1989 Pontiac Grand Am LE 2.3L quad four from North America
Fun to drive, but expensive to own
New timing gears and water pump at 123,000 miles.
New fuel sending unit at 126,000 miles.
New heater core and radiator hoses at 140,000 miles.
Previous owner replaced the head gasket at 100,000 miles.
Serious rust problems.
When properly fed and maintained, this car is seriously fun to drive.
However, when something breaks, it's usually big and expensive.
All in all the car has been fun to own, but the cost of repairs has been a little high for my taste. I will probably keep it until I reach 200K, or when it dies (whichever comes first).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th April, 2001
You should consider using salvage yard parts. I have several friends that have 88-91 Grand Am's, and all of them have maintained and repaired their cars with parts from salvage yards at a fraction of the price of new parts.
There are a few cases where new might be better, for example when a part has been redesigned to be better than the part that originally came on the vehicle. A good example of that was the re-designed head gasket for the Grand Am.
Otherwise though, older cars like that can be very inexpensive to keep up if you use salvage yard parts instead.