1st Jun 2010, 19:40
I bought a 1997 4 Door Grand Am last year and it has run beautifully for me. Other than fluid changes and a change of a worn belt tensioner for the serpentine belt, I've had nothing major go wrong with it. Granted, the driver's side window is a little "tired" after 13 years, but that's to be expected. It still has great gas mileage and it's a dream to drive at 250,000km!
16th Aug 2010, 11:43
I had my 97' Grand Am GT since I was 22, I purchased it from my parents. I keep it in great shape, change the oil every 5,000 km and have it inspected at the same time.
At 255,000 km the car still runs like a charm - great pick up from its V6 engine, never had a problem with it. I love the way it drives.
A few mishaps as of late; replaced muffler (340$) and sadly, the A/C went for the first time just a few weeks ago. I'll be getting that fixed soon.
In the past I had to change the driver's window motor (~350$) I also treated it to some sweet new brakes and the regular battery replacement. No horror stories here with this car!
I'm hesitating in selling her because I feel fortunate for having a great Grand Am GT but I'm looking to upgrade in car space, my over sized paintings can't fit!
9th Sep 2010, 23:13
I have had my 97 Grand Am GT for 2 years.
When I bought it, 2 of the 4 windows worked, the check engine light was on, and it didn't run good.
Now after changing the power steering pump, my rack and pinion is shot, and after changing my ignition, the key won't come out. 3 of the 4 windows work to some degree.
To sum it up, I paid 1100 for the car, and have already put 1500 into it. Please can someone buy my headache.
19th Feb 2011, 18:31
I just bought my 1997 Pontiac Grand Am GT V6 3.1 liter a few days ago... I knew it had a tapping sound in the engine when I bought, but am about to do an oil change and put Risolene in it, because I was thinking it could be the valve lifters... But after driving it today, my check engine light came on and it is running really sluggish... Hesitates to go when I give it gas and I floor it and it finally kinda jumps and revs real high, and goes... and also a belt is squeaking... I am not mechanically inclined, so I have no idea what this can be... if someone can please have an idea on what it is, please let me know. Also... both of my windows don't work and neither does my sunroof... And also the guy I bought it off, put a different engine in it... it is not original... After reading everyone else's comments, I am afraid I have ended up wasting my money... I HOPE NOT.
12th Jul 2011, 10:39
I just want to comment on a few things here from a mechanics perspective, since a lot of details stick out to me. No insult meant to anyone, I would just like to clarify the facts I see presented.
First thing, the holes in the mufflers is normal on many cars; it's there to allow water to escape the exhaust system. H2O is a byproduct of the catalyst conversion, so the exhaust system probably isn't shot without any pictures to inspect. Likely the writer saw these holes and freaked out like anybody would.
It seems the majority of the engine problems started after the owner had the engine replaced! I'd say the installation may be at fault in this case.
As for the A/C system, refrigerant doesn't just vanish. What I think is likely is the shop is leak checking the system, and not finding the leak, which is probably on the fill ports. It's easy to miss that, because you hook up the machine to the ports, which blocks the leak during diagnostics!
It sounds like the car was probably neglected by the owner who sold this person the car, and unfortunately he has to deal with the consequences of that.
1st Aug 2011, 14:29
My dad got my sister a 97 Grand Am with the 2.4 200K+ miles, from a guy in Omaha for just about nothing because the head was blown. We ripped it all apart, and reassembled it with new timing chains, cover gaskets, new head gasket, as well as all those little gasket pieces, and a pound of RTV for the lifter-boxes and cams.
Needless to say, we drive it for like 15 minutes and the motor starts knocking HARD. Had to pull it all apart yet again and rebuild the whole thing with a new crank, bearings, and another set of new gaskets.
Now it makes noise on the upper end unless you use slick50 and a thick oil, it runs hot and the motor mounts are all shot, so it shakes like a leaf in the engine compartment. Intake tube leaks around the throttle body. O2's flash codes about heater circuits gone bad, though as far as I know, they're one wire O2's without heaters. Usually just reset it and it goes away for a while.
ABS doesn't work (lights on), and the rear drums lock up before the fronts engage only for a few minutes every time, to let it sit for more than an hour. After a while they work fine. Of course none of the windows work again, already changed all of them once or maybe even twice so far, as well as prayed the channels are all full of graphite lube...
Switches for the windows are all messed up and the driver's door one doesn't work at all.
Radio works fine, as well as the volume knob?!?!?
Wiper regulator is all whacked out, so the wiper on the driver's side goes off the windshield and sometimes gets stuck.
A/C doesn't work because the seals in the compressor are bad, which is a massive problem with GM compressors.
The only thing I can say is the trans seems to be fine, and I didn't find any metal in the pan last time I changed the gasket and fluid. Though it is entirely too clean for it to be the original, so that's probably what's going on there...
Both lower control arms of course were replaced, because of those huge bushings at the back that tear out and cause the wheels to clunk back and forth in the wheel wells...
Muffler strap broke off, so now that just lays on the rear I-beam and rattles till we can get another rubber again...
OH, and the gauge cluster just died today, which I guess is a large problem with the 96-97's; no fuses blown, no corrosion. I might go out there and try to reset it eventually by disconnecting the battery and hooking the terminals together for a while, see what happens. Otherwise I guess we're shoveling another $300 into this thing to get that working again...
Man, I know I'm forgetting stuff too, but this is way too long winded. All I can say is my father knew better, and it's not like I didn't tell him 'don't buy that turd!' I guess he will have learned his lesson now... maybe if it had lower mileage and the 2.2 it wouldn't have been so bad... but I doubt it :P.