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Pontiac Grand Am: Fix or Trade???

dianna52092dianna52092 Posts: 4
edited March 9 in Pontiac
I currently own a 2000 Pontiac GrandAm GT - scheduled to be paid off in September 06'. My dilemma is this:

Over the past few months the car has developed several problems, with the main problem right now being the head gasket needing replaced. I have had problems for a little while with having to add coolant regularly and not sure why. The pontiac garage says that they pressure tested it and the head gasket needs changed - Cost $400. Ok, how nice to add on top of the $600 I'm putting out to replace the "Quickshock" assembley because the springs broke and the $200 for - yet - another bearing.
Anyway, I am being told that I shouldn't have anything to worry about because it seems it's just the gasket - they didn't take the cap off to check the oil, told me to check when I get home and check for white discoloration. When I checked it at home - it's has a whitish "film" to it???? They told me as long as the oil doesn't have water in it the gasket replacement would fix the problem; Otherwise it could be worse - whatever that means!

HISTORY: The car does have 155,000 miles on it - Yes, I run A LOT!! So guess I should be thankful for the first motor repair not happening sooner. I have had every other problem that is listed on this forum regarding the grand am - from the "wont start" to the "head gasket" (all fixed, some multiple times).

Do I fix it or trade it. Can anyone give me a little insight on how long they think this car will last. The garage says the motors are not know to go - if maintained, they could run forever. I really had NO INTENTION of taking on another car payment, just looking forward to paying this one off!!!!

Comments

  • Have a 94 grand am that will not start. Ran for a few weeks, stalled on the way home one day...parked it and now won't start...it turns over so it is not the starter or solenoid...I am thinking fuel pump, filter or sensor...can anyone give me a clue and also do not want to go to a garage to fix...want to do it at home...any help in that department would be appreciated too...just need to know where to locate them...we can do the rest...thanks for any help :sick: :confuse:
  • ss3ss3 Posts: 4
    My son's 2002 Grand Am would not start. I had a mechanic check it and he put on a new fuel filter, didn't help. He checked many other things and said it had something to do with the computer so he recommended I take it to the dealership. I had it towed to the dealership and they said it was the anti-thief security device, that the computer had to be reset. It worked fine after that..for a couple weeks and then one day it would not start again. I searched on the Internet and found some others that had had the same problems. We did what they suggested and it started up fine. Hopefully this will help you. I have listed below some of the comments I found. Hope it works for you.

    _______________________________________________
    The security system prevents me from starting the car. Has left me stranded on several occasions. Needs to be towed in and have the computer 'reset'.
    Very simple fix, just turn your key to the on postion, wait for the security light to stop flashing (approx:10 min.) then start your car.
    Remember if you lock your car with the remote do not unlock your doors with the key the car will never start it's a safety feature.
    ________________________________________________

    I too have a 2002 pontiac grand am...the first time I had this problem I thought it was a sensor of some sort, had the car towed. My mechanic pointed out that while the key was turned to the on position the security blinked.. manual instructs that you leave the key in the on position for 10 min and it should stop blinking then it once it stops turn the key to the off position and with out taking the key out turn it to crank the car on, for me it was more like 15 min, So if you have the problem leave the key in the on position an just wait. Solution:Also replaced the tumbler. Pontiac should recall the tumbler the thing cost me $250 to replace.
    ________________________________________

    I found that the only way to solve this problem is to take it to a dealership. I went to 7 mechanics who "reset" the computer. This is only a short-term solution and will actually end up costing you more. I just got my 2002 Pontiac Grand Am fixed. They had to replace the cylinder and a switch. Total cost? Roughly $600.00.
  • Thanks for the help...I am going to go out and try it now...this is my son's car as well...need it running for school...I'll let you know how it turns out...thanks again!!
  • I currently own a 2000 Pontiac GrandAm GT - scheduled to be paid off in September 06'. My dilemma is this:

    Over the past few months the car has developed several problems, with the main problem right now being the head gasket needing replaced. I have had problems for a little while with having to add coolant regularly and not sure why. The pontiac garage says that they pressure tested it and the head gasket needs changed - Cost $400. Ok, how nice to add on top of the $600 I'm putting out to replace the "Quickshock" assembley because the springs broke and the $200 for - yet - another bearing.
    Anyway, I am being told that I shouldn't have anything to worry about because it seems it's just the gasket - they didn't take the cap off to check the oil, told me to check when I get home and check for white discoloration. When I checked it at home - it's has a whitish "film" to it???? They told me as long as the oil doesn't have water in it the gasket replacement would fix the problem; Otherwise it could be worse - whatever that means!

