22nd Dec 2003, 23:06

This is really coincidental - I feel like we have had parallel experiences. I am currently at the crossroads on my 1997 Grand Am. I have it for 4 years and bought it from a Hertz Car Sale lot. It had about 38k on it and is now at 115k. Only a few minor noises came up in the beginning, but from the start it was a great feeling car and I felt I had a sensible, but sporty comfortable adult car (it was between it and the Malibu at the time, but the Grand Am felt more comfortable). The first few times I took it into a mechanic they pretty much said - nothing needs to be done - it was not the time. However, now it is starting down the road of the money pit.

My first major tune-up was done by a dealership. Then the several minors by my local mechanic; I had several times noted the ABS light would go on, but if I shut the engine and restarted it did not come back immediately; it continued to be the mystery light. Then we had the clicking noise just after the morning start. During smog check the ABS light /sensor became a $400 issue to get it smogged. Then a battery and alternator, followed by water pump. (- it was starting down the "how long do we keep it assessment). The dent in the mag wheel was definitely falling to the bottom of the pit, however, it was maybe attributing to the "violent road reaction of bumps and Bots Dots. OK - we still made it through a daily commute and a few trips.

Then came the sudden "water loss"; within a week the minor loss became refilling the reservoir after a 30-minute drive. In the same week the oil turned from OK/overdue black to murky brown. In stopping by at the mechanic he strongly suggested to go get a rental and not drive it to work. This has now become the cars' "sudden retirement". Going for a $ 1200 head gasket does not seem sensible at this point. My mechanic bluntly says - Pontiac left too many design issues undone. However, credit must be given to the car in that it performs beyond its engineering shortcomings. It is time it goes to the Catholic Charities to become a leg up for someone until they decide it is time for a new car. I thank you for the article on your experience. I feel it is a good car -and has some miles to give -it just needs to go the next leg without me. I will miss it, but am glad to have had the experience. I would definitely go for a Grand Am rental when having to get a rental and maybe one day go back for a second round of ownership.

26th Jun 2005, 14:52

I am from st. Louis MO. I have had my grand am gt for about 8 years now. No previous owners, and have found it slowly deteriorating. First with my power windows, and then car radio, and in that time a couple of new alternators. Now my car had been running hot, and upon getting it checked out. My mechanic says, a new intake gasket, must be replaced along with a new radiator. I have also spent $400 on a new water pump two years ago. Now given I have always loved my car, and it still runs great and smooth. I must say I am getting to the end of my road of fixing this car up. So if anyone is thinking about purchasing this car I would recommend look at the mileage. All these signs first started happening around 100,000 miles. So consider this if purchasing this car.

28th Jun 2005, 18:33

I've had my 97 Grand Am GT for three years now. While I love the car, I also have had to replace the rotors several times. I just recently put in a new radiator, as the old one had cracked, and am now preparing to put in a new water pump. My passenger window is slow as can be, but I have yet to replace it. It seems a slow window is at the bottom of my to-do list. I had to replace the battery twice, which is not that unusual since it has 135,000 miles on it. Other than that, I really have had very little problems with this car. Fortunately, I have learned quite about the mechanics of a car and have been able to fix most of these things on my own. However, this water pump thing sounds a little tricky, so I might have to splurge and hire a professional. All in all, not a bad car, but not a great one either.

8th Dec 2005, 11:39

First thing I have to say I love Pontiacs, including my 1997 Pontiac Grand Am GT. However, eventhough I am fortunate to have a running car I must say the car has been a costly investment. Here is the list of my costly investments. Heater core, new radiator, fuel regulator,2alternators, master cylinder, inginition switch. Because I am in school and am not working these are the investment I have yet to make. New exhaust from the cat back, air conditioning compressor, driver side window motor.

Hey, it runs.

26th May 2006, 13:09

I have had my Pontiac Grand am Gt for 3 months and I must say that I love it. I bought it for 2500 and it is a 1997. I haven't had any problems except I blew my head gasket. That cost 400 to get fixed, but other than that it is a really good car. To everyone who bad mouths the pontiac I don't believe you have had one or you don't take care of it. My brother has had his for 4 years and the only thing that he had to get done was the power windows, but that only cost $50. Hey it's a great car and I love it.

31st May 2006, 03:32

My 1997 GT has had a couple problems in the couple months since I've bought it for $1800... 3 of the window motors are out, the other goes down in about 53 seconds. I've got a anti-freeze leak somewhere, there's something loose in the engine, sounds like a washer or something... and it's annoying. But it's not a bad car, except I think I might have a head gasket failure, because I've got some oil getting into my engine coolant reservoir.

31st May 2006, 09:25

I have had my Pontiac grand am gt for about a month now. I have to say I like the car and all, but it has a few problems. Ever since I got this car I have bought a new battery, alternator, brakes, and radio. Owning a car isn't always really cheap. It doesn't take much money to fill up the tank also, but it does eat a lot of gas when it starts. It drives really smoothly and picks up nice. One suggestion would be that if you are plannin on buying this vehicle then make sure you have money to back it up. I'm plannin on getting a more recent grand am gt once I have enough money saved up also.

7th Jun 2006, 20:11

My Pontiac Grand Am has been a good car for me - 1997 coupe, I've had it since 1999. Only 83,000 miles at this point. I had one spell in 2001 when I put quite a bit of money into it - alternator, battery, and brakes. Now, after several years with no trouble, I've found out that the water pump has gone out. The local dealership quoted $888 (apparently it is more expensive for mine - a 4 cylinder - than a 6 cylinder would cost). I am debating whether or not to put the money in and keep the car, or get rid of it before it becomes a regular drain.