Car Shuts off while driving [Archive] - Forum


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06-24-2007, 09:04 PM

My name is John Dutour. I own a small streetrod shop called "High Anxiety Street Rods, inc.". I build Streetrods and custom vehicles. Some are built with TPI smallblocks, LT1's, DOHC Cobra motors, etc.

My wife bought a 2000 Grand Am GT Coupe last year. With it, she purchased the extended warranty so I wouldn't have to work on it. 2 weeks ago while driving home from work, passing a car, the car just quit. Everything dead. I swapped vehicles with her and took the GT on a VERY hard test drive. It was fine. 5500rpm shifts without missing a beat. Definately NOT a fuel problem. I couldn't get the car to act up, and took it directly to a GM mechanic who scanned it. No codes. Nothing.

We wrote if off as a fluke until the same thing happened 4 days later. This time my wife couldn't restart the car. Same scenario. Car just shut off while driving. No A/C, radio blaring, etc. Approximately 25 miles since startup. This time I was out of town so the wife called a tow truck to take it to the dealer. Once at the dealer it restarted without incident.

The dealer has had it now almost 2 weeks. It has quit on them only once, then restarted right away. The dealer wants to give the car back to us without repair. This just isn't going to work. I've read alot about the ignition switch/passkey system. Could this be causing the problem? Do all of these cars have the passkey? My wife uses an original key, and sometimes has difficulty turning it. I use a generic key (non passkey) without problems. If this car was built with a passkey system, then my use of a non-passkey key means the system hasn't worked since we purchased the car. Could this be the cause of the problems?

Any thoughts would be GREATLY appreciated.

John Dutour, owner

High Anxiety Street Rods, inc.
Martinton, Illinois, 60951

06-24-2007, 09:12 PM
Not passlock, as that is only an issue while the car is starting not started. Once started passlock has no effect on any sort of operation.

I'm thinking connection to the battery if everything in the car completely shuts off.. terminals clean, etc..?

06-25-2007, 05:04 AM
Do all of the `00 GA GT's have passkey? I was told the did, but if that is true, I wouldn't be able to start the car with a generic key. When it shuts off, only the engine quits, nothing else. Another dealer (and other mechanics) said the ignition switch is at fault without hesitation. The dealer won't replace ANYTHING until they locate the problem. Unfortunatley all they have done so far is screw around and drive the car, mostly without incident.

06-25-2007, 06:50 AM
I had a similar problem, my car stalled out on the highway, but it wouldn't start for about 10 min.. then didn't happen for almost a month. then again, adn it happened 3 times in one day and wouldn't start, turned out to by my fuel pump. i was not able to restart the car immediately after it stalled tho, it took at least 10 min, sometimes longer.

06-25-2007, 07:05 AM
well your first problem is taking your car to the dealer. take it somewhere else. im just surprised they havnet told you 100 things they can replace for you, at your cost of course.

06-25-2007, 11:21 AM
John, it's passLOCK not passKEY. Passkey is completely different -- the system is dependent on the correct key being in the cylinder while w/ passlock it just wants A key in the cylinder to complete the loop..

Didn't realize only the engine dies, so prob may not be the battery. Sounds ignition system related then..

06-25-2007, 12:39 PM
it sounds like a fuel pump to me too...get it checked.
im moving this to technical Q&A with a better title

06-25-2007, 01:05 PM
Its the key. Get a new one cut from the dealer through the VIN #. Do not let them use the old key. My moms car had the same problem. She solved it for a while by just using the non used side of the key until that started to do it also. Got a new key and it was fixed. Hasnt died since well cant call blowing the motor up the same problem.

06-25-2007, 03:33 PM
I talked to the mechanic today. I've now got a better understanding of the Passlock (thanks) system. Since the car is under warranty (that's why it is at the dealer) the dealer is going to install a new ignition switch.

I talked with a 30 year veteran at a different dealership today. He said they have had the same problem on a few occasions and the switch was the answer. If the current dealership cannot fix the problem, it will be taken to his dealership by weeks end.

06-26-2007, 07:16 PM
After getting on the dealers ass yesterday, they finally replaced the ignition switch, like I had asked. When I picked it up this afternoon, the service advisor explained that he called the GM tech line and made a report that they couldn't fix the car. He said the tech on the other end of the line asked him if they had replaced the ignition switch yet. When explaining to the tech that they replaced the switch under protest by me, the tech told the SA that they could've had this fixed days ago if they had done that right away. Hopefully the problem is solved....


06-26-2007, 07:20 PM
Yup it should be fixed for good. That dealership is plain retarded. A lot of people have had the same problem with GMs ignitions.