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Master Auto Tech.
Master Auto Tech., A.S.E. Certified Master Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 600
Experience:  over 20 years repairing both import and domestic automobiles
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Why won't my 2003 grand am start in mourning or humid

Customer Question

why won't my 2003 grand am start in mourning or humid weather
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Pontiac
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 10 months ago.

I'm sorry you are having problems with your vehicle. I will try to help.

I'm a full time mechanic and have been a mechanic for over 20 yrs and I work part-time here on JustAnswer to help you and others repair their own vehicles, and I get credited by your ratings.. So before leaving the site make sure and leave me a rating. You can still reply to me as many times as neeed, even after the rating.. I will need for you to be my hands and eyes since I'm not there.

So generally it is because of being in a real need of a tune up. I am assuming you have the v6 in your as they generally had a rougher time when in need of a tune up with this problem. The wires and coils will not deliver the spark needed to the plugs in humid weather as the insulation has broken down and the humid air allows the spark to go elsewhere.

Let me know which engine you have and how long it has been since you have had a tune up.

​Thanks

Sonny

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
just bought car has v6 drove it home 100mile everything fine then wont start in mournings sometimes starts at night replaced ignition module yesterday and still doesnt start tested 1 sparkplug wire and it had spark dont no what to do
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
only has 88600miles on car runs good when it is running didnt replace coils because 1 had spark could they still be bad
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 10 months ago.
the could still be bad. 99.9% of the time it's the wires and plugs when this happens. You can test the coils, when this is occurring take 2 plug wires off the same coil and have someone turn it over and see if the spark will jump the gap to the other coil tower on the same coil.
Also when it's starting fine you can take a spray bottle and with it running most water onto the wires and coils and see if you can see any sparks anywhere from the ign system. Do that at night it's better to see the spark.Let me know what happens.But I can almost guarantee you it needs the tuneup and a slight possibility of a coil or two.Let me know what you find.Thanks
Sonny
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
wouldn't run bad if it was the plugs or wires it seemed to run good when it did run
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 10 months ago.
They can work fine in dry conditions but as the insulation breaks down the moister in the air gives it enough of an out for the spark to travel else where. And when it's starting it requires extra voltage on the spark so if the system has degraded enough you won't be able to start it. And if they are original wires and plugs and even coils then it's time for a tune up. Technically the manufacture recommends 5 years for a tuneup if the mileage isn't reached. And an 03 has been 13years. Anytime a car has a hard start or no start in moist conditions such as raining or mornings it's 99.9% of the time tuneup related. .01% of the time it's something else like s connector or crank sensor. But when it's not starting if you have some spark then it's not the crank sensor.
I can almost guarantee you it's the tuneup.
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 10 months ago.
Do the tests I mentioned with the spray bottle and the wires and the coil test at night and I bet you will see arcing coming from a or the wires and or coils. Also watch the towers where the wires hook on. Spark will run down them and out as well.
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 10 months ago.
I'll be signing off till early tomorrow morning. But do the tests I mentioned and let me know what happens.Thanks
Sonny
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
just tried each coil and it arched between towers on all 3 coils
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 10 months ago.
Ok. So now when it gets dark. Spray the wires down with water and watch for arcing. Spray them down from one end to the other. And on the coils.
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 10 months ago.
You can do it with it running or not. It doesn't matter. But running is probably better as it's not as big of a strain on the battery
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
if i see arching thats what want or i shouldnt see any
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
if i just put new wires and pluggs is there a certain kind you recommend
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 9 months ago.
Arcing is bad. It means the wires are degraded. And any will be better then what you have but denso or AC delco wires will be the best but the autolite professional's are ok too. And acdelco plugs or denso or Bosch plugs are good.
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 9 months ago.
I strive to provide 5 star service. If I have satisfactorily answered your question please rate it as such and hit submit. Doing so is the only way I get compensated for my time. Also it doesn't close the discussion so we will still be able to communicate if there are further questions.
Thanks
Sonny
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
yeah i sprayed the water on lines and coil and there was no arching anywhere and the wires actually look new
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 9 months ago.

ok, so did it run the same when you sprayed the wires and coils?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
no, it won't start
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 9 months ago.

what did you use to spray the wires? a water bottle or a hose?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
spray bottle then cleaned off after i was done
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 9 months ago.

ok so I still am sure that it is the wires or coils. even if you don't see arcing they can still be bad.

Did you try it with it running? or was the car off?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
i said it won't run i had someone turn over while i watched
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 9 months ago.
Awe. It might not arc when it's not running.Ok so it runs sometimes but not when it's humid out? When was the last time it ran?
Expert:  Master Auto Tech. replied 9 months ago.

do you still need help with this? please let me know.