3rd Mar 2008, 11:12
We are paying on a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am GT. It is nice and would be great to keep.
We have replaced brakes, rotor, and hub assemblies in the front.
The blinker still makes a noise even when off.
The radio turns up when I want it to go down, or down when I want it to go up.
We also have to turn the heater on to keep it from overheating in idle or during the summer; not sure what that is and how hot the engine is really supposed to be.
Would it be OK to take out the thermostat? If you have any ideas please reply.
15th Mar 2008, 20:21
After reading the other comments, I can hardly believe how many people are having the exact same problems with the same make and model of vehicle.
1. Let's start with the power windows. My back two windows no longer work and my two front windows are showing signs of the same problem. A person cannot just ignore the problem since the windows fall when the part breaks. As of yet, I have not replaced the defective parts, so I have had to tape them up.
2. Next, let's address the wonderful clicking noise that appeared one day out of the blue. It sounds as if the hazard lights are continuously on.
3. Oh, let's not forget the volume control on the radio. A person needs to exercise caution when turning the radio down because it has a mind of its own and might just blast your ear drums.
4. On a hot day, the clock and radio dial completely disappear or decide to go spastic and display all kinds of weird images.
5. Cheap plastic parts have fallen off all inside the interior of the car: the clothes hanger, the seat belt cover, the cup holder, etc.
6. One of my outside mirrors fell off and has had to be permanently attached with a screw.
7. I have had to replace my alternator. (Everything under the hood looks as though the intent of the design was to see how difficult it could be made when it comes time to fix it.)
8. Adding coolant is just as common as filling the tank with gas.
9. My service engine soon light stays on, but I have no idea what the problem is.
I can ignore the cosmetic problems if I have to, but the coolant problem and the possible engine problems scare me. I have always maintained my car well. I bought it used with around 40,000 miles and it only has 80,000 now. I can only imagine the trouble I will have down the line.
Is there nothing that can be done when so many people seem to be experiencing the same defects?
16th Mar 2008, 12:06
I own a 1999 Grand Am SE 6 cylinder automatic. I have owned it 5 plus years and it now has about 120000 miles on it. I have had all of the problems everyone else has had, and some. Now there is a new problem that I haven't seen much on forums. When I start the car and let it run for a minute, sometimes it starts to "chug" and shake and then it will kill. If I go to drive it right away before all of this, the rpm meter will be bouncing up and down without me giving it gas and if I do give it gas, it will be as if I'm not or it will accelerate a little bit without me giving gas. Finally, it may kill after all of this at a stop sign or a red light. The crazy thing is that once it warm up, say 3 miles of driving or so, the problems disappear and it drives mostly normal. What in the heck could it be, any takers?
24th Mar 2008, 14:59
Wow, I have to laugh at all the people having the exact same problems as me. My wife bought our '99 G/A SE (AT, 4-cyl) in 2004 before we met and now I am stuck driving it to work and making repairs. For the record, I would never buy this car, because my dad has told me that Pontiacs are POS since as long as I can remember.
It has 170K miles. (Anyone make it to 200K?)
- The ignition broke and my wife got stuck in a parking lot because the key wouldn't turn. Cost $300 or more to replace the steering column.
- Power steering pump and lines leaked and had to be replaced a year ago. Now its leaking again and the pump or rack may need replacing.
- Dexcool Coolant slowly disappearing... after reading the comments on this site, I'm a little worried.
- Slow oil leak, to be expected I suppose.
- Clutch is starting to go. The car vibrates a lot when idling in gear.
- Serpentine belt keeps breaking.
- AC #1 and #2 settings don't work.
- Radio volume knob has a mind of it's own.
- Water infiltration onto the passenger side carpet, which makes a lovely stench during the winter time.
- Radio display sometimes doesn't work and displays weird characters. I found that cleaning the battery leads helps with this. (The battery was briefly loosing connection during starting, causing all sorts of electrical problems and false warning lights to come on.)
- The previous owner broke the headlight mounts trying to replace the bulbs. So the entire headlight assembly pops out every once in a while and the car looks cross-eyed.
- Turn signal does not work in below-freezing temperatures.
Also, after refueling the car, it takes about 6 seconds of cranking the starter before the engine starts... like the engine is getting flooded or something.
I hate this car, but I guess I should feel lucky that I haven't had more major problems yet. (Luckily, mine doesn't have power windows.) Next time my G/A takes a dump, I'll buy a new car instead of trying to fix this poorly engineered POS. Too many people seem to be flushing their money down the toilet! I'll feel kinda bad selling it to someone else. Maybe I should just destroy it so no one else has to suffer.
25th Mar 2008, 17:30
Actually my neighbor currently has 215,000 miles on his 2000 Grand AM, my brother's friend finally retired his 1999 at 267,000, and in nearly 8 years now my 2001 SE-1 has had not a single repair except a set of front brake pads at 70,000 miles (the back linings are still original and still not worn out).
My experience has been that 99% of the problems people are reporting with the Grand Am are due to lack of maintenance or abuse. In every case I've known of those flimsy window clips failing, it has been caused by slamming the door violently. Most of the other problems on here I have never heard about personally from anyone owning a Grand Am.
I have noticed that the old "quad 4" engines seem to be far more reliable in the long run than the V-6. My car and the two I mentioned are all the Quad 4.
2nd Apr 2008, 02:53
I just wanted to post a response to the last poster who claimed that most of the problems reported by others on this site were due to lack of maintenance or neglect. I find that amusing, as I religiously had my oil changed, tires rotated, etc. I still had just about every problem that has been listed on this site. Most of the issues appear to be with the 3.4L V6 engine. I finally retired my 1999 Grand Am after I had just shelled out $1900 to have the lower intake manifold gasket replaced for the second time, along with all of the hoses from the cooling system. I then had to replace the power steering pump and then my engine threw in the towel at 175,000 miles. I traded (put out of its misery) the engine-less car in for $300 and a free tow to the Saturn dealership. This car was a certified POS, and should have never been manufactured by Pontiac!