Car hums but won't start?

Asked by Nov 20, 2015 at 10:49 PM about the 2004 Pontiac Grand Am

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My car was starting fine this
morning, then in the afternoon I went
to start it and it just made a humming
noise but didn't even turn over. The
humming sounded like it was coming
from the back of the car. It would
hum not just when I was turning the
key to start it, but as long as it was in
the "ON" position.

I'm not sure if this is related, but
about a week ago, I had the IAC
valve replaced because the car
would stall immediately after starting,
and it seemed to fix the problem.

I ended up paying $50 to tow my car
back to the mechanic that replaced
the IAC valve, and they called back
saying that they started it about 15
times with no problem.

I've done some searching, and a lot
of people suggest that it could be
the battery contacts or the
connection to the ground. Other
people say it could be a bad starter
or solenoid, whatever that is.

So I'm leaving the car with the
mechanic over the weekend, hoping
they can actually see the problem.

What could the hum be? Advice?

6 Answers

52,725

The hum is the electric fuel pump.

If the fuel pump is working, does that mean that the battery connections are fine and it's something else, like the starter? I don't remember if the lights and other electronics worked.

52,725

Clean the battery terminals, cables and all the connections. Make sure the cables clamp on tightly. Intermittent problems can be a real pain in the donkey. Good luck!

Did you ever get what was wrong with it? I am in the same boat right now.

I've since bought a new car because the transmission broke, but if I recall correctly the problem just stopped happening mysteriously. There's a chance the mechanic did something, but they said they didn't, so I don't know what it was.

If it's not too expensive, I would try changing the IAC valve since it seemed to help at least at first.

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