Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Pontiac Grand Am Brakes

chergibchergib Posts: 1
I am trying to sell my 2002 GT1. Beauty of a car, but the sale was held up today because of a grinding noise when the potential buyer used the brakes. Now, I have been living with this for quite sometime; and have had it in the shop for grinding while braking & turning (under warranty - lucky me!) and the tires were replaced because there was a "bulliten" on the tires, and also at 16000 mi the pads were replaced and rotors resurfaced in the front only. So what I need to know is does anyone else have grinding brakes? :confuse:


  • rockyvrockyv Posts: 5
    My 2002 GA does the same thing. I bought it last July with 25,000 miles on it and the salesman said they put new brake pads on it when I bought it. I have not had it looked at though.
  • me_ks_1me_ks_1 Posts: 2
    I bought my 2003 grand am se in april w/ 32,000 miles on it. Told the dealership about the grinding brakes they told me it was just the usual grand am brakes. Another friend of mine her dad said that it is the titanium they use now days.
  • 1point11point1 Posts: 5
    I knew a dude who had 99 model, and nothing but noisy-grinding problems with front brakes/rotors and wheel bearings every 10-20k Miles. Several times replaced entire sets. They are NOTORIOUS for it. This car is a disaster. Run away. Not mentioning antifreeze penetration into engine oil (cracked gasket), belts failing and myriad of electr-ical/onic problems.

    Not much had really changed with this car over the years, mostly its ugly cladding. That's why they discontinued it, because its name was (is) synonymous with low quality, UNRELIABLE junk priced in same range as 10 times better Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans and Mazdas.
    G6 is its replacement. It is loosely based on German Opel, but with too much of Grand Am legacy, especially seemingly same engines and transmission (old fuel thirsty pushrods.)
  • csealecseale Posts: 5
    Yes, I had grinding brakes and took it to Belle Tire. They installed the rotors incorrectly. The rotors sit on some sort of pin and they left that peice out. I took it to Tire man and had the brakes fixed correctly and what a difference! I also got a refund from Belle Tire for them not installing the brakes right the first "three times" I had it there for repair. Make sure the rotor is sitting on some sort of Pin/Bracket. :)
  • csealecseale Posts: 5
    Check to make sure the rotors are installed properly. See other email.
  • Any one help? My 2001 grand am brake dummy light is on. Nothing appears wrong with braking. The cruise won't work , I think they are related perhaps a safety circuit? the cruise switch light won't even come on.
  • :P Trish – my sexy 97 Grand AM Coupe – just wont stop when I tell her to.

    Every morning, early in the morning, after rolling down a hill on the way to work, I need to stop. Usually, I roll through the stop because the girl’s breaks (like an anti-lock thing kicks in) grip and release until I’ve pressed her break pedal to the floor and her legs, sorry, breaks finally grip and hold.

    Trish will also play these games RANDOMLY during the day and night. She usually likes to tease me when I’m parking, or when stopping at a traffic light.

    We have had this problem for three years. There have been many mechanics in our life, but none that could provide us the diagnosis we need for a healthy relationship.

    Usually, the mechanic will rework the breaks, which does not solve our problem. We’ll go in for a follow up, only to be told that we are healthy and he/she can’t see anything wrong with Trish.

    So now I’m wondering, is it me? Am I pressing to hard on her pedal?


    -Heavy pulsations (break-release-break-release) until pedal is pressed to with all my might
    -The pulsations are very aggressive/serious/loud, very scary for passengers
    -Always in the morning at same intersection, and randomly throughout the day.
  • I have an 05' GA, and I had my brakes done last Oct. at a local dealership. Recently, I started getting this really bad grinding crap going on. So I took it to Merlins for an inspection. The tech. told me that Pontiac put my brakes on wrong, and that my calipers were locked in one position. Only one brake pad on each of the front axles were working, making my rotors work more, and causing them to overheat. So I need Brakes, Calipers, and Rotors($400).
    The problem is, the dealership is going out of business, and I can't get a hold of anyone. Do you think it's possible that another Pontiac dealership will honor the Pontiac brake warranty? :cry:
  • hi! i am desperate for some help here. i have a 96 grand am that has become a massive money pit. now the brakes seem to lock up -well the whole front end...whenever its wet or been sitting. obviously a little dangerous!!i cant just start fixing things because i dont know where to begin...could it be a sensor or my abs or shoes pads....anyone hear of this? help me please!!!!!!!!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Do you mean that you put it in drive but it won't move? If so, are you sure that it's the front brakes?
  • n5445n5445 Posts: 28
    Could be contaminents in the brake line. This could restrict the fluid flow to from the master cylinder.

