19th Aug 2007, 23:10
Original poster here giving an update. The last time I spent some money on the car was for routine maintenance which I still stay on top of. Car currently has over 122,000KM and it now officially 4 years old. Happy birthday baby!
I replaced 2 front lower arm rear bushings at 115,089 KM on April 7/2007 which I believe is normal wear and tear.
I have noticed that this car is not good to put through a high pressure car wash as water will get into your rear taillights. Best thing, I avoid high pressure car washes.
The rear turn signals were signalling very fast due to a rusted socket area, GM penetrating lube and a new bulb fixed the problem which is very minor.
I had HID's (High intensity discharge) installed on my car with 8000K bulbs. This was a challenge as this car has auto headlamps.
I had my friend install it, and if you leave the light switch on "Auto" during daylight hours, 1 HID lights on the driver's side will flicker on and the passenger side stays off. The best thing is to leave the headlights in the high beam position and turn the full lighting system on (only the amber lights, rear lights will turn on and the HID's stay off during daylight hours). You must also take out a relay in the car for the auto headlight feature. When this is out, the "Service Vehicle Soon" light activates on the dash. This is easily taken care of by covering it up with black tape. Who wants to see that on your dash while driving?
When you put HID's in this car, you will lose the highbeam feature. I will not go back to halogen headlights.
No other problems with this car.
19th Mar 2008, 06:29
Okay, another update, it's been a while. Car currently has 132,000KM. Car still runs fine with no problems, no weird sounds and no leaks. Car has been maintained properly since I've owned it since day 1. I also finished paying it off. :)
My car was involved in a collision with a 1994 Honda Civic (driver ran from the scene but was dumb enough to leave his car), needless to say he was caught. His car was written off. My car doors on the right side had to be replaced, front right fender replaced, rocker panel replaced, and a new chrome-tech rim on the front right replaced.
Had the car repaired at a Pontiac dealer in Toronto and they did a great job. My mechanic told me the repair was good.
Had the car resprayed with Krown after that accident. Nothing else to report.
2nd Apr 2008, 14:04
April 2/2008, another update on the car, it's just over 132,500km and the ABS warning light has been coming on once in a while. I will take it to the mechanic when I get my winter tires removed. Hopefully it's a cheap fix (fingers crossed).
7th Apr 2008, 21:51
April 5/2008, 132,634KM, took the car to the mechanic and changed the oil & filter, had an alignment done due to the potholes in Toronto and removed my winter tires.
Had the car scanned but there are no codes as anytime you restart the car the codes get erased. The ABS and ETS lights haven't come on. Mechanic says to bring it in if it comes on and I'm near the shop.
Worst it could be is a sensor problem which costs $400 per tire. Not a cheap fix. Not worth fixing if it's broken. This is my first car with ABS and traction control. Not worth the money.
Other than that, car runs fine.
17th Apr 2010, 08:45
I have to agree about the strength of these front ends.. The rear on your later model Grand Am isn't as tough as the 96's, but it might be better for bump steer around corners.
Anywhoodle, I'm from Toronto as well, not sure if you're ever gonna read this, but I was on Spadina going north from Lakeshore, and I wanted to make a U turn on one of the flat parts of the street car tracks. It turns out they weren't flat, and I basically hopped completely on and back off the tracks, while slamming each tire into the concrete parking medians about 8-10 inch tall over and over.. I wasn't sure if I should stay on the tracks or go off. Basically got out thinking my alignment would be off.. I've got 240k now, and this was at 220 with 120km shocks and original passenger ball joint.
Needless to say, this car cost me $1600 at 194k, and in 2 years I've put 3 grand into its 13th year of life.
Dexcool sucks, and loves to destroy each and every plastic component of the cooling system from heater core (350) to radiator & the cooling overflow tank twice.
I still love my Grandy, and will be buying a 97-03 Grand Prix GTP. Pontiac rules, Chevy blows.
My tranny sometimes shifts hard into 2nd at low speeds only, high speed shift into 2nd is fine..
Vacuum modulator (60s reject left on my 4t60e) is leaking, causing problems, thank god it's on the outside. How is your 4t45e tranny holding the power of the 3400? I beat out a lot of the 3400 with my 3100 due to tranny cooler, shift kit(minor) and underdrive pulley, plus the extra weight of your years makes em about equal.
I think I'm rambling, but enjoy your ride, mines at 245 and now I'm an IT consultant, so I may be buying a Camaro if I've got good enough credit. I really do want a G8 though.
26th May 2010, 00:57
I'm pretty sure that GM makes Pontiacs, not Chevy. I have a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am GT, and it is a very good first car. It's got the V6 engine so it's pretty fast when it has to be. Beats a lot of cars at a quick little stoplight race. Pontiac is by far the best sporty car for your money.
1st Oct 2010, 06:03
Original poster here, the car has over 176,000km, nothing has happened to the car since my last update. Running problem-free. I had it rustproofed at Krown a few months ago, which I do every year to keep rust at bay. I must say after having the car over 7 years, there is no rust on it. I will have to change my winter tires after this winter, and likely my summer tires after 2011 is finished.
Still love my Grand Am.
1st Oct 2010, 17:47
The pre-2008 Grand Am and Chevy Malibu were essentially the exact same car. All the drive-train was the same in the Grand Am, Malibu and Olds Alero.
My 2001 Grand Am was an awesome car, and when sold at 85,000 miles, it had been totally trouble-free. Brake pads wore out a little early (70,000 miles), but otherwise it was very reliable.
9th Dec 2011, 16:43
Updating on my car again. It's now over 196,000km. The only two things that have failed since my last post was the stock deck (I upgraded it to a Clarion with USB and AUX) and my engine block heater, which is no biggie. No other issues. The car runs great.
11th Jan 2012, 11:34
Original poster here, 197,000km on Christmas Day I get a "Service Engine Soon" light. The coolant sensor and thermostat had to be replaced. I changed the battery as well, since it was going to be 6 years old in March 2012. Total cost, $496. No other issues.
10th Apr 2017, 19:22
Original poster here. Grand Am now has over 264,000km. The only things I have done recently in regards to repairs was change the alternator, new springs/shocks/struts (all original) and had to be replaced a few months ago. No other issues with the car. The car is now starting to have very minor body rust. I am still driving it daily and plan to keep driving it until it's not worth repairing. I'm very pleased with my purchase.
2nd Nov 2017, 13:21
Original poster here. The car now has over 267,000 km. Only issue I had was the engine release lever cable has broken a few months ago. I had to remove the hood latch (it was seized), lubricate it like crazy and was able to install it back in the car and tie a shoestring around the latch and ran the shoestring through the grille. I now pull on a shoestring to pop open the hood. Hey, it saved me $120!
I did change back to halogen headlights a few years ago as HID lights are too much of a headache (especially when the bulb or ballast fails). Halogens are cheap to replace and can be purchased at any car store.
The car is still running fine. No other issues to report. This car is onto my 2nd wife and is transporting my first kid (1 year old). Damn, I can't believe I've had it for over 14 years now. I'm getting old! (35 years old).