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Pontiac Grand Am



  • rich310: Get the 6 cylinder if you can afford it. It has much more horsepower and pickup. I find I need that when entering freeways. Many people have said the 4 cylinder is very noisy and revs higher. The gas mileage is almost identical, so you don't much by going with the smaller engine.

    dcwong1: My headlights and fog lights are great on my 1999 GT. There is a switch for the foglights. When it is on, the fog lights come one automatically when the headlights come on. Most people just leave the switch on, and the fog lights come on automatically. It is not because the headlights are inept. And the fog lights do help out quite a bit when visibility is not the greatest (at dusk or raining at night).

    susan222: That is the most bizarre thing I've ever heard about the Grand Am so far. If it were vapor lock, I think we would have had other people with that experience by now. Something must be defective or the orifice is too small or constricted. My advice - wait until the car is about a quarter full to fill up, just like the rest of us!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Susan, I've never heard of this on any GA or Alero. The only thing I can think is that something is blocking the filler neck at times. Perhaps a baffle has broken loose or something and is floating around in the tank, but that's pretty remote. I've had trouble at fill ups when the earlier style vapor recovery systems are in use at the pump, but usually just moving the nozzle around takes care of it. The restrictor for the unleaded nozzle hasn't broken loose in the filler neck has it?
    The DRIVING lights on the Alero and GA work only when the headlights are in low beam. They won't work when the headlights are off or in high beam, unless the system has been modified. I think a lot people just leave the switch on, so they come on when the headlights are on.
    Rich, I agree that the V6 is better overall. The only advantage that I can see in the 4 is that with a stick shift it is a real screamer at high revolutions, but most of us will never take it there. I have both designs presently and the V6 is superior overall.
  • derelisderelis Posts: 1
    I am a GM "De-Valued" customer. I leased a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am GT 4dr and have had nothing but problems all within the first year. As I have found I am not alone, others comments I have read are the same but it seems mine have been worse.

    At 15,000km the front rotors and were replaced. They were ok for a while but then the stereo failed. It was replaced by a beatup/refurbished system that was at least functional but soon failed as well. They replaced it with what they said was a "Brand New" unit but has also failed. This has been a hassel to say the least. The stereo issue asside, at around 30,000km I notice a metal "Grinding" noise comming from the front of the vehicle as well as a loud "clanking" when putting the vehicle in reverse. The service center has made attempts to correct the problems by replacing the brake pads and rotating the tires, it did not fix the problem. At around 40,000 the rack and pinion and main steering gear failed and had to be replaced. The low traction indiocator starting flashing on around the same time and the service center said the ran diagnostics but could not find a problem. Since the rack and pinion was replaced the strange noises continue from the front of the car and the stereo has still not been resolved. I have contacted GM Canada 6 times and have been back to the dealership but no action has been taken to date.

    I am concerned with my families safety when in the vehicle and have stated this to GM on several occasions.

    Sincerely Pissed,

    Dan E.
    Calgary, Alberta
  • In response to your response, I ususally fill up when I'm at a quarter tank or less. That is why the problem has only happened about three times, I try to top it off when I'm going on a long trip so I know I'm OK with gas. That is why this is so annoying. My appointment with Pontiac is 9/13
    I'll let you guys know what they come up with, if anything.
  • If ever I was to question the quality and design of my Grand Am interior, I need look no farther than to compare it to one of my company cars I drove yesterday. I got to drive a 1996 Olds Ciera wagon. The interior was just plain hideous. It was full of cheap plastic. The dashboard had hard square plastic parts. The door lock and window controls were mounted flush with the driver's door, making them very difficult to operate.

    The Delco radio had tiny buttons and was located too far from the driver, requiring too much concentration to change stations, etc. The seats were uncomfortable and some guages were difficult to read.

    The current Grand Am is worlds ahead of GM cars from less than 5 years ago! I got in my car to go home after work and I just sat there, appreciating everything they have improved. I will not take my Grand Am for granted any more.
  • guylguyl Posts: 10

    Fellow Grand Am fans. I have been looking all over the web for information on aftermarket parts for my grand am. well, this is the best site that I have found. This is were I got the info for the K&N air filter that fit like a charm.
    He explains where to buy the part, how to best install it and so on. In the message board, there are people like us that discuss what ever about the car, I check this part out all the time.

