Won't Crank [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum


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07-07-2011, 10:16 PM
I have a 02 Grand AM GT. For a while now, I've been having a problem with it not cranking at all. I've done alot of forum reading and I thought I had it narrowed down to a Security problem. Whenever it would not start I'd use the "relearn" procedure and it would start. However I think that was all a coincidence because this time, it still is not cranking, and the Security light is not staying on or flashing, and I'm not sure that it ever was a Security light problem to begin with.

When I turn the car on, all the dash lights come on, when I turn the car to start all the dash lights go off, but it does not crank. I hear the fuel pump hum, and thats it. When I release the key to the on position the security light goes off. There are three lights that stay on, SES, Battery, and the Oil Light. It's done this randomly off and on, but not very often, I'd say it has happened 3 times in 6 months, however after doing the "relearn" procedure it would start, even though the security light was never staying on or flashing. It has gotten worse this past week though. It has done it 3 times in 2 days, and this last time, it would not start at all, tried for over an hour. Battery and Alternator are less than a year old. Cables seem fine, no corrosion. I've pulled fuse 37 and tested it with an ohm meter, it's fine.

Looking for some help, on what I should check out next.

07-07-2011, 11:28 PM
pull the battery, and have it load tested, it's a free test at any parts store. and while you're at it, pull the starter, it can be tested also.

mine did that "dead for no reason" and after a few key flicks it would start, until one day it didn't. i went inside, grabbed a hammer, and have heard the old guys talk about a stuck bendix, the little part that pops out and engages the engine from the starter, and how they smack it with a hammer and they could get another start or two out of it, and after smacking it with said hammer, the car started right up.

i promptly drove straight to the store, got a starter, and have had no issues sense lol

thats my suggestion for ya. hope it helps.

07-08-2011, 08:37 AM
sounds legit to me. if you have the ability, take the starter and battery out and have them tested as stated above. But bring it to two or even three places if you can. Never hurts to have them tested by more than one person.

07-08-2011, 06:40 PM
if you were having a stuttering issue, or kinda cranks, i'd say get your ignition module, but if it's totally dead, no attempt to crank at all, which is what i'm reading, it's gotta be batt or starter

07-09-2011, 03:42 PM
Check for power at the B terminal on the starter solenoid (the big post) - power should always be present. Then check for power at the S terminal on the starter solenoid (the small post) as a buddy turns the key to the 'crank position.' If you have power at B and power at S and the engine will not crank, you have a faulty starter assembly. If you have no power at B, you have a problem with the cable and/or connections betwixt the starter and battery.

If you do not get power to the S terminal when the key is moved to crank, you will need to determine if your car was built with the solenoid control circuit hard-wired through the ignition switch or if it has PCM-controlled starter activation (IIRC '02 was the switchover year...). If the car is built old-school, power flow is through underhood fuse 5, then the ignition switch, then the PNP switch on the trans (yellow in, purple out) and then solenoid.

If the car is built with PCM control of the starter, all the DIY can really do on the control side of the circuit is check the starter relay. After that, I would connect a scan tool and check datastream to verify the PCM is 'seeing' a crank request and when appropriate and verify antitheft status, then go from there.

07-10-2011, 11:12 AM
I pulled the battery and starter had them both tested. Battery tested fine, had starter ran three times at Auto Zone, tested good every time. I really felt like it was going to be the starter... but I guess not. I'm going to get my voltmeter and run the tests that plastic_indian suggested and I'll post back with the results after. Someone also told me to cut the rubber boots off the battery terminal and check for corrosion as it is a common issue with these cars.
Thanks for the help so far everyone, it's much appreciated.

07-15-2011, 07:24 PM
I tested the for power at the starter and it tested fine. Have not had a chance to check for power at the S terminal. Someone told me it could be the Neutral Safety Switch... What do you guys think about that?

07-25-2011, 10:09 PM
Okay so I bought a new starter. All was well for about a week. Now it's done it again. Apparently the problem wasn't the starter like I'd hoped. There went 100 bucks. Anyhow... New starter / solenoid, new battery, new alternator. Still sometimes won't crank. Thinking of replacing the starter relay next? Is there a way I can test the relay to find out if its bad or not before replacing?

07-26-2011, 03:47 PM
Still looking for help please.

07-26-2011, 05:51 PM
wow man.. and you're still not getting any lights when it's acting up are you?

07-27-2011, 01:56 AM
All power is fine. Headlights everything are normal. Headlights go out when car tries to start like normal, just does't crank. Then the lights come back on. Security light comes on this goes out like normal after trying to crank or waiting. I do get a SES light when it doesn't start. I do not know much those Code Readers, but I know Autozone has one I can rent from them. Should I do that and then see what code it is giving?

