Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Pontiac Grand Prix Engine fires 3800 series II 1996-2003



  • grngtpgrngtp Posts: 14
    Sorry to hear about your fire. I'm interested in any pictures you have, either by posting here or sending them to me via email. I can get you my email addy if necessary.

  • puttputt Posts: 1
    1999 GT engine fire today. Waiter brought menus & water and said if I parked in the middle of the lot I might want to move my car because there was a fire out there. Turned out to be my 3800. Never heard of any problems until my google search put me here. Thank you all for the info and warnings.
  • jettechjettech Posts: 8
    Man, I feel your pain, sstarr2484. It is surprising to hear that you do not have the supercharger model. I have found quite a few of these Grand Prix fires posted on the internet and all of them were the supercharged model. So, maybe there is something else going on here. As I said in my post we had just had the recall fix done at our dealer, but my insurance company investigator called me after he had examined it and said that he didn't think the fire was the result of the valve cover gaskets, which was the suspect part of the recall. He told me that the fire appeared to have started on the left side of the engine compartment, away from the valve cover.

    Being that the car was driven primarily by my 17 year old son I decided to carry full coverage on the car, so my insurance company is reimbursing me for the retail value of the car. Which is actually about $1500.00 more than what I paid for it a year ago. But I'll never find one that was in as good shape as this one was. It's still a loss and now my son is looking at different models to replace it with...major hassle. I'd rather have the car back.

    Here's a link to a video my son took of it burning with his cell phone if anyone is interested. The loud bang right before the end is the tire blowing, which scared the crap out of everyone standing around watching it burn.
  • Pontiac and Buick are facing a huge recall, 207,542 are to be recalled over fears of a engine. The exact models affected are the 1997-2003 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP and the 1997-2003 Buick Regal GS which has the V6 3.8-liter supercharged engine.

    Both the Pontiac and the Buick may suffer an oil leak which can drop onto the exhaust manifold while breaking hard. The problem could get worse if the oil reaches the manifold’s heat shield, this in turn could cause a small flame this could then spread to the spark plug covers, and once that happens it could then turn into an engine fire.
  • basschicabasschica Posts: 3
    Has anyone had issues after the recall repair? In my case I am not sure the dealership did the repairs right. I think everything should be done as per the pictures and instructions at -s-c-vin-1-a-61961/ I am not sure that this was the case. First of all when I received my car back, there was still the oil/dexcool mix of gunk from build up of the leak that the recall is repairing. In the "notice" section above the step 8 instructions, the first thing they do before removing the valve cover is to degrease/clean this area. That was not done. Additionally, I kind of wonder weather the full cover was removed or if they kind of propped it up (to avoid all steps before 8 essentially) and slid a new gasket in. I say this because I am finding chunks of old gasket throughout and I am concerned they got possibly inside as a result. My worry is that it is causing me some problems now. After a few weeks since my repair I was starting my car last night and it was somewhat hesitent and then was running weird and a slight rattle/noise (it isn't loud at all but I always notice the slightest change) and then my SES light started flashing. As a general rule I will toss in some fuel injector cleaner and fill the tank if I notice anything slightly funky with idles on a I picked some up and did so. It didn't seem to help, ran to an Autozone near where I was driving (other side of town from my house) and there were 3 errors, 2 to do with cylinder #3 misfires and 1 for the 2nd o2 sensor. I figured I'd ignore that 3rd one since it was obviously doing some funky running gas mix etc and it would deliver a bad mix to the engine and set off the 2nd o2 sensor.

    As for the cylinder 3 misfires.... thus far I swapped 2 of the coils (top and middle) so I could see if the problem stayed on cylinder 3 or migrated down when the swapped coil. Everything stayed bad on 3 and didn't change. I guess I should mention I have an serial tester. So with that, I used a timing light on all wires (which were replaced a year ago along w/ spark plugs). Seemed ok w/ that. Removed the #3 wire at the coil side, sparks like crazy there, seems ok. On the spark plug side on the front of the engine I pulled it and the cover w/ the spring (I am not sure the technical term) off and there was very little if any corrosion, but wire brushed it off and cleaned off the grease on / around it too.

