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Pontiac Grand Am

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  • rollomanrolloman Posts: 64
    Let me try this again.

    Does anyone have any info/pix of the newly restyled 2002 Grand Am? Need to know whether to wait for 02 model to buy.

    Thanks very much.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Just to stop your whining, from the Motortrend website "2004 Pontiac Grand Am: Redesign based on the Epsilon platform, expected to grow slightly in size. "
    The GA was just redesigned in '99. It ain't time yet.

    Ok, I take it back, the GA will get some slight exterior changes in 2002. Here's some info:
    http://popularmechanics.com/perl/spy_fetch.pl?cat=det
  • I purchased a 2001 Pontiac SE1 in December of last year, and a week later, I had to take the car to be serviced because of grinding brakes. Needless to say, it was a piece of cake. There wasn't a bit of hassle, and the rotors were replaced, free of charge. Since then, I haven't had a lick of trouble with this car.
    I'll just say that this vehicle is a whole lot more fun to drive and look at than a number of others in its class. It's a lot more comfortable than previous Grand Ams. To each his own, but I like the ribbed styling and the "Batmobile" styled interior. It's light years beyond those Grand Ams with that infamous "Quad 4" (one of which I owned, unfortunately, before the head gasket blew). Although the one I have now has is a 4 cylinder, it's a whole lot peppier and smoother. It may not be super quiet, but it's quieter than the Quad 4, believe me, and certainly does a better job.
    So far, here's a very satisfied '01 Grand Am owner!
  • jdexter23jdexter23 Posts: 94
    ok, one of my biggest pet peevs is rattles in a car. My problem with my 2000 grand am is that the keyless entry clicker on my keychain constantly swings back and forth and smacks into the dash. Any ingenious people out there found a clever way to prevent this? Also, does anyone else have problems with the seat covers coming loose in the front (about where the lever is to move the seat fwd/back)?

    thanks
    JD
  • jdexter23jdexter23 Posts: 94
    PS I am not complaining about my car, I love driving it and i too like the "batmobile" interior. It makes my daily commute more fun. all i need now is some warm weather and salt free roads:)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Why don't you take the clicker off the keychain and hold it in your pocket while driving? It's a pain in the butt, but if the rattle is bothering you that much it will fix it. You might also try wrapping something around the transmitter. But keep in mind you will have to unwrap it when the batteries go dead.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    jdexter23 Mar 2, 2001 12:36pm

    Hehe, this is so funny because I get the same thing! But the reason my keys swing into the dash is because I'm going at terminal velocity with my V6 into a curve or over a bump.

    Just a side effect of "the need for speed". Enjoy!
  • jdexter23jdexter23 Posts: 94
    Even without the clicker, the keys still hit. I have considered wrapping an elastic around the hanging keys and the clicker, but that would be a pain in the butt whenever i need other keys.
    JD
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Seriously, if this really bothers you I have a solution.

    Find the smallest pair of baby cotton socks with an elastic anklet that you can. If you ever had kids you'll know what I'm talking about. This sock will effectively server the same purpose as the "socks" on golf clubs when you carry them around in the bag: it keeps them from clanging together.

    Keep this key sock in you car. When you get in, simply hold up your key chain by the ignition key and simply slip the sock over everything else that is dangling down. Insert key in ignition and you are good to go. Slips of easily when you are done.

    Hope this helps.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Just an FYI to anyone who is interested.

    After about 18k miles, the 1999 GA V6 has broken in nicely. I do about 700 miles a week (that's right, in a week) with about 80% highway at 50 - 73 mph and 20% city at 20 - 50 mph. Gas milage is calculating out to about 27.1 mpg. Take this and multiply by the 15 gallon tank and I can get 380 miles out of a tank with a gallon to spare for errors. Not bad for V6 performance.

