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Pontiac Grand Prix - 2000-2005



  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    It may very well be the same AC Condenser and Compressor for the GP'S going back to the late 90's model also- I just did the 02 and 03 for a quick comparison-
    If you have time, go to and bring up the list prior to 02 to see if its still the same units.

    *as an after thought, i put in the GTO for 04 - Obviously with that big engine etc- completely different units.*
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    narrowed it down further for you:

    From 1997 to 2003- both the GT and GTP have the same Compressor and Condenser

    Prior to 97 it was a different condensor and compressor model #'S (1996, 1995 )
  • bobinnjbobinnj Posts: 22
    Appreciate you digging into the AC components for the GP's. Obviously, they made a change for '04. Now if I could just get a comparo on the compressor specs, that might answer the question. They must have had reason for changing and, although it won't help me, hopefully they'll change back or resdesign the AC so it operates more efficiently. It definitely does not cool as well as most of the cars I've owned or ridden in. In meantime, for anyone considering buying a new GP ('04 or later) - 'caveat emptor'.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    No complaints with our 04. It works.

    I wonder why they changed and I wonder if the new ones have some cooling issues for some people? This is the first I have heard of the problem.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    IIRC, many accessories are now attached to the engine block of the 3.8 Series III. I'm not very sure about the compressor, but the alternator now is (just hope it doesn't suffer from problems as that on the 3.5 DOHC did). Regardless, a simple change as different anchorage points would be enough to deserve a new part #, even if it's otherwise the same part. Therefore it's hard to assume that it's a wholly new compressor because of a different part #. The only way to find out is by comparing their specs, which is hard to come by...
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    This is going to be a little winded, but I have a lot of info for you.

    I had my 03 GT in for routine maint. etc this morning.(Local Pontiac Dealership)
    I got to talking with the parts dept people while waiting and asked them what was the difference
    between the 03 and 04 regarding refrig etc (R134A)

    They went into the site -(need a password to get the good stuff naturally!)

    They printed out a REFRIGERANT SYSTEM CAPACITIES sheet for me on both vehicles- 03 and 04.

    Your not going to like the numbers, but I'll recommend other options after this:

    R134A Refrig Charge- DOCUMENT ID # 960490- 2004 GP- 1.05(KG) or 2.3LBS

    DOCUMENT ID # 847987- 2003 GP- .997 (KG) 0r 2.2LBS
    The BTU rating for R134A Refrig (from another site I looked up) is approx 93 BTU'S per lb.

    Doing basic math 04 GP- 2.3 X 93 = approx 214BTU'S
                     03 GP- 2.2 X 93 = approx 205BTU'S

    If the above numbers are correct, the 04 has the HIGHER BTU rating.

    I know you said that you had it to two GM Dealerships to be checked out - dye test for leaks etc.

    I also spoke to the service dept- they said when they have a complaint -re-a/c not working right- they would completely purge the entire system- refill the PAG OIL etc- Re-charge with R-134A- check for leaks- (dye test etc.)- replace all "0" rings in system.

    (*Side note here- They said they have not had any complaints they are aware of regarding A/C not being cold enought etc on 04 GP'S)

    Did either one of your Dealerships do this for you or did they just test with dye?
    Also they said they WOULD NOT normally check under your dash to see if the Evaporator was mal-functioning, but this is another area to consider.
    (The Evaporator was also changed from 03 to 04)
    03- Part# 1562692
    04- Part# 1562962

    One last question- What Dealerships did you go to?
    I also live in NJ- (Northwestern part of the state)
  • I don't believe you mentioned trying this (if you did, nevermind :-):

    We noticed the A/C wasn't too cold (even down to 5 blue pegs and full blower) a few weeks ago. The car was due for the 15,000 mile service (actually have 17,600 on it) and one of the things the manual says to change at 15K is the Passenger Cabin Air Filter. I had to tell the service dept. about this since it wasn't part of their routine 15K schedule :-|

    Granted, it hasn't been quite as hot here the last week or so, but boy what a difference! It's like that NAPA commercial with Mikey & Dale Jr. in the "frozen" car on the beach. I can only bring the dial down to about 3 blue pegs and it's too darn cold already!