    So I guess that leads me to where I am now. Engine is still misfiring and with all the above checked would anyone think there could be something w/ the recall repair that affected it? Do you think it's the actual fuel injector itself for the 3rd cylinder? And if so, I am trying right now to look up and figure out which fuel injector is the one for the 3rd cyl. Does anyone have a picture or can you explain where to find the 3rd one? I'm by no means a pro on cars, but my grandpa is a retired mechanic so I've always worked on mine with him, so that's how I was able to do what I've done so far. I really like getting under the hood and dirty plus I am cheap and hate to pay for repairs at all. I appreciate any info some of you pros might be able to help me with!

  • jettechjettech Posts: 8
    Yes, I had the recall done on my 2K GP and it burned up less than a week later. You can read all about it in my messages above this one. Since I had full coverage on it my insurance company has paid me for the car and they have hired an independent investigator to determine the cause. He's called me a couple times and it appears that he is headed in the direction that the dealer that did the recall did not clean the residual oil that had accumulated. It will be interesting to see what his final analysis is. If he can prove that they didn't clean the area then that dealership may be liable to the ins. co. for the damages.

    I recommend to everyone that has had it done to verify that the area is clean prior to driving. Otherwise you may end up with a pile of ashes where your car once sat.
  • basschicabasschica Posts: 3
    I really wish I would have taken a picture before I cleaned mine up... ack!
  • basschicabasschica Posts: 3
    Well I worked on the car over the weekend with my grandpa since I was at a point where I needed a few more tools to do the job. I bought a fuel injector where I live since "back home" noone would have one in stock if I needed it. It turned out I did and now my car is running really great. I had over time lost a ton of the horse power and not realized it because the first time I jumped on the highway after I put the new FI in and hit the accelerator at a conservative rate like I normally would, it took off with a ton of boost. Nice! I did clean up the valve cover area a bit more and took a few pics, but I wish I had done so before I initially cleaned it up. Doh... We didn't take the valve cover off to look inside since it would've meant removing a lot more stuff to do so.
  • carnettzcarnettz Posts: 1
    Hi sorry to hear about your vehicle I also had a pontiac 3.8 liter GT not GTP that burned I to only had only liability insurance I did contact GM and after about 3 weeks they did send someone to look @ my vehicle and I recieved word this week they were going to include my car in the recall I do not know yet what I will recieve for the vehicle but it was consistant with the recall so try to be patient and keep in touch with them maybe youll come out ok.
  • Thank You... and also sorry for your troubles as well. So I have been getting a little bit of the run around all ready, but I've been on top of all the phone calls. So after my first initial phone call the lady said that someone from allegations would call me back within 48 hrs. Well 48 hrs later - NO phone call, so I called her back. Mind you this is the same lady that I talked to in the first place (I have a notebook where I am taking down names and dates and times... keeping my butt covered -lol) and she starts asking me, "So there was a fire"? I said, "Yes, I told you before when we talked that there were flames visible and that the FIRE dept. was called and had to come and put the FIRE out, there is a FIRE report". Then she began to tell me how for some reason that the allegations department basically returned/denied it (the claim) because there was apparantley nothing written about a fire. Go figure... she apologized for the inconvienience and said that she would resend the claim with the updated info and that in another 48 hrs (blah blah blah...) the allegations department would get ahold of me. So 2 days later I went up to the fire station and got a copy of the fire report just in case they wanted to see it. lol! Then I called back and talked to a man and explained everything and how I had the fire report, and he then transferred me to the original lady I talked to, and I got her voicemail and left a message. Litterally within 10 minutes I recieved a phone call from a man at the ALLEGATIONS dept.Hmmmm... what a coincedence! Anywho I told him everything again for the umpteenth time and he said that within 7-10 business days that someone from the actual claims (or whatever) department would get ahold of me. I'm going to call them monday morning, because today would be day 10. I would like to say that your story gives me hope that this could go in my favor!!!! Thank you SOooo much and Good Luck to you!!!
  • I hope someone gets something from GM, being included in the recall only means, you will get a notice to have the problem fixed, don't hold your breath expecing one cent from GM. Thankfully I had insurance that would cover "book value" of the car, at least I got something, not nearly enough to replace the car I dearly loved, but I was able to get something to drive. Good luck to all. Is there any way we can post pictures on this site of our cars? :mad:
  • grandprixzgrandprixz Posts: 12
    hi sstarr,

