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Pontiac Grand Prix Engine fires 3800 series II 1996-2003



  • reekreek Posts: 1
    My wifes 1997 Grand prix caught on fire about year ago. The 3800 caught on fire right under the coil pack. My insurance fixed it but the dealer never said why it happened. The fire was put out rather quickly so it didn't do much damage($1200.)She was driving it right before it happened and it was running fine. She stopped and a few minutes later it was on fire.
    Haven't had any problems with it since.
  • tommy231tommy231 Posts: 27
    Hello Julie,

    I forwarded your contact information to GM. I presume from your note that they didn't contact you. My hope was, and still is, to find a vehicle that was caught early enough for them to get a better idea what the cause is. As you can imagine, it is nearly impossible to positively root-cause a fire when the vehicle is a total loss. Since your vehicle is not available for inspection, I don't think there was much they could do with your contact information. So I guess that just means you are one of the 180 names they have on file with this issue.

    NHTSA has closed their Preliminary Evaluation (PE07006) on GTP under-hood fires and has opened an Engineering Analysis (EA07008) on a wider range of GM vehicles. Non-supercharged engines are not part of the new effort either, as the investigation of those vehicles (EA02030) remains closed. Here is a link to the PDF that describes the new NHTSA initiative:

    According to EA07008, they still don't know the cause. However, the response given to NHTSA from GM,, had all the content eradicated, presumably for confidentiality reasons, so it is difficult to know the whole story. The good news is that many of these so-called Preliminary Evaluations, like PE07006, never advance to the Engineering Analysis level, so we are one step closer to a root-cause and a possible recall. If the subject vehicles are ever recalled for this issue, I am not sure what your available legal actions might be as I am sure you'll need to consult an Attorney for that advice.

    My personal investigation into this hasn't gone very far either. I posted one possible cause and my proposed fix for it. However, I doubt that this is the only cause, or the main cause, as some of the qualified vehicles I looked at were wired differently than mine and were therefore exempt from my concern. This weekend I plan to change my fuel injector o-rings as yet another precautionary measure.
  • tommy231tommy231 Posts: 27
    Hello Reek,

    Is yours supercharged? If not then it is not part of any open investigation I am aware of (see #69 above). If it is, then it was a perfect candidate for root-cause analysis.
  • tommy231tommy231 Posts: 27
    I find it interesting to note that in GM's NHTSA response,, the posted document failed to exclude the name of one of their suppliers, Bend All Automotive, Inc.

    According to Bend All's web site,, their products include:

    · Transmission Oil Cooler Hose & Tube Assemblies.
    · Engine Oil Cooler Hose & Tube Assemblies.
    · Heater Hose and Tube Assemblies.
    · Air Conditioning Tubes.
    · Cooling-Radiator-Fan Module Assembly.

    Hmmm... I think I'll be taking a closer look at these components on my car.

    Of course it is entirely speculation that any of Bend All's products are suspected as a root cause.
  • tommy231tommy231 Posts: 27
    It seems that even the engine coolant should be suspected as an accelerant. The DEX-COOL MSDS says its autoignition temperature is 752 °F (400 °C), which is below the temperature of a hot exhaust manifold. It might be wise to make sure all the hoses and hose clamps on your GTP, or other L67 engine equipped-vehicle, are in good condition.
  • I bought an ENGINE FIRE 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 2dr from a salvage auction on 4/30/2007. It only has 77,284 ACTUAL miles. Appears to be a all-stock, well cared for, garage kept "cream puff" car. The engine fire was put out with a fire extinguisher pretty early. I emailed "tommy231" an engine pic. The only damage noticeable from the outside of the car is a palm sized paint discolor cirle on the outside of the hood. The battery still had a full charge and the interior lights went on when you opened the door (I've since disconnected the battery). I think this would be a perfect canidate for GM and/or NHTSA to examine! :sick: ">
    Mike in NC
  • Apparently, some of the fires did occur with the engine running. It seems that GM has a lot of information to deliver to NHTSA related to this.

    Here is a recent update I found. 07/EA/INIM-EA07008-26093p.pdf

    Here is a shorter link if the one above gets broken:
  • Today the transmission began to slip. I immediately pulled over and turned off the engine. Thick smoke started to billow from under the hood. All of the wiring on the driver side of the engine compartment was on fire. Appears that it may have started at the transmission sensor.

    Any other reports of this? Should it be included?

  • My Grand Prix caught fire on 10/12/07 after approximately 10 minutes after parking my car in the driveway somebody knocked on my door telling me my car was on fire. I was able to put it out spraying water through the vents in the hood but by the time I was able to open the hood the fire had burned everything inside. The insurance adjuster came out to the mechanics garage and said it was totaled. Does GM & NHTSA still taking reports on this issue?
  • Please report it to both. Do you have any pictures? What city are you in?

