1989 Pontiac 6000 SE 2.8 from North America


If you want a bullet proof car, this is it!


At 100k, O-ring (where the distributor shaft would have gone). Intake manifold seal leak, paint degradation, replaced oil sending unit.

At 125,000, air conditioning leak developed.

At 200,000, factory radio went on blink... Wouldn't hold a station.

At 290,000, flex lines, ball joints, gas tank thinned at the top (smell when filled) repainted car (new color, looks great), replaced oil sending unit.

At 300,000, original alternator replaced.

At 320,000, original water pump replaced.

At 340,000, original radiator and hoses replaced.

General Comments:

The car doesn't owe me anything, I have a 1994 Nissan Maxima also (great car), but I prefer to drive this one... It has great feel and just keeps on running.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st February, 2001

5th Jan 2010, 00:56

It is good to see someone who enjoys their rare 6000 SE as much as you do. I hope you still own the car, for I see very little of the SE's around.

1989 Pontiac 6000 LE 2.8 MPFI from North America


Fun to drive!!!


It had failed fuel injectors at 130,000 miles, which is expected for its engine type.

Also shocks and struts needed repairs.

New paint job required due to peeling.

Many new engine parts such as a water pump, alternator, power steering pump, radiator, fuel pump, fuel injectors, and oil pump seal.

Also new spark plugs and wires.

General Comments:

Still accelerates and handles well.

Fun to do doughnuts in reverse in winter.

It's very nice on the inside, given the great interior.

We love this car and hope to have it at 300,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2001

1989 Pontiac 6000 STE AWD 3.1 MPFI V6 from North America


The greatest car ever built!!!


Replaced rear calipers, rotors, pads, and parking brake cables. It got hit by the traditional GM rear caliper lock-up syndrome. This was a common problem from '87-'92 because people were not told that they had to pump the parking brakes in order to reset them if the car was equipped with 4-wheel ABS discs.

I wanted to see if the AWD would hold a fairly sharp corner at 50. It did, but I broke the bracket that connects the rear control arm to the rear strut in the process. I ended up having to buy the "dealer-only" strut for $330. Ouch!

I now need to replace the radiator. (another common GM problem due to the fact they used plastic!)

Other than that, it's been oil changes at every 2,000 miles. With the exception of the radiator, nothing has been the car's fault yet.

General Comments:

Ever since I discovered and bought my first '86 STE, I have developed an obsession with them. They led the American revolution of sport-luxury cars, and they were built to last. Periodic problems are common (water pump, alternator, injectors, etc.), but are you looking at the mileage on some of these vehicles? Most cars would have been in the junkyard long ago instead of causing minor repairs! I bought mine with 164,000 and it finally lost a rod at 215,000! (And that's with my brutal driving style).

It took me 3 years to find my current '89 because so few were built! It was the last year of the STE package. I looked long and hard the entire time I had the '86 to find one.

Why so obsessed? How many cars have 12-way power seats with air adjustable lumbar or a steering wheel covered in radio controls? How about full gauges on a digital dash with a digital driver information center? How many cars even today offer self-leveling air struts in the rear to lift the car when there's too much weight in the back or use the same compressor as a tire inflator built into the trunk? How many good-looking passenger cars (in other words, excluding Subaru, Volvo, etc.) come with full-time all wheel drive and a differential lock mode for really bad conditions?

It would cost a fortune to buy a car like this today. In fact, it was over $25,000 in '89! The features and advancements in this car are truly something to marvel at and rival even the most expensive modern luxury cars.

The only down fall is that no one knows it exists. Parts are getting scarce and every year it's growing closer to becoming extinct. Pontiac has discontinued everything for it,and I'm getting sick of being treated like an idiot when I ask for a part for a 4 wheel drive 6000. "Front wheel", they say. "You mean front wheel drive.".

Inspite of all this, I LOVE THIS CAR!!!

With any luck, I'll find a few more and I will make them last as long as I can.

If you can find any STE in good, well-maintained condition (this is the key), I strongly suggest buying it. You won't regret it!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2001

23rd Feb 2001, 23:18

Could you elaborate about the pumping of the brakes for the ABS to reset?

5th Apr 2001, 16:47

Cars that are equipped with 4-wheel ABS must have the parking brake used frequently in order to reset the rear calipers. Unlike previous 4-wheel disc brakes w/o ABS, the mechanic cannot reset the rear calipers with a special tool. By pumping the brakes a few times a week, you will cause a chain reaction which automatically pushes the calipers back were they should be. The problem, like I said, is that when this system was new and revolutionary, no one was told to do this. So, the calipers eventually stopped working and needed replacement.

The problem with you and me finding this out now is that it's to late to save the calipers. As I hope you know, if the parking brakes have not been used for a number of years, you don't want to try them. It's very possible that the brakes will go down, but will not come back off when you pull the release lever. It is for this very same brake system that GM had to settle a class action lawsuit worth $19.5 million with the W-body cars (Lumina, Grand Prix, etc). In fact, I am in the process of trying to get my brakes reimbursed by Pontiac. If not, I may get a few other '88-'93 4-wheel ABS disc brake owners together and file my own class-action lawsuit for all GM cars with these brakes! Anyway, that is why I had to have everything replaced on the rear brakes. I went through hell trying to find someone who made the brake cables (as with many of the parts) for an AWD 6000. Still, I feel the car is well worth it.

1989 Pontiac 6000 LE 2.8 MPFI from North America


A reliable car that has good acceleration for its intended use


Had to replace the front and rear shock absorbers (expected after 11 years). They were cheap and readily available.

Hood paint is starting to come off.

General Comments:

It has great acceleration, and is good for getting on the highway. Doesn't slide in the winter, except under extreme conditions (like while doing "doughnuts")

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st December, 2000