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Pontiac Grand Am Brakes



  • pwilliamkpwilliamk Posts: 21
    I have had my 2000 GA since new. I have replaced the pads 6 times, the rotors 4 and the calipers once. The calipers are again acting up, only 25K after being replaced, I now have about 71K on the car and it will soon need new front pads and rotors ... again. I like the car but am absolutely fed up with the brakes. Does anyone know if brakes from a larger GM car can be put onto the GA (i.e., the set up on the Grand Prix GXP). I am sure if the brakes were not undersized this problem would not continue to reoccur. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    No they won't fit. What kind of parts are you using? I solved this brake problem a long time ago by using top quality aftermarket rotors like Raybestos or Brembo. Couple that with good pads and the problem went away. Also, I'm on my third Grand Am, and I've never replaced a caliper yet. What is going wrong with them? The slide pins should be cleaned and lubed when the pads are changed, if it's not getting done.
    I have an 04 GT now, with 46K miles. Haven't had to do any brake work yet. I just checked the front pads last weekend and they're at about 25% useful life left. Rears are around 80%.
    If your buying those $25 rotors at the auto parts, be aware that most of those are made in China or South America. They're made fast and cheap, which means that they aren't left in the molds long enough to anneal properly, resulting in fast wear and warping. I've found that good rotors are going to run $40+ each.
  • pwilliamkpwilliamk Posts: 21
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I only put raybestos parts on my car (never tried Brembo), the problem is continual though. I must admit when I put the raybestos rotors on the warping to longer to manifest but in time they still warped. As for the calipers, I lube slider pins each time I rotate the tires. The calipers make an extremely lound creaking noise every time they are applied. With the original set the dealer said there was to much play (this was after they cleaned and lubed them the first two times the problem arose). They agreed to replace the calipers if I paid half, so I did thinking that it would solve the problem. Not even 20K after that the brakes are making the same noise again, although it may even be worse this time.

    Not sure what to do ... I am at a loss ... an aftermarket overhaul to brembo is nearly $1500 (CDN) for the whole system. Not sure I want to spend that much but it might resolve the problem once and for all
  • My son's car has been having brake issues lately and he took it to the GM dealer and they told him that he needed a new brake booster. His car is an 05 (program car) with 45,000 miles on it. Is this common with other Grand Am's or is this the beginning of other brake problems? They priced the repair @ about $700. Any suggestions. Thanks in advance for the assistance.
  • primer44primer44 Posts: 1
    Have a '93 Grand Am 3.3L,puttin on wheel cyl.old one's came out o.k,new one's seem to have too much meat on them to go over the axel housing,do i have to grind some of the forging down to put them in the backing plate?
  • When i apply my brakes at slow speeds or when i am stoped, i hear a creeking sound. It sounds like a door or a spring creeking. I checked and lubed the caliper pins. Nothings loose on my brakes, i put new pads and rotors on, and still have the noise. It must be in my piston or my brake lines. I can feel it in my pedal, it feels like a slow popping, my brakes work fine. Just would like to get rid of the noise.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    Is it in the pedal mechanism itself?
  • enigmajcenigmajc Posts: 11
    My 04 Grand Am GT does the EXACT same thing. I know what you're talking about. I had new rotors and pads put on too about 5 months or so ago and no change. No one seems to know what the noise is. If someone figures it out let me know! :)
  • GA's are notorious for warping rotors, most owners know this already. You'll get a pulse through the wheel when braking. If bad enough, things start shaking violently. GM rotors warp easy. Just buy some aftermarket rotors next time and it's mainly cured. Til the next rotor replacement, have the rotors turned.

    I ran Powerslots with performance friction pads for quite awhile. Good combo for stopping, but very dirty. Eventually ate up the Powerslots, but they lasted much longer then factory parts. (I am extremely hard on brakes, and I have a heavily modified suspension).

    I've also replaced the front calipers before (done at home) for creaking and *crunching* noises. As in when you press on the brakes, you hear a crunching metallic sound. While I had the pads and rotors off, I was compressing the piston back into the caliper, and it made the noise. Lubricated the piston sides with grease, but it came back eventually. (The local Pontiac dealer acknowledged that short of replacing the calipers, they've been largely unsuccessful at getting this sound to go away permenantly, but they also grease the piston, as per a TSB from GM) So I replaced the calipers with remanufactured units. Sound went away for awhile. Eventually started again on the new calipers, comes and goes, but I always add a bit of grease to the sides of the piston while I have the brakes torn down. And always grease your slides, as they can hang up.

    GA's also are known to wear one pad more so then the other, usually the outside pad on the fronts. Not uncommon to wear down the outside and then pull the pads only to see that the inside has half the material remaining. It's pretty normal, and doesn't necessarily mean anything is wrong. Wear should be even from the front to the back of the pad surface.

