my car died while i was driving today [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

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gigi
08-24-2005, 05:57 PM
Im new here....and unfortunately i have to post a car problem already! I searched for the problem and while there were some that were very similar, i did have something a bit different and odd happen(at least to me....im truly not a car person)

I have a 97 Grand Am coupe, 6 cyl. 62,000ish miles.

Its been acting up a bit lately, every once in a while when i tried to start it, it would die or act like it was going to. This has happened maybe 3 or 4 times out of maybe 10 or 11 times ive had to start it. One time my radio kinda blipped and the lights all lit up, but it didnt die.

Today, i was driving down the highway and my car died on me. Everything kinda flashed, my locks clicked, and it lost power. I turned on my hazards, coasted into a business, and it completely died just as i got into the parking spot. The oil and battery light came on. I then restarted it, and it started just fine. I was able to drive the short distance home. I went out maybe 15 minutes later and it started just fine again. Whats odd to me is that my clock was reset to 1 (it was after 5pm). But, my radio presets did not change. They stayed set just as i had them. My car for sure needs a new fuel filter. I dont know if that could cause all that or not. Its due for an oil change and all that anyway, so i will just get it taken care of, and have the battery tested. There was no corrosion or anything on the battery. My alternator was just rebuilt last summer.

Anyway, does anyone have any suggestions or ideas? Im hoping its nothing too expenisve! Thanks in advance.

pyro
08-24-2005, 06:01 PM
*throws holy water on car* The power of Christ compels you!

sc02grandam
08-24-2005, 06:06 PM
sounds electrical especially since your radio got reset...

gigi
08-24-2005, 06:09 PM
sounds electrical especially since your radio got reset...

yeah, its just confusing to me that the clock would reset but not the radio presets. I dont understand that.

Black Z28
08-24-2005, 06:11 PM
sounds like an alternator.... are you able to take it off and take it to advance auto to get it tested? or if you have AAA or know someone that will come over and let you use their membership, ask to have the battery and alternator tested.

gigi
08-24-2005, 06:17 PM
sounds like an alternator.... are you able to take it off and take it to advance auto to get it tested? or if you have AAA or know someone that will come over and let you use their membership, ask to have the battery and alternator tested.

I do have AAA...thankfully. Tomorow ill go get the fuel filter changed and oil changed and battery and stuff tested and all that.....the fuel filter and oil changes need to be done anyway, its time for it. So ill start at the bottom and work my way up that way. Im gonna hope for the best that itll be something simple and relatively inexpensive.

Metallman56
08-24-2005, 06:27 PM
yep sounds like alt or battery. i'd would almost bet alt, and if it is get it taken care of fast because they are not fun to have go out on you while cruising.

gigi
08-24-2005, 06:35 PM
I forgot to also mention that this weekend my ABS light came on. It was also rainy and wet that day, so i dont know if its related to this current problem, or if it was just coincidental.

I appreciate all the suggestions and answers. :thumbs:

99GAGTX
08-24-2005, 07:31 PM
You say that the engine would die on you, or would start to die while this was happening? This sounds more like a loose or bad battery cable. If it was just the alternator that was no good, the engine would run fine until the battery died. Then you would be dead in the water and have to get a jump start. If the computer isn't getting any voltage, the engine will die.
It's possible you may have a combination of problems too. That requires more diagnostic skills.

I had to replace the alternator on my car. The engine did not die or sputter. And the lights and radio didn't act the way you described either. Just the warning light came on for the alternator.

The easiest thing to check is the battery cables. Most likely a bad ground. Sometimes it's the simplest things that cause the biggest problems.

gigi
08-24-2005, 07:38 PM
You say that the engine would die on you, or would start to die while this was happening? This sounds more like a loose or bad battery cable. If it was just the alternator that was no good, the engine would run fine until the battery died. Then you would be dead in the water and have to get a jump start. If the computer isn't getting any voltage, the engine will die.
It's possible you may have a combination of problems too. That requires more diagnostic skills.

I had to replace the alternator on my car. The engine did not die or sputter. And the lights and radio didn't act the way you described either. Just the warning light came on for the alternator.

The easiest thing to check is the battery cables. Most likely a bad ground. Sometimes it's the simplest things that cause the biggest problems.


Its been acting like it wanted to die upon starting for the last few days(every once in a while, it acted this way. The other times it started without problems). But id just start it and it would go just fine. Today it completely died while i was driving. And then started right back up after i restarted it.

And when my alternator went out last summer, my warning lights for the battery came on as well. The radio and stuff was working fine, but obviously i turned all that off to save the battery till i was able to get it all fixed.

gobraves02002
08-24-2005, 08:00 PM
that is the same things that happened to me when my fuel pump went, except the radio thing. i went to long with out changing the fule filter. it got so clogged up that the pump had trouble pulling fuel through it, causing it to die randomly. i change my fuel filter with every other oil change. also with my 97 i have noticed that if i crank the car right up i have problems with the car not wanting to start. i read somewhere on here where someone said to put the key in acc and listen for the fule pump turning on and pressurizing then crank it. since i started doing that i have had no problems. a mechanic should be able to test the pressure coming from the fuel pump so u can see it is the correct pressure. my 2 cents

gigi
08-24-2005, 08:17 PM
that is the same things that happened to me when my fuel pump went, except the radio thing. i went to long with out changing the fule filter. it got so clogged up that the pump had trouble pulling fuel through it, causing it to die randomly. i change my fuel filter with every other oil change. also with my 97 i have noticed that if i crank the car right up i have problems with the car not wanting to start. i read somewhere on here where someone said to put the key in acc and listen for the fule pump turning on and pressurizing then crank it. since i started doing that i have had no problems. a mechanic should be able to test the pressure coming from the fuel pump so u can see it is the correct pressure. my 2 cents

Im pretty sure my fuel filter definitely needs changed also.....even if thats not the problem. That sounds like it could be it, except then your throw in that wonky clock changing times problem. Gah!

gigi
08-25-2005, 10:01 AM
Update: went and had the battery checked, it was fine. The guy checked the cables and everything around the alternator, and he said they seemed tight. He said that he thought that grand ams had a lot of electrical problems.