    How dirty is the brake fluid in the reservior?
    More details needed.......
  • n5445n5445 Posts: 28
    First off, I wouldn't pay 400 for any kind of brake job.
    If the cars brakes were still working, except for the grinding, your calipers are fine. they need to be replaced when they leak or start rubbing.
    You can bypass the rotors if you want too depending on how long they were grinding. Anything more than a couple of days, they need to be resurfaced/replaced.
    Sounds like a load of crap from merlins.
    I don't even know how you could put the brakes on the wrong way.
    The grinding noise is from safety clips on the back of the brake pad to let you know it is time to change them.
    When the pad gets to low, the clips start rubbing against the metal rotor and you get the grinding noise.
    These clips dig into the rotors and cut them up.

    If only one brake pad was working, the car wouldn't stop!!!!! Brakes work by putting pressure against the rotors on both sides like a vise to slow the car down.
    the harder you press the brake pedal, the higher the pressure is against the rotors.
    And unless cows started jumping over the moon, Calipers are always locked in one position, it's the rotor that spins freely.

    Your getting taken for a ride!!!!!!!!!!!!Run fast
  • no it wiil move but it jumps and locks up when io go to brake.
  • going to check but how would wet weather affect this?
  • Hi, has anyone run into a problem of a noise when braking, driving at low speed (30 miles or below) or turning. The noise sounds kind of like dogs barking. The rotors and brakes have been replaced recently (but the noise preceded the replacement). When I first replaced the parts, the noise went away for about a 1000 miles but has returned. We took the new brakes off and cleaned them (thinking it was dust). The noise went away but again came back after about a 1,000 miles. The car is a 2001 and only has about 36,000 miles on it. A few mechanics have looked at it but no one can figure out what the noise is.
  • kmajorskmajors Posts: 17
    Check the surface of the rotors. They could also be warped. Also check the wheel berings. You may also want to look at the calipers to make sure they are square on the rotor and the shoes are on correctly and seated all the way in.

    You should also look at the mounting bolts and make sure they are not bent. They are cheap to replace.

    Hope that helps
  • hi. i have posted before but am hoping someone can help me. i have 96 grand am se and am having trouble w/ the brakes. they seem to lock in the front end if there is any moisture in the are. they dont lock up if its dry out. the tires lock up and i kind of loose control. i dont even know where to start because its only when its wet out...........any help would be appreciated.
  • Thanks for your suggestions. I actually went online and found the TSB reports for my model...turns out that there is something with the tires...if I inflate them more than is prescribed the noise goes away...very strange! I'm actually going to get new tires so this issue should disappear.
  • Lately when I start my car in the morning to, I have to press unreasonable hard on the brake pedal to get the brakes to engage. After that they seem to work fine, however the brake pedal still feels a bit "stiff". I've check the brake booster function by turning the car off and pumping the brakes up until the pedal no longer moves. So it seems like the booster is working ok. I also don't think it is an engine vaccum leak, because I don't get any irregular engine shuddering or sudden jump in RPMs when the brake pedal is pushed. Also this problem only seems to happen when it gets chilly (40 degrees) outside (this problem did not occur during the summer). The only thing I can think that it may be is air in the brake lines or a bad brake booster check valve.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what might be causing this problem, because I'm taking it in to the dealership tomorrow to have it looked at.
  • I recently have been hearing a sound in the front of my car that sounds like a manual upshifting and downshifting when I accelerate and decelerate, respectively. I don't have a manual car. I was told it might have been the wheel bearing, so I took it to a mechanic and he didn't hear anything when he checked them.

    Last week, I was rearended from behind about about 5 miles and hour. No damage, but when I was driving home, my ABS light, Trac Off and Service Vehicle Soon (not the Service Engine Soon) lights all came on. They come on now at sporadic intervals after I start up the car ranging from after 25 mins of driving to right when I start the car, but once they go on they remain on until I shut the car off.

    I took it to Auto Zone and had them hook it up to their computer but there were no codes. They also tested the Charging System. Then I took it to a mechanic and still no codes. Both places tried with the car and and off to test the codes and they couldn't figure out what was wrong.

    I then took it to the Pontiac dealership and they told my it was most likely my Hub and Bearing Assembly and it would cost $400. (But the mechanic couldn't hear anything wrong with the bearings before.)

    I tested a theory today (it just snowed) and hit the brakes. The lights weren't on at the moment and I could feel the ABS working. A few seconds later, the lights were on and when I tried them, the ABS didn't work.

