15th Mar 2009, 14:50
Just because a 10-year-old Grand Am is a piece of crap doesn't mean every domestic car is. My parents own a '97 Mercury Sable with 190,000 miles on it. No problems, just routine maintenance like fluid changes and spark plugs. I just never understand this point of view that goes "My old $500 beater is junk, so next time I'm buying a Toyota!"
27th Mar 2009, 02:16
I have a 2001 Grand Am SE V6 3.4l with 50,000 miles. I bought the car because it's a nice sporty looking car, and I wanted to make it a race car.
I had to replace the catalytic converter, but that's about it. I already installed a Custom muffler, a cold air intake and a performance chip, which solves ALL of the problems you guys had. The ECU in Grand Ams are made to give you hell, but the performance chip solved that problem. I think these cars were made for fixing them up. You literally have to replace every single stock part with an aftermarket part LOL.
30th Mar 2009, 20:52
For those of you with the issue of cranking and not starting or the security light, it is more than likely the passlock system. This is a security feature that cuts the fuel pump - it is a bad implementation in this car. The 10 minute trick works, but soldering on a resister to the BCM is a better long term option. Google it.
As for the random clicking turn signal, this is not the hazard recall but rather contaminated grease in the turn signal/wiper switch on the steering column. Removing it and cleaning the grease will resolve the problem (4 screws). Google it for instructions.
I agree these are definite issues that should have recalls, in my case other than these two issue though the car has been solid for 85K. Knock on wood.
2nd Apr 2009, 11:49
I can tell you EXACTLY where that attitude comes from. For years Toyota ran ads that ALWAYS showed a broken down Ford Taurus being towed in the background. This instilled in people seeing the ad the message that "domestics break down" subliminally. After that, people would "remember" seeing a broken down domestic, but could NEVER remember WHERE. It was a very manipulative ad technique and apparently worked VERY WELL, in spite of the fact it was BLATANTLY FALSE. And before the import fans start ranting "That's just your OPINION". I might add that in addition to a car enthusiast and mechanic I am also a certified therapist who has studied subliminal advertising a great deal.
In 20 years of driving the freeways to work I have seen far more Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans broken down on the road than any domestic. The only time I have ever been stranded myself was in a Toyota (TWICE). Our imports were never as good as any of our domestics. Ad hype sways a lot of folks... but not ME.
13th Jul 2009, 13:45
I own a 2001 Grand Am SE, since 2005. I had the issue with the fan blower switch that many here seemed to also have. I took it into the shop and they told me it was a problem with a resistor switch, which regulates electrical flow to the fan blower. Apparently the resistor switch was stuck open, causing it to only allow the full electrical flow to the blower, resulting in only the 5 level on the switch to work. (originally only 3-5 worked, but after a couple years only 5 worked). After around $150 in parts and labor to replace the resistor switch my fan blower works great... so far anyway.
I doubt there is any good fix for the radio volume knob, which goes up when you try to turn it down, other than to replace the whole radio.
I would like to hear from someone who actually had the clicking problem and was able to fix it. I would like to fix it myself since the dealer is wanting to charge $95 an hour just to figure out what the problem is. I hear some comments about either replacing the hazard switch under the dashboard, or just cleaning the connections with cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol. I have no clue how to remove the dashboard cover, is that easy to do? How do I locate the hazard switch? Any help here or a link to a good resource would be helpful.
I also have a coolant leak, that my auto repair shop says is coming from the intake manifold gaskets. They want $850 to fix... I have a brother in law who thinks he can handle this... Is this too big of a job for a non-professional?
14th Jul 2009, 22:22
It depends. If your brother-in-law has an excellent assortment of tools and a good repair reference manual, such as Chilton's or, better yet, a FACTORY repair manual from GM if you can get it, then go for it. The gasket costs just a few dollars. 99% of the cost is labor because a LOT is involved. I'd tackle it myself in a heartbeat. it just requires a lot of care in removing all the stuff that has to be required to access it. On my old 318 Mopar I pulled the intake and replaced the gaskets and cleaned the ports in less than half a day. On the Grand Am there is just so much stuff to remove just to GET TO the intake manifold.
Also, I tend to suspect this may be a leak in the HEAD gasket, NOT the intake gasket. A typical trick of repair shops is to tell you it is the intake gasket, knowing full well it ISN'T, then get your car torn apart and call you to say "Oh, it was the HEAD gasket. That will cost you $1600".
I'd opt for letting the brother-in-law have a go at it. If he has an IQ higher than the average chimpanzee, he is better than many dealer service techs.
6th Aug 2009, 15:37
I have also fixed the clicking in the dash of my 2001 Grand Am by taking apart the turn signal switch and cleaning the contacts by wiping them gently with sandpaper. The noise is coming from the dash above the radio because the blinkers share the same "clicker" as the Hazards. Been a couple years and still good, although I forget the exact procedure but it was fairly simple.
The reason I'm even on this site anyway is because I'm researching another annoying problem if anyone can help me. The trac off light comes on after driving a while, and the car starts cutting out to the point it will die till it sits a while. Also will shift real hard. I've come across many others with the same problem, but no definite fix, just trial and error and $$$$$$.
31st Aug 2009, 12:06
I am the owner of a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am SE 3.4L V-6. We purchased this vehicle in 2002 with 16,500 miles on it. We seem to have had a lot of the same problems as most everyone else who has the same year/model vehicle.
- Problems with the PassLock Security System
- Brakes only lasting a few months
- Coolant leak & blown intake gasket
- Heat/Cool fan only works on levels 3-5
- Radio turns up instead of down when turning it down.
Now, I get up this morning to go to work and it will not start for anything! It cranks just fine, but will not start up and run.