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Pontiac Grand Prix - 2000-2005



  • burner7burner7 Posts: 17
    hey all...ive got a 2000 2DR GP GT and was just wondering what all you were averaging for city MPG.......ive been getting a miserable avg. of 16 mpg...EPA says i should be getting 19......just wondering what you all were getting...
  • psibayanpsibayan Posts: 6
    On 2/24/01 we bought a Grand Prix SE with the 3.1 V6 engine from a Pontiac dealership in Norco, Ca. Three days later with 190 miles the engine made some unusual sounds so we drove it to the Pontiac dealership and we were told a TSB just came out in Jan 2001 to replace the 1 through 4 pistons. The service mgr called a week later to advise that a long block was ordered and his shop would be replacing the engine as the honing of the cylinder walls could not fix the problem. We contacted the PM CARES customer service line and our dealership to requeat another Grand Prix. The reps blew us off, stonewalled us from talking to anyone above them at Pontiac Motors and basically said they would fix the car and thats it... good bye and go away!!! The dealership GM said he spoke to the regional Pontiac office and was told they would fix the car and nothing more. The GM offered to sell us an extended warranty. We have no confidence in this car, the 3.1 engine and sorry to say Pontiac as a business. Having read this forum I was convinced many of you were very happy with your Pontiac vehicles. We were hoping to be one of you. This was our first Pontiac and last as we refuse to pay for this lemon. We have asked Phillips Pontiac Mazda dealership to cancel the deal and return our trade and money. Would anyone else do anything different? Any ideas how to resolve this with Pontiac and or the dealership?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,143
    karlsu99--when I originally shopped for my GTP, I was looking pretty seriously at the Acura TL (and some others)...a fine car in its own right. I had read the same "beef" about interior materials as you did. I went so far as to remove the "knobs" of both the Acura and the GP. The GPs plastic had the same "heft" and thickness as the TLs. The shapes and designs were different, but the platic seemed to be of the same quality as the TLs. I think what some object to most was that the GPs plastic didn't have the same "texture" as some others. I personally didn't have any issues with the interior of my GP, either.

    psibayan--while "lemon laws" are a bit different from state-to-state, in general, GM has 3 chances to fix your engine right. If they can't, over a reasonable amount of time, then they will be subject to buying the car back via lemon laws. If they agree to give you a new engine, I would ask for a "free" GM extended, bumper-to-bumper warranty as well as a free rental car while your car is being repaired. Keep all of you communications information with the dealer and GM as back up. If the new engine fails, then you may have a case that you can take to arbitration under lemon laws in your state. The 3.1 engine has been around awhile and has seemed to be one of their "tried and true" designs. They've been using this engine for a while. My guess would be that the new one will perform quite well.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • toon01toon01 Posts: 18
    I agree with graphic guy on both counts.

    I think the GP interior is more of personal thing. because of the shapes and "textures" of buttons and knobs, it may appear to have a cheaper look than other cars. But it isn't cheap, so it becomes a personal preference. My 2000 GP GT with over 17,000 has had no problems!!

    Psibayan, i feel for you. I had a 2000 Monte Carlo SS bought back; however, I did give GM several tries to fix it. I don't think they will do much for you after just one try. Give the new engine a chance. If you still have concerns, you'll need to try once more, then you'll have a case(depending on state law). I think the dealer should provide and extended warranty to you, if for no other reason than to retain customer loyalty.

    Lastly, has anyone tried a K & N filter. I am very interested as to whether any increased horsepower was felt!

  • greywolfgreywolf Posts: 51
    One comment psibayan - if you had read this board as you stated, why didn't you get the 3.8 engine? It's the more reliable engine, and has much better power than the 3.1 with almost no fuel penalty.

    Unfortunantly you were one of the unlucky ones that has a major defect upon purchase. This I can assure you is not the norm. My GTP has operated flawlessly since I purchased it in 9/00. I love the car even more today than I did when I got it. I would not hesitate purchasing another one.

    In regards to your problem - I can tell you that many manufacturers aren't sympathetic when it comes to handling these issues. A friend of mine had 200 miles on his BMW 323i when the tranny blew, and he demanded a new car, but was only able to get his tranny replaced.

