NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2003 Pontiac Grand Am (Page 4 of 5)

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,104 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Pontiac Grand Am electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #29

Feb 072011

Grand Am

  • 91,000 miles


My girlfriends 03 Pontiac Grand Am GT just stopped starting....it ran fine today..then when we got home and shut the car off for about an hour then came back out to leave I turned the key and nothing! like all the lights and everything works..I took a screw driver and tried jumping the starter and it just spins freely and doesn't engage the flywheel..it's happened once before..what's the problem and how do I fix it? we need it fixed asap!!!

- Havelock, NC, USA

problem #28

Jan 202011

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
03 Grand Am. To start off with, I had the same random clicking sound. I bought a new switch from advanced, and the problem was fixed. For years now the security light will come on when driving randomly, but the car will not shut off or not turn on. But now I am having major electrical issues with everything else. Sometimes cruise control cuts off on its own. When I start the car sometimes nothing electrical will come on. Sometimes the instrument panel will but not the A/C controls or headlights. Or vise verse. It is all random. It will eventually come on when driving. If I drive in the dark, I have to have my headlights, so there is an issue. I do not want to wait until a recall is made because Pontiac does not care about us because we already paid for the car. I just want to know how to fix it. I cannot afford dealer prices. So does anyone know how to fix the issues?

- Lake Mary, FL, USA

problem #27

Jan 102009

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • 102,630 miles
The security light in my car flashes and my car wont start leaving me & my kids stranded. This happens all the time. We have changed the fuel pump and now we are being told to change the brain or the ignition. Tired of being stranded w my kids!

- Kellyville, OK, USA

problem #26

Apr 052010

Grand Am

  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am. He entered the vehicle and upon turning the key in the ignition it would not start. He replaced the battery but the vehicle again would not start. The vehicle was towed to an independent repair shop where he was informed the vehicle would not start due to a failure of the security system. The vehicle was repaired and he was also informed of a method to bypass the failure in case it recurs. The failure has since recurred 20 times. During the most recent failures the horn would also begin to sound. After the final failure the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer to be repaired. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 85,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #25

Jan 012010

Grand Am

  • miles
I have 3 different problems with my 2003 grand-am and after doing research I've found out that numerous of others are experiencing the same problems. 1st complaint-the pass lock security. When I go to start my car the engine will not turn over. This may happen several times a day. My last grand-am did the same thing. I found that you have to turn to key to the on position and wait 10 minutes. On Saturday I had 4 stops to make and all 4 times it would not start. 2nd complaint- I've almost gotten rear ended due to the fact my turn signals do not work all the time. Iv'E read on several post sights that people are having the same problem. Several said that when the hazard button was replaced it the problem was resolved. 3rd problem and the most serious. Several times this year from out of nowhere my accelerator pedal sticks. Twice I was at a stoplight and had my foot off the brake pedal and all of a sudden my car just took off, thank goodness I was not close to the car in front of me or I would have rearended that car. My husband told me to look and see if there were any recalls on my car. I did and I found out that 2003 Grand Am were having this same problem. I called GM and reported the problem and was told that my VIN# did not fall within the VIN range!!! I'm having the same problem and my VIN# is not in the same range"???...I don't get it. Why are these problems not being looked into by GM? if several people are having the same exact problem why is GM not doing anything about it"

- Paris, KY, USA

problem #24

May 262010

Grand Am

  • 97,068 miles
This is regarding a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am. There is defiantly a defect with the security/electrical system. I have read countless complaints about the same exact problem hundreds of people are having with the same exact car, and they are all asking, why is there not a recall"?? it originally started back in March of 2010 with the car turning over when started, then shutting off right away with the security light flashing on the dash. After a bit of research, I learned that I could just turn the key to the acc and wait 10 minutes and the system will reset. But this would happen every 2 weeks or so, and makes the car pretty unreliable, just for that fact. Then about two weeks ago 5/26/10 I was driving home and it shut off on the highway. On the highway. I could have gotten killed. Now it won't start at all and it's because the electrical system wont let it. If so many people have the same complaint, why is there not a recall? this is defiantly a safety issue if it is shutting off while driving. I understand that GM has gotten a rect government bail out and a huge recall like this will not look good on the resume, but how can they expect to stay in business when they are knowingly putting out systems that fail? it's frustrating, because my car is perfect, all except for this one problem that is quite costly. I am also reading that others are dropping hundreds to "fix" this problem, only to have the same issue occur within weeks. I just don't have that kind of money to play around with, and I'd rather not worry that every time I drive my car that it might just shut off on me. It could get me killed, and that's a reality. It could do the same to thousands of people that have the same exact car. Who wants that much blood on their hands"

