1996 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am H/O 5.0 liter High Output from North America


Excellent Handling Sports Car


143,000 miles - valve guides replaced under warranty

154,000 miles - water pump needed replaced.

165,000 miles - replaced entire exhaust system because catalytic converter was clogged and there was a small hole in the exhaust.

165,000 - replaced alternator and cooling fan relays.

165,000 miles - completely repainted and re-rust proofed.

187,000 miles - park brake cable needed replaced.

246,000 miles - car was literally run over by a tractor trailer on the highway.

General Comments:

In my opinion this was one of my most enjoyed vehicles. The car was very reliable, had excellent handling, and wonderful styling. I stored the car every winter and drove it from Ohio to Georgia often. This was a 5.0 liter 4 barrel high output model with 4 wheel disk brakes.

I was the second owner and enjoyed the car very much. I eventually sold the car to an employee at aproximately 198,000 miles.

The car eventually was destroyed after a tractor trailer literally drover over the hood of the car as it merged onto the highway. The weight of the truck blew out both front tires, flattened the rims, and blew the engine before the trailer come along and destroyed the rear end of the car as it spun out of control. My employee walked away from the accident with a small bruise on her forehead.

Had it not been for the accident, I believe this car would still be on the road today. I have owned 3 F-body sports cars of which the two Trans Am's have exceeded 200,000 miles with no major repairs needed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th November, 2002

23rd Jun 2004, 09:55

Maybe I'm mistaken here... but the car has a 5.7 liter engine, not 5,0 liter right? Perhaps your car is some strange model, but I doubt it.

14th Jul 2004, 22:39

Yes, I thought the same thing when I read this review. 5.0? All Trans Ams in 1996 were 5.7s.

26th Mar 2005, 07:50

Amen.i agree. tell it like it is.

29th Apr 2005, 17:21

The car being reviewed is a 1986 model I think. In the last paragraph the writer mentions 3rd gen f-body cars. A 4 barrel carb, 5.0 liter engine and 4 wheel disc brakes sounds to me like a 1986 model trans am. In 1996 all trans am model had 5.7 liter engines and fuel injection. No 5.0 liter engines or carbs were available in the 4th gen f-body cars.

1996 Pontiac Firebird Formula 5.7 Liter ( 350) from North America


Hang On!


Drivers side flip up headlight stopped working after an ice-storm during the first winter. This was fixed under warranty.

Developed small anti-freeze leak on rear seal on intake manifold during the first year. Fixed under warranty.

Passenger side window was slightly scraping during first year. Fixed under warranty.

Battery died after 2 years. Fixed under warranty.

Has developed various creaks/noises here and there, however I have been able to fix most of them.

Fuel Injectors/system needed reconditioning after 80K.

Ignition wires needed replacing after 85K.

Developed rear transmission tail-shaft leak after 80K.

General Comments:

I bought the car new, when it had just 7 miles on it, and it was love at first site/drive. I always loved the Pontiac Formulas, because they had all the performance goodies, without the extra weight and stuff that the Trans Ams have. In my opinion, a perfect sleeper.

While the list of problems I have detailed above may seem long. The dealer fixed all of the issues in a very timely manner with no questions asked (when under warranty).

I haven't included issues with the normal wearing of parts, like the brakes, and belts etc because they are part of maintaining the vehicle.

I have t-tops and haven't any problems with leaking.

I have always kept up on maintenance, and the car has never ever let me down. It is a total blast to drive. The guys are always amazed that a chick owns it, and I really enjoy being able to out run most cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th October, 2002