    HISTORY: Bought the car in 2002 - The car does have 155,000 miles on it - bought at 36,000 Yes, I run A LOT!! So guess I should be thankful for the first motor repair not happening sooner. I have had every other problem that is listed on this forum regarding the grand am - from the "wont start" to the "head gasket" (all fixed, some multiple times).

    Do I fix it or trade it. Can anyone give me a little insight on how long they think this car will last. The garage says the motors are not know to go - if maintained, they could run forever. I really had NO INTENTION of taking on another car payment, just looking forward to paying this one off!!!! :sick: :sick:
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    In my opinion it's time trade on something newer. From this point on you will probably put more into maintenance than you will get out. There's no such thing as a motor that will last forever, and besides that what's next?
  • Thanks so much for the tip. My husband was stranded at work tonite because the POS car would not start, I told him to leave the key in until the light stopped blinking and then try to start the car and it worked!!! You saved us alot of money in towing and repairs that we do not have. Thank you so much!
  • i just got a 2002 grand am gt and i have a problem already. everytime i make a left turn i feel and hear something under the drivers side floor hit. i took it back to the dealer and they dont have a cklue what it could be. they replaced my left, front control arm and that was not the problem. any ideas?? :( :( :(
  • I own a 95 Grand Am and the left turn signal blinks rapidly and none of the left turn signals burn brightly. The right signals and flashers work ok.

    We tried changing the bulb but it didn't solve the problem. I also notice the radio light blinks in conjuction with the left turn signal.

    What needs to be done to fix this problem?
  • When i first got my 99 grand am se with 38,000 miles i thought it was a sweet car i liked the style it had going for it and have had many dreams of things that i wanted to do to fix it up. But now its just so many small things went wrong with it i dont know if i want to invest anymore money in this car or not..... beginning to wonder now if i should fix or trade or sell.... the car is paid off completely but the kelly blue book is only like $3,500-$4,000 private party sell or $2,800-$3,200 trade in.... now do i fix whats wrong with the car or get something else and runaway from grand ams all together after seeing the stupid things that can go wrong with them... i have i experienced several problems with this car which as i been reading so have other people.... list of problems so far....
    1. my seat motor thing that adjust the seat hight went out..
    2. my turn signals/ hazard light switch has a mind of its own it goes crazy on me... clicks when ever the hell it fells like.. very annoying.. but not major yet
    :(
    3. Driver side window broke... the piece the connects the pulley to the window that pulls the window up or down or something broke off along with several other plastic pieces that broke too.. the cables inside are all tangled up i dont know know if " I " can fix that myself or not since all that crap is hard to get too inside the door... i have notice a number of grand ams with window problems too though.. should of got the manual windows...
    4. ABS lights comes on alot... i need new struts and shocks but i dont know if i can tackle that one by myself( i live in an apartment which makes it kinda difficult to work on your car ) i mean it rides rough like i got 20in rims or something but i dont... u fell every bump... i think i'm looking at about $600 dollars or more to get my suspension back to a "semi smooth" ride
    5. my passenger side window broke just like my driver side did dammit... so in the summer time u know i got the ac on all the time lol... now i have two broken windows that dont wanna stay up.. i managed to shuve a blanket inside both my door 4 when the window falls it dont fall all the way and i can pull it back up. Now i just hope that my back windows dont break also.. so now i gotta get both of them fixed... i wonder if it would b cheaper to find a 2 doors off another grand am in a salvage yard but i dont know
    :cry:
    6. my brakes or abs have somthing wrong with them... its like when i go to stop sometimes i have to roll though stop signs... its like the pedal gives out but not really and it seems like the brakes delay a few seconds b4 it stops almost like the car goes into nuetral but not really... i dont know
    7. no hard turns 4 my grand am anymore.. when i turn not TOO fast but kinda fast or hard or even when im pressing the back to turn into a parking spot the suspension? or auto arm? or power steering or something i really dont know... but it makes a "buzzing" sound or a "heeellpp me dont turn so hard cry" but i mean i dont turn that hard though
    8. my transmission is goin out... well i think it is... it is now making a hard banging noise inbtween shifts and has been getting worst latly.... yes the car has 95,000miles but damn is it time 4 a new engine already or whats next the head gasket blowing and whats that another $1000-$2000 int the future...
    :sick:
    9. Oh and my keys comes out when the car is in acc or on or running... b4 it would only come out on off... i guess its a good thing that i can take my keys out and leave the radio on lol... but its not suspose to do that...
    if i were to add up all the cost of the repairs i might as well trade it in 4 something newer but should i just try to fix it and it may not b as expensize as i think... i dont know??...does any one have any comments or suggustions
  • I feel your pain. I am also the proud owner of a 99 Grand Am. I bought mine in 2002 with about 50000 miles on it. Big mistake! I have had nothing but problems with it. The first thing was my brakes, I was replacing my pads and rotors every couple of months. I was told that my car was just hard on brakes and there was nothing that I could do. I also started having problems with the trac off light coming on whenever it wanted to and then I couldn't turn the trac system back on. During that time my gas gage quit working and the oil pressure light started coming on. When I took the car in to be looked at I was told that it just needed an oil change. Not true. The last time that I took it in I got it back and there was an unmistakable rod knock. I need a new engine which is at least $1200 because it is v6. So my wonderful Grand Am has been sitting for over a year now. I still owe $3000 on it and have since bought a new mini van. My advice is get rid of the Grand Am before you can't. I wish that I would have.
  • I am sorry to hear of the problems you've had with it. I understand the v6 is problematic. My is a 4 cylinder and it runs great. It currently has 198,200 and I love it. The turn signal issue was a ground wire and it's all fixed and clicking properly.
  • It's not a reliable car. IMHO, you should probably trade it in for a Honda or Toyota (Nissans have their own problems!) unless you prefer repair expenses to a car note. I have a 1994 Grand Am SE (3.1 V6) with 177K miles on it. I have replaced the turn signal switch as well as the headlamp switch. Moreover, I've replaced the front right strut twice on this car. I've also gone through two alternators and replaced the entire A/C system (compressor, dryer, etc.) plus the radiator and heater core. I've also replaced the rear ? master cylinder. (Never replaced the rear one in any other car.) I've replaced the transmission once at 96k (no surprise--automatic trannies don't usually last more than 100k). Oh, I need to replace the EGR valve soon.

