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Pontiac Grand Am Maintenance & Repair



  • I have a 1995 Grand Am that has had a recent problem...the window won't roll up and down anymore and the window seems loose.

    Story behind it and you can move to the next paragraph if you don't want to see why it's broken. Okay, so I got my tires rotated and balanced and pulled up with my windows up. I gave the repairmen my keys and waited inside until they were done. I came out and the driver's side window was down and I didn't bother to put it back up on the spot since I've never had too much trouble with the window and it was a beautiful day outside. I got home and the window wouldn't go up. Now it's my repair to deal with since I have no proof that the window was fine before. All they told me when they gave me back my keys was that the door sticks (no, it doesn't, it's just a normal bulky coupe door). :mad:

    So...this window IS NOT powered and it just rolls up and down. How do I know if it is simply off its track or something was broken from harsh treatment? How much would it cost to get this repaired or is it best to spend a weekend fixing it myself. My dad said he would help me if we were able to find instructions. :)

    Cost estimate?
  • It's not that the Grand Am is a particularly bad vehicle; on the contrary it's pretty good overall. Problem is that both GM and its dealers will screw you as hard as possible every chance they get. GM supports rogue dealerships in preference to its customers and insists upon keeping Technical Service Bulletins secret from its customers. Dealers keep known problems secret from customers during the waranty period, even when a customer presents with a known problem, since they make a smaller profit from warranty repairs than they do when they are able to sock full price to ignorant customers. The only time a customer can expect a no-cost repair from a known defect is when there is a full NHTSA safety recall and, even then, the typical VIN range of the recall often does not include tens of thousands of vehicles with the identical problem, as is was for me.
    In my case, a 2000 Grand Am GT Coupe with a 3.4V-6, the car was delivered in badly damaged condition by a rogue dealership with dented driver's door column, a damaged wiper arm, a severely scratched windshield and a couple of accessories missing. The dealer refused to replace the missing accessories, to repair the damaged door (it would have needed to be replaced) or to replace the windshield. They did reluctantly repair the windshield wiper arm and repair the windshield by grinding and polishing the scratches. GM took the position that the problem was between me and the delivering dealership and refused to intercede or assist, leaving me with the option to sue if I wished -- and everybody knew that legal expenses would outweigh the amount of any recovery. Not a good start!
    With mileage in the high 20,000's the car started "consuming" both oil and coolant, very slowly at first and then gradually increasing over time. When complaints were made to the dealership within the 36,000-mile warranty period, I was told that this was a normal condition for this 3.4 engine in spite of their insider knowledge by secret TSB's 030601010 and 030601010B of March 1 & October 1, 2003 respectively that there was an intake gasket incompatibilty with the Dexcool extended life coolant that should have entitled me to a warranty repair. Also the blower motor resistor and connectors that permit slow speed operation of the heating/cooling/defrosting fan were burned out, for which a warranty repair was refused on the grounds that the fan would still operate the defrosters at high speed and, as such, did not present a safety issue -- it was news to me that GM's warranty only applies to safety issues or NHTSA recalls!
    Once the car was out of warranty, the original rogue dealer was happy to inform me that I needed an intake manifold gasket replacement for $695 (thank you very much). At the same time, the car was suffering from the now well-publicized, cracked hazard warning switch problem behind the dashboard that ultimately became a recall item under various secret TSB's and NHTSA I/D #'s. This in turn burned out the main turn signal switch on the steering column.
    The car was eventually taken to a different Pontiac dealership where the intake manifold gasket, hazard warning switch and turn signal switches were replaced for a grand total of $986. The extra $291 for the switch replacements were claimed to have been made at a courtesy discount rate since my VIN did not fall within the NHTSA safety recall range -- God help anyone having to pay the full price, however outrageous that might turn out to be! To this day, the blower motor resistor set and connectors have not been replaced even though the problem was documented by repair order complaint within the warranty period.
    So why am I bothering with this extensive Internet Rant? It's because I believe in the principle that "every dog deserves one bite" more then the more generous "three strikes and you're out", although GM has taken more than three strikes for their "out" in this instance. Nobody expects any manufacturer of a complicated piece of machinery to get everything perfect, every time. But when things turn out less perfect than expected, the customer has every right to expect the manufacturer to:-
    1) Deliver undamaged new product to the customer,
    2) Make Technical Service Bulletins public information,
    3) Stand by it's Warranty rather than lying about a problem, or its seriousness, until after warranty expiration, and
    4) Make repairs during warranty for any reason, not just for issues that may be safety or recall related.
    For the past 35-years or so, we have always had at least one vehicle from each of the domestic big 3 manufacturers and one import in the family and have ample history on customer service from each.
    Ford has never presented warranty problems but the Fix Or Repair Daily acronym does tend to present itself more frequently with age. We have had EXPENSIVE warranty issues with both Chrysler and Mitsubishi but, in both instances, dealers and manufacturers stepped up to take care of all problems completely, promptly and at no cost. Longer term, the Mitsubishi became unreliable and very expensive to maintain, however, but only GM has proven to be the renegade. Sadly, one only finds out about it when its too late.
    Our only answer is that my extended family has boycotted GM since their outrageous customer relations attitude became evident and we will continue to do so indefinitely -- that's quite a few vehicles that GM will not sell over a generation or two assuming that their attitude does not bankrupt them in the meantime -- something that it looks more and more as if they're capable of doing with or without any help from me. My hope is that this information spreads far and wide through this and other forums, that readers take my comments to heart and do themselves the biggest favor by boycotting GM too! In the long run, you'll thank me and your pocketbook will thank me, not to mention the frustration you'll avoid in trying to deal with a totally indifferent, adversarial organization.
  • Honey, that's your own personal experience. My whole family has GM cars and never had an issue.
  • can anyone tell me where to find the thermostat
  • Does anyone no the cause Mine came on yesterday and still on
  • Does anyone know the easiest way to remove a rear seat from a `03 grand am?
    Suggest any websites?
    Any help would be appreciated
  • That's the whole point, Marjorine. It's only when you DO have an issue, whether with a dealer or the product, that you will find yourself screwed as I have been. As far as my extended family is concerned, we're not prepared to be screwed again. GM has proven itself, by its actions, to have no integrity in cases where "issues" arise. As a result, our business goes elsewhere.
  • Hey,

