Ping - shiden_kai

Ian, I just had a call from my son who informs me that his '98 Grand Am died today. He was on the highway when he says he heard a high pitched whining
noise just before "all the dash lights came on", apparently including the Service Engine Soon light. There was no smoke or clunking sounds. He said it seemed to lose power, but he managed to take an exit ramp into a small town and parked it at a Canadian Tire lot before shutting it off. Unfortunately there is no GM dealer anywhere near where the car is, so he went into Canadian Tire and asked them to check it out. He said that they came out and started it up but it wouldn't shift into any gear until they raised the hood and did something. Also, the warning lights were all still on. It was late in the day and they are going to check it out tomorrow. The car has the 3.1 V6 in it and has over 200,000 kilometres on it, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's computer related. Any ideas what we may be looking at here problem wise and cost? Thanks for your usual thoughtfulness.
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"Sting Ray" wrote

3.1
First thing that comes to mind is an alternator problem. Pretty common failure on GM vehicles in general.
Let us know what the diagnosis is. If it turns out to be the alternator, diagnosis and labor should be right around the 1.0-1.5 hrs range. Price of the alt is hard to know. I don't know what CT uses for their parts.
Ian
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surprised
problem
Thanks Ian! I'll give you the diagnosis tomorrow.
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Ian, it's interesting how the light of day changes the diagnostic symptoms. My son now tells me that there were only 3 lights illuminated on the dash - the "service engine soon" light, the "brake warning" light and the "emergency brake warning light" (? I didn't know there was such a thing!) Also, he told me that CTC started the engine with no problem, but had to do something under the hood to get it into gear. He also said that the engine seemed to be running okay and he surmised that the "drop in power" that he thought he noticed on the highway may have actually been the transmission up-or-down shifting.
CTC called him this morning and said that they thought the problem was the ABS sensor, so he gave them the go-ahead to replace it. Then they called back and said that it still wouldn't shift into any gear. Now they think the problem is the shift linkage. They had to order in a new shift linkage which they said will be in tomorrow. I assume that they had to order it through a GM dealership. This saga and increasing repair costs will continue tomorrow. I wish he had been able to get it into a GM shop where I suspect they would be more familiar with the symptoms!
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Sting Ray wrote:

He wouldn't have done something like put it in "P" for passing while driving down the highway? If it won't come out of park, there's a solenoid that could be busted or the linkage could be bent - but I don't hear of too many bent/broken shift linkages...
Ray
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Ha, ha! No, he's been driving for quite a few years and I know that he wouldn't have put it in "P" while driving. I'll suggest he mention the solenoid to the technician though and have them test it. Thanks for the suggestion Ray.
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symptoms.
dash -

do
the
which
a
tomorrow.
would
The sad story continues. My son picked up the car and when he was about 20 miles from the shop, the "Service Engine Soon" light came back on and the engine started to lose power. He was almost home, so he drove slowly the rest of the way. He put it in park and you guessed it, it wouldn't shift back out of park. He called CTC who initially advised him he would have to have the car towed back at his own expense. He called me for advice and I suggested he call back to CTC and ask for the service technician who had completed the work and to tell them that they should send a tow truck at their own expense. He got the fellow on the phone who said and I quote: "Oh. The "Service Engine Soon" light came on when I tested the car too, but since I was testing the car for the shifter problem, I didn't think too much about it. I reset the light just before you picked up the car. The car keeps blowing a fuse and that's why the "Service Engine Soon" light comes on." CTC then agreed to send a tow truck.
Call me crazy, but if the fuse for the shift-inter lock system was blown when they first checked the car, isn't the first thing the technician should have traced is what was blowing the fuse? As it now stands, I have paid over $ 400 for an ABS Sensor and a new shift linkage, all of which I probably didn't need and the car still has the same problem as when my son first took it in. Should the technician not have examined all the pertinent wiring for a break, a short or a bad connection? Should I demand a refund for the unnecessary repairs already carried out? Does anyone have any thoughts on what could be blowing the fuse? All suggestions and recommendations would be greatly appreciated because I'll have to deal with this again tomorrow. To make matters worse, my son lives about 80 miles from me, so I'm not there to help him out.
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On Thu, 30 Oct 2003 22:36:14 GMT, "Sting Ray" <Sting_Ray(no

Sounds typical of CTC, unfortunately for you.
Sounds like the technician screwed up big time...I'd ask for my $$$ back.
Brad
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Thanks for the advice Brad.
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