1993 Pontiac Grand Am SE from North America


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.

General Comments:

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

19th Jun 2003, 09:25

Well, I am about to start driving soon and my dad is giving me his 1993 grand am SE. The only real problems are because of his job. He is a garbage man and treats the car poorly. It seems to stall a lot, but, if you run it for a few minutes it's a quick, fast, awesome car! My dad gets regular speeding tickets with it also.


26th Apr 2004, 13:41

My Grand Am had similar problems, such as stalling on the gas. It would sometimes die a few seconds after starting it, and there was even a little stalling when pushing on the gas. My car also starts to shake at about 70 mph, but it would stop when I hit 80 mph. My automatic door locks only work half the time, and my shocks need replacing. Other than that I am happy that it still runs considering the fact that I have crashed it. Not only that, but my car hardly burns oil and it is a fast car.

21st May 2004, 23:03

Man I thought my 93 grand am SE was bad, my head gasket went out at 122,000 miles and needed a new head because it was cracked bout $500 there gaskets and head combined. struts are great and the paint is flaking off on the trunk... it isn't really that much of a dog, good gas mileage car, only a dog when the a/c is on... and driver side window motor is starting to die...

1993 Pontiac Grand Am GT 6 cylinder from North America


Pile of junk


Replaced alternator at 120,000.

Replaced radiator at 118,000.

Have to replace oil every 3,000 miles due to it leaking out.

Power windows are slow going up and down.

Horn won't blow.

Heater / air fan doesn't blow air.

Last, but not least...Won't back up in reverse as of a week ago.

General Comments:

The car is pretty, but high maintenance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th April, 2003

30th Apr 2003, 10:37

I think it is difficult to give a review of a car's reliability if you are not the original owner. Obviously, a previous owner's lack of proper care/driving habits/etc. can affect how a car will perform later down the road. Many issues you may have may be a direct result of this kind of abuse. It may not be good evidence of Grand Am's overall quality.