1987 Pontiac 6000 STE 2.8 from North America


Lots of bells and whistles, but an ABS Achilles heel


I've had the car two years and am now about to give it away because the cost of repairs exceeds the value. I've spent about $200 on repairs, mostly maintenance, but now the ABS system has failed. Unfortunately, when the ABS fails, all the brakes fail. They say it could cost $1,000 to $3,000 to fix. From now on I am going to stay away from ABS. Who knew it was like having another engine in the car, in that it cost just as much if not more to repair or replace as an engine. I didn't realize that if the ABS pressure fails, you lose all your rear brakes and are left with 10% of front braking power.

I can live without A/C (which still works fine), but you gotta have brakes.

General Comments:

Worked fine until the ABS went out.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd June, 2001

3rd Jun 2001, 04:30

When the ABS unit stops working your brakes still work 100%. The ABS unit doesn't have anything to do with the standard brake pressure, it just regulates on an on/off principle when needed.

There is probably something else wrong with the brake system.

24th Dec 2008, 19:11

He's got the Teves II system, it's basically a big hydraulic pump that's electric and is EXTREMELY expensive, like 2500 bucks for a reman. Other old cars with ABS used a similar system, like a Powermaster III system that's W body cars used. But the individual parts are replaceable as long as the master itself isn't bad. Accumulator is the most common thing to go wrong, and are like $100 or so.

1987 Pontiac 6000 LE 2.8L V6 MFI from North America


One great car for the long haul


Minor problems like you'd expect from a car with 150,000 miles. The car used to be my father's (he bought it used with 25,000 miles) and he made sure to have all maintenance done on time, one of the reasons this car held up so well.

During the time I owned it, I replaced the radiator and hoses, alternator, water pump, ball joints, and engine computer. That's about it for repairs. Repairs were cheap and parts very easy to find.

General Comments:

I loved this car and still miss it. It never stranded me and always started easily, even in 20 below zero weather up here in northern Wisconsin.

It had very good power from the 2.8 L V6 (a great engine in my opinion).

Inside it was comfortable, roomy, and quiet. I loved the red night illumination on the dashboard!

At 206,000 it still ran great and the transmission worked like new. Even the A/C was still blowing ice cold. Gas mileage was around 19 MPG in the city, 26 on the highway.

Routine maintenance included oil changes with synthetic blend oil, two spark plug changes, new transmission fluid, new coolant, and a brake job.

Overall, the cost of upkeep for this car was quite reasonable. I loved the distributor-less ignition - it really made tune ups easy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th October, 2000

23rd Sep 2001, 10:34

I agree with you whole heartedly my friend. The 2.8 V6 is a great little engine. I have a 1988 Chevy Celebrity with a 2.8 Multi-Port, and it's the best damn car I've ever had. You got to love the GM A-body's.

1987 Pontiac 6000 LE 2.5 TBI from North America


Great long distance or city car, don't be afraid to floor it!


Well, it finally died. Just plain wore out. If I wanted to fix it, it would have needed a ring-job and crank trigger.

The distributorless ignition is ingenious. No timing adjustment.

The throttle-body fuel injection system has just one fuel injector, and it lasted all 200,000 miles.

When I got the car, it had lousy performance, but I replaced all the sensors with Bosch replacements, installed Bosch platinum spark plugs (for 2 bucks a piece why not?) and replaced the oil with Mobil 1. The oil pan never leaked a drop. I also upgraded to a K&N air filter, which is washable and is guaranteed for 1,000,000 miles.

The transmission was good as new with 200k miles. What killed it was a crank trigger failure. Before I could fix it, the wacky timing hammered through the rings. This engine has no timing belt or chain. The cam timing is done by a set of huge gears, which were perfect when I tore it down last week. the only repairs it ever needed were the fuel and water pumps, both of which died within the last 10,000 miles.

