1996 Pontiac Grand Am SE 3.1L from North America


I would not buy another one


The entire cooling system has been replaced. This includes all hoses, water pump, heater core, coolant reservoir, and radiator. Seems the hard plastic used in the manufacturing of the cooling system parts would not stand up to the rigors required. The water pump was replaced around 60,000 miles. A well known consumer organization made note that the 96 Grand Am had problems with its cooling system.

Replaced the A/C compressor.

Replaced the crankshaft position sensor twice.

Replaced the alternator three times.

Replaced the serpentine belt twice.

The right door actuator never has worked.

The windshield spray never has worked.

Note to all who read: Learn to do your own repairs if possible. (e.g. replacing the alternator, serpentine belt, etc or else find yourself a really good garage you can count on. I do both. When I need to have the codes read, I let my garage diagnose it. If I can repair the vehicle, I will do it. If not, I let my garage do the repair job. If you're wondering how difficult the job is, ask your garage the estimated labor cost. If the labor cost is < $150.00 that's a good indication the job is not difficult and you could do it yourself. Invest in a good manufacturer's repair manual)

I use my Grand Am to drive around town and to/from work. I would not buy another one, but it serves the purpose.

General Comments:

This vehicle has a transverse engine which makes it difficult to work on. I will not buy another vehicle which has a transverse engine. This is due to the fact that there is not a lot of room in the engine compartment.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th December, 2005

1996 Pontiac Grand Am GT 3.1 Liter from North America


It was built terribly


Had to replace the brake system at 135,000 miles. $600.00.

Replaced intake gasket and water pump at 130,000 miles. $1100.00.

Electrical problems, MAP sensor. $500.00.

New tires.

Car runs hot all the time, replaced the radiator 3 times.

Crack in exhaust system, part can't be found anywhere! Cat. converter needs to be replaced, car backfires when it's really cold.

New battery and serpentine belt.

General Comments:

At this time I don't have the money to put down on a new car nor make car payments. That is the only reason I still have this car. I like how it drives and I've been happy with it, except the repairs every couple of months!

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

Review Date: 29th August, 2005

1996 Pontiac Grand Am SE 3.1L V6 from North America


Get the GrandAm gt!


-when I bought this car the air did not work, but the dealership paid for that.

-I was about 100 miles away from home one night and the car decides it does not want to start, the altinator went out (400 bucks)

-then I had to get all 4 new tires, on sale. (400 bucks)

-and then the check engine light came on come to find out one of my cylinders in my engine was not working correctly because when they did the diagnostic test it had 10 misfire, costed me 150 bucks.

-check oil light comes on now and then, dealer said that that's what most GrandAm's do, even though I still think there is something wrong with the sensor.

-the car all of a sudden begins to overheat when I accelerate and stop very quickly. I have to turn the heat on high to stop it from getting too hot. this problem is still not resolved.

General Comments:

This car attracted me at the dealership. It's a nice bright red color. This car is a good car when nothing is going wrong on it.

My friend has a 1996 Pontiac GrandAm GT, and that car NEVER has any problems. I have been told by many people that the GT is built much better then the SE. In fact I was looking for the GT when I bought this SE a couple months ago.

The GT also does not have a governor in it. the SE does, so therefore the SE only gets up to 105 before the governor kicks on. which sucks!



Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th August, 2005

30th Aug 2005, 13:37

The overheating is probably your intake manifold- very common on these.

23rd Dec 2010, 21:22

I have a 1996 Pontiac Grand Am GT that is nothing but a headache with the stupid engine light. I just paid 408.00 to have the EGR valve replaced, in order to pass inspection, only to have the darn engine light go on the next day. A lot of mechanics have ripped me off.