1997 Pontiac Grand Prix SE 3.8 liter from North America


Should come with a map to the repair shop


Key became stuck in the ignition. The technician found broken wires between BTSI (term listed on service invoice) and the steering column. He told me this was caused by something that I had done wrong. Hmmm?.

Passenger side front power window made noise when going down and goes up slow. The motor was replaced.

Windshield wipers would not seat in the home position. They still worked, but seated in the intermittent position when not in use. Diagnosed as a bad module and elected not to fix at this time because it wasn't covered by extended warranty.

Radio display erratic. Installed new radio.

During the same visit, complained about the windshield wipers again (at the same dealership that looked at it before), this time they diagnosed it as a bad wiper motor which was covered under warranty. Had it replaced.

Loss of power steering. Loose hose. Technician tightened and refilled fluid.

Loss of power steering. Technician replaced hose and refilled fluid.

Anti-lock brakes do not always work. Technician could not duplicate.

Blower motor does not always work, sometimes it would blow regular and sometimes it would blow only on low or not at all. Technician could not duplicate.

Relocated from Pennsylvania to California so now we are dealing with a new dealership. Just a note to let you know this wasn't the only reason why I moved.

Motor misfiring and very low on power. Technician determined the plugs were breaking down and found fouled coolant. Pressure test found intake manifolds leaking internally. Replaced upper and lower intake manifold plenums, replaced plugs and plug wires.

During the same visit, diagnosed a bad alternator which was the cause of the Anti-lock braking problem and the cause of why I had just previously replaced the battery.

And last, but not least, the all-too famous missing headlight cover. Seems to be a very common problem with these. I fortunately found mine and lightly sanded both surfaces, applied a solid layer of epoxy glue and re-applied the lens.

General Comments:

You know, when I first saw the grand prix I thought "Now, here's a car with sportiness for me, and yet still a 4-door to accommodate my kids", it seemed like the perfect car. My Pontiac driving experience has not been one of enjoyment. It has opened my eyes up to the world of car reviews, I will always do my homework from here on out, Thank You.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd December, 2002

25th Mar 2003, 16:41

I had so many of the same things happen to my car. Keys becoming stuck in ignition, erratic radio display, blower motor, low coolant (causing replaced manifolds $$$$), and missing headlight covers (common problem). These have all been since about 100,000 miles. Too bad since I really love the car.

1997 Pontiac Grand Prix SE 3.8 from North America


This car is overpriced junk!


The alternator has went out twice.

The starter had to be replaced.

The water pump had to be replaced.

The headlight lens units have both been replaced.

The battery had to be replaced because it had melted the area where the terminal bolts on.

The blower motor has been replaced twice.

The fan resistor had to be replaced.

The passenger side front wheel bearings went bad.

General Comments:

All of the things in the what has gone wrong category would be bad enough for anyone, but the worst is yet to come.

The car started to experience a miss, or a lunging feel, as you would drive up a hill. I took it to a dealer I had previously trusted. The mechanic drove it with me and said it seemed like a valve body problem. They kept it overnight so their transmission man could look at it. When I called back that day they told me the transmission expert agreed that it was probably a valve body problem. They went on to say it would be about $800 to look at it and about $2500 in total to fix it. I decided I would drive it until it broke down.

A month or so later I decided to change the plug wires, and what do you know, problem solved. How in the world could a dealership not know to have looked at the plug wires? They were cracked and old. In my opinion they were trying to stick it to me. A $2500 problem fixed for $35!

Trust no one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th December, 2002

25th Feb 2003, 12:55

Never had a problem with my 97 Grand Prix.

26th Jun 2004, 04:24

The only problem I've had so far at 89000 miles are the headlights fogging up.