2000 pontiac grand am 2.4L engine starting problem

hi, my wife’s 2000 grand am is acting really funny. this is the first problem we’ve had with it. i was driving it to pick up my kids from school. on the way i stopped and got some gas from the marathon then drove about 5minutes and it started running really ruff lose of power wouldn’t go above 30mph seemed like the transmission took longer to shifter to.

i made it to the school as i was about 2 1/2 blocks away. got my kids check the oil and it was really low so i got 2 quarts as it was a gas station in walking distance. i thought it was a lil better but i started driving it and it had the same results. i got it home about a 10minute trip regularly and parked it.

the next day day it ran then stumbled hard. and every time i tried to start it got the same think was like a lock up. it did crank but when it tried to start it stumbled or locked up. i pulled the plugs had some wet threads oil was on the first on and the threads and around the spark plug b4 i pulled it out.

2 of the other plugs had red stuff on them not on the threads though. here are some pictures also i will show a vid of what its doing. i did a compression test and here are the numbers starting with the first one with oil on threads.

190-194-200-190+ compression test with cold engine.

any help greatly appreciated

also smoked puffed up not sure from where yet didn’t no it tell i watched the vid

Those spark plugs a worn. Replace the spark plugs and see how it runs.


Looking at the plugs shows that the fuel mixture is way too rich. I suggest you replace the plugs. There rich fuel mixture might be due to the temperature sensor for the ECU has gone bad and shows the engine is running cold all the time which makes the fuel run rich. There may also be a problem with the fuel pressure regulator. Make sure the air filter isn’t clogged up also.

the car did some backfiring when it was running ruff, in the engine area. and put put sound from exhaust. im trying to upload vid now its taking awhile. i might just put it on you tube and add the link. its a short vid

here is the vid

Oh geez!

From the sounds of it, the engine may have jumped it’s timing chain


i hope its something like that and not a somethin internal. should i start tearing her down or should i do more testing first. thanks

also it seems to crank fine with no plugs in it

About all you can do is get on the crank bolt with a breaker bar and a socket and turn the engine back and forth and listen if there’s any junk rattling around behind the cover.


ok will do ill push it in the garage and check that out thanks again and ill let u no what i find out asap

i pulled the timing cover back and the chain seems to move normal. im going to get the balancer off to double check the timeng. the 2 top holes do line up correctly i just cant see the balancer mark. i did make sure the fuel pump turns on and it does.

wanted to make sure the timing chain was tight. and wanted to check it out running. so i installed the balancer and started her up she is running now but is backfiring from the engine. next ill change all the spark-plugs and go from there. what do y’all think thanks again. here is some pics and a new vid

its running now sounds a little better to but still backfires a lot upfront. also the rpm’s rais and lowers 1-2 small lines would that be a vacuum leak? and engine shakes alot while running

also cold i have bad gas ?

You must have a check engine light and some error codes. If so, what are the error codes?

i have a service engine light on, and i haven’t had a chance to take it and get the number i didn’t no if i should drive it like it was. ill try and take it to get the number tomorrow. its not to Farr from me. but here is what i found leakin from the exhaust

car didn’t start again, so i changed spark plugs still no start. im going to remove the fuel and add new fuel and see if that helps. if not then ill move onto the intake manifold gasket. cant take it to get the codes red because it wont start or run right i might order one from ebay and check it when its running again.

Better to find a way to bring the code reader to the car.

I can’t tell what I am looking at in those pictures. Where is it? And you’re saying that foamy stuff is coming out of the exhaust?

yes it was coming from tail pipe engine was cold, and it was a clear liquid im guessing water then black im guessing carbon and gray don’t no. now the starter is just spinning when i crank the engine.

Someone who knows more than I do is going to have to comment on the foamy gunk coming out of the exhaust. I have never seen or heard of such a thing. A lot of steam and moisture from the exhaust can be from a bad head gasket. But that looks like you’re trying to burn dishwashing soap.

If all of this started soon after getting gasoline, I think that by now I’d pump the gas tank dry, change the filter, add a heavy dose of gas line dryer and some fuel system cleaners and 5 gallons of fresh gas and see where things stand after that. To me, the easiest way to empty out the tank is disconnect a fuel line and hotwire the fuel pump to pump it dry. On many cars there is a connector under hood to energize the fuel pump. A GM I used to own had one. It’s how I got my gasoline back out of it before sending the vehicle to the scrap yard.