Howdy, Stranger!

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

Pontiac Grand Prix Engine fires 3800 series II 1996-2003



  • ahhsahhs Posts: 2
    Does anyone know where I can get ahold of the weatherstripping for both door on a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GT? The part I need is ontop of the door frame that separates the door frame from the body of the car....I can't seem to find any after 1997...

  • ahhsahhs Posts: 2
    I'm stupid when it comes to engines...does the recall include a 2001 GT Coupe Limited Edition model?
  • Okay, I'm totally fed up with Pontiacs!! We have a 97 Pontiac Grand Prix that would not start. Thought it was the fuel pump. Replaced it yesterday doing the same thing. Someone said it could be the ignition switch. Hate to keep guessing and throwing money away!! Then we have a 2002 Grand Am. We have been having problems with the security on it. The car will not start and then you have to reset the code by turning the key to on, leave on for 10 minutes and then try to start. Has always worked up until yesterday when we went to store. Tried to reset code, still will not start. Had to have towed to house because the dealership has never been able to find out what's wrong. We finally figured out how to reset system from this website. So now we have not one, but two piece of craps made by Pontiac that you spend more time f-ing with than driving.
    How can an individual find out if a recall has been issued in regards to the security system? Why doesn't American made cars have the same workmanship as foreign made cars? It is a total disgrace! No wonder our country is in such a disaster!! I bet the CEO's of GM and the like who make millions of dollars, don't drive GM products. It's a shame and something should be done!!
  • tommy231tommy231 Posts: 27
    No offense meant... but how was a bad fuel pump confused with a bad ignition switch? There should never be the need to replace a fuel pump unless it is confirmed to be malfunctioning through proper diagnosis. This is true of all makes and models.

    At minimum, you'll need a manual with an accurate schematic, a volt meter, and a fuel pressure gauge to root-cause a fuel system problem. If you think GM cars are difficult to diagnose, wait until you have a break-down on a foreign car and try to troubleshoot that yourself.

    Many of that era GM cars were recalled due to an ignition switch problem. If it has that problem it is also a serious fire hazard. My 97 Grand Am was recalled for this. Call the dealer to find out about recalls. You'll need the VIN so they can look it up. A very recent recall notice may not yet show-up in their system, but usually a car that old has no recent recalls. One exception to this is the recall this forum is the subject of.

    If you must troubleshoot your own vehicles, regardless of the make or model, you'll always need a credible service manual, such as a genuine OEM manual or an online service subscription. The days when you could troubleshoot a car without a manual went away with carburetors.

    My suggestion for a service subscription is It is cheap (~$17 per vehicle) and it is electronically searchable, making it better than any paper document. Alldatadiy will also show you pertinent recalls and technical service bulletins.
  • sly_guysly_guy Posts: 4
    Thanks Jeff, no I never recieved the recall notice. GM says it probably because I purchased the vehicle used and GM system of owner addresses might not be up to date. GM sent an investigator out to inspect the vehicle and take pictures three weeks after the fire. In the meantime i'm paying storage fees to have the vehicle stored until the claim is complete; as the Pontiac dealer says they have nowhere to store the vehicle. Now GM says as in INDIANA "the Manufacturer is only responsible for defects for 4 years after the original purchase date". I wonder if they would feel responsible if there was a fatality in this case. However, GM says they will process a claim because there is an active recall. Depending on the outcome of this claim, this could possibly be the last GM vehicle I ever purchase. I'm just waiting to see if General Motors stand by their product.....

    Keep you posted,
  • mack1amack1a Posts: 5
    My son called today, and informed me of GM's Recall.

