Mechanics

DASH LIGHTS ON, GAUGES FAIL, STALLS WHEN COOL/LOW RPM

1997 Pontiac Grand Am • 127,000 miles

I have a 1997 Grand Am with the 3.1L. It recently has been giving problems staying running when cool and it hasn't been driven for a 2+ hours. It turns over fine, and fires fine, but all the dash lights stay on, the gauges don't work and it will stall out after a second or two. If I press the gas and rev the engine it will eventually stay running as long as it's kept above 2000 RPM. Eventually at 2k+ RPM the gauges will start working and all the dash lights will go out like normal except the "Theft Sys" light. It will run and drive fine after that unless there is a large amount of sitting and idling, then the cycle above starts again. If driven for 20+ minutes and restarted within about an hour it starts and runs fine. It seems to have less issues the warmer it is out as well.

I replaced the battery thinking maybe it wasn't holding a charge, but it didn't help. Also tried disconnecting the battery when not using it to ensure there was no power leech which had no effect.
Avatar
Nebeattie
April 25, 2012.




Clean out the idle air control valve and have the charging system checked-
AD

Tiny
Rasmataz
Apr 25, 2012.
IAC is good to go. Fairly clean and Idles fine until all the dash lights come on and gauges stop. Will take it to get a full charging system test done.

Tiny
Nebeattie
Apr 25, 2012.
It sounds like either a failing dash cluster or a bad pcm.

You need a shop to monitor the pcm, bcm and cluster while this is happening.

Tiny
Rasmataz
Apr 28, 2012.
It's been a while to reply because it hasn't acted up. I had the charging system checked and it came up fine. It appears to be very temperature dependent. If it's 50 or below and it hasn't been recently driven a good distance, the chances are good the above issues appear when trying to start it. The last two weeks it's been warmer and hasn't had a single problem even after sitting for days. This morning it was 50 and all the gauges died and lights came on until I revved the engine for a while. Once it got up to temp, it didn't seem to have problems even idling a lot in bad traffic.

Tiny
Nebeattie
May 16, 2012.

AD