1988 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.3 Quad 4 from North America


Bargain of the century


The head gasket failed at 24,500 miles leaving me stranded, but dealer picked me and the car up within 1 hour. The repair was covered under warranty.

Transmission had a slow drive engagement at 31,750 miles. The dealer completely rebuilt transmission and repair cost completely covered under warranty.

I replaced the automatic serpentine belt tensioner at 95,000 miles.

General Comments:

The only repair after the warranty period was the belt tensioner. This car was the most inexpensive vehicle I have ever owned. My only cost other than belt repair was general maintenance, i.e. oil changes, brakes, tuneup etc.

The car was very economical with average highway mileage of 32-34. Very comfortable car in town and on trips.

This car was the only car in my apartment complex that started the morning it was -31. Absolutely incredible.

Paint and interior still looked almost new, showing little to no wear when I sold the car.

The Quad 4 engine is seriously quick, economical and responsive.

The engine never required oil additions between changes. It dipstick still showed full when due for a oil change.

This car set the standard and my 1995 Grand Am and 2001 Grand Am are proving to be just as inexpensive and reliable to operate.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2004

1988 Pontiac Grand Am LE 2.5 from North America


Despite some negative components it's great on gas and peppy to boot


Speedometer/odometer sporadically work.

Replaced the instrument panel, but this did not correct this problem.

Some bad wiring between EST, VSS and ESC sensors to the ECM, causing it to run rough/not start at all.

Water Pump bearing, hence water pump.

Blew the heater core, which seems to be a common problem with these cars.

Wheel bearing have to be replaced.

The engine is loud almost clanky (sometimes I swear the car sounds like a tractor), due to the exhaust manifold.

Some interior lighting problems, the dash light to be precise. A good whack and it corrects its self.

General Comments:

It is good for the money I paid $500. Considering I had a 1979 Malibu before this car I have saved hundreds in gas.

The car likes to rust.

Lumber support killer on long trips.

Some repairs are god awful ie... water pump... heater core... but hey welcome to modern automotive technology... make it expensive, attach 5 sensor to it and make it's near impossible to get at the affected component.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th April, 2003

1988 Pontiac Grand Am 2.5 Liter Tech 4 Cylinder from North America


Low cost, speedy considering it's a 4cyl


When we first got the car the engine cooling fan had to be replaced because of wear.

Most recently had to replace the spark plugs and wires, but the ignition control module was bad so had to replace that also.

In addition we have to replace the back exhaust (from the CV to the muffler) the headliner and new tires and belts. I got a feeling this car is going to die real soon.

General Comments:

This car was not very bad for the money, it's very effcient on gas and when it runs it's pretty speedy for a 4 banger.

Handles pretty good, but I wouldn't take long trips in it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th February, 2003

1988 Pontiac Grand Am Coupe 2.5L from North America


Cheapest transportation I've owned


Replaced the clutch when I bought it. Replaced a muffler, radiator, alternator, A/C compressor and belts. This has been an extremely reliable car. Great gas mileage, but pretty gutless. My sister-in-law bought it new, and had the cam-gears replaced at about 95000 miles, then the clutch went and we bought it from her.

General Comments:

This is my daughter's college car. It has run nearly flawlessly. My sister-in-law bought it new in '87 and I bought it from her when the clutch went out.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2003

1988 Pontiac Grand Am 2.5L Tech4 from North America


Wonderful beginner car


When I acquired it the battery was dead.

Alternator was shot, which caused the above problem.

Oil leak.

Oxygen sensor went 6/14/02 (about 155000)

Catalytic converter fell off taking everything behind it with it (about 158000)

Rear brake auto adjusters are shot and I have to leave the parking brake half on in order to stop effectively.

1 strut and both shocks are shot.

General Comments:

I love this car. My stepmother gave it to me for free (yes, that's right, free) and it's a hell of a car.

Typical Pontiac, wonderfully comfortable seats.

This engine is supposed to get great gas mileage (high 20s), but the best I've gotten is 20mpg average.

It's had it's share of problems, but it's 14 years old. What car wouldn't?

Great pickup and acceleration for a 93hp engine. My only wish is that the transmission had one more gear, then it wouldn't be so hard keeping highway speeds through the hills.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd January, 2003