    This is my 2 cents.
  • cguscgus Posts: 1
    We have an opportunity to purchase a 1998 Pontiac Grand Am GT, it has a 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine, 2000 original miles, It is sharp, looks and smells like new. The damage from the accident entailed replacing the driver side door and front fender. The owner buys cars that are repairable and fixes them and sells them, he is licensed. This car is his 17 yr old daughters but she says she is selling it to get a truck to haul her horses.
    They have said that when it rains the digital radio lettering gets deformed but otherwise works ok.
    Now to my question; I have heard from a friend that is a mechanic that the 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine is junk and that he hasn't heard anything good about it. Also since this car is considered a salvage car , 2000 miles, would this be a good deal? I am a little concerned after reading about electrical problems with other Grand Ams that the radio may indicate the same kind of problem in this car. Would replacing the CD/ Radio solve the problem? Also at 2000 miles this car is quiet but we live on a gravel road, how long before we hear some of the noises many of you have complained about. Is there any Grand Am owners out there that love their cars? Your input would be really appreciated concerning this car. Our daughter is in college so she can't afford much more than $8000 but we do not want more trouble than it's worth. Also are these cars hard to work on yourself? Thanks for all the advice.
  • nerssnerss Posts: 43
    My finacee and I own a 99 GA with 37,000 miles on it. We bought it used from a rental place through a dealers program i.e. program car. There were many interior issues that we had to deal with:

    1) New carpet due to shrinking (free)
    2) New interior door panels due to bubbling (free)
    3) Spoiler drained and drain holes put it (free)
    4) New Windows due to scratching from misaligned door panels (free)
    5) New Radio because old one had funny display (free)

    The dealer stated that these were all free because of remaining warranty and that should have been fixed previously, but the rental company ignored the notices. The car has never let us down and has ran and preformed wonderfully. I hope that this helps you make a decision. Nerss
  • guylguyl Posts: 10
    I own a 1999 GA V6, I also bough it from a rental place through a dealer. The only problem I had with it so far, is that the radio knop wouldn't turn up the volume, replaced radio - free. The grand am's are hard on brakes. I do not know what car isn't but I currently have 60000km not miles, about 37500 miles and I have to replace the rotors, they have been turned 2 times so far. A few people in the company that have company cars, there GA also have lots of brake problems. Its not the pads, its the rotors. So make sure that when you change your rotors get good ones.

    Other than that,the car is great. Love it. Everything about it.

    my 2 cents
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    You didn't say how much the car is selling for, but you mentioned $8,000. If that's the price, it sounds like a good deal as long as the damage was superficial only.
    I was under the impression that GT's were only available with the V6 in 98. Better check it out. It wouldn't be the first time someone re-badged a salvage to get the price up.
    Personally, I prefer the V6 because it's stronger and less noisy than the 4, and the gas mileage is about the same. As far as the reliability, by 95 the Quad 4 was much improved. It is imperative to keep the oil changed and topped up, as it is in any twin overhead cam. I have a 95 with a 4, and a 99 with a V6. The 95 hasn't had any engine problems in 58,000 miles, but I do keep it well maintained with 3,000 mile oil changes.
    Be advised that front brakes are a problem, and usually require frequent service. Than can be much improved with aftermarket parts, and GM is now replacing them for free in most cases.
    I love the 99, no doubt about it. I havn't had any problems in 35,000 miles. Front brakes have been done twice, last time the rotors were turned and next time I'm replacing them with high performance cross drilled ones and titanium pads.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    cgus, I just looked at the Edmunds used car site and the 4 cyl was the standard engine for the 98 GT, so disregard my statement above.
  • lrymallrymal Posts: 105
    On Mon 21 Aug '00 (08:26 AM) it was written:

    > On my 1999 Grand Am GT, I've also noticed
    > that the vent fan has begun to sound
    > louder, with a whirling/whining type
    > sound.
    > I've had stuff like leaves stuck in a
    > vent before...

    And leaves, pinestraw, etc. is exactly it is. These can be stuck or wrapped around the "squirrel-cage" type fan slats.

    It is easy to clean. One way is to remove the glovebox. Make sure you have the freshair mode is selected (whatever it is called) so that the intake is opened to the outside vent. Manually turn the squirrel-cage until you have found all the pinestraw and leaf debris.

    Another way to clean this is to remove the outside wiper arm black plastic shield base. This is a long piece of plastic that goes from one wiper shaft to the other. Remove it to expose the entire water tray which is above the intake vent.

