Grand Am Dies at Highway Speeds

Tiny
MEGAVOYAGER
  • MEMBER
  • GMC
I have a 2000 MY Grand Am V6 with about 90K on the clock. Last Thursday it died after about 20 miles on the Interstate while doing 75 mph and with 1/4 tank of gas. No fault codes or error lights. Took about 10 minutes to restart and limped into work on back roads.

Same day on way home, died again after about 5 miles on the Interstate at 70 mph, and again every couple of miles (taking a few minutes to restart) until I could get off onto the back roads again. Made it home at 25-40 mph with no problem.

I changed the fuel filter next day and filled the gas tank. Next Monday and Tuesday, the car ran fine on the Interstate, but coming home on Tuesday it died on me again at 75 mph with 3/4 tank of gas. I could restart almost immediately, but it kept dying every 1/2 mile or so until I got off the highway and drove the rest of the way on the back roads (again 25-40 mph with no problem).

Do you think the fuel pump could be going bad? I don't really want to ask a dealer to find out what's wrong as I could be giving them a blank check.

Many thanks for any advice you can give.
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Wednesday, May 17th, 2006 AT 6:36 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
LSUSSEL
  • MEMBER
It could be the fuel pump. More then likely its something to else I think the engine is cutting out on you at high speeds. I think that might have something to do with, when the car changs gears, to a higher speed it shorts out. Take it to a shop and have them test it with there 02 computer even though the check engine light is not on. When they plug in their computer to your car's computer it will tell them if the fuel pump is bad or what the problem is, with no doubts.

Hope this helps.
Lee
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Wednesday, May 17th, 2006 AT 12:16 PM
Tiny
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Lee (Isussel),

Many thanks for replying to my question.

Well, we'll find out more today or tomorrow. Yesterday the car cut out on me for good, even though I stayed on the back roads. Strange thing is this time, before it died completely, a couple of the restarts resulted just in a very rough idle (about 400 rpm), no response to the throttle, and the engine died after about 30 secs.

Unfortunately, I and no choice but to call a tow truck and ask them to take it to the nearest dealer.

If you want to check back in a few days, I'll post information on what the dealer found wrong with the car and how we fixed it. That's the only way we'll all learn from the forums.

Thanks again.
John
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Thursday, May 18th, 2006 AT 10:15 AM
Tiny
LSUSSEL
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Thanks, I'm looking forward to hearing what the dealer says, keep me posted!

-Lee
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Thursday, May 18th, 2006 AT 12:36 PM
Tiny
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Oh darn. I thought we'd fixed it. I wanted to get a full week of trouble-free running before reporting back, but I didn't get there.

The dealer had the car in for a couple of days. They hooked it up to the OBD II computer and the only error code they found was high voltage for the MAF sensor. They told me this was probably caused by the repeated stalling, rather than indicating the cause of the problem.

The dealership started it with no problems. They had it idling for a couple of hours and ran it (hot) around the parking lot - both with no problems. Fuel pump pressures and delivery rates were both OK (so my theory was blown) and all of the visible iginition components (leads, etc) looked OK.

Based on discussions around the Tech's in the shop, they thought that the most likely cause was the crankshaft position sensor going bad. A $30 part, with $240 labor to replace. Sounded plausible - if this goes bad, basically all of the engine timing goes bad. So, OK, please do it.

Afterwards, the car ran very well - a 25-mile journey home from the dealership; and the next Monday through Wednesday, my regular 25-mile each-way commute (mostly on highways). Then this morning (Thursday), the darn thing cut out on me again. Same problem as first reported: I'm doing 65-75 miles an hour (usually, but not always, using cruise control) - when suddenly hesitation, loss of power and engine goes out.

Looks like I'll have to take it to another dealer and see if they can find anything. Unless anyone reading this has any ideas?

Thanks
John
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Thursday, May 25th, 2006 AT 8:52 AM
Tiny
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OK last dealer had the car for best part of 2 weeks. Not sure exactly how much work they did on it, but they used a 1/2 tank of gas. They couldn't find anything wrong with it, kept changing their minds about what it could be and in the end, the only suggestion they had was "maybe it's the CPU". As they estimated about $800 parts and labor to change the CPU (mapping the new one), but couldn't guarantee to fix the problem, I declined this option.

After 12 days, I got fed up of the dealer's lousy response (no-one ever came to the phone when I called and I was just told "sorry, they're busy" - well they sure weren't busy on my car) that I just called and told them I was coming to collect the car. When I got there, everyone except the evening receptionist had gone home and I persuaded her to give me the keys (no bill !). Bearing in mind the dealer had the car for all that time and couldn't find a problem, I was somewhat disappointed that the car quit on me less than 3 miles away on the ride home.

I bought a used scan tool, thinking that it might log a fault code if I left it connected while driving. But whether I told it to erase codes and/or disconnected the power from the CPU itself (to wipe out settings), the scan tool didn't register anything when the engine quit. And it kept on quitting !

Finally, the only solution left open to me was to get rid of the car. Of course, with the running problem, I had to take a huge loss on the value of the car - to me, or potentially even as a trade-in (but what dealership would have accepted it). Now I'm running a Japanese brand car - but built in the USA - and will never go back to GM.

Good luck to anyone else who has this problem. I still haven't seen a post anywhere that tells that any owner with the stalling issue has found a reliable fix.
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Thursday, September 7th, 2006 AT 4:58 PM

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