Help! Vehicle died while driving & now won't start!

A few months ago my 2002 Pontiac Grand Am just completely died while I was on the highway. Its not the battery or alternator as everything electrical still worked. While I was driving I pressed on the gas & there all of a sudden was no acceleration (we had just filled the gas tank prior so that wasn’t the issue). I got it to the side of the road & we tried starting it up & the engine wouldn’t turn over, it was just a whining sound.
Any ideas what may be the problem?

Perhaps the engine over heated and is damaged, when there is no compression the cranking sound of the engine will be abnormal. Someone will need to open the hood and have a look.

The last time I suggested that a Grand Am was ready for recycling the guy became defiant and changed the powertrain control module (computer) and drove away happy. He had to read the code, change the part and reply that he got bad advice. Good advice but for a different situation than he had.

Does anyone know if this is an interference engine?

If you have the 4 cylinder engine, then the most common failure on those is the Ignition Control Module… They are well known for this exact type of failure. The car will be running fine and then simply shut down and not restart. Sometimes it sputters down and makes you think you ran out of fuel…other times its like a light switch in how fast it shuts off.

There are vast volumes of information about it on the internet as this engine made a name for itself with this failure.

That is the very first thing I would try unless there is something else blatantly obviously… If not…my money would go into a new ICM.

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Whenever an engine dies while it running, it usually means something bad has happened to the engine. Like a timing belt has broken and the valves have hit the pistons. Hopefully that didn’t happen here. A shop is most likely going to have to look things over to see what really happened. The whining sound you heard may be due to the starter bendix not engaging with the ring gear on the flywheel. This could be due to broken teeth on the ring gear or the bendix isn’t moving the gear into position.

Aside from the ICM being a known troublemaker on the 4 cyl…IF this is even a 4 cyl vehicle. But has anyone checked the health of the battery? Perhaps you just ran out of juice in this instance? It could be that simple… Just need to do a little checking. None of us can solve this remotely and also without someone with hands on doing some basic tests relaying us vital information. I ran out of Silver Bullets a while back.