresco, IA-Iowa, US

problem #75

Aug 192012

Grand Am SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,548 miles

My car started acting strange about a year ago. The Traction Off light would come on & off at random times, same with the Service Engine light- it would be on for a day and then off the next. The AC only works at 70% for no apparent reason. The blinker sound in my car is almost constantly going off even when I'm not using my blinker. It has stalled a few times on me this past week and now it will turn like it's about to start but doesn't ever fully start/turn over. My battery is less than a year old and I've already put sooo much $$ into fixing the car already. I think it's a hopeless case and I'll just have to buy a new car. :(

- Angie H., Minneapolis, MN, US

problem #74

Jun 012010

Grand Am ?

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles


I bought a used 2001 Pontiac Grand Am in 2009 for my kids. We had it towed home once when (apparently) the theft control system malfunctioned and it would not start. I looked on the internet and found out that this is a common problem, and how to disconnect it, but it did not happen again, so I let it slide. When we took it to the GM dealer for diagnosis; they said it needed a whole new computer, and other electrical repairs totaling over $2000. We took it home without doing the work (it's not worth $2000) and the kids have continued driving it. No wonder GM is bankrupt, if they will not fix their defective cars. I know that cars don't last forever, and I don't mind if they wear out over a long time, but to have defective parts that cause inconvenience will prevent me from buying another GM car.

- abl1, Sonoma, CA, US

problem #73

Jan 092012

Grand Am SE 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,061 miles

I know this asked me my solution, well, no solution yet. Car's dead in the parking lot at my work. Been having rough starts and hasn't kicked over all together 3 times this month. New plugs, new fuel filter, battery is fine, it wants to start but JUST doesn't make it. It'll get my hopes up for a bit but will stay that way everytime I start it up. Until, I come back to it the next day, (after it being towed, or knocked around with a wrench by my dad) it'll start. I have no idea whats wrong and I need HELP. The wait ten minutes, then start it doesn't work. It was running perfectly fine 2 months ago. No issues what so ever. I'm about ready to molotov it out of fustration and spite.

- Patrick M., Victoria, BC, canada

problem #72

Jan 102012

Grand Am 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,090 miles

Started normal, I drove it 3 blocks while sitting at a light in drive foot on brake it died. Once dead the battery light was on. Jumped it when starting it turns over then dies as soon as the car starts. It makes the same engine sounds at the same strength as any other time I have started it. All the lights work and radio also power windows, so I know the battery isn’t dead. Which leaves me suspect it was not a problem with the alternator. Fuse issue? How to tell and which fuses would it be? Also I cant be certain if the security light came on though the battery and oil lights did but my ignition was on but car not started so cant be certain this helps. Also if its not the security thing what else could I try trouble shooting?

- tboltz, Hamilton, ON, canada

problem #71

Apr 262011

Grand Am GY 3400

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,000 miles

Here's the problem. I have a 2001 Grand Am GT with a 3400 in it. The alternator went bad so of course I changed it. No problems doing so. It's a top mount alternator so it went pretty smoothly. But now my car turns over but won't start. I had checked the battery but volts and CCA test out fine. Terminals are also clean and free from corrosion. After sitting for awhile, it will fire up but die shortly there after. I'm talking maybe 2 seconds. I have no clue what's going on. Anyone out here able to offer some help or advise.

- Anthony D., Conneaut, OH, US

problem #70

Nov 262011

Grand Am GT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 191,065 miles


Called GM in MI. to check on recalls, person I talked with was hesitant, but replied that no recalls had been made. Then asked if he knew what was causing the problem, was told he wasn't a Technician but didn't offer to transfer me to one. This is the 4th time this problem has occurred. My car has only been serviced by a GM Dealership Service Department, when it happened the 1st time last year, they couldn't find the problem and I was told to turn the switch on for 15 mins and it SHOULD crank. Well, 2nd time couldn't find the problem and was told the same. So 3rd & now the 4th time it has been towed again to a different garage. Who has time to wait 15 mins. to crank a vehicle, certainly not me. I may be old, but heck I want my car running. Definitely can't afford another vehicle and CERTAINLY DON'T WANT TO BE STRANDED!!! Previously owned a 1993 Pontiac Grand AM GT and over the ownership of the vehicle, spent less than $700.00 on repairs with mileage of over 200,000 miles when traded. Just wanted a new car when traded. NOW IT IS TIME FOR GM TO STEP UP AND FIND A SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM AND RECALL THESE VEHICLES IN TO A GM DEALERSHIP FOR REPAIR.

- G B., Homer, GA, US

problem #69

Oct 202010

Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles




- Gordy L., Kasson, MN, US

problem #68

May 292011

Grand Am GT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

I'm glad this WEB site is here, it did help me to identify the problem with my Grand Am and its Bull Sh** 'Security" issue..