    The more I drive this car, the more it impresses me how well it is a solid piece of transportation. Definitely a good value.
  • whackowhacko Posts: 96
    I took a real close look at a new Grand Am the other day. It's really too bad they designed it with all that ribbing. If Pontiac would've kept the ribbing off, the Grand Am would possibly be one of the best designed vehicles in the market. It's ashamed that they had to take a wonderful piece of art and turn it into a shameful design. The ribbing makes the car look like an insecure piece of machinery that's wanting way too much attention, not realizing what kind of a fool it's making of itself. Oh well, maybe the next generation GA will get it right.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Such insightful comments from someone who drives a Ford Festiva. What was I thinking when I bought the GA?
  • lrymallrymal Posts: 105
    Whacko raises a valid point but he ignores all replies or comments directed to him, including one I did regarding the cladding a few weeks back. Basically, he exists here to just yank some comments.

    But, the fact that reviewers also faulted the GrandAm's styling because of the cladding a few years ago makes me want to respond, or maybe repeat my reply to him and the reviewers.

    Yes, the cladding is ugly. I think it is. And the style boys would love a car with smooth rounded sides, such as the upcoming Buick Bengali. No interruptions in the style at all.

    They would love to have no door handles with access only by way of the electronic unlocking of the doors.

    Gorgeous design. Smooth. Sorta like the 1950 Ford Mercury that has been chopped and lowered. Those are wonderful to look at.

    Ok, let's go to reality.

    Wal-Mart parking lot door dings.

    'nuff said. Bring back the cladding, or should I say armor?

    Until somebody invents a force-field...

    Respond, Whacko. You raise this issue repeatedly about the cladding. So, what do you do about the body manglers at Wal-Mart?
  • beedublubeedublu Posts: 236
    There's a poster here named "midlifecrisis", which makes me laugh because that's exactly what I'm going through. I've got the hots for a new GA GT to replace a '95 T-Bird...but after 5 miserable years of struggling to get moving in upstate New York snow, I'm wondering how much better the GT will be.

    Some of the things I've read imply that the Eagle RS tires don't have that much grip; others say that the front air dam has too little ground clearance and gets hung up easily in unplowed snow.

    So, how about it, GT owners: Will I regret choosing this car? Will I have to (ugh) buy snow tires for it? (The brochure has the usual warnings about not using chains).

    Thanks for sharing you winter (and other) experiences.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    I didn't buy the GA because I thought the cladding was cool, I bought it because I thought the car was a good value.

    I was just thinking about the cladding the other day while looking at my car. Then I noticed someting: Not a single noticeable door ding! But yet you can see (under up close inspection) where somebody dinged the cladding. But because it has some "give", the paint didn't crack.

    Could I do without the cladding? Sure, but it does have its advantages.
  • lrymallrymal Posts: 105
    At least Wacko has me thinking on some more issues. grinnn

    1) Rubbed my finger on againt the cladding
    and felt all the chips and dings. Those
    would have been on the door metal.

    2) The cladding CAN be removed. Yup. Look at the
    design. The nose cap and tail cap designs for
    SE fade to smooth.

    Except for a couple of filler pieces, the
    cladding is attached only by 3M adhesive.
    Hot lamps applied to the cladding can aid
    in their removal.

    All that would remain would for polishing
    and buffing of the clear coat underneath.

    3) Obviously, I would go to a body shop to
    confirm these observations and techniques.

    So, if anyone is really offended by the body cladded armor that the Grand Am has on it that is protecting it from the Wal-Mart door crunchers, then there is a way for you to smooth out the side body pieces. Just remove the cladding...
  • I shopped all around to find the perfect sports sedan. I looked at Dodge, Acura, VW, and every other car priced under 25,000. I came to find the 2000 Grand Am GT to stand out infront of all the others. I purchased the new GT1 in July 2000, and since I have had nothing but problems with the car. The rotor's warped at 11,000 and have been replaced, the mech's have attempted twice to try to fix my a/c that shut's off after running it for more than a halfhour. The passenger doors leaked until mechanics got it fixed the second time around. Also the trunk makes a howling sound when at highway speeds, that has yet to be fixed. All of these problems I found to be common with the Grand Am's because they have bulletin's out on all. Has anyone else had any of these problems? And if so what did the dealership do to fix them. I know it sounds like I am bad mouthing the GA, but I am not I love my car. The handleing is great, accleration, cornering, it's just a great performing car. I don't know if I will ever buy another GA though or any Pontiac for that matter. Just my 2cents.

