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Pontiac Grand Am



  • bmarkbmark Posts: 52
    I just orderd a 2000 GA GT 4 door, they said it will probably be in sometime in late October. By the comments I have read, most people love their cars. I orderd it with leather, CD sunroof, invoice price including shipping, 20032,( sticker price, 21970) no rebates right now I paid 20132, wondering if there were any hidden rebates, or if they were going to extend the current ones.
  • Have a '99 SE2 w/10k miles. After a heavy rain (quite often in Pensacola Fl) there is a large amount of water under the front passenger seat. I can not determine where this water is leaking in from. Also have the problem of the door trim pulling way from the door frame near the window (only on the rear passenger side behind the driver). I have an appointment tomorrow to fix the trim and hopefully the water problem. Other than that, the car runs great and is fun to drive.
  • jwheatjwheat Posts: 3
    Hi guys! Thanks for all the great advise. I just wanted to comment on the whole gas milage thing. I have not noticed an improvement. I am still getting only about 22 miles per gallon. I drive a lot so this is proving to be a problem. Also I have 2500 miles on the car and have not had the oil changed yet. Is this a problem, my dealer told me 4,000 miles. Any comment? Thanks
  • Just wanted to thank you and midlifecrisis for your advice on pushing up the shaft of the rear view mirror, I didn't realize it moved. It seems to have helped. Thanks again.
  • I just got a fillup in my 99 GT last night. This is about my 5th tank (1300 miles so far). I got 24 mpg in mixed driving (1/3 city, 2/3 highway). I think that is somewhat respectable considering the size of the engine and the power of the vehicle. I expect the mpg to go up slightly but probably not much higher.

    Over the weekend I performed my first car wash (in NJ we are on water restictions due to the drought). I was told to wash the car with a sheepskin mitt instead of a sponge so as not to scratch the paint. When I was done, the bright red paint almost hurt my eyes it was so brilliant. This car is definitely a head-turner. It is however hard to keep the wheels clean due to the brake dust and dirt that accumulates on the five-spokes. Oh well, guess I'll have to wash it more often. I better get a new pair of sunglasses so I don't damage my eyes looking at the bright red paint. See ya.
  • Hi. Just wanted to say that this Town Hall is a great thing. Its very helpful reading about other people's experiences with their cars.

    I have a 1996 Grand Am SE with about 78,000 miles on it, and I'm debating about trading in before it hits 80,000 miles (at which point I'm told makes the value drop considerably), or keep it for another year or more. I've had the car for just a little over 3 years, so I obviously put a ton of miles on it. I haven't had any major problems, and for the most part, I'm very happy with it. I had to get new rotors/brake pads around 22,000 miles, and also replace them around 60,000 miles. They're starting to get a little soft again. I've also needed new tires, of course, and will probably have to replace them again within the next few months.

    Back in the spring, the "Low Coolant" light would come on every few weeks. In the owner's manual, it says to pull off the road immediately and not to drive the car. The coolant was obviously leaking somewhere, but it wasn't going on the ground. I took it to the dealer and they couldn't find the leak, but said if it continued to happen, to come back again. (At that point I also had to have the air conditioner re-charged and they replaced the fuel filter.) I wound up buying a couple of gallons of the orange Dex-Cool coolant the car takes and filled it up with a 50/50 mixture of that and water (which is what the manual calls for) on a fairly regular basis. Luckily the light always seemed to come on when I was close to home, and I kept the jug of coolant and some water in my trunk just in case. I was really getting annoyed at having to check the coolant level every other day, so I made an appointment to take it back to the dealer. (My air conditioner that was supposedly "re-charged" was also not working well at all - I would drive the half-hour home from work and it wouldn't cool down at all.)

