1997 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4 Twin Cam from North America


Great starter car


The alternator went at 125,000.

Power door locks never worked correctly. They will unlock themselves at any given random time.

Driver's side carpet worn out.

General Comments:

All together a good little car. I have had no major problems with this car. I hope to get it to 200,000 miles.

The 2.4 twin cam engine really makes this car move even with the automatic transmission.

I have noticed the transmission shifts hard from first to second especially when the air conditioner is on.

I have no complaints about this car because I purchased it for $2000 in 2003.

It's a nice sporty looking car. There is only one problem, there is not a lot of after market products for this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th April, 2005

1997 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4 liter from North America


Moderately priced car with big repair bills


*Alternator died

*Serpentine belt needed to be replaced

*Brake system replaced very soon after the car was purchased; brakes seem to need frequent work in general

*Gas gauge died... whole gas system (don't know what it's called) needed to be replaced at $800 (warranty paid for it)

*Ignition problems (key stuck, etc.)

*Radio volume dial has never worked properly; clock also seems to be giving out

*Power locks have died twice... I stopped having them repaired when it became apparent that the repairs lasted a year at most

*Balance/alignment problems... car "shimmies" at high speed

*Possible problem with the heater core (defroster wasn't working properly--problem was never officially diagnosed)

*Worn carpet.

General Comments:

I bought my 97 Pontiac Grand Am SE when I was 2 months out of college. I really should have done my homework better. If I had known anything about cars at that time, I probably would have just bought a Honda or Toyota and saved a little money on the frequent repairs.

Even with all of the problems I've had (see above), I still consider myself lucky. For the most part, my Grand Am gets me to work every day, and the problems I've had have not left me stranded on the roadside. But I've still had plenty of problems and I'm always waiting for the next "thing" to blow out on the car. My warranty expires in 2 months and I'm pretty nervous about that. My car is reliable--for a Pontiac--but that's not the same as having a reliable Toyota!

Sorry Pontiac... you manufactured my first car and it will always be special to me for that reason. But I would recommend this car ONLY if you really don't have the cash upfront for a more reliable vehicle. If you do have the cash, find a car that will be a better investment for the long term, instead of bleeding you dry at the mechanic's.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th December, 2004

27th Jan 2005, 09:36

Hi...this is the writer of the original review. I just wanted to mention that the electrical system on my car went haywire this morning, with my dash lights blinking and my gauges going up and down. I got into work 2 hours late because of this. I'm afraid this is the last straw...I'm trading my Grand Am in for a Toyoto ECHO very, very soon. :-( :-( :-(

1997 Pontiac Grand Am SE V6 from North America


I'm scared to see what's coming


The drivers side window is going out. Very slow down and even slower going up!

Strange volume knob behavior on radio.

Problems with the radio and clock. Sometimes you see it, sometimes you don't.

Very poor gas mileage in the city.

The housing for the oil filter now has a crack in it and is leaking a quart of oil a day. Part can only be ordered from USA.

Drivers side seat off track.

Glove box door fell off (no one was even in the passenger seat when this happened, and the car was in park)

General Comments:

The car is very quick.

I like the interior and the trunk is a nice size.

Reliable since I've had it.

Not one spot of rust.

I paid $800 so whatever I can get from it is great.

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

Review Date: 28th October, 2004

29th Oct 2004, 13:40

How odd the Oil Filter Housing has a crack. One can only assume that whoever fitted your Oil Filter did so on a very hot Engine and must have fitted it extremely tightly. Hence this is why your Oil Filter is leaking. The Rubber Gasket has been crushed from over tightening the Oil Filter. I have fitted hundreds of Oil Filters and have never heard of a cracked Oil Filter Housing before.

11th Nov 2004, 12:18

Well, I had a family member fix the housing and he even said that he hasn't seen that problem in over 10 years and he's a mechanic. It was relatively inexpensive to fix, but a pain none the same.

14th Feb 2005, 21:05

Dude... 800 dollars for a car and those are your only problems? Quit complaining!

3rd Jul 2005, 17:29

As far as your windows are concerned, the same thing happened to me.

My mechanic fixed the problem with 2 $3 relays.

A buddy's girlfriend took hers to the dealer and they charged her $300 to replace the whole unit.

Problem has to do with how Pontiac designed the circuit-breaker - tends to overheat easily.