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Pontiac Grand Am: Tires/Wheels

gtxgtx Posts: 16
edited April 2014 in Pontiac
My wife and I bought our 2002 Grand Am GT new from from a dealer in Portland OR and have been pretty happy with it so far. We do have some persistent problems though.

One being the noise the big 225 50R16 make on the stock wheels. It's horrendous at speeds under 10mph! The tires are almost worn out now and the bead leaks have gotten so bad that we have to air up two of the four about once a week. I believe they're Enkei wheels with Goodyear tires on them which would usually be a top notch combination.

Has anyone else had this trouble? Is there some type of factory acknowledgment of this problem that would include a better choice for tires. I don't want to replace what I have only to have the same trouble with the next set.



  • I just had new tires put on my car about a month ago and the right back tire is wearing very fast. Every time I hit a bump, the back end slides to the side and it makes it seems like your're being snatched off the road. One mechanic told me that it needed a back end alignment and others have told me that is was the ball joints and tire rods. Which one is it? I don't want to have to pay for something that I don't need!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    You need to take it to someone who knows what they're doing. There's no ball joints or tie rods on the back. It could be alignment, but if your losing rear traction over bumps bad enough to almost lose control it's probably something worn or broken in the suspension.
  • gtxgtx Posts: 16
    Wow, this thread is a lonnnnnng time ago.
    Melissafair, something is very wrong with your car and need immediate attention. There are not ballpoints or tie rods on the back of the car but there are suspension parts that could be loose or worn. The advice about getting it look at is very good advice. Take it to a shop you trust and find out what they diagnose, then come back here and post it. Any car forum for that matter will tell you if what there trying to sell you legitimate or not. There's no such thing as blinker fluid so if they try and pull that, kick'em in the nuts and run.

    The update on the original problem comes from the Good Year dealer. Aperantly, there was a recall of this tire and wheel combination a long long time ago. The dealership that told us all we needed was to rotate the tires to fix the trouble will not see our business again ever. (I knew it was BS when the guy told me but didn't have the proper information at the time) The car has 50 thousand on it and we're just about to go and buy a new set. Yup, we put up with is so long that we actually wore the tires down.
  • I didn't take my car to a dealership but I did take it to a mechanic that I trust. He told me that it needed a back end alignment. He said that Grand AMs need both a front and back end alignment. Is that true?
  • gtxgtx Posts: 16
    It shouldn't need one unless there has been something change. Yea, the rear wheels do need aligning once in a while do to the way the struts and springs are constructed.

    An alignment will first consist of an inspection do determine if it can be aligned. That may reveal loose or worn parts. If everything is okay, then the alignment can take place. If they charge a decent price, then go for it.
  • gtxgtx Posts: 16
    I found a sale on some Toyo Proxes 4's today so made the jump. The noise is gone and hopefully, so is the super irritating leaking problem. Only $491 for a little sanity? Still too much to pay!
  • gtxgtx Posts: 16
    I also found out from a good year store that the tires that came on the car stock had been recalled for the very noise problem that we were having The dealership seems to have missed placed our number so we could be in on the recall.
    Thanks for nothing Pontiac.
  • I took my car to the shop and I was informed that I needed a back end alignment. That fixed the problem and now it rides like a brand new car
  • enigmajcenigmajc Posts: 11
    Anyone have suggestions on good but reasonably priced tires for my 2004 Grand Am GT? The tires I have now are the original Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires, but they cost $195 a piece! I was thinking about the Goodyear Assurance triple tread (H rated) but was told I shouldn't go below a V speed rating. Someone also suggested the Bridgestone Fuzion ZR1 but I read that this is a summer only tire and I'd like an all-weather. I'd really appreciate some suggestions. Thanks!!
  • gtxgtx Posts: 16
    What size are you looking for and what are your driving habits?

    If you consistently drive over a 100 mph or like to corner like a race car (like me), then a V rating might be in order. If your just using this car to drive to the store and back, then I would look for a better value. Maybe an all season

    I like to buy American whenever I can but Good Year lost my business. I bought some Toyo Proxies (made in Japan) in a 225 50r 16 a while back and got a pretty good deal. It helped that they were on sale. Kumho are a decent priced brand too.

    What I like to do is leave my money at home and go and shop around. Sales people can be pushy and cause you to buy out side of your comfort zone but if you leave you money at home, you'll have time to think over their pitch and their product. Just shop around and watch the ads. Good luck
  • enigmajcenigmajc Posts: 11
    Thanks for the tip gtx. I don't drive over 80 mph but I do like to make her hug the corners. :-) So I think I def want a V rating. Size is the same as yours - P225 50R16. I'll take a look at the Toyo and Kumho and see what I find.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Kumho's are highly rated tires for the cost, but not in the same class as the Goodyear Eagles that your replacing.
    Kumho Ecsta ASX may be a good choice for you, 420 A A ratings, speed rated at ZR. Some reviewers have stated that they wear faster than expected though.
    I see them locally for < $100 each regularly.
  • enigmajcenigmajc Posts: 11
    Thanks burdawg. I found the Kumho Ecsta ASX on for $65. I debating btw those and the Fuzion VRi by Firestone which is a bit more expensive ($80) but has deeper tread.
  • hi, i work at american tire dist. been there for 6 years. i have seen many tire's come and go, but the kumho's might be better priced, but they make a lot of road noise as they wear out, fuzion's are good tire's the tread pattern has a lot to do with the noise on the kumho's. the sporty tread is allways better looking but not allway's the better/quiter tire. if you could spring the extra cash for the fuzion, thats the way to go.. i run 235/40ZR18 on my 2001 pontiac grand am se1 dunlop's rs100's, love them very grippy not so mutch of ruff ride being low profile about $120 for 1. i have a lowering kit 1.5front & 2.0back no alinghment problem's a full muffler system headers back, underdrive pully's custom coldair intake ran into the driverside fennderwell. hope you find what your looking for..
  • enigmajcenigmajc Posts: 11
    Thanks krs01grandam! I decided to go w/ the Fuzion VRi and I'm glad I did. I've put about 5,000 miles on them so far and I love them. No complaints!
  • can i run 215/65/16 on my 2002 pontiac grand am gt ram air thanks
  • Just bought a 2003 GT, it has 16 inch low profile tires is that standard equipment? I live in the northeast with lots of snow any comments about handling in the snow. Thanks
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    16" rims and low profile tires were standard. Snow handling depends on the specific model of tire, some are better than others.
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