I bought this car at about 65,000 miles. It was and still is my first car after 8 years, and I still love my car, even though this is what has gone wrong with her:
Battery changed 1 time, and I think I am going to change it again soon.
Spark plugs and wires 2 times, because I wanted to make sure I was getting the most performance out of my car.
Window motors, like three of them – but it was under warranty. After the warranty went out, the passenger motor went out, but I bought a replacement motor on eBay for like 12 dollars, and took the door panel off myself and replaced it. It wasn’t that hard, because the motor itself has like only 4 screws, so now my passenger window works again… But speaking of the window motors, they aren’t the fastest or strongest motors I've seen on cars, but I guess they'll have to do. Right.
Water pump at like 85,000 miles.
Belt - I think I changed my belt like 2 times; better to be safe than sorry.
Intake manifold gasket - The BIGGEST problem was the intake manifold gasket – I changed it out and it cost me a pretty penny, but I was told that this is a common problem in the 96-98 car models.
I flushed my transmission, but that’s only good servicing for your vehicle.
Transmission - Started having a transmission leak at about 140,000 miles, and I found out that it was the gasket that they reuse after flushing it… Yes reuse… I had to change the filter 2 times, because I thought it was just the filter or something, and the last time I did service my transmission, the guy said that they reused the gasket, and that was the problem. So to fix it, he said he was going to just replace it with a cork gasket… and so he did, and no problems yet… So it was just a easy fix, and yes it does cost, it cost me $120 dollars, because I told him to add an additive to the transmission, so the bottle cost me 20 dollars, or it would have been an easy 100 bucks, give or take. All in all, we have very strong transmissions, on at least the V6s that I know of.
A/C - Finally serviced my air conditioner at like 125,000 miles – it had a small leak in it, but after they fixed it, the air still feels the same – gets hot when I accelerate, but cools when in constant drive. Not very good A/C, but I guess it works. I do use a sun visor I bought at Wal-Mart… Boy, that’s a must in the Texas area, and also tint on my windows.
Struts, shocks, motor mounts - Changed my struts at about 85,000 miles, and lower motor mount, and I think I am about to change my struts again. And I changed my shocks about 110,000 miles, did the job myself, just had to buy the shocks.
Radiator - I had it flushed at about 90,000 miles, and changed one of the hoses, but that’s it.
Water leak - had a small water leak under the carpet on the front passenger floor, so I took the carpet out and fixed the leak, and added more padding to the carpet all around for less sound from the exterior. There is another leak in the back seat, but it’s a small leak that I have yet to look for, because it usually dries up before I really care about it.
Alternator went out about 70,000, but that’s expected.
I can’t say enough about this car – she’s been real good to me, even though she breaks down sometimes, but hey, she’s worth it.
Great handling – I even went a step further and put in a strut bar for better handling, and a rear bar for improved handling
Changed my stock air box with… first a short air intake, then upgraded to a cold air intake.
Great car, and would go though the journey again if I had to.
For more info on this particular car, visit my car website to see the upgrades I did awhile back http://www.cardomain.com/ride/544943
But yeah, I know I put a lot of things that went wrong, but things will always wear out on cars, new or old… but hopefully you will see the good that I see in my 96 V6 Grand Am.
P.S. MODIFICATIONS are a must.