2005 Pontiac Grand Am - Intermittently No Starts

2005 grand am se v6. Intermittently won’t start.
Just the other day it wouldn’t start no matter what. Turns over but no fire. Unless I press the gas and it only runs if I keep pressing the gas pedal. I checked fuses, there’s no security light issue, no service light, then today after sitting for 3 days. It cranks and runs. Tried it several times and each time it cranked and ran fine. What is going on?

Thats a stumper…

I can’t say on yours, but mine did similar, on a 2005 Dodge Neon, about 8 months ago. On it, the problem was an idle air control valve.

As I understand it, the throttle body closes air off completely. This is a little plunger valve, controlled by the computer, to precisely let in the proper air needed to keep the engine idling. When it goes bad, it can stick (usually closed) and the car won’t start. I was told I could clean it, but the new part was only $45 and took minutes to replace.

It looks like your part (if this is the fail) is $31 to $75 for different brands… maybe higher at the dealer. There is no P code because the computer assumes the part is working. (It is not burned out.)

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Well, that could make sense. My daughter said that for months it occasionally would not start on the first try but then second try it started. So she didn’t say anything. It wasn’t until she left for the beach that it wouldn’t start half way down after stopping for food. It took an hour to get it to start even having a jump start which wasn’t needed but she tried it anyway. She did say she heard metal scrapping one time, which caused me to think starter. But after sitting at the beach for r days it started up and she returned home and worked fine until last Friday when it wouldn’t start again. I tried it Friday evening, all day Saturday and then Sunday evening it fired up normally. I checked the fuel pump switch relay, all other fuses, the gm security passcode issue, and in all attempts I never heard metal scrapping. So I ruled out starter. I will say that for the past 2 years it has had to have coolant added periodically because of some small leak that nobody can find but it has never been a major issue to worry about. Not sure if that is related to this issue. I wonder if a car repair places computer can give more info than the handheld unit I have that just decodes engine codes. Would they be able to read the computer to determine why it didn’t start and starts fine now?

The opening dialog “runs when pressing the throttle” sounds like mine. The other symptoms are probably other parts on the edge of life.

OBDII codes are a simple tool for locating trouble codes. Your dealer/mechanic might have diagnosis tools to locate your problem, but their best tool is a mechanic’s skill. Perhaps, after fixing the starting problem, you could have a general inspection done on the car. Those are usually around $130 (give or take). They may not find your specific problem, but will give a good read on the car’s overall health.