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Pontiac Grand Prix Engine fires 3800 series II 1996-2003



  • desi521desi521 Posts: 7
    I also had an engine fire in a 3800 series in November 2006. Mine was in a '98 Monte Carlo Z. I was actually in the drive thru of the bank when my fire started. I turned the car off & called the fire department after parking it way away from any other cars out on the lot. The stupid car turned itself back on (it was running & one of the firemen was actually holding the ignition key in his hand). The hood cables burned thru & they used the jaws of life to get it open. They also had to cut every wire in order to get the damn thing to shut off. They actually called my car possessed. We also suspected that it was due to the plastic intake manifold but at the time there were only 38 other documented cases so there wasn't anything I could do about it. My insurance company screwed my royal on the settlement, too!! :cry: I am slightly concerned as I now own a 99 Grand Prix w/a 3800 series.
  • grngtpgrngtp Posts: 14
    Sorry about your fire, that has to be disturbing, especially if it started while you were still in the car. You fire sounds a little different in that the fuel lines apparently didn't burn through. With the engine still running means the fuel pump was still running. If the Nylon lines had burned through, the amount of fuel added to the fire would have added to the fire. Did they get the fire out before or after the engine was shut down? Did the fuel lines burned through eventually?

  • Be very concerned if you own a 99 Grand Prix GTP with the 3800 series engine. Mine caught fire on my elderly mom's carport,November 1, 2006, did over $8,000 damage to her home as well as totalling my car. There are reports in here that even after having the recall taken care of, cars still have burned. :mad:
  • infinia1infinia1 Posts: 174
    what about a 99 regal ls (non-supercharged 3800)? i know it's not part of the recall, but should i be concerned about this? anyone have a non-supercharded 3800 fire? i park it in the garage too....i'm worried, but love the car with only 40k.
  • arfcarsarfcars Posts: 1
    I do engineering work for aircraft engines so I maintain my car more than most. When my 2001 G/P G/T was about 3 years old I got a faint smell of gasoline. Upon further investigation I found what you found. The plastic snap on connector from the fuel tank to the fuel rail would leak if you touched it.
    I disconnected the connector and could see an 'O'ring inside. I went to a dealership parts department and found the 'O'ring is not sold separately. I was told to purchase the entire fuel line. Which I didn't do. Unfortunately all auto manufacturers have parts like this.
    I carelully removed the 'O'ring so I didn't scratch the inside of the plastic fitting where the 'O'ring seals. Took the 'O'ring to Autozone and could not find this sold separately. However they carry an 'O'ring assortment in a blister pack that had one inside. I could see it through the package. (I think there were 14 'O'rings in the package for $7.00) I must CAUTION you that this 'O'ring is a pink color for a reason- the package MUST STATE for use in gasoline! A regular black 'O'ring will fit but MUST NOT be used-the gasoline will attack it.
    I measured the old and new 'O'ring. The old one is at the absolute minimum of tolerance for thickness. The new one is near the max of tolerance. I put the new 'O'ring into the plastic fitting and you could feel the resistance as you assembled it to the fuel rail because it is thicker.
    I changed this approx 41/2 years ago and haven't had a problem or a smell of gasoline since (and I look for problems).
    The pink gasoline proof 'O'ring is the problem. Change it and avoid a fire. You can do this standing up in about 15 mins.
  • desi521desi521 Posts: 7
    :sick: I feel as dumb as dirt at this point! But...What recall? Do you mean to tell me that GM finally got their act together and did a recall regarding the manifolds? I know when my Z burned, there were only 38 documented cases of the fires so they weren't accepting any blame let alone doing a recall, silent or otherwise. Are they now? Please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it. Thanx!! :confuse:
  • desi521desi521 Posts: 7
    It did suck, Hugely!! I'm just glad I was in the drive thru of the bank & not driving on the highway or something when the fire started. The firemen actually had to cut thru all of the electrical lines up by the firewall in order to stop the stupid car. The couldn't understand it either. As I had a full tank of gas, we were also extremely grateful that it didn't explode or even that the battery didn't blow. The idiot from the insurance company said it was an electrical fire but we always believed it was due to the plastic intake manifold & now I'm just a wee bit concerned about my Grand Prix. As they physically had to hold me back from going to my car, I'm not sure which came first, the fire or the car stopping. I think that I was a bit in shock. Except for the hood, if you looked at the car from the rt side, you couldn't even tell it was burned. Even the interior was still pristine, except for having gotten wet, but it was leather, but it dried out really well. I even thought abt fixing it. The headlights didn't even break. Just the left quarterpanel was burned & of course the entire engine compartment was fried along with every wire harness being cut & burned to a crisp. I cried for a long time over that stupid car. :cry:
  • grngtpgrngtp Posts: 14
    The recall is only for supercharged engines. They replace the front valve cover gasket and reroute some of the wiring at the front of the engine over the exhaust manifold. There is more information in this thread, probably posted around March 2008.
  • sly_guysly_guy Posts: 4
    I'm at a loss for words and with a loss of vehicle... I'm wondering how is GM compensating vehicle owners for their losses. If anyone has come to a resolution with General Motors for their total loss of vehicle, please post a comment...
  • ahhsahhs Posts: 2
    Does anyone know where I can get ahold of the weatherstripping for both door on a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GT? The part I need is ontop of the door frame that separates the door frame from the body of the car....I can't seem to find any after 1997...

