car will start real rough chug and then die


Asked by May 15, 2013 at 10:40 PM about the Pontiac Grand Prix

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

its a 1996 grand prix special edition coupe 3100 v6 i drove it to the gas station put gas in it and about 3 miles down the road started running real rough and wanting to die i turned a corner and it completely died and now it will run really rough for about 3 seconds and then die.

10 Answers

get your diagnostic trouble codes have OBD-II, bring it to an autoparts store, any will do send a guy out to come read and report what they sure to jot them down or get a printout to bring back to us---based solely on your problem description am going to go ahead and call out your environmental temp is with this that your ECU weighs in on how rich to make the mix---also due to the age of the vehicle again am going to have to blame where man meets machine...the throttle position sensor...or accelerator position sensor, whichever is equipped on this one~ got more answers is tedious for one and all to have to read all that~

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Since it happen right after you filled up I'm thinking dirty gas, bad gas or not gas (some people make the mistake and fill up with diesel). There is a course screen on the suction to the pump in the tank and a fuel filter on the fuel lines behind the tank in front of the rear suspension. There will be a fuel pressure test port on your fuel rails on the motor. You could by or rent a fuel pressure gauge and test the pressure. Low pressure would indicate a blockage or pump failure. High pressure, 40 psi at idle, would indicate other issues. Diesel, water, etc would cause major issues. Try draining the tank if the pressure is good.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

the other tedious answers are the EGR valve (if this is a California car) is full of carbon and immobile (just spray some brake cleaner to fix), the ambient air sensor (so the ECU knows how rich to make it) and the Temp sensor (so the ECU knows how rich to make it) and finally the vacuum lines---replace with silicone lines~

Jason Zane

try changing your fuel filter first ..then try the previously mentioned items.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

With the sensors metioned above by Operator_13 your car would still idle if you have fuel. They cause some issues but will let it run. The only sensors that would cause the car not to idle are the IAC (Idle air control valve on the throttle body), the Knock sensor shorted or the crankshaft position sensor. But try the fuel system first then sensors.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

notice you john_w is ignoring all of us....shouldn't have borrowed uncle Hal's computer...he need it back....john_w...dude, go to the library...course you can't read this....oh


sorry wasnt ignoring anyone i had to work but thank you all i will try the fuel system first then move to the sensors i do know the idle control valve is not the problem i just put a new one on

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Sometimes they don't work out of the box? Or they jam. I have an old one that I pulled the plunger off. I swap them out and wedge the new one up so that I can see it then start the car briefly. The car should rev up and the plunger should move out to try and restrict the idle air flow. Shut it off before it revs to high. I can't remember if the plunger retracts instantly or when you hit the key the next time. But yah I would check the fuel. The filter should be no more than 30. You can also flush from the tank suction into a bucket once the filter is off via rubber hose slipped over the end. Lets you see how much your pump is flowing too.


ok thank you i will try that

Jack Long

Hi all, same description for me, though in a 96 olds cutlass supreme 3.1 (I'm assuming same engine). It dependably starts, then I get about 5-8 seconds of parked, but wild roller coaster engine action (shakes the car) till it stalls... I had a trouble code for misfire on cylinder 5 (can't find the number- it's cleared from my ODB-II scanner and hasn't returned ) and i've changed plugs, wires and the coil tower, but the issue remains..... I'm stationed overseas and found myself in a parts availability bind, where I ran the vehicle without a thermostat for ~500mi (mine was not opening correctly) until this occured, so maybe I've caused another temp issue? Was cruising happily at 3k rpm till it immediately stalled. The week before it became VERY sluggish on an 8 minute night drive home after being parked 12+ hours and almost died electrically before coasting (thank god!) into my driveway. I slowly had to kill the heat, then wipers, then my lights batt+alt checked out good w/two shops. No shop has since seen it as I have another car and wanted to save the money..... was the answer ever determined for "jon_w"s problem? Thank you, Jack

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