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2000 Pontiac Grand Am, trouble starting

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New User

Oct 12, 2009, 3:28 AM

Post #1 of 4 (6088 views)
2000 Pontiac Grand Am, trouble starting Sign In

Grand Am GT
3.4 V6
150,000 miles

My grand am has been having trouble starting lately. The first time I noticed the problem was one day the car was slow to crank at start, like the battery was low, but the car started fine and I had no trouble for a couple days. The next time the problem arose the car would not start at all. I turn the key the car barely would crank and then just stopped cranking. After several tries, the car will not crank at all. The interior lights were dim upon letting off the start position on the ignition, and clock on radio reset, so I assumed it was time for a new battery. I left the car alone and figured I would have it jumped the next day to get a new battery. On a whim, the next day, I try to start the car and it cranks slow, but then starts right up! Lights are again bright, no battery warning light on dash or anything. I take it to Wal mart, they test the battery, alternator, and starter and it all checks out perfect. They tell me they have no explanation as to why the car would not start. The charging system is fine. The car starts again and again, with no problem at all. I am confused ofcourse, and wait until the problem arises again. A few days later, I am cleaning the car. After just starting the car and moving it (started fine) I turn it off, then decide to move it again, and the car, after previously starting just fine moments before, will now not start. It cranks over once and stops, try again, cranks slowly and stops, then will not crank at all. Clock on radio resets, lights are dim. I leave the car alone for about 20 minutes, go back, the car cranks slowly at first, faster, then starts. I turn it off, start it several times with no problem at all. Take it to autozone, have the battery tested again, and again, battery, starter, alternator all test perfect. The guy tells me it could be corrosion of the wires. I remove the battery cables, and there is some corrosion on the negative. I clean it, hook it up, no problems for days. I hope the problem is fixed, but I can tell it is not because there is occasional slow cranking, but it does start on first try. Tonight, drove it to the gas station, then home, no problems at all. Immediately try to start it again, cranks over once and does not start, cranking stops. Clock resets, lights are dim. After several tries, cranking gets faster and car starts. Starts perfectly fine several tries immediately after. Very confused. I have tried seeing if I could create the problem. I tried turning off the car and then using the power windows, power seat, radio, lights, to see if the battery is actually draining, but doing this seems to have no effect. So far, the car starts fine after trying to drain the battery, so I know the battery is holding a charge.
Now some interesting or not so interesting, but possibly relevant facts.

1. So far the problem seems to occur only right after trying to start the car immediately after turning it off after driving it
2. Most times when car will not start, during cranking, the remote trunk opens (i know, weird)
3. When the clock resets, it resets to 1:00 (usually its 12 when a battery dies, right?) and stored radio stations are NOT lost
4. The first night the problem arose, my front left turn signal blew out
5. Sometimes, but not always, since this problem started, I notice the automatic transmission spends a lot of lag time inbetween gears when upshifting, when previously was pretty quick to shift. This problem is consistent with each trip, ie if the transmission seems slow at first, it is slow to shift the whole trip. If it is normal to shift, it is normal the whole trip.
6. Most times, but not always, I notice on the highway at highway speed, if I let off the gas, the RPM's quickly drop down to idling level just below the 1 and the car is quicker to slow down, when usually the rpm's would drop to say around 1.5 and the car would coast longer. Again, as above, it seems to be consistent with each trip. If normal, it is normal the whole ride, if the rpm drops quickly, it does the whole trip.

Now with facts 5 and 6, I would typically think unrelated if not for the fact that the car NEVER did these things previous to the first night the car would not start and I notice them most right before and right after the car ends up not starting.

Well, thats pretty much all the information I can think to give, I know its a lot! Thanks for any advice!

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator

Oct 12, 2009, 5:32 AM

Post #2 of 4 (6081 views)
Re: 2000 Pontiac Grand Am, trouble starting [In reply to] Sign In

Sounds like you just have a poor connection at one of your cables if you can trust the testing that has been done so far and that would be questionable. Relying on WalMart and AutoZone is worse than relying on the weather. I would have your battery tested else where and if nothing found, remove and clean all the cable connections.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

New User

Aug 21, 2010, 2:55 PM

Post #3 of 4 (5513 views)
Re: 2000 Pontiac Grand Am, trouble starting [In reply to] Sign In

I am having the same problems. did you ever figure it out?

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator

Aug 21, 2010, 8:08 PM

Post #4 of 4 (5511 views)
Re: 2000 Pontiac Grand Am, trouble starting [In reply to] Sign In

Please start your own thread with your specific car. This was no doubt just what HT said - cable connection issues,

Long retired now

2000 Pontiac Grand Am, trouble starting

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