    Can anyone tell me what's wrong? Is it really my hub/bearing assembly or something else. I don't want to pay $400 if it's just wasting my money.

  • pwilliamkpwilliamk Posts: 21
    I have had my 2000 GA since new. I have replaced the pads 6 times, the rotors 4 and the calipers once. The calipers are again acting up, only 25K after being replaced, I now have about 71K on the car and it will soon need new front pads and rotors ... again. I like the car but am absolutely fed up with the brakes. Does anyone know if brakes from a larger GM car can be put onto the GA (i.e., the set up on the Grand Prix GXP). I am sure if the brakes were not undersized this problem would not continue to reoccur. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    No they won't fit. What kind of parts are you using? I solved this brake problem a long time ago by using top quality aftermarket rotors like Raybestos or Brembo. Couple that with good pads and the problem went away. Also, I'm on my third Grand Am, and I've never replaced a caliper yet. What is going wrong with them? The slide pins should be cleaned and lubed when the pads are changed, if it's not getting done.
    I have an 04 GT now, with 46K miles. Haven't had to do any brake work yet. I just checked the front pads last weekend and they're at about 25% useful life left. Rears are around 80%.
    If your buying those $25 rotors at the auto parts, be aware that most of those are made in China or South America. They're made fast and cheap, which means that they aren't left in the molds long enough to anneal properly, resulting in fast wear and warping. I've found that good rotors are going to run $40+ each.
  • pwilliamkpwilliamk Posts: 21
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I only put raybestos parts on my car (never tried Brembo), the problem is continual though. I must admit when I put the raybestos rotors on the warping to longer to manifest but in time they still warped. As for the calipers, I lube slider pins each time I rotate the tires. The calipers make an extremely lound creaking noise every time they are applied. With the original set the dealer said there was to much play (this was after they cleaned and lubed them the first two times the problem arose). They agreed to replace the calipers if I paid half, so I did thinking that it would solve the problem. Not even 20K after that the brakes are making the same noise again, although it may even be worse this time.

    Not sure what to do ... I am at a loss ... an aftermarket overhaul to brembo is nearly $1500 (CDN) for the whole system. Not sure I want to spend that much but it might resolve the problem once and for all
  • My son's car has been having brake issues lately and he took it to the GM dealer and they told him that he needed a new brake booster. His car is an 05 (program car) with 45,000 miles on it. Is this common with other Grand Am's or is this the beginning of other brake problems? They priced the repair @ about $700. Any suggestions. Thanks in advance for the assistance.
  • primer44primer44 Posts: 1
    Have a '93 Grand Am 3.3L,puttin on wheel cyl.old one's came out o.k,new one's seem to have too much meat on them to go over the axel housing,do i have to grind some of the forging down to put them in the backing plate?
  • When i apply my brakes at slow speeds or when i am stoped, i hear a creeking sound. It sounds like a door or a spring creeking. I checked and lubed the caliper pins. Nothings loose on my brakes, i put new pads and rotors on, and still have the noise. It must be in my piston or my brake lines. I can feel it in my pedal, it feels like a slow popping, my brakes work fine. Just would like to get rid of the noise.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Is it in the pedal mechanism itself?
  • enigmajcenigmajc Posts: 11
    My 04 Grand Am GT does the EXACT same thing. I know what you're talking about. I had new rotors and pads put on too about 5 months or so ago and no change. No one seems to know what the noise is. If someone figures it out let me know! :)
  • GA's are notorious for warping rotors, most owners know this already. You'll get a pulse through the wheel when braking. If bad enough, things start shaking violently. GM rotors warp easy. Just buy some aftermarket rotors next time and it's mainly cured. Til the next rotor replacement, have the rotors turned.

    I ran Powerslots with performance friction pads for quite awhile. Good combo for stopping, but very dirty. Eventually ate up the Powerslots, but they lasted much longer then factory parts. (I am extremely hard on brakes, and I have a heavily modified suspension).

    I've also replaced the front calipers before (done at home) for creaking and *crunching* noises. As in when you press on the brakes, you hear a crunching metallic sound. While I had the pads and rotors off, I was compressing the piston back into the caliper, and it made the noise. Lubricated the piston sides with grease, but it came back eventually. (The local Pontiac dealer acknowledged that short of replacing the calipers, they've been largely unsuccessful at getting this sound to go away permenantly, but they also grease the piston, as per a TSB from GM) So I replaced the calipers with remanufactured units. Sound went away for awhile. Eventually started again on the new calipers, comes and goes, but I always add a bit of grease to the sides of the piston while I have the brakes torn down. And always grease your slides, as they can hang up.