    Just thought that might be the issue here.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaPosts: 253
    I've told my dad several times he needs to call Pontiac, but he won't do it. He finally got the shade fixed himself yesterday, and is going to order a window switch from the local dealer closest to where we live (about 15 minutes away). The first dealership he went to was the one near where he works in NC. Just gonna order the switch and put it in at home, forget about the dealer. I totally agree with the "Mr. BADwrench" idea. I'm going to tell dad one more time he needs to call Pontiac and write/call the dealer, and if he doesn't, I may just do it myself. We try to avoid dealerships at all costs because this is the sort of thing that always happens. First of all you get ripped off, because they charge an arm and a leg for nothing, then they always seem to tear more up than they fix. We have better luck going to Joe Schmo's garage.
  • rkw2rkw2 Posts: 66
    At the 3000 servicing at the end of April I complained about the AC. Some things were done to correct it (I had to leave the car as I could not wait for it) I'm not sure exactly what they did as it did not appear on my receipt. But I read some things on the warranty work papers I signed. I should have requested a copy but did not. Then again in June when I was there for the 6000 mile servicing I also complained. The service manager told me that it was registering 55 degrees which is colder than standard. I was driving yesterday in the rain with the ac on. The car was cold , but I noticed when I went to change radio stations, the radio was almost hot to the touch. I just feel that the big front and rear windows combined with the heat being emitted off of the dash board when it it is in the cause.
    I've gone to Freehold Pontiac, Buick GMC in Freehold NJ. I've been pleased with the service there.
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175

    Need your professional opinion regarding the 04 GP
    A/C problems for bobinnj, rkw2, etc.

    Anything else to look for?


  • racer17vracer17v Posts: 6
    Hey guys- just wanted to add some feedback. I have a 2004 GTP and my A/C works just fine. My girlfriend is always complaining it's too cold and even puts the heated seat on sometimes! Sorry to hear some of you are having problems, but I can safely say it is not happening in every car.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Chuck, I don't know if alcan reads this discussion - you might try also posting in an appropriate place on the M&R board where he hangs out.

    Let us know what you find out.
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    Thanks Pat,
    I'll try to get him on the M&R board.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You can link him here by right clicking on a message number here, copying that link and then pasting that into a message you post over there.

    Or if you want me to do it, let me know.

    I should have thought of linking him to the messages here earlier.
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    You can if you want to- I already left a message on the M&R board for him.