    However, I will say that the body is solid. I got rear-ended by a flatbed on I-10. The car took a hit and did equally costly damage to a brand new Peterbilt cab. As a result, I will drive the car into the ground as my haul crap from Lowes/IKEA/Home Depot car. I won't trade it in ever since it's only worth $500 according to Blue Book.

    I agree with the above--no motor will last forever. However, IMHO, a GM (not a necessarily a Ford or Audi) motor properly maintained should last to at least 200k. Everything else around the motor will probably break first.
  • We had a 2001 grand am the water pump went out at 126Kmi. Warning the water pump is also connected to the timing chain. When the water pump went out it caused the timing chain to skip tearing up the engine (ball bearings in the oil pan) The only warning was a low coolant light and less than 5mn later the damage was done. I still can't believe that they designed a car so irresponsibly. I hear the newer ones have the water pump on the outside of the engine...(like it should have been all along) If you own one from 01 get the waterpump changed asap it will run about 35. for the part and 500. for 8hrs of labor.
  • Hello, question about a couple of the things you mentioned. I've recently developed a "turn signal" problem... They say it's costly to repair?? Can it really be that much that they're warning me? No estimate, that's all that was said. And another thing - like in the last day or so - is my car started squealing - like the serpentine belt (sorry if I spelled that wrong). The belt is brand new, it was something with everything else I had fixed about a month ago. Could this be my alternator??? God I hope not! My bearing (just replace also) is out again, they say its not the bearing, but the sensor, either way it cost money. I also had the rear struts replaced about 2 months ago and I have a terrible banging noise in rear passenger side that sounds like the wheel is going to come through the floor. I JUST WANT IT TO LAST UNTIL SPRING :cry: Can you give me some insight? Oh - and when I do go new - I've already decided on Toyota or Honda :)
  • tjlmtjlm Posts: 1
    i have a 2003 grand am, and a couple months ago my car would not start. i got it towed and the dealership replaced the fuel filter and the ignition starter..total of $800. now it won't start again!! after paying that much money i'm not sure if it is worth it. the car ran great, i have had it for 3 years now, but the past year so many things have gone wrong..my motor for the seat to move up and down went out, my driver's window decides when it wants to work, and now it randomly will not start. it's starting to cost me a lot of money.. will it keep costing more in the future? do you think it's time for a new car?
  • The turn signal switch is costly to repair as the part is expensive and you're talking about working around the steering column (READ: airbag). I'm not a mechanic. If I recall it cost me around $300 or so parts included. This was around 2003 or so in the Bay Area where domestic automotive mechanics are rare and for the most part incompetent like foreign automotive mechanics were 30 years ago.

