Trouble starting 91 Grand Am

Tiny
SHARIB
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 PONTIAC
Hi, just picked up a 91 grand am, 128,000 miles. Put in a new battery, fuel filter. My service engine light comes on while im in park, but goes off in any other gear. Battery light is still on even though new battery is in.
my continuous issue is when I try to start the car, I get a sort of grinding sound. Then I try again and the gas seems to slowly sound while the grinding goes away. After a few tries and pumping the gas while trying to turn it over, the car starts. What could this be?
thanks for your time, this is a great site. Im a new member!
shari :D
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Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007 AT 7:58 AM

12 Replies

Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Hi Shari,
Welcome.

Not sure whats going on but offer this:
OFten a battery light leads to a bad alternater. Grinding while turning the key is the solenoid on the starter not disengaging. If this happening it will chew up the flywheel.

Not sure what gas sounds like.
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Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 AT 5:51 AM
Tiny
SHARIB
  • MEMBER
Hi paul,
thanks for the speedy reply. We replaced the starter. This morning it started up right away. I let it run and after about 20 minutes everything just died. When I turn the ignition key I get absolutely nothing.
Even after putting in a new battery and starter, the battery light was on and service engine soon light is on. We checked the alternator and it showed a reading of 11.8. I do have power in the battery since the lights, panel, etc works.
Any suggestions on what to check? :Lol:
thanks again. You rock!
Shari
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Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 AT 8:05 AM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
11.8. Volts? If the connections are tight, charge the battery back up and recheck. The alternater is probably bad. It should be between 14 to 16V when idle is above 2500 rpm and the engine is below operating temp. At temp. Is should be between 13 to 15 V/

The grinding is gone with the new starter I assume?
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Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 AT 10:53 AM
Tiny
SHARIB
  • MEMBER
Thank you again. I will check the battery and alternator and let you know what happens.
Have a great day
shari 8)
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Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 AT 3:09 PM
Tiny
SHARIB
  • MEMBER
Hi paul,
hope youre day is going well.
Checked the alternator. Its good. Seems to be a grounding problem compounded by several incorrect splices with different gauges of wire. Single stranded, brand braided, etc.
Were gonna repair splices with 16 gauge braided wire and clean all connections. Any other advice?
Peace, and thanks again
shari
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Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 AT 4:51 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
I would use a shrink wrap terminal that has solder in it that melts when heat is applied for the connections your repairing.

Are you still at a no start situation?

IS it cranking but not starting? OR not even cranking?

Is is the quad 4- 2.3 motor or the 2.5 motor?
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Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 AT 8:18 PM
Tiny
SHARIB
  • MEMBER
Hi,
its a 4-2.3.
No cranking at all.
:)
shari
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Thursday, October 25th, 2007 AT 11:40 AM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Check for power getting to the starter. I have seen reman starters be a problem right from the start.
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Thursday, October 25th, 2007 AT 12:43 PM
Tiny
SHARIB
  • MEMBER
Hi,
wiring done. Car only starts with jump. Runs for a few minutes and just dies. Kaput! Maybe bogging down. Heeeeeeelp! LOLOLO im pretty sure its not a reman starter. Ill re check
have a great day! And many thanks
peace
shari
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Friday, October 26th, 2007 AT 3:43 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
I feel like there is something basic thats being overlooked.

If this does crank with a jump, but does not crank without a jump, then there is a lack of power from the battery or poor/dirty connection at the battery or ground cable from the battery. Is the battery fully charged?

I assume your hooking the black (negative) jumper cable to a ground other than at the battery. If not you should, had one explode in my face.
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Saturday, October 27th, 2007 AT 6:36 AM
Tiny
SHARIB
  • MEMBER
Hi paul.
The battery is not fully charged anymore. Its brand new though. It seems as though when it was running, the battery wasnt recharging. Now the car doesnt stay running long enough for it to charge even though the alternator is fine. All the connections have been changed, fixed etc. If I could get it to run long enough, I could get the battery recharged.
Im thinking something basic too, but what? Lolo
thank you so much, again
have a great day
shari
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Saturday, October 27th, 2007 AT 8:10 AM
Tiny
SHARIB
  • MEMBER
Hi pete,
thanks so much for your advice. All in all it lead to finally getting her started and running!
Turns out it WAS the alternator.
I hope you have a great day and realize how much you help people ! Keep up the great work and dedication
peace
shari
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Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 AT 1:53 PM

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