  • ahhsahhs Posts: 2
    I'm stupid when it comes to engines...does the recall include a 2001 GT Coupe Limited Edition model?
  • Okay, I'm totally fed up with Pontiacs!! We have a 97 Pontiac Grand Prix that would not start. Thought it was the fuel pump. Replaced it yesterday doing the same thing. Someone said it could be the ignition switch. Hate to keep guessing and throwing money away!! Then we have a 2002 Grand Am. We have been having problems with the security on it. The car will not start and then you have to reset the code by turning the key to on, leave on for 10 minutes and then try to start. Has always worked up until yesterday when we went to store. Tried to reset code, still will not start. Had to have towed to house because the dealership has never been able to find out what's wrong. We finally figured out how to reset system from this website. So now we have not one, but two piece of craps made by Pontiac that you spend more time f-ing with than driving.
    How can an individual find out if a recall has been issued in regards to the security system? Why doesn't American made cars have the same workmanship as foreign made cars? It is a total disgrace! No wonder our country is in such a disaster!! I bet the CEO's of GM and the like who make millions of dollars, don't drive GM products. It's a shame and something should be done!!
  • tommy231tommy231 Posts: 27
    No offense meant... but how was a bad fuel pump confused with a bad ignition switch? There should never be the need to replace a fuel pump unless it is confirmed to be malfunctioning through proper diagnosis. This is true of all makes and models.

    At minimum, you'll need a manual with an accurate schematic, a volt meter, and a fuel pressure gauge to root-cause a fuel system problem. If you think GM cars are difficult to diagnose, wait until you have a break-down on a foreign car and try to troubleshoot that yourself.

    Many of that era GM cars were recalled due to an ignition switch problem. If it has that problem it is also a serious fire hazard. My 97 Grand Am was recalled for this. Call the dealer to find out about recalls. You'll need the VIN so they can look it up. A very recent recall notice may not yet show-up in their system, but usually a car that old has no recent recalls. One exception to this is the recall this forum is the subject of.

    If you must troubleshoot your own vehicles, regardless of the make or model, you'll always need a credible service manual, such as a genuine OEM manual or an online service subscription. The days when you could troubleshoot a car without a manual went away with carburetors.

    My suggestion for a service subscription is It is cheap (~$17 per vehicle) and it is electronically searchable, making it better than any paper document. Alldatadiy will also show you pertinent recalls and technical service bulletins.
  • sly_guysly_guy Posts: 4
    Thanks Jeff, no I never recieved the recall notice. GM says it probably because I purchased the vehicle used and GM system of owner addresses might not be up to date. GM sent an investigator out to inspect the vehicle and take pictures three weeks after the fire. In the meantime i'm paying storage fees to have the vehicle stored until the claim is complete; as the Pontiac dealer says they have nowhere to store the vehicle. Now GM says as in INDIANA "the Manufacturer is only responsible for defects for 4 years after the original purchase date". I wonder if they would feel responsible if there was a fatality in this case. However, GM says they will process a claim because there is an active recall. Depending on the outcome of this claim, this could possibly be the last GM vehicle I ever purchase. I'm just waiting to see if General Motors stand by their product.....

    Keep you posted,
  • mack1amack1a Posts: 5
    My son called today, and informed me of GM's Recall.

    Thing is, I have an '03 Bonneville SSEI with the same engine.
    Can anyone shed some light on if this Recall would involve my car?
    I bought this vehicle new and all maintainance has been done by the Dealership.
  • desi521desi521 Posts: 7
    Newb, yep, your car is included in the recall! Just think, you could be in my position. I already had my Z burn to the ground due to the 3800 back in 04. Then I buy a '99 Grand Prix w/3800 series & I also own a '99 Bonneville w/a 3800. Gee, ya think I'm gonna be spending some time at the dealership? :cry: I'm not too happy, especially since I've been having major probs w/my GP. The stupid thing keeps cutting out on me when I take off from stop signs/lights & I couldn't tell you how many times I've almost been rear-ended becuz my car died! Hopefully it's all related cuz its not throwing a code either. I wish you luck Newb. I think we're all going to need it!!! :(
  • The recall is NOT only for supercharged engines. Last Mon Apr 6th, I was driving to my daughters school to pick her up. I drive through the neighborhood the whole way there. Half way there, I smelled something burning. Got to a stop sign, and smoke was pouring from the front of the car. No engine lights. Nothing. I pulled the car over, turned it off, and got out to inspect it. I looked under the hood, and the ground was on fire. I'm not sure what was burning. Flames were dripping down from the engine compartment. Ended up calling the fire dept, and they came and put it out. Needless to say it was a bad fire. The car I had was a 99 Grand Prix GT. I've had it for 10yrs. In the last 3yrs, replaced struts, rack and pinion, tranny, starter, radiator and other misc stuff compared to this. Insurance got involved and told me it was more then likely going to be totaled with over 126k miles. Then today, Apr 13th, my friend at work calls and tells me about a massive recall. I'm like no way. So I call Pontiac at 1-800-620-7668. They asked me for my VIN# to see if it was indeed part of the recall. And to my surprise and delight, it IS part of the recall. She took my information down and gave me a case number and told me that within 2 days I should be hearing from someone. They also asked for my insurance info since that's who I initially filed my claim through. If your not sure, call the above number with your vin... Good luck. Too late for me.
  • cam1969cam1969 Posts: 1
    I had the same problem on my daughters 01 grand prix gt of cutting out or stalling. Changed the crankshaft sensor, problem solved. :)
  • jmazz01jmazz01 Posts: 5
    I'm not replying to just cruster68. Anyone that has had a fire please make sure you read through the entire thread. There are so many of us that have dealt with GM. You will not get what you deserve from them. They will run you around and lie to you. If they tell you they will call you back, they won't. If they tell you they will contact you in a day, they won't.
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