1997 Pontiac Grand Am GT 3.1 from North America


All dressed up with nowhere to go 15% of the time


Bushings replaced @ 91k

Spark plugs & wires @ 91k

Ground wire replaced @ 93k

Left CV axle replaced @ 101k

Belt & pulley, water pump replaced & 110k

Struts replaced @ 134k

Lock assembly replaced in L door @146k

L control arm, sway bar & bushings again!

Radiator, cap, t-stat & gasket replaced @ 152k

Intake manifold gasket & L strut bearing replaced

Alternator replaced @160k

Rear head gasket replaced @ 179k

Heater core replaced, front timing cover going @ 183k.

General Comments:

This has been a wonderful car other than the occasional fixer ups... It drives nicely, has great pick-up!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th November, 2007

1997 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.5L from North America


It's reliable, but I still hate it


Alternator at 55,000.

General Comments:

Bought this Grand Am from 93 year old original owner 1 year ago @ 49000 miles.

There's nothing too special about the style. My girls call it "OMC" - the "old man car".

So far the only repair I've had is an alternator. I also did brakes and fluid flushes. Everyone complains about this - but it's just regular maintenance folks.

Here's the good... overall, it seems reliable. Engine runs great and transmission shifts wonderfully. Power is adequate (it has the V-6). It gets me where I need to go and I don't worry about breaking down. A/C works decently. Gets good MPG.

On the down side... the fit-and-finish of this car is terrible. I too have the same issues as others - Power window problems - mine still work with the help of regular applications of silicone spray lubricant in the window tracks.

Radio volume knob is possessed.

Daytime running lights have a mind of their own - I just turn the headlights on all the time so at least they're consistent.

Seats feel like your butt is in a bucket - it's the way they're designed, they're not worn.

There is a loud scraping noise when accelerating hard on a right-hand turn (no sound when turning left). Not sure what it is, but it doesn't hurt performance.

Brakes were done 10K miles ago. They're wearing normally, but feel weird, like the rears aren't in synch with front - "grabby" at low speeds. They've been adjusted to no avail.

I'm not sure how to rate this car, but will probably keep it for now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th September, 2007

18th Aug 2008, 19:31

UPDATE on this car - Well, 72000 miles now and the horrors appear to be starting. Brakes still drive me nuts but I have adjusted. 22K since replacing the front and mechanic tells me they're worn out. Rears still "grab" and sometimes lock up at slow speeds (followed by the ABS "CLUNK CLUNK"). Radiator sprung a leak @ 70k - I replaced it. @ 72k the old intake manifold coolant leak curse finally struck. Too big of a repair for my skills so paid $600. 1 week later the heater core ruptured suddenly - another $450. I had them bypass it until winter comes. So aside from the water pump (which may be next) the entire cooling system has pretty much gone south, thanks to the the wonder of "Dex Cool" anti-freeze. Wife wants me to get rid of it. I agree but don't have the money for a new car. Well, it least it looks nice!

25th Aug 2009, 19:02

2ND UPDATE... One year after last post and odo now at 87K. Actually have had no major problems since gasket job last year. Re-did brakes and had mechanic put on new brake hardware in rear. No more grabbing. I have still not replaced heater core. So Cal winters are pretty mild so I just keep a fleece blanket in car. Very slight coolant leak coming from front of engine the past few months, but is so negligible I only need to put in about 1 cup every few weeks or so. Can't tell where it originates and it only drips a few drops externally if sitting for more than 24 hours. Probably part of the gasket job last year not installed correctly. Will keep an eye on it.

Other than that, it gets me where I need to go.

13th Sep 2013, 17:21

3rd Update -

Yeah, still have it. And going strong. 146K miles now. That annoying leak was finally repaired after almost 3 years. It was timing chain cover. No leaks any more. Check engine light goes on and off intermittently. They say it needs a crank sensor. I'll do it soon. Car runs fine. Shooting for 200K. Wish me luck.