    Sometimes a lifter or two in my '95 Grand Am (3.1) make waaaay too much noise. Sometimes they sound "normal", others I wonder if the whole neighborhood can hear it when I start the thing. Sometimes, it quiets after a few seconds, others it can go on for minutes or until I can't take the noise anymore so I drive something else.

    Has anyone had this lifter tap on the 3.1V6 and cured it? HOW?
  • ok...i bought a 1999 grand am se 3 weeks ago...and have put 1200 into the heating system...thermostat..thermostat housing...water pump...sp's and sp boots...and replaced the egr valve another 200 and the catalytic converter 200...and still having the same problem...when i stop at a red light it idles kinda rough...vibrates bad and acts like it wants to cut out thinking its the idle set too low it idles at 500 rpm...i drove it this morning and it was idleing at 900 rpm and was so much better then went back down to 500 and ran rough again...could it be the idle too low? im at a loss and need some advice cannot afford another mechanic
  • i completely understand how you feel i bought mine 3 weeks ago had the egr valve replaced and thermostat and water pump and catalytic converter..

    when i put mine in the shop he told me since im close to 100,000 miles to have the timing chain replaced and timing chain tentioner...and when i replaced the egr valve it helped alot with the acceleration ... however i dont know what to tell you about the problems starting but i hope i have helped you in some way

