To 18:21: Congrats on the Grand Am. I highly recommend these cars. They are one of the best buys in a used car. I know reading some of the negative comments on here can be scary, but many of the problems are the result of abuse or neglect (either before or after the car was purchased).
My 2.4 has never had a single problem. I do all my own work and servicing and I encourage buyers of ANY used vehicle to purchase a repair manual and learn to do your own work. It will save you a fortune and keep you from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous shops who tell you you need work you really don't need.
One thing I have added to my 2.4 is a cold-air induction system. It has upped the horsepower very noticeably. I made the system myself using a 6" tube and an aftermarket cone air filter. The air shroud I made out of cut sheet metal flashing material topped with 1/4" rubber hose slit and glued over the sharp metal edges. It is an inexpensive way to give the 2.4 more punch and a nice snarl under hard acceleration.
I have a 2003 Grand Am, and this site basically describes all the work I have had to do to my car. I take very good care of my car and always do all the maintenance with performance parts. The brakes in this car are terrible at very best. I have over 140K on my car now and I tell people the car NEEDS an annual brake job. If you just got a GA and you plan to keep it for a while, I would strongly urge you to spend the money to get a big brake system; it's expensive, but it will save you money in the long run. I have spent thousands on brakes alone, and I wish I had done that.
The security light is a real pain. It's caused by a faulty ignition switch, not the fuel pump. Do not replace any parts! If you pull the radio out, there is a wire you can cut that will disable that thing for good. Do a quick Google search, the repair will save you about $500 and will take about 10 minutes or so.
All of you out there that say you don't have problems because you keep up with the maintenance... HA enjoy it while it lasts! I said the same thing. Buy a service manual, you will need it unless you have tons of money to spend on repairs, but then again if you have tons of money to spend on repairs, get a new car now! You have been warned.
"I have spent thousands on brakes alone, and I wish I had done that."
That hardly seems possible. I replaced my front pads at 70,000 miles at a cost of $17. The rear pads (and every other part of the brake system) is STILL original. You can replace every single part in the brake system on these cars from bumper to bumper for under $500 (including the lines and all the other parts). It sounds like someone has been taking you for a ride.
To 19:33: GOOD FOR YOU!! I always encourage people to do as much of their own repairs as possible. Also, never pay attention to what a dealership mechanic says about disabling various systems. They are discouraged from doing that and aren't even taught HOW to. Even non-dealer mechanics are often clueless about these things. I'm a car enthusiast and mechanic and I love my 2001 Grand Am (one of 4 vehicles I own, and the oldest). It is flawless and yet to have ANY problems beyond a burned-out light bulb and front brake pads at 70,000 miles at a cost of $17. They were replaced in 15 minutes on my lunch break. It was so simple my wife could have done it easily. It pays to learn about fixing your car. I had a friend who just paid $900 for a brake job. That comes out to well over $800 in labor cost. That's ludicrous.
I have a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am GT. I had to replace the fuel pump 500 dollars.. Head gasket leaked 2 days after I got it luckily the dealer fixed at no charge. Now I have a security light issue that will not allow the car to start. I leave the door open for a little bit it will start. I had the ignition switch and cylinder changed by a pontiac dealer. The next day it started again and I took it back I haven't heard anything since I took it down this morning.. will give a later update.
Well I bought this car in June of 2008 as a graduation gift for myself, and I have a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am GT. I really can't say I have had any major problems like you people have, I mean just regular wear and tear, and I don't know a thing about cars.
I had a accident in the car the next month. I bought it in, the front passenger side, and the car was running like a champ like nothing happened. I have had the front struts and brakes fixed.
I took the car to Jacksonville, FL from Arkansas. However, I needed a transmission fluid change and the car started acting like it didn't wanna move while I was there (scared for my life).
I have had a problem one time with it not starting up, but that was the only time, I think it might need a new ignition switch.
Overall, I must say this is not a bad car like you people are making it out to be. Don't be trying dog your vehicle out and it might last you a while.
I just recently put warranty service on it, but any other problems I shall keep you updated.
My momma always told me if you treat your car like a baby for maintenance, it will last you a very long time, and she had a 90 Grand Prix for 10 years. LOL.
I bought my 01 Pontiac Grand Am three years ago. One year ago, I had to have the lower gasket replaced (was told it would be around $1500, so my dad did it for me) and my ac/heater fan only works on 3,4,5. My turn signals do not make the constant noise like everybody else has mentioned-they sometimes just don't work. If I flip on my hazards then shut them off, the turn signal works fine for a few days. I read on another article that there was a recall on the switch that affects that, but that was the only one I saw, so not sure on the validity of it. The only reason I still have this piece of crap is because it was totaled in a hailstorm so I was able to pay it off. As soon as its goes out, it's going out to the scrap heaps!!
Oops forgot to add, about a week after purchasing my 01 Grand Am, the check engine light kept coming on. The mechanics told me it was because my gas cap wasn't shut all the way; the next time it happened they said it was dirt on a sensor in my wheel well. My interior light also fell out of the ceiling later the same year I bought it. Haven't figured out how to make it stay so I just shoved it up into the hole it came out of LOL.