    I am sorry to hear about your fire..... I have a 1999 gt, july 23, 2008 it caught fire
    my son was driving it . he merged on to the freeway and said, it was making weird
    sound and then smelt smoke . He pulled over realized there was a flame started
    got out of the car.... it was on fire.....called the fire department they put the fire out.... I am upset of course...I too, only had liability insurance. a friend of mine
    mentioned the recall for fires . so I thought I would check into it..... I thought my son
    did something to the car.... but I don't believe so...... how do I contact pontiac to let
    them know this happen to my car ..... so they can include it in the recall if they want too.....I feel like its a bad dream.... but its reality it really happen..... thank you ...any info. would be helpful....erica
  • grandprixzgrandprixz Posts: 12
    I still cant believe my car caught on fire..... I love my car... but now I think there is nothing I can do to repair it..... the alternator is burned up, box that has fuses and all important stuff in it. I dont know what the box is called.... manifold cover of course is all melted....I dont know if its worth trying to repair... or if I should just take out my alpine stereo and take of the stock wheels and say farewell....
    I am so upset... this happen july 23, 2008..... I always changed the oil every 3000 miles ... my car had no problems thats why I couldnt believe this happened...
    can anyone give me advice? I have the gt model 3800 v 6.......looks like the fire started near the area where the alternator sits,,,, not for sure.......
  • grandprixzgrandprixz Posts: 12
    could you post the info. how to contact 1999 gt 3800 v6 caught fire under the hood......I am not sure if its fixable..... we are researching that now.... I am so upset this happened... I am new to this site...I am amazed at all these people that had the same fires and gm is in daughter used my car for work and would have used it to get to college this we have to get another car was paid for.....I didnt want payments.....I only had liability insurance.....I am sure that I am out of luck....take my stock wheels and alpine stereo out and say farewell to my car....this is not right that we bought their product and they don't care...thanx for info you can give... erica
  • ysgtpysgtp Posts: 1
    Hi everyone,
    I'm really sorry to hear about everyone's loss and the headache that came with it. I also am going through the same thing, Just 3 weeks ago my life changed and became more of a challenge. I had just come home from picking up my daughter's from the sitter who lives maybe 6 miles away and i parked my 2003 pontiac grand prix gtp and got my girls out and went into the house, i had my ac on in the house and about 15 minutes after being home i smelled this burning smell and looked out the window to see my car on fire. I immedetly called 911 and my kids dad and grabbed my girls, dog and got out of the house. My car was parked right next to my daughters room and the addition to the living room. I was in shock of what was happening and my neighbor had come over and helped me get my kids away from the house and car. There dad showed up 3 minutes later and did everything he could to control the fire until the fire department showed up. The siding on my house was melted and my car is totaled. Both my kids had to watch mommy's car go up in flames and as you can imagine they were terrified. I called the insurance company immedetly and told them what had happened. Then the fire investigater came and found there was oil that had leaked on the manifold. I showed him the "saftey recall notice that i recieved in march but never had a problem with it and then the recall notice i had recieved maybe a week prior. I am a single mother with two disabled children and my car was a huge importance to me and my kids. I am a home health aid and my job requires me to do a good amount of traveling. Plus my kids go to a lot of dr. appointments out of town ( about 3 hours away one way). I took very good care of that car and always paid attention to anything that seemed different or unusual for the car. I never once noticed anything that the saftey notice had said. When i called a local dealer to make the appointment to get it fixed they said they knew nothing about it and that there computers where down so the gentleman took my phone number and said he will look into it and get back to me. Well shortly later my car was gone. Still haven't heard from the dealer. I did call GM and have been through the ring around too. I'm now on my 5th time being transferred to another department and i should hear something this week from them. I have been trying to find a lawyer to take this case because this is a huge problem with these cars and something has got to be done and GM needs to take responsiblity for what they made and sold to consumers! I have owned a GM ever since i started driving and i loved them. Now that i see how GM doesn't care what happens to there costumers i will never buy another product from them again and many others i know. I really think if we all get together on this issue and start making some seriouse noise then we might start to get somewhere. It should be on the news, in papers, internet anything to get GM to take care of us!
