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Pontiac Grand Prix: Problems & Solutions



  • tracybtracyb Posts: 1
    Hi all. When I press accelarator to pick up speed (between 30 miles and 50 miles), the car kicks or knocks. It is very obnoxious and uncomfortable at the same time. Tranny bad? Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks in advance. Sincerely, TracyB
  • ndclarkndclark Posts: 3
    I have a 98 Grand Prix GT(3800) and experienced a squealing noice at about 79,000 which led to the serpantine belt coming off. Since all the accessories(power steering,alternator,water pump) stopped working and knowing that newer engines cant handle high temps(overheat) I shut the car right off. Just wanted to point out the problem was as deep as a cheap plastic accessory drive/tensioner with a metal bearing which allows the water pump to operate. The plastic was warped(from heat after driving from AZ to MI) causing it not to spin and the belt fell off. I dont know all about cars but I didn't know they used such cheap parts(which I replaced for $15 at a local hardware store). This could have caused a much bigger problem and thank God I didn't take it to a dealer to be charged hundreds of dollars.
  • I have a 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix SE. It is a two door model and has a 3.1 engine. The front bumper area was damaged in a accident. The rubber piece above the bumper is out of shape. It has the openings for the headlights and the headlights don't shine thru the openings because the rubber piece gets in the way.
    The rubber piece below the bumper where the two black grills are has a tear in it.

    I assume the upper and lower piece come as one assembly. What I need to know is how to remove this front assembly and how to put on the new one. It would be helpful to have some pictures to refer to. I think I can do the job just knowing the process to removing this front assembly. Thanks for your help
  • tottot Posts: 3
    How about exploding battery at 40K - $250 to fix
    A/C wiring harness at 45K - $450 to fix
    Radaitor leak at 50K $100 to fix
    a/c compressor at 60K $1000 to fix
    passenger power window broken 3 times - once under warranty $400 to fix each time
    a/c thermostate conrol $150 to fix
    Tie rods need to be replaced at 63K - dealer refused to relace - $250 to fix

    I am glad my next car will be a honda
  • I Have a 99 Gran Prix GT. It recently had an episode of very HARD shifts. It cleared itself after a stop and restart. The temperature gauge was reading higher than normal, not in the overheat range but higher. Checked for error code and had a 1811 code set. Required replacing the pressure solenoid. Have not had any more hard shifts but temp is still running higher than ever did in the previous 5 years. Seems to be after driving on the road, around town or idling stays normal. Dealer does not think the two problems are related but seems quite a coincidence. Any one with similar problems or ideas would be appreciated.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Hmmm...since I believe the trans is cooled by your radiator, one has to wonder if there isn't a relationship, such as a malfunctioning thermostat (which also would show up worse at highway speeds than idling).

    Of course, it's always a good idea to check and see if your heat gauge is actually accurate.

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  • miked2miked2 Posts: 5
    Hi, I'm new at so so please bear with me.
    My daughter has a 94 Grand Prix GT 3.1 with 84,000 miles on it. Mechanically it runs great. The problem is getting it started. When turning the ignition key most of the time it starts right up, but sometimes you get nothing, no clicking, nothing. If you keep trying to start it, it will eventually start. Sometimes 2,3 or 5 attempts to get it to start. The battery is good, the terminals have been cleaned. This problem was originally noticeable about 2 years ago, I replaced the starter and cleaned the ground connection.
    The same problem occurred, I then put the original starter back. The problem is getting more frequent now and I would like to get it repaired. Any suggestions would be greatly appricated. Thank you.
  • Filled up with gas, drove 2 blocks, shut off the engine. Went back in a 1/2 hr. to start it, car wouldn't fire. Acted as though it was flooded. After another hour, it started drove it 4 blocks, ran fine until it cut off in traffic. Had to have it towed. No previous problems, (only owned it for 5 months!)97,500 miles. No lights or any indication of a problem. My dad has checked the MAF sensor-it's fine,EGR valve-fine, the fuel pressure is good, no diagnostic codes indicated, changed the gas I just put in, still nothing works. If it does start it idles very rough for about 30 seconds and quits. My dad is a mechanic and very confused over this car! Help!!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Crankshaft position sensor.
  • Sounds like the wheel bearings.
  • Thanks to all who tried to help with advice. Turns out the MAF sensor was the problem after all. Seems Dad didn't check it as well as he had thought. Special Note: If you take off the MAF sensor and it runs good enough to drive a few blocks that's your problem! Expensive part, thank goodness for Dad's!
  • I have recently had a problem with my '01 grand prix SE 3100....there has been a squealing noise that i believe is coming from the left front of the vehicle near the axle. I has now progressed into a thumping noise that gets louder as i get faster. The noise isn't really thumping but it sounds like your in a supertuner with a exhaust that never shifts out of first. I believe it may have something to do with the axle bearing or the cv joint but can't pin-point the problem. My friends 2000 grand prix gt has recently started the squealing noise so i was hoping a fellow pontiac driver might know the problem.
    BTW-the sound goes away when i take curves to the left.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Yeah, CV joint or bad wheel bearing. If it goes away to the left, you are loading right and easing off left, so look on the left side for the problem.

