Why is my Pontiac Grand Am 2003 shutting off randomly while I drive/idle?

Asked by Sep 10, 2015 at 06:35 PM about the 2003 Pontiac Grand Am SE1

Question type: Maintenance & Repair


I own a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am SE1 (2.2L engine).

I've been having a lot of trouble with my car shutting off at random times.

Sometimes when I start my car and then put it in R to pull out of a parking
space, the engine suddenly shuts off. The engine has also suddently shut
off while I was idling at a stop light. In both of these cases, all I have to do
is take out the key and start the car again and usually after one or two
cranks it is running again and I can drive off like nothing happened.

Today was the very first time it shut off while I was actually moving at about
25mph. The engine shut off, my power steering locked up and the car was
making a weird muffled buzzing noise as I slowly pulled over to the left as
best as I could. I think the "Service Engine Soon" light was on at this point,
and a couple more lights may have been on as well, but I didn't take a
good look at them because I was a little shaken since there were cars in
front of and behind me. I simply cranked the key again and it started back

In all of these situations, when I start the car back up, I don't see any
indicator lights that remain on and all seems normal.

Any idea what is causing this? In the past year, I have replaced the fuel
pump, fuel filter, spark plugs and motor mounts. I had to replace the fuel
pump because in November 2014, my car all of a sudden died at a stop
light but in that case, I couldn't start the car back up after cranking it
several times. The shop decided it was the fuel pump and then replaced it.
I didn't have any issues for several months but then I started having to
crank my engine 3-7 times on some days after letting my car sit for 8-9
hours. It would eventually start but it got annoying. The issue sort of went
away after a while though, and now I am at the point where the engine
randomly dies while I'm reversing or driving as I described above.

Prior to the fuel pump incident, I was also having issues with my car not
starting sometimes. I linked that issue to the passlock sensor and I would
have to leave my key in the "Acc" position for 10 minutes, pull the key out
and then put it back in before my car would start up.

I don't know if any of these issues are connected, but I want to give more of
a background here.

3 Answers


make sure the battery wires are connected well and they are not rusty. this was my experience as to why my car would just shut off completely while driving. any bump in the road could have moved the battery wires when they were loose and rusty

Check your cam shaft sensor..


I've had similar issues with an 89 Dodge truck and a 90 Olds Cutlass. In both cases it was the main computer (ECM)

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