Question about 2003 Pontiac Grand Am

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Fuel pump isn't initializing

Hello, Just a quick question before I start to diagnose this problem. I have a 2003 grand am with a 2.2L. Like many, I've had problems with the passlock security. This time it's close to the same symptoms, with an interesting twist. I had no problems till I came out of the store and tried to start the car. It started briefly, then died. I started it about three times with the same result. After that, if I pumped the accelerator rapidly, it would stay running, but very roughly then die. I'm ruling out the passlock security, because the fuel/ignition system seemed to be functioning, even if it was struggling. Security light is on, but not blinking, and has been on for about six months. I don't hear the fuel pump start up when I turn the key to the on position. So what do I have here? Fuse, relay, wiring, fuel pump? Is there any chance that the passlock is causing this? Thanks for the help.

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  • dennis_kovic May 09, 2009

    Hey Dave, thanks for the reply. The car has about 99k on it. I just got back inside. Turns out it was the passlock. I left the key in the on position for about an hour. Then I went out, turned it off, and when I turned it back on I was welcomed by the hum of the fuel pump.I don't understand why it would start at all if the passlock disables the injectors. Anytime I had this problem before, there wasn't any ignition in the cylinders. Who knows, maybe it is the fuel pump, and it's just coincidence that it kicked in after I left the key on for an hour.


  • dennis_kovic May 09, 2009

    Oh, I forgot to add that the car is running now. Problem solved? I guess time will tell.

  • dennis_kovic May 09, 2009

    Thanks again, Dave. I'll keep that in mind. A quick tap on the gas tank is a nice alternative to an $80 tow!

  • dennis_kovic May 10, 2009

    I'm actually starting to lean towards the "weak fuel pump". Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but the pump seems excessively loud. Sounds more like a deep grind, rather than the gentle whir which I'm used to. I should probably change it before I'm stranded again.

  • dennis_kovic May 19, 2009

    Just an update. I got a couple more starts out of the car, then it died again. I priced a new pump (in Winnipeg) and it was $350-$500, taxes included. Maybe it wasn't a wise choice, but I opted for a used pump from the wrecker which cost $60 total. It was an easy job (the tank was near empty) which took under 2 hrs, and I'm $290 richer. Even if it goes again, it's no big deal to replace. Thanks for the help, guys.

  • dennis_kovic Jan 27, 2010

    I've never had mine die while running. I do have issues with the security system every once in a while though. I think my key may be worn out and the anti theft kicks in when I try to start it. Is your security light blinking when the key is on?

  • Dave  C
    Dave C May 11, 2010

    Replacing the pump is a very good idea if it is getting noisy. Having your car die is a major pain. It never happens at a good place or time and when I mentioned the baseball bat trick, that only works by fluke, definitely not something you should count on saving you a tow bill. The peace of mind would be worth it to me.

  • Dave  C
    Dave C May 11, 2010

    It's ripe for a pump. If it happens again, get down underneath and bang on the gas tank with a baseball bat, if this wakes up the pump, it's bad for sure.

  • Dave  C
    Dave C May 11, 2010

    It sounds a lot like a bad fuel pump, how many miles on the car now?

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Im having problems with my 2003 Grand Am SE1 3.4L. my wife was taking me to hospital yesterday and less than 1/2 mile from home in traffic the damn car just shut off on on, died out. i tired to jump it, didnt seem to work when we turn the key you can hear the engine trying to crank over, but nothing. so is this a fuel pump, battery issue or alternator issue? id hate to spend the 245dollars at pep boys to do it on top of the 200+labor and misc shop fees to do it ya know any help is greatly appreciated! btw the car has about 92500 miles. i was in military and car was in storage for almost 2 yrs i got it in 2006 deployed oct 2006 to jan 2008...

Posted on Jan 26, 2010

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On June 13th, 2009 I had this same problem where my car would turn over but wouldn't start. I used your suggestion of banging on the gas tank from under the car and wouldn't you know it actually worked and my car started. Thanks a million. Time for a new fuel pump.

Posted on Jun 13, 2009

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Thanks everyone...my first time on this site and the baseball bat thing worked! Although, I will be replacing the fuel pump :)

Posted on May 19, 2009

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Maybe a weak fuel pump,or sticky throttle position sensor

Posted on May 09, 2009

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