Mechanics

TRANS AM

1988 Pontiac Other

My son bought a 1988 Pontiac Trans Am
8 cyl with 84,000 miles. 5.0 litre TBI engine 4 speed automatic form someone on ebay. The guy told him he could pick it up and he did. He drove it about 100 miles home. The oil pressure gauge did not work. He got it home, it ran fine. He shut it off. He decide to swap out his radio and was sitting with the car started it and disconnected his radio. The car ran for about 20 minutes after disconnecting the radio and then it died. He tried to restart it and it would not crank. Clicked a few times but nothing. He started to check things and found there was no oil registering on the dip stick at all. He added oil still no crank. We tapped the started and still not crank. Replace the battery with a new one. Still nothing. The 3rd time he tried to start it there isn't even any clicking. Just nothing.
He said when the car died it just died quietly no noise no bang. No overheating. Just shut off.
I am worried he might have seize his motor. But if that were the case wouldn't you know it seized? Some noise that didn't sound right accuring?
I guess he should have checked the oil but he figured the guy said it was ready to go. And would have said something if it needed oil. UGH!
I was told you can try to turn the crank by hand to see if it is seized. Clockwise I believe.
how far should it turn and do you have to remove anything when trying this? Should the car be in gear?
Could it just be the starter? But the starter shouldn't make the car die correct?

can someone tell me how to figure out what the problem is?

thank you in advance!
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4kate
March 18, 2007.




I have an '88 Trans Am, with exhaust issues. But my car kinda did the same thing. You might want to try cleaning the throttle body and the spark plugs. Also check the altinator. What could have happened was someone connected the radio wrong. Check the wires going from the altinator to the battery and to the dash. These 3rd gens all have wiring issues and most need to be replaced.

Tiny
Dollfacedgremlin
Mar 24, 2007.
I have an 84 with the same engine + H.O. And also ram air, but it hasnt ran for 6 years now, I gave up, I doubt if it ceased from what you say happened, one day mine would start then nothing for two weeks, then start and not do anything to it, replaced everything I new of and still nothing, a friend said his truck was the same, and somewhere, they is a small silver box under the dash, that he replaced and never had a problem since, I just couldnt find mine, but I also was changing out the radio, when this happened, so maybe the box is behind there, let me know what ya find, not for mine, I think the engine is trashed now from sitting, try jump the starter with screwdriver, I had to do that sometimes to get it to crank.

Tiny
Steelweels
Mar 24, 2007.
The raido was only unplugged and it ran I guess for a 20 minutes after unplugging it. The new one was never installed old one just unplugged. How do you jump a starter with a scewdriver? If I try to move the crank by hand will it move without removing any sparkplugs? Because I did try and I could not get it to budge. It was also in gear when I tried.
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Tiny
4kate
Mar 24, 2007.
Did you ever find out what was wrong, what happened, did the engine seize, did it start? To jump the starter, take a long screwdriver and with the turned on(run position, not start position) slide the screwdriver down to the starter, find the power side(battery post) and the small post on the starter, touch both od these together at the same time, there will be some sparks if not done right, but if you touch the right ones, the starter should engage and crank the engine.

Tiny
Steelweels
Mar 27, 2007.
I towed it to the service station the other night.
I will find out tomorrow what the problem is.I will let you know the outcome =)

Tiny
4kate
Mar 28, 2007.

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