2000 Pontiac Montana: intermittent starting problem


Our 2000 Pontiac Montana V6 with 62K miles is having episodes of not starting for the past year. It happened once last August, and started up fine after a few minutes of attempting to start it. It started fine for 2 months, then in October it wouldn’t start for about 25 minutes. Problem has become more frequent. It may start on first try, fifth try, or after 15 minutes of trying. No sound is made when I try to start it, but lights work. (sometimes yellow security light even flashes)

I’ve had it to our garage mechanic 3 times, and two different Pontiac dealers. A relay switch was replaced. fuel pump, fuel line, fuel filter, and battery, and last week, an ignition switch. Now the intermittent starting problem is almost daily and there seems to be no cause, rhyme or reason to it. The second dealer said the code said there was no key in the ignition when it wouldn’t start for them. He advised us to keep spare key with us and immediately try second key if car doesn’t start with first key. Today it wouldn’t start with either key for a few minutes, then suddenly started.

When this occurs, sometimes the “security warning” light comes on, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes if I shift it into neutral the car may start, sometimes not. I can’t afford to keep paying for repairs that don’t solve the problem, but I’m a home care nurse who needs a reliable car that can start every time. Thank you for any assistance anyone can give me on this. joy2007

PS- No rhyme or reason as to humidity, temperature, first start or multiple start of the day, length of time between starts, nothing. I am appealing for ANY help or suggestions from this board. Thank you

When I turn the key, sometimes the car starts, sometimes it just lights the dashboard start-up lights and dings, and doesn’t start. I switch keys, move it to/from neutral, and keep trying. It starts anywhere from 5 tries to literally 15-20 minutes of trying. Suddenly, on one turn of the key (with everything being done exactly the same as the multiple tries before), it will start.

This is probably unrelated, but the radio/clock lights have started to “do their own thing”. One light is almost always out, but the rest of the panel seems to go totally dark, or decide to work seemingly on a whim. I may be driving to a patients house at night with no radio/clock lights, then I look down, and viola! they are on. A short time later, presto! they are off. Anyway, as a nurse with 2 kids in college I am hoping for any insight into the starting problem, I can live with the possessed radio/clock lights.