Technician Talk

2005 grand am - won't start

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Today I was driving my 2005 grand am to work and my car wouldn’t pick up speed to merge on highway it stayed at 55 and I needed to get to 65. It finally got to 65 and was driving fine until I got off at my exit and then suddenly my steering wheel locked up. I was still on off ramp of highway! We had it towed to our mechanic who said its the fuel pump. I do trust our mechanic but I have had no symptoms that any of these websites describe of a fuel pump going bad. My only sign happened literally 5 minutes before my car shut down and wouldn’t start up again. Can this happen? People have said there would be signs and if ignored could lead to damage to the engine if my only sign came today is it possible I caused damage to my engine without even knowing since there were no signs?

This question is from Angela who posted on Chilton's blog at:

Please share your suggestions for Angela here.

Verified Answer
  • Hi Angela,

    Yes a fuel pump can just stop pumping fuel and shut the engine off. A faulty fuel pump relay can also cause your problem. Sometimes you do have a warning! The only way a fuel pump could cause a problem to your motor, is if the fuel system is too lean. This could intern cause engine problems if not fixed. It can also damage your exhaust systems Catalytic Converter. Usually the check engine light comes on due to a lean condition. And that's if you drive with a problem for days on end! FYI make sure the change the fuel filter. When a fuel pump fails a new fuel filter & screen should always be installed!

All Replies
  • Hi Angela,

    Yes a fuel pump can just stop pumping fuel and shut the engine off. A faulty fuel pump relay can also cause your problem. Sometimes you do have a warning! The only way a fuel pump could cause a problem to your motor, is if the fuel system is too lean. This could intern cause engine problems if not fixed. It can also damage your exhaust systems Catalytic Converter. Usually the check engine light comes on due to a lean condition. And that's if you drive with a problem for days on end! FYI make sure the change the fuel filter. When a fuel pump fails a new fuel filter & screen should always be installed!