  • Little itty bitty 3" long vacuum hose off the egr.
  • Two days ago, I rolled down my window to goto the drive through, it didn't roll down until I pushed it to the auto-roll down. I did it so fast that I didn't even think it was broke. Now my window wont roll up. It seems as though this is a fuse issue, but I never received an owner's manual with the vehicle. Could anyone tell me what fuse runs the windows, or which one is tied in with that? Also does anybody think this could be the regulator? I'm hearing no sounds when I try to roll the window up or down, so I think it's the fuse.
  • kresskress Posts: 1
    My daughter has an 87 grand am 2 door. We recently had an ice storm, and when she tried to open the car doors, she broke both handles. The handles are still attached, they just won't operate. I have 2 questions. How in the heck do I get inside to take off the door panel, and does anyone have an idea as to what may have broken? Thanks in advance.
  • I recently bought an ipod and tried to use the cigarette lighter/adapter to hook it up to the car stereo of my 2004 Grand Am... apparently my cigarette lighter/adapter in my car is non-functional. It worked in my mothers car, but when I plug it into my car I get nothing.
    Does anyone know if this problem can be repaired and what could have caused it?
  • If your backseat is anything like my 04, there should be two plastic hook kind of things on each side of the backseat. roughly in the middle of each bucket. you have to feel around with your fingers and push the hooks toward the back of the car until they release. though I don't actually suggest doing this yourself unless you have someone to help you put the seat back in because that is the really tricky part. I would try to explain it... but it is really not something simple enough to put into text, it took me several hours to get it back in. If you have your user manual or can find one online, I believe it shows you in there.
    Good luck
  • bmay1bmay1 Posts: 1
    I just had that exact same problem. It is in the shop having a wheel hub sensor replaced which is $300. Did you have the same maintenance done and did it fix the problem?
  • Hi, I have a 1999 Grand Am 2.4L twin cam. I put a new starter on it and it still doesn't do anything. 1st crank after putting in starter it just made clickin noises. Tried to start it again and now does nothing. Already tried another battery and still the same thing....Nothing!!!! Can someone please help?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Have you checked to see if you actually have 12V at the main starter terminal?
  • How do I check for 12V at the main starter terminal?
  • I had the same problem a year ago, after a few hours of trying different things and turn out to be the cable that connect the started to the battery was half broken, enough to pass the contact check but not enough to start the car .

    I hope it helps.
  • gearrgearr Posts: 21
    use a volt meter or 12 volt test lamp put one end on the termenl of the
    starter and one end on the frame
  • I recently bought an ipod and tried to use the cigarette lighter/adapter to hook it up to the car stereo of my 2004 Grand Am... apparently my cigarette lighter/adapter in my car is non-functional. It worked in my mothers car, but when I plug it into my car, I get nothing.
    Does anyone know if this problem can be repaired and what could have caused it?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I'm sure it can be repaired. Possible causes are a blown fuse or a wiring problem.
    You have to be careful with the 12V outlets. Put any plugs straight into them and pull them out straight. Some of the plugs are easy to put in crooked enough that you can short out the socket and blow the fuse.
  • thanks a ton. Its been driving me nuts, what's the point of having an ipod if you can't hook it up to your car...?
  • So my 2000 Grand Am has this accelerator surge when I reach a certain rpm. I can't keep going down the road more than 25-35 miles an hour without it stalling. I've heard maybe it's a sensor between the air filter and the throttle body but can't narrow it down. Also my check engine light doesn't come on so no help there....
  • slimvislimvi Posts: 1
    I have a 99 pontiac grandam and recently i have been having problems with starting and running the car. the car cranks but doesn't turnover unless i keep my RPM's up. Soon as let the car idle or take my foot off the accelerator it falls dead. I've replaced the battery, pvc valve, egr valve. My check engines light been on for a while and according to the scan tool P0401 Flow insufficient, but i still haven't been able to narrow the problem. please help!!!!
  • I recently checked the coolant on my 2003 Pontiac Grand Am and it had a terrible smell to it! I was wondering if it needed to be changed, or what kind of coolant should I add to it?
  • Make sure that you don't put regular coolant in it. It uses dexcool.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    What exactly did it smell like?
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