    Well, the evening before I was due to take my car back to the dealer for them to check the coolant leak and A/C, I was stopped at a stop sign about 2 blocks from my house. When I hit the gas to go, the car was VERY sluggish and would barely move. I made it home. The following morning, I figured I'd try to make it to the dealer (about 15-20 miles away), but only got a mile before I had to turn around and go back. Same problem as the evening before - no pick-up. So I wound up having the car towed to the dealer. I was thinking, "Great! A new transmission!" and figured I'd have to shell out some big bucks. Well, the dealer had my car for almost a week, and by some stroke of luck, I didn't need a new transmission - they flushed out the old transmission fluid and put in new and it seems to be running fine (knock on wood!). (This was the first time I had the fluid replaced.) They did however, have to take half of the engine apart to get to the coolant leak, and they also said that there was a hole in one of the tubes for the A/C. (They didn't charge me labor to fix the A/C, because they didn't find the problem the first time.) The total bill wound up being about $420. So now I'm wondering - (1) Do I keep the car for another year or two until it dies (and figure I'll have to throw some more money into it)?, or (2) Do I just get rid of it now before something major happens? I'm really kind of stuck and can't seem to make a decision. Any comments/suggestions would be a great help.

    Sorry that this is so long, but I figured I'd tell some of the newer Grand Am owners some of my experiences with the car. Thanks!
  • I guess your decision should be based partially on what kind of money you still owe on the car (if any). If you owe more than your trade value is worth it might make sense to keep the vehicle until you can pay it off. Otherwise you will have negative cash flow with a new car purchase.

    Personally I would trade the car in on a new Grand Am (or other car) if you can do so financially. It's a good time of year to be purchasing a car, especially with incentives and rebates at the end of the 1999 model year. You may have just been lucky with the $420 repair bill with more expensive repairs lurking around the corner, but you never know for sure.

    I have bought used cars twice in the last 10 or so years and been burned big time both times (lemon cars). So personally I don't trust cars with higher mileage, even if I was the one who maintained them. I put about 20K miles a year on my car and then trade it in every 3 years or so, depending on how well they hold up. I can't imagine ever having over 100,000 miles on a car because the repair costs always seem to exceed the car payments. Car payments can be expected and budgeted for, large repair bills cannot. One transmission job can cost close to $2000, and then you are likely stuck with an inferior rebuilt transmission.

    This is just my 2 cents, for what it's worth. I'm sure most others will wholeheartily disagree with my methods.
  • Matty,

    I have a 97 Grand Am GT that is great. It rides smooth as can be at high speeds. Just to let you know the 97 I have is difinitely limited at 105mph.
  • smtssmts Posts: 1
    I have a 6 month old Grand Am GT. I have had it back to the dealer 3 times for water leaking in the passenger door. Is this a common problem on the 99 models. I am really upset that I have owned it for that short amount of time and have had it back to the dealers so many times. Now I don;t even care to drive a pontiac (any model)
  • smts:
    I have a 99 and it has been in thunder, hail and some of the worst rains I have driven in an it has not leaked a drop. It has been parked, on the highway and around during these rains and it still has not leaked a drop. They must have got the weather stripping wrong. That really is too bad. That is really a poor dealership.

    Sorry to hear,
  • Has anyone noticed with their '99 Grand Ams, that the gas tank guage light comes on and the guage says empty when the tank still has a good 2 gallons left. The most I've dared waited to put gas in my car after the light went on, was after about 50 miles, and I still could only put in about 13.5 gallons, and it has a 15 gallon tank. I guess I would wait to fill it up, but that stupid chime everytime you start up gets annoying very quick.
  • I have had the same experience with gas. When the low fuel light came on the first time I panicked. Then I realized there was a lot of gas left in the tank when I went to refuel. I guess it's better to have the light come on too early than too late. I have to agree that the chime is annoying.

    I have not had any leak problems on my 1999 GT that I bought 1 1/2 months ago. But I have seen many posts regarding cars with this problem.
  • dunn3dunn3 Posts: 29
    I Purchased a used 94 Grand AM SE Coupe. Just wondering if the seats are working corectly. The Passenger seat doesn't lock (and the manual says that it will in an accident). Just wondering if anyone had any thoughts.

    PS By not locking I mean that the upper part of the seat can be pushed forward with your hand (without resorting to pulling the little lever on the side-unlike in every other non GM car I've seen-so is this a GM thing, or is the seat messed up?)
  • The gauge is engineered to have gas left in it when you're at empty. The little ding is mildly annoying, but it's to warn you when you need to fill up - not that your tank is empty. One is acutely aware when that happens; no "pings" are necessary. Perhaps GM should allow you to disable the alarm if it bugs you, perhaps they do! (haven't looked at manual about this).