07-27-2011, 06:21 AM
I have attached a link to a photo of the starting schematics for my car.
It is a 2003 GAGT and I'm not sure if your 2002 is the same as you say in your initial post that you pulled fuse 37 and it tested fine.
On my car, and others that I have read, fuse 37 is the "A/C BFC" or "Blower Fan Control" and really has nothing to do with starting.
This is why I was not replying to your post earlier.
However, I figured that maybe you can see something using these schematics.
There are 3 fuses in this diagram (5, 54 & G), see if they match your car and go from there.
Hope you find something and keep us posted.

Here is the link. (https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-uqN5MiILmk0/TjACMbPUGuI/AAAAAAAADAU/Bpq6bDNS8h4/s912/03GAGT-Starting.gif)

08-04-2011, 08:39 AM
Did you find anything yet for this problem?

11-21-2011, 10:51 PM
Anyone find a solution to this? I'm having the exact problem.

10-18-2012, 08:29 PM
having the same problem.... won't crank... starter, battery, relay etc. are all good. can jump connection at relay and it will crank. found out negative relay activation wire comes from PCM. neutral safety is good, 12v passes through it before going to positive side activation wire for the relay. PCM has crank signal wire which is also good (has fuse under hood)... used crank wire and neg wire to starter relay, and wired in my own relay (i am a car electronics installer so i have knowledge how to properly do it)... the car would crank but not start. gonna try a few more things and when i get an answer, i will post it...... hate when people don't put an end to their thread... either an answer or video of the car being burnt down or crushed. lol

Sam I Am
11-02-2012, 07:13 PM
Ready to burn or crush my wife's 2004 Grand Am.

Bypassed security system last year. Ran great up until last month. Water pump went out two months ago. Cost 800 bucks to fix. Just put on new tires 600 bucks.

Car began to intermittently go into a full power- NO CRANK situation. It started out occasionally...then, turned into an "Oh crap"....I'm thinking something happened when they moved the engine around to put in the water pump. NOT SECURITY ISSUE.

It goes into phases...it will crank and start and run perfect 10 times in a row. Then, it will go into the no crank...BS...

The weird thing is...if I roll the car a few feet in neutral...it sometimes starts.

I bypassed the neutral safety switch too.

After countless hours researching this on the web....and, getting turned away by the local GM dealer...they said "you should take it home and figure it out, we don't want to just throw parts at it...it's running now and there's nothing we can do"

That's a first. Car dealer/service don't want my money.

I have come to the conclusion that I will never really figure this thing out..;crap I just want to hot wire this thing...

It could be:

the cam sensor

crank sensor.. some say this will create a progressive no start situation like mine...aka..when it goes, it just gets worse and worse...

the starter--how could it start tweny times...then, no....;crap



ignition switch

wiring harness

this sucks...

freshmaker...if you come up with a way to 'hot wire' a momentary switch on the dash that bypasses all this crap.....let me know...

what I've done so far.....

Car has new battery.

Numerous relays and fuses and bcm leads have been cleaned

neutral safety switch bypassed

security system bypassed..

At least 24 hours of my life given to GM crap engineering.....

11-02-2012, 07:19 PM
the thing with the starter, the bendix gets sticky, and it has happened PLENTY of times in the past.

put a hammer in the car.

next time it does it, stick your face under the driver's side, and whack that starter.
try it, if it starts, it's your starter. leave it running, and go drive to a parts store. you never know how many more whacks will fix it lol

as far as the others, yes, all of that could be the problem, it is hell to find a "sometimes" (aka intermittent) problem, but you have to remain patient, which is the hardest part of the fix.

good luck, you are on the right trail tho, just be patient with it.

07-16-2013, 06:42 PM
well shortly after my last post, it started working randomly again and never had a problem till yesterday... all the posts about starters and bendix is not the problem here.... like I said I can makeit crank through the relay contacts under the hood at any time.... but since it has started the problem again, if I figure it out this time, I will post it.... but hard to diagnose it when it works like it has been for soooo long now. lol. wish me luck.

sugar ray
07-17-2013, 08:34 AM
Shot in the dark.......do you happen to have an aftermarket head unit stereo? No crank happened to me too. Took me hours to figure it out. I had an aftermarket stereo. To make it work and retain door chimes and the monsoon amp. A modulator harness had to be purchased. The factory head unit taps into the chimes and data bus. When my aftermarket modulator harness failed I had no bus communication. Lights, yes! No crank. On a whim and prayer, I unplugged the stock stereo harness and bam!! All was good again. Plugged harness back in to test and I was back to no crank!! Stupid, I know. I have since replaced my aftermarket harness so I can continue to use my aftermarket stereo. All has been good since replacement. You can easily disconnect the stereo harness which taps into the chimes and data bus just to see. I was in complete disbelief when I figured out what was causing my no crank issue.