1996 Pontiac Grand Am GT 3.1 V6 from North America


A worthless piece of junk. Don't buy one!!!


Engine light periodically comes on, then goes off, at which point I sense a very bad misfire, as though I were running on about three cylinders. No one has been able to diagnose the problem.

Mysterious antifreeze leaks appear, and then disappear. I had the whole front end of the car torn apart trying to figure out where it was coming from. When I put it back together, it stopped leaking.

Joints in the front suspension on both sides have gone bad, resulting in an awful clunking and squeaking noise.

The arms that raise and lower the windows on both sides have gone bad, resulting in the windows going up crooked (I hear this is common).

Window stopped rolling up and down for no reason, and miraculously began working again.

General Comments:

My 1996 Grand am is the biggest piece of junk I have ever owned. I bought it in hopes of having a nice, reliable car for daily driving, through college. Boy, was I wrong. So much crap has gone wrong with this car, I'm tempted to run it into a tree and collect the insurance. Everything about this car reeks of being poorly made, from the cloth inserts on the door panel that are falling off, to the mirror adjustment lever that fell down inside the door for no reason, to the windows that I must guide with my hands to get to go up straight. Several friends of mine who also own them concur with me on these feelings. Thank God I own a Trans am for sunny days, because if I had to drive this piece of junk every day, I'd probably go nuts. I used to preach to people about buying American cars. Well, after owning this, a Cavalier, and a Buick Century, all of which had low mileage, and all of which resulted in some astronomically expensive engine problem, I would give my left arm to have a nice four cylinder, five speed Accord.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th April, 2003

23rd Jul 2003, 20:40

I've owned a Buick Century and I loved it, the car ran excellent and I never had a problem with it. My father owned the same Grand Am as yours since it was new, and didn't have one major problem with it after the 145000 miles he put on it. Anyway, I'm just saying that you should really think about looking into the cars you buy, by checking their history, shopping around, and you should always have a mechanic that you know check out the car with you.

Another thing to mind, is the way you drive the car. I'm not saying that you do, but if you beat your car, or the previous owner did, it isn't going to last too long.

1996 Pontiac Grand Am GT 2.4 from North America


A fun car not worth the pain of upkeep


The first thing to go wrong with this car was the incessant rattle. Everywhere on the car, there is a rattle of some sort, especially the interior.

I then noticed that the car had either been in an accident or broken into, as I lifted the rear seat one day and found shards of broken glass. The dealer who sold the car assured me before my purchase that it had no record of any such incident.

Then the big stuff ensued. First the fuel-injection started to go. Next was the computer, which still to this day has problems. My car randomly decides to stall, and not start unless I reset the codes in the computer by physically removing power from it via removing the cable from the battery. Then, a still current problem, my car decides it wants to run in cold mode throughout the running of the engine, which cuts my fuel mileage down to an average of 12-16 mpg.

The car seats are rather uncomfortable, even though they have the lumbar-support option. The passenger seat's cross-support bar broke, resulting in a slumping effect. The little thing that moves the seat forward or back has also broken.

The linkage for the transmission is cracking, something that has happened in the last 15,000 miles.

General Comments:

Despite the bad-happenings of the vehicle it is snappy and handles somewhat decently. This has been enhanced by way of better filters, increased air-flow, and small things like new spark-plug wires.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd April, 2003