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Pontiac Grand Prix - 2000-2005



  • darkhalfdarkhalf Posts: 3
    I am just curious if anybody has heard any information about the redesigned grand prix for 03' or 04'?
  • broncodavebroncodave Posts: 26
    I never said that they would all the problems that I did. However, I think someone who is interested in buying a car should hear both good and bad ownership stories in order to make an informed decision.
  • mattchalmersmattchalmers Posts: 154
    I am not sure that I would have dealt with the situation in the same way Dave, but I can appreciate your frustration. I believe graphicguy's point on the confrontation issue is that when you give an ultimatum to some one like GM they are more likely to let you go buy a Honda. In their mind they already lost you as a customer so why spend $1,700 to help you out?

    Now for my experience. I totally agree with you that the problem was there from day 1. I had a 99 GP GT Sedan that I also bought brand new as my first car. My family is deeply GM as multiple members have been or are still employees. My GP was in the shop for over 20 business days the first year, not counting the 45 calendar days for bodywork (body shop was inept). I had a new transmission put in, drove it out of the service department and the driveability problem was still there. Next day I had a flat tire (nail). That was not the dealer's fault though because they admitted to flattening the right front not right rear. I digress, after the new transmission was already in they found out, by driving the car with a Tech 1 or 2 attached that the torque converter was engaging and disengaging repeatedly while shifting from 3rd to 4th. This was tearing the tranny to pieces. They downloaded new software to the computer and the problem was fixed.

    I had a sit down with the dealer's service manager and the GM district service manager. They spent 2 hours explaining to me that every car has problems and I am just hung up on the past problems. Suffice it to say I was not happy, I pulled rank (which I did NOT want to do) and got the car bought back.

    Because of the inept local dealer I did not buy another GP and instead bought a Catera (which has been great).

    This is only anecdotal evidence, but I do think there is a problem with the transmission system in the GPs that may or may not be fixed in 2000. It is very hard to know because for the last three years Pontiac/GM has refused to admit that a problem existed.

    My sympathy goes out to you Dave, you got bent over a barrel and the only thing I can tell you is what I told the GM rep, "I can only vote with my money. You will not listen to me now, but 40+ years of future car buying will speak for itself."
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,082
    What I've always contended to be true is being born out by what I'm hearing here. The dealer is the link between you and the manufacturer. Dealer service equates directly to the perception of your ownership experience, be it good or bad.

    Broncodave, in your situation, the dealer had no idea what went wrong. That's unacceptable. I would have hauled it to another dealer to get a better answer. AAMCO has been invetigated by the FTC for trying to put a new or overhauled transmission in just about every car that comes in to their shops, whether faulty or not. Fact is, your original dealer didn't feel compelled (because you were out of warranty and they weren't looking for your repeat business) to give you a straight answer. They are a bad dealer and left you with a bad ownership experience. If, as the transmission guys said, that your trans wouldn't shift into 4th gear was caused by some catastrophe, then every catastrophic event has to have some cause. How else would you know how to keep the problem from happening again, if you don't know the cause?

    I would be that if the dealer told you what went wrong and what they were going to do to fix it AND appealed to GM on your behalf with some sort of relief, your story would be different.

    mattchalmers--I had a buyback from BMW several yers ago. Had to fight tooth and nail to get it done, but I went through arbitration to "win the day". I haven't bought another BMW since then, but I don't condemn the brand, just the dealer. If the dealer is competent enough to fix problems, then your buyback, my buyback wouldn't have been neccessary.

    I'll repeat what I've said before. GM has put millions of the 3.8L/4 speed trannys (the only way they come) on the road. They put the same combo in the GPs. This is a proven design. Leave it to an inept dealer to srew something up.

    That's why I shop the dealer and much as I shop for the car or the price.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • broncodavebroncodave Posts: 26
    You both are absolutely right. I did make some mistakes and I learned a lot from them.

    granphicguy-- At the point in time I was ready to buy another GM despite the transmission problem. The dealer had he done right would have earned repeat business.

    mattchalmers-- you couldn't be more right about GM denying anything is wrong.

    I hold the dealer accountable for not following procedure and GM for backing up the dealer when he was wrong. It all come down to who owns the issue. The dealer says "we just sell them". GM says "we just build them". In the end, it is the customer that looses.