    Thing is, I have an '03 Bonneville SSEI with the same engine.
    Can anyone shed some light on if this Recall would involve my car?
    I bought this vehicle new and all maintainance has been done by the Dealership.
  • desi521desi521 Posts: 7
    Newb, yep, your car is included in the recall! Just think, you could be in my position. I already had my Z burn to the ground due to the 3800 back in 04. Then I buy a '99 Grand Prix w/3800 series & I also own a '99 Bonneville w/a 3800. Gee, ya think I'm gonna be spending some time at the dealership? :cry: I'm not too happy, especially since I've been having major probs w/my GP. The stupid thing keeps cutting out on me when I take off from stop signs/lights & I couldn't tell you how many times I've almost been rear-ended becuz my car died! Hopefully it's all related cuz its not throwing a code either. I wish you luck Newb. I think we're all going to need it!!! :(
  • The recall is NOT only for supercharged engines. Last Mon Apr 6th, I was driving to my daughters school to pick her up. I drive through the neighborhood the whole way there. Half way there, I smelled something burning. Got to a stop sign, and smoke was pouring from the front of the car. No engine lights. Nothing. I pulled the car over, turned it off, and got out to inspect it. I looked under the hood, and the ground was on fire. I'm not sure what was burning. Flames were dripping down from the engine compartment. Ended up calling the fire dept, and they came and put it out. Needless to say it was a bad fire. The car I had was a 99 Grand Prix GT. I've had it for 10yrs. In the last 3yrs, replaced struts, rack and pinion, tranny, starter, radiator and other misc stuff compared to this. Insurance got involved and told me it was more then likely going to be totaled with over 126k miles. Then today, Apr 13th, my friend at work calls and tells me about a massive recall. I'm like no way. So I call Pontiac at 1-800-620-7668. They asked me for my VIN# to see if it was indeed part of the recall. And to my surprise and delight, it IS part of the recall. She took my information down and gave me a case number and told me that within 2 days I should be hearing from someone. They also asked for my insurance info since that's who I initially filed my claim through. If your not sure, call the above number with your vin... Good luck. Too late for me.
  • cam1969cam1969 Posts: 1
    I had the same problem on my daughters 01 grand prix gt of cutting out or stalling. Changed the crankshaft sensor, problem solved. :)
  • jmazz01jmazz01 Posts: 5
    I'm not replying to just cruster68. Anyone that has had a fire please make sure you read through the entire thread. There are so many of us that have dealt with GM. You will not get what you deserve from them. They will run you around and lie to you. If they tell you they will call you back, they won't. If they tell you they will contact you in a day, they won't.
  • mack1amack1a Posts: 5
    Desi & Cruster, thanks for the info.
    I'll go out in the driveway and write down my VIN # and proceed from there.

    I wonder if I could get a new engine outta this? Doubt it.
    But it'd be nice to get a brand spankin' new Supercharged engine!
    I can wish, can't I? ;)
  • sly_guysly_guy Posts: 4
    Only one thing to say "BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR".... That Supercharged engine has a lot of kinks to be worked out.. that's why it is still
    under recall by GM.
  • Good news! Today a recall was issued for all 97-03 cars with the 3800 series II engine. Here is what it says:

    (CNN) -- The possibility of engine fires has prompted General Motors to recall nearly 1.5 million passenger sedans manufactured between 1997 and 2003, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Monday.

    The recall covers certain mid- and full-size passenger sedans under GM's (GM, Fortune 500) Chevrolet, Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac brands.

    The recalled vehicles all have naturally aspirated 3.8 liter V6 engines -- that is, engines that uses atmospheric pressure to bring in air for combustion rather than a mechanical blower -- according to documents filed with federal regulators by GM last week.

    On Friday, the federal government acknowledged the filing and agreed to the plan.

    0:00 /1:14Will automakers deliver?
    The problem involves a potential for oil to leak on the exhaust manifold during hard braking. When a car operates under normal conditions, the manifold can get very hot. Oil that runs below the manifold's heat shield could ignite and spread to plastic channels that hold spark plug wires.

    The company recommends as a solution for the problem a change in the bracket that holds spark-plug wires, which will be done free of charge. Owners and dealers affected by the new recall will be notified by letter next month with details.

    The vehicles involved are 1997-2003 Buick Regals; 1998-2003 Chevrolet Luminas, Monte Carlos and Impalas; 1998-1999 Oldsmobile Intrigues; and 1997-2003 Pontiac Grand Prix.

