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Pontiac Grand Am



  • hi all.. im looking to purchase a 2002 grand am gt. The owner put a magna supercharger in it and i was wondering if any one has heard of any problems with superchargers and engine life as well as fuel economy. thanks
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Not sure about engine life or reliability of the supercharger itself, but supercharging makes the engine require premium gas in most cases (all cases???).

    I don't believe gas mileage is hurt by supercharging, and it could actually go up.

    Someone smarter than me should jump in here. (Shouldn't be hard to find someone that meets that qualification).

  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    1) I think GM/Pontiac cars with factory supercharges all have lower EPA fuel mileage ratings then the non-supercharged cars.
    2) Keep in mind that the addition of the supercharger will effect any GM/Pontiac warranty still left on at least the engine/trans. Will also effect any extended service policy that is transferable or that you purchase.
    3) As an aftermarket modification, it may even effect your car insurance. Check with your company or agent.
    4) There may even be state emissions testing implications.
    5) You may also want to think about how the first owner treated the car with the extra horsepower.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I learned a long time ago (the hard way) that when you build an engine you start from the bottom and work up, not the reverse. In general, supercharging a stock engine isn't a good idea, since the bottom end doesn't have the heavy duty components to make it reliable. A stock Grand Am engine surely fits into this category, and I don't know if the heavy duty hard parts are available to make it so.
  • thanks for the info.. i asked him about all the points that you brought up.

    1. it does require premium gasoline (which really sucks)
    2. the supercharger is a gm part and was put in by a pontiac dealership and therefore warranty is not affected
    3. the car has extended warranty till 2007 so ill be safe for 3 years.
    4. as for insurance it will affect it.. however what the insurance agent does not know cant hurt him ;)
    5. im from canada so we are pretty lax about emissions over here :)

    and lastly.. that car really flies... i have a 2003 3.4 gls alero... and there is no comparison.

    i think ill be making an offer pretty soon and see where things go from tehre.

    by the way is $18000 CAN($13500 US dollars) for the car a good deal? it has 24000km (14900mi) and is a 2002 grand am gt 2dr with sunroof with a magnasupercharger and an extra 3 years remaining on warranty.... let me know

  • ijennings1ijennings1 Posts: 67
    I have a 2002 3.4 V6 and the parking brake is coming right up as far as you can go and needs adjusting. Does anyone know if this is easy to do? Does it have a separate inboard drum or use the discs on the rear? I know I can get under there and have a look, but i have a shoulder injury and am undecided to take it to a shop or wait until I'm better and do it myself.
    I reckon the cable has streetched and needs bringing in.
    Thanks in anticipation.
  • nick4597nick4597 Posts: 50
    Purchasing an 04 Grand Am GT Coupe tomorrow... lil worried with all the problems everyone has in EVERY board I read. Did they fix any of the common issues that plagued the models pre-04? Just thought i'd ask. Also, anything I should be watching out for in my new car?
  • dick60dick60 Posts: 12
    My 1999 red 4-door GT1 has provided me 5 1/2 years of flawless driving accumulating 48,000 miles. However, on Wednesday my A/C failed. The cost of repair together with other identified problems cost me $2,087.00. The A/C compressor was replaced at a cost of $1,100; the intake manifold gasket showed leakage and was replaced at a cost of $600; the power steering pump was making a strange noise and was replaced at cost of $150; several hoses, coolant,serpentine drive belt and water pump were replaced at no labor cost.

    So, hopefully, I have replaced all obvious maintenance items and will get another 5 1/2 years of flawless driving.

    Note: some of the items were normal maintenance items such as the belts, coolant, hoses etc.

    However, I did not expect the A/C compressor to give such a short life of operation.
  • Does anyone know if there is a fuel filter change on the 3.4 Alero? It does not say so in my handbook, but I normally chnage them around 30,000 miles maximum. If there is, where is it situated and is there a pressure release switch to activate first?