    Oh one other Question- Does anyone have a lifter noise or tapping noise during starts and if so is it normal with the 3.4 Liter?

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  • lrymallrymal Posts: 105
    I had water on the carpet also, but honestly, at least in my case, the problem was from impatient rear passengers not raising the glass high enough. I mean, the class was in the top channel, but not against it. I have a rear-seat passenger who loves the glass down when the weather is nice, but raises the glass while opening the door. I solved THAT problem by MY doing the glass raising. After checking for that, my water problems "evaporated". No more wet carpets.

    Airconditioner problems on your end sound like a thermal sensor or thermostat. Easy fix. Your dealer should fix that. At the worst, it could be a thermal shutdown issue in the compressor itself. Again, your dealer should spot that easily. I mean, this isn't rocket science. These are "old technology" problems with autos in generals. I'm referring to problems on any make vehicle all the way back to the late 60s. This is just a standard air conditioning issue. Even a home central air conditioning unit can experience these problems.

    If your dealer cannot isolate this, then shame on that dealer. I would go somewhere else.

    Rotors warping is a well-known problem. Your dealer should have offered to REPLACE those rotors with GM's heftier rotors. This list has several times listed the TB on that. SHAME ON YOUR DEALER...

    Not sure what the howling sound is. Haven't seen any postings on that in this list. Might be a tire problem. A thrown weight, tire imbalance might cause slight cupping on the tread making the tire noisy.

    The tapping noise of the engine is normal. The 3.4 liter motor is a hefty workhouse and is known for grunt work and high mileage. It is not an overhead cam motor. It uses hydraulic lifters and as such, it takes a few seconds for oil pressure to get oil to the lifters adequately. Hence, the tappet noise. This is normal and you'll hear this for another 200 thousand miles.

    Example: Very old cars from the 60s that have hydraulic lifters usually are racketty sounding things at startup, especially if the oil was never changed well and sludge is in the crankcase.

    At any rate, it is normal with the 3.4L. Just keep the oil clean.
  • Tonychrys - I don't drive the GSP regularly, but every once in a while on business and pleasure. I've had it down in the Cape May area and from exit 130 north to exit 159 a few times.

    Beedublu - I got to challenge the GT in a major snowstorm last week. I had to drive about 10 miles to a business function in a snowstorm in which there was 2-4" of unplowed and/or packed snow on top of icy roads. The car performed admirably, similar to how other front-wheel drive compacts have done for me before.

    The ABS brakes in conjuntion with the traction control handled all but one situation perfectly. I did slide somewhat down a steep grade towards an intersection. I regained control after about 15 seconds. The low clearance did not seem to cause any problems, but I did notice that both the front and rear wheel wells trapped a tremendous amount of snow coming off the tires. The next day it took me a half hour to extract the frozen compacted snow from under the fenders.
  • I also have the key problem. I was driving with a coworker just last week and she asked me why I was always grabbing my keys. I told her that I grab them going around turns because they clank against the dashboard and it is VERY annoying. She laughed at me. I really like having the ignition on the dashboard for ease of key insertion, but man it makes too much annoying noise! I was thinking of wrapping a rubber band around the keys, but that probably wouldn't work. Last week I removed 3 or 4 keys from my key chain, but it still makes noise. Maybe the sock isn't a bad idea. The keys will still sway back and forth, but maybe you can limit the noise it makes when hitting the dash.
  • sonic222sonic222 Posts: 2
    This is the first time I have worked on a quad four engine. After complaints from its owner {mother-in-law} about sluggish performance, I drove the car for look see. she was not kidding . It felt like it was running on two cylinders. I removed the coil tower cover and found telltale signs of carbon tracks from arching between the plug boots. replaced the coil tower,plug boots and plugs. I fired it back up and it ran like new. Now it seems to have an annoying slight but very noticeable miss when idling. The owner informs me that it was not there before I worked on it. I was hoping someone might have a suggestion as to what I might look at next. Thank you
  • canada7canada7 Posts: 4
    I just bought a used 2000 Grand Am V6 last week with 23000 km (about 14k miles) on it, and when I brake the front discs grind. Apparently a 150 pt. inspection was done without it being noticed, and I even brought the car in to the dealership and was told they couldn't hear anything. The fan has to be on low to hear it, but it's definitely evident to us. Has anybody else experienced this, or know what it is?

