I own a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 4-dr sedan, with a 4 cylinder engine and automatic transmission. It has about 154,000 miles on it. I've had it for about three years and over that time the car has ran great.
About a year ago I started noticing a slight loss of power. It would take an extra moment to accelerate when passing or getting on the highway. Sometimes it would stutter or hesitate with almost no response from the accelerator for a second.
We got the oil, air, and fuel filters changed and also replaced the spark plugs and plug boots/caps. This resolved the issues for a short time.
Starting about a six months ago though; the car began stalling whenever I slowed to a stop. That is, the car would die at every stop sign or red light. It would however crank right back up with no problem. At times, I was able to shift to neutral and rev the engine to keep it from stalling.
Then about three months ago the car wouldn't start. It had lights but wouldn't turn over. We checked the battery and it had a charge but not fully. We jumped it and it started. This happened again a few days later but jumping didn't help. We replaced the starter and solenoid and all was good. The car ran great.
Now about a month ago the car wouldn't start. We tried jumping the battery but it didn't help. I bought a new battery. Now the car tries to start but it won't catch.
It seems to have good airflow and/or vacuum. We also get spark. So it appears it may be fuel related.
We hear the fuel pump when the key is turned. The security light is not flashing. I checked all the fuses and tried swapping the relays. Still it will not run.
We tried using starter fluid and it sounded like it turned over and started for a second but then died again. We did this a couple times with same result.
Someone told me that since we hear the fuel pump, that it is not the problem. They suggested I replace the crankcase sensor, camshaft sensor, or the fuel pressure regulator.
I don't have access to diag equipment and am limited on funds so I am unable to truly test fuel pressure or the fuel injectors. I do know that I don't smell any fuel in or around the engine throttle when we are trying to start the car, so I'm still leaning towards fuel pump.
I am trying to narrow down the possible cause. As I said, I can't afford to buy a part I don't need. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Friday, January 11th, 2013 AT 7:55 PM