1989 Pontiac Grand Am Reviews - Page 3 of 6

1989 Pontiac Grand Am SE 3.1 from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1991
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.1 Automatic
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.0 / 10
Distance when acquired100000 kilometres
Most recent distance235000 kilometres
Previous carJeep Commanche

Summary:

Scrap metal describes this vehicle accurately

Faults:

What hasn't gone wrong with this car is the question!

Lets see, we're on our second transmission and this one's on its way out now.

I replaced the head gasket long before we ever hit 200,000km.

The horn works when it wants to, mechanic can't figure that one out.

Power window's, yup, been there with the 1 inch every 15 minutes.

The suspension, well, those little rubber things keep popping out on both front wheels and cost a bloody small fortune every time they need to be replaced which is once a year. Why? I'm not driving on cattle trails! I'm driving normal on paved roads and highways. I can't fix these myself because they need to be pressed into the frame.

Great design feature there.

Bottom line is this car is a piece of junk. It was designed and manufactured to be replaced within a few years and have high maintenance for the dealership.

I'll never buy GM again.

I still own my 89 Jeep Comanche. This thing has 300,000km on it and still purrs like a kitten. Only thing I've had to change is the water pump. I'll drive my jeep till it rusts away and watch the Pontiac rot in the driveway until then.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th March, 2003

1989 Pontiac Grand Am LE 2.3L 16v Quad 4 DOHC from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.3L 16v Quad 4 DOHC Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 miles
Most recent distance99000 miles
Previous carPontiac Parisienne

Summary:

Very fast, very fun!

Faults:

Ever since I got the car, the Odometer works whenever it wants to.

The ignition module went a week after I got it.

The starter was week and had to be rebuilt 3 weeks after I got it.

The Low Coolant light turns on above 4000 rpm whether there is coolant or not.

The spark plug boots come loose and it misfires at 2500-3000 rpm.

There is a rattling in the dash.

The factory radio wouldn't put sound out to the right side.

Trunk must be slammed to shut.

The roof liner sags.

Wobbling in the front drivers side tire.

General Comments:

This car is a major improvement from my old Parisienne.

But, it's also a lot higher maintenance.

This car will do 115 for sure, but the speedometer stops there, my guess would be about 120.

The seats aren't overly comfortable, but they're not uncomfortable.

It sticks to the road a lot better than other cars.

With the Quad 4 engine, it out-accelerates most other cars.

All in all, I'd have to say this car is a lot more fun than my Parisienne, although it won't take as much of a beating...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th March, 2003

1989 Pontiac Grand Am LE 2.5 litre from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.5 litre Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired198000 miles
Most recent distance220000 miles

Summary:

Great car for the beginning driver

Faults:

Replaced the heater core.

Replaced the valve cover gasket.

Replaced the shocks.

Replaced a few sensors but don't remember which ones.

Replaced the alternator.

Replaced the exhaust.

General Comments:

Great first car I plan to run the car till it dies then rebuild the motor and run it longer if possible.

Handles great in the winter on ice and in snow.

Biggest problem I had with it was the radio. it sucked.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2003

1989 Pontiac Grand Am LE 2.5L 4 cylinder from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 2.5L 4 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
1.8 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 miles
Most recent distance120000 miles
Previous carDodge Aries

Summary:

This car was a useless piece of junk

Faults:

I think it would be easier to tell you what didn't go wrong with it.

The car went through 3 transmissions, 2 radiators, 1 starter, and 2 heater cores.

It constantly leaked oil, coolant, tranny fluid, power steering fluid, and occasionally gas.

The brakes were pathetic and went out completely twice.

The electrical system was useless, sporadically leaving me with no signals, headlights, wipers, or radio, but then magically beginning to work again.

The Delco radio was a piece of junk. The sound would fade in and out for no reason.

The car went through wheel bearings like crazy. It rode really rough because of this.

Two of four power windows worked.

The tilt wheel would constantly loosen, causing the wheel to wiggle all over the place and making it hard to drive.

It dropped a valve and we got rid of it.

General Comments:

The car could do about 120, but if you tried to push it over 80, the temperature would shoot up and the car would seriously overheat.

For the year range it came from, it had a surprisingly sturdy construction.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st October, 2002

4th Oct 2002, 10:04

The 2.5L 4 is certainly the least-balanced of the motors in the 1989 Grand Am line. A while ago I owned an 1988 Grand Am with this motor, and it was serious garbage. Since then I've picked up a 1989 Grand Am with the 2.3 Liter DOHC 16V Quad motor, and it is a big improvement, and has required very little work except for plugs and oxygen sensors.

13th Jul 2003, 16:05

I currently own a 89 grand am withe the 2.5L tech 4 engine. My piston rings fried due to the heater core blowing. Since the I have searched for a replacement and thought of upgrading to the quad 4. I check many scrap yards all of them had a good working tech 4 but not a quad 4. The also all told me that I was crazy to put the quad 4 into that car as it was the most horrible engine that GM ever made. Since then I have put another tech 4 in and am pleased with it. So overall I think you must of got the 1 out of 1,000,000 defective models or a seriously abused one as every mechanic and even the GM dealer say the Tech 4 is the way to go.

Average review marks: 6.9 / 10, based on 24 reviews