  • kopi32kopi32 Posts: 4
    My grand prix caught on fire this morning (10/29/07) after i parked it in the parking garage at my work. About 10 minutes after I went into the office, someone notified me it was in flames. Came back to the car and sure enough the whole engine compartment was in flames. How do i go about reporting this to GM & NHTSA? Do you know if there will be any reprecussions owed to me on behalf of GM? It seems like this is a somewhat consistent problem.

    Joe Kopinski
    Lockport, IL
  • Yes I took pics, I'm in San Diego, CA
  • kopi32kopi32 Posts: 4
    This morning my 2000 grand prix gt had an engine compartment fire. Have you had any luck with GM?

    Joe Kopinski
  • I'd like to see some of the pictures, if you don't mind. I still hope to find vehicles that can be easily root-caused, as many are burned beyond what can be diagnosed. Cars that are burned badly are not helpful to them. I still hold on to hope that a solution will be found so I can prepare my own car before I become a victim myself. Please feel free to email me directly if you'd like.
  • Last I checked, GM is still interested in looking at vehicles with minimal damage. You should be sure to report the incident both to NHTSA and GM. If it only has minor damage I can send your info to the GM contacts I've been talking to, as they might want to look at it. Otherwise, NHTSA and GM customer service are your best routes, in my personal opinion.
  • kopi32kopi32 Posts: 4
    Its major damage. The whole engine and part of the bumper and front left quarter panel are burned apart. The insurance is looking at it now, but i'm 99% sure they'll declare it totalled. I'll be sure to inform both the NHTSA and GM though. Thanks for your help.
  • Its my understanding that they are only investigating the Super Charge engine at this time. The non-supercharge engines had already been investigated. The supercharge engines have something like a 23 times greater chance of catching fire.
  • I recently had my 97 Grand Prix catch fire after the engine had been shut off for 15 to 20 minutes. With some help I was able to pop the hood and extinguish the fire with a couple of small fire extinguishers. There was very minimal damage to the car. Just wires and any thing that is plastic is melted or deformed. This was a well maintain vehicle and the engine was completely stock.
  • A friend of mine has (Had!) a Pontiac Grand Prix, 1999. I am not sure what the engine was, but a couple weeks ago she arrived at work and about 10 minutes later someone told her the car was on fire. I guess that got it out fairly quickly. I can ask her for pictures. I think it might be minimal damage. In the meantime, her insurance company and the fire investigator is giving her a really hard time. Any numbers or contact info as to where she can report this would be appreciated.
  • bedensbedens Posts: 23
    Of course the insurance company and the fire investigator is giving her a really hard time and don't think GM will take responsibility. My 2001 grand prix burned in March, 2006 and I have gotten nowhere with this.
  • Has anyone gotten anywhere with this? Is NHTSA or GM doing anything? I want to know what to do with my car,I am sick of it sitting in my drive way.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    If you haven't already, look through the entire discussion. There are posts that reference the NHTSA investigation.

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  • Hey tommy23,
    Yesterday my 2001 Grand Prix GT went up in flames at an intersection. I had just filled the car up at the gas station (had the car off for about 10 mins i suppose), pulled out, idled at the red light, began to move at the green and BAM! went up in flames, lost all power steering and brakes, and was just able to pull into a parking lot beside the intersection. The car was running perfect before I pulled in to get gas... I don't understand! Now the car is at a compound and I need to give the insurance a call on monday. What do I do about this? I've never had this happen nor have any of my friends / family!
  • bedensbedens Posts: 23
    I am responding to this post. I had a 2001 Grand Prix GT. In March, 2006 mine went up in flames. I had driven it approximately 30 miles, switched it off and 15 minutes later it was in flames. I called my insurance company and I also called GM. GM sent someone to check it out and supposedlly they can't determine the cause of the fire. I have never gotten any kind of reimbursement from GM.
  • What did you get from Insurance?
  • j195j195 Posts: 1

    I just did a simple Google search and found this post / forum. My car started on fire 11/16/2007. I was standing at the light waiting when all of a sudden, I heard a loud bang, car started rattling, like on the cylinders died, then white smoke, then black smoke, after witch I saw fire. Fire department put showed up, but half of the car is burned, and what was not burned was flooded with water.

    This really sucks.
  • bedensbedens Posts: 23
    Just payoff on my car loan.
  • gearrgearr Posts: 21
    I have just got a 06 prix with a 3800 supercharged motor how can I find out what the series is.
    thanks gearr
  • gearrgearr Posts: 21
    Thanks tommy
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