  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I've been led to expect a 5 year lifespan on AC compressors in R134 systems, a little longer for old R12 systems. My own experience seems to also reflect this. Mileage doesn't seem to be a big factor in this, age does.
    For example: Our 95 Grand Am had the compressor replaced in 2001. My now wrecked 99 was still working OK till the wreck on 3/31/04 at 93,000 miles. I don't know how much longer it would have lasted, the compressor was getting noisy. My 85 Suburban, now 19 years old, is on it's third compressor (replaced again in spring 03), but remember it's an R12 system. Contrast this with our old 1980 Mercedes 280 (R12) which has the original compressor, and actually the only AC repairs to it in 25 years has been replacement of the high pressure hose (at least in the sealed AC system). Go figure.
    As far as the intake manifold gaskets, that's a known problem with the V6 (actually, many aluminum V6's) and has been discussed here quite often before.
    I suppose a power steering pump failure can happen that early, but I would need a little more reason than just a "strange noise".
    One thing though, why was the water pump changed? Was it leaking?
    After my 99 was rear ended (hard), I took the settlement and bought an 04 Grand Am GT. I did the same cost/value assessment, figuring in the same repairs that were done on the 99, and found it to still be a good bargain over the higher priced competition, as long as you don't plan to sell it or trade it within a few years.
  • robnyvarobnyva Posts: 1
    Bought a New 04 grand am gt v6 Ram Air this past Saturday and I love the car. About 250 miles on the car
    My Car coolant temp from the gauge on the dashboard runs from 200-205 Normal load No harsh conditions other than being the summer.
     Any car Ive ever owned never ran this hott, 180-190 seems the Norm.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    That's normal. If your out in the southwest desert going uphill on a day that's 110+ it usually goes a little higher.
  • nick4597nick4597 Posts: 50
    I also just purchased a black GT Coupe end of July. The car is real quick and feels real solid (for now at least). Does seem to go through gas almost as bad as the 4Runner I got out of, we'll see after I break it in a bit. REALLY love the Monsoon MP3 player (I got 190 songs on one CD)... who needs a CD changer? My car seems to run in the 200-205 temp range also, my last car was slightly less but ever car is spec'd differently. Got it for $18,250 w/ the package that includes the moonroof, wheels, monsoon, etc. It's a shame they're re-naming the replacement, Grand Am's have a great history. Oh well.
  • My car did something very scary today. When I tried to brake, my car would not slow down. The RPMs jumped up to 7 and would not go down. Even my emergency brake did not stop the car. I had to throw it in to park. When I did, the car made a terrible grinding noise and finally came to a stop. The engine was still revving so I turned off the car. When I turned it back on the RPM jumped immediately to the red line. It did that both times I started the car. Finally, the third time I started it, it was normal. I've had a similar problem before and the dealer told me they couldn't find anything wrong with my car. Has anyone had a similar problem or any idea about what it might be?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    This is pretty simple but don't get me wrong, this does happen more frequently than we like to admit. Is your floor mat pushed up against your accelerator pedal?
  • Well my luck seems to running low. My 1999 Grand Am GT1 gave me 5 1/2 years of near flawless operation. Now in just few weeks, I have reported replacing the AC Compressor, the Input Manifold Gaskets, I now had to replace the Alternator. All this with less than 48,000 miles. The reason I replaced the power steering pump and water pump was preventative maintenance since the engine was all laid out with the other repair and I just had to pay for the parts and no additional labor.

    The car is now running perfect again but it was disappointing to have to lay out $2,500 on basic non-maintenace parts. I feel GM just has a very low mean mileage to failure standard. Hopefully, my car will be maintenance free for the next few years. Anyhow, my idea of trading for the G6 has been on indefinite hold.
  • Well, today the car finally broke down, My wife was pulling out of the garage when the car made a large clunk noise and the nose of the car now leans down on the drivers side. I crawled under the car and the spring on the drivers side cracked completly in half about 1/3 of the way up. Towed to the delaership and est of 380 clams to fix. (Both springs) While they were under there I had them replace the broken strut mount on the passenger side (could hear a sound like a bag of plastic being rattled). That ran another 80 dollars. This seems like an odd problem for a car that is driven very minimally and carefully by my wife. Anyone else have this problem???
  • ocmike3ocmike3 Posts: 232
    I purchased a 2002 G/Am SE1 (23k miles) for my daily commute (~64 miles). I had actually used the car as a loaner a couple of times and after getting great mileage asked the dealer what they needed to get out of the car if I were to make an offer. I really like the car but my only complaint is the the seat. It seems like the seat is too short for my upper leg and the front bolster meets my leg about 4-5 inches behind the knee. I sort of experience a pinch ( left leg has the tendency to fall asleep after 5-10 minutes unless I keep moving it around). I was thinking a short cushion under my rear might help. I've looked at a lot and all are too big (the seat well inside the bolsters measures ~ 12"x12". Has anyone a suggestion for a small non-slip cushion other than a folded up towel?
  • dick60dick60 Posts: 12
    My 1999 GT1 with 50,000 has developed some interior noises that are somewhat annoying. The A/C fan makes a soft mouse like noise which stops when the fan is turned OFF. The steering wheel makes a rubbing sound when making large turns such as parking or large sweeping turns.

