1999 Pontiac Firebird 3.8L V6 from North America


Great car if you don't mind sacrificing a little power to save money


Following all at 106000km.

Rear transmission Seal.

Engine coil.

Ignition module.

General Comments:

This car is sweet. For a V6 it flies. I have had a few problems, but nothing too major.

This car handles like a dream, and has enough get up and go to get yourself in or out of trouble.

Also in Alberta, since it's a V6, it classifies as a hatchback, and my insurance is no more than any other small car. Plus I get on average 32mpg.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th July, 2009

1999 Pontiac Firebird Trans AM 5.7 LS1 V8 from North America


This car is a dream


Rear differential seal replaced, turn signal switch in steering wheel replaced, turn signal sockets replaced, cruise control still broken.

Radio does not display correct time or station sometimes, volume knob on radio unit does not work well but works good on steering wheel.

Right power lock busted due to a poor lock smith, needs a new keyless entry, and right window motor going out.

General Comments:

Well let's face it folks, Pontiac makes a cheap car. The wife even calls it (sigh) a lemon. However, I LOVE my Trans AM!

A lot has gone wrong with my car, but I will continue to dump money into it, because ever since I was a child and watched the infamous Burt Reynolds Smokey and the Bandit movie, I had to have a black T/A with t tops and a V-8.

Later down the road, I gave up on Camaros, quit settling for second best, and purchased one black piece of metal fury.

The only thing that really ticks me off is the stupid, stupid first to fourth gas saving shift method at the lower rpms in the six speed. Who was behind that in the making?! Other than that, yes the ride is "enhanced to feel the road" NOT A CREAM PUFF! Buy a Lincoln if you want that!

This car unfortunately is a dying legend that might possibly be reborn pending the new Camaro. Come on GM, don't let us down!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th October, 2008

31st Dec 2008, 18:05

It's true. GM made all the six-speed transmissions shift from 1st to 4th, bypassing 2nd and 3rd gears. It's called CAGS, Computer Automated Gear Shift, or something like that. If you read expert reviews on various articles, they will tell you it's not a big deal, and so long as you drive quickly, the computer senses it is a "performance situation" and will let you use 2nd and 3rd. But, it really isn't true. CAGS is a giant pain! Even when I really got on it, it forced me to shift to 4th. But... the good news is, and the reason I wrote this is, to let you know that you can take this to a performance shop and have the CAGS turned-off, and it's inexpensive. No parts involved, just de-programming. That is, I can use 2nd and 3rd all the time now. I don't know about the newer cars, if GM is still making CAGS standard on new Corvettes and the new Camaros coming out, but if they do, you should be able to get it de-programmed / turned-off.

18th Jan 2009, 19:17

My 99 Firebird 3.8L has been losing its rpms after driving for a while, and then dies and won't start for at least an hour. Then it drives fine for weeks to months before going through the same thing again. Any ideas or suggestions???


30th Jun 2011, 10:42

Forget the programming; it's drop dead simple to disable CAGS or as it's also called, "Skip shift".

Pull the cable to the lockout solenoid on the transmission. DON'T get the reverse lockout by mistake! Stick a resistor in the plug and tape everything up 'cause you're done. Secure the cable somewhere and drive away.

There are articles on the internet to tell you the resistor value if you look. Or you can ohm out the solenoid coil to find the right value. Thus, the solenoid doesn't trigger and you can shift to whatever you want. The dash message will still come on, but I don't even see it because of where my steering wheel sits. Without the resistor, the computer will throw a code. With the resistor, the computer thinks everything is fine.

Hard to 'resist' fixing that PITA for less than a buck!

If you're picky, there are sites that sell CAGS eliminators for like $20 or so. It's a little 6" section that plugs between the harness and solenoid for a nice clean installation.