1997 Pontiac Grand Am SE 3.1 from North America


A once in a lifetime dream machine


Replaced battery 2 years ago, only because my stereo wore it out.

Clear coat is coming off of the hood.

Daytime running lamps module just quit.

Replaced front rotors at 120,000 kilometers.

General Comments:

All in all; this car has handled great, especially in the winter.

I love this car and I would definitely go out and buy another one.

Great on fuel.

This car is quick, has good get up and go.

Still has the original muffler.

Has a nice sleek look, extremely eye appealing.

I am very pleased with my car, it has not given me any serious problems and I believe that this car can get another good 150,000 kilometers out of it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2002

1997 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L 4 -liter from North America


Too many problems to claim


My driver side window motor has been replaced once at 45,000 miles. Now at 87,000, both passenger and driver window motors are starting to go out again.

The ignition switch went out at 30,000 miles. Two-hundred dollars to fix that problem.

The carpet is worn on the driver side.

When I speed up my car acts like it wants to die, I have not been able to get a correct diagnosis yet.

General Comments:

Before this Grand Am I owned another that was a 1997 which I had a high speed accident with it. My son and I were in the car and the only thing wrong with it was a broken window. The car ended up being totaled, but I was extremely impressed by the was it crashed I feel very safe in my Grand Am.

Just like my car I have now my motor to my window went out on the drivers side.

I enjoy driving my car, but when I get rid of this one, I will not buy another Grand Am.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th November, 2002

1997 Pontiac Grand Am GT 3.1 V6 from North America


Not a bad car for the money


The sun roof motor went bad three times. On the final service for this, it was determined that it was not fixed properly the first two times and the entire sunroof had to be replaced.

The heater core has gone bad numerous times, and has leaked antifreeze.

The transmission went at about 90,000 miles, we had a rebuilt transmission put in the car.

The power window motor went bad at 90,000 miles.

General Comments:

Overall, the car has been more reliable than our 1999 Grand Am. It still has the original battery, even after 5.5 years and 102000 miles.

The car handles poorly on wet roads and hazardous driving conditions, probably because the GT model is built for performance, not for everyday driving.

We started to become disappointed with the car when we had to take it back to the shop several times to have the same problems fixed.

If it weren't for a recent car accident, we expected this car to run for at least another 50,000 miles without too many mechanical problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th November, 2002

1997 Pontiac Grand Am 4 cylinder, small option from North America


Great car, but don't skimp on maintaining it - oil and coolant especially


Very few over entire life of vehicle. The one's I recall are:

1) Radio volume control knob has a mind of its own, @ 50,000 miles.

2) Radio display illumination went out @ 75,000 miles.

3) Replaced original battery at 80,000 miles (which is not normal I suppose)

4) Received a recall notice on a bad ignition switch, but never took it in for replacement because my switch was fine.

5) Recent major headache - water pump!! I haven't done the job yet, but it looks like half the engine must be disassembled to get to the pump.

Can someone please tell the engineers over at Pontiac to join the 21st century and check under the heading of 'Maintainability' in their textbooks?

This is going to cost a bundle - and that's presupposing that I don't bungle anything doing this job in my driveway!

General Comments:

In spite of the above items, I'd buy this car again all day long. I put all 100,000 miles on it, and do not have any reservations over the performance, reliability, comfort or maintenance.

Some of the service history, most of which was done by me:

1) Changed the oil at 3,000 miles very faithfully.

2) Checked all the other fluids, rarely added any, never serviced transmission - very good up-shifting, and no slippage.

3) Replaced front brakes a couple of times, replaced rather than turned original rotors since they we beginning to flutter, got very good length of use from original and replacement pads.

4) This car doubles as a pick up truck for me - hauls all kinds of iron and tools in the trunk, and often in the passenger compartment. The suspension must be made of Krypton! Interior has held up very well.

5) Very good traction, handling, good turning radius and steering geometry, very good in snow.

6) I ran USED tires all around from 60,000 to 100,000 miles, with very good performance (lately have been replacing them with new rubber, just to avoid the hassles of keeping an eye on them).

Overall? Good unit, but this water pump thing has me a little perplexed. Will let you know how it goes with the replacement. I hope the local parts store guys have all the answers for me!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 2002

4th Sep 2002, 16:26

I also have a 97 grand am and I just replaced the water pump at a gm goodwrench service plus the total bill $698 good luck!

9th Oct 2002, 18:58

I took my 97 Grand Am to have the water pump replaced three days ago, and my mechanic is still trying to get everything back in place and working properly. My cost is up to nearly $700. He's replaced the timing chain tensioner, but the chain still rattles in idle. It's a nightmare!