Multiple Car Problems

Asked by Nov 09, 2016 at 02:50 AM about the 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I'll first start by saying I just got the car about two
weeks ago from someone who brought it from the
auction. The title didn't reflect many owners but you
know how that can go. The mileage reflected
205,000 & the car was purchased at $800. So, I'm
experiencing a few issues with this vehicle & I
assume some of you may be able to help.

1. So, I professionally installed my Viper remote
starter in the vehicle & all wiring is correct. However
when I remote start the car my heat comes on as it
should when the knob is turned on. However when I
insert the key & turn the hvac knob on nothing
happens. So, I have heat with the remote starter but
no heat without. Does anyone know why this could

2. Whenever I have gas in the tank & I park on a
steep or slight incline the vehicle shows that my fuel
is low & the fuel light illuminates. Sometimes while
driving the fuel needle chances its position. How do
I fix this problem?

3. I experienced an issue with my steering in which
my steering wheel became very difficult to turn. I
realized that before I assume anything & start
buying parts that I should try adding power steering
fluid. After adding power steering fluid my steering
wheel is back to normal but it seems to have a lot of
excessive play & there is this whining noise the car
makes as I'm turning the wheel. What could I be
facing right now?

4. I have experienced small smoke clouds coming
from the lower middle area of the engine. Not
exactly sure why but it will happen every once in a
while when starting the vehicle. I recently had the oil
changed & there is oil in there. Why is there smoke?

5. When I park the vehicle I was told by family who
had the same car that I should apply the parking
brake to keep the car from creeping back. I notice
that when I place the gear selector in park & apply
&/or not apply the parking brake the car seems to
creep back on its own as if I placed the gear
selector in reverse but I didn't. The car does stay in
the park position but I am trying to figure out why
the car rolls back before setting into park & why the
parking brake doesn't keep it from rolling?

6. Last but certainly not least when I place the gear
selector in reverse from any gear the transmission
makes this metal clinging noise followed by a
snatch. I immediately thought it could be a
transmission mount issue but I'm no mechanic so
I'm not certain. What could this be?

3 Answers


1. sounds like ignition wiring may have been improperly bypassed (orange and yellow). Check out for help on this matter. 2. the baffles in the tank should limit fuel sloshing, but even they have their limits, parking at an incline will cause the float on the fuel level sending unit to register an incorrect fuel level, and if the float is eroded away it may not register fuel levels correctly even when level. Only way to fix is drop the tank and replace (or learn to live with it until the fuel pump eventually dies then replace both at the same time). 3. Check for proper power steering fluid level, then check for worn parts (rack & pinion, steering linkages) you can also check the rag joint on the steering column. (rag joints are also called steering couplers). 4. Could be an exhaust leak, or an oil leak from a valve cover getting on the exhaust. An exhaust leak smokes when it's cold, but as exhaust heats up it expands and leak seals. 5. Likely a worn parking pawl. There is a notched plate around the output shaft of the transmission that wears, making for more slop when shifting into park. 6. I'd check the motor mounts and trans mount, especially if you feel any clanking through the gas pedal.


PS: apparently all my nice paragraphs went away, sorry about that wall of text.


Yes, paragraphs would be nice wouldn't they. Unfortunately this is a car repair site and not a literary site so things like paragraphs are not part of the program. As for the questions at hand, the smoking/oil leak issue is one GM is still dealing with on some of these cars. My '03 was just recalled a second time to change some gaskets, replace a valve cover and remove some shrouding to deal with that issue. Call any dealer and have them run the VIN to see if all recall work has been done on your car. You could be in line for some freebies. As for rolling while in park, there is no need to set your park brake. All cars roll back a little and as long s it doesn't keep rolling ( as in down the hill and onto the neighbor's lawn) there's nothing to worry about.

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