2003 Pontiac Grand Am Car Won't Turn Over

Tiny
BIGRED83
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 PONTIAC GRAND AM
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 136,567 MILES
Tried to start my '03 Grand Am, and it wouldn't even attempt to turn over. All lights/dash lights are bright, heater, radio work just fine. I checked all fuses, nothing. Tightened gas cap, nothing. Checked battery cable connections, nothing still. I took a screwdriver and crossed positive & negative posts on starter and it spun but did not engage. I was thinking it was the starter, but why wouldn't it at least spin when I turned the ignition? And even if it did, it's not engaging so could there be more to it than just a faulty starter motor?
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Thursday, October 30th, 2008 AT 1:17 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Try bench testing the starter off of the car before buying a new one.
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Thursday, October 30th, 2008 AT 1:36 AM
Tiny
BIGRED83
  • MEMBER
You talkin bout takin it and gettin it tested? I'm really not very mechanically inclined, surprised I found a problem to begin with! Thanks for the reply
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Thursday, October 30th, 2008 AT 2:43 AM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
You can do it yourself with a set of jumper cables and your car battery, but if you are not experienced in mechanics then you might want to have a local repair shop test it for your safety. If you want instructions on how to do it yourself just let me know.

P.S. Most shops will charge little to test the starter so don't pay out more than $20 or $25.
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Thursday, October 30th, 2008 AT 2:54 AM
Tiny
BIGRED83
  • MEMBER
Right on. So, dumb question here, when I crossed the pos. And neg. Posts w/ a screwdriver on the starter, and it just spun w/o engaging, was that anything similiar to a bench test?
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Thursday, October 30th, 2008 AT 3:06 AM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Yes, similar. More detailed though. This can be done with a set of booster cables. Hook the positve to the starter solenoid, get the clamp on the main power stud to the starter and the smaller solenoid power stud. The other end of positive goes to batteries positive. The negative booster cable gets hooked to the battery negative. Be careful because you'll be making sparks so don't have any flammable substances anywhere near. Clamp down the starter. Touch the starter end of the negative cable to the body of the starter (somewhere around the bolt holes will work). You'll get some spark and the starter will give a jump. You should hear/see the starter work. What you're looking for is the starter drive to jump out to the end of the nose cone and spin. If this doesn't happen then the starter needs replacing. If this does happen then check the one way clutch on the starter drive. Pry against the starter drive gear with a screw driver. It should turn one way but not the other, there is a one way clutch in the drive. If it turns fairly freely both ways the drive is shot. Like I said, you are probably better off just taking it out and getting it tested at a local shop. Sorry I can't be of more help.
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Thursday, October 30th, 2008 AT 3:15 AM
Tiny
BIGRED83
  • MEMBER
Thank you very much, you've been a tremendous help.
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Thursday, October 30th, 2008 AT 3:34 AM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Thanks for using 2carpros. Com! Please leave feedback if you believe I was helpful. Post your results of the test and let us know if you have any more questions.
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Thursday, October 30th, 2008 AT 3:38 AM
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello - bluelightnin6, gave you outstanding info on checking the starter yourself. Also for your info, you could go to Auto Zone or O'Reilly's and for free, they will bench check your starter. I like the price. Free. If you are able to drive your car, (not now of course) for free also they can bring their tester out and check your battery, alternator and starter. While there for free they can pull the codes to the car.
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Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 AT 2:29 PM

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