- Wilton, NH, USA

problem #23

Aug 072009

Grand Am

  • 98,000 miles


2003 Pontiac Grand Am GT started not starting 8 months ago, not a regular thing on/off, been towed numerous times has cost alot of money in fees, had new ignition, new key. Old part is available. Tried turning key on waiting 10 minutes doesn't change anything. Car will start when it feels like it, sometimes leaving my young daughter at work late at night.

- Hudson, NY, USA

problem #22

Jul 302009

Grand Am

  • 98,000 miles
After pumping gas came back to my car and it wouldn't start. I had power but it wouldn't turn over. Banged on fuel line, replaced spark plugs. Put it in neutral and pushed it out of the gas terminal. Eventually figured out that if I put my key in accessory mode and sat for 10-15mins to wait for the security light to stop blinking that my car would start back up again. It was fine for a month then happened again. This time we thought it was the fuel line. Had it towed to a garage. Eventually started after putting it in accessory again. A part of the BCM was cleaned. Now this issue has been happening more and more frequently, to the car not starting almost every other day. While it hasn't been diagnosed, most likely it is an issue with the passlock security system. The past 4 times the car hasn't started, I put my key in acc and sat for 10 mins then it starts back up again.

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #21

Aug 282009

Grand Am

  • 77,343 miles
There are no warning signs, I have had no previous problems. I go to start my car and it just won't start. This happened to me twice in one week (this week). One time it was at 11:30pm and I was stuck in my car for 2 hours waiting for a tow truck. The tow truck driver suggested that I follow some steps to reset the security passlock system. I followed his instructions and nothing happened that night. Then next morning it started no problem. The exact same thing happened to me again last night after work and I had to have my car towed home. I tried to follow the steps to reset the passlock system which has been said to restart your car within 15 - 30 minutes. I tried it a few times throughout the night and nothing. Once again, I go to start my car in the morning and it started no problem.

- Chicopee, MA, USA

problem #20

Aug 172009

Grand Am

  • 70,000 miles
I have a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am V6. I bought it in 2005 from the dealer. Since then I've had to replace my ignition 3 times. The alarm system would go off in the middle of the night. The security signal would blink and my car would not and will not today for the 3rd time start. It has cut off on me on the freeway, I would pull over and the car start up after about 10 min. The sar not starting has been going on since I bought it most times it starts, but when it doesn't the tellme I have to replace my ignition. Im beginning to think its much more than that.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #19

Jun 302009

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact noticed that whenever the vehicle was turned off, it would fail to restart immediately. The failure occurred intermittently and without warning. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 84,000. Updated 08/14/09. The consumer stated the problem was within the security system. The turn signals would click while driving. Updated 08/14/09.

- Roseland, VA, USA

problem #18

Jan 232009

Grand Am

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact stated that the vehicle stalls and shuts down numerous times within three feet of her home. The entire vehicle loses power. Sometimes the vehicle will restart within five minutes or it will start and shut off at least four times before finally moving again. There are no warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel before or after the failure. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the security system was the cause of the failure. The dealer is charging $800 for the repair, but there is no guarantee that the failure will not recur. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Ashtabula, OH, USA

