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Pontiac GTO Reliability and Maintenance Costs

jtacojtaco Posts: 7
So I'm closing in on buying a 2005 or 2006 Pontiac GTO, and I already know that it's a blast to drive. But then I happened to stumble onto a small forum on where there seemed to be more negative than positive reviews on its reliability. Some folks were even invoking the lemon law. Some of these negative comments were against just the 2004, but not all of them.

I would appreciate comments/feedback, both good and bad, on your GTO ownership experience. What's your overall impression?



  • I have a 2005 Goat with over 18K miles, so far no problems at all. :)
  • beachguybeachguy Posts: 10
    I have a 2006 GTO with 8000 miles and only one minor problem with the power seat control which was easily repaired. Other than that the car has been flawless. Fun to drive,comforable,reasonable gas mileage(18-19 mpg-mixed driving).
  • zcoolzcool Posts: 1
    The manual really does quite a bit better on the MPG for those interested.
    The overdrive is 0.57:1 on a 3.46 rear. With the manual the fuel actually shuts off when coasting. Frugal shifting will add to the mpg. 16/21 auto vs 17/25 manual. Worth the stick no matter how you feel about it.
  • pixdadpixdad Posts: 6
    Have an '05. No problems, super car!
  • mick1mick1 Posts: 84
    water fills on weather stripping at bottom of drivers door and runs over plastic panel onto carpeting. This has been going on for over a year. Brought car back to dealer many times. Passenger side completely dry. This is a big problem since car is parked outside and not garaged. Weather stripping has been replaced, then glued and plastic water shield in door panel was replaced. It appears to me the front door drains directly onto the weather stripping instead of just off to the side. They said there is no way to adjust alignment of the door. Anybody have the same problem. Saw pictures of this problem on another website but the guy has not posted that it was fixed.
  • I have a 2005 automatic and I've had two substantial issues. First - the ABS constantly issues an alarm and disables the traction control. I've had it to the dealer who claims they can't find anything wrong.
    Secondly, one day after a 30 mile trip, I shut off the engine and came back 20 minutes later to find a pool of coolant on the ground. Had it towed to the dealer. Again - no problem found.
    I love the car, and would still buy it if I had it to do over, but these issues are bothersome, to say the least.
  • You need to research the 06 GTO defective strut problems. I bought an 06 GTO on July 5. The Struts failed shortly after delivery. Car was stuck at the dealer for 31 days before they finally repaired it. The sordid tale of my experience with the dealer is too long to relate here. I am convinced GM knew the car was defective when I bought it. Noone with GM, or the dealer, has even tried to allay my concerns regarding the reliability of the vehicle, or assure me that GM will coninue to support the vehicle. My expectations, to be dealt with honestly and fairly, were apparently too high. I conducted my own research on the defective strut issue - I could not trust anything the dealer or GM told me. I researched the Alabama Lemon Law statutes and filed the documents necessary to protect my rights. I am currently making GM repurchase the vehicle - the GM internal paperwork for repurchase takes ~3 weeks. The car is currently collecting dust in my garage. The frustrating thing is, I still like the GTO, but forcing repurchase appears to be the only viable recourse to protect my interests. I too was intrigued by the GTO performance, room and comfort, but GM simply does not deliver adequate quality and support to realize the potential of the car. What happens when something else fails, say in several years after warrantee and lemon law protections expire? Will GM maintain any replacement parts inventory? Will any replacement parts have to come on a slow boat from Austrailia? I love vehicles. I am constantly evaluating and ranking vehicles to determine what I may buy next. The GTO was a bad selection. This experience has completely soured me on GM. I have removed all GM products from my vehicle database. I will never consider purchasing another GM vehicle. I will relay my experience to all friends and colleagues. I understand now why GM is failing. 0% financing and 100,000 mile warrantees mean nothing if the vehicles are defective and the service and support lacks basic integrity and competancy.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222


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  • My 04 has had perfect reliability. The 06 failing front strut issue has been readily known about for months and is a simple(albeit inconvient)issue to repair. It sounds more like you've had a difficult dealer to deal with then a true GM/GTO issue. Federal law mandates an auto maker MUST provide all parts for a given vehicle for at least 10 yrs.