    I wonder if your belt was improperly installed. I had that problem once. The mechanic (again in the Bay Area) improperly installed my belt. I drove the darn thing for nearly 3000 miles wondering what on earth that strange noise was. I had a mechanic in Baton Rouge (Don't ask!) look at it. I spent another $90 in labor charges getting the belt installed properly. (They have to lift the engine off the mount to do this, so it's not a DIY thing.)

    I'm not a mechanic. I've never had my 1993 break down on me. It didn't start three times on me for the entire time I've owned the car. The battery was dead once in 1997. The alternator (first time) went out in 1998 (probably related). I had to get the car towed to my mechanic for the alternator. I had a battery go dead earlier this year. I've had no problems with the starter (knock on hard GM dash plastics) or timing chair ever.
  • Thanks for the response, car going to the garage today, hopefully it won't be the altenator. The only thing that has been done is a friend of mine changed the pulleys saying that the bearings in them were going. However, it did not fix the problem!! Anyway - Thanks Again!! :)
  • I have a 99 grand am 2.4 liter it's an "A-B" car but I want to make it more. Since my wife and I are looking for a house. I can't buy a new car. My Grand am isn't bad but I wanted to give it a little more horse power (with out getting a whole new engine). Most of the upgrade parts I see out there are for v6's... How can I upgrade the 2.4L??

    Thanks
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    What's an "A-B" car? I'm not aware of any bolt on performance parts for a quad 4.
  • An A-B car is something that gets you from point A to point B, nothing special just transportation
  • thanks yeah a-b is drive to your job and back home nothing more.
  • Depending on your problem with your signals it could be as simple as the selenoid (right term?) located behind the ETS/Hazard buttons. It cost me $75 including labour to get this replaced and I have never had a problem with the signals since then.
  • the starting problem sounds like the one i had (key word had) the passlock system was keeping the car from starting. so i figured out that it was a tumbler in the key hole was sticking or something too that effect. i put some graphite lube in my key hole and ran the key back-n-forth a couple of times to make sure it lubed up everything in there have not had problem happin agin .... (knock on wood)good luck
  • dakneldaknel Posts: 1
    I've been having problems with my 93 Grand Am for awhile now. I'm not a wiz when it comes to cars and what the problems are but I do know something is wrong with mine. I have a 3300 Engine if that helps at all.

    Anyway, I first started noticing something wans't right when I drove it one day a few months back and it started making this rattle like sound when I would push on the gas pedel. It started out faint but the more I'd push down and the faster I'd go the louder the rattle would get. After awhile it started acting even weirder. I would be pulling out of somewhere and it would act like it wasn't getting any gas into the engine. I would push all the way down on the pedel and nothing.. then a second later it would jerk back into excelorating again.

    There were also a few times it would just die when I had to stop at a stop sign and then id put it in park and start it up again and it would start just fine but then it would start reving itself like someone had their foot on the gas pedel but I didn't. I took it to a shop here in my town and they said they couldn't find what it was. So I left and it started doing that thing where id push on the gas and it'd act like nothing was being pumped into the engine then I heard a :ting: kinda noise and it started back excelorating again. I didn't have a problem with it agian till like a 3 months later. Now its making that horrid rattling noise when i push on the gas and it dies again when I slow down or come to a complete stop. I've also noticed when i start it up and put it in park it acts like it struggles to keep a steddy idle sound. it keeps acting making sounds like its about to die when its idle.

    I really don't know what is going on and the people at the shop here have no answers. Hopefully someone can help me? Could it be the fuel pump?
This discussion has been closed.