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  1. #1

    3800 series III starting problem

    In my 04 grand prix, sometimes when i go to start it it acts like it started but it actually didn't. I have to give it gas when i start it to keep it running. I don't know why it does this, it'll sound like it turned over but it actually didn't, it just drops off right away. Why is this? What can i do to stop this?
    By the way, it doesn't make a difference whether it's hot or cold outside, it does it in both conditions, whether it's raining or sunny also.
    My Rides:
    2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GT1 3800 Series III
    1988 Camaro IROC-Z 350 TPI
    1996 Buick Regal Custom
    1993 Pontiac Grand Prix SE 3.1 MPFI (SOLD)
    1994 Jeep Cherokee (SOLD)

  2. #2
    Andrew's Avatar
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    so it essentially wont idle? will it once it is all warmed up?
    00 GTP - mine | 05 Mariner - hers | 95 F150 - ours?

  3. #3
    AL's Avatar
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    I know exactly what he is describing as I see a bunch of 3800s do it... It starts and then dies right away unless you hit the gas... My friends bonne was doing that and it stopped after he had the cat replaced... Not sure if your situation is similar

  4. #4
    Forum Moderator mfewtrail's Avatar
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    That '04 is drive by wire isn't it? If so, I would assume it something to do with a pedal position switch or the throttle itself. Maybe try cleaning the throttle body and see if that helps.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by AL View Post
    I know exactly what he is describing as I see a bunch of 3800s do it... It starts and then dies right away unless you hit the gas... My friends bonne was doing that and it stopped after he had the cat replaced... Not sure if your situation is similar
    That is EXACTLY what it does, as soon as you turn the key and it turns over it dies UNLESS i have my foot on the gas. Only for a few seconds do i need to leave my foot on the gas, then it's ok, but if i don't have my foot on the gas it dies right away
    My Rides:
    2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GT1 3800 Series III
    1988 Camaro IROC-Z 350 TPI
    1996 Buick Regal Custom
    1993 Pontiac Grand Prix SE 3.1 MPFI (SOLD)
    1994 Jeep Cherokee (SOLD)

  6. #6
    what do you mean drive by wire? it's electric throttle i think, there's no way to pull the little thing to make it rev on the engine like in my old grand prix with the 3.1, i guess it's electric
    My Rides:
    2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GT1 3800 Series III
    1988 Camaro IROC-Z 350 TPI
    1996 Buick Regal Custom
    1993 Pontiac Grand Prix SE 3.1 MPFI (SOLD)
    1994 Jeep Cherokee (SOLD)

  7. #7
    Forum Moderator mfewtrail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dylan1630 View Post
    what do you mean drive by wire? it's electric throttle i think, there's no way to pull the little thing to make it rev on the engine like in my old grand prix with the 3.1, i guess it's electric
    "Drive by wire" is just another term for "electronic throttle body." While there's no linkage on the outside to grab to crack open the throttle blade, you can move the throttle blade with your fingers. Here's the electronic throttle body cleaning procedure from the factory service manual if you do decide to clean it:


  8. #8
    Thank you for finding that for me! When i get time i'm gonna try to do that, it just did that thing to me again today it drives me crazy, i don't know that it doesn't start sometimes because i don't always look at my rpm's and i'll go to back up and my car will be going forward because i'm on an incline and it scares the shit out of me lol every time i'm like WHAT THE HELL?!
    My Rides:
    2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GT1 3800 Series III
    1988 Camaro IROC-Z 350 TPI
    1996 Buick Regal Custom
    1993 Pontiac Grand Prix SE 3.1 MPFI (SOLD)
    1994 Jeep Cherokee (SOLD)

  9. #9
    Forum Moderator mfewtrail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dylan1630 View Post
    Thank you for finding that for me!
    You're welcome. If you copy/paste the link to the image, you can view it in a larger size. The forum automatically scaled it down on my screen making the text considerably smaller.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mfewtrail View Post
    "Drive by wire" is just another term for "electronic throttle body." While there's no linkage on the outside to grab to crack open the throttle blade, you can move the throttle blade with your fingers. Here's the electronic throttle body cleaning procedure from the factory service manual if you do decide to clean it:

    Sorry to reopen this thread but i just created an account because i just bought an 04 GP GT1 with 49K on it and i have the same problem. unfortunately i cannot see the link in mfewtrail's reply. can some one help out with that?

  11. #11
    Night Fury's Avatar
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    It's just saying to clean out the throttle body with throttle body cleaner. Not sure if that would solve the problem though.

    That said, I'm noticing that damn near every third gen GP does this now. The typical response of people is to slam the gas pedal as they start it.....

    Mine does it too and all I do to even start it is click the key. Not hold it til it starts, but to JUST CLICK IT OVER. It will continue cranking til it starts on its own.

    Once it has started, the idle drops WAY the fuck down(so much that it shakes) for just a split second, then recovers. Then all is well. I never touch the gas, and it has never died.
    -Buck W.
    ****1996 Chevrolet Silverado Z71, 4x4 5.7 V8, auto, 168,000 miles****
    ****1993 Ford Festiva GL, Swapped 1.6 SOHC I4, 5-speed, 135,000****
    ****1988 Pontiac Grand Prix SE, 2.8 V6, 5-speed 282, 282,000 miles****


    ^^^Bi-polar bitch. The epitome of the phrase "A GM will run poorly longer than most cars run at all"

  12. #12
    in the 04s they were a return less fuel system with a filter under the car with a return hose, if the filter is old, its most likely causing this startup issue
    Wheel gap can be compared to a vagina. The more fingers you can stick in the worse off you are..
    My car must be a virgin then lol

    2009 COTY 01 Grand Prix GT Intercooled turbo 5-speed 583whp 551wtq @ 19.5psi- SAE>spec stage 3+ race clutch / 06 l26/ 1.9rkr/ exhaust cutout/MSD wires/ Buick STB/ WBO2/ Interceptor/ 05 GT seats/ Turbosmart Megasonic BOV/ Bagged on 20s/ +++

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