I was rear-ended by a Honda Civic 2 years ago, and the car was officially totalled, but I drove it another 50,000 miles, having been paid for its total loss. My car didn't even crack a tail lamp. The Honda Civic is rotting away in a junkyard with a totalled front end.

This is a great car. Buy one before all of them are gone. The 2.5L "Iron Duke" engine is famous for its great design and reliability. Unfortunately, GM doesn't make the "duke" anymore.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th September, 2000

21st Sep 2001, 06:55

I have been doing some research on this car that I own.

I bought it about a year and a half ago from an elderly couple.

Paid $1,600.00 for it and it is fully loaded and mint condition. Not a speck of rust either!

Only had 59,000 miles on it and a new paint job because of it having sat under pine trees, the horizontal areas were looking bad (the trunk, roof and hood) due to the sap from the trees.

This car has NEVER let me down. We live in the mountains of North Carolina and it's pulled through the snow and run up and down these mountains like nothing, using next to no gas in doing all of this. Recently it has begun to use more gas (excessively) and doesn't want to down shift to pull a hill. I think it is something simple like the oxygen sensor or a vacuum line that might be loose or leaking.

Well to make a long story short some guy told my husband yesterday that these cars are known to be lemons and we should get rid of it as soon as possible! I love this car and DON'T want to part with it.

So far in my past 2 hours of researching on the internet for this particular car, I have yet to find ANYTHING negative about it. All who have owned one say they WILL own another and most say they have over 200,000 miles on them and still running strong.

This car has recently flipped to 68,000 miles. For a 14 year old car, even the original cassette player still works great. The air conditioning is ice cold. The cruise control works. Interior is perfect... you name it.

Any suggestions as to the reason it is not down shifting on its own. I mean, if I lay my foot to the accelerator it will down shift, but otherwise it loses speed uphill and is drinking the gas. It is just the 4cyl engine and I know it shouldn't be using gas like it is. It never did when we first got it. It was EXCELLENT on gas!

We really cannot afford to financially put a lot of money into a car, be it this one, or another one.

I am so afraid he will make me part with this car for no really serious reason and VERY soon. *frowning*

I would really appreciate any help and or suggestions you might have.

Sincerely, Lisa McIntosh (nclisa@charter.net)

17th Jan 2002, 16:37

My recommendation to the upshifting problem is to do a T-Tech automatic transmission flush. You would be amazed at how sluggish an auto tranny can become with old oil.


22nd Oct 2002, 13:11

- I bought a 1989 Pontiac 6000 SW with 33K Miles. It now has 165K Miles and a noise in the engine that I am trying to troubleshoot. It has not lost power, and has good compression still. The noise is metallic and I'm thinking it may be a cracked piston skirt or worn rod bearing. It seems to be loader when cold; but sometimes goes away. I replaced the belt tensioner just to prove that was not it. Just today (10/22/2002) a fellow mechanic told me that the alum. oil filter housing (inside the pan) can wear out. Does anyone have a cutaway or photo of what this looks like? If so send it to me by attachment to Email to: Richard_A_Jamieson@dresser-rand.com thanks.

1987 Pontiac 6000 STE 2.8 multi FI from North America


A high performance family car


I can't fill the tank to full, every time I do it, leaks.

The clutch is very high and is hard on the foot, and I had to exchange it.

The car sensors are failing, and the heating system won't turn off and constantly blows on your feet.

My wipers don't go fast, everytime I put them on fast they stop totally.

General Comments:

It's a fast car for a family comfort car, I was surprised to see a 6000 in standard. I took it for a test drive and fell in love with the car... it's a great first car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th August, 2000

6th Sep 2004, 18:01

I had the same problem with the fuel tank. Your tank is leaking on the top!

You can find brand new tank for 80$

4th Jan 2010, 20:55

I am the owner of two 85 STE's. I am surprised Pontiac put in manual transmissions. Does it make the car feel fast? I imagine it would, since you have no torque converter taking away some of the power.