    My next post is my final letter to the owner of the dealership. If you never read another one of my posts then please read this next one; it will explain a lot.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,082
    Don't be so hard on yourself (and I appologize for being so judgemental). You've said your peace. I doubt you'll get much response from the dealer as they no longer have any "skin" in the game. A lesson was learned, unfortunately at your $1,800 expense.

    I will grant you, that there seems to be inordinate amount of "below acceptable" dealerships that operate in this country. I think that some of the "old thought" dealerships out there still exist that believe their responsibility for their products and services begins and ends when you drive the car off the lot. They are ususally easy to spot from the way they handle the sales end of things.

    If they seem to "churn" through their sales people quickly, then it is a more than even bet that they do so in the service area, too. Ususally, if they have a "seasoned" sales and service staff, it means that they care about their employees and it turn, their customers.

    There is a Pontiac dealer in my town that has been in business and in the same family for almost 60 years. None of their sales folks have been there more than 6 months (that's why I've never bought a car from them).

    Good luck with your new car (what'd you get?) and stop back from time to time and tell us how you're doing.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • broncodavebroncodave Posts: 26
    I do appreciate your comments. Your comments were very tame considering some of what I got from posting on some of the Grand Prix boards.

    You are right about the dealerships. I went to no fewer than 5 different Honda dealerships before I purchased the Accord. Three of them I wouldn't even consider buying from because they were unhelpful in the selling process. I knew if I ever had a problem they would not address it. It isn't just GM that has crappy dealers.

    The dealership that I purchased the Accord from was great. I got a quote over the web and came in for the test drive. The only other thing to decide was the value of the Grand Prix for the trade-in. I got a good value based on Kelly Blue Book and was in the Accord in less than 2 hours. I really liked the fact that the purchase price was set before I walked in the door. I got a pretty good deal too $100 over true invoice.

    As part of my purchase I requested to have a face to face meeting with the service manager before I signed on the dotted line. I told him what my expections are if I ever came in with a problem. He sat back and smiled and said "Is that why you aren't buying another Pontiac? I told him it was. He said "they must have really done you wrong to come in here and talk to me before you purchased. I haven't seen a customer your age do that before."

    Live and learn I guess. As a side note, I never did hear from the dealer or GM after my last letter but I didn't expect to either.
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    if there was an inherent problem with the transmission, would Volvo or BMW buy these trannies from GM? The fact is that Volvo's flagship S80 uses the same exact tranny.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,082
    Good luck with your Accord. My sister just bought one and loves it.

    She's younger than I am (by a substantial margin) and thinks I'm a dink for buying a "spots car" (she thinks anything with big tires is a sports car) at my advanced age (early 40s). Sigh!!!!!!!
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • mattchalmersmattchalmers Posts: 154
    The fact is that there is an inherent problem (there have been multiple bulletins, but no recall) with the transmission. I cannot answer why it is sold or bought to or by Volvo or any other auto manufacturer. I in no way meant to offend you sensibilities, only to state the obvious. In my case the problem was one of software from the beginning. There was no mechanical defect in the transmission itself, but the software problem led to symptoms. A failure would have followed if I had not forced the issue with the dealer.
  • mattchalmersmattchalmers Posts: 154
    There is no doubt about the short-sighted nature of GM currently. I went to Cadillac after having the GP bought back. I only regret that GM does not do the right thing more of the time. Most have the attitude that and I quote, "No car is perfect and you need to get past the fact that you have had so many problems in the past with this car. The fact is that it is fixed now and who wouldn't want to have a car with 25,000 miles and a new transmission?"

    All you can do Dave is vote with your dollars and your feet. Find a dealer that will treat you right that has a quality product and you should be fine. As for Honda, no doubt about quality, if you got a good dealer you should be fine.

    Good luck.
  • carrjarcarrjar Posts: 6
    Does anyone know if the Grand Prix will be the updated radios that debuted in the Bonneville?

    Or about any other changes for 2001?

