04 Grand Prix starts, then quits

For the past couple of years, my 04 Grand Prix will start and then sputter a little, then die. If I step on the gas just when it catches, it runs fine. It certainly seems like it’s not getting any gas.

I’ve changed the fuel filter 3 times and this doesn’t make any difference. I also noticed this past winter in the bitter cold (below 0 temps) that it started up just fine. What should I have my mechanic check? This doesn’t happen every time it starts, probably about 1 out of 5 times at the moment.

Marvin, During The Past Couple Of Years, Have You Ever Noticed A Little “Check Engine” Light Or Something Along Those Lines ?

The check engine light has never came on in the 5 years I’ve owned it. Also, I had a full tune up about a year ago and this issue was there before and after the tune up. Once the car starts and gets going, it doesn’t quit. It’s just getting it to initially stay running.

The best course of action is really to have a mechanic that you trust and just tell them what the symptoms are and let them figure out what to check (that’s where the trust comes in).

But if I had to guess I’d say that your idle air control (IAC) valve needs a good cleaning.

Thanks for your suggestion about the IAC. Unfortunately I’ve moved several times to different cities/states over the past couple of years, so I don’t have a mechanic that I go to/trust and when I’ve explained the problem to mechanics in the past, they all suggest the fuel filter (which is a nice place to start, but I’ve tried it). So I wanted to get some other suggestions so I could maybe communicate better with my new mechanic. The only thing I could think of was that the fuel pump has a problem.

I have the same year/make and had the same exact problem. Seemed to happen most often after I drove it for a little while, then parked it and tried to start it 5 min later (ie, drive to the grocery store, do a little shopping and then come back out.) Fixed it by cleaning the throttle body. Easy to do with a $4 can of throttle body cleaner and a rag. Worth trying anyways…I haven’t had the problem come back since I started cleaning that out once a year or so. Hope that helps.