    The GTO is a FANTASTIC automobile. Too bad your unfortunate incident has soured your chances of ever enjoying it. GOOD LUCK!!
  • As I said, I still like the GTO. It actually handles pretty good, now that it has FUNCTIONING FRONT STRUTS! The handling of the defective struts issue by the dealer, Pontiac, and GM is completely unacceptable. First they tried to convince me that the car was okay to drive, with essentially no functioning front shock absorbing systems. They said they knew nothing about any GTO strut problems. They told me on eight different occasions, over 4 weeks, that struts would be delivered - they just could not seem to get them shipped from the warehouse. Everyone I interfaced with was either dishonest, or grossly incompetent. Without the Internet I may never have learned the truth. To this day, Pontiac/GM has never even bothered to respond to my inquiries. I am a reasonable, fairly easy going guy. All they ever had to do was level with me, and what tell me what they were going to do to fix it. It just seems that GM does not want my business anymore. I don't understand, because I love cars and spend allot of money on them (you should see my garage). At this point, forcing repurchase is a matter of principle. I just wish they would hurry up and complete the repurchase so I can buy something else. I bought the GTO for my daily driver. I am now thinking about an Accord V6 6MT for that purpose. I'll wager Honda wants my business.
  • Steve EliasSteve Elias Posts: 2,185
    i've got an 05 M6, 26000 miles so far. it has been reliable. stereo needed an early replacement, and there was too much negative-camber via the factory alignment - i noticed that at 15000 miles. GM paid for an alignment, but it took dealer a week to accomplish it!
  • 06 purchased in march no issues at all, but small squeek in steering column. i don't intend to allow dealer to work on this. to no more junk, all i can say is spend some time on other message boards. everyone who owns an 06 toyoto 4 runner has huge vibration problems and toyota won't even addmit is there. the strut issue was bad, but at least it is know, admitted and corrected. that is more than you can say about many other cars with very serious problems. the truth is, is that each manufacturer as problem cars. the gto in my opinion, is not one of them. the bad struts and bushings were addressed. further, even if a radious bushing blows, the fix is very straightforward. i would rather have that kind of problem any day of the week. rr70
  • mick1mick1 Posts: 84
    update to`water leak, it was finally fixed late last year , carpeting replaced, now I love this car!
  • Steve EliasSteve Elias Posts: 2,185
    so far so good. one of the best cars i have ever owned, out of MANY. one flaw is no built=in sirius radio.
    oh, the GAS CAP ratchet/seal failed and no service-engine code happened even though I drove for weeks with an unpressurized tank, and wasting a couple mpg. dealer gave me a new cap under warranty in 5 minutes on a saturday and i was on my way no appointment necessary.
    also i love the fact that i got a letter from pontiac telling me to check the oil at every fuel stop if i drive like a maniac with massive rpms and engine-braking. meanwhile, it consumes zero oil - 15k extended-service mobil 1.
  • mick1mick1 Posts: 84
    Hey, I just received a letter from GM 2 days ago that said they are extending the warranty to 10yrs/120kmiles for the GAS CAP! Now the car is a keeper.
  • I have just been reading here of some negative comments regarding the 2004-2006 GTO. I bought a 2006 in September of '06 and have nothing but rave reviews from my own experience. Yeah, I had to have the front struts replaced and there have been little things that I have asked the dealer to do, but that is mostly due to how picky I am about ANY car I own. I am sure if I bought the falsely praised Toyota I would be to the dealer as much demanding things be corrected. I have owned Pontiacs of one form or another since 1977 and have nothing but praise for the cars. They are typical American vehicles, yes. But I put 230k on a '77 Grand Prix I bought used and it was still hauling [non-permissible content removed] when I finally let it go in 2002! Hated to see it go but I had bought a '98 Grand Prix (a SWEET car) and the old fella was just sitting around. I preferred to see him go off on his own and think of him still serving someone well.

    Back to my GTO. The quality is a quantum leap from previous GM's I have owned (and GM is about the only brand I have owned since '77, save the VW Rabbit diesel and the lone '88 Toyota Camry wagon. What a piece of crap!)

    I have what must be the best Pontiac ealer in the world, Sewell Pontiac here in Dallas. I have NEVER had one issue with their service and I had a Trans Am that had issue from day one. But their service made the experience with my favorite but flawed little T/A enjoyable anyway. So, it all comes down to the quality of the dealership.

    To answer whether GM will back up the GTO, YES! With the advent of the G8, which comes from Holden as well, the availibility of parts and service will continue...not to mention it is the law!

    So for those who wanna bad mouth the orphan GTO, go ahead....I will drive off and leave you in a cloud of dust and love every minute of it!!!
  • I have an 06. It has almost 9,000 miles on it. No problems of any kind so far. The car is stock except for a Volant cold air kit.
  • Mine is also an '06 with the 6 litre LS2. I have about 13,500 on it and it is still just like new. It is totally stock unless you consider a K&N air filter making it non-stock. (I always have those on my cars.) I have found no reason to alter it in any way. It has every sort of performance feature on it that I would want, so no need of the alterations. Even the exhaust, which is what I have always altered for fuel economy and better performance, is stock on the Goat.

