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I'm having issues recently with a 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP.

A few days ago, as we are pulling out of a parking spot, there is a loud pop and everything dies. The car shuts off, it has no electrical, no hydraulics. It is just dead.

After about 10 minutes, I hear something whining like a fuel pump. So, I put the key in, turn it, and it starts. No check engine lights, no codes, nothing.

We start driving. In the middle of an intersection, we hear bam, a loud pop, and everything shuts off. This time we had to call a tow truck because it didn't come back on.

At the dealership, it is found we have loose connections to the battery. As the is moving the loose cable around, the windshield wipers and the security system begin flipping out. (But, that situation hasn't been repeated.) The guy tightens the connection. We drive off.

Last night, we took a short trip. It started fine and drove fine both times.

Once we got home, I turned the car off and I went to lock it, but it didn't respond. I opened the car door and it had no lights, no power. I turned the key and it didn't start. I checked all the connections to the battery and all of them were still tight and didn't move.

This morning, I hit the key fob to unlock the doors and they unlock. It starts up and runs fine. The radio has been reset like the battery was disconnected.

What advice can you give me?

  • Advice? Don't go to the dealership. Ask family and friends for a reputable shop. It could be an independent mechanic, a chain shop, or a body shop, just somewhere that people don't feel ripped off at. It may also be the most expensive shop in your mind. It will still be cheaper than the dealership. They'll knock this out in an hour, on the first try. And, because they'll do it correctly, it'll end up being cheaper overall for you. – Zach Mierzejewski Nov 4 '16 at 20:00
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    There are indications that the small shop we were originally going to was the cause of this malfunction. Every time we took it to them, they would find something new that was never a problem once before. The car belonged to someone who was very important to myself and their Mother, and they are no longer with us, so we are trying to preserve it. In this case, taking it to the dealership was the best option, and I don't regret it. – Chris C. Nov 9 '16 at 18:49
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Still a loose battery cable. If connections at the battery are good, start following the cable down. Sometimes the cables wear out or break inside the insulation near the battery. Sometimes, one of the many ground straps breaks causing intermittent issues. It's hard to tell without looking at it, but it is unlikely to be a huge expense to be fixed.

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Seeing as how no one gave any good information or answered my dilemma, we went ahead and took the car to the dealership.

The dealership had to work us into their schedule, and allowed us to rent a vehicle for free for the three days they needed before they could get us in. (Something a personally owned mechanic wouldn't do).

It seems that a collection of wires had got too close to one of the belts, and the belt had began to eat through the protecting sleeve and the wires themselves. This couldn't have been seen because it was happening on the underside. The mechanics at the dealership happened upon it by mistake. Both battery terminals needed to be replaced, as well as a lengthy amount of wiring.

The worst part was that it took them a few days to fit us into the schedule, other than that the cost was significantly less that we expected, and the free rental car through Enterprise was an even nicer surprise. Originally they were going to give us a discount of $30 a day with unlimited miles.

All is well no, no more issues with the car, and I am a happy camper.

  • That LS4 is a big engine to fit in a mid-size sedan. Lots of wires and stuff packed in there tight. Sounds plausible to me. – user4896 Nov 10 '16 at 5:14

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