Grand Am slows, quits running then can start back up and go

Tiny
RWARNER1
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 PONTIAC GRAND AM
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 135,000 MILES
2001 grand am se1 3.4L V6 all of a sudden gas pedal has no effect on the engine, it just stalled out. Pull over to the side and as I do so my RPMs slowly go from 2k down to 0, and my battery light comes on. So I pull over to the side and turn off the car and it starts right back up again at the first try no problem. Car runs for quite a while then does it again.
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Saturday, December 18th, 2010 AT 10:57 PM

16 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Have you checked fuel pump pressure? Has the check engine light come on?
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Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 AT 2:47 PM
Tiny
RWARNER1
  • MEMBER
Yes, last time it happened, there was a fuel pressure gage attached and it was ok. It is mt daughter's car and she lives out of town so I'm trying to troubleshoot for her so the mechanic can direct his work better.

Was also thing about O2 sensor, not sure it would cause the same symptoms though.
Thanks.
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Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 AT 10:03 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Without a check engine light, it becomes a guessing game. The issue sounds like a fuel problem, but you said no. If the vehicle doesn't respond, I would think mass air flow sensor. However, it could be a PCM issue.
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Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 AT 1:07 PM
Tiny
RWARNER1
  • MEMBER
I contacted her and she did say the check engine light was on. I don't have access to the mechanic she took the car to so I don't know what codes may have been tripped. I know mass air flow sensors are expensive and I have replaced one on my 2000 Grand prix GT a few years ago but I just hate to have the mechanic keep trying things.
Thanks for the reply.
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Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 AT 8:07 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
What I suggest is to clean the MAF. They make a special cleaner that you can get for electronics at most parts stores. Try that route first. Also, sorry it took a couple days to get back to you. With Christmas, kids, wife. Well, you get the picture.

I hope you had a good Christmas.

Joe
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Sunday, December 26th, 2010 AT 6:04 AM
Tiny
RWARNER1
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the reply Joe, Merry Christmas to you too. I told my daughter that I thought it could be the mass air flow sensor or the coil pack. I am leaning toward the MAF and I told her the location of it and to start the car and try and tap on the MAF with something to see if the engine rpms change. It it possible to spray the cleaner into the MAF while the car is running? Seems like there should be a code but she says the check engine like comes on but doesn't stay on, this to me means there are no codes set. I also told her to check the air filter which is in front of the MAF. Thanks for the response, I'm going to try and have her have someone check the MAF sensor for her.

Thanks,
Rich
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Sunday, December 26th, 2010 AT 1:29 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
You shouldn't do it with the engine running. Remove it and clean it. Actually, you could have her disconnect it and see if there is any change. As far as the check engine light, if it comes on, someone with an OBD 2 scanner should be able to check it when it comes on. For some reason it isn't setting a hard code to keep the light on; however, the computer is recognizing a problem when the engine is running and should be picked up by the scanner.

Let me know what you find.
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Monday, December 27th, 2010 AT 2:09 AM
Tiny
RWARNER1
  • MEMBER
Thanks Joe,
I'll relay this information to her to have the mechanic she is working with try this route.
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Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 AT 11:55 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Let me know how things work out for you. And if I don't hear from you, have a good new year's day.

Joe
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Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 AT 11:07 PM
Tiny
RWARNER1
  • MEMBER
Thanks, same to you,

Rich
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Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 AT 11:32 PM
Tiny
RWARNER1
  • MEMBER
Well, I spoke to my daughter yesterday and now the check engine light is on and it also backfired through the exhaust. I'm thinking wires are bad and maybe coil pack. I told her to see if someone can read the codes without charging her. It's too far for me to drive to where she lives just to hear it myself and also I'm not going to be able to fix it myself without knowing pretty much exactly what is wrong. She doesn't have much money so taking it to a shop at this point would probably cost her more than the car is worth. She really needs a more reliable car but she has to have this running ok just to sell it.

Rich
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Saturday, January 1st, 2011 AT 3:03 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If there is a nationally recognized parts store near her (Auto Zone, Advance Auto.) They usually will scan the computer for free. Is there anything like that where she is?
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Saturday, January 1st, 2011 AT 8:13 PM
Tiny
RWARNER1
  • MEMBER
No, the closest one is about a 35 minute drive and I really don't want her to try and have the car make it that far because she may get stuck and then we have a different issue. The fact that she said it backfird tells me the spark plug wire are old and could be allowing the spark to jump and cause a misfire. Of course they to me may be coil pack as well. The car is still running and she lives in a very small town that does not include Autozone or advance auto parts. I'm sure it needs spark plugs and wires so that may have to be the first step at this point.

Thanks.
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Saturday, January 1st, 2011 AT 11:26 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
That sounds very possible.
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Saturday, January 1st, 2011 AT 11:36 PM
Tiny
RWARNER1
  • MEMBER
Well, the final resolution was to get rid of the pontiac, too much cost and not an exact fix. My daughter called me today and her mom and step dad purchased a 1999 Dodge Caravan for her 125000 miles clean and she happy and fortunate. I told her to try and have someone put some plug wires on for starters and try and get it to run ok and then sell it. There is always someone that is handy and can fix the things that are wrong with it. Joe I sure appreciate your replies and input to me, this wasn't easy.

Best regards,
Rich
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Monday, January 3rd, 2011 AT 10:41 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Rich:
I'm glad to help. I feel bad they got rid of it. It's frustrating being on this end of the problem because I feel confident that I could have helped her had I been there. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the future. That is why we are here. Take care of yourself, and I wish you a happy new year.

Joe
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Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 AT 12:55 PM

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