    I've been through a few kinds of pads now. Including the original set, I've had 5 sets of front pads by 65,000 miles. I can tell you the factory pads weren't all that bad. Good compromise between grip and dust. Performance Frictions (which I came back to again and am currently running) stop hard, but generate a lot of dust. Bendix semi-metallics wore quickly and didn't stop very hard. Bendix Ceramic CT3's stopped better, but still wore too quickly.

    I've never had this confirmed, but I was once told a hypothesis that these brakes creak and grind so much because of the aluminum design of the calipers. It makes them more vulnerable, whether through different temperature ranges and expansion rates, or something else. It could make sense I suppose, depending on what material the piston itself is made of.
  • lavenalavena Posts: 1
    I had the same thing going on...I had rear brakes put on 2 or 3 yrs ago, from that time on, the ABS light came off and on and the ETF (?) light was off...and occasional the traction light said no traction...kept going off and on now for that time frame....I had the tires rotated and balanced this last time, I had to replace front brakes, and the lights still came off and on..after having the ABS diagnosed, it coded for the Module (Master cylinder), and the light still came on, (it would not read the next problem because the Module was bad until replaced then it was re-tested and coded for the speed censor...maybe they could just test the speed censor first...I got reconditioned parts with a warrenty, and the dealer ship wanted something like $1500 -$2500...I was charged $975 for the used ABS Module and $285 for the sensor, but did get a warrenty of 6,000 miles....(do NOT go to Value Brakes since they charge this amount)..After the work was done I called a near by Mech. and with the same things needed (used parts refurbished, and a warrenty of the same) I could have walked out with a price of $600 check out your prices before you do your work, I was dumb....since I haven't had to do repairs since forever...I have about 87,000 miles on my 1998 PGA and only replaced the brakes once, the timming belt, and now needs a compressor for the A/ I have had really good luck with mine.... ;)
  • i have a 95 grand am 3.1 liter v6 automatic. a few days a go this problem started. the car brakes fine until i almost come to a complete stop and then the car surges forward, its almost like the bakes let off the rotor or something. it still does this problem when i slow down in neutral so its gotta be the brake i know it is because i can feel the pedal, well the problem went away and now its back, no abs light is on and brake fluid reservoir is full.brake pads looks doesn't do this when i slam on the brakes and if i could describe it it almost feels like a car when you slam the brakes and the abs kicks on.
  • tcravertcraver Posts: 1
    I'm new here and in need of help and info. On my daughters car a 92 Grand Am, The brake lines blew. Along story short the lines were cut of the cylinder on the engine. I just shook my head. It has 4 lines coming out.
    1. Does it matter which line goes to what wheel?
    2. If it does, from the front of the cylinder which line goes to what wheel?

    Thanks for any help
    Robert befudled in Iowa
  • I have been looking online and have found many posible causes from warped rotors to needing to set my e-brake everyttime i park to keep the brakes adjusted. the e-brake solution seemed silly to me but it does seem to help alittle but does not fix the problem at all. it also does not vibrate when i use the e-brake to stop making me think the problem is in the front end. looking for a cheat easy solution since i have a brand new baby boy. please help!!!
  • If you feel the vibrating or pulsing when braking then the problem would be warped front rotors. I'm replacing mine today on my '01 Grand Am because of the same problem. The only solutions are to replace the rotors or have them turned which means the rotors are ground down to smooth them out. That can be done at most auto parts stores.
  • I have an 04 and my rear drums keep warping?.?.?
    Why is that. I was told they are near impossible to destroy.
    I am working on my second drum in 2 years.

    Can anyone help?
  • ok heres the thing; my car has a 4cl engen and i was wasnt watching much and was told i had a 6cl engan so i got breaks for a 6cl will mess up my car i have drove about 2000 miles sence i changed breaks. and will it mess my car up useing a house sub hucked up to back speaker
  • is any one going to halp?!?!?!?
  • :( is any one going to halp?!?!?!?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    There's no difference in brake linings based on engine. As for your other question, I believe your asking if connecting a subwoofer in parallel to the back speakers will cause any problems. Yes, the overall impedence will be lower to the rear channel overall and it will damage the amplifier if not done right.
  • eliz4eliz4 Posts: 5
    After reading the rotor posts, I'm sure I have the same problem. My '02 GA has intermitten shaking while on the highway and will shake when I brake from 55mph to a stop.

    What is the typical cost of rotor replacement ( ball park) and would it cost less if I could pick the rotors up myself and if so, what would I need to know about buying them?

    Thanks much!
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