Turns over, but wIll not start


Asked by Apr 02, 2010 at 03:03 PM about the 1990 Pontiac Grand Prix

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

New computer. New Fuel pump. New dist. pack plus wires. It's getting spark.  New Cam pos. sensor. Ignition switch looks good.  Mechanic says it gives the code of now getting power to the ecm.  Still won't start. Any other suggestion?

21 Answers


is the fuel pump relay good or is the fuel pump getting electrical power? is the crank sensor good?

9 people found this helpful.

Have not checked the relay, but if pump is pumping, I assumed that relay was working as well. A new one is only about 7 bucks... or I could check for continuity if I which pins to contact. Is is possible to have placed the cam sensor in wrong... does it have to be at TDC or something?

4 people found this helpful.

If it's getting spark, I would think the ECM has power. You need to see if the injectors are firing (also controlled by the ECM) and that you have proper fuel pressure at the fuel rail. The injectors can be checked by unplugging the electrical connector at the top of each injector and plugging in what is called a "noid light", made by mfrs. such as Borg Warner, Standard Ignition Products, etc. It should pulse as the engine is cranked. Fuel pressure should be in the neighborhood of 35 PSI, but as long as you're getting ANY volume of fuel at the rail at all (when you depress the Schrader valve that looks like a tire valve, fuel should spray out.) I am not that familiar with the anti-theft systems on these cars, but wonder if a problem with that would allow spark but not for the injectors to fire?

6 people found this helpful.

I will check for power at the injectors via the "noid light". Not sure about the anti-theft system, though. If FI's not getting power or opening, what does this mean? Pardon the ignorance on my part, but what is failing if this happens? (ECM?) Also, I haven't checked the other "basic" re: timing chain/belt. What's a quick and easy test for this without having to make a visual inspection of said chain/belt? I really do appreciate everyone's help.

4 people found this helpful.

Well, an engine needs several things to run: Fuel, air, and spark. It needs enough compression to run well. You can check that the timing chain has not broken by checking compression. A compression tester screws into the spark plug hole. If the timing chain is broken, compression will be low. I'd recommend subscribing to an online DIY "repair manual" information site such as www.alldatadiy.com. It is much more comprehensive than the typical Chilton or Haynes manual, and also has many diagnostic guides and technical bulletins. The ECM has "drivers" inside that tell the injectors when to fire. I am unsure, though, if this car has an antitheft system (PASS key with a resistor in the key), and if so if it disables only the injectors and not the ignition. The online repair information ("manual")l would lead you in the right direction. I've been in the automotive parts/service industry one way or another for the past 15 years and am a serious do-it-yourselfer (mostly with GM, and had an '88 Cutlass Supreme with a 2.8), but I am no expert on the subject. Regardless of whether you tackle it yourself or have a mechanic help, though, the more diagnostics you can do on your own, the better off you'll be. One thing I don't understand is the code "not (that's what I think it meant to read) getting power to the ECM." If it's not getting power, how is it operating to give a trouble code and is getting spark?

5 people found this helpful.

Here's a good short article about the GM antitheft system, even though it's on an F-body site: http://sethirdgen.org/vats.htm But again, I'd recommend alldatadiy or similar. There should be a troubleshooting flowchart to help you eliminate possible problems and help you come up with a solution. Good luck and let us know what you find out!

19 people found this helpful.

My 97 Grand Prix has this same issue. About a month ago, the car alarm started randomly going off also (I seen your other post). It's in the shop now, and they are having issues diagnosing. I will let you know what I find out.

3 people found this helpful.

I was having the same issue. The dealership said the battery is on it's last leg and needs to be charged or buy a new one.

1 people found this helpful.

When one of the cells on the battery starts going bad, it trips up the alarm system (hence the car alarm going off randomly). The battery had charge, just a compromised cell which tripped up the alarm system not allowing the car to start.

3 people found this helpful.

i have a 98 grand prix an i put a new moter an trans in it an new plugs an spark plugs new cam sincer basicly every thing now but no spark any thing im missing here?? it has a 3.100 in it

8 people found this helpful.

