1998 Pontiac Grand Am Car won't start after driving unless

Tiny
JIMBO727
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 PONTIAC GRAND AM
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 137,000 MILES
Hello:
A weird thing. After replacing entire dash instrumentation panel (old one which went dead on the guages), and doing a head gasket job, new motor mounts, new radiator, new battery, new water pump the Pontiac runs like a champ, starts like a charm, has great power, runs like new. Except for one thing: If you turn it off after your journey and wait about 15 min, it will NOT start! Just clicks. It will start if you turn it off, then back on right then and there, but not if you wait the 15 min. The next morning, it will start again! Starter sounds good. Engine light is now on, also. Won't go off.

One mechanic ran tests, no luck. Another said something to do with the anti theft system. My key does NOT have a FOB- never had one but I bought the car used. Manual says it has anti-theft system on some models.
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Saturday, February 28th, 2009 AT 10:02 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
(HELP)
  • MEMBER
Sounds like starter brushes or solenoid contacts worn - try have someone tap starter while key's held in "crank". ( Check power to little wire.)
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Saturday, February 28th, 2009 AT 10:27 PM
Tiny
JIMBO727
  • MEMBER
Thanks, but already tried that. No soap. However, a jump by AAA tow truck started it, even though battery was doing a fine job of turning it over by itself before tow truck showed up. I mean battery was NOT dead when he jumped it. However, problem repeated the next day.
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Saturday, February 28th, 2009 AT 11:14 PM
Tiny
JIMBO727
  • MEMBER
I have more to report.
If I wait 15 minutes, still won't start.
If I wait 20 min, still won't start.
But if I wait 2 hrs or longer, it starts right up!

I will now try increments of waiting between 20 min and up since the theory that it has to do with some sort of anti-theft reset issue is worth a try. Anybody know about such a thing on 1998 Pontiac Grand Ams?
Thanks
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Sunday, March 1st, 2009 AT 2:16 AM
Tiny
JIMBO727
  • MEMBER
Already tried that, thanks. I think it has to do with the antitheft system, since car will restart in 20 min or so.
But I still need help on this. Thanks
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Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 3:04 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Not likely the anti-theft system, if the starter is clicking then the solenoid isnt getting full power or the starter/solenoid is having hot starting problems. The anti-theft will disable the fuel pump. When it wont start, use a meter to measure the voltage at the stater main cable and the small wire with key in crank position. If 12 volts then the starter is bad
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Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 4:32 PM
Tiny
JIMBO727
  • MEMBER
2CarProJack:
Thanks for your response. Am arranging a volatge meter lend. In the meantime, a friend ran their code scanner. Results:

Computer codes that showed upon testing:

1573
1626
1671
102

(Mass airflow sensor,
MIL Solenoid code)

code explanation from Innova website that I cobbled together

DTC Information
MIL DTC

P0102 MAF Sensor Circuit Low Frequency
(MAF Mass Air Flow Sensor)

Stored Codes

P1626 Theft Deterrent System Fuel Enable Circuit Malfunction

P1573 PCM/EBTCM Serial Data Circuit

(PCM Powertrain Control Module
PCM (POWERTRAIN CONTROL MODULE ) Generic term used to refer to the arrangement controllers/computers which control the engine management system, emissions systems, and the shift operations of automatic transmissions. This term is Federally mandated to standardize the terminology of engine management computers (beginning in the 1993 model year).)

(EBTCM Electronic Brake T/C Module)

(TCM Transmission Control Module)

P1671 MIL Control Circuit
(MIL Malfunction Indicator Lamp (also referred to as "Check Engine" light)

Can you help me interpret? It seems there are multiple problems, including Anti theft issue.
Much appreciated!
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Thursday, March 5th, 2009 AT 1:59 PM
Tiny
(HELP)
  • MEMBER
Are these "hard" codes(do all come back after clearing)? Have you checked and thoroughly cleaned the power AND ground cables - BOTH ENDS - I've seen "tight" connections not making contact intermittently. Otherwise I'd put a starter in it at this mileage anyway (it's a common problem and may fix).
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Thursday, March 5th, 2009 AT 7:56 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Also use the meter to be sure you are getting a full 12 volts out of the ignition switch at one of the large power wires from the switch. Low system voltage can cause strange problems too
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Friday, March 6th, 2009 AT 7:42 AM
Tiny
JIMBO727
  • MEMBER
Thank you (help) and 2CarProJack.

Will do as you both suggested and will get back with result.
Thanks!
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Friday, March 6th, 2009 AT 1:51 PM
Tiny
JIMBO727
  • MEMBER
Reply to 2CarPro Jack:
Regarding your earlier reply about starter clicking, I thought I should mention that I don't think that the starter is, in fact, clicking. Sounds like it's just 5 clicks each time, eminating from under the passenger side of the dash or perhaps on the other side of the firewall, same side. It sounds like a relay that clicks only 5 times, each and every time. It sounds like when you push the bottom of the old type small oil cans with the long spouts, if you know what I mean. Does this shed any light? Thanks
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Saturday, March 7th, 2009 AT 6:36 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Not really, can you have someone cycle the key so you can find out which relay it is? From there I may be able to look it up in the wiring diagram by the wire colors
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Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 AT 8:17 AM
Tiny
JIMBO727
  • MEMBER
OK, could not determine which relay was at fault. Got desparate cause I have a lot of work coming up on something else. Took it to GM dealer. They found starter relay. Replaced and redid relay ground wire. Reprogammed PCM. However, egine trouble light is now again but hopefully, starting issues are over, as I have tested using the run 20 min, wait 20 min routine. If I don't get back, that means starting issue is over! I want to thank you very much for your help!
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Sunday, March 22nd, 2009 AT 5:44 PM

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