97 Pontiac Trans Sport


Asked by Sep 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM about the 1997 Pontiac Trans Sport 3 Dr SE Passenger Van Extended

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Ok i just bot this vehicle and it runs like a champ.  I am having a problem with the
headlighs and dash lights and console lights all flickering.  Also when i apply the
brake or put the vehicle in reverse the blinker lights on the dash light up very
dimly.  I had the alternator tested and its fine.  Had the battery tested and its bad
(hold 12v but only about half the amps)  This my explain the flickering but has
anyone else had these problems?  Also transmission has felt like it was slipping but
more like the hole car was cutting out for a sec.  Any help would be great

18 Answers

could be your battery,as for the tranny,have the filter and fluid changed.if you put in a new battery and it keeps doing this,you may have a electeral problem.

1 people found this helpful.

fluids are clean clear and topped off.. if i do it i will diy it. cheaper that way. I hope the battery fixes the other issues just buy the vehicle busted my budget. Could a bad blinker switch explain anything? just a thought

NO,all that would effect is the turn signal lights,they would not work.try the new battery,see what happends.who tested your alt.,if auto-zone,advance auto,I myself dont trust them,they dont test under load,check it yourself,crank it at idle unhook battery,eather side,if it keeps running ,is ok,if dies,its bad.


Ok just for kicks and giggles i cleaned the grounds for the vehicle. Not all but the one from the battery to the body and the one on the headlight wiring harness. It fixed the flickering and a few other little things that didn't work when i bot the van but wait theres more. After driving around town in stop and good traffic for and hour and half it started to do what i thought was the transmission slipping again but this time much worse. Ended up that it was along the lines of cutting out rather than the trans. It really was bad this time though. Let it sit for and hour while my son was in Karate and it drove home with no problems. When i got home i noticed that my lights were back to flickering and the other things that my ground cleaning and fixed where back to not working also. Could all my problems be caused by a bad ground strap/negative wire? I have to be right about what i fix or i am going to be sitting here with a big paper weight untell i can get more money together. I am suppose to be taking the vehicle on a road trip and can't if i don't have it done right.


I just did a ohms check on the grounds. negative to motor and it 0 out same with other ground check. don't really know what i am doing here so could still be the problem im just grabbing at straws.

changing the ground cable could help,also check the engine ground,it will be grounded to the back of engine to firewall,you cant miss it is a silver looking strap,you may have to get under it to see it.


i can't see or even get to the engine ground. After talking to a few people about the ohms test i did on the engine they all think that my ground are good. Some are saying that a new battery would fix the problem and some are saying that its my fuel pump. I wish i knew more about cars this new. I can work old cars no problem there simple for the most part but this thing has so much crap on it it could be about 15 different things causing the same problem. cross our fingers for me i think that i am going to go for a new battery.

the battery may fix your problem,but no way is it the fuel pump.did you try unhooking the battery while it was ideling,if you did, did it die or keep running,try this with the new battery,let me know what it does.

1 people found this helpful.

Well i try a good battery out of my car and the flickering didn't go away just lessened. As for the cutting out i haven't been able to recreate it. I checked all the grounds even the one that i can't get to by using a ohms tester and the results are that the motor and grounds are in good shape. I replace a very very dirty fuel filter and now the van is running just a smig better throttle is more responsive. I would try the unhooking of the postive but you really should do that to the newer vehicles because it can fry out the main computer... I am going to have the alternator re test to make sure that the voltage regulator is working because that could be cause most if not all the problems if the uneven current is making the main computer or any of the other computers that run the motor reboot. I did on the other had use my friends volt meter to make sure that the alternator is charging i just don't know how to check the volt regulator myself.


also the light flickering makes since if the volt regulator is bad inside the alternator.

dont unhook the positive side,just unhook the neg,it woht hurt nothing,also your alt should be at 14 volts,12 is not enought.


well the alternator is at 14.03 with the headlights and blower going. I have to take the alternator out to get a really good idea if the voltage regulator is on the way out. the test that they do when it is still in the car isn't good enough for them to tell me for sure. they said it should be at least 14.2 to 14.8 but anything in the range of 13.8 to 14. is exceptable/normal. I will try the negative removal method next chance i get just to see what happens. Ill will reply with results.

1 people found this helpful.

if you getting 14.03 then the alt is ok,if you cant find the engine ground strap,you can run a 12 guadge wire to a bracket on the engine to the firewall,will do the same as the one you cant find,just make sure you have a good ground on the firewall,sand the paint down to the metal for a good ground.

2 people found this helpful.

K thanks. I will also throw that in just for the heck of it.


Off the top of my head I would say voltage regulator due to the flickering. If it's faulty, it could be putting too much power through the system causing your grounds to heat up and resulting in the signal indicators on your dash coming on dimly.


Do you know of a for sure way to check the voltage regulator? I have had the alternator tested twice now. The second time i had it tested i told the guy that i think the regulator could be bad because of the flickering. He assured me that it was working holding steady at 14.03 volts with the car running headlights on and ac/heater blower going. And yes we revved the motor and held it to see if it did anything and nothing happened. One thing to note is that the driver and passenger blinker pig tails are heat damaged. So fare that is the only thing that i have found that is bad wiring wise. Will be replacing them but doubt that is causing all the other problems. Could be wrong...


have you had any problems with the turn signals coming on slightly when the brake is applied? Or have you had any fast turn signals? I just had to replace the passenger rear light bulb assembly under lens....there was a short in the assembly and was reaking havoc on the signals, also would not pass inspection. Replaced that and it works find now......the cutting out could be related to the fuel rail assembly and/or fuel injectors....mine was doing that and found that one of the fuel injectors had stopped working along with a small hole in the crossover tube from rail to rail. I was losing pressure and cutting out. The only way to inspect that for yourself is to remove the silver looking plenum(sits right on top of the motor). The fuel rail and injectors are directly underneath.....


My van started this skipping, almost "missing" if you will that was gradual at first. It then got real bad and I could not hardly climb a steep hill for shuttering. I racked my brain, called some friends, and my mechanic. I finally took it in and he checked it for me. He advised me to take it home and and change the plugs and wires. As it turned out, my son and I found that the wires were allowing spark out where it shouldn't be. This caused numerous misfires in the computer, which in turn set codes. We also found that during the initial installation of the plugs or during this removal, we found two of the ceramics were either cracked or broken. Needless to say that 27 codes relating to misfires were set in computer. Once the new plugs and wires were in, it ran better than it had in probably the last 2 years. After about 45-5- miles, the check engine light went off and I drove it to my mechanic for inspection. He was very emphatic about it not passing due to all the previous codes. He hooked it up, ran it through, and it passed with flying colors. Maybe this simple, yet labor intensive, fix may work for you.

1 people found this helpful.

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