    GA's also are known to wear one pad more so then the other, usually the outside pad on the fronts. Not uncommon to wear down the outside and then pull the pads only to see that the inside has half the material remaining. It's pretty normal, and doesn't necessarily mean anything is wrong. Wear should be even from the front to the back of the pad surface.

    I've been through a few kinds of pads now. Including the original set, I've had 5 sets of front pads by 65,000 miles. I can tell you the factory pads weren't all that bad. Good compromise between grip and dust. Performance Frictions (which I came back to again and am currently running) stop hard, but generate a lot of dust. Bendix semi-metallics wore quickly and didn't stop very hard. Bendix Ceramic CT3's stopped better, but still wore too quickly.

    I've never had this confirmed, but I was once told a hypothesis that these brakes creak and grind so much because of the aluminum design of the calipers. It makes them more vulnerable, whether through different temperature ranges and expansion rates, or something else. It could make sense I suppose, depending on what material the piston itself is made of.
  • lavenalavena Posts: 1
    I had the same thing going on...I had rear brakes put on 2 or 3 yrs ago, from that time on, the ABS light came off and on and the ETF (?) light was off...and occasional the traction light said no traction...kept going off and on now for that time frame....I had the tires rotated and balanced this last time, I had to replace front brakes, and the lights still came off and on..after having the ABS diagnosed, it coded for the Module (Master cylinder), and the light still came on, (it would not read the next problem because the Module was bad until replaced then it was re-tested and coded for the speed censor...maybe they could just test the speed censor first...I got reconditioned parts with a warrenty, and the dealer ship wanted something like $1500 -$2500...I was charged $975 for the used ABS Module and $285 for the sensor, but did get a warrenty of 6,000 miles....(do NOT go to Value Brakes since they charge this amount)..After the work was done I called a near by Mech. and with the same things needed (used parts refurbished, and a warrenty of the same) I could have walked out with a price of $600 check out your prices before you do your work, I was dumb....since I haven't had to do repairs since forever...I have about 87,000 miles on my 1998 PGA and only replaced the brakes once, the timming belt, and now needs a compressor for the A/ I have had really good luck with mine.... ;)
  • i have a 95 grand am 3.1 liter v6 automatic. a few days a go this problem started. the car brakes fine until i almost come to a complete stop and then the car surges forward, its almost like the bakes let off the rotor or something. it still does this problem when i slow down in neutral so its gotta be the brake i know it is because i can feel the pedal, well the problem went away and now its back, no abs light is on and brake fluid reservoir is full.brake pads looks doesn't do this when i slam on the brakes and if i could describe it it almost feels like a car when you slam the brakes and the abs kicks on.
  • tcravertcraver Posts: 1
    I'm new here and in need of help and info. On my daughters car a 92 Grand Am, The brake lines blew. Along story short the lines were cut of the cylinder on the engine. I just shook my head. It has 4 lines coming out.
    1. Does it matter which line goes to what wheel?
    2. If it does, from the front of the cylinder which line goes to what wheel?

    Thanks for any help
    Robert befudled in Iowa
  • I have been looking online and have found many posible causes from warped rotors to needing to set my e-brake everyttime i park to keep the brakes adjusted. the e-brake solution seemed silly to me but it does seem to help alittle but does not fix the problem at all. it also does not vibrate when i use the e-brake to stop making me think the problem is in the front end. looking for a cheat easy solution since i have a brand new baby boy. please help!!!
  • If you feel the vibrating or pulsing when braking then the problem would be warped front rotors. I'm replacing mine today on my '01 Grand Am because of the same problem. The only solutions are to replace the rotors or have them turned which means the rotors are ground down to smooth them out. That can be done at most auto parts stores.
  • I have an 04 and my rear drums keep warping?.?.?
    Why is that. I was told they are near impossible to destroy.
    I am working on my second drum in 2 years.

    Can anyone help?
  • ok heres the thing; my car has a 4cl engen and i was wasnt watching much and was told i had a 6cl engan so i got breaks for a 6cl will mess up my car i have drove about 2000 miles sence i changed breaks. and will it mess my car up useing a house sub hucked up to back speaker
  • is any one going to halp?!?!?!?
  • :( is any one going to halp?!?!?!?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    There's no difference in brake linings based on engine. As for your other question, I believe your asking if connecting a subwoofer in parallel to the back speakers will cause any problems. Yes, the overall impedence will be lower to the rear channel overall and it will damage the amplifier if not done right.
  • eliz4eliz4 Posts: 5
    After reading the rotor posts, I'm sure I have the same problem. My '02 GA has intermitten shaking while on the highway and will shake when I brake from 55mph to a stop.