    Having the engine replaced is probably the better thing - since it's *new* and potentially is not damaged from faulty pistons. From a legal aspect, they dont have to give you a new car. If they can fix it within a reasonable amount of time, they are fufilling their obligations.

    From a customer service aspect, they should know better. They should at least give you some freebies for your trouble. (extended warranty). I can tell you that Pontiac Cares will always want you to take the dealer route when it comes to fixing the problem. They dont have a magic wand to make the dealer give you a new car.

    If you still have problems, try calling the troubleshooter (
  • greywolfgreywolf Posts: 51
    Have you installed the cone filter yet?
    You probably should go with a CAI system instead - no use getting more air if it's hot!!

    Gains are typically ~ 5 hp from what I have heard.
  • toon01toon01 Posts: 18
    I haven't done anything yet. Was just wondering if it is worth it from a power standpoint. Thx for the reply!
  • stanigustanigu Posts: 11
    Can't tell if you have GT or GTP? Sorry, the thread's so long that I just don't have time to look back if you've mentioned it before...

    I installed a CAI system from MSP (motorsport performance). It is essentially a 9" K&N with plastic housing that is insulated from Engine heat. The difference is incredible! It is generally agreed in the GTP community that this MSP CAI would add about 10hp. I believe it!!
  • toon01toon01 Posts: 18
    it's a GT; hence the need for some additional hp!!
  • stanigustanigu Posts: 11
    GTs are great cars!

    Many people have changed the CAI system, with great results. I would recommend MSP, but they're the most costly at around $260; but they do include a case for your PCM, and headsheild for the F-duct. Thrasher makes a similar one for a little less, and RAT does also (though they are having some customer service issues, I understand).

    I can say that MSP fit was excellent; didn't have any problems with the install.

    Doing this CAI mod along with U-bend removal would be good for about 7 hp, but that's just a guess. The stock airbox is very restrictive!
  • toon01toon01 Posts: 18
    thx for the info!!
  • burner7burner7 Posts: 17
    hey all..ive got a question that needs urgent 2 door grand prix has a potential safety hazard -- the seat backs do not lock!!! i have taken it to the dealer several times, they insist that GM makes it that way..anyone with a 2 door grand prix let me know if your seats lock (by that i mean can you move them at will or do you need to pull the lever on the seat back) it is a very hazardous problem,, i need confirmation from someone..thanks a lot....
  • stanigustanigu Posts: 11
    I think since this forum is categorized under "sedan", most folks here have 4 door version...I could be wrong. Try a group under coupes?
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    the front passenger seatback is designed to be tilted forward without having to pull any levers.

    However it has an inertia locking mechanism that will make sure that the seatback is locked upright in case you slow down quickly.
  • 91gpste91gpste Posts: 1
    I bought a Pontiac Grand Prix STE sedan, specially ordered in 1991 with the 3.4 liter dual overhead cam engine and every single option and accessory. The interior has held up extremely well and, after nearly 10 years and 125,000 miles it still looks nearly new and not at all worn out. In fact, the interior is probably the least trouble prone part of this car! We have had expensive problems with the ABS system on this car but all other problems were fixed under warranty years ago. What was true of a 1991 model probably does not apply now, though.
  • fkoehlerfkoehler Posts: 15
    Anyone car to comment on using mid or premium gas in their 2000 GT?

    Currently, I'm running stock Costco 87 octane, and occasionally run 89 through her. While I don't notice any usual pinging/knocking from the engine, I'm wondering if people really see a difference running the better grades.

    BTW, it almost makes me cry when I think of the past 2 years I wasted owning a Malibu...
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    The naturally aspirated 3800 engine in your GT does not require premium gas. Only supercharged (GTP / Regal GS) engine needs it. Regal is a Buick twin of Pontiac GP GT/GTP. Somewhat different sheet metal, seats, and instrument colors, but the same engines, underbody, and most of other parts.

    BTW, my wife and I have the supercharged Regal GS and 98 Malibu, with older 155hp(?) 3.1l engine. We like both cars. Especially after replacing the OEM Affinity tires by SH-30. With the new tires the cornering, handling and road feel are so much better. This was almost like buying a new car.

