2000 Grand Am shuts off while driving intermittently, usually on inclines


Asked by Jan 01, 2015 at 09:42 PM about the 2000 Pontiac Grand Am SE1

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Last winter, and now this winter, my car has a habit of every once in a while jerking usually while going up an incline, no matter how steep, and then shutting off (can happen at the beginning of the incline, half way up it, or at the very top). Wheel locks up and so do brakes, and then all of my dash lights come on. Lights still work, as do the radio, etc. Car just sputters, shakes, and shuts off. If I manually turn the car off and let it sit for about 2-3 minutes, it'll start right back up and maybe make it another 5-10 miles before it acts up again and shuts off. The second time, I'll have to sit for 10-15 minutes before it will start up again. Sometimes, if it happens a second/third/forth time, my car won't start at all for at least an hour or two. It will just shake and rumble and make hellacious noises if I try to start it. I've had to had it towed two times because of that. This only happens in cold weather it seems, and only when my engine is warm. So far I've had the wiring harness changed, a new TPS sensor put in, and a new crankshaft sensor put in.

My car also has always idled high since I bought it, and the gas mileage seems a bit more poor than what it should be. Also, the last time this happened, two days ago, I took it to the mechanic the next day to have codes read. Something like "fuel trim system lean" and "theft deterrent fuel enable signal lost" or something came up. Also a code about my air conditioning but not sure if that is related.

It just did it to me again tonight, and I'd only been running the car around for 15 minutes tops. This time it shut off while driving and wouldn't start up at all until I let it sit for around 35 mins, and put 2 bottles of dry gas in the tank. Not sure if either of those things helped my car start afterwards. But after my car started, it made it about 1/4 of a mile up the road, and then started sputtering like it wasn't getting gas. Stuff locked up, and it shut off again. Managed to get it to my mechanic's down the road after a few more tries.

5 Answers


Sounds like you have a vacuum leak. As well as an anti-theft module problem. The vacuum leak will explain the high idle speed as well. What engine do you have? If you have the 3800 V6 I'd strongly suspect the intake manifold gaskets have failed. Those engines are notorious for that. As for the anti-theft module, are you using a new or different key? If so it needs to be programmed to the car. HTH. -Jim


Thank you for the suggestions! I forgot to mention that I have a 2.4l engine. I highly suspect a vacuum leak as well, but I'm not sure if that would make my car shut off while I'm already driving. Same with the anti theft problem. My car definitely has issues with that, and I do have a new key to it, but it's programmed to the car already. I've heard that no matter what though, the anti theft system would not shut my car off while I'm already driving (and it usually only happens on inclines, anyway, so I'm not sure if there'd be a connection). Thank you though!!


your fuel injectors are clogged! go have them cleaned out by a gm mechanic. there is a service bulletin for this. and it sounds like your ignition coils are starting to go bad.

Brenda Sedgwick

i have a 02 grand am heard a click and just shut off while i was driving and ideas it will turn over but not start


did you know that the 02 grand am has a recall on it for the ignition switch and that has to do with the very issue you are having. you should have got a notice in the mail about the recall. if not you can find out about it on the GM website: www.gm.com or just put 2002 pontiac grand am - recalls in the google search box and it will bring it up. You can get that fixed at any GM dealer for free. 2002 Pontiac Grand Am ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:IGNITION. NHTSA Campaign #14V400000 . In these models, the weight on the key ring and/or road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position, turning off the engine. GM will notify owners, and dealers will install two key rings and an insert in the key slot or a cover over the key head on all ignition keys, free of charge. The recall began on September 9, 2014. GM's number for this recall is 14350.Pontiac Customer Assistance Center- 800-762-2737

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