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Pontiac Grand Am



  • Here's a better question: When do you need a tuneup? With all the electronics and new plugs in these cars, I thought tuneups were a thing of the past.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    You don't... sort of. The only thing that needs to be replaced (aka tune-up) is mostly the wires and plugs, because they have a finite useful life. It's clearly stated in the maintenance schedule in the OM.

    Theoretically, one could do other things like fuel injector cleanings to make sure the vehicle is operating at peak efficiency without the ECM trying to compensate for a defficiency somehwere (fuel flow, air flow, etc.)
  • rpm9rpm9 Posts: 73
    lindsey: Yes, you are correct. I could not afford the original monthly payments. But I had an opportunity to refinance my car by extending the term and lowering the interest rate. The bank was willing to work with me and they actually were able to reduce my payment at an affordable monthly plan. I decided to decline the offer because I just wanted to get rid of the car the most convenient way I could.

    And yes, my posts gradually morphed into other reasons as to why I got rid of my Grand Am because I, at the time, did not want to tell the whole story in my inaugural post #747. However, I felt compelled to share my story because these forums are about sharing our thoughts, feelings, and ideas about our experiences with our cars.

    So face it: Perhaps whacko is right. Perhaps you are offended by my posts because you own a Grand Am. If this is the case, I just want you to know that offending anyone was not my intent.

    jkidd2: I have a close relative who is a Sales Manager at an automobile dealership. Those days where one can no longer get financed due to bad credit, repossession, or bankruptcy are no longer the case. He tells me that I'd be surprised to know how many bad credit customers his dealership can get financed on a car. He has assured me on several occasions not to worry about my voluntary repossession. Just stay employed and keep my debt to income ration down, and there will be a bank out there who will still be eager to do business with me.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    There will be a bank who will do business with you, but then you will be right back to having high payments and high interest due to bad credit.

    I have a question. I often wondered, so you have to pay the rest of the loan off on a car if you h have it repossessed? One person told me they did, but a couple others told me no, they didn't. I am confused.
  • lrymallrymal Posts: 105
    Well, true enough about the tune ups. But, getting back to the oxygen sensor. Here is the URL and a blurb from the web page:


    Carbon, soot, harmful gases, anti-freeze, chemicals and thermal and physical shock shorten the life of an oxygen sensor. That's why checking for, and possibly replacing*, a worn-out oxygen sensor is an important part of every routine tune up. *Most oxygen sensors wear out after 30,000 to 50,000 miles in use. Newer heated-type oxygen sensors with 3 or 4 wires wear out after 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

  • rgreene5rgreene5 Posts: 3
    The last time I posted on here I was telling everyone about all of the problems I have had with my 2000 pontiac grand am gt and most people seemed to think I got a lemon. Well I took my car in for yet many other problems on Monday of this week. It was in the shop for molding popping off from the rear of the car, a cover inside of the car was coming up which was exposing wires the brakes were messing up again, the mirrors have fades and look like a pale grey rather than black, the passenger side door leaks and there is still a noticeable miss at idle. When taking my car in to the dealership I was told that I should just wax the mirrors because they are supposed to look like that. I told the dealer that I had seen a service bulliten on the mirrors from GM that said they should be painted or replaced. He said he would talk to the service manager about that. I was given a 96 Corsica that had carpet stains beyond belief, the seat moved back and forth when you hit the gas and had an entire collection of cassette tapes which gave me the impression that perhaps this is someone actual veichle. I took the car and said nothing, although I have had many other courtesy cars that were at least comparable to mine. I called Tuesday afternoon hoping my car would be finished so I wouldn't be driving this junk car anymore. I spoke with the service manager and was told everying else on my car had been done and that it was at the body shop having the mirrors painted as we spoke and that I could pick it up on Wednesday so the mirrors would have ample time to dry. I was satisfied with this because apparently they had decided to do something about the mirrors this time instead of blowing me off.
    Wednesday I arrive to pick up the car and I am told that they haven't painted the mirrors yet. I asked why and they immediately started to become defensive saying I was never told it would be ready today. My husband became quite perplexed and insisted on speaking with the body shop which is located on the other side of town. They said that they were gone for the day. Which didn't make any sense so we asked if both shops left at the same time, yes they said, so why were they still there. The guy goes into a back room comes out and dials the body shops number and of course they answer, my husband talks with them saying the mirrors would be painted later that evening. Yet something else that doesn't make any sense. It just seems odd to me that someone is coming in after hours to work on my car, I got the feeling that we were being lied to. So I asked if I could have another car besides the piece of junk they had given me. He said he wasn't authorized to do so. I asked why couldn't he slap a dealer plate on something, he said that wasn't an option. So we just stood there, because we weren't leaving. Again they went into a back room and he took out a dealer plate and put it on a buick skylark, which was far better than what I had previously.
    This morning (Thursday) someone from the parts department calls to let me know my molding has came in. That didn't make any sense because I was told that everything else had been done except the mirrors and besides they still have my car. So I called to talk with the service manager and he said they didn't realize they had my car. What is going on? I asked. He said that after what happened last night about me demanding another car he will not ever give me another courtesy car and that my car would be ready today and then he hung up on me. I immeditly called back and he said that he didn't realize I hadn't finished talking. I told him how rude his service people have been and he said that we rude last night and that was inexcusable behavior.(I could not believe what I was hearing)He said that there was a misunderstanding about my car being finished, when he was the one who said that it would be done. I asked if they gave out compreable courtesy cars and he said yes only if the problem being fixed is a hazardous driving condition but whenever the problem in pidely then it doesn't really matter. I then asked if he thought my problems with my car were pidely and he said well it wasn't a hazardous condition. I asked him if he believed in customer service,I told him I called GM the previous night(which I really did) to complain about what had happened, he replied oh yeah, like that will hurt, I told him that GM seemed to care about it and he said well I hope that they call me and I told him the service there was piss poor and then he hung up on me. Believe it or not this is the guy that GM assigned me to deal with. I was so angry I couldn't think about anything else. I know of course never to go back to this dealership but is there anything I can do about this?
  • nerssnerss Posts: 43
    I am very sorry to hear that you have had such problems with this dealership. I fully beleive that when a new car gets a bad reputation it is related to how efficiently and quickly the company can remedy the problem. Most of the problems that you have written about should be covered under your warranty and should not have been an issue to fix with that dealer. They would be completely reimbursed by GM for the money that they spend. I would follow up your complaint with GM and also talk to the Better Business Bureau in your area about filing a complaint and then ask them for a reputable Pontiac dealership in the area. I hope that all of the stuff is fixed on your car soon and that you can really nail those SOBs through GM and the BBB. Let us know what happens.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    First, I am not here to defend GM, but everything that you described points to a very, very, bad dealer, which happens with any brand of vehicle.