    Buick is much more comfortable for longer trips, but for 2 hours or less driving Malibu is absolutely adequate. This is for my tastes, and I am almost 50 and overweight. My wife is younger and lighter; she consider Malibu adequate for at least 3-4 hours driving.

    For city driving Malibu, probably, is even better than Regal: very nimble, and easier to park, especially in garage. The acceleration also is very adequate for city.
  • toon01toon01 Posts: 18
    I tried the medium grade to increase gas mileage. I'm getting about 25.5/gal highway and was hoping for 27 or 28mpg that I got in my MC SS. No luck! It really didn't seem to make any difference. I run Exxon 87 consistently and she purrs right along!!
  • roderacerroderacer Posts: 311
    I have been on other boards within TH. I was in the market for a new GM SUV. But I decided that was not a financially sound decision (can't afford one). Anyway, the GP's have always struck me as a nice ride. A few friends have them. One has a GTP and one has an SE. They both enjoy the cars alot.

    After looking at the previous posts on this board, there are some questions I have that will greatly affect the decision to buy a GP...

    Granted, I know that most people come to forums like this to express dissatisfaction or problems with their vehicles. On the other hand there are those who will defend their cars till the end. Makes, sense. How often do you hear good news? Most happy owners just go about their business. It's the horror stories that we read and those are what most people, in my opinion, focus on.

    I have read many posts here and other places re: the tranny on GP's. On an aftermarket GP site, they sell and recommend a tranny cooler. They sell one that is about 60% larger than the stock one and claim it can double the life of the transmission. For $60-$100, installed, is a small price to pay to prevent what seems to be a trouble prone transmission at times. What concerns me is adding parts to a brand new car. Is there any chance that doing this could affect the tranny or other systems negatively?

    I hope to get some valuable info from all of you.

    Thanks! RR
  • fkoehlerfkoehler Posts: 15

    Yeah, I didn't think I really needed the mid or premium. My Dad was a mechanic, and I know most people buying the higher grades are under the mistaken impression that they will get better performance from their standard compression engines. Actually, as I understand it, the higher octane is really lowering their actual power, because its harder to burn... At least, thats how it was decribed to me. I agree, the Malibu is a great $15000 car for the money. Except, that its made by Chevy...
    I think the Malibu was slightly easier in downtown SF traffic though. Evfen though its basically the same length +4 inches, it seemed a little more manueverable. Read my post ~#600, sure saved my life quite possibly.

    I don't know about the Regal, but the Lesabre I rented last year was awesome!
    Power, and comfort worth paying for.

    Just filled up with hitest, and noticed what seemed to be a slight improvement on the freeway. However, can't figure out my true mileage as I commute 2hrs/day. Todays fillup was 12.5 gallons/280 miles. Guess thats ok, considering the commute and my lead foot.

    The tranny cooler seems like a good idea though.

    Woul be nice if someone could post a list of mods for the GT that increase performance, while not voiding the warranty.

  • roderacerroderacer Posts: 311
    Good point about the warranty, Fred. I'd be interested in that info as well. With some of you adding the pulleys and CAI's and such, I'm surprised that not much has been mentioned about the trans cooler. All those extra ponies are nice but take care of the tranny-that is how the power gets to the ground !.

    A cosmetic note: the '99 and '00 (I think) model years offered the thick 5 spoke aluminum wheels. I like those much better than the current choices. The GP brochure says that those are only available on the '01 SE. The GT and GTP come with the God awful 3 spokes which I would'nt even consider, or the 5 spoke torque star wheels. I suppose those are OK, but I really like the older style. Why can't they just bolt them on anyway - what's this availability crud?

    Maybe I could barter them of my buddy's GTP...

  • engine12engine12 Posts: 17
    Since my last post alot has happened with my Quest for my Mid-life crisis car!We are In the process of re-mortgaging our house thus freeing up the cash for my new Car,hopefully within two months i can buy!
    Anyhow.....Took the Intrepid R/T for a ride the other night and was loving it till i looked at all the standard features it did'nt have,The GTP has many more Standard "bells and whistles" than the R/T,My big concern was the extra money being spent on premium fuel,Appx.$200.oo a year,when you think about it really isn't alot.
    The R/T rode very nicely for having 17" rims but i walked away from the dealer feeling like i wasn't satisfied with the car!I will be taking the GTP for a test ride this week and will get back here with my feelings,I have posed the question of the GTP or the R/T to a half dozen of my friends and not one picked the Dodge!
    Has anybody towed a small trailer with the GTP??,
  • j_colemanj_coleman Posts: 143
    Does anyone know when the Grand Prix will be redesigned? 2003 model year maybe? Will it be a lot different from the current models? Any idea about what engine(s) will be offered?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,143
    This is all speculation, of course....but, my brother-in-law works as an engineer for GM. They really don't tell him the marketing decisions about when any given model will be "redesigned".