    Also, I read that GM is redoing the Kansas Plant where the Grand Prix (and Intrigue) are made. So it looks like new Models for 2003 and they will use a the Epsilon platform.
  • tdheimtdheim Posts: 3
    Went to a different dealer. They discovered a "worn" tie rod end. So far water pump and
    tie rod end in 10k miles and 8 months. Getting a little concerned about long term reliability. I have noticed when shifting into drive while care is rolling backwards will generate a real skip in the transmission. The service manager said they all do that. Anyone else noticed this ?
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    why do you insist on shifting into Drive while rolling backward? All automatic transmissions hate that.
  • maximamaxima Posts: 19
    how hard is it just slam on the brakes for 1 sec and shift it into D?
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Yeah, not a good thing to shift into Drive while rolling backwards. 100 out of 100 transmissions will protest that kind of treatment.

    Speaking of trannys, mine went out at 26k--twice. Yes, I now have a new tranny, but it makes you wonder a) when it'll go out again and, b) what's next?
  • tdheimtdheim Posts: 3
    I believe the car actually had come to a stop when this occurred. I had a service tech drive the car to check out the front end noise and when backing out of the dealership he noticed the same skip when transitioning to a foward motion He made a comment that it did not seem normal to him, but the service manager held that it was normal. It's possible the car is still rolling(SLIGHTLY) when shifting into drive, but only slightly.
  • ms13ms13 Posts: 4
    I am new to this web site. I wish I would have checked it out before we bought our 1998 grand prix se. we bought is used with 21,000 miles on it. Nice shape, no accidents and even smells new. Now it has 29,500 miles on it and we have had it in the shop too many times to count. Every thing from a blown speaker to a tork converter problem. So far it has all been covered under warranty. A big reliability issue. However, when it is not in the shop, I love to drive it.

    There is still one thing the dealer(s) have not been able to correct. When driving and slowing down to turn or stop, at about 17mph we hear a sucking/winning noise. It is very annoying.

    We have even contacted Pontiac direct about all the problems we have had. They have blown us off since day one. And even suggested we contact the attorney generals office.

    Any one have/had a similar problem? Suggestions? How do we get them to buy the car back?

  • carrjarcarrjar Posts: 6
    Where did you buy the car? How do you know the previous owner did not abuse the car, or kept the damage hidden from you. I am thinking specifically of water damage.
  • arun3arun3 Posts: 1
    Hi, Just got my windows tinted (finally) on my 2000 GP. Good job overall, but...If the sun is out you can see a couple vertical streaks on the rear windshield, behind the 3rd taillamp. (I did not ask them to remove the assembly because I presumed on this car it would be fairly complicated). Now I kinda wish I had. Anyway the streaks look like the result of water dripping and drying on the glass.

    What's the best way to clean this? Any "non-invasive" ideas to clean that area without removing the taillight assembly? If not, can I as a non-mechanic remove the assembly myself? How? I could not find anything about this in the manual except for changing the bulb.

  • ms13ms13 Posts: 4
    Did we know the previous owner? no. How do we know the previous owner did not abuse it? We Don't. The previous owner was a lady going through a divorce. We did see the records from the dealership because it is the same dealership we take it to. The day we purchase the car she went out and leased a Grand Am, if that means anything.

    What do you mean by water damage? Here is a list of the items we have had fixed:

    Oil leak twice
    rear shock
    radio speaker
    transmission leak from the tork converter
    fan replaced
    transmission oil leak from line
    front end alignment
    front end cluck (different from alignment)
    Winning noise at 17mph decel
    Battery replace

    This list may not seem very long, but we have had it in many times for the same things. We have had it in five times for the winning noise and the last time they said it was gear noise. I don't believe it. One person who knows car pretty well thought it might be the tork converter. Since the noise only comes after it is warm. My concern is that every time we take it in that they may have cause other problems with it. Some dealerships are hard to trust. If we can fix this last winning/sucking noise we might keep the car since everything is fixed, now.

    sps (new to this web site)
  • carrjarcarrjar Posts: 6
    From the Sound of things, I though it may have been in a flood, random electrical problems, and leaks from items "low" on the car are often the result of water.

    Have they changed the trans fluid. Maybe dirt or water got into the transmission and might be causing the odd noises.
  • ms13ms13 Posts: 4
    Yes they did. Because there was a transmission leak they could not find until the car would only shift from 3rd gear. They told us the tork converter had a leak with the seal and lost fluid. However, the noise was there just before this happened - then went away after they replaced the seal - then came back.

