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Pontiac Grand Prix: Problems & Solutions



  • knfordknford Posts: 4
    We just purchased a 2001 Grand Prix GTP and after reading of the issues posted on this forum, I am thinking about purchasing an extended warranty for the car before it reaches the cut-off point of 100K miles. The warranty is pretty extensive, but costs $2650 for five years, 60,000 miles, which means it'll be covered up to 151,000 miles or five years from now. How likely is it that I will spend more than $2650 in repairs on this car in the next 5 years? Thanks for the advice.
  • I'd say buy it, I just purchased a 2001 Grand Prix GT with 49,000 miles. In addition to the problems I've already posted, Window not working and Fuel Gauge not working, I have also had to have the ABS sensors replaced. All of this was covered under the 3 month / 3000 mile dealer warranty. Now this AM my Check Engine Light is on and I am over my mileage, wish I would have picked up the Extended Warranty.
  • loppisloppis Posts: 1
    I don't know if you found your answer to your problem, but I have an 97 Grand Prix and the RPM's would drop to zero and the car would die also. I replaced the crank shaft position sensor (about $25.00 at Auto Zone) and the RPM's have never went to zero again and the car has never died since. Good Luck
  • My mechanic cleaned all the connections for the computer, operating the car dashboard lights ,abs lights etc...
    And so far so good.These connections for the incar computer must remain clean ,or it can lead to improper startups etc...
    This is the first day the car has been driven in 5 weeks while it was parked at the mechanics.
  • tlg1tlg1 Posts: 1
    We've been having this problem for years and can't find the answer. This is a 1998 Grand Prix GTP. At any given time while driving at a consistent speed with cruise on or off the car can start a serious hesitation problem with the rpm's moving up and down. Like it bogs down, like you were pushing and releasing very fast on the accelerator. The car doesn't really make a huge jerking motion but you can feel the car doing this. You can feel this happening and then see the rpm's moving. It also has a slow shift in maybe 2nd gear? Not sure which gear. I've had this to the GM dealership and they can't find a problem with it. It will do it for minutes or hours. Sometime doesn't do it at all. There is no specific weather condition to which this happens. It has done it for a few years and is starting to happen more now. Some days it never happens. I've read every post on here and can't find the answer to this problem. We thought it may be the fuel filter but that was not it. The dealership put this cleaner stuff through it and blew black stuff out the exhaust and that did not help it either. You can floor it while this is happening and the car will speeds up but then you resume a consistent speed it continues to hesitate till it decides to stop. It has great pick-up and runs really good but when this happens, it is a definite problem that is apparently hard to detect. This car has had the Sunoco 94 gas in it almost always unless unavailable then maybe Shell high octane. Never cheap gas in this car. Oil changes regular. We really don't drive it that much. It only has 72,000 miles on it. Our friend that is a mechanic says it could be a clog or a varnish build-up on the fuel pump screen from sitting or something. Nobody really knows and that is why I am posting this. The slow shift is probably not related to the hesitation problem but who knows. Gas mileage seems to be fine. Anybody ever heard of this? The hesitation is really my main concern although the slow shift isn't great either. By the way our car gets the passenger floor a little wet when going through a car wash also but right now that isn't my concern. We may look at that problem later but the hesitation is our major problem. Thanks in advance to anybody who knows what to do.
  • Hi~

    My car was doing the very same thing. It's been to the shop several times and finally after having a Vehicle Data Recorder installed so that they could see what was going on, they discovered that my crank sensor was bad. They replaced that, but left the recorder in the vehicle in case it has this same problem. It still acts like it wants to stall out on occasional start ups, so i'm not sure that i'm out of the woods yet. The service manager did tell me that the crank sensor is a known issue on GM vehicles, so that may be one option. Also, when I was there to pick up my car I asked what the next step was if this continues to happen and they told me that it was to replace the ignition module. I'm so fed up with this issue. I have a 2004 Grand Prix and i've only owned it for about 2 months. In those two months it's been in the shop 6 different times. Good luck to you.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 613
    What is the name of the company and what plan are they selling? Is there a deductible? I'm not sure GM will sell their best one with that kind of mileage.

    That's a big pile of $$$ for a service contract.

