2003 Pontiac Grand Am GT/SC-T 3.4 Ram Air V6 from North America

Summary:

Works for me

Faults:

1st set of front brake pads at 25,000km.

2 sets of front brake pads since.

Replaced 4 sets front wheel bearings.

Replaced water pump.

Replaced fuel pump.

CD player quit working.

Factory "Chrome Tec" rims peeling.

Transmission was causing some shifting problems until I added some tranny fix fluid.

Window clip on the driver's side door broke.

Blinker switch has an annoying clicking sound randomly, which can be very annoying.

General Comments:

This is a very fast fun and great handling car.

Overall, it has served me quite well, as I have driven it as a car to enjoy, but I also pride myself on impeccable maintenance.

I have driven lots of country roads, and subjected the car to many a snow torture test. I have driven on many long trips, and also done the short hops. All in all, the car has seen it all, and has held up fairly well in spite of it all.

The engine is still going strong, and doesn't burn any oil between changes.

First recommendation, get tires for the season you are driving in. It makes a world of a difference.

Never run out of fuel. It will kill your fuel pump.

Have a cooling system flush every 2-3 years to refresh the "awful" Dex fluid.

Enjoy a fine car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th November, 2011

2003 Pontiac Grand Am GT Sedan 3.4L from North America

Summary:

Park it in the winter

Faults:

This car has been a great friend. At 80,000 miles I'm just now replacing the brakes.

Other minor notes are the stereo lighting, the A/C works on settings 4 and 5 only, cruise control has become non-functional, fog lamps need replacing, blinkers malfunction once in a while, and there's a leak on the passenger's side that leaves about an inch of rainwater on the floor when it rains.

Cosmetic defects include a running board on the drivers side that came off, but can more than likely be repaired with glue. Fuse box is hard to get to, and changing oil is almost impossible unless you take it to a dealership.

But overall I am satisfied, and not much has really gone wrong with this car.

General Comments:

A reliable, fantastic vehicle. Great summer car, perfect for road trips and cruising by the lake. Gas mileage is a plus, I've registered up to 36 mpg doing a steady 65 MPH going straight south on the interstate. In town I get 14 mpg, not incredible, but better than the SUV I had.

Great car, HOWEVER - it needs to go in the garage during the winter. Plain and simple. Do not take it out in the snow, you will be sorry. Treat it like a Mustang or a Camarro, because it operates like one.

If you take this GT out in the snow, you are going to get stuck. A lack of towing hooks requires one to tie rope around the axles and pull gently while rocking back and forth. This puts wear and tear on the engine, and it's unnecessary strain on the vehicle. Learn from my mistakes and keep it housed during the winter months. I've already taken it through 3 South Dakota winters, but it was a major PITA to get towed a handful of times by passing motorists.

Handling is tight and works best on dry pavement, and with performance-based directional tires you will have great handling in slick rain as well. On ice, the GT handles better than a majority of vehicles, and I've hit black patches and never slipped while the cars behind me were flung into the ditch. I also attribute that to God's hand of protection.

Keep this baby on dry even pavement, and you're home free. Drive it on anything over 3 inches, and you'll wish you'd taken a bicycle to work.

I recommend this for a spring and summer car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2011

22nd May 2011, 17:07

I had a 1999 Grand Am and it was fantastic in the snow, even with all season tires. I never got stuck with it.

However that was the only good thing about that car.

24th May 2011, 19:07

To original poster; the fix to the water on passenger floor is to replace the seal on the cowl, which is the black plastic piece under the windshield wiper arms. That will stop water from entering your blower motor housing, then leaking on the floor.

To get the blower motor to run at lower speeds, you need a new or used blower motor resistor, which is white with 6 colored wires hooked to it. It is located behind the blower motor housing, which is located under the glove box on the passenger side.

Remove 3 5.5mm screws to drain the water out of your blower motor, and remove it to replace the blower motor resistor, which goes out after being wet.

29th May 2011, 05:38

Thanks for the input. I have seen the water leak from the passenger side door, however it doesn't look like it's coming from where you say.

But to be honest, I traded it in last week for a different vehicle. I would have only traded this car for something I felt totally comfortable with, which I did!

23rd Jul 2011, 08:19

I traded my vehicle in, it was a sad day but a joyful day. Because of our harsh winters up here, I couldn't risk getting frustrated again by getting stuck in the snow. One of these days my transmission would wear out from the Forward/Reverse over and over of getting it out of deep snow. I felt it should go to somebody that would treat it better, and hopefully have a winter vehicle as well.

With much thought and consideration, I bought a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe, and it has everything my Grand Am had, plus AWD, and even gets close to 30 mpg on the highway. It's a wonderful vehicle and I got a great deal on it, too.

I still recommend the Grand Am GT, but definitely recommend an SUV or truck for winter driving.

15th Feb 2012, 18:21

Couldn't agree more with the terrible winter experiences in the GT. The wide, low profile tires (even with winters) cannot make this car even decent in fresh snow, not to mention the low chassis getting stuck in hardly any snow.

The stiff suspension goes against odds too, with everything being ├╝ber touchy, especially in the white stuff. Just gotta take it easy, try not to drive it much in the snow, and when the summer comes, start burning out!