I bought my Grand Am GT in March of '06. Within 2 weeks I got hit by some kid, but the insurance took care of it, and it was replaced no cost to me. I bought the car at 50k, and have done a lot of extensive travel on the car, putting up to 800 miles in a matter of a few days.
In Feb. 07, I got stuck in high water, and because I took some bad advice when I water logged my car, I sheered the teeth on the starter motor, which had to be replaced.
Also due to my own fault, the idle air control went out. I notice a lot of people say that their car pretty much is driving itself, well that is the problem. I had my car in the shop like 4 times, which insurance paid all of it, but they couldn't figure out what was going on, but finally realized the idle air went out, besides those problems which I brought on myself.
I take the best care of my car, but I have run into a few of the problems I have read about. I took my car to the shop, not because it was overheating, but to redo the brakes, because they had never been changed, and I had about 70k and decided on my own to replace the thermostat.
After I got the car back, I had more problems with it than before, the ignition switch completely locked up, so they had to replace it, which that was not my fault.
The shop apparently did not repair the brakes properly, which made me have to pay 250 to redo the front brakes, but once again, that was not the car, that was the shop.
They told me the intake manifold gaskets were leaking, and that was a problem with the GT, this year model, but at O'Reilly's or Autozone, you can buy an after market gasket set, which actually has a metal plate to it to keep it from corroding, and they sealed it off, and now I have no problem with the gaskets at all.
I have put 50k on my car in a little over 2 years, so I expect things to go wrong.
I replaced the water pump first one at 99k.
I just replaced the power steering pump at 100k.
I have an aftermarket radio and speakers, so I have never had that problem, nor have I had any trouble with my power windows or sun roof.
I replaced the spark plugs due the water that was in my car.
I have not experienced any of the signal issues, clicking sounds; my car will cut out at 115, and the wheel barely shakes at 115.
I did find out though, and I don't know how many people have this, but I bought the V6 H.O. I thought high output was just part of it being a GT; it's not, it's a special edition Ram Air GT.
Which could be why I am not going through all the problems that many are, but I have replaced a lot of the same parts, but it was due to wear and tear; nothing on the car had been replaced til 60k.
I am still on the same pair of back tires from the previous owner, but I replaced the front tires due to excessive mileage.
I am although having a slight issue, the car has been running fine, and now the car doesn't really overheat, but when I turn it off, coolant is pouring from the reservoir hose and from a lower hose. We replaced the radiator cap because we bought a universal one that didn't fit right, but the one we bought that fits has a round border that doesn't go down all the way, because of the ridge in the tank, but there was a heater bypass done on my car, so we do believe it's the heater hose.
I know a lot of people asked what you can do, and this may not be like a huge help, but I use fully synthetic Royal Purple in my car, and I only change the oil every 7k. I also buy a high mileage, high performance oil filter.
Also, about the Dex-Cool, everyone that has suggested a radiator flush and then using regular coolant, DO IT; the sooner you switch, the less damage or chance of damage you have to blowing a head gasket.
Another thing is people keep asking how to check their transmission fluid; you don't, there is no dipstick, you have to drain it all, which Royal Purple now has transmission fluid.
To turn off your oil light, check engine light or pretty much any light, there is a fuse box when you open the drivers side door on the paneling. Pull it off and there is a red reset button; it takes a few times, but if you keep pushing, it will reset all your lights.
Most people may not have the money to keep up with the maintenance, but you can get a lot of miles out of this car, but you have to do certain things. I know that most of you have warranties, but the thing is when you take the car to the dealership, they are putting the same faulty parts on, just new. Go after market on everything. I know that Royal Purple is expensive, but it helps your car a lot, and being fully synthetic, you only have to check every 7,000 miles.
If your car is high mileage, buy after market parts for high mileage and high performance, like your oil filter and fuel filter. I have had the car now for a little over 2 years, I have been in one accident, completely water logged my car and driving it 400 miles from Houston to Dallas up to 3 times a week, I have never had to replace the fuel filter or the serpentine belt.
Most of the parts I replaced I chose to, except the few that got damaged, but I love my GT, it can be a money sucker, but if you do the extra things to the car, then it is possible to get good life out of it.
For the people that have the hazard lights come on, and random lights come on, I have never experienced that; the only time I did was after I flooded my car, my ABS light would come on, but it was a faulty sensor, that was it. I am not saying this car isn't truly a POS, because I'm starting to think they are, but if it's your only car, try doing the extra little things, and you will probably get more life out of it.
Oh, and oil leaks, mine has one, apparently from like 5 different mechanics that said it's a GM thing, that most people have small oil leaks, but I use an engine cleaner when I change my oil at 7000 miles, and it helps stop the leak, and the oil hasn't gotten in any bigger.
I do feel for the people with all these problems, because I took some advice and went to www.nhtsa.gov, and it will show you all the consumer complaints and recalls on this car, and most every issue is the same thing; the front struts and suspension are known to break. I don't know, I haven't had the issue, and then the cooling system is a major problem all from the intake, which I have had, but once I sealed it with the aftermarket part and I stopped using Dexcool, it's been fine.
Good luck to everyone with this car. Hope this helps some.