    Chances are you'd be better off putting that $2650 in savings and keeping it for a rainy day. At least you'd be earning interest.
    Do you plan on keeping that car for five years?
    (or 60,000 miles-for one of my customers, 60k miles is equal to about 6 months)
  • kevvokevvo Posts: 1
    hey, i had the same problem with my 2000 gtp. i searched and searched around the windshield looking for an opening of some sort and couldn't find a thing. are you sure this only happens in the rain, or is when you have your air cond. on? there is a little rubber elbow under your car that drains your air. when i located this elbow onder my car i found it was plugged. the air was draining through the blower motor and onto the passenger side floor. check it out. the elbow is a [non-permissible content removed] to find, its right on the fire-wall, passenger side about a foot up into the engine. i used a close hanger to unplug mine... if i were you i wouldn't park my head directly below when you unplug it.

  • I have a 2000 Grand Prix GT with 92000 miles and I haven't had any major problems with the vehicle. Is there a website that list the common problems that may occur on this specific car do to milage or age of the vehicle? I know that all cars and drivers are different, but I looking for possible problems I may run into if I keep the vehicle.
  • 2000 Grand Prix, GTP
    Newest problem, fuel gage went bonkers this week. It either sits on completely full or completely empty; if empty, all other indicators for empty fuel come on as normal.
    Sometimes hard braking or going around corners will make it change from one to the other. Anyone know the fix?
    All other displays appear to function normally, although not 100% sure ventillation system is working properly now.
    Previous problem -Transmission had strange whinning sound and hard shifting intermittently, then one day TRAC light came on. Took to mechanic, think he might have done something to solenoid, that seemed to have fixed that problem.
    Have replaced front wheel bearings 3 TIMES in 90k miles! :mad:
  • knfordknford Posts: 4
    The warranty is through They were highly recommended on a review board and seems pretty ligit. I do plan to keep the car for atleast four or five years. I agree, 60,000 miles will not last long, probably not longer than 2.5 to 3 years. We've had some issues with the car already and have not owned it long. With repair shops charging $95/hr for labor in the twin cities, $2600 will be used up pretty quickly.
  • lqvlqv Posts: 2
    Unfortunately I cannot help you with the hesitation problem, but I am posting because the identical problem is happening to me! I have a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix GT with the 3800 Series II engine and the problem just started this year. When the car is under light acceleration, climbing a slight hill, or on an exit ramp the RPMs sometimes oscillate (though this varies, sometimes it doesn't happen at all). It is very similar to pushing and releasing the accelerator pedal about once a second and it is not overly's just a quick, smooth (not jarring or shaking), and very annoying oscillation. This has happened in 3rd gear and 4th gear (before and after torque converter lockup). The car has no trouble codes and I have recently replaced the spark plugs, wires, and fuel filter and the problem still exists. Occasionally, I do get what seems like a slow shift. Also, when the car is cold the engine will surge 3 or 4 times right after starting, then the idle smooths out. Everything else is completely normal. Someone please help us!! Any help will be greatly appreciated!!!

    Now I think I CAN HELP regarding the water in the passenger compartment. I am assuming that this isn't a problem with the heating coil since it happens in the car wash (and you might have noticed the difference between coolant and water if that was the problem). My car used to do the same thing and it got worse, until eventually the entire passenger side foot well would FILL with water following rainstorms. I took off the plastic cowl on the outside of the car located between the bottom of the windshield and the top of the hood (you might need to remove the windshield wiper arms to do this...I can't remember if I had to). When it is removed, you can see the air intake on the passenger side. There should be a rubber piece of molding that is pressed on the sheet metal edge that makes up the upper section of the air intake (closest to the windshield). This rubber molding seals against the inside of the cowl and stops water from running down the windshield and into the air intake. On my car, the molding came completely off and fell into the intake, which let water flood in. I fixed mine by gluing the rubber molding back in place (onto the sheet metal edge) using silicon adhesive. I also placed a thin bead of silicon along the molding where it contacts the cowl before reinstalling the cowl. My car has been bone dry for a couple years now. I hope this helps and that your problem is the same since it is a very easy fix.