    What is the typical cost of rotor replacement ( ball park) and would it cost less if I could pick the rotors up myself and if so, what would I need to know about buying them?

    Thanks much!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    In my experience, a good set of rotors will run about $80 - $90, and brake linings about $45 or so (for good quality). If you replace the rotors replace the pads also.
  • eliz4eliz4 Posts: 5
    Thanks bd......

    That's what's happening, I brought her in and they are doing both rotors ( both warped) and pads. Incedently, my calipers had to be done as well a few years ago. I'm also replacing all my tires.

    From these posts, I see these are very common problems w/ GA's. Anything else I need to know before I invest more $$$?

    Thanks a mil!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Don't use the cheap $20 rotors that some supply houses sell - they are all from China or South America where there's known deficiencies in the casting process. A good set costs more but will last longer and has much less tendency to warp.
    If you drive in a lot of traffic then slow down and keep off the brakes as much as possible. N-body cars (Grand Am, Alero, etc) are hard on front brakes to start with. GM didn't help by buying cheap rotors to start with, but that's water under the bridge now.
  • I have 2002 Pontiac Grand Am, 102K miles. Starting in mid-December the brakes would not work when the car was first started. You had to pump them a few times to get them to work after the car sat for a long time (roughly 3 hrs). Took it in and had the brake fluids flushed and brake pads checked out. It has lifetime brake pads and those are fine but Dealer cannot find anything wrong with it. Any ideas?
  • eliz4eliz4 Posts: 5
    Finally got my car done last week. Rotors, brakes, new tires, etc...Over 500$!
    But THAT is not the half of it.....

    I picked up the car to see the front bumper damaged. I was so upset and bottom line, the owner said I did it and it was all my fault. I was so livid and finally gave him his check. I contacted an attorney and he said my word against his. I reported the garage to the BBB and they are unable to help, they said out of their jurisdiction. So, now this rotor problem has turned into a body problem...Geeeesh ( btw- they didn't have any insurance, only for the garage not the property, I guess this is legal)....

    Lesson learned....your family mechanic might be more expenny, but in the long run they know how to take care of your auto after repair.....
  • theodormtheodorm Posts: 1
    I have been having the exact same problem this year! I have a 2000 Grand AM with about 62K miles. Can someone please point us in the right direction? I don't want to take it into the shope without having a good idea what the cause is. I read a couple of articles that seemed to point to the "accumulator" but I am no expert. Also, I have not received any indication via idiot lite or other sensor from my car that something is wrong. However it seems that the colder the weather, the more pumps required at start-up; like 10+ on a typical winter day. Some please advise!
  • tnk530tnk530 Posts: 1
    My husband went to change my front brakes on my 2001 Grand AM (which he has doen many times before). When he went to remove the calipre. He could not get it off. What does this mean? He tried pulling on it with force but that did not work. Is this an expensive problem to fix?
  • debtdebt Posts: 10
    Yes I do. I have a 1999 Grand Am SE and just had the front and back rotors turned and new brake pads on front and back. When I brake, I hear a grinding noise that was not there before. My mechanic thinks that is is coming from the rear and feels if they take off the 1st layer of the ceramic pad that it might stop the noise. I've always had brake issues with this car from the day it was new. Good Luck :mad:
  • sorin1sorin1 Posts: 4
    i have a 2004 grand am se with a 2.2L in it. just bought it second hand. the brake pedal is kinda soft. i have to push it down to the metal to get reaction from it. the car has about 22 kmiles on it so i guess it sat around quite a lot. maybe some contamination in the lines? air trapped in the lines? some mechanic was saying something about the master cylinder being bad, something common for these cars. does any of you know if this might be the case?
  • sorin1sorin1 Posts: 4
    i agree with you. dont get cheap stuff, because it's your safety. me, i never turn the rotors, because this makes them thiner and this causes them to warp faster. i paid premium for lifetime warranty oversized brake pads (change them every year, just before fall, weather i need to do that or not) and usualy about every 2 years i put in new rotors. the last ones i put in are drilled and slotted for better cooling and gas venting. it didn't cost much and i think it's gonna do a better work. one way to do it is to take the ones from the store (if you dont want to buy from certified) and take them to local mechanics. there are a few out there which have fixtures for drilling the rotors.
Sign In or Register to comment.