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  • mb-s65mb-s65 Posts: 29
    99 GTP with almost 60 k miles
    When accelerating b/t 2500 - 3000 rpm
    I hear a ticking / rattling noise coming from the engine. It is most prominent after cold starts, but sometimes lasts for over an hour.

    Of course when I brought to the dealer, it made the sound the whole way there but failed to make it with the tech in the car.

    Any ideas what this could be?

    Also, what is a PCV valve's function, is it important to replace, and when should it be done?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Sounds like perhaps an exhaust leak from the manifold? Sometimes this type of manifold leak will "swell shut" when the engine gets hot enough.

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  • naatz1naatz1 Posts: 188
    So I have been a frequent poster on Edmunds for my Chryslter 300M and Jeep Grand Cherokee and just took a look on this site for my "old car" which I have owned since new in late 94 and always babied and done every maintenance work on time ... one reason I am frustrated by this problem.

    My 94 Grand Prix with 3.1 L V6 may have been demonstrating this "piston slap" noise problem since new. It has always had valve noise when cold, and the past 4 years started burning more oil. Of course this is a 11 year old car with 111k miles now so I really don't expect much other than to try and find a reasonable way to salvage it for my son that wants it for his last year of high school and driving to college. A couple mechanics say just drive it running rough as it is until it conks out (especially rough in the winter, takes a long time to warm up and even semismooth out) - they figure it needs either a valve job, at least valve guides or maybe rings. Not worth a fix in the $1000 range for a car not worth $2000. But hard to find another car I'd trust in that price range, I have even considered dropping in a newer 3.1L from the junk yard as the basic car is in pretty good shape (but who knows what shape that's in?).

    Your lemonaid link gives me a server error. Is there any other way or easier way to fix this problem?
  • This is regarding my 1997 Grand Prix 3.8L. When I start my car and begin to move, I hear a one-time mechanical clicking sort of sound from the front drivers side and all three lights (ABS, tire pressure, and low trac) turn on. Even though the clicking is one-time, the lights will remain on until I turn the car off. Has anyone ever heard of this problem? Thanks for reading.
  • Hi,
    I've posted before (#76), but didn't get any help. Same car, an updated question.
    I think I have eliminated just about everything, except the ignition switch. I even tried a new key with the same resistance as the original one.
    Someone once told me, you can eliminate the resistor on the ignition key if you measure the resistance in ohms across the key (1.13k in this case), get an inline resistor, cut a wire from the ignition switch and install the resistor.
    If anyone knows of this method, could you please post. Also, if this is the case, would I have to remove the resistor on the key itself.
    Thank you for your time. Mike.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The ABS controller is detecting a fault and shutting the ABS off. A scan tool is required to retrieve any stored ABS trouble codes, but my bet would be a defective wheel speed sensor, which is integral with the wheel bearing/hub assembly.
  • I've owned my Grand Prix for over 6 years now and it's been pretty trouble-free so far. But it seems like every winter (since about 2000), I get this groaning noise in the front left when going over bumps at slow speed. It gets a tad worse each year...but I don't think it's a real big problem. I was just curious as to what it might be.
    I'm thinking it might be something with the struts, but I'm not sure. When I go over a bump, it kind of groans like somethings rocking back and forth...and then eventually settles after about 2 or 3 groans...depending on the size of the bump.
    Any ideas? Is that a strut problem?