    Thanks again.
  • tjackson2tjackson2 Posts: 19
    I have 10,000 miles on my 04 GTP and have noticed that it does take off quickly and does an excellent job at burning rubber from a dead stop, but at about 50 mph the acceleration seems to drop off considerably. This is my first experience with an supercharged engine. Took it to the service manager and he said it performes like other GTP's he has driven. any comments? I traded in a 95 corvette for the GP
  • gzgtpgzgtp Posts: 83
    Just drove my new GTP home.
    I read that regular octane if fine to use.
    what is everyone else using?
    Do you notice better performance with higher octane?
  • gzgtpgzgtp Posts: 83
    I have only had the GTP a couple of days, but I seem to have very decent acceleration at 50MPH.
    I will be getting a better idea on acceleration during the commute this week.
  • tjackson2tjackson2 Posts: 19
    I tried it out again tonight and it shifts at about 50 mph, it has decent acceleration from 50, but not nearly the same as from 0-50.
    I don't think I'm getting the 6.6 sec. 0-60 mph they claim. I had the traction control off and it left a nice long black mark!!!!
    Guess I was expecting the same performance in second. Never guess I'm a 59 year old gear head would ya. to answer your question, it may be my imagination, but it feels a little peppier with premium gas
  • drwilscdrwilsc Posts: 140
    I had a 99 Regal GS, which has essentially the same engine as the GTP. The 3.8 supercharged engine has more torque than horsepower (280 vs. 260). These pushrods with more torque tend to go better off the line than they do at high sppeds. Engines that are smaller in displacement but have double overhead cam and multivalve are the opposite. They do not go as well off the line, but rev higher at speeds above 50 mph.
  • bobinnjbobinnj Posts: 22
    Thanks for all the info. on the GP AC ratings, etc. I complained to GM in Detroit and got a call back from someone who said he was Head Engineer for Pontiac. He said they made a lot of changes in the '04 GP AC system and it actually was "more expensive" than the '03. Guess that jives with your higher BTU ratings. They wanted me to bring it back to the dealership and have a Pontiac engineer check it. Since I had sat in a brand new GP at request of my salesman and it seemed to cool down slowly just like mine, I didn't see the point, nor did I want the hassle of leaving it, getting a ride back after work since they don't give you free loaners, even if it's warranty repairs, unless it will take over night. BTW - the 2 dealers I took it to were: 1) Salerno Pontiac/GMC/Buick in Randolph, NJ and 2) Norman Gale Pontiac/GMC/Buick. As far as I know, they didn't do any purging and re-filling with freon. They did check the "O" rings, though. I was told it was "full of freon", cooled down to 45F, and no leaks. Of course, they check it in a indoor service bay, with no direct sun or superheated cabin to put a load on it. No matter - I got fed up with the whole thing this weekend and traded it in for a new Maxima SL. Wow - what a difference! AC comes out cold almost immediately (has dual climate control) and I have to turn the temp up after just a few minutes. BTW - The power surge out of the Nismo 3.5L V6 is impressive and trannie shifts smooth as silk - seems to just take off with no moaning or groaning, like my GTP did, which felt more like a lumbering tank accelerating. I made a big mistake buying the Pontiac, and it cost me big coin to get out of it, but I am happy I did. Not having to deal with these incompetent GM service centers is worth the price. I'm glad not everyone has the problem I did with the GP, but considering my GTP was low mileage, I will chalk it up to it being a lemon. Wish all you GP'ers good luck - I'm gone.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Congrats on your Maxima, I hope you like it.

    Know, however, that with automatic climate control, the temp should be set on the temperature you want it to be. If you have to turn it up after a while as the car is getting too cold, then the setting you end up turning it up to is the place you should have it to start with. Just like a home thermostat, the AC will still get to the set temperature just as quickly, it just then won't go under it.

    Put another way, the car will not cool down any faster just because you set the temperature lower---instead it will just keep cooling til it DOES get that cold or you stop it by turning it up. That's what's automatic about automatic climate control. Once you have it, you will never want to go back.

    My 98 Grand Prix GTP had it. GM deleted it, even as an option, on Grand Prix a couple of years later.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    I think it was foolish to take such a big monetary hit selling your GP like that. I guess you have more money to burn than I do. I can understand the frustration we had a bad Sequoia a few years ago but when Pontiac engineers were going to come and look at your car's A/C, it's clear something was going to be done for you.

    Enjoy your new car though it cost you dearly. Better you than me.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    No, it wasn't foolish. He put his money where his mouth was. It is very rare on reading these and other boards that someone does what needs to be done to be happy regardless of cost and even comes back to close out the disscussion with the outcome. He knows he made a mistake by buying a vehicle he didn't fully check to see if it fully filled his expectations. He came here, he joined, he posted, with no quick fix that his dealers may have overlooked, he moved on. While I am unsure his expectations and perceptions are valid, I admire his conviction and actions.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaPosts: 253
    I guess I'm just different from everyone else, but, enlighten me here. If you buy a new car, and the only complaint you have is the air conditioner...which "doesn't cool down fast enough," I have to say that doesn't constitute a huge problem for me. A huge problem is your new car breaking down, faulty engine, faulty transmission, stuff that will go out and make the car immoveable...that would cause me to want to get rid of it, label it a lemon, and take such a financial hit. But just simply the A/C not working like you want it to? I would not call that a lemon. If the car functions just like all the other Grand Prixs then, by gosh, every single one of them must be lemons! Some poor Joe will come along behind you and fall in love with your old (but new) GTP, and get a GREAT deal on it because you took the financial hit on it for him. I guess those of us who don't have money growing on trees in our backyard should appreciate those like yourself who do, and will simply get rid of a car because of pitty complaints. Enjoy your new Maxima, but how long will it take you to find something pitty wrong with it as well? Such as the radio knob doesn't turn like you think it should and you trade it in on an Acura.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    A person with conviction can still make a bad decision. The two things are not mutually exclusive.

