2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GT 3.8L V6 from North America


Great car/motor, if you can live with the issues


Original battery in the car when purchased, it died three months later - replaced (59k miles).

Passenger's side front window motor cable snapped, ruining window motor & assembly (window wouldn't stay up) (62k).

Heater blower resistor motor (controls climate control fan speeds 1-4) (65k).

Replaced both front wheel hub bearings - wore prematurely (very common) (70k).

Wire to wheel hub bearing (passenger side) broken - replaced (70k).

ABS & trac off lights on gauge cluster and driver info center (above radio) are always lit. Usually replacing the hubs and wires fixes the issue, but it's something else here. Don't have the time to figure it out for now. In the summer, it's just annoying. In winter, no ABS or trac control. Been told it could be the ABS module, which isn't cheap. Local GM dealers want to charge in the hundreds to just diagnose (currently).

Mass airflow sensor failed, which fouled the spark plugs and clogged the catalytic converter (76k).

Air conditioning stopped blowing cold, recharge fixed it, no leaks found (77k).

Air conditioning blows cold only on passenger's side. Could be many things, including the A/C condenser and blend door actuators in the dash (dual analog climate control). Tired of messing with it for now, in winter. Heat seems to work (currently).

Power steering is abnormally loud. Usually after sharp left turns. Sway bar is loose on driver's side front, they might be related. Only noticeable if you corner tightly and then park the car, where you can feel hear the strain if you move the wheel. This isn't a major issue since it's a DD, simply another annoyance.

UPDATED May 2013:

So, yeah. I kept the car. Replaced a bunch more stuff between 80k and 120k:

Overdrive hub wore out in transmission (no more 4th gear) at 116K. I chose to rebuild the entire transmission, since I drive a ton on the highway. It wasn't cheap.

Replaced both front wheel bearings again.

Replaced the tie rod ends three times (next ones are Moog).

Sway bar broke, replaced with Dorman and new sway bar end links.

Control arm bushings and ball joints replaced (I had to grind out the rivets in the control arm for the ball joints, new ones are bolted in. Not fun).

Replaced front pads and rotors, regular maintenance.

Replaced both CV shafts (passenger's side boot leaked out and ruined the shaft).

Replaced both front struts with Monroe Quick Struts.

Switched out the awful acidic Dexcool with standard green 50/50 coolant (after flush).

Air conditioning only works for about two weeks per re-charge. I think it's leaking by from the condenser, so I'm not paying $1000+ for AC. Windows all still work, sunroof too.

Low coolant level sensor kept reading low at full levels, disconnected it to make the light go away. I check the level frequently and it never leaks.

A bunch of plastic molding (door panel mostly) have started to wear down. Cheap GM plastic.

Dark green paint is fading, but again, GM cost-saving.

General Comments:

First off, the motor is amazing. GM made a great motor with the 3800. Powerful, efficient, and reliable. For daily driving, it's a great bet. If you want a bit more performance, go for the GTP.

For a car with only 80k on it, a lot of stuff has broken. Luckily, since these cars are everywhere, parts are fairly cheap and easy to find.

The transmission slips every once in a while. I've heard horror stories. Usually sorts itself out, though (weather-related - rain).

Very wide, a bit taxing to park in tight spots.

Front-wheel drive has distinct lack of traction in rain and snow (even with new tires).

Gas mileage is fair, I average 20-22 mixed driving with mild acceleration.

I think it's a good looking car. Headlights and tail lights are cheaply-made. They crack and fade horribly. I restored the headlight covers (sand & polish) to fix the visibility issues. Rear driver's tail light is cracked and fills with water in rain.

Interior is lackluster. Lots of plastic and generic design. Leather seats are cheap vinyl. The overall quality makes my old '98 Grand Cherokee Limited seem like a Range Rover.

I'm disappointed in all of the little things that have happened. I look forward to moving on.

UPDATE May 2013:

Look, the motor's running strong, and aside from the transmission, there were no major repairs outside of regular maintenance and wear-and-tear.

The car's paid off and only has 122k with a brand new, warrantied rebuilt transmission, so I'm keeping it for a while as a common daily driver. It's sporty and good-looking enough to feel good driving, and best of all, repairs and maintenance are affordable, especially with basic know-how and tools. Parts are affordable, easy to find new and used, and again, the engine is a beast.

It's annoying at times with the quick wear-down on parts (especially in the front end), but it's a solid car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 13th October, 2010

2001 Pontiac Grand Prix 3.8 from North America




High pressure power steering line.



Head liner separating.

Lack of heat in the winter.


General Comments:

Overall a good car. Gas consumption could be better. It uses 14 litres per 100 kilometres, combined highway and city.

Many wheel alignments have produced no noticeable results, it still pulls to the left.

It is very roomy.

Great car.

Fiat owners and those have a Ferrari sticker on their cars should love this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd October, 2010