    I am just simply impressed with this car and, if service to this point is any indication, I am gonna be keeping this one for the long haul, which had been the plan for the T/A but maintenance became the deciding factor on him. I kept the '77 Grand Prix for 20 plus years and I see no reason to let this one go either!
  • I have an '05 M6 with 21K. There is not a day that goes by that this car isn't driven hard. It is just too tempting. It has seen some track time as well. My only mods have been bolt-ons (headers, cai and exhaust), and along with a tune, produced 387/383 at the rear wheels. I did have the strut rub problem, but this seemed to be fixed by 0* camber in the front (mine was set at -0.7 from the factory). Very slight, if any noticeable, effect on handling. I wore out the original set of BFG's at 16K (funny how the rears seem to wear a lot faster than the fronts on these vehicles). They were replaced with Eagle F1 DS G3's. Nice tires, but overpriced in my opinion. I also run Nitto DR's at the track. Other than that, I have had no issues with this car, although I'm pretty sure the stock clutch is about to go. I'm sure it has to do with how the car is driven. I plan on replacing it with an LS7 clutch. No noticeable oil consumption between 3,000 mile changes with Mobil 1 Synthetic. I also installed a catch can as the LS2's have been known to bleed a pretty fair amount of oil back into the intake through the PCV valve when driven hard. I usually empty a couple of tablespoons from the catch can every oil change. I'm also planning on doing the Pedders Street II. There is no doubt, I would definitely buy this car again. I like to refer to it as the family man's or poor man's (although those typically seem to go together) corvette.

    Good luck on your car hunting. If you choose a GTO, chances are you will grin a lot more. I know I do.
  • I have never driven my Goat very hard at all. In fact, the dealer has commented on how I don't. But I can tell from the feel of it that it can handle whatever.

    Just as I felt about the Trans Am, I see this as the 4 seater 'Vette. And at 10k less and running essentially the identical power train, it makes a lot more sense.

    What I don't understand are the comments I read about the car in the press. "Ill-fated", "ill-advised", "unsuccessful"? Okay, it didn't sell as well as Pontiac would have liked to see. But then it was also not advertised very much either. And it is more in the spirit of cars like the BMW 3 or 5 M series, not the original GTO. I think that is the reason it didn't sell as well as one would have hoped. It was not what people expected. It was a totally different concept. That is probably because it was based off the Monaro which was an Australian idea of a GTO (look up Holden/Monaro and if you are thorough enough, you will notice that the performance version even has the GTO badge on it just in front of the rear wheel opening, down low on the rocker). Of course, that is going to be a different interpretation. Once you separate yourself from the idea that it is not a GTO because it does not reflect the vintage versions, you can truly come to appreciate it.

    I will offer this thought in observation of where it should really fit into the Pontiac line up though. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I have owned two Grand Prixs, one a '77 and one a '98. When I first bought the Goat, I had just spent 6 years driving a Trans Am. For those who have not driven a T/A, it was a car that you drove by the seat of your pants. You WORE that car and it responded in that manner. The GTO did not feel that way. It struck me as more of a luxury car that was incredibly powerful and performance oriented. Then it dawned on me. Had Pontiac continued to develop the Grand Prix in the idea and spirit of the original one, THIS is what we would have today as a Grand Prix instead of the turd that exists. (How could they go from the slick little GP of the generation just prior to this ugly piece o '$%!+?)

    I would just like to know if anyone else can understand/relate to my feeling on that.
  • On my second '04 GTO. The first was totalled October 6, 2007. A 16 yr. old kid who had his license for 4 days pulled out in front of me. That car had 94k on it, the issues it had: door lock actuator ~30k miles, tie rods 90k miles and the rear gears were starting to whine pretty bad about a month or so before it's untimely demise. I liked the car so much I found another used '04 GTO with 29k miles and bought it 3 weeks ago. I'm VERY sold on these vehicles.....Mark.
  • I have a 2004 GTO with the water leak . Please , do you know how it can be fixed ! Thank You .
  • cappgoatcappgoat Posts: 8
    I had a very small leak somewhere in the hoses. The dealer dealt with it in no time and I haven't had any more problems with it.