    The arrognance you describe almost leads me to believe he is the only Pontiac dealer in your area? If not, I can't beleive they would risk losing you as a customer and getting a bad rep with folks you talk to.

    GM always encourages customers to try to work it out with the dealer first, which it seems you tried. If I was you I would call the service manager one more time and tape the conversation. Though not legally admissable, it would be a tremendous eye opener for the GM folks if you play it for them. Just a suggestion.

    After you contact GM, I would contact your local TV station's "consumer reporter", these folks will sometimes intervene if they smell a story.
  • lrymallrymal Posts: 105
    rgreen5, do you use my dealer? grinnn

    >I know of course never to go back to this dealership but is there anything I can do about this?

    Wish I could help, but I have to go through the same thing.

    Basically, my dealer responds positively to anything I suggest, assuming I can qualify what I am talking about. But, my dealer would never dare volunteer a fix, suggest a fix, or do a fix on their own, even if it were staring at them.

    Case in point: over a year ago, I hit a wild pig on a rural road (this IS Texas, ya know?). They had to replace the entire nose cap. The body shop did the work and got overspray over everything--not just a little bit but a whole bunch.

    The kid removing overspray never would rub his fingers or hands over the body, but would just simply start doing the overspray removal with the clay and buffer, even over areas that already had overspray removed. He would apply the cleaner, spray the car down and dry it.

    Not once did he go back and check to see if the overspray was gone. When I returned the car for more overspray removal, they cheerfully put the car in the booth, the same kid started doing a whole car overspray removal, not even checking where the overspray was.

    Because the front end of the car was the part that hit the offending pig, the headlight assembly had to be removed and the bulbs replaced.

    Guess who didn't realign the headlights?

    Finally, speaking of alignment.... Even though the insurance had front-end alignment as part of the repair, it was never done. The body shop computer showed it in the work order, but the mechanic shop did not have it in the work order.

    Soooo, to make a very long story short, I think rgreen5 and I are using the same dealer, and I think automobile owners should have a "patient's bill of rights".
  • L8_ApexL8_Apex Posts: 187
    ...have been removed.

    Thank you,

    Sedans Message Board
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218 are correct, you can always find a dealer that will be willing to sell you a car, no doubt, but expect to be gouged out the whazzo and pay a very high interest rate + they will force you to add options/extended warranties you don't want, etc....(believe me, I know...I went through it in my early 20's. I always say it was the hardest lesson I have ever learned) I guess I was thinking more on the line of when it comes time to buy a house or something like that, your bad credit will come back to haunt you. Good luck to you. might want to look in the SUV posts under the Infiniti QX4...I can't remember the persons exact moniker, I think it might have been QX4 Lemon or Infiniti Lemon...but he provides a really good history on how he dealt with a similar situation as yours. He also has a website that you can link to from his postings...that is good research for anyone going through an ordeal with a dealer. Might help? Best of luck to you.
  • whackowhacko Posts: 96
    Don't worry that you'll have to pay a higher interest rate due to your bad credit. Just be thankful that our country still allows you to get financed on a vehicle despite credit challenges.

    The good thing about it is that you'll be sort of forced to buy a more inexpensive vehicle because the bank will not want to take a bigger financial risk due to your unfavorable credit rating.

