28th Feb 2003, 10:49
I bought this car brand new. It had 6 miles on it when I test drove it. Funny you mention the Mustang. We also own a 93 Cobra which has had zero problems. I may have gotten a lemon with my Firebird, but I would never buy another Pontiac. I have spent more money repairing this vehicle than the price I paid for it ($15,000).
10th Jun 2003, 10:01
Just a note for your headlight problem, the grinding noise, I had this same problem, there is a way to fix it for free, if you are interested, let me know and I will send you the info on how to do this, I had the same thing happen to my 96 ta.
26th Jun 2004, 04:12
I too own a 1996 Pontiac Firebird with 146000+ miles on it. I haven't had any problem with it in 2 years. The motor had to be replaced for the headlight at 70,000 miles, and the a/c compressor gave out at 130,000 miles. As you can see these are a lot of miles and those are respectable figures, if you consider an eight year old car with that many miles and that fact that these are the ONLY two problems I have ever had with this car. I just you just happen to have gotten a dud. It happens. You should not go around condemning American cars just because of that reason.
17th Nov 2004, 09:32
I have a '96 convertible with V6. Aside from multiple replacement of headlight motors (which are so common in 4th gen Firebirds that several websites exist showing how to replace them!) my most recent issue is a window motor failure and serious oil leaks. After 120,000, had to replace water pump and alternator. Gas gauge is questionable after dropping below 1/2 tank. Air conditioning failed at 122,000 and a re-charge did not help. Otherwise, a good looking, good performing car.
24th Feb 2005, 11:07
Hmmm $900 a piece for rotors? $500 a piece for headlight motors? The mustang has had zero problems and your firebird is a lemon?!? Hmmm, I wonder if you could make it anymore obvious that you work for Ford and you are getting paid to write this garbage. Nice life.
24th Feb 2005, 19:35
Agreed that claiming rotors cost $900 each is ridiculous, but if the reviewer worked for Ford and was just trying to denigrate Pontiac, I don't think he/she would have picked a nine year old example of a model that went out of production three years ago...
4th Mar 2005, 21:29
I myself own two 1996 pontiac firebirds. One red, one purple. And I have put a lot of miles on them, driving back and forth to work, and many, many cross country drives and trips. The red one had a complete tune up at 100,000 miles (replace spark plugs, wires, etc.) and has always ran great. I have never had any problems with it. The purple one had to have a new water pump at around 92,000 miles, and last summer I had to fix a leak in the A/C compressor (140,000 miles). And recently in the past week I've noticed one of the O2 sensors needs to be replaced, we're at a little over 160,000 miles now. Other than that I haven't had any problems. I change the oil every 3,000 miles, keep my tires rotated, keep the cars greased and lubricating, and I change all the fluids at least once per year (transmission, radiator, differential, etc.). So I myself have been very pleased and happy with both vehicles. My only problem is now that they've been discontinued, what can I buy that I can depend on like I have these two beautiful birds?
16th May 2007, 10:17
I HAVE A 95 fIREBIRD AND I PUT A NEW ENGINE IN IT AT 192000 MILES. I just had to replace the alternator... but other than scheduled maintenaince it has been great.
19th Dec 2008, 21:59
I would have to agree that the fourth gen Firebird is a pile. I bought one for my daughter, and the car is literally non-functional below 32 degrees. The shifter hangs up in Park, and the only way to get it out is by lifting the console and forcing the park locking mechanism down. When I press the button on the side, it won't fully push the locking mechanism far enough to get past the notch it needs to clear. The shifter itself is like something out of an mechanical engineers wet dream.
As a lifelong GM man, it pains me to say that the engineering going into this car borders on lunacy. Problem Two; there is a relay (I believe) that is associated with the idiotic "antitheft" system that in cold weather will not work. The interior lights blink spastically and the door bells chime along with it. If you wait long enough, oh say about 45 minutes, the relay appears to warm up enough to finally function. I replaced both relays last spring, after being stranded repeated by this problem last winter. As for whether or not this is a "muscle car", believe me it is not. I owned a Yenko Nova, a 769 440 Roadrunner, and a slough of Chevelles in my day, and those were muscle cars. These things are over-glorified grocery getters. OK well, that's my two cents.
1st Apr 2009, 13:47
I own a Firebird. Bought it for $1700. Had problems with the hatch not unlocking, and my headlights grinding. Other than that it's been a great car, but the cup holders are stupid.
27th Apr 2009, 23:17
I too have a 1996 Firebird. There are two of us now talking about problems that appeared well after purchase, so I think the "dud" comment is unfair. In my case, almost everything under the hood has had to be replaced. I wasn't careful about maintenance the first few years, when it had almost no problems. Also, I have never driven it very hard, nor have I driven it much during the past 12+ years.
14th May 2009, 21:42
I have a 96 with almost no problems..
Sure the headlight motors go out just like they did with my 85..
My AC is cold and the car rockets off of a start..
At 200000 miles it's a champ. I can still dust a Corvette at the raceway. It's all in how you take care of a car, and not the car.
Yeah the cup holder sucks, but if you're not putting out the horse power, it's your fault and not the car. Sure mine is suped up, but I'm working mine harder than to school and back every day.
8th Aug 2009, 09:27
My '96 Firebird had the same problem with the head lights back in 2008. I paid $260 per headlight motor and I got $30 back if I brought back the old one's! Now to install them was $400.00, but because I also have a 86' Firebird that had the same problem I fixed the motors myself! It only took 30 min to change both. LOL my boyfriend didn't know how to change a headlight motor, so in the process I was also teaching somebody too!
11th Aug 2009, 12:17
It sux that you had to spend so much money, but cool that you were able to later fix your own. I find a woman who can fix her own vehicles very attractive. But perhaps you should find a guy a little more mechanically inclined, you know, someone "good with their hands" lololol just playing.