2004 3.8 will start run ok warm up and die, then the starter won't turn over

Asked by Dec 29, 2014 at 10:22 PM about the Pontiac Grand Prix

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I will start the car up runs fine, after it warms up either running down the road or idling, it
stalls and then the starter won't turn over, I've replaced ignition switch, crank sensor,
checked grounds. After it cools way down it starts all over again

17 Answers


when it is hot, is it too tight to turn with a wrench? Does the starter react to being energized, but then not turn the engine? It must be one or the other at fault at temp. but which one ? has the starter stayed engaged? when you turn by hand at the crank shaft bolt both directions, do you hear the starter disengage? very difficult to guess from here, but if you need to, get it on a lift and investigate, bench test the starter when this acts up and investigate how it engages and looks during a bench test. turn the engine with a wrench, check the oil and filter etc.

wiring harness wires may have insulation missing and be so.close.together that when it gets hot under the hood they swell and expand and ground out. or it may be shimmed.so tight against the flywheel it gets hot and the same thing applies. when the metal.cools off theres enough room.for the gear to actuate and turn flywheel. id check.wiring and relays first


Cowdough, what is the source of that ? are you saying two circuits are stripped of their insulation ? They are shorted to ground? Why does the car not burn down? If the starter is shimmed, it gets further away. Did you mean it lacks a shim ? How would it cause the engine to kill ? He says it stalls and wont crank after running down the road or sitting idling. What circuits are you referring to? The start enable wire ? I really question everything from the battery, its connections, the starter hot bench test, ability to turn the hot engine by hand, etc. and what does a test light do attached to the start enable during the hot stall? Since wiring does not dramatically expand or contract, I question the way that has been imagined..


When a GM starter is replaced with an aftermarket one instead of repaired by your GM dealer, the end where the drive is, can end up in a different location, they normally get material removed during a harsh cleaning, a shim can be added. but they either make objectionable noise from tight clearance, or the gear can be heard colliding with the teeth on the flexplate. one that has a hot start issue is more likely to have a inop condition than an engages but does not turn. So we must ask... What do you hear when the engine stalls hot ? and what do you hear when trying to start the hot engine ? vs. starting the cold engine. Is the start enable powered up at the hot start? and what if you tap the starter with a suitable non-conductive tool? Sundrop has not responded for a few days , so it may already be fixed. We need a more perceptive description and some things tried and maintenance of the connections of the cable on both ends. If cowdough wants to identify the circuits in that idea there, you could prove this shorted wiring idea with a disconnected battery and an ohmmeter. Still does not explain why you arent running to call the fire department if that was true.

it wasnt imagined. it happened to me with an spark.control module on a 91 buick p.a. it took 3 shops 3 weeks to figure it out. and yeah...im nackwards on the shim thing. and man i was just listing some.of the shit i would at least check out. i mean shit. replace the goddamn starter. why turn it into quantum physics or some.shit? lol

hell he could have a relay screwing up. for that matter change the $5 relay 45$ starter clean the grounds and wires. check.fuses and give her hell. if it still wont start burn it to the ground!


System prechecks and simplifying how you see the problem saves unnecessary parts. I am hoping the asker reads what we write about it and communicates clearer symptoms. So you think there are chafed wires in the ignition module feed, thank you. Now we can see hoe sundrop responds and find out if it fails to crank? engine wont turn ? or cranks but wont start. Your info, when cleared up and defined better is helpful and appreciated. The way I was reading it, it reminded me of a car I watched burn while we heard the sirens coming. That is why it is so important, if there was a thought of starter cable chafed and grounding out, we would best recommend disconnection and ohm check to eliminate. It is extracting the info for consideration. Not trying to get you on your ear.


If there was a bulletin about wires chafing ? we could use that for the dying but not the wont start. Bulletins can simplify repairs by providing updated part numbers of the "fix" . Then the money is very well spent and every reader that comes along after this can reap the benefit of your experience and knowledge, thank you for your time !


If we find that the vehicle has no spark when hot ? Loses fuel pump ? injector signal ? we are merely guessing, unless I ask these questions to save time and money and parts being thrown around. Thanks again, happy new year.

itd pop a fuse anyway. and i watched one burn one day too. just hit it with a hammer


Right now, looks like they need to perhaps treat it like a starter solenoid and check fuselink and power distribution center cable. Being a 2004, they are going to find coil on plug. They have already put several parts on, but have not mentioned a trouble code for any of them. The car is 10 years old and may lack maintenance that is usually recommended during oil change and dealer service as preventatives.

I believe I may have this solved I let you know when I finish the bypass of the security system, I guess this is common that the security system wont recognize the key and/or will shutdown after about 15mins and disengages the starters ability to operate, thank you for your input

no way. there was waaaaay too much typing involved here for it to be that! scrap it! buy a different car!


The trouble code 1632 should have been stored. when you report your code or codes, that is an (enhanced code) you notice when thae engine wont crank, but the key is turned, there is a [security] light. if you leave the key on for at least 4 minutes, it could be up to 10 minutes, the engine will start, but during the first few miles the security light will illuminate. Then you get a scan tool check, free, at the parts store, when they check your codes and ask about your security system the code can be googled. the resulting reading of all the available info from that, has a procedure invented that requires a resistor be purchased and some basic electrical supplies. one of the wires can have the resistor added to the ends of a cut wire in the procedure. This saves you from replacing a bunch of unnecessary parts. It also contains info that can help you find and inspect the components for water entry or wet car condition. a car with a water leak to the inside, and the water vapor from the evaporation of the water, can cause concern with the security system connectors and the components. reading all of it, and getting the handful of stuff at the electronics store, can have you ready to get the bypass done by someone with electrical tools. The repeated use of the failsafe start procedure wont hurt anything in the interim. you can plan around it and get it bypassed but you would lose the security that could be restored with correction by your GM dealer and correction of the water entry may still need to be addressed. I had one one time that had a spare tire area full of water and they kept driving it. The water spilled forward over the floor pan and made the passenger compartment wet. Hope yours is not like that ! when telling your automotive symptoms on here ? we need all the symptoms because we cannot see it to look for you, warning lights are a symptom. cooling down was not your symptom.....an illuminated security light and waiting with the key on was your actual symptom. your car did not just have to cool down. The power had to be supplied at leat 4 minutes for the failsafe. Happy new year.


so you see? cowdough? there was no accurate question in the first place and their information was full of omissions. Their cool down symptom was false, their restart with the key on was not realized or communicated. They dont have electrical wires chafed or (swelling?) They are not reporting water entry, but they may find it. I hope they get it fixed right by their GM dealer so they retain their anti theft feature. Thanks for your input, just another matter of car owner perception, and the right technicians were not consulted.

so you see-youre not as damn.smartas you thought either. get a 70s model chevy and end all your problems. i.drive an 88 conquest and.youd be hard pressed.to.find a bigger electrical nightmare. glad u figured it out. whoda thunk.it.lol


maybe yu no read too good ? The symptoms were not accurate or fully reported. This is often the problem with getting a vehicles issues even understood. you would be lucky to even get the make model and year. from people. Much less, the correct terminology. Since it has coil on plug, that negates your theory that wires swell up? and expand ? or that the ignition module feed harness was damaged ? We needed the symptoms clarified, not your info about what you experienced on a car 10 years older. but still, it stands for all to read. Careful language is required to keep confusion and misnomers off the webpage, but I can see we have trouble with that rearing its ugly head again.

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