10th Feb 2008, 10:38

My wife bought a brand new 2003 Grand Am back in late '03. She has about 60,000 miles on it and it has been decent on gas and somewhat reliable.

However, just this weekend she was backing it up in the driveway and it just shut off. The car turns over, but the "Check Engine Soon" light is on. The car will NOT fire up. I have tried the security thing - waiting 20 minutes with the key in in the "on" position - to no avail.

We are quite upset with the Grand Am. I am going to let her drive my '03 Protege while I wrangle with this nonsense. It is unacceptable for a vehicle to consistently have the same issues across the board on a very wide scale. GM, shame on you and curse you forever if you never do a recall on these cars. We will NEVER buy GM again.

1st Apr 2008, 06:58

June 2006, I had the same PassCode issue, it cost me $500.00 to replace the ignition, I had to take it to a dealer, not my own mechanic.

PRESENTLY, March 2008, I have run into the same issue, car won't start, play the 10 minute waiting game, it then starts. A serious waste of my time and money. The dealer says the warranty on the parts and labor is up, there is nothing they can do. Had the car towed twice over this issue, repair costs are rising. I will never again purchase a Pontiac, worse mistake ever. I wish GM would stand up and take action.

17th May 2008, 18:47

Quite earlier it was said that the cars keys would get stuck in the ignition. If you put it in park and your keys won't come out there should be a button underneath the steering column. Hold that button while you take your keys out. They should come right out!

18th May 2008, 17:51

I have a 2003 Pontiac grand Am and it also doesn't start randomly, just last weekend I had the ignition module replaced ($360.00 + Tow) and it wouldn't start again this weekend. I am very displeased with this defect and feel a recall should be in effect... by the way don't waste your money replacing the ignition module!

11th Jun 2008, 21:04

I have a 2003 Grand Am and I had issues with it not starting also. I got it reset and it will start but, the Security Light stays on all the time. Nothing automatic on the car will work now. The auto headlamps, power door locks, auto trunk release, air conditioning and our remote for the door locks. It has been extremely frustrating. And just recently the radio has quit working. This has really made a bad impression on me for the Grand Am.

13th Jun 2008, 11:48

My 2001 Grand Am SE-1 has never had one single problem... EVER. It has been one of the best, most reliable cars we've ever owned. Far, far better than the three imports we've owned.

However, I am seeing an awful lot of comments about this ignition/security problem, so it must obviously be a major issue.

I strongly urge all of you who do have this problem to contact your local consumer affairs office or Attorney General's office and file formal complaints about these issues. If enough people complain, the issue WILL be dealt with by GM. I've asked all my friends who own Grand Ams (I'm in a Grand Am club), and none of them has ever had this issue, but apparently a lot of people do. Let your voices be heard.

As for GM, they build some of the best cars in the world. Neither of our current GM's has ever had ANY issues.

18th Jul 2008, 15:29

I have Grand Am 2003 2.2 ecotech engine... is giving me occasional starting problems. Mechanic is not able to diagnose it, because when I took it to mechanic, it started.

Any advice please?

14th Aug 2008, 23:10

I have a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am with 62,000 miles. Twice in last 6 months I have experienced the auto not starting resulting in being stranded at night in parking lots waiting for a tow. The electrical system worked fine. However, the security light illuminated when attempting to start the engine.

The first time after the engine failed I had the auto towed to my repair shop. Guess what... the next morning the mechanic started the car right up and could not duplicate the problem.

Six months later here I am with the car towed in again. I just read the blog about turning the key to the “on” position then waiting 15 minutes for the security system to reset. I walked to the repair shop, tried the key after the 15 minutes and it turned on. Thanks for saving me a mechanics bill. I will be contacting the California Consumer Affairs Department with the issue along with appropriate Federal Departments.

Thanks for all the suggestions. It is obvious this is a repetitive issue which warrants attention from the government if GM is not willing to support a recall. Under GM’s current financial status, I doubt that a recall will be forth coming. I concur with another commentary to contact appropriate agencies. I doubt this will be the last time I am stranded.

15th Aug 2008, 13:25

Unfortunately, computer geeks have gotten entirely too involved with GM. The stupid (and not overly reliable) computer controls EVERYTHING on later GM vehicles and it is like an evil demon. It hides when a mechanic tries to find the problem, then pounces on the poor owner when he is out somewhere. 99% of all shops (including many GM dealers) are not savvy enough to catch the demons.

People need to let car makers know that making cars less reliable and harder to repair under the guise of being more "sophisticated", is rapidly becoming an obvious means of getting extra revenue from buyers who HAVE to take the car back to the dealer for the least little thing.

When the engine in my GA finally croaks (at probably 300,000 miles or so) I'm going to drop in the oldest, least "sophisticated" engine I can find and wire AROUND all the computer-controlled crap!!

22nd Aug 2008, 14:10

I found myself in a pickle like everyone else with the security light in my car coming on. The solution like everyone else says is to turn the car the "on" position. Let it sit for 15 minutes. The security light in my car turned off after that much time, then turn it off and start it after that. Mine started right back up like the champ it is. So like whoever said it before, it's a damn good security system when it keeps the owner out too! Hehehe.

From now on I will always turn it to the on position and then leave it there for 2 seconds before starting to avoid this problem in the future. Thanks for all the great tips! It saved me a trip the mechanic for now.

28th Aug 2008, 23:05

About 7 years ago I bought a 1996 Pontiac Grand Am. I thought it was a really good car and if something minor went wrong, it was reasonably price to be able to afford the repair. One very bad winter, I went to my car to start to warm it up and it didn't start. Took the car to the mechanic and it started. I drove it home, to work, and then back home it just shut off in the middle of the road! After going back and forth for three weeks with my mechanic, I finally took it to the dealer and they replaced "A computer chip" which cost 450-500 dollars. Unfortunately it was a bad winter and I totalled the car three days later! So I bought a BRAND NEW car. A 2003 Pontiac Grand Am. I have had it for about 5 1/2 years now and in May, I went to start my car and it wouldn't go on! I called for a tow and while sitting in my car for 1 1/2 hours with the key in the "on" position, I just so happen to check it again and it turned on! Well a couple days later the problem started again. But this time it completely locked up and I had to have a mechanic reset the computer. Well, IT HAPPENED AGAIN yesterday morning. I let the car sit and tried it again this morning. Nothing. I turned the key to the "on" position and let it sit for about a 1/2 hour and the freaking thing started. NEVER AGAIN WILL I BUY A GM. I want to trade thing car in for an OLD car, one that is NOT computerized!!!