1997 Pontiac Grand Am Hard Starting, Poor Gas Mileage, Occa

Tiny
CHEVYCHICK
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 PONTIAC GRAND AM
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
I have a 97 Pontiac Grand Am (3.1L/6cyl) A month or so ago I had an internal intake gasket leak. Before I found this out the car was starting hard, as if it was not getting enough fuel. Had the intake gasket replaced and it still had problems starting. Talked to another mechanic who suggested replacing the FPR. Did that and it got a little better but still occasionally starts hard. I have not been able to see a pattern (cold/hot engine, weather, full/empty tank) it doesn't seem to matter! The check engine light comes on occasionally as well! Any ideas?
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Monday, March 3rd, 2008 AT 2:19 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Couple thoughts.

Get the codes from the computer this may help.

When you say starts hard, do you mean it cranks for a long time? The next time it cranks and doesn't start, try this:
Turn the key to the on position for a five seconds and off for 8 seconds. Repeat this 4 times and then see if it starts right up. May have a fuel bleed back problem with the pump.
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Monday, March 3rd, 2008 AT 3:01 PM
Tiny
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Thanks, Paul!
I tried what you suggested this morning. I turned the car over and it was cranking and tried to start but then died so tried what you said and that didn't work. Usually if it doesn't start the first time, I try again and it starts but if the second time doesn't work then when I turn it over again I push on the gas pedal and it starts right up.

I've noticed that when it doesn't start the first time and I have to either try a second or third time, after it starts the engine revs up and down right around the 1000 rpm mark a couple times until it settles at a little under 1000 rpms and there is a very distinct smell. The smell is hard to describe, if I had to say a kind of fluid it smells like it would be gasoline but it's a sour, unpleasent smell. Not sure if that sparks any ideas in your head but I thought I'd let you know!

Thanks again for the advice! I appreciate what you guys are doing on here!
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Tuesday, March 4th, 2008 AT 12:08 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
I think what I would do next is have the o2 sensors scoped to see what kind of pattern they are having. It may be richening the fuel up too strong causing the smell and the poor fuel miliage.

The prior test was for drainback into the tank from the fuel pump, but that is ruled out now.
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Tuesday, March 4th, 2008 AT 12:30 PM
Tiny
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Well I got the car checked out again! Turns out the fuel pressure was lower than it should be so they fixed that and now it starts great. I also had the check engine light diagnosed. The code is P1655 purge valve, EGR, or shift solenoid "A" circuit. They checked everything out and it all seems to be working great so they cleared the code. The light came back on shortly after I left and so I brought it back up there. When I brought the car up again the light had gone off. They checked all the wiring and circuits involved but still couldn't find a problem. Since the code was not active they couldn't pinpoint the exact problem either so they asked me to come back in when the light was on. Light came on again today and so I brought it back in! They checked everything again and still no luck. They suggested a new purge valve even though the one in the car tested fine. I declined and asked about the shift solenoid and if it would cause to the car to hesitate on acceleration. They said it was possible. After talking costs it seemed like a good option to just drive the car since it already has over 150000 miles on it! I also asked if any of these problems would affect the gas mileage and they said no not really so I'm still not sure why the gas mileage is so poor but oh well, I'll live with it! Thanks for all your help on this problem! I hope my post can help someone else!
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Monday, March 24th, 2008 AT 7:16 PM

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