    Good luck!
  • lqvlqv Posts: 2
    After reading some other posts, it seems that there is also a drain in the firewall that can become plugged and cause water to enter the passenger foot well so you may want to check that too...

    Good luck.
  • I'm having the exact same problem. I own a 2005 Grand Prix GT with under 15,000 miles. Just noticed the noise a couple of weeks ago. The car sounds like a wind up toy. I was wondering if u have had any luck locating what the problem is? That way I have an idea of what 2 expect. Luckily it's still under warranty so hopefully there will b no problems from the dealer. I would REALLY appreciate any help or advice u could give!
  • My wife's computer is reading "Power Engine Low". What is this? Thanks for your thoughts.
  • djh2djh2 Posts: 1
    Hey lqv,

    I got the same trans problem you got with the annoying oscillations during accelleration. I have tried real hard to find any info on the net about it and it seems that you have the same problem I do. Too bad I cant find a fix for this one. I would like to fix it myself or have some ammo before I take it to a dealer. Please post a fix if you get one in the future. I will do the same. Thanks, Dave.
  • chats1chats1 Posts: 158
    I have had four Grand Prix's -- 1995, 1999, 2002 and now a 2006. All were GTP's, except for the new car which is a GXP. My nephew has had my 1999 until about a month ago. It also went on fire and the fire dept. could not save it. He had left it across the street from his office for an oil change. Five minutes later, someone called him and said is that your 1999 Red Grand Prix. He said yes. They said it's on fire. The hood was so hot that the fire dept. had to cut it off to remove the engine. He does not know what caused it. It happened five minutes after he turned the ignition off. He also had to fill out a lot of forms and the insurance company said that they would give him what it would be selling for from the dealers in his area.
  • ron48ron48 Posts: 1
    Re: posting referring to hesitation. I own a 97 GrandPrix GTP with 178,000 km. After my first major tune up, my car developed a hesitation, bucking type problem when the engine was put under a load, i.e. pulling up a hill, aggressive acceleration, etc. When I was just driving steady, the car worked fine. The solution: I replaced the spark plugs and spark plug wires and the problem disappeared. Before I got around to replacing the wires, I would pull the old wires off the spark plugs and put them back on making sure I had a good connection. This would help for a while. The problem seemed to be more with the wires than the spark plugs. Good luck to all those with the hesitation problem.

    I now have a head scratcher. The tension arm that holds the supercharger belt seems to have developed a chatter/rattle at low rpm's. When I'm sitting at a red light in drive, it clatters away. If I increase the rpm's ever so slightly it goes quiet. Also if I turn the steering wheel either way, the clatter gets worse. Again, this is only at low rpms (just under 1000) while the car is in gear. When I put my hand on the tension arm spring case it feels like something is hitting it on the inside. This is confusing as there are no real moving parts. Now here is the catch. I replaced the tension arm and the supercharger belt and there was no change. I continues to clatter. I did notice that there is an arrow on the tension arm and there appears to be marking that this arrow should fall between. I checked on some friends GTP's and their arrow is between the marks. I have turned the tension arm to try to put less tension on it but it almost seems like the replacement belts are shorter than the original. On my car the arrow is just outside the marks when the tension is on. Is this really a tension arm problem or is the chatter a symptom of something else.

    Has anyone heard of this problem before? Sure would like to hear from you.

    My next challenge is replacing the valve cover gaskets. Looks like I have to tear off half the engine to get them off. Oil on the exhaust doesn't smell so pleasant.

  • I have the same whining/whiring noise as well, coupled with that is a semi-violent shifting from one gear to another. When I took the car in for a Trac light problem, they clipped a line or plugged something up to fix that and I hadn't had this transmission problem since, but it reappeared yesterday. It's intermittent....usually shows up in rush hour traffic type driving, but not always.