    What is this i am reading about the gas cap? I have never had an issue nor have I received a letter from GM regarding an extended warranty. Someone fill me in.
  • Steve EliasSteve Elias Posts: 2,185
    cappgoat maybe yours is a late 06 and they made those with more reliable gas caps? the ratchet mechanism seems to fail on the caps - it just sits there in the tank - no fuel spills but fuel evaporates. OBD does not seem to notice the pressure loss, but I won't tell EPA if you won't. I drove for months before realizing the cap was not working - the mpg cost was considerable since i wasn't driving it much like I do now.
    in economy news, lately this winter I think my 05 M6 gets better mpg with 87 octane than 91 - at least as good.
  • cappgoatcappgoat Posts: 8
    Was the extended warranty for the whole car or just the gas cap. If it for the whole car I hope my gas cap messes up, LOL! I bot an extended warranty for it but it only runs for 4 years. The way I put miles on the car (a year and a half and only 16k on it) I would be able to have this feela warrantied a long time.

    It is interesting to hear about the 87 octane mpg boost. My concern with it is the overall health of the engine. In my daily use, which includes a reasonable amount of freeway driving, I get 17 mpg in town. I have been out on trips on the highway in it and got 22-23 mpg, which I figure is pretty good for this car. Granted, I don't drive it hard or too fast usually, so that helps I guess. But hell, if these prices go any higher I may be looking for some economy beater to use and let the Goat sit more.
  • Steve EliasSteve Elias Posts: 2,185
    hey there cappygoat - heh heh - it's just the gas cap warranty that has been extended to 100k or whatever. I don't have any extended-warranty on mine. 49k miles so far (it's an 05).
    I don' t fill it with 87 octane in summer but I've used 87 octane extensively in many vehicles for which premium-gas is "recommended", including many Z28s. And who knows, maybe I'm merely getting equal mpg with the 87 in the goat.
    As far as I know, any gasoline-powered car sold in USA can run on 87 octane without any damage or risk of damage and without any warranty-voiding. This includes Ferraris, Benzes, you name it. Sure there *might* be a power-loss noticeable and maybe mpg-loss too, especially in summer - but never any engine damage as long as knock-sensor/ECM is operating properly. There are places in USA where only 87 octane is available. To sell a car that could be damaged by 87 octane fuel in USA would be a bad business move for any manufacturer which sells here, imho.
  • cappgoatcappgoat Posts: 8
    I knew that ANY car sold here HAD to be able to use 87 but I would never feel good about putting it in my car. I have used nothing but premium since 1977. My '77 Grand Prix would ping something awful if I put anything less in him. And that was just the 301. I can only imagine what the Goat might do under a heavy acceleration situation. Not something I want to experience for sure! I am very anal about my cars and am doublely so with this one. Hell, I even clean the INSIDE of the wheels! This is the most expensive one yet and I intend for it to last. I stretched on this one....teacher's salaries don't allow for cars that are very expensive, but I wanted one that I felt would have the potential of lasting a long time. I had a 2000 T/A and loved him, but GM just didn't do those cars right and I finally had to let him go when he developed an expensive electrical issue 3 months after going out of the extended warranty (and 9 months after I paid him off!) I read up on the Goat and had been looking at them since they came out and felt that these had the potential of being a very long lasting car. That and the uniqueness of the car made the decision...along with the fact that I only buy Ponticas and the Goat was the only one that I would buy in '06.

    Does anyone know if the rumored 2010 GTO is true? I heard that they were gonna take the new Camaro platform and make a GTO here in the States. That would be great! Let's hope it is true (unless they wanna build a new T/A!!)
  • monarofanmonarofan Posts: 30
    Re another Goat.

    Holden have just released a concept version of a 2 door Commodore )aka G8. No talk of production but that is what they said last time.

    I posted a video link on the future GTO dicsussion last week.

    Here is the link

  • I just bought a 2006 GTO about 2 mths. ago. It's been back to the dealership once and is getting ready to go again. My problem is it keeps stalling and chugging like it has a fuel pump problem. However the first time it was towed back to dealership computer showed no failure and they said they could not find anything wrong. However it is still dying about five times a drive and it is too the point you can barely keep it running at all. I would appreciate any imformation concerning recalls or possible answers to my problem .
  • Steve EliasSteve Elias Posts: 2,185
    sat on lot for 2 years and gunk from ancient/untreated gasoline clogged gas filter? i think the computer would notice a misfire/ignition problem, so again consistent with fuel flow issue. it sets the fuel pump to a particular value but it doesn't have a way to know how much fuel the pump actually pumped? if gunk made it past the fuel filter the injectors could require cleaning/replacement. warranty is your friend.
    also, i may be way wrong - don't actually let me near a car if i have tools in my hand.
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