  • ken1776ken1776 Posts: 41
    I have a 01 GT with factory radio “CD player included”. The channel select display/clock doesn’t work anymore. Owner’s manual is no help, anyone know if there is a fuse not listed in the manual that might have burned out, or is this a terminal problem.
  • tak12tak12 Posts: 1
    Has anyone else had this happen to them? In extremely wet weather or extremely cold temperatures the horn on my GTP will sound by itself - will trumpet once or twice. Mentioned problem to my dealer but impossible to resolve unless it happens when they are testing it.


    Going on 78000km - only problem so far lost first and second speed on blower switch - replaced under warranty. Best car I have ever owned - 3.8 SC engine great on gas - average 29/31 on highway and I have a very heavy foot.
  • bxd20bxd20 Posts: 68


    This will answer your question. Ignore the part of the diagram that shows a remote start. No, you don't have to remove the chip from the key. The colors on my Olds were orange and black. Best thing to do is put your key in the ignition and when you dig and find the two very thin wires coming down the steering column, put a meter across them ( you may have to snip one ) to double check that you are measuring the right resistance.

  • bxd20bxd20 Posts: 68


    This is most likely due to cold and possibly ice/salt in the strut bearings at the top of the strut tower. It is expensive to fix.


    If it's the bearing plate, although annoying, it's not dangerous. Question: After you turn, if you let go of your steering wheel, does your steering re-center more or less on its own? If so, the plates aren't too bad yet.


    If you feel like your car is bouncing, it's time for new struts. If you aren't having steering issues and the noise doesn't bug you, just replace the struts. If you plan on keeping the car a long time (a few more years) and want it back to normal, do the bearings too.


  • bxd20bxd20 Posts: 68


    I'm not a radio expert but if the radio/cd player work in general, and its only the display that is out, i would think the display has bit the dust. There are a few radio-repair places on the internet, that would probably cost as much as going to your local Best Buy type place and dropping in a new stereo (no i'm not recommending Best Buy). But if you want the stock look, I would Google for gm delco stereo repair or something like that.


  • The RPM gauge on the dash doesn't move even when accelerating. The Traction Off light comes on at the same time. Turning off the engine and restarting fixes the problem until the next time we notice the malfunction. When restarting the car after turning off, it seems to exibit a different sound then normal. Any ideas? Seems strange that the RPM and the Trac off would be related
  • I have the same car, similar number of miles. First transmission was changed out in first year of ownership (2001). It just seized up while stopped at a toll booth. Anyway, I recently heard the "whining sound" as well. Checked for wife and kids, they weren't in the car so I'm assuming trani issue. ;) Then I realized the car was not shifting into over drive and both the engine and trani were working more than they should to achieve cruising speed. I did what anyone would do who drives mostly city streets less than 10 miles to work, vehicle is out of warranty, paid for, and has a car port instead of garage...that's right, I ignored it. That's been about a year ago and while the mileage hasn't been great, it still runs and the noise hasn't gotten any worse. I would like to fix it though. Any ideas?
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    I recommend that you change the transmission fluid and filter. If you plan on keeping the car you might change the fluid and filter again 1,000 miles later as it is impossible to change all the fluid at one time as some of it stays in the transmission. If you plan on keeping the car you could upgrade to synthetic transmission fluid. Let us know how you make out. Good luck!
  • trimtrim Posts: 2
    my 1999 grand prix gt 3.8 ltr stalls when
    stopping for traffic lights and sometimes while driving 50mph. Starts right up and may stall unpedictably more during stopping. Sometimes problem goes away for 1 hour or so. Dash engine service light only comes on rarely and for only 10 minutes to 1/2 hour and turns off. Right now still have this
    stall problem and no service lights are on. What is
    wrong anyone have an idea?
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