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Pontiac Grand Am Maintenance & Repair



  • That's a possible maybe but, if you're still in Costa Rica, only if you'll play host if we fly down to pick it up? Seriously though, if you're planning to enjoy your Grand Am for as long as we are, I would certainly hope to have come up with something, somewhere, long before then. Meanwhile, with the seat removed, I manually turned the worm to give the lowest setting -- I'm driving comfortably that way. For the little Lady (known as "Shortie" by some of our friends) who is actually the primary driver of this car, we're using a cushion arrangement mush like an infant's booster seat. Improvise, improvise. Thank goodness the back and forth manual slider still works!
  • I have a fuel filter with a threaded end and a quick connect on the other side. Tabs on the quick connect are broken off any ideas on how to release fuel filter.

    Please help!
  • my low coolant light came on thursday night. i added coolant friday morning and now the light has come on again and i see fluid on the ground. it is mainly on the passenger side but the fluid on the ground does go across to the driver side. the fluid is towards the back (behind the engine). does this involve the radiator or something else? (also the w/s has been fogging up recently to where it take about 10 - 15 minutes for the defogger to clear it up)
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    You obviously have a leak in the cooling system, from your description it could be the heater core. You should have it pressure checked to find the source of the leak, an intake manifold gasket could also be the problem, but the windshield fogging up on the inside is kind of pointing to the heater core.
  • I agree with Burdawg here. The windshield fogging up is a classic symptom of a heater core leak.
  • mena2mena2 Posts: 1
    It has appeared twice in the last 2 weeks. The light does not stay on for long though. It goes off right away. Does it have anything to do with the sudden temperature drop? I moved from California to DC a few months ago so my car might not be used to it? I am not sure what to do. I was planning on taking it to the shop but I do not want to get screwed over by anyone. Thanks!
  • Make sure your coolant level is correct. This is a symptom of not having enough coolant in the system, or having air bubbles in the system. Also, make sure your coolant is good for the lower temperature. All this stuff is covered in your owner's manual. A lot of people in california use water for their coolant. If that's what you have, drain it, and fill it with Anti-freeze coolant before the temperature drops below freezing.
  • It sounds like something is ready to just snap when I make turns mostly left turns.. I was told i did not have to get the car lubed like we did on the old car and its real bad on cold days
  • Wow my daughter bought a 2000 Grand AM SE and she asked me to check her transmission and oil levels. Well the oil was no problem but much to my surprise there is no dipstick to check fuild levels in the tranny. I have never owned a Pontiac so I am clueless except to tell her to take it to someone who service and know how to service a Grand AM. If someone could clue me in to what do and where to look so I can service it myself I sure would appreciate it. My daughter is my care giver because of a disability so it is in my best interest to be able to help her keep this car running because she has to drive me to Little Rock AR to the VA.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    There's been no dipstick on transmissions on many cars for some time now, not just GM products.
    On a GA you need to remove the level plug on the transaxle while it's running and warmed up to see if the level is right. If a little fluid dribbles out then it's right. The plug is on the passengers side, near the front of the transaxle. It helps to take the right front wheel off for access, it needs to be relatively level while checking. Remember that it needs to be running the entire time the plug is out or you'll have a mess.
    Most people find it's easiest to have it checked at a shop where it can be put on a lift.
    The fill plug is on the drivers side, access is from the top of the transaxle. You will probably need to remove some of the intake plumbing (air filter box, etc) but I can't remember specifically what. I have changed the trans fluid myself on my 04, but it's been a while so I'm a little fuzzy on the fine details.
  • Drive in to any Quickie-Lube, and for $20, you get an oil change, and they check all the fluid levels.
  • Vehicle: 2002 Pontiac Grand Am LE, Manual Transmission, 2.2 L4
    Problem: The "Brake" light at the top of the instrument cluster is always on.
    Cause: Apparently, the parking brake light switch is out of adjustment.
    More Information: Most of the time, while I'm driving, the Brake Light on the dash is on. Ocassionally, it will go off and stay off for a couple of miles, then come back on when I make a left turn. I'm pretty sure it's because the parking brake electrical switch is out of adjustment, or the parking brake cable is not returning all the way.
    Does anyone know where this switch is located and how to get at it I assume it's hidden somewhere in the center console near the park brake lever. I'd be grateful for any help.
  • Hi Costa Rica Dick. Sorry I cannot help with the parking brake switch location but, before you go tearing the console apart to search for it, please check your brake fluid reservoir levels under the hood first. The fact that the light can come on or off with the centrifugal force of a turn suggests that you may be low on fluid and making intermittent contact with the sensor as the fluid sloshes around. Topping off the fluid reservoir(s) may resolve the light warning but low fluid usually portends something more serious such as a leak somewhere in a brake line, a leaking caliper or wheel cylinder, although it is possible to show a low fluid condition if disk pads or drum linings are worn so thin that a greater volume of fluid remains in the lines for effective brake function. Hopefully someone else can come up with the parking brake switch location for you.
  • Thanks for the good tip about the brake fluid level. I did not realize that there were sensors to warn of low brake fluid. I did top off my brake fluid, and will see what happens this morning on the way to work. I have a feeling, though, that this will not stop my brake light from coming on. I didn't mention it earlier, but from time to time, I have tried pulling up slightly on the parking brake lever, and then slamming it down quickly, and this has turned the brake light off. Even that hasn't been effective lately, though, which leads me more in the direction of a bad or mis-adjusted park brake switch.
    I guess I wouldn't mind the brake light being on, as I know that the car rolls freely, having pushed it with the brakes off. But each time the light goes on, it dis-engages my cruise control.... a big bummer when you're on the highway. Still looking for the location of the switch.
  • I just replaced my front brakes, the rotor and caliper on the drivers side 2 months ago. Drivers side brakes are sticking will not release correctly, already went through entire pad. Also right rear also seems to be sticking and not releasing, brake lines seem to be fine and I bleed brakes when installed. Can someone tell me what the problem is so I don't replace parts that are not needed.