Since the fuel filter and oil needed changed anyway, i went to autozone, got the fuel filter, and the guy there said since itd been a while since my fuel filter had been changed, it sounded like a good place to start.

Then i took it to get the fuel filter and oil changed. The guy there he thinks its electrical. Hes worked on lots of grand ams having electrical problems, and so far, he hasnt seen one be fixed. Since the problem happens just randomly, its hard to find the problem, obviously. He said theyve worked on them and changed all sorts of things on the car, and it will still do it. So, really Im not sure what to do.

damaster89
08-25-2005, 05:09 PM
It's gigi!!!

(If you didn't know, this is whodey from OT)

gigi
08-25-2005, 06:18 PM
It's gigi!!!

(If you didn't know, this is whodey from OT)

Hi! Actually, i know you from BSF, not OT. And yngwie from BSF pointed me in the direction of this forum.......im not sure of his username on here though.


When i saw someone had posted, i was hoping someone had the magical answer to solving my cars problem!!

brim
08-25-2005, 06:33 PM
A L T E R N A T O R


or loose alt wire

steranko75
08-25-2005, 06:46 PM
Had something similar happen on another car I owned, it was the alternator going bad, and finally it died

gigi
08-25-2005, 06:50 PM
the alternator tested ok though...

99GAGTX
08-25-2005, 07:22 PM
He said that he thought that grand ams had a lot of electrical problems.


Consumer Reports magazine does a poll of car owners every year. If you look at the results from GA owners over the last number of years (in their annual auto issue from april), this shows to be true. I, and many others here, have had tons of electrical problems with the GA. But they should still be able to find the problem. If not you or your local mechanic, a dealship should definitely be able to diagnose the problem.

If it is the alternator going bad, you'll find out soon enough.

gigi
08-26-2005, 03:58 PM
Consumer Reports magazine does a poll of car owners every year. If you look at the results from GA owners over the last number of years (in their annual auto issue from april), this shows to be true. I, and many others here, have had tons of electrical problems with the GA. But they should still be able to find the problem. If not you or your local mechanic, a dealship should definitely be able to diagnose the problem.

If it is the alternator going bad, you'll find out soon enough.

Most people told me that if its not messing up at the time, or if the check engine light isnt on, then itd be impossible to find. But i dont know.



For the record, i drove myc ar to and from my classes today, 20-30 minute drive one way....and i had no problems at all. But i dont consider myself out of the woods yet.


I also noticed, and this may make NO difference at all, but on my drive back today...same drive as when my car died.....i noticed that the car died at the time that i was slowing down to come into town. Dont know if that means anything or not.

gobraves02002
08-26-2005, 05:33 PM
i had the problem i spoke of for almost a year on and off. i was stranded on the freeway nuerous times. i would have to sit and let the car cool down and then it would be fine. when the car stalled out it would not start up immediately, i would have to let it sit for about 10 minutes then it would crank. also i found that if i put it in neutral it would start but when i put it in drive it would stall out sometimes. might wanna try a fuel cleaner after you have the fuel filter changed and then the next oil change have the fuel filter changed again for good measure. and also i had this same problem about 2 years after i had fule pump changed and i had to get fuel pump changed again. get your fuel pressure checked when u go to get your oil changed. my 2 cents

brim
08-26-2005, 07:05 PM
Today, i was driving down the highway and my car died on me. Everything kinda flashed, my locks clicked, and it lost power. I turned on my hazards, coasted into a business, and it completely died just as i got into the parking spot. .....

you ran out of gas

99GAGTX
08-26-2005, 07:23 PM
Geez what is this? The Burmuda triangle?

I had the engine dying problem a few times shortly after I bought it. One time I was in the middle of a busy intersection waiting to turn left. And as all of you know, the GT doesn't have a manual transmission. So it wasn't just me letting the clutch out too fast. The problem just disappeared on it's own before I could get it to the dealer. And I haven't had the problem since.

gigi
08-26-2005, 07:33 PM
i had the problem i spoke of for almost a year on and off. i was stranded on the freeway nuerous times. i would have to sit and let the car cool down and then it would be fine. when the car stalled out it would not start up immediately, i would have to let it sit for about 10 minutes then it would crank. also i found that if i put it in neutral it would start but when i put it in drive it would stall out sometimes. might wanna try a fuel cleaner after you have the fuel filter changed and then the next oil change have the fuel filter changed again for good measure. and also i had this same problem about 2 years after i had fule pump changed and i had to get fuel pump changed again. get your fuel pressure checked when u go to get your oil changed. my 2 cents

My car literally started up like nothing had ever happened. It has evertime since. Gah! Its trying to drive me crazy! But id much rather that than not starting.

gigi
08-26-2005, 07:34 PM
Geez what is this? The Burmuda triangle?

I had the engine dying problem a few times shortly after I bought it. One time I was in the middle of a busy intersection waiting to turn left. And as all of you know, the GT doesn't have a manual transmission. So it wasn't just me letting the clutch out too fast. The problem just disappeared on it's own before I could get it to the dealer. And I haven't had the problem since.

well, i hope that i have that same luck. Hopefully itll just be that one time. You never know with cars.


If it continues to act up though, im writing a letter to somebody, because now all of a sudden, everyone i talk to has had all kinds of problems with their grand ams. Ill get nothing out of the letter but a stupid, "we are sorry you are dissatisfied..." but it will at least make me feel better.