1996 Pontiac Grand Am SE 3.1L V-6 from North America


Very reliable, though lifeless


Factory theft system.

Head gaskets - replaced with no noticeable benefit.

Numerous light bulbs were out and could not be fixed (trunk, glove box, etc.).

General Comments:

A very well built car, but a little boring. Not enough power!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th October, 2000

1996 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L twin cam from North America


High performing cheap reliable car. GRAND AM!!!


I just recently bought this Pontiac Grand Am. I bought it with 96,9xx miles on it. The car is still in good condition, just has lots of highway miles on it.

The problem I have had so far is that the oil light comes on when the car has been parked for a period of time long enough for the car to completely cool. I noticed that if I start it, and shut it off, then the light goes out... but if the car sits for some time, the light comes back on. The oil is changed, and the oil light is not on, it just keeps telling me to check the oil for some strange reason.

I also noticed that the transmission shifts kind of late to me. I have never had a car like this, so maybe this is normal, but the transmission to me seems like it changes about a second late.

General Comments:

This has been a really nice car so far.... I would recommend a Grand Am to anyone interested in buying a new car. This is my first Grand Am, but almost everyone in my family has one. I plan to keep this for about a year, pay it off extremely early, and trade it in on a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am GT.

Pontiac is a very reasonably priced car, and very reliable. I would recommend the Grand Am to anyone.... they are truely a fun car to drive. I love when I am behind the wheel of my Grand Am.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th October, 2000

8th Dec 2000, 07:28

I'm glad you like your Pontiac Grand Am SE, mine right now is in the shop for shutting down on me while driving on a local parkway. Don't know if it's the alternator or a rusted battery cable... is it true that if we sat with the car a few minutes it would have restarted? Huh... something to know in the future :)

16th Apr 2005, 22:04

I am glad you like your grand am. I have a 96 grand am with 156,ooo miles with original engine never been rebuilt. I have a same problem with check oil light might be a bad sensor?

27th Apr 2005, 15:58

I also own a 1996 Pontiac Grand AM SE, with around 126,000 miles on it. It's been a great car, so far.

The main thing that I've had to replace has been the wheel drums, rear. Of course, brand new tires, and fluids. I'm due for brakes now, but I consider all that I've mentioned wear and tears.

The thing about your transmission 'skipping', you may wanna do a code check. Sounds like the speed sensor, that controls the transmission/speedo. I just replaced, because mine was completely gone. It would rev, but I had no power/speed. I managed 40, downhill. So, I'd say check that, first! Good luck!

1996 Pontiac Grand Am SE V4 from North America


Never buy this car


So far the alternator has been replaced, the entire dash system, the computer and the water pump. The brakes went without so much as a squeak. This car has an electrical problem that can't seem to be resolved. You drive along and whether you are going 70mph or 35mph the whole dash system goes crazy and without any warning the car shuts itself off, very dangerous, if you sit with the car for awhile it will start again and this problem can reoccur in two days or six months, you don't know when or why.

General Comments:

Neither the dealership I bought this car from or Pontiac has ever done anything to help me resolve this problem, instead I got alot of grief from both companies. I had a hard time trying to get them to fix this car. Of course now the car is out of warranty. I would absolutely never buy a Pontiac again as this has been my first Pontiac and it is truly a lemon but because the problem is so intermittent could not use the lemon law.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th March, 2000

24th Jan 2001, 06:41

It is a well known fact that GM has had electrical and brake problems for the last ten years or so. I saw no real problem with your review, but as a pretty fair car mechanic I do not believe in your knowledge of cars. Neither Pontiac or any other GM product has ever been equipped with V-4 . I own a 1996 Grand Am with a V-6 and I have had very few problems with it.

The part about the car shutting off may have to do with the theft system. Our car did this when we had other remote starter hooked up.

Thank you.