problem #17

Dec 232008

Grand Am

  • miles
I own a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am GT which I purchased brand new in 2003. The issue I along with many other GM owners am dealing with is the 'passlock' passive security system. My vehicle began experiencing problems with the passlock system at just 55,000 miles (which is absurd.) the problem is that the passlock system won't properly recognize a valid vehicle key and will require the driver to leave the key in the ignition in the "on" position for ten minutes before the vehicle can be started. After researching the problem online and speaking with other GM owners, my problem is in no way an isolated incident and is a definite widespread problem among GM owners that have their vehicle equipped with passlock. It is ridiculous for GM not to identify the issue as being recall-worthy. A colleague of mine had a similar instance occur in his Honda Accord which was ultimately fixed with Honda issuing a recall on the vehicle. I feel that the recall is imperative based on the amount of money it would cost to fix this problem along with the issues that may occur when having to wait ten full minutes before leaving for your destination (for example, a wife in labor enroute to a hospital.) I realize GM's first and foremost concerning issue is their financial crisis and ability to stay afloat, but I am feeling quite "fed up" with their lack of quality such as: Knobs falling off, brand new rattling cars, plastic fasteners for everything, having to remove half of my front end to change a headlight bulb, etc. The passlock issue was the straw on my camel's back.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #16

Jun 252007

Grand Am

  • 80,000 miles
I have been having trouble starting my car it will crank but not turn over but after a few tries it will finally start. It is a common problem within other Grand Am. I have spent money on the problem but yet no one can find the problem.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

problem #15

Aug 262008

Grand Am

  • miles
Passlock security system would not allow my car to start. This has been an ongoing problem. I do not feel that I should have to pay GM for them to fix something that has documented problems.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #14

Mar 082008

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
The ignition switch failed and had to be replaced. The problem was that the car would turn on, but no electrical systems (power windows/locks, radio, climate control) would come on when the car started. Would magically come on a few miles down the road. Problem was becoming worse, and check engine light came on.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #13

Nov 242007

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
Horn blows when no one is around the car, or just driving down the road. Last time this happened the horn burnt out, the cruise control kicks in when not even on, the blinker makes a blinking sound inside the car.

- Brillion, WI, USA

problem #12

Oct 292007

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,887 miles
My 2003 Pontiac has a clicking in the dash underneath the hazard switch. When I turn on turn signal the clicking goes in rhythm with the signals but when I turn the signals off it continues to click, sometimes fast sometimes slow. This is very annoying and I am afraid there may be a short that may cause a fire. I have checked the internet and come to find that many Pontiac owners are experiencing the same problem. They have told Pontiac about this problem and they just ignore the complaints. I feel there should be a recall on this problem with all the complaints of this matter. This problem seems to be occurring in many Pontiac's ranging from 1995 to 2004. I have a 2003 Grand Am GT. I hope that you have received many complaints for this problem because through my investigating this problem I have found so many with the same problem. Pontiac has to fix this problem before someone's vehicle catches on fire and burns a house down with an attached garage. Please look into this matter and let me know what is going on. As well my battery is discharging now over night, I have to put a charger on it to keep it charged, the battery has the right voltage, as well as the alternator is the correct charging voltage, and the starter is drawing the correct voltage when it does start, all this started when the flasher sticker started 3-wks ago........ "help" !!!!

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #11

Feb 222006

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Several times since purchasing my 2003 Pontiac, there is intermittent clicking coming from the hazard switch area in the instrument panel and several instances of tail light, turn signal, and hazard light failure. Have had the problem diagnosed by a mechanic and was told it is coming from the multi function switch in the steering column and will cost more than $300 to fix. I have found other reports of this malfunction from Pontiac owners from 1999 up through 2004 and have not been able to find a recall for anything other than the hazard switch. My hazard switch has been replaced and did not alleviate the problem.

- Oak Forest, IL, USA

problem #10

Oct 102006

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles
: the contact stated while trying to start the vehicle, it would not start. There were lights illuminated on the dash board which indicated the battery was working. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, who determined that a security feature caused the vehicle to stall. The mechanic recommended that if this occurred again the key should be turned to the on mode without completely starting the vehicle. The key needed to sit in that position for ten minutes then turn the vehicle off for 5 minutes. After this process, the vehicle should start normally. If the vehicle does not start repeat the previous step two times. The manufacturer was contacted and a complaint was taken.

- Beaumont, TX, USA

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