I totally agree with the others on this post, WHY isn't GM owning up to this, they know that it is a problem there is over 65 complaints on it here, and if you go to You Tube there is endless videos describing this same thing .... Same thing happened to me, I tried to start and its always been inconstant when trying to start, sometimes it fires right up others it takes a few turn of the key.. Tonight went to start it and NOTHING !!!! Had to sit and wait 10 minutes for it to start ..

My trust in this car is no gone, I will NOT pay GM 900.00 to replace something that should have been recalled years ago .... There is a video that goes into great detail on how to remove it yourself so that the ignition doesn't have to be replaced... I just bought this car less then a month ago. and already I'm regretting it... Should have bought a Mustang !!!

Lesson learned I will NEVER !!!!!! buy another GM car !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Mark S., Caledonia, MI, US

problem #67

Oct 042011

Grand Am SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

This is the second time my car has done this, granted i have had the car since 2002 and never had any problems until a few months ago. a mechanic told me it was the fuel pump so i was out that money and when it was put on the car still wouldn't start! my dad got it on a trailer and took it to a garage and when the car got there, IT STARTED!!! now again today the car did the same thing...instead of spending more money i found this website...i tried the key trick and it worked..left in in the "on" position for 10 mins and it started up!!!! SO TRY THIS BEFORE U EVEN TALK TO A MECHANIC!!

- Alisha S., Staffordsville, KY, US

problem #66

Sep 242011

Grand Am 2.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 280,000 miles

I have had this problem happen continuously for over two years. I have been able to get it started after letting it sit for awhile but this time nothing was working. We called a mechanic and the solution was so simple I wanted to share with others as it seemed like the ignition might not be working, then it also seemed like it might be the fuel pump. As I was reading the posts on my daughter in laws phone to see how we could fix it since we were broken down at a gas pump and could not fix. After pushing off to the side and working on it for three hours, trying to get out of town, the mechanic of our friends said 'get in the car, shut the door, lock it, then unlock, then start the car'. OMG, it started right up. So if you have the anti theft come on and it seems like you are not getting gas, just Get IN, LOCK the doors, then UNLOCK the doors, then START YOUR ENGINE...IT WORKS. Hope to save you some money as nothing is really wrong except the anti theft mechanism is over working.

- Teresa C., Blackfoot, ID, US

problem #65

Apr 262011

Grand Am GY 3400

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,000 miles

OK, here's my rant. The alternator went bad in my car so, like a good little boy, I changed it. Ya know, common sense reigns supreme in my family. But now the car turns over but won't start. Had the battery tested and it's good on volts and CCA. After sitting a few minutes, it will catch but dies shortly after firing. What's going on with piece-o-crap Pontiac.

- Anthony D., Conneaut, OH, US

problem #64

Apr 062011

Grand Am ES 2.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 110,000 miles

this is a huuuge problem with this car it is a pain to have to turn the ignition switch on and leave it thr for ten minutes and then turn switch to off and start the car ...yes it works but if u need to be early at work and u have to spend 15 minutes in the morning sitting in ur car for this and be late at work then it is a problem and huge...also the hazard light are baaaaaad and my turning signals too. sometimes it wont work and i have to hit or punch my hazard light button and then it will work

- villalvaj6, Houston, TX, US

problem #63

Nov 222010

Grand Am SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

well lets see, so far I have changed the dam coil packs, the fuel regulator,pack houseing, and Im getting spark, getting fuel, but no dam start!!!! No code to boot. I have missed one day of work and my wife has missed 2 and been late another time. this is getting old real fast. I'm about ready to push it off a cliff some where or have myth busters blow it up for some crazy myth, or like the fate of my last p.o.s. car donated to the fire company for a slash and burn training, (they love that).

- crazymdf, East Greenville, PA, US

problem #62

Jan 282011

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

This morning I had my roommate go outside to start the car before school. She came back in saying that the flipping car wouldn't start but she left the key in the "on" position to see if it would help defrost the ice on my car. We went back out about 5 minutes later and I tried to start the car again but it kept making a kind of grinding noise (I don't know how else to describe it). I just bought this car back in December off Craigs List for 1500, I already did the regular maintenance (oil change, new brake pads and rotors, etc.). But I don't have the money to replace the ignition or really anything, college tuition is way pricey. My friend has the same kind of car that I do and she doesn't have this problem. Obviously, I'm not mechanical but I really need to know what is wrong with it and if I can get it fixed for cheep.

- shellsea, Wamego, KS, US

problem #61

Dec 182010

Grand Am SE 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,419 miles

have to wait 10 minutes for anti theft sensor to reset to go anywhere

- mousex, Newwestminster, British Columbia, Canada

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