    Does anyone know if the A/C fan can be lubricated to eliminate this noise. Also, will some oil in the steering wheel crack correct this steering noise?
  • Hello, and thank you in advance for giving me a hand here. I recently purchased a 2002 Grand Am GT and I am very impressed with the car so far. What I am looking for is information on how I can increase the performance of my car in any way possible by adding on performance parts. This would include power chips, ingition and fuel injection upgrades, and maybe even using a supercharger unit. I am looking for suppliers of these materials also. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  • I purchased a 96 Grand Am SE for my daughter with 48,000 miles. The car will occasionally start but stall right away, if you wait 10-15 minutes it will start and stay running. I replaced the fuel pump and filter. the car ran good for 3 weeks then had 1 episode of start stall. Any suggestions?
  • How do you remove the light fixture to gain access to the lamps. My manual show a bad picture and says to lift 2 retention clips. My car does not look like the photo and I cant find anything that looks like 2 retention clips. I did remove two bolts that held part of the mounting fixture, but that was not enough. I have to be missing something simple here.
  • The bolts you removed may have been for aiming the lamps. There are no bolts to remove when taking off the assembly. There are 2 black "L"-shaped metal clips that hold the assembly in place. From the top of the assembly, you can see 2 black tabs. Just pull them up and wiggle them a bit. Once the clips are off, you can pull the entire assembly out and change the bulbs.
  • thanks for the info,

    I saw the aiming bolts, those were torx head, I removed larger hex head bolts. Do I have to remove a large plastic cover to gain access to these clips. There is a plastic cover that spans the entire width of the car that has access holes to the aiming bolts as well as the bolts I removed. This cover is not shown in the picture in my manual.
  • moeharrimoeharri Posts: 108
    Yes, you have to remove the black ram air cover (assuming you have a GT). I did this last weekend and it took me 4 (!) hours to change a headlight!!! I cannot believe how hard it is to do work on a GM car. On our Explorer, I could change the spark plugs and headlights in under 10 minutes combined. I cannot believe that anyone would consider this process acceptable. Let me know if you have any more questions; I feel your pain (and mine, in my hands!).
  • Yes, I did forget to mention that you have to remove the black plastic trim panel. Easiest way to lift off the fasteners is with an interior trim tool. Or just use a flat head screwdriver to lift the center part of the fastener. Then you'll see those tabs.

    It really isn't so bad compared to changing the lights on the current Jetta or an older Mitsubishi I used to drive.
  • Thanks, got it done

    One simple line in the manual would have been nice - remove black plastic cover, then ...

    And the picture in the manual is taken after the unmentioned step!!!

    Oh well, It will be easier next time.
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    I was car shopping today and stopped into the local Pontiac Dealership and noticed there were about 3 or 4 different 2004 Grand Am models left, I test drove the SE2 i think which has the power sun roof leather seats also the GT model was nice, the dealership also had an SE1 or SE model which was a 4 cyl. I didnt get a chance to test drive it however I noticed it was almost 2,000 less than the SE2 model, and it had the power sunroof keyless entry, is there a major difference in the 4 cyl compared to the 6 cyl? and how are the reliability on the Grand AM's?
  • I hate them! Anyway to turn them off? Any secret codes or something? The sensor doesn't even work. It can be 85+ degrees out and full sunshine, yet the full headlights come on! And that dims the stereo which I hate. Any suggestions? Thanks!
  • jprybajpryba Posts: 201
    Well, with the 96-98 Grand Am, I believe you can raise the parking brake one click and disable the DRLs that way. (This won't actually set the parking brake, though -- to do that, you would have to raise it a bit higher.)

    I don't think you can do this with the 99 and up Grand Am, though.

    Anyway, I liked the DRLs when I had my 96 Grand Am. It was the only thing in the car that never broke down ;)
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