    Trying to convince my wife that we have plenty of gas when that thing goes off is my next challenge. I've been rather unsuccessful, although she allows me to keep driving when there is a quarter of a tank I'm making a bit of progress. (She's from a family of chronic re-fillers, I'm from a family of Kramer-style fillers)
  • I have not run my GrandAm down to the point that the chime has gone off or the light has come on. The light is a good idea but I would find the chime annoying.

    I was talking to a mechanic friend of mine and he warned me that it is not very good for your car to get too low on fuel. I guess that this can lead to some dirt or grit in your tank going through your fuel system.

    Happy Motoring All,
  • aam1aam1 Posts: 26
    Hi Guys:

    Just wanted to fill y'all up with my experience with my 99 Grand Am GT1. The car has about 2700 miles on it and I have had to take it back to the dealership once to have a couple of things looked at.

    1. The brakes were groaning and grinding when the the car was at a downhill incline and I applied the brakes halfway. They were grinding when the car was on the level and I partly applied the brakes. Well, the dealer had a look at them, told me that this is the way the brakes behave. Told me some story about Grand Am brakes being non-asbestos. Anyways, the problem was not solved. Would appreciate if someone would fill me in if they have had similar problems with their brakes and if they were corrected.

    2. The steering wheel was slightly offset. They corrected that one by realigning the wheels.

    3. The driver side mirror flickers if I try to adjust it after some time of inactivity. Dealer supposedly had a look at it, told me there was nothing wrong with it and the mirror still flickers!!!!

    Other than the above, nothing to report. Grand Am is a real fun car to drive. Have not had any problems with water leaking into the passenger compartment or anything else. Gas mileage is still pretty low @ 20-22 mpg (but I use aircon a lot).

    One question though, the maual says that the tire pressure should be 30kpa all around. Is that the right pressure or should I be trying something different?

    We all have a great car. I love mine!!!!!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    dunn 3, the seat not locking is normal. If you want to test it, push it forward quickly to see if it locks. I have a 95 SE Coupe and went through the same questions when it was new as you are now.
  • avs007avs007 Posts: 100
    Yep, the light and the chime come on early... My 95 Grand Am doesn't have these features, but my 98 GTP does... My low fuel light comes on, when the guage reads close to E... My chime goes off, when range gets below 40 miles...

    When the chime goes off, I set the trip computer to fuel used, then I ignore the gas guage... When necessary I let the computer read 15.5 gallons used before I fill-er up... The pump usually pumps in 15.5 to 15.8 gallons... The gas guage is also like a half inch below the E !!!!

    Supposed feature to allow for a gas resevoir... Either that or GM doesn't want to have to deliver too much gas in its Free Roadside Assistance :)
  • I've had my 99SE since 6/98, w/ 31,000+ miles now. I have had to return it to the dealer 4 times related to brakes/rotors and once for radio display disappearing. They turned rotors, put on new rotors, turned rotors again. I'm almost out of warranty and fighting with them to find the real problem. Any suggestions? I did the break-in period appropriately. Grinding, rough stopping and steering wheel vibrations approx. every 7-10K miles. Anyone else with brake problems?