    Note the intake vent does NOT have any type of protection or debris guard. The wiper shaft holes do, but the protection has rather large webbing. Pine straw can very easily go through.

    Removing the glove box is the easiest way and you can have a nicely running fan in just a few minutes.
  • Remove the glove box and wiper arm shield base? How, by chance, is this accomplished?
  • You are wise to be concerned Cgus. I wouldn't do it. As good a deal as it seems, a car that has been in an accident is usually a risky proposition at best, especially one, no offense GA fans, which has a less than stellar reliability record to begin with.

    It's unlikely the accident was minor either. They don't normally issue salvage titles for 2,000 mile cars involved in minor fender benders. Most states have statutes which specify when a car is to be given a salvage title.

    It could have been given a nice big kiss by a Lincoln Navigator driven by a pissed off soccer mom, knocking that clock out of wack, and the suspension, and the unibody, and other things.

    Plus, check with GM. See if the warranty will follow the car given it has a salvage title. There's a good chance it may not. If not, the thing could turn into a major money pit.

    For $8g, you can pick up a pretty good, average mileage Accord or Camry from the early 1990s.
  • To help you decide, if you haven't already, between the Grand AM and the Olds Alero let me point out some differences between them that I found in my vast search for a new car. The Alero and the Grand AM are basically sister cars, but I found that the Alero seems to offer less for more money than the Grand AM. The Grand AM interior can be had in very dark grey (nearly black)and the Alero only comes in light grey(if you want tan it is available in both). All Grand AM models come standard with fog-lights and rear-cornering lights. Also, I believe that only the Grand AM is available with the great monsoon stereo and steering-wheel radio controls. While the Olds seemed more comfortable only in front-passenger legroom than the Grand AM the driver's seat and rear seemed identical in the two cars. The bodyside moldings on the Grand AM are thicker and more extensive(especially on the GT) than the Aleros, which should make door dings and dents almost non-existent. The vents (circular)on the new Grand AM are also great and can be adjusted to an infinite number of positions. The dash on the Alero seems more conservative (yawn) while the Grand AM's screams "UNIQUE" (if you can handle the big pods). Also the Grand AM's red backlighting also was different (AUDIESQUE). So I guess if you can live with a bit of sportiness and the pods (my wife hates them) not to mention a item for item price difference in favor of the Grand AM and without the added prestige that comes with Oldsmobile over Pontiac the Grand AM should be a clear choice.
  • p.s.I can only say V-6 is the way to go. It gets similiar gas mileage and is a lot faster and should be more reliable in the long run. Needless to say you will get a much better trade-in or resale value in the future.
  • lrymallrymal Posts: 105
    > Remove the glove box and wiper arm
    > shield base? How, by chance, is this
    > accomplished?

    I just used a nutdriver on the glove box bolts, a needlenose tool on the shield base. All ya gotta do is look at it and you can see how it can be done.

    Note that my suggestion earlier was opposite of what it should have been. Have Max Air selected if you are cleaning via the removed glovebox method. This exposes the squirrel cage housing intake.
  • Was driving in Lansing today giving the family a small tour of the city while visiting MSU. We drive throught the GA/Alero plant off South ML King (MLK goes right thru the plant for those that are familiar with Lansing). I saw the '01 GA's and Alero's in the lot. It looks like some sort of bronzemist (like the bronzmist Ingrigue/GP) color is available now. Anybody know what color I was seeing? It looked ok to me, but it was a rainy day (09-10-00) so could not completely tell.
  • I love my Grand Am GT with all the features and peformance. But I am a little nervous about the safety rating. This morning I saw an accident on the way to work. One car looked like an accordion, and they were using the jaws of life to get a person out.

