17th Dec 2008, 09:22

1999 Grand Am SE.

This is my daughters car so I am passing these symptoms on second hand.

About a month ago, the gas gage started swinging erratically, then go to empty, triggering the low fuel alarm. Then, it would correct itself after a mile or too. All the time, the car seems to be operating just fine. Now, the headlights and dash lights came on during the day (or night) and the only way to get them to shut off is to disconnect the battery. As soon as you connect the battery, the lights come back on.

She just got home from college for the holidays so I now can look it over. When all this was going on, she was at school. These symptoms all took place over several weeks time initially and only twenty or thirty miles. The vehicle seems to be running very well otherwise. Also, she did state to me the other day that she thought she had heard a bit of a ticking noise coming from the dash off the passenger side.

I am guessing a ignition switch or relay problem but???

Curious in Wyoming.

4th Jan 2009, 11:29

I just bought a 97 Grand Am SE about a month ago, already having problems. The car seems to shift on its own. It will shift down a gear and the RPMs go up to about 5000, then it will shift back up and be normal, and just keeps going back and forth; what could that be?

4th Jan 2009, 20:14

About the second hand reports from the daughter concerning fuel gauge, flashing lights, etc. On my Mercury Sable and my Volvo V40, weird seemingly unrelated electrical behaviors start when the battery is almost worn out. Before chasing a lot of other things, I would just try replacing the battery with a new one.

7th Jan 2009, 17:19

Seem to be an isolated issue. I have a 99 GA and have 172,000 miles on it. Bought it used with 4000 miles on it.

It has been great. I have only had one major problem with it. I have had my alternator replaced along with head gaskets after it ran hot, but other than that it has been a pleasure.

I am also about to buy a G6, because it replaced the GA. I am very happy. If you bought one of these used with over 50K miles, then that was your own problem. Any car with that amount of miles on it in my opinion is being sold because of issues one had with it.

2nd Feb 2009, 11:26

To the person in September with the power steering sound: check the steering rack. I am having a recurring problem with the powersteering in our 99 Pontiac Grand Am SE. We are on our 3rd power steering pump. The first was toast after the rack went bad and we didn't realize it. Then we had the rack replaced, but it had already toasted the new pump we bought. The next was a defect I think because the PS doesn't work at all, now we are about to replace it once again.

ABS light is on all the time, not sure if alternator is going or if actual ABS issue. We are about to do brakes and rotors on front and rear and will see if we see anything odd.

If it IS an ABS issue, anyone have issues with just the sensors or actual brake system problems?

I'll have hubby check alternator this weekend. Thanks for the tips!

20th Mar 2009, 20:57

The 1999 Grand Am is a piece of junk. Mine was given to me with only 45000 miles, and in less than two years has gone through 2 alternators, 2 batteries, the same annoying clicking sound everyone has that was a recall on other models and Pontiac refuses to fix it on the 1999 models.

The rear passenger window regulator has died, replaced that and it still doesn't work.

I don't trust this car to take me anywhere, it always has some weird impending electrical problem that will leave you stranded.

I will never own another one, and if I could afford it I would trade this in on a Toyota Corolla in a heartbeat.

8th Jun 2009, 16:40

June 08, 2009.

Let's see, bought the car a year and a half ago from the original owner. It only had 50,000 miles on it so what could possibly go wrong, I thought for $5000.00 I'm getting a steal, the car was well maintained. WRONG!!! Within a month the seal for the coolant went out and I was leaking coolant through the engine, that was $1300.00 in parts and labor, then the starter went out a month and a half later yet another $300.00 on that, now I have a caliper that is stuck. I'm getting that fixed tomorrow.

I have the annoying tick that everyone hears, although when it's hooked up to the computer the mechanic can detect nothing wrong, my low tire pressure light is constantly on and my tire pressure checks out fine. Also my service engine soon light never turns off. This car should have been recalled; it looks fun and sporty, but it's a piece of junk. I'm trading it in as soon as possible!!!

9th Jun 2009, 23:36

"I would trade this in on a Toyota Corolla in a heartbeat."

I'd think twice about that. The ONLY car that ever left me stranded (TWICE) was a Toyota Corolla. Look at something like a Ford Focus. Much more reliable.

11th Jun 2009, 12:51

Gee it sure is fun reading all this, and at least knowing my '97 Grand Am is not a mechanical oddity.

History: given to me by my grandma - was stored in her barn for 3 years, with all storage precautions taken by my mechanic father.

Winter 2007 - alternator drained battery; alternator replaced.

Spring 2008 - alternator bad again; replaced under warranty.

Present - ABS light goes on (when hooked up to diagnostic, no problems can be found) then battery light will flicker on (very briefly - battery shows full voltage when checked) ; when this happens, acceleration lags (pretty scary in the middle of a busy intersection) but will pick up on its own.

Recently made successful road trip from MA to MI and back again... ABS and battery light came on when first on highway and seemed to disengage cruise (which I have always left "on" but not set) ; turned off cruise and finished 900+ miles with no problems. Don't know yet if the problem is "fixed", but will update if turning off the cruise helped. Mechanic dad is frustrated, to say the least. From what I gather, all us poor folks stuck with a Grand Am are also stuck with all their defects. Too bad we don't use horses anymore.

22nd Jun 2009, 17:35

I have, or should I say had a 99 Grand Am SE with almost 160K miles on it - bought it as a dealer demo with 6000 miles on it. Best car I ever owned with a few exceptions.

It ate water pumps and oil. Last week I noticed it was making a strange noise, stranger than it usually makes for a car with almost 160K on it and noticed it was leaking coolant. Tried to get it to the mechanic for repairs, it did not make it... in typical GM fashion the water pump froze up, causing the timing belt to break and causing the engine to cease up. Hence... no more car. Usually it allows me the chance to get it to the mechanic, which is nearby.

To the car's credit it never left me stranded on the side of the road, but it was was far from perfect for sure. Prior to this car I had a Honda that spent more time at the dealership than it did in my garage for the first four years. Feeling guilty for considering something other than an American car this time.