  • grandprixzgrandprixz Posts: 12
    I am sorry for you loss of your car.... I am glad that you and your daughters were frightening to watch your car and part of you house be on fire.....
    I am still upset about has'nt quite been a week.... my daughter used this
    car for work and errands. etc. I only had this car for seven months...... liability insurance only because it was paid for .... ironically two days before this happened
    I was going to put full coverage on it ... because I thought if something did happen I could at least get it fixed if wrecked...but when I was told how much it didnt make sense to spend that amount for insurance when the car was not worth that much...even though it was a nice car and I really enjoyed it.... my daughter was safe in it ... so I thought.... my car is out front sitting.....I don't know how to get a hold of there a 1-800#? I agree with you if we all complained at once and it was on television, news , newspapers,,,,,it is wrong that gm will not stand behind there own product..... we definitely need to stand up for ourselves all together to get some kind of action......take care... erica
  • Well make it 248 fires! My 2000 Grand Prix GT just went on fire 10 minutes after I returned from a local shopping trip. Same scenario as many other bloggers. No problems with the car, loved it, and now it's gone. I can't believe that I did not get a letter from GM on a recall. So glad that the kids and I were not in the car. I always thought that I would get another one in a few years, but not now. If anyone knows of a class action suit, count me in!
  • I am so sorry for your loss! It is devastating! I am so glad that you and your children are safe and okay.... I just took pictures of my car..... where the engine is and outside of car..... I am calling gm today.... it was my daughter and my sole transportation... mainly for her . she drove the car to work, friends and planned on driving it to college this fall.... so we were left without a car.... she would have lost her job. eventually.... so she had to go out and buy a new car.... now she has payments which i didnt want her to car was paid for... but she has as a 2008 kia spectra.... I dont have to worry anymore.... but still...I lost a car.. I just loved it sits out front looking sad.... my pontiac wheels are in perfect shape... all I can think is to take those off and take out my alpine stereo.... then farewell..... it breaks my heart.... and makes me sick at the same time... my friend that sold my daughter her car said, that I should contact: Erin Brockavich.... the woman that went after pge..... now is a lawyer . she is back working again... so I am going to her site and seeing if I can send her a email.... I ask all of you to do the same..... If I find a email or link to send I will. but just google her name and I am sure her site will come up... something has to be done about this ..... It's not right..... take care..... erica
  • I was where all of you are now last March. GM will pass you on to the company they use for their claims called ESIS. They will request pages of information and a complete documented history of the vehicle and the maintenance. I had the car towed to a GM dealership at their request but my expense. The inspector that they sent out determined that the fire was caused by the recall issue. ESIS offered me a whole $4000 after about 4 months. I fought another 2 months and they wouldn't even return a phone call or respond to letters that were sent. I finally gave in and went through my insurance even though that is the last thing I wanted to do. GM should stand behind their vehicles. My insurance gave me double what GM offered and I have reluctantly replaced the car. It makes me sick that GM with all it's money cannot do the right thing and at least offer an amount that would replace the car. Replacements in my area are going for anywhere from $8000-$10000. I delt with them for 6 months and all that happened was they ran me in circles with things they required me to do. I contacted the NHSTA and filed a complaint and sent them the fire report. I also contacted the Federal Trade Commission and filed a complaint with them as well. I even had a lawyer send threatening letters but they wouldn't even respond to him. I wish you all good luck but do not hold your breath for GM to do anything for you. They knew about these fires for almost 5 years and we didn't hear anything until March (2 days after my fire). I'm just relieved that I am done dealing with them and I can put this behind me. Good luck to you all!
  • flip7flip7 Posts: 2
    GM cars are better then other car makers out there. You bash them for fires but the number of fires to the cars made are VERY low.. Last I remebered it was in the high 200s but they made alot of cars. Good luck with another car maker because they ALL have problems.
Sign In or Register to comment.