    One person, who is familiar with cars because he works for GM, thought the noise was coming from the tork converter. He suggested this even before I told him about have the seal replaced.

    Somehow I am convinced the dealership does know what the problem is and they do not want to put the man hours in. Then again, it is still under warranty and they would get paid.

    The noise only happens when the car is warm - for example when we get off the highway.

  • ms13ms13 Posts: 4
    I just realized I spelled torque - tork. Yes, I am an educated idiot.
  • Hi everyone!! I'm new here. I currently own a '98 Dodge Avenger. I bought it new - at 21K miles, my trans went. Now, I am an unhappy Avenger owner with an under-powered car waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am weighing 2 cars. Next Feb-March, I'm either going to buy a GP GTP or Bonneville SSEi. I can't decide. I'm 31, I don't want an old persons car just yet, (lol) but, I have to say the Bonneville sure is looking sporty these days. I like a stiff riding car, so possibly the Bonneville is out, but I do want a reliable car if I'm going to pay 30K for it. I've also THOUGHT about the Indy 500 replica, but, the decals seem so "cheesy". I just like the ram-air scoops on the front and the rear spoiler is different than that of the regular GTP. So, I'm just checking with everyone as to reliablity issues, handling, etc. I'd appreciate any input. I will be buying a 2001, so I'm anxious to see what info comes out on those when available. Thank you! Any input will be of great help. (I've also been considering a Trans-Am.....don't bother?)
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591

    Brother, if you have the bucks, go with the T/A. Those things are awesome!!!!!

    I love my 2000 Grand Prix GT, but it's not in the same league with the T/A. If you can afford the initial investment, don't mind buying premium gas (would also be true for the other cars you mentioned, though, come to think of it), and don't mind spending about $300.00 a piece on tires that only last 25-30K miles, then definitely go with the T/A.

    And, be sure to get the 6-speed manual, of course.

    Black would be totally awesome, like the one in the comercial that eats the car in front of it at the stoplight.

    Oh well, let us know what you end up with.

    Like I said, I love my GP GT, but I didn't get the GTP because of its requirement for premium gas. I sort of wish I had, though. Premium is usually only 20 cents per gallon higher than regular, and as high as the gas prices are now, what's another 20 cents per gallon gonna matter?

  • tsjay, thank you for the input!! (by the way, I'm a, but that's ok!!) I've really been struggling with this T/A issue, because they are so nice looking and sound fantastic. I don't really mind the gas issue, so, I just may end up going with that. Thanks again for your input!! Oh and by the way, how do the GTP's sound? I haven't test drove one yet. Call me crazy, but, I have a "thing" for the deep rumble of a powerful car!! ;)
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    Grand Prix GTP is fast, good looking, and practical. I have one and love it. It sure won't beat a Trans Am but it will beat most other cars on the road. It has a bunch of luxurious features as well. The ride is tight but not harsh. The Goodyear RS-A tires are good all-weather tires but many people find them not good enough (I guess they don't drive much in the snow).

    Bonneville SSEi's styling is not as clean as that of the Grand Prix GTP. And it is not as quick. However the Bonneville might be more solid.
    I test drove the Bonneville SLE and was not crazy about some of its interior components.

    It sure would be nice if they put 12-way power seats from the SSEi into the GTP.
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    the minute I saw your nickname I thought you were a girl. I think I watch Blue's Clues too much with my kids.
  • lol @ blues's funny...I don't even have kids and have never seen the show!! My usual nickname online is GOLDSPARK, and it was very late when I joined, so, there it was!! (I couldn't come up with anything ;) ) Anyway, thank you so much for your input, I really appreciate it. I wish I would have had been online when I bought my Avenger back in '98...I never would have bought it had I known all the problems!! (Not to mention it's poorly underpowered) I definately like the T/A's power, and looks but, I think when all is said and done I will end up with the GP GTP. I know a few people who have GP's, all years and from what I've heard on here also everyone seems to just love them. Thank you again for all of your input! It's greatly appreciated!!
This discussion has been closed.