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Having problems with 1997 grand am starting after driving 20 miles or so

Hard to start, smells like it is flooding, won't catch starter, real rough.

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The first thing you need done is to have the engine control module scanned for fault codes, any Autozone or O'reilly auto parts does this testing for free. This testis called an OBD2 fault code test. Post the results here.

Posted on Apr 17, 2017

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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If it has the 2.2L engine, and its has more than 60K miles on it, you may have had a timing chain jump. The tensioner for the chains breaks and allows the chain to jump time. They only last about 60-80K miles before this happens, and when it does, it usually bends valves in the head since it is an interference engine. GM knows about this and has done nothing to correct it. You need to do a compression test to confirm the problem. If it shows low compression on one or more cylinders, plan on a replacement or rebuilt head and a new timing chain set. Then either get rid of the car or plan to replace the chain tensioner every 50K miles to prevent it from happening again.

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The engine and transmission in this cars drive train are fully electronically controlled by a computer called the PCM (Power Train Control Module). Whenever a problem like this occurs the computer stores a record of the problem (there are of course some exceptions to this, like the fuel pump, engine coolant temperature sensor and MAF sensor for instance) in the form of a fault code in its memory, to read these fault codes you must have the systems memory scanned with a special tool. Once the fault code(s) are read you then must perform the appropriate diagnostic testing to find and resolve the problem(s) DO NOT REPLACE ANY PARTS UNTIL A TRAINED TECHNICAIN HAS DIAGNOSED THE PROBLEM TO AVOID SPEDING YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY ON PARTS THAT MAY NOT CORRECT THE PROBLEM

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Check the fuel/air sensor and air filter. When you first start the car only press the accelerator pedal once. If while turning the ignition switch you here a grinding noise that would be your starter going out. The smell of fuel signals that your car is either flooded from pressing pedal or fuel mixture is incorrect. Hope this helps.

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I had a bad air conditioner compressor that caused this same problem. It had almost completley seized and gave the car some real trouble starting. The burning smell I had was caused from the belt rubbing around the seized pully.

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