    Anybody else out there a little worried about the Grand Am's less than stellar offset crash test results?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I was thinking about a Grand Am GT. But since the safety rating for the offset crash is pretty bad, I am contemplating my purchase. It does worry me.
  • Well, I returned from Pontiac today with what I hope was the answer to my problem, the dealer said they knew of no problems like I had with filling up. They did however, change the "Fuel Limiter Vent Valve". Hopefully it's fixed, I'm going to fill it and at 3/4s of a tank see if I can top it off.
    Also, what's this you're talking about re: crash tests, I haven't heard about it, was it with the Grand Am's and what were the results?
  • I bought my Grand Am new two years ago and had little problem with it since. It currently has 46,000 miles on it as well. The only major problem was at 12,000 miles when the front breaks and rotors needed to be replaced...haven't had any trouble there since. Currently the engine is making some funny noises and sometimes stalling when trying to start it up. I got an oil change a little while ago and the guy mentioned a possible broken engine mount. Now I don't drive the car hard and and 90% of the miles are highway. So is the broken engine mount a common thing with this car or is it just something that happened. Anyways it goes to the mechanic Monday so I'll find out then I guess. Thanks.
  • I have several questions, all related to the sale of my 1995 GA SE. The car is very clean and very well maintained. I get a great response on appearance, but when they find out it has the Quad 4 engine, the feedback turns sour. I had a buyer this week... she is a single woman, so she asked two mechanics for advice and both told her that the engine has a lot of problems. One told her it will burn up the other parts over time because it is too small to power the car. I have not heard anything specific other than that, but no one seems to have anything good to say about the 4 cyl. This has been a great car for me and I thought that because of it's condition, the $6000 asking price was more than fair. Do I need to rethink my price, and how do I respond to these comments about the engine? I put 4 cyl. in my ad and I have received only one call in 3 weeks. Could this be part of the problem? The car has 73K miles and runs great. I don't get it.
  • you might check to see if there were problems with this year of grand am.

    before we bought a 99 ga, 3.4 we had a 97 pontiac sunfire gt with the 2.4 quad 4. it was very dependable and caused us no problems.

    in reference to a previous conversation here about 99 gran am's 3.4 lifter clatter(at least i think it was in this category), i was wrong! our 99 ga 3.4 did have the clatter!. we traded it in recently for a 00 mustang gt and the day we took it to trade i just happened to be beside the car when my wife started it up, and it did exactly what you described.. my apologies.

    we did like the ga(13k miles), but the pontiac dealer couldn't figure out why only 21.5/22.0 miles per gallon on the interstate at 65 miles per hour. about 18 in the city. a radio/cd volume control & display that was possessed. right door panel that would not stay tight, and air/water leaks they could never fix. brake rotor warp every 5,000 miles.. we got tired of making trips to the dealer for service.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Go to and check into the "secret warranties watch" and you will find out the problems with the Quad 4 engines. They are famous for blowing their head gaskets when the mileage gets high. That's why no one wants them. I would try to take it to a place called CarMax if they are near you. Check into it at
  • teekay3: I don't know how you could have had time to enjoy your Grand Am. Sounds to me like it was always in the shop. GM should have just taken the car back as a lemon. I'm sure you lost a pretty penny in this deal, but what choice did you have? Hope everything works out with the Mustang.

    I used to go from owning one car to the next because of problems that were really irritating. Now I've got two vehicles that haven't had these types of problems in a while. I think I'll stick with them until they fall apart. Hope I didn't jinx myself by saying this!
  • I own a 95 Grand Am that I bought as a "program car" with 30K miles on it in '96. This car now has 147,000 miles. My brother wrecked it on I-94 going through Chicago three years ago. Still, the only expenses have been oil changes, tires, and brakes. I just might get to pay this one off!
  • I own a 1999 Grand AM Gt with all options...anyone want to tow it to the junk yard for me?
    Little problems that I have had since day one:
    -Air control/AC dials falling off
    -Tire pressure/change oil light needs to be reset everytime car is turned on
    Larger problems:
    -Timing off, twice, car wouldn't start or even turn over
    -My car also leaks I get fairly large amounts o water on the back seat floor. I have taken to be fixed at least 5 times. They say they can't find the problem and that I must have left my window open.
    -I was also in a colision, I was traveling approx. 40 mph when I hit a car and my air bag never deployed. My car had serious damage...the other car (97 Dodge Neon) had only a scuff on the bumper.
    Needless to say, after 4 months of owning this car I had placed at least 3 calls to the pontiac cares customer service and received no action, the only thing that they have done is schedule another appointment for me at the dealership.
    I will never buy another Pontiac car/truck or SUV. I have had so many problems with no one willing to help me.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Sounds like you need some legal advice from your lawyer about something called the Lemon Law. Check into it with a lawyer or your states' attorney.
  • I just bought a 2000 Grand Am GT , the last Friday.
    How long you own this car ?.

    And I have a question about the gas, what is the recommendation for a new car, I should just 87 octanage gas or 90 or 93 ?

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