1988 Pontiac Grand Prix Reviews

1988 Pontiac Grand Prix from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission Don't Know
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.8 / 10
Distance when acquired50 miles
Most recent distance120000 miles
Previous carPontiac Bonneville

Summary:

I loved it

Faults:

Just had to replace rotors, brake pads.

And the driver's seat had to be reupholstered.

General Comments:

The car drove great, would go through snow and rode very smoothly.

I liked the way the dash was all red at night when the lights were on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th April, 2008

1988 Pontiac Grand Prix 2.8L V6 173 ci. from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.8L V6 173 ci. Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired169000 miles
Most recent distance173000 miles
Previous carPontiac Grand Prix

Summary:

This car is Totally kick @$$ Radical!

Faults:

All that has gone wrong is I bought the car from a junk yard. It needed a motor because someone didn't know that they were supposed to put oil in the car. I replaced it myself in my garage. Quick, easy engine change. Costed no money.

Then I replaced the head gaskets because I forgot to purge the cooling system. My fault.

After this it was ready to drive in about a week after I got it.

General Comments:

The car has been great so far. It's got 173000 and it's still running strong. It doesn't smoke and it will still roast the tires.

Don't crush 'em restore 'em.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th May, 2005

1988 Pontiac Grand Prix SE 2.8 6 cylinder from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.8 6 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.4 / 10
Distance when acquired44000 miles
Most recent distance102000 miles
Previous carChrysler LeBaron

Summary:

Plenty of potential with many engineering flaws

Faults:

Picked it up for a song with 44,000 miles. At that time the front seats and back seat cushions were reuphoulstered due to splitting.

This car consumed at least 1 alternator and 1 battery per year. There were no electrical problems that would cause such a fault. Alternator problems were always attributed to plastic brush holders which would crack and cause the brushes to fall out.

At 68,000 miles, after exiting expressway, front end felt real loose. Upon investigating, found 3 of 5 wheel studs completely broken off. Evidence of fatigue fracture was not visible, indicating that fracture was most likely due to improper heat treatment of wheel studs rather than improperly torqued lug nuts.

Turn signal switch failed at approximately 70,000 miles.

Ball joint completely collapses at 72,000 miles.

Headlight circuit problems at 75,000 miles. Never had brights after this point.

Transmission died at 85,000 miles - replaced with a used unit by myself.

Car would not run at 86,000 miles - after exhausting all possible routes of repair, took it to the dealership. Had to supervise employees of the local dealership (teach them how to use a fuel pressure gauge, jumper fuel pump relays, etc... basic stuff). After 2 weeks and several mechanics, car was worked on by senior mechanic who found a faulty fuel injector. Wanted 4 hours of book time and $120 for the injector. Disconnected the faulty injector to drive it home; Within 2 hours and $60 later was running smoothly again.

Egr tube cracks at 87,000 miles.

One more injector dies at 93,000 miles, causes instant no start on the highway. Luckily, I methodically disconnected injectors one by one until I found the culprit. Finished my trip on 5 cylinders.

Fuel pump dies at 95,000 miles and kills 2 injectors in the process. The fuel circulating through the injectors acts as a coolant - if car doesn't pump enough gas, the injectors fry.

Fuel pressure regulator at 98,000 miles.

Replaced all injectors at 100,000 miles.

Sold the car at 102,000 miles with everything in good running condition. Hope the guy had more luck with it than I did.

General Comments:

Good:

This car handled very well and was very easy to handle in wet and icy conditions.

Power was slight low, but adequate for almost all situations.

The dash layout was excellent.

Seating was excellent. The front seats (I had the model with all the air bags built into the seats) were adjustable in so many ways that almost anyone could be made comfortable.

Plenty of luggage space in the trunk and cutout into passenger area for long items.

Power assist steering allowed for a decent amount of feedback from the road.

Bad:

Charging system is poorly designed from the standpoint of durability.

Insufficient airflow to the injectors (being hidden between the upper and lower intake plenum with little air flow) causes the injector coils to overheat and eventually melt. Later GM engines (such as the 3.3 and 3.8) used raised upper intake plenums or located the injectors in the open where airflow was present and this problem ceased.

The failure of one injector would cause it to draw all power away from the bank in which it was located (therefore rendering 3 cylinders useless). This would result in a car that would barely start and not move under its own power. I'm not a computer engineer, but it seems that they might have done something to rectify this problem so one injector failure would not leave the car stranded.

I had so many injection problems with this car that I could pull the upper intake in a parking lot, check each injector, and swap a bad one if necessary, in under an hour. I've helped several people who have been stranded with these cars in the same way. I was told several times that the injectors must be changed as a set - don't believe it. Invest in a cheap multitester and check them yourself - you'll save a lot of money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 2004

7th Oct 2008, 09:11

I had the same problem with my 1988 Grand Prix SE coupe in regards to it going through alternators & batteries. I finally resolved the problem after I brought it to an automotive electrician. He found several grounding shorts. I was going though alternators about once every six months. After this repair, I never replaced another, and I owned the car for three more years.

22nd Oct 2008, 16:10

Yea the same thing happen to me with shorts... now its all good, still have the car and will never trade it for another car.

11th Feb 2009, 18:00

I purchased the 88' Grand Prix in 97. It runs real good. It came with cat back exhaust/stainless steel pipes. Solid transmission and chassis. I replaced all suspension bushings, struts, rebuilt transmission, new 2.8 liter engine about 160 K miles ago. It is a dependable vehicle. Like any vehicle, requires some degree of maintenance, if something breaks, you try and fix it.

Odometer indicates 360 K miles and 550K KM.

General Motors would be proud.

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 17 reviews