My Pontiac Grand Prix Won't Start

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Pontiac's Grand Prix models offer stylish comfort to the price-conscious consumer. Although ceasing production in 2009, many previous models can still be found in used condition. They may require attention, however, when the car won't start. Luckily for owners, a few tried and true DIY methods can help the frustrated motorist ascertain the problem and get the Grand Prix drivable again.

Things You'll Need

  • Tire chocks
  • Jumper cables or battery charger
  • New alternator (optional)
  • Sparkplugs
  • New starter (optional)
  • Chock (stabilize) the tires on your Grand Prix and make sure the car is turned off. Set the emergency brake as a precaution, then open and prop the hood. Insert the key into the Prix's ignition and turn the car on; if the car is completely dead and unresponsive, chances are the battery or the alternator need attention.

  • Charge the battery using jumper cables connected to another car battery or use an electrical charger. If the battery doesn't retain the charge, replace the battery with the appropriate battery, following the recommended instructions. If the battery remains dead upon ignition, the alternator may need to be replaced. If this is the case, consult your local auto parts dealer about installing a replacement alternator specific to the Grand Prix.

  • Locate and replace the sparkplugs if the above doesn't remedy the problem. Bad plugs often result in having an engine that will turn over only for a few seconds before powering down. Purchase new plugs and install them according to the package directions. Replace all the plugs, as it is often hard to determine which plug is malfunctioning.

  • Start the car and, should the lights come on and work properly but the engine won't turn over, the problem could be the starter. Most times you will hear a clicking sound. Consult a mechanic whom you trust or a knowledgeable parts dealer about purchasing a new starter. You may require the mechanic to install the starter if you're unfamiliar with auto mechanics.

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