My 01 grand am was doing that about 2 years ago, and I changed many sensors, spark plugs, boots, and probably a couple other things, myself. Before all that, it would turn over but wouldn't start. Tried it so many times that it wouldn't turnover at all. Keep in mind, I was reading and teaching myself as I went. But the culprit was either the ignition coil/coils and/or the coil pack. I don't have a tester, so when i got enough money, I changed both coils and the coil pack. With my husband not helping and just telling me i just needed a new car. But since we don't have a money tree growing in our yard, I did it. And my car, "the beast" started! My car has 333,000 miles on it and original transmission. My brother said it should be in a museum being that it's a pontiac with all those miles and still going.lol But now I think timing chain broke.??????? My car broke down on my son today. Which means me in the blistering heat, trying to diagnose the problem. The only thing I'm sure of, is I'm broke and my car broke. Gotta laugh or I'll just be crying. It halfway turns over but don't start. Before it died, it was hesitating, and there was a metal rattling noise for the last few weeks. Thinking, timing chain?????????

4 people found this helpful.

2007 Pontiac will not crank

3 people found this helpful.

Question I have a 03 grand Prix 3.1 I have fuel pressure spark and good cranking but will not start I have changed the cam sensor and crank sensor because that's what codes it threw still not starting

11 people found this helpful.

Question I have a 04 grand am that cranks but doesn't start. Then an hour later it may do this again or it may start right up like nothing is wrong with it. The next day the same thing. It's been in the shop 3 weeks now and they keep putting parts on it and the results stay the same.

7 people found this helpful.

Pantera22802, Did they check the coils or the coil pack? And also, did they check the temp sensor?

2 people found this helpful.

I don't know. I'm lucky it's all being done for free. They said that they've put 5 o 6 parts on it. I know it had an issue with a ground somewhere. It actually will start and run all day and start up everytime then the next day it won't start again. Then later that day or the nexy it will fire right up like nothing is wrong. I wish I. Could just say it because it would be easier than writing it out. I was told when I bought it that the service engine soon light was because they changed the oil without resetting the light and assured me that was it and nothing else so i bought the car as is. I had the light codes read put the EGR valve and O2 sensor on it reset the light and it came back on after a short drive or 2. When the codes was checked again samething. So the dealer I bought it from told me to stop by his other dealership and talk to mechanic and he couldn't get any grounds. Also between the parts I put on the car I drove on a rough street with washboard surface I noticed the service light would go on and off on the bumps and then would stay off under normal driving surfaces and the interior light won't cut off unless you put the switch on off. I hope that is written understandable. Monday will be 4 weeks. I'm disabled and can't do as much as I could before being paralized. I only got the car to go back and forth to my Dr appointments and occasionally fishing. I wish I had never saw that thing after all the nightmares I've seen online.

3 people found this helpful.

I have a 1998 pontiac grand prix 3.8 that is getting fuel and spark but will not start even though the last time i drove it it was running excellent. Could u gimme an explanation for this. I also checked all the fuses.

9 people found this helpful.

Question? 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix. 3.4 DOHC (LQ1). 7000 miles. Was running absolutely perfect. Stalled while driving and cannot restart. Have fuel pressure and spark. Fuel is good. It will start and run a few seconds on starting fluid. Timing belt is fine. No codes flash on dash when grounding test connector under dash. Code 12. Took a gamble and bought ECM from salvage yard ( hoping it was good???) . Installed and still no start. Injectors have power but with weak impulse according to the dealer I had it towed to. Had it towed home after they seemed unsure and wanted to take air plenum off to further diagnos for 350 dollars. Was not comfortable with that approach. There's gotta be a way to diagnos this. This engine is really crammed in the car tight. It has run perfectly for ever! Never any performance issues of any kind. HELP!!

4 people found this helpful.

my girlfriends car is a 2007 grand prix and one day it was fine the next morning it wouldn't start pulled it in my shop and got to work fuel pump works great and has good spark but no power to injectors so it would crank but wouldn't fire so i tested to see if there was power to injector fuse and there isnt any power but only the one fuse so i made a jumper wire from a fuse that had power to the injector fuse and it start any ideas on why that one fuse has no power?

3 people found this helpful.

i have a 2002 and it did the exact same thing im going with the easy and cheap approach next time it happens a fuel filter


Try also checking the battery cable connections. I had to change out the ground cable at the fuse box inside the engine compartment. The cable was arching, which gave it a weak connection. It has ran fine for the most part now, but it still dies out from time to time.

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