    If you have lots of money to throw around like that then why would you buy a Grand Prix in the first place? Like "idntnvi" says, it's one issue and it could be fixed I am sure.

    Like I said, better him than me.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    Oh, thats what I said. He made a bad decision, I am with you on that. I just think the bad decision was the first purchase. I just don't think it was "foolish" to correct the results. Just difference between us on word choices. And it keeps the New Jersey economy humming along.
  • I'm all for keeping the NJ economy going, since I live there! :)
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    Sorry you did not want to wait to see what the GM Engineer's could have done, but thats all water under the bridge, anyway,
    Bottom line here is Your Money/ Your Decision!

     Good luck with your new wheels!!
  • bobinnjbobinnj Posts: 22
    Thanks to all who replied to my story - I enjoyed reading all the posts, pro and con. To give you a bit more background, I didn't take quite as big a hit as most buyers since I got the GMS discount (my sister works for GM) and the rebate last year. That's not to say I didn't lose several grand, but it was either waiting to see what the engineer had to say (remembering 2 trips to 2 different dealers, and checking another '04 GTP confirmed that there was nothing wrong with my AC unit),and watching my trade drop big time when the '05's came out (and brother, you would be suprised how much the trade-in value of the '04 GP's have gone down in 1 year - over 40%!). To answer some other posts - there are medical reasons why I need a good AC to cool quickly as I must transport an elderly relative with a heart condition. On hot days, we'd be sweating for the first 15-20 mins while the darn thing tried to cool down. Not good for the old ticker. Yes, it may seem foolish to get rid of a perfectly good, like new vehicle just for poor AC performance, but I'm a busy professional, and didn't have the time to go back/forth, depend on people driving me back to dealerships, etc. Why did I buy the Pontiac in the first place? Good question - besides getting the GMS discount + rebate, I never had a GM car before and had heard good things about the GP's (unfortunately, I didn't read Consumer Reports review a couple months after I got it, as they panned it, calling it 'mediocre'). Plus I liked the styling of the new '04. It was relatively inexpensive compared to an import sport sedan so I gave it a shot. It gave me decent transportation, but once summer hit, I dreaded going in it. Am I loaded with $$ that I can just throw money away on a bad vehicle choice? - No - wish I was. BUt my personal comfort and that of my friends/family are worth the money to me. Do I wish I could have had it repaired or had something done to improve the AC performance - Yes, as it was otherwise a comfortable, roomy car and mine was pretty well loaded up. But when 2 service mgrs tell you 'sorry - nothings' wrong, checked everything and it's operating to specs, etc', well you just get frustrated and eventually throw in the towel. Life's too short to get aggravated over a car. And no - I don't buy and sell cars willy nilly. Had my Datsun 280ZX for 8 years, T-bird for 15 years and Pathfinder for almost 3, which I still own. If I am happy with a vehicle, I hold onto it, even to point of getting an extended warranty when the factory one expires. I know it's not good money management to buy a new car and trade it in after just a year, but as I said, it's not worth my time or blood pressure to be aggravated. If someone can live with my GP and enjoy it and save a bundle over a new one - so be it. I wish them luck and glad I could make it happen. It certainly wasn't a pleasant drive in the warm weather (funny thing too - it had seat heaters and in the winter time, when you turned them on (low setting), it got so hot, you had to turn them off after just 5 mins or it felt like your -ss would burn! I complained to the dealer too, but again he said - nope, there's no adjustment, have to accept it. Another example of great GM engineering - NOT!).
    Good luck to all - I've enjoyed the interchange.
This discussion has been closed.