Not for the Mechanically Impaired
Where to begin?
I bought the car in early August. My cousin, who is my mechanic, evaluated the car before purchase and claimed there was nothing wrong with it. However before leaving with the car we realized the AC wasn't working and had it fixed for free under the Massachusetts Lemon Aid Law.
In September at about 99000 several warning lights went on. I brought the car to my mechanic, and he found nothing wrong with it.
Later that week my car started dripping large amounts of antifreeze on the ground. It turned out to be a torn radiator hose which cost me $50.
A couple weeks later, the battery died. I shouldn't complain because the car was almost 10 years old and had the original battery still. Cost me minimal money.
Three weeks later I went in for a routine oil change at Jiffy Lube. They refused to service my car because they found "sludge" in my oil, indicating a head gasket problem. It turned out to only be tanked oil from the GM dealer that reacted too bad weather. However, water in my oil had continued to be an on-going problem.
About a month later the alternator went at about 102000 miles. That cost me $201.57.
Went smooth until about 105000. I had to replace the brakes. I had killed the brake pads, which I have learned tend to be typical of Grand Ams. I had also killed the rotors, and almost killed the caliper.
Flat tire at about 105550 on the front passenger side. Never let a AAA guy put a donut tire on your front tires. Especially on a Grand AM because of the braking ratio.
ABS light goes on whenever anything has needed shop repair. Odd seeing as how the light is meant for the braking system and not as a warning for the all systems.
Has recently started to burn oil much faster. It's been taken for routine 3,000 mile oil changes. Oil light didn't go on when the oil was too low. It created a smoke that you could smell. All fluids were good, but the oil.
The bolts on both the driver's door and the passenger's door have come loose and constantly need to be tightened. The seats have also started to wear badly. The sun shade for the driver's side broke in half.
Brake dust has come out of the wheels and stuck into my paint. It took a nylon scuff pad and soap to get most of it off. I've tried cleaners, but nothing has helped.
Plastic molding on the sides of the car have chipped paint relatively easily.
The car starts to shake at about 70 mph at which point you have to ease off the gas and ease back into the gas pedal to get a smooth ride.
The car eats gas like nothing I have ever seen. Also GM gas tanks tend to be almost a "T" shape so that there's minimal gas mileage at the start of a full tank, and more mileage at the end of a tank.
Lights have started to fade in the speedometer making it hard to read at night.
The power steering is starting to go now at 108500 miles. It's getting harder and harder to steer and make tight turns.
My other cousin with the same car experienced problems. She blew a head gasket at 99000 miles, and a fuel pump as well. Her car would start and then stall out after a minimal distance and wouldn't restart until it had cooled.
When it decides to ride smooth you can't tell how fast you're going. 65 mph feels more like 30.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 24th May, 2003