    GM issued a similar recall on a similar engine in 2008, according to the company's filing with the government. That problem was traced to a faulty gasket on the engine rocker cover.

    First Published: April 14, 2009: 5:13 AM ET

    here is the link as well
  • krandallkrandall Posts: 1
    The sad thing is GM will not admit the real reason why these cars are catching on fire. It is because of failure of the o-rings in the gas lines.I have also seen a few that have backfired and shattered the plastic intake,the fuel line connection is right next to the intake manifold. I am in the salvage business and see these cars on a weekly basis. Relocating a spark plug channel is a joke and will not solve anything.It is not a matter of if the engine will catch on fire but when. If you wiggle the gas line and see gas dripping it can happen at any time.Do not expect GM to own up and admit their mistakes. But do keep your full coverage insurance up on it.
  • My 2001 pont. grand prix caught fire in a parking lot, after going into work. The fire dept was outside, someone said there were 5 cars on fire. It was obvious that the fire started under my hood and spread to the others. I had just learned that there was a recall for this problem. If anyone has any information of what to do from here it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  • jessica9jessica9 Posts: 12
    I recieved the recall letter last week and mine started on fire 2 1/2 years ago. I still have the car. Has anyone gotten any info on what they are doing for cars this has already happen to? I haven't even called GM yet any suggestions?
  • zacknhszacknhs Posts: 2
    My car caught on fire last week in front of my house. it was idling for 5-10 min and it went up in flames a police car driving by saw it before i did and called the fire dept. the firemen cut my hood off with a diamond saw right in front of me. Now my insurance company is trying to figure out what caused it and the car is modified. i work at Intense-Racing and have added headers, cat-back, Gen V s/c, Intercooler, roller rockers and electric water pump. and i could care less about the parts but they are trying to not pay for the car at all. i can remove most of the parts and they are still usable. but the car is gone. it's amazing b/c the car has had the valve cover gasket changed 4 times in the last 5 years since i have owned it b/c of oil leaking on the heads and headers.
  • jettechjettech Posts: 8
    If most of the fire was emanating from the left, front wheel well, then I would tell your insurance company that that is exactly how most of these cars have burned, because of the defect. I have researched and read a lot of messages about this problem and that is the one constant fact that was prevalent in most of the cases...the fire, or flames were shooting out from the left, front wheel well.

    Because of the mods that you have done I think you are going to have a tough time with your insurance company. They always look for any loopholes not to pay. But, if you have any witnesses or video of the flames coming from the wheel well then you should be able to argue that that is how they all have burned up, and it shouldn't matter that you had mods done. At least, that's how I see it. But, I'm no expert.

    My car burned and I received full market value for it from my insurance company. I just received a call the other day from an attorney for the insurance company who is suing GM and he said that he thought they had a very good chance to win, and that I would more than likely get my deductible back. That is left to be seen yet.

    Good luck.
  • zacknhszacknhs Posts: 2
    When you say left you mean passenger side? b/c that is where most of the flames were on my car the flames def started on that side.
  • doughboy3doughboy3 Posts: 1
    After reading all of your stories, about your engine fires I thought I would chime in. On december 1st 2008 my wife drove to work ten minutes from our house, parked the car and within five minutes a lady came in and said that a car was on fire sure enough it was ours. The fire dept was called and was on the scene in just minutes but the car was totaled. We had recieved a recall notice four days prior and had set up an appointment to have it fixed. We were sick, we loved our car. All we wanted was to get it fixed. After waiting for three months (Mr Brian Swartz) called us back and offered us 900.00 dollars (salvage price) and said we should be grateful that GM even admitted guilt. Furious we dicided to take them to small claims court. We would have taken the blue book value at the begining. But they said no deal and would not even call us back. At the day of court their lawyer asked us what we would settle for we asked for 3000.00 but settled for 2750.00. So in hind sight it can be done if your are patient( p.s. took six months). Hope this helped, and yes we purchased another GTP, Still Love That Car:)
  • mmcginnismmcginnis Posts: 1
    I was driving down the road today my 97 gran prix sputtered a little bit and died. When I went to restart the car I noticed smoke coming out from under the hood. As I raised the hood to investigate the engine went up in flames. I immediately called the fire department and they had to come out and put the fire out. When I got home I immediately google this and found out the gran prix had been recalled. I did not know this nor did I receive a notice from any place. The insurance company I have does not really seem that concerned about this since they had it towed to a auto body shop. I tried to explain the engine is destroyed and completely melted. Has anyone had similar problems with 97 gran prix. Who else should I contact. Thanks for any help you can provide.
  • Today I got to work and 10 minutes later somebody ran over and told me my car was on fire, needless to say I did not believe them. Well it was true my 2002 GTP went up in flames today in parking garage. Fire Dept. came and put the fire out but the car is totaled.