    Otherwise, I LOVE my car. Not the best fuel, but zippy. No problems with water leaking or door panel. Great in rain and snow. Good handling. Good pickup (4 cyc. too!).
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Your brake problems seem to be typical for this model. I've heard all the excuses from dealers. I believe that this model is just hard on front brakes, probably since almost all of the braking is in the front. Also, without manual trans, little engine braking is possible. By the way, I just read in Car and Driver that the 5 speed manual is back for 2000, but not the mushy unit that was used previously. It is an Italian heavy duty unit that is also used in the Olds Alero. That may prompt me to buy a new Grand Am, but will need to try it out first.
    The rotor problem may due to the non-ventilated discs. Has anyone heard of an aftermarket replacement with ventilated discs?
    The rotor problem keeps recurring in my 95. I found it is almost just as easy to replace the rotors as it is to machine them, since they aren't very expensive (about $20 each, aftermarket) and they seem to last longer than if they are machined, probably because they are thicker and can withstand the heat better.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    In addition, make double sure the lugs aren't over tightened-that will definitely distort two piece front hub/rotor assemblies. 75 ft/lbs torque is usually adequate, check your manual or ask the dealer what is needed. Avoid shops that use air impact wrenches to torque your lugs. They can easily put 150 ft/lbs torque on them.
  • I bought a Grand AM SE I in 1/99. After many problems with the car including the rotor problem, Pontiac bought my car back. So, after test driving many other models with the same price range, I came back and bought another Grand Am SE. Maybe I am dumb, but I just love that car. So I guess I just better get used to the rotor problem now that I can see others are experiencing the same problem. My original car had other problems beside the braking issue which is why Pontiac agreed to buy back my car. The braking problem does still concern me. My problem with the brakes began at 12793 again at 17K and the day before I turned the car back, 25K, the steering wheel was pulsating. But, there really isn't another car like the Grand Am on the road. It is a fine looking car; handles very well, gets great gas mileage (V-6) and not too expensive to insure and there have been, so far, no rattles or vibrations coming from the dash which I can see is a problem on many of the American made cars that I test drove. I owed a 1992 Grand Am Se V-6 which gave me 232,000 virtually problem free miles. The only problem that I had with that car was that the alternator kept going bad and finally the problem wasn't the alternator at all but a short in the cluster. The problem was fixed and other than routine maintenance, it was a great car. I guess my decision to try again on the 1999 may not have been a good choice but, I am willing to try because of how much I really do like the car exclusive of the rotor issue. The question about the "ventilation" of the disc brakes. Is that possible. Any mechanics out there that can address that suggestion?
  • avs007avs007 Posts: 100
    The front rotors are vented... In fact the only car I've ever seen with non-vented front rotors was the 4 cylinder Z3...

    Your problem, is most likely a crappy rotor... I think GM is pretty famous for sticking the rotors on at the factory from the bargain bin...

    I would opt for DuraStop Rotors if you wanna stay GM... Otherwise go with some other brand...
  • I don't want anybody to get mad at me but I just would like to know id the Grand Am is a front wheel drive car or not. My father-in-law says that all front wheel drive cars are bad and I just would like to know what your experiences were. My mother owns a 1993 Se.
  • avs007avs007 Posts: 100
    The Grand Am is indeed FWD... My Grand Am, and my GTP are both FWD, and I think they are fine... Bad in what respect? If you were autocrossing or something, maybe I can agree with it, but in most driving situations, I find FWD do be just fine, if not superior to RWD, especially when it comes to the winter months.... Let me tell you... My GTP is WORLDS easier to drive/handle in the rain/snow than my Chevelle-SS
  • I have a 97 Pontiac Grand Am now that I am pondering dropping because of the repair work that is going into it. Being approached by a Sales person he is telling me that the 2001 4 Cylinder has the same Horse Power as the 1997 V6.
    Does anyone know of any major issues with the new 4 cylinder engine ?
    Any input would be an assistance
  • I now have had my 99 Grand Am GT for almost 2 months and love it! However, I keep getting depressed with all the posts regarding problems people have encountered with the vehicle. Looking at the long term, are there any owners out there that have had their GA for over a year or driven 20K - 40K miles? What is your experience with the reliability to date?

    Should I plan on trading this thing in when the warranty is up? Or will it be a car I can keep for awhile? Any feedback would be appreciated.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    AVS007, after reading your post last night, I went out and looked under the Pontiac and your right-the rotors are ventilated. Must have gotten it confused with something else.
    I havn't had any more rotor problems since going aftermarket, but I do keep my eye on the pads more now. Under some conditions, the pedal will fluctuate, but I attributed this to the anti-lock system.
  • I'm wondering if anyone knows something about this. I want to improve my stereo system in my Grand Am. That doesn't void any warranty or anything does it? And even trading it in sometime, will dealers take a car with aftermarket stereo stuff in it? One more thing, how does one get to the back of the Grand Am's CD player. I can't find any screw holes to try and remove any of the dash.
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