1996 Pontiac Grand Am My hubby needs a little help!

Tiny
TROYLESLIE
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 PONTIAC GRAND AM
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 88,000 MILES
My son's Grand-Am won't start and hubby thinks it's the computer or switch and is just gonna buy a computer whether it's the actual problem or not! When you turn it on, it turns over like it's gonna start but then acts like it's not getting any fuel after the initial starting. Then, you have to turn the switch completely off before trying to start it again, otherwise it won't even act like it's gonna start. He's a pretty good problem solver and dianostic mechanic but this one's got him puzzled. When it was in our driveway, after getting it towed here, he got it going and drove it to work the next day and after work, nothing. Not starting again and that's where it's been. Please help! Son needs his car and hubby needs some peace!
Thanks!
Leslie
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Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 AT 12:00 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Does it have spark? If so, try shooting a little carb cleaner in the throttle bore to see if it tries to start, if it does it is fuel related. Can you hear the fuel pump run for a few seconds when you first turn on the key?
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Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 AT 7:43 AM
Tiny
TROYLESLIE
  • MEMBER
The car will start just for a few seconds. When you turn the switch on, every warning light on the dash comes on and stays on. The fuel gage stays on empty but has plenty of gas. When he drove it to work, it was running fine but all the warning lights stayed lit, gas hand remained empty and RPM hand didn't work. It will start every time you try as long as you turn the switch completely off each time you retry but it only runs about 3 secs.
Hope this helps!
Leslie
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Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 AT 11:42 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Considering the dash lighs stay lit, it could be an ignition switch. He drove it to work. So it stays running?
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Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 AT 7:15 AM
Tiny
TROYLESLIE
  • MEMBER
When it first stopped on my son, we had it towed to our house and hubby tinkered with it for about a day, doing nothing specific, and it started up. So he drove it to work the next day in case it was to break down again but it did fine. Then when he came out at the end of the day and got in it to come home, it wouldn't start again and the parking lot is where it's been ever since. He went to work on it there the next day when he was off work and actually used a whole can of the starter stuff sprayed into it but it didin't help. It would rumble when being sprayed but when stopped, it would stop. When you turn the switch completely off and then try to start it, it rumbles like it's gonna start right up but then doesn't and all the warning lights on the dash come on but don't fade away like they're supposed to when you turn the switch on. And then to be able to try to start it again, you have to turn the switch completely off and then back on cause if you just try to turn it over again without 'resetting' it, you get nothing. 'Resetting' being referred to turning the switch to the full 'OFF' position. All the warning lights coming on is what made hubby think it's the computer and that it's also impeding a connection to keep it running once started. It's like the switch is starting it but there's nothing tied in between to keep it running:if that makes any sense. My hubby said I'm just gonna confuse you guys and you'll never be able to help. If so, I do appoligize :-)
Leslie
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Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 AT 1:36 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
LOL. So it does run when carb cleaner is spraye dinto it? I fso, the fuel pumnp is most likely the problem. Check for power at the fuel pump when key is first turned on, it will go away after about 3 seconds. Does this car have a security system? If so try this also

GM PASS LOCK RELEARN- Ignition to "run" position, try to start and let key return to "run" position
Approx ten minutes security light will go off
Turn key "off" and wait 5 seconds
Repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 relearns.
Turn key off, then start it
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Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 AT 2:56 PM
Tiny
TROYLESLIE
  • MEMBER
The alarm had to be reset. Now it runs but no gauges work and all the warning lights on the dash stay on.
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Friday, August 8th, 2008 AT 11:18 AM

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