    He's offered some "tidbits" of information that may be relevant to the redesign, however.

    GM has done testing on a 3.5L DOHC supercharged engine that gets 300HP and almost as much torque (about 280) in the current GP. The problem is putting that engine/tranny in a FWD car, though.

    GM has a "test" GrandAM with the newer 3.4L engine that was supercharged, also. I think that one of the car mags actually has driven it and says it could be a successor to the GTO. I suppose it could be used in a GP GTP.

    They've also done some tests with a smaller V8 (shortstar) in the GP. This engine is used in the soon to be defunct Aurora.

    If any (or none) of these engines end up in the next generation GP is anyone's guess.

    General consensus is that the GP will be redesigned for the 2003 MY.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • greywolfgreywolf Posts: 51
    I will tell you that most GP owners are more than satisfied. There are several very active web sites (check out as well as aftermarket stores (www.grandprixstore).

    Most cars with bad reps and lots of complaints would not have so many resources and enthusiasts dedicated to it.

    Apart from the tranny cooler - yes heat is the enemy of the transmission. Putting a cooler in might reduce temps, especially if you do a lot of city driving. There is no harm in installing it, other than the person doing the install screwing it up. (causing a leak). It would be a good time to change to all synthetic tranny fluid also.

    But, I've seen people who had tranny problems despite that. (mostly people who mod their cars). Because the GP tranny can't handle that much more than stock, when you start boosting the power with a smaller pully, etc. you are taking a risk that your tranny life will be reduced.
  • What will be potential problem areas as my 92 GP SE gracefully ages. It has 98000 miles w/3.1 engine. The 4sp. auto transmission still is very smooth. What kinds of prevent. maintenance would you recommend to keep my ride happy? Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • engine12engine12 Posts: 17
    GM seems to be getting better!!took the GTP for a ride Yesterday without a salesperson with me and was blown away by this car!
    I only went out for a 15 mile ride but had planned it out to give a varying terrain to drive on,handles bumps great,very tame around town,likes to merge onto the highway at full throttle.......I found after driving a 117 horse toyota P/U for 6 years this is alot of car....and two hands on the wheel are mandatory when stuffing the pedal to the floorboards!
    I have never driven a car this powerful before and am very anxious to go look for the one i want (Navy blue with Graphite leather,Basically the 1SB package w/the Bose system)My decision is FINAL,there will be a GTP in my Garage before Summer........
  • sunfgtsunfgt Posts: 40
    I don't understand why GM didn't just use the 4L60 tranny that's used for the F and Y bodies. Then they could have actually kept the engine closer to the 300hp produced by the GPX concept. Even if they decided to just be nice and left it at what it is now, there would have been plenty of room for mods. As it stands, the max rating for the stock 4T65 tranny is 280 lb-ft, which I think is the output of a GTP. That really seems to be pushing it.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    First, GM is using 4T80-E with Cadillac. The 4L60-E you mentioned is a rear-wheel-drive transmission for Corvette, Camaro, Firebird and trucks.

    Second, the maximum engine torque for 4T80-E is 305 lb-ft. Not so much more than 280 lb-ft for 4T65-E MN-7 model at GTP and Regal GS. And substantially less than the 350 lb-ft for 4L60-E. The maximum gearbox torques are 460 vs. 400; 670 for 4L60-E.

    The third problem is weight (and size). The GTP transaxle weights 214 lbs (97kg), the Cadillac one - 295 lbs (134 kg). Huge difference.

    The much stronger rear-wheel-drive transmission weights only 162.5 lbs (73 kg) - because it does not include the "axle" part.

    All this information is easily available on Internet:

This discussion has been closed.