1997 Pontiac Grand Am SE 3.1 189 from North America


Good to go


Replace water pump. $20

Replace alternator. $80

Replace starter. $80

Replace both power window motors. $100

Serpentine belt. $25

Replace brake pads and rotors every 2 years. $80

Replaced drum shoes once. $40

Trans and radiator flush every 2 years. $90

Replace plugs every 2 years. $20

Castrol Syntec and long life oil filter every 8000 miles. $25.

Burns.cj@gmail.com if you need help with any of the above operations.

CV axle is in need of replacement. Water is getting in from somewhere after a long rain. Horn IN-OP. Shocks and struts are way overdue.

General Comments:

All things considered, this car has served me very well. I've had it 5 years now and put on nearly 85000 miles and have done only minimal repairs, and everything except the flushing can be done in your driveway.

I threw in a knock-off K/N air filter and get an extra 25 miles out of a tank of gas, and it gives the motor a nice throaty sound. I get about 26/28 miles a gallon at about 75% highway driving.

The red paint still glistens in the sun and I only wax once or twice a year with nu finish. The A/C is cranking out 53 degree air and it's never been charged, at least not since I've had it.

Not bad for a 10 year old car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th June, 2006

1997 Pontiac Grand Am SE 3.1L V6 from North America




I have only had minor problems with the car since I have owned it, both of which were already wrong with the vehicle when I had purchased it. The only thing that I have replaced were the wheel bearings. It was rather cheap since the parts were still under warranty. the second problem is the passenger window, it is operative, but does not get a proper seal, I believe it is just off of the track in a certain place.

General Comments:

The car is a very nice ride. it has almost 140,000 miles and has yet to have serious problems. the previous owner had received the vehicle from his father whom it was purchased by. No major engine work has ever been done to the vehicle. The A/C still blows cold and has never been recharged. I am completely satisfied with the vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2006

1997 Pontiac Grand Am GT 3.4L V6 from North America


Good car, but don't buy older than a couple years, or high mileage, for more that a few thousand $$


Wow, where do I begin!?!?

I've replaced the radiator 3 times (finally put a metal aftermarket in, since the cheap plastic GM ones kept cracking).

Replaced the water/coolant pump (again, cheap plastic GM part).

Had to replace the heater core, whatever that is (I suspect another plastic part).

Replaced the alternator 4 times (I think there's a short in the electrical somewhere).

Replaced the battery with an Optima Red Top, because when the alternator dies, it kills the AC Delco batteries almost immediately.

Windshield washer fluid pump died, but not replaced.

Intake gasket has started leaking, about a Class 2 leak.

Had to have nearly entire coolant system ducts and hoses replaced because there was a leak "somewhere?".

Had to have portion of coolant system replaced because it was dripping onto either the exhaust manifold, or the transmission gearbox, and getting hot enough to ignite (yes, there was fire in my engine compartment.)

Replaced coolant reservoir twice.

Power steering lines ruptured, causing loss of control of vehicle (luckily I was only going about 8 miles an hour in a parking lot) and had to replace.

Brake calipers have gone bad, but can't replace because I'm broke (meaning half the time the brakes are only about 40% effective).

Fog lights leaked somehow, filled with water, and shorted out, both of them. Not replaced yet.

MAF sensors have gone bad twice, had to replace.

Check engine light is on, has been on for a few years now, but no one can tell me what's wrong; not the dealer, and none of the mechanics I've taken it to.

Fuel tank has a leak, but can't replace because I'm still broke.

A month or two ago it started sputtering while at idle and while in motion, and stalling out sometimes at idle (again, no one can tell me why).

And just yesterday the check engine light started flashing, and I think I blew out a cylinder, because now it barely accelerates, even with accelerator fully depressed; is making a horrible sound when pressing accelerator; entire vehicle vibrates violently on ignition, at idle, and when accelerator is depressed; exhaust smells like straight gasoline being expelled.

General Comments:

Car looks really good; '97 GT body styling is great.

Handles fantastically. I did put a front strut tower brace on, and that stiffened the turns a little, but handled really well before that.

Very spacious inside, for the front. I have a 2 door, so the back seat is very cramped. But the front is really roomy (I'm also 6'5 tall).

I have an aftermarket stereo system, which sounds good, but the acoustics inside this car aren't that great. Lots of vibration.

Great visibility, very minor blind spots.

Is an overall great car, as long as it's working properly :-P.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th May, 2006

15th Apr 2007, 23:40

LOL Oh I totally hear that. I've had nearly all the problems you mentioned and more. Most notably the alternator which I have had to replace numerous times.

My intake camshaft valve gasket has also been leaking, but for 3 years. I'm too broke to take it to the shop and too busy to fix it myself. But this summer, my goal is to get that gasket replaced. The leak really isn't that bad considering how long I've had it.

The entire ignition system on this car is horrific. I have basically replaced the entire ignition and almost entire fuel system in hopes to fix some problems I've been dealing with and NOTHING. NO mechanic knows whats going on. Once in a while I would replace the coil housing, the plugs and coils sometimes and it would run well for a couple of months then it starts all over.

Also having major seal problems. It's sucking air somewhere. replaced the o-rings, it ran well for a week, then all over again even worse. NO ONE knows whats going on.

The last thing you mentioned about the car having no power and shaking violently in neutral and in gear is very familiar. In fact that one just happened to me last semester. Had no time so took it to the shop. They ended up replacing a bunch of sensors, module and etc. and NOTHING. Finally they just switched plugs and housing (which I'm having to do all the time anyway) and it starts running all of a sudden. Some problems still persist, but right now (knocking on wood*) it's getting me places. I'm determined to spend lots of time this summer and learn the car very well, work on it and try to get it running like it once was. Long summer ahead of me that's for sure.

P.s. should probably mention.. my GT has 200,000 miles on it. Major problems started at about 160,000.