    That's on top of my latest problem; the fuel gage has decided to go nuts after 90,000 miles. No warranty on any of this I suspect.
  • zn1102zn1102 Posts: 2
    We have the same hesitation problem on our 2000 Grand Prix for about a year now. I have tried changing the spark plugs twice. It seems to help for a short time but the hesitation comes right back. It really is anoying and seems like it could be a major problem and leave you on the road somewhere. Anyone have any ideas or solutions to this problem?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,480

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  • 1999 Grand Prix GTP- you can hear the motor working when you push down on the window, but when you try to put it back up there is nothing. Anyone have this problem or can make any suggestions? thanks in advance.
  • My 2000 grand prix GT does a strange ' surging' effect when slowly accelerating ONLY in 4th, and 5th gears. I've had it into the tranny shop ( outside trans repair to valve body $375), and to my mechanic ( complete tune-up ( new plugs, wires, clean ejectors, re-seat computer and all grounds) $400). It still has the same problem after all that.
  • Hi penny. I know exactly how you feel. While driving to work last winter I noticed
    smoke in the interior of my '02 Grand Prix. Although I was less than 1 block from home and had been driving the car for less than 5 minutes, it was on fire. No doubt about that. I barely made it home!

    The fire in my pontiac did serious damage to the interior and to some parts of the engine. Also, most of the underside of the car was seriously damaged on the front half. Unlike many people this happens to, I was able to extinguish the fire after using THREE brand-new, full-size fire extinguishers.

    While I had NO PROBLEMS with my insurance company on the claim (State Farm) the car was in the shop for over two months with FIVE WEEKS of actual work on the car. I still can't believe they didn't total out the car.

    While I was "lucky" in that I did get the car repaired and back to me, I will ALWAYS WONDER what caused that fire, and whether it will happen again.

    One point of interest... When the repair shop received the car, they did the best work I have ever seen on ANY car, and I do mean the best. They redid the carpet, seats, new dash, etc., not to mention the body work on the car. However...

    After the repairs were completed, I asked several of the technicians if they could determine what had caused the fire. You won't believe this, but the shop manager stepped forward and said "Son, Pontiacs have been burning since 1967. Everybody knows that."

    After doing a little research of my own, I came to this conclusion:


    Good luck with your claim.
  • Maybe you guys can help me out. I just bought this car last Friday and its been great but I didnt notice this until after I signed the financing papers which kinda sucks. When I make a SHARP left hand turn for example making a u-turn it makes a grinding noise and its not like a tire rubbing up against something noise its like something mechanical is grinding. I also noticed a very slight whining noise every once in a while in my car. Its a 2002 gt grand prix. Hopefully someone can help me out here. I would greatly appreciate it.

    Note: It doesnt make this sound when making right hand turns, and it also doesnt make any weird noises when the car is stopped and turn comepltely left or right, also no sounds of power steering whining either then wheel is turned completely left or right when comepltely stopped.
  • On 10/30/2005, my daughter drove my 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix about 11 miles away to the grocery store. Parked the vehicle and went into the store. Approximately 15 minutes later the fire dept. showed up to put out the car fire! While sitting in the parking lot, it caught fire from under the hood. The insurance company has rendered it a total loss, with no explanation as to what could have caused the fire. Their guess was an electrical short. The interior was not damaged, but the engine is rather pathetic (I have photos, if anyone is interested) My concern was that if my daughter had of been driving this vehicle on the highway or interstate she may not have gotten out of this car. Since it appears to be electrical the steering possibly would have went out before she got off the road. Thank goodness she was out of the car. However, I find it very odd that after a 15 minute drive time, the car would ignite in flames. I am real interested in what that technician said about Pontiacs. Obviously, I have to have a new car now and wasn't sure if I want another Pontiac. I was a huge fan of the Grand Prix but this has left me skeptical. I spoke with the fireman who put out the car and he said that all cars have the potential to ignite. Perhaps I should get a horse!
  • placoplaco Posts: 2
    rpm just goes to 0 but cars still runs. sometimes stalls while driving. if you shut down and re-start problem goes away and comes back. any ideas? :cry:
  • placoplaco Posts: 2
    i thought this was a good web site.
  • I too just started experiencing this hesitation and rpm flux in my 2002 GTP, The car has had no other major problems but i want to go to the mechanic with some information about what could possibly be doing this. It just started about 3 months ago, i have changed the transmission fluid, new gas filter and i had a tune up a year ago. Can anyone help with a solution or a reason so it doesn't freak me out. It usually occurs at 65 mph w/cruise on or off, sometimes the cruise won't even work.
    HELP, it's too soon to junk this car. :cry:
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