6th Jul 2007, 09:47

I bought my 97 Grand Am 2/12 years ago. I have never had a problem with the windows (thank goodness), but I've had to have a new clutch, water pump, and many other small things fixed that tend to add up; and now I think I need a new ignition switch or battery. It acts like it wants to start up, but then it just doesn't "catch." Esp. after charging my cell phone, or when it is damp out. Also, the brakes tend to want to slip a little just before the car comes to a stop; I was told it could by my ABS. I haven't had a tune-up since I bought the car, LOL maybe that would help. Can anyone help me?

22nd Nov 2007, 22:53

I own a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am. I am the second owner -- my parents were the first. I took ownership of the car back in 2005. My parents maintained their vehicle, and I have taken my vehicle in for regular servicing every 5,000km & have seasonal tune-ups performed as well. My point -- servicing is not the issue! I have had problems with a constant oil leak that several mechanics, including GM, have not been able to properly diagnose or repair. I have spent $1,000 having an engine seal repair, and it still leaks oil?! This past week, my key got stuck in the ignition while the vehicle was running in the 'on' position. GM never notified my parents back in 2002 that there was a recall on the car due to a problem detected with the ignition switch. Anyway, I had to have that replaced, and then had to pay GM for 3 hours labour to repair the security wiring, as 'apparently' it was incorrectly spliced in the past and needed to be redone in order for them to get the car to start. I have spent $1,000 within the past week getting the vehicle to run again. There have been other less serious issues as well which I will not even begin to mention. I am not at all impressed with this vehicle.

26th Nov 2007, 20:35

I am sitting here reading your comments and can't believe there are so many cars out there with pretty much exactly the same problems. Passenger window dosent work. Blows cold air, no heat, and ignition sticks and I have to wait 10 to 15 minutes before it will turn completely off. Well here is a new one to add. Back brakes lock up when I am trying to stop. it is really bad when it rains. I do need to find a diagram for heater core or instructions so my boyfriend can replace it for me. Is there anyone out there that can point me in the right direction to get a free diagram or manual.

30th Dec 2007, 08:45

I just bought a 97 Grand Am with a 3.1 V6 and 78,000 miles. I noticed the coolant smell during the test drive and knocked the price down some, but I don't look forward to changing the heater core. Does anyone know where to find a drawing online that shows the dash layout? It's a 10-year old cheap car, so I'm not going to be picky. It starts, runs smooth, and has decent power. The radio volume knob has the same issue as others have noted, and there is no back-light on the radio display. I didn't expect a Honda, but I didn't pay for a Honda either. The popular (systemic) failings with any vehicle model can almost always be traced back to the bean counters (accountants) that are taking over the decision making in what used-to-be good companies. Honda, BMW, Audi, etc.. all have ENGINEERS as CEO & CFO in their companies. As a result, the "accountant" derived car will always be worth less and more prone to failure. This directly relates to the resale value of the car models. If I buy USED it's the highly de-valued GM stuff. If NEW, it's a Honda. Doing the opposite will put you on the wrong side of the new car devaluation curve.

Cheers, Mike.

19th Jan 2008, 13:21

I bought a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am SE (used) on Mar 28 2003. I had a lot of problems that I got fixed.

However there is one nuisance problem still. My driver's side carpet gets wet when it rains moderately heavy; it floods and spread to the rear compartment on the driver side.

Can anyone help me locate the possible cause of this leak?

So far:

I changed the drivers side window motor.

I changed the battery.

I changed the camshaft position sensor.

I changed the alternator.

I changed the heater core.

The horn is barely audible.

I changed the water pump.

The engine temperature sensor area of the engine had a hairline crack; coolant had to be added every week. I had to replace that part of the engine plenum.

Yes there were numerous problems; fortunately I got them fixed. But this leak/standing water on the Driver's foot well and rear passenger foot well behind the drive floods when it rains hard. Please give some advise on fixing this.

The AC works, but it is not cold enough.

I bought the car with 100,000 miles, now it has 120,000.

Can anyone help with the flooding problem? Please!

25th Jan 2008, 10:01

To respond to your driver side floor being wet: I just happened to take my brother's '97 Grand Am to get the window fixed yesterday thinking that is where the leak was coming from. Low and behold that wasn't really the case. The fellow told me he had seen a number of these cars with the same issue. Here is what he said;

There is a black trim along the exterior bottom of the front windshield that he recommends sealing as water tends to seep in there

Mainly however, the problem is water coming in at a seam in the firewall. This is accessed from the interior. You pull the carpet back and seal the firewall seam (he pulled some carpet back to show me and yes the rust there was noticeable). He said it can run about $600 Canadian because of the amount of work involved, but he also said if someone wants to spend the time it can be done fairly easy enough it's more time consuming. He said he then removes the seats and gets dryers so the carpet is good and dry before reinstalling it, otherwise it is going to be fairly smelly when the heat comes. Since it was January and the water was quite frozen he suggested waiting until thaw in order to access things easier. He was very fair in letting me know it didn't necessarily have to be done in a shop if someone had the time to tackle it. I hope this helps you.


14th Feb 2008, 14:41

I got a used '97 Grand Am SE (V6 coupe) with about 75,000 Miles on it. Used to be a rental (ouch). IMHO the V6 is far superior to the stock engine.

First thing broken was a control arm, which turned out to be a bushing - 200$, it was like this off the lot I believe, although they didn't.

My 1st winter I broke the rear axle, which cost me 900$.

The lighting in the dash has never worked, however my gauges are all very bright red.

My gas gauge floats a little bit, but only once was I out of gas when it read 1/8th of a tank.

Next winter the intake manifold cracked on me; that one was about 800$.

A week after I got it back, the alternator went, 200$.

Installed an amp and subs (2-12"), which make all the lights dim when the bass kicks.

Just last winter I blew a gasket; this time my own fault, I hadn't kept coolant levels up like I should, that one was pricey, had to basically rebuild the engine. On the upside the mechanic dented my hood and paid for a brand spankin new one with a fresh paint job.

To this day (my fifth year with the car) I can't figure out how to get the plastic facia underneath the bumper off, in order to replace my fog lamps.

Most recently my window has come off its track. Manual window, probably happened these last few weeks as it's been absurdly wet and cold. A good ol' fashoned winter like we used to have up in MI. Actually killed my battery a few weeks ago, but it was old anyway. Used the crank and the window didn't move, so I tried a little more firmly and "pop". The window moved, but not like it should, now I'm having trouble closing it since the front end doesn't seem to work. Everywhere I've read I'll need to pop off the outside door panel which I'm not looking forward to.

I don't agree with these anti-GM types though. Their quality has improved 100 fold since these particular cars were fresh off the line. Buying a GM car puts money in American pockets.