    Meanwhile, I admire you and I commend you for having the guts to do what you did. It's not often you hear someone be brave enough and strong enough to let something go at such a dear price. Keep your chin up and you'll do just fine.
  • Whoa, that is one of the worst stories I've ever heard of poor customer service from a dealer. What is wrong with these people? So far, my Pontiac dealer service has been way above my expectations. They've even fixed a few minor things I didn't even request!

    I realize the service guys may get a little frustrated and annoyed with a lemon car just like the owner does. But I would think they would have some human compassion for the car owner. And besides, that IS their job to work on the cars, isn't it? It's NOT the car owner's job to keep wasting their time bringing the car back to the dealer because the dealer was too incompetent to fix it right the first time. I would get on every message board and post the name and location of this dealership to make as many people as possible aware of their completely unacceptable behavior and service. Maybe in some way you can hit them in the pocketbook, where it counts.

    Definitely go to the BBB and to GM. If you know of any lawyer, maybe you can write some letters using their letterhead. That ought to shake somebody up.

    Let us know how you make out. We're all pulling for you on this one.
  • lindseylindsey Posts: 41
    It may be more than "inadmissable" to tape a phone conversation; it may be illegal. Just ask Linda Tripp. Generally, you can legally tape a phone conversation if you let the other party know you are doing so at the beginning of the conversation. However, you should check with an attorney in your state before doing so.
  • I don't mean to be over-critical, but this is certainly not what I'd be saying to my son if he had a car repossesed:

    "Meanwhile, I admire you and I commend you for having the guts to do what you did. It's not often you hear someone be brave enough and strong enough to let something go at such a dear price. Keep your chin up and you'll do just fine."
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    It's all about personal responsibilty, like not running out on the check at a restaurant.

    Selling the car, and then paying off the loan and taking a loss is called being responsible for your debts and moving on.

    Simply defaulting on the loan is basically running out on the check. Now you are leaving it up to the creditor to sell the car and take the loss between whatever they can sell it for and the balance on the loan at the time of default.

    All because it may be "a big bank" that takes the loss, doesn't make it right or ethically responsible.

    Why do you think the congress is trying to pass legistlation at this very moment that will make it harder for individuals to declare bankruptcy? Because too many folks are using it as a "get out of jail free card".

    I don't know about you, but I was raised different. To each his own.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    I certainly agree with both of you (midlife and tony), but I am making an assumption that RPM9 is "youthful" in age.

    We have all made some really bad decisions in our youth that if we could have known then, what we know now, we would certainly have done it differently. Sharing our concern for what he did is one thing...but we don't need to ridicule him for it, like so many of our fellow "posters" like to do. Sometimes, no matter how well you were brought up, you make big mistakes. I had to learn the hard way, RPM9 will most certainly do so too.

    On a lighter/brighter note...I had to go to New Orleans this week on business and drove my GA. No problems....357 miles one way on a little over 3/4 tank of gas.....not bad huh?

    Got back early this a.m. and took it in and treated it to a detail and hand wax....looks Billy Crystal would say. Dump truck through a rock on the way there and put a ding in my windshield....p.o.'d me big time....

    Best to all....have a good weekend! Spring is here in Houston!
  • whackowhacko Posts: 96
    A man loses his job unexpectedly due to an injury and can't pay his bills. He has to file bankruptcy because he can't pay his bills due to his sudden unemployment. Do we ridicule him for a situation he had no control over? A woman gets divorced from a marriage and she can no longer depend on her significant other's income and therefore has to file bankruptcy because she can't pay her bills? Do we ridicule her because of a situation that she didn't have complete control over?

    RPM9 had an opportunity to refinance his vehicle and declined to do so because he no longer saw the value in his investment. He felt that the physical and emotional aspect of the car was not worth the fianancial investment that he had earlier agreed to? So is it right to ridicule a man who feels he made a grave financial mistake?

    Think about all the times we have returned items that we bought at a store and returned it because we felt that it was not a smart investment on our part.

    The only thing that differs between what RPM9 did is the fact that it was a much larger financial investment and that a piece of paper (a contract) was attached to it with a no money back guarantee.

    Hopefully, none of us will ever be put in the same situation as RPM9 was in regards to his vehicle. But to ridicule him is inappropriate. I prefer to pat him on the back, tell him it's going to be okay, and learn from his lesson.

    Good-luck RPM9! I admire you for your guts...
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    I will respectfully disagree with you. Your examples I see as flawed. In your first paragraph, you list genuine hardship cases, and say we should have compassion for them. I agree with you 100%.

    But then you state RPM9 simply wanted "out". This is not a hardship case. This is buyer's remorse, and in many states you have 72 hours to change your mind (though not many). We're not talking a few days, but several months when he changed his mind!

    I'm sure RPM9 is a great guy and I'm not here to ridicule him or any one else. But I don't agree with want he did, that's all. Maybe you're right, maybe he is young and still learning (I'm not that old, and I'll always be learning till the day I die). But this country has a problem when everybody thinks they can just walk away from their decisions and responsibilities, when it's not due to hardship. Again, I'm not singling out RPM9, just making a general observation.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    let's return to discussing the Grand Am instead of the folks who post here.


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