What would make my car sputter then die when driving at slow speed?

Aleisha Hauan

Asked by Apr 20, 2014 at 02:30 PM about the 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix 2 Dr GT Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

OK so I have a 99 Pontiac grand Prix gt with 250,000 on it. Recent maint. history: new
serpentine belt, new tie rod ends, oil change, front and back breaks, new tires, i think
that's it. FYI left fog light is out and either a head light just went out or the break light
cuz the right blinker is faster then normal just with everything else going on i have not
been able to check which one is out. anyways  about a week ago i got new tires after i
got a flat, later that night i hear what sounded to be a tire leaking but all tires are fine. a
friend suggested vac hoes maybe leaking so he looks around wiggles hoes and the
noise stops, cool; well then service engine soon light comes on. Then a few days later  
with a half a tank of gas on im driving along the car starts to sputter like its going to die
but it doesn't. next day same thing only it gets a little worse and more frequent. Then
yesterday just got in, started driving turned at stop sign and it starts sputtering and
dies for the first time since it started sputtering a day prior. so i pull over turn off key
start freaking out turn car back on it starts fine i start driving and it does it again. same
thing pull over turn off turn back on start driving this time turning around and going back
home down the block. the car made it home fine no with out further issue and its been
parked since. it is low on gas but not on E. a friend said maybe a sensor so we
disconnected the battery for 4 minutes but the light was still on. sorry for my lack of
knowledge and grammar pertaining to the car but if it were better i probably would not
be asking for help :)

3 Answers


Sounds like your idle air control valve is dirty/faulty. Also could be dirty throttle plate. Or the vacuum hose leak you were hearing has come loose completely.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Or it could be a lot of things. That's an old car with quite a few miles. It needs a visit to a good mechanic who can read the trouble codes and isolate the problem or problems before you are left stranded somewhere. Then, before you sink a ton of money into an old car, think it through and talk it over with the repair shop. Some things just aren't worth fixing on an old car, and some are. It's nearing the end of its life. Fix what is necessary to make it safe and reliable. With a little luck you can probably get another 50,000 miles. That gives you some time to figure out what your next car will look like. Good luck.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Sal López

its the torque converter switch lockup ........its acting like when you stop a car with manual trans without clutching it in fourth gear.......whats happening is its not disengaging......due to defective solenoid .......I would just bypass it for 50 bucks you don't need it at those miles....you wont even notice.....just connect a new sol outside the trans ..a good auto electrition should be able to modify this for.you....save you 900 dolars

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