Car problems

I need an expert!! I have an 2000 pontiac grand prix. My car will jerk then the RPM needle with go th zero and not move then the TRAC OFF light will come on. It has been doing it on and off for a while now. But once in a while now it will do this, I will be slowing down for a light or something and it will die, so I hurry and put in neutral and start it ( it will start) then sure enough the RPM’s go off and the TRAC OFF light comes on. I think something is wrong with my front end because of the trac light problems PLEASE HELP

is the red Check Engine Light (CEL) on?

It comes on once in a while .It hadnt came on in a while… But sure enough it came on the other day . Was on all day ,came home after work turned car off,didnt start until work in the morning and it was off. My husband has a code detector. But didnt put it on there , because he put it on there when it came on a while back ago and he thinks it showed crank shaft sensor. But we didnt do nothing about it ,because he reset it and the check engine light went off. I guess we just give up because we dont see what the crank shaft has anything to do with the TRAC OFF light.

You have two different problems. The engine is stalling (tach going to zero) and a fault in the traction control system. Your front suspension has nothing to do with either problem.

There are many possible causes for the stalling. Is your routine engine maintenance up to date? You also need to find out why the “Check Engine” light came on by having the car scanned for diagnostic trouble codes. Most big auto parts chain stores will do this for free. Get the exact code(s) and post back.

The traction control system relies on the antilock brake sensors. Does the ABS light also come on at the same time? A faulty ABS sensor would be the most likely cause, but the ABS computer needs to be scanned. Unfortunately, this requires a more sophisticated scanner than the parts store uses. You’ll need to take the car to a shop with the right equipment.

Use the code reader, again. It will, likely, show a code for the crankshaft position sensor circuit. Here is a link for testing that:


Since the trac control system uses the wheel speed sensors, if the engine dies with the key in the “on” position would not the TRAC OFF light come on? Would it necessarily indicate two seperate systems problems?

I told my husband to read this when he comes home . As far as manitenance, I get my oil changed every 3000 miles like I’m supposed to. My right side in the front was making a noise so I took to a mechanic and is was the barron. That is changed and it doesnt make that noise. Anyway, my husband has a code scanner, we didn’t scan it when I came home that night. The next morning everything was fine ,the check engine light was off. Like I said it will come on once in a while. Its kinda hard to check it when it does come on b/c my husband is still at work and I am at home and turned car off already. I guess when that happens again I need to go to an Auto store and let them do it to get code. As far as the maintenance, what does the engine have to do with the TRAC OFF light coming on and the RPM needle go down?

Oh yea and the ABS light never comes on…

I have a 1999 Grand prix and am having the same problem. Same jerk and then the RPM needle goes to zero and does not move and the TRAC OFF light will come on a few seconds later the TRAC OFF light will come on. If I stop and turn the car off and then on again, everything is fine.

Michelle - if you were able to get this fixed, please let me know how it was fixed.

I am a little confused. When the RPM needle goes to zero, is the engine stalling (do you have to restart it), or is it still running and just that the RPM gauge no longer works?

The engine is not stalling. After the jerk, the needles drop and doesn’t move and TRAC OFF light turns on, I can keep driving with no problems. Once I park the car and turn the engine off and then turn it back on again, the needle works and the TRAC OFF light is no longer on, and everything appears to be normal.