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94 grand am starting problems

02-03-2006, 01:44 PM
i am having problems starting a 94 grand am. I changed the crankshaft sensor and starter and plugs. Before i did this it would start and run for a little bit and shutoff and had complete loss of power. but after i did all this the car will not even turn over now when i turn the ignition all you hear is the 12 volt relays clicking but wont turn over anyone have any ideas as to whats wrong with this thing i have also checked all the fuses in the fuse box

02-03-2006, 03:37 PM
Welcome to the Forum,

Couple of questions:

What engine is in your car? How many miles?

You will find that there is a lot of information available here on the Forum, If one of us does not have the answer I am confidant the other members will be able to help out. Sometimes we will ask some questions to help narrow down the possible issue the could be going on.

Hang in there and I am sure you will at the very least get pointed in the right direction to solve your problem.

02-03-2006, 06:05 PM
If your vehicle is Quad 4, make sure that the IDS connector on top of the engine is plugged-in.

02-03-2006, 09:42 PM
2.3l ohc qaud 4 is what is in it well after i posted the car started and spitted and sputterd and shut off then when i went to start it again all i got was a god awful grinding noise and the car has well over a hundred thousand miles on it and what is the lds and where is it located appreciate all the help anymore question im happy to answer. Im workin on this car for my cousin and im not used to working on grand ams so all help is appreciated

02-03-2006, 10:34 PM
I have a 96 GAGT with the 2.4L quad4, I and a while back I had some running problems that eventually lead to a no start issue. It turned out to be one of the coil packs, I did not know then what I know now and had not yet found the Forum. But $250.00 later the car was running with a new coil pack.

What I know now is that changing a coil pack is a 15 to 20 minute part change for about $30.00. In order to change the coil pack you have to remove the top cover on the engine, under this cover is where the spark plugs are so if you decide to give the coil pack change a shot you may want to change the plugs and wires at that time. Being that there are 2 coil packs for the Grand am and not knowing which is bad, you may want to bite the bullett and change them both for about $60.00, and the plugs and wires ( they look more like a spark plug boot (about 4" long). you may be looking at about $100.00 depending on what tupe of plugs you go with.

If you are interested in trying to change these items let me know and I can go into more detail.


02-04-2006, 02:02 AM
yea but if the coil is bad when you go to try and start it is it going to make a real bad grinding noise and cant you take the module and the coils somewhere to get them checked?

02-04-2006, 11:49 PM
From experience, the problem you are describing is a bad, ignition coil housing $60.

Are you getting sparks on all four? As you know, Quad 4 engines does not have any spark plug wires. You have to lift the ignition coil housing while the ICM connectors is still plugged in and use some spare (known good) spark plug wires which allows you to test for sparks. The spark plug might be getting wet but the Fuel Pressure might not be enough.

I did this to confirm that I'm not getting sparks. New Ignition Coil Housing and all is well. Just to let your know that the Quad 4 engines are notorious for messing up the ignition coil housing probably due to close proximity to the engine and heat (directly above the exhaust manifold.)

02-05-2006, 08:41 AM
You may want to check with an auto parts store like AutoZone they may test them, I had just replaced mine because they were the culprit most of the time, I did replace the Ignition housing once, however that was not my problem. Slade is right I had heard that the housings do go bad quite often, but not in my case. I had gone through this poor running/no start situation for 2 plus years, none of the mechanics I talked with could figure out why I was goingthru coil packs so often, I feel that it lead back to the ignition module itself. I finally replaced that and I have not had a problem in over a year, hell i think the car is running better than when it was new.

Slade is also correct in saying that there are no wires, but for simplicity the ICM connectors are your wires for all intensive purposes. The connectors are rubber boots about 4" long that connect the Ignition housing to the spark plugs.

I suggest you give the auto parts store a call to see if they can test your coils, I beleive that the Chilton and Haynes manuals describe the testing methods but I'm not familiar enough with that.