    Thank You :mad:
  • deewmdeewm Posts: 5
    Your rubber brake line near the brakes has most likely colapsed inside the hose. When you press brake pedal the fluid will pass through the hose but won't release the pressure so the caliber sticks even after you release the pedal. If you've already went through a pad you've probably ruined your new rotor. You should replace rubber brake hoses if they look cracked and dried out
  • If only the pad opposite the caliper piston is worn, it means your pins are rusty and need to be replaced. It's not a good idea to work on your brakes unless you know exactly how they work, and what purpose each part has. The pins must allow the caliper to float so that the non-excited pad can move away from the rotor. If the caliper does not float, the inside pad will not release.
  • djrekerdjreker Posts: 1
    :confuse: times are rough for me and im sure lots of you. i just need a SLIGHT push in a certain direction as far as my car being legal and fixed. heres the problems from most important to whatever:

    IDLE CONTROL - car revs up and down constantly when in park or neutral - was told by a couple people its the IAC controller? how much? whats the part exactly called so i can look it up?

    A/C PROBLEMS - A/C works fine when car is started then as i sit somewhere or at a light air gets humid and hot, and tempature gage goes up so i have to turn it off for a bit. only works perfect on highway or steady driving. ( i live in PHILLY :( )

    LIGHT PROBLEMS: front left headlight bulb is out. replaced the bulb, went out again, replaced socket and bulb, went out again. wires maybe? and my TAILLIGHTS go out once in a while ALWAYS ALONG WITH my interior dash lights and instrument panel lights. this happens once in a while, on and off. brakelights always work tho, also third brakelight is out but havent checked that bulb yet, could that be causing problems?

    and if anybody is NEAR philly, and would help me get my car back into shape, of course i would pay you, we could help each other, whatever im a chill dude looking to avoid getting ripped off by pep boys. THANKS for looking ANY help on ANY of the problems is appreciated. also email me at DJREKER215@GMAIL.COM
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    1. Could be the IAC valve, but it may just need to be cleaned, not necessarily replaced. IAC = idle air control. Could also be the TPS (throttle position sensor) or the PCM (powertrain control module), but the IAC is the problem 90% of the time in my experience.
    2. When the A/C is on, are the cooling fans running full time? If not, then it will run hot at idle (or when no air is flowing over the radiator, like when stopped at a traffic light), and the A/C condensor won't get cooled. Most like the A/C system will shut down to protect itself under this condition. The A/C charge should also be checked.
    3. Could be lots of things. Coincidence maybe on the headlight, or corroded contacts, poor connections. Interior and tail lights, ditto, but may also be a worn ignition switch.
  • I'm a female drving a 2003 Pontiac GrandAM and am not sure I have been given good advice.

    My car WAS also idling high at a complete stop when in park. I had someone adjust the idle setting to low. Now it no longer idles high, but acceleration is jerky and very slow now, where before the idler adjustment, it accelerated just fine.

    Can some one explain where the idle adjustment switch is so I can try to reset the idle adjustment. When the guy adjusted lower it didn't seem to require a lot of tools or effort. So it seems a simple enough adjustment.

    My check engine light is also on now and a diagnostic indicated that my first o2 sensor in the bank 1 location is bad. I've been told that could be the cause of a high idle. I just want, in the meantime while I'm waiting on getting my o2 sensor, to be able to drive my vehicle the way it was driving before the idle adjustment. I feel as though I'm slowing all the traffice behind me. :(
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