16th Oct 2007, 01:31
Actually I do have a solution to that. There's a recall on the ignition switch so any shop or dealer will do it for free, it's quick and painless. Burnt up my hand rigging it so I could drive in tears a couple miles, then had AAA tow it for free the rest of the way xD.
I got the car at age 18 and now I'm 20. Learned auto repair on my own, from a chilton repair manual, and by bugging my dad. I put 30k miles on it so far.
Surprised nobody mentioned the coolant leaks in the 3.1, but after my 2 month attempted repair (gasket) I found out the only fix is that aluminum stop leak stuff. It even fixed a free-flowing leak recently, I thought it was the end, but after a month it hasn't lost a single drop.
Mine has 140k and still gets 23 city 27 highway. I tell by filling it full, resetting the trip Odo, and dividing a ratio of used miles and used gas next time I fill up so it's miles per one gallon.
I've replaced: Power steering pump, water pump, lower intake manifold gasket, accessory belt, passenger-side motor mount (flopped more than I liked when revved), A/C compressor, O2 Sensor, front brake pads (after at least 30k miles), at least the driver window motor, and I treated both front wheels to curbs in two separate snow related incidents, but only one needed $500 to feel better, the other just hums intermittently (it's soothing) at high speeds. This humming wheel was damaged in the incident where my front end snapped a 4x4 and gobbled up a plastic mailbox. You can't tell I hit anything, really, which is good. Elected to leave my phone number and fix it.
A/C refrigerant all leaks out within a month or so, so I gave up on it.
Overall, I feel confident I can find a way to keep it running because so many crazy things have gone wrong with it and the last reading was 27mpg. I'm impressed it has survived all these issues. It's been reliable despite them, and I'm sure if I didn't know the warning signs of cars so well I'd have surely lost my engine on several occasions from coolant loss. It's got some acceleration and purrs nicely, too. Good luck, guys.
14th Nov 2007, 16:05
I have a 1997 Grand Am Gt 3.1 L and have had no significant problems with it. I am the original owner. The car has over 125,000 KM on it. I can't believe the people complaining about radio knobs and power windows. Those are not mechanical and don't drive your car. Every one knows that power windows are useless in any vehicle, not just the grand am. My air conditioning still works. People are surprised when I tell them that I still have air in my car after 11 years. My CD player did die after 6 years of constantly playing a CD in all variables of weather conditions, since I live in Southern Ontario. This is to be expected. Now, mechanically speaking I have had to do the regular maintenance like oil changes and brakes, tires, etc. I replaced the alternator and battery only once each. Replaced gas tank last year and 1 of my mufflers. All other parts on my car are the original-engine, transmission, radiator, water pump, even the shocks and springs. I have found this car to start on the 1st turn even in sub zero temperatures. I am disappointed that they don't make the grand am anymore because I would buy it again. I love my car and have no complaints.
18th Dec 2007, 00:57
I have a 1998 Grand Am SE with a 2.4 twin cam. It's been a very good and dependable car. I’ve driven it for more than 221000 miles.
I went through two transmissions, however that was my own fault for driving the car so hard. Nothing like smoking the tires on wet pavement:)
I've had a few minor issues that bother me a little bit, but nothing too serious. The ABS light has been on now for about 4 years, every now and then the ABS system will enable, but only briefly after I start the car. The windows go up slowly. What do you expect from a 10 year old car?
One major downfall of this engine is the #3 bearing tends to become starved for oil at high rpms. It loses oil pressure at high rpm's. The upside is I drove 114 miles today and only had to put three gallons of gas in when I got home. That's 38 miles per gallon.
The bottom line is this: If you drive like a maniac or if a maniac drives your car, it will wear out fast. Eventually all electronic sensors and motors will stop working. If you take care of it and keep the kids away from the knobs and window buttons, they may last a bit longer.
7th Feb 2008, 23:44
I have a 97 Gran am I have been working on cars for 30yrs bought this car used replaced alternator and starter, intake gaskets, wheel bearings, window motors alum min wheels keep going flat now broke down has no power injectors flooding problem not known. This car is junk no if or buts if you got a good one good luck most are lemons. Gm should be ashamed to put their name on this car.
3rd Jun 2008, 17:33
My girlfriend bought a 97 Grand Am from the people next door, and I have just gotten around to looking at getting it ready for the road.
The first thing I noticed was that the power windows weren't working, so I came up with a quick motor fix for the problem, 1 hour per window. If you are interested, let me know firstname.lastname@example.org
17th Jun 2008, 11:42
97 Pontiac Grand Am SE. This car is terrible. I bought it used not knowing anything about the dreaded quad 4 motor.
I've been experiencing all kinds of problems. But I think this is it. Car was losing power, but now when I start it it barely runs and backfires from exhaust and intake. I'm disgusted. The car looks nice though.
20th Jun 2008, 16:16
I have a '97 Grand Am GT and had to have the transmission overhauled at 20,000 miles, because the car would surge when it was idling. This was dangerous as I was just getting ready to make a right hand turn onto a VERY busy street, and the surge caused my car to head into traffic before I was ready. Luckily the cost was covered under warranty, but it's happening again now with 85k miles on it.
I've replaced the front driver window motor 2x and the rear driver motor 2x. Mine were stuck open and it started raining!
Volume knob just started going bad about 1 year ago. I am not a baby and can deal with it, but it is very annoying when you go to turn the volume down and the opposite happens so your stereo ends up blaring in your ears, and the more you try to turn it down, the louder and louder it goes... and at that point no matter which way you turn the knob... it still gets louder. And it's not a constant problem, but it likes to surprise you at the worst times, like when your elderly mother is in the car with you.
Serpentine belt replaced, air conditioning system replaced, 2 batteries, 2 sets of brakes, water pump, fuel pump, O2 sensor and I know there's a few more major ones that I can't remember offhand.
I take good care of it too, and get the oil changed every 3000/3 months, fluids checked, regular maintenance etc.
Bottom line, it's paid for and that's the only reason why I still have it. I will never get a Pontiac again after this. Never thought I would say this, but I'm definitely getting a Toyota or Honda next.