Hope this helps,

02-05-2006, 09:25 PM
ok i checked the ohms on the coil packs and the primary test is within range of .2 ohms and .6 ohms now for the secondary they say it should be between 6.00k ohms and 9.00k ohms and it is coming in at 5.75k ohms is that acceptable or do they need to be replaced and with that cause for it to run bad no power and even stall after running and cause it to grind when you try and start it

02-06-2006, 08:27 AM
Could the grinding be the starter? maybe you need to shim the starter to get it to engage right. I had the same problem with a blazer I bought, wouldn't start all the time, grinding constantly, shimmed the starter and all is good now. As for the clicking your hearing, is your battery charged up? If you have a low battery either from trying to start alot or a bad alternator you could have drained the battery. Maybe that was the problem all along, low battery because of a bad alternator. I would charge the battery and see what happens, or have it charged & tested at a parts store, they can do a load test on it to see if its still good, or swap a good battery from another vehicle. good luck and keep us posted.

02-06-2006, 08:37 AM
As for your coil pack question, I always test for spark instead of testing the resistance on the coil packs, you need 4 regular plug wires & a spark tester ($10 at any parts store). Remove the housing cover (4 bolts) unplug Ignition Control Module, flip housing over, put one bolt back in to ground assembly, remove plug wires (the short ones), plug ICM back in, connect 3 of the 4 regular plug wires to the housing and spark plugs, connect 4th one to housing and spark tester. Check for spark on all 4 wires. Cylinder 1&3 are on one coil, 2&4 on the other, if you have no spark its probably a ICM, if you have spark on only one coil then its a coil, if you have one that doesn't have spark its a coil housing (the white plastic part that makes 2 coils spark to 4 cylinders).

02-06-2006, 02:50 PM
ok i got the car starting but when it runs it idles really rough still now power i changed the plugs the boots the ignition coils the crankshaft position sensor the muffler the fuel filter and none of this has helped. i seen where they say you have to reteach the crankshaft sensor how do you do this? The car also back fires and the resonator glows cherry red after running for a little bit

02-06-2006, 03:11 PM
Slow down, quit spending money, its going to be the most expensive grand am out there if you don't diagnosis the problem first, rather then throwing money at it left and right. Check a couple of things then reply back to us and we'll try to point you in the right direction.

Take the exhaust apart at the exhaust manifold, bet this takes care of your problem, well to test it. I had a piece of my catalitic converter break off and plug up my resinator pipe. I ended up putting on a whole new exhaust b/c I couldn't get the pieces out of the resinator.

Have you checked to see if you have spark on all of the cylinders yet?

What happened to the grinding noise? did you get that fixed?
Every post you put up here points me to a different part, start off by checking spark (even if you use a spark plug instead of a spark tester), then take the exhaust off or pull the oxygen sensor to see if that helps (see if your exhaust is plugged up)(if you pull the oxygen sensor make sure you have no gas leaks & make sure its not blowing flames out of the hole).
Theres basically 2 causes for a red resinator pipe, its clogged up, or your car is running rich (if thats the case and you have spark on all 4 cylinders id say it could be a fuel pressure regulator). diagnosis the problem not throw money at it and hope it fixes it (I did with mine and made problems worse with bad new parts).

02-07-2006, 08:55 AM
ok see i have been diagnosing it i have checked through these things and the thing is that they are testing good and i move on to the next thing and nothing is seeming to fix this thing it is driving me nuts im not new to working on cars or diagnosing problems i actually do it for a living the grinding noise was the casing around the teeth on the starter broke and the piece was just laying in there but i will give what u say a try and get back with you

02-07-2006, 01:56 PM
i wanted to thank everyone for the help with getting the car running again runs like new thanks for the ideas and help with this.

02-07-2006, 02:10 PM
Glad to hear you got it running, what was the problem? It helps other readers that have the same symptoms as yours get an idea what their problem might be.

10-08-2006, 12:14 AM
i wanted to thank everyone for the help with getting the car running again runs like new thanks for the ideas and help with this.

So what happened...did coil pack replacement and reteach cranksensor work? Is this .."I got forget helping another. I have same grand am with same problems...just short of replacing coil packs each reading 5.4 kohms in no start situation with backfiring through intake while cranking. Crank sensor okay after autozone check but they couldnt say about coil packs. (93 grand am SOHC 2.3l} help

10-13-2006, 02:21 PM
I'll add my situation as well. Same as above, 2.3L in a 94 GA with an auto tranny. Replaced the ICM and checked coils and spark. nvious62 did you fix the problem? What was it. Any good tips to diagnosing our cars?


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