'00 Grand Prix GT sometimes hard to start

Our Grand Prix (about 90k miles) is having problems (actually twice now) starting. When it is having problems starting, it will turn over, but will sound like it is flooded. We had it into the shop, but they can’t get it to fail (to start) and it isn’t throwing out any error codes. They think it is either ignition module, crankcase module, or fuel pump starting to fail. I just wish that whatever is having problems would just fail so I can get it fixed instead of playing Russian Roulette. Luckily, we never drive that car more than 15 miles from home (and will now only drive it 5-10 miles from home). Any ideas out there what else it could be?

I should add that it keeps turning over, sounding like it is flooded, but so far, it eventually starts.

Perhaps the problem is that the car never goes more than 15 miles from home. Keeping it within a 5-10 mile radius might make the problem WORSE. Seriously, cars are meant to be DRIVEN, and driving them over long distances is actually better than driving them only short distances.

Take the car out on the highway once a month or so, and let it get fully warmed up. This is the BEST thing you can do for your car. Considering your car’s mileage, there’s little reason to suspect component failure (ignition module, fuel pump, etc.). If one of these components was causing the problem, there would probably be a trouble code.

Try this: Turn the key to “ON,” wait 5 seconds, then turn the key to “START.” If this helps, there may be a problem with the one-way valve in the fuel system. If the fuel pressure bleeds off during periods of non-use, such as overnight, and there is insufficient pressure when you try to start the engine, it won’t start. After you try a few times, the pressure builds up and the engine starts.

You said, “It eventually starts.”

Kinda hard to even guess, not knowing if its fuel or spark problem. Try to listen closely for the pump running when you turn the key on. A pump going south, pump relay, cam sensor, faulty idle air, etc.

Some years ago I finally broke down and shelled out the $50 for a cheap fuel pressure tester. It has been very handy and if I couldn’t fix something myself, I at least could tell the garage whether it was a fuel or spark problem. Helps an awful lot.

Have you performed the routine scheduled maintenance? Does it have fresh spark plugs, fuel filter, etc.? Engine tune, from performing the routine maintenance, can have as much to do with a no-start condition as anything else. After that is assured, can a mechanic begin to look at other areas as possible causes.