    Have there been any lawsuits about this or has anything received anything from GM. Has nyone called GM and received any results?
  • grngtpgrngtp Posts: 14
    Sorry about the fire and totaling the car.

    Did you have the recall work done on the valve cover gasket that was part of the safety recall?

  • cmabrycmabry Posts: 2
    I talked with GM for about 2 months and they finally decided NOT to cover the "problem". My insurance company did cover the costs and the sued GM. I do not know how it turned out with the lawsuit. (but do not expect anything from GM)
    Good luck with it.
  • My car was totalled due to engine fire in April 2006. My insurance totalled the vehicle less my $500 deductible. After hearing about the recall I contacted GM. They did refund me my $500 deductible that the insurance company took. I suggest calling GM. They are taking care of the problem. They have issued the recall. I have received dozens of notifications from them regarding the recall. If the vehicle is titled in your name, you should be getting recall notices. Bring your vehicle in and have it repaired. If you already suffered a total loss, contact GM. They will take care of you. I would like to add that I had to sign an agreement that I would not take part in any future law suits regarding the issue though. Good luck everyone!
  • whats still usable and will u sell it? and if so how much? i got a 1998 grand prix gt 2 door
  • I just purchased a 1998 pontiac grand prix GT 3.8L with 130,000 miles on it. I can't find out if the timing belt or chain has ever been replaced. Will it ruin my engine if it breaks? Has anyone experienced this issue? I would appreciate it if I could get some feedback. Is this something I should replace right away?


  • You should hear this from several sources besides me before considering it to be fact, but that timing chain and gear set should last well past 200K miles if the oil has been regularly changed (even longer if synthetic oil has been used). If regular oil has been used, be careful changing over to synthetic as it may cause some seal leakage (or maybe not). I'd be more concerned about the transmission if I was you. Regular trans fluid and filter changes (done right) will also be helpful.
  • Julie - I would appreciate knowing who you talked to who would even grant you your insurance deductible. My car caught fire on 9/1/09 while I was home from work for 5 minutes to let my dogs out and pick up my cell phone. Came back out to the car, (parked directly under my master bedroom windows in front of the garage and found smoke coming from the hood. I suspected a broken radiator hose, opened the hood and instead of steam, I got flames. I shut the hood, got a bucket of water from the garage quickly and opened the hood and put out the flames. A dealer tells me it's repairable. GM says they won't cover this becuase in Kanass where I live, the Breach of Warranty Statute of Limitations is 4 years from the date of original purchase. I argued that this is not a warranty issue, as it's a SAFETY RECALL issue. They say in Kansas that it doesn't matter. Anyone interested might like to look at the NHTSA's Office of Defect Investigations web site, and check out this document entitled "Motor Vehicle Defects and Safety Recalls: What Every Vehicle Owner Should Know" If you have any names of people you talked to at ESIS/GM Central Claims Unit, please share those. I have already contacted the Kansas Attorney General's office, NBC Action News' Call for Action team and will try whatever I can. In the meantime, unless GM covers this, I will do my part to see that no one I know will ever buy another GM car again. I will say that the dealer I went to was very nice and tried to assist, but GM simply doesn't give a damn about the people their product might kill.
  • What was the car model and year? If it was a GTP, was the recall work completed? Do you know where the fire started? Any pictures? Some additional information would be useful.

Sign In or Register to comment.