    Besides that the car is awesome though!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The front brake rotors are bad, and this is a Technical Service Bulletin on Grand Ams. Check this chat thread for alot more information on it. Talk to your dealer about having the new, stronger brake rotors put on your car, but do it quickly. Usually, brakes are only covered for 12K. Since this is a widespread problem, you should have no difficulty getting them replaced.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    I've posted on the body cladding before. I didn't buy mine because it had it...but, as everyone else has noted....I have no door dings @ all...the only car of 3 we have in our family that doesn't have them.

    Side body cladding is a Pontiac tradition...someone else mentioned that there are a lot of cars/trucks/suv's out there now days besides the GA with cladding....nobody seems to say much about them...Pontiac is an easy target...different strokes for different folks. If you don't like it...don't buy it.

    I've read a lot of postings here @ Edmunds and on other message boards of people complaining about water leaks in their GA's....have had no problem like that in mine. Wonder if there is a service advisory out there?
  • chaylanchaylan Posts: 2
    Working at a Pontiac dealership, I get to see what problems tend to recur in the different models/years of the Pontiacs brought in for service. A few people were commenting about water leaks in their 2000 GAs and there was a problem with this last year. If you just have a few water spots here and there, this probably doesn't apply to you. However, we had people coming in after hard summer rains (in FL where it rains every day in the summer) with a trunk full of water. This was apparently due to improper sealing of the rear window, causing water to leak in and down into the trunk and backseat. If you're experiencing a lot of water in the backseat/trunk area, I'd have that window looked at.

    A very minor problem I found with my 2001 GT is this bizarre noise that occurred this weekend while driving on the interstate. Occasionally I would hear a noise that sounded like a very distant air horn. It wasn't particularly loud (I had passengers so the radio was off, may not have even heard it with the radio on), but a little worrisome since this is a brand-new car. It seemed to be coming from the rear of the car, and my backseat passenger said she felt the rear window vibrating when the noise occurred (differently from normal driving with no noise, so it wasn't due to normal road vibration). It was an extremely windy day, about 20-30mph winds with gusts of about 40mph. Anyone else experienced this problem? We figured it was probably the wind, maybe gusting under the spoiler or something, and making a really weird sound. I didn't experience the noise on the trip back home; the wind had died down and it was pouring rain. So it seemed to support my wind theory...

    Otherwise, no other problems with my GT! I love my car. :)
  • rpm9rpm9 Posts: 73
    Well, I had to do it. I just recently voluntarily repossessed my 00 GA/SE-1/V6 coupe because I no longer could handle the payments. There goes my credit, but oh well. Anyway, I have to admit that I don't really miss it at all because overall, I didn't like the light steering, the so-so handling, and the ribbing started really getting on my nerves. Due to my financial situation, I went and bought a 94 Mazda 626/V6 for $6K and I have to admit that even though this car has 99K miles and that it's seven years old, that it rides and handles much better than the GA. I'm very happy to be back driving a Japanese car again. They truly are better cars than the ones made by American manufacturers.
  • RPM9 - Are you sure you're not just angry because you had to forfeit the car? A Mazda 626 with 99K rides and handles much better? Come on, get real.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Handling does not depend so much on mileage, as on basic design.

    I have a 88 Ford Taurus L Wagon, with 129k miles. Old car, 14 years: build in summer 1987. Never know what will break the next time. Though, the handling is great - as on rails. I believe, this is due to rigid suspension. Probably, wagon have more stiff springs, than sedan.

    Also, the seating position is very comfortable for me - better than in other cars I have / drove. The last thing is very personal, of course. Depends on body proportions: torso length, hand and leg length, etc.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    I have to agree with midlife, sounds like somebody got in over their head and is a little bitter. Hey, it happens.

    But yes, handling and ride can be subjective. The only objective measurement would be a timed slamon and skid-pad test.
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