Car turns off randomly..


Asked by Mar 08, 2013 at 02:58 PM about the 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2002 pontiac grand prix and it has been acting crazy. First, the RPM gauge will jump
erratically, my car revving and slowing down with it. Then, it sputters, then I lose my accelerator
all together. My power steering goes out, my AC turns hot, my low oil light and battery lights
come on. I have restarted it several times when this happens to get it off of the road (it goes
about a foot with each restart). Sometimes if I turn it off and wait several minutes it will turn back
on and work fine. And other than the two times this has happened, my car works perfectly. It has
been taken to the shop and everything appears to be fine. My transmission, fuel pump,
alternator, and battery have been checked individually. Also, the computer has come up with
nothing wrong, and my gas has been siphoned and it is clean.

24 Answers

yes, but your battery terminals are corroded, as is the ground connection to the chassis and block....get this all sparky clean and making reliable contact and report~

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

Does it happen mainly when you are coming to a stop? If so have someone check the idle air control valve. When these are going bad they will not always thro a code to the computer.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

any codes indicated? might be the crankshaft position sensor or any number of things...

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

NEED reliable ground...okay.


It could be a gas tank venting or purging system problem. Next time it acts up, quickly go and undo your gas cap and listen for a releasing vacuum noise. It's worth a try.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

The shop said I need a new ignition module, is this really the problem? It seems like its a lot more than just that.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

...well if it hasn't got good ground to it, will forever be in a 'brown out' state and will not be making responsible choices at that point.


if it was the ignition module , it will idle very rough.. not intermittent. i'd go with the crankshaft position sensor or t p s.


Whats tps?

the throttle position sensor, kinda like a modern day accelerator cable-

You know these guys are tossing out guesses without taking the time to test these components to see if they are faulty, or not agreeing with the book on spec. Lotta damn things to test, and it's only one can hold up the show!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

These answers are just stressing me out, their all different! haha.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Your engine should not shut off with any one or all bad sensors. It should still run in a "open loop" or "limp mode". We need to find what is making it die starting simple like bobby said 10 answers ago, with everything grounded.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks Kath. I knew that eventually you'd come around...there's so much fluff goin''ve got to think about the basics, air , fuel, spark,,,,and timing. If you are unable to get to any of that know why. thx!

idono neither my 2006 grand prix is missing n stalling out turn key its completely dead then just powers up on its own turn key CLICK n its dead.then powers up n sometimes weird and im getting sick of it.


I'm having the SAME problem. My oil light comes on, I hear chimes and the motor shuts off. I've had the idle air control valve changed less than a week ago and she ran good for five days but has resumed shutting down.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have replaced every sensor on my car... I Drive a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP ... A bad MAF SENSOR will bog your car down and even kill the engine + throw a code..120-140$ Lean bank 1, sensor 1 ... if you get this code 02 sensor on rear header could be bad 50$... ☆☆☆ spray caliper cleaner around top part of the engine if bogs, intake manifold gasket leaking 350-600$ to pay a mechanic(Note) if you spray on where the gold colored metal flexible tube goes into the engine and it bogs, BAD EGR TUBE GM part only but I found a fix... high temp liquid gasket all over the flange touching the engine block ...10$ and the exaust vacuum will suck it in where ever the leak is... trick is to rev the engine 3-5 times, less is better, then let car sit over night, reset computer code should not come back Bad EGR. Will make your car run like crap similar to clogged catalytic converter and kill the engine at idle but will definitely throw a code 125-160$ Vacuum line leaking will bog engine and is very easy fix... start with looking for leaks or loose fitted vacuum lines that slide off fittings with of fittings 7-10$ Bad (Idler air control) sensor will definitely shut engine down, rpms will drop to zero or sometimes rev up high with out pushing the gas pedal no code will come up... 30-40$ Bad Tps (Throttle Position SENSOR) car will idle ruff at stop and during movement of any kind, acceleration or deceleration ... no code 40-50$ Bad Map (manifold air pressure) sensor to my knowledge will only affect gas mileage, should be code according to others not in my experience PCV 3-4$ easy 10 mm socket with short extension 2 bolts, take out old ...put in new... you get the idea:) Ignition controll module 250-275$ car dies randomly turns over but won't start at random might shut down and never restart.. and has code p0171 lean bank, sensor 1... So far this has been my experience

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I dont believe there is a person alive who has replaced more parts in the last four months than me... that was just my sensor list, I've built up the engine as well and would be happy to address after market bolt on installs if anyone has questions on the cheapest right way to install anything

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Supercharger pulley, exaust headers & downpipe, performance ECU, coolant reservoir, thermostat, radiator, condenser and all air conditioning parts, coolant elbows & hoses, brakes, calipers, rotors, hub bearings front, shock & strut combos, everything spark from ICM to spark plugs, trans axles, power steering pump, water pump, headlights foglights, battery, fuses relays troubleshooting and replacement, electric trunk latch, sound system speakers or new CD player install, gas tank fixes or replacement... Some would say im obsessed... but they would be right:)

The wire harness that runs down to the ecm (computer) will rub and cause a wires to break or ground it self out. The old 1998-2004 will rub on the A/C Dryer and the 2005-2008 will rub on the valve cover. Hope this will help.


I have a 2000grand Prix gt,it shut off on me while driving which the steering wheel stiffing up

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I had the same problem, and i finally found the problem, and is the MAP sensor located on the left side of the manifold. The problem is that the PVC valve is suppose to be change every time is the oil change and most of us won't due it, so collects burned oil and clogged it and a the same time damage the air pressure sending to sensor to measured the air flow to intek . after that just disconnect the positive batterie wire for 15 min to erase from computer or due it from the scanner OBDII. And if you need it to get the emission test passed just drive it for about a week before take it, otherwise will show NOT READY.

My car idle really bad out of no where then threw up random codes and then powered down. My husband is a mechanic told me to clean terminals and reset it and it runs fine. My car is a 2004 Pontiac GTP 3800. Just what I would try first.

My 2008 Grand Prix was randomly shutting itself off. Started out just every once in a while & would start right back up, but became more frequent and took more attempts to start. Other than this shut-off issue, everything else worked perfectly. Replaced the Crankshaft Position Sensor (took a couple hours and about $50 part as I recall) and have had zero issues since.

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