11th Feb 2009, 18:26
For all of those that don't know, the Grand Prix engines are pretty reliable. The 3800 series engine really has only two issues. The first one is bad valve cover gaskets, which GM sent out a recall for the GTP models. The second issue is the intake manifold gaskets, which were redesigned and are made out of aluminum. If you did the valve cover gaskets yourself, the parts cost less than $50. While the intake manifold parts cost less than $100. If you paid a shop, the valve cover gasket shouldn't be more than $200, while the intake manifold gasket shouldn't be more than $550.
There is so much inaccurate information via a lot of these posts. If you really want to learn about these cars, have questions, or would like to know how much something might cost to get fixed.
One last thing I'll say, is you can get a GREAT rebuilt trans that is far superior in terms of holding up to power, and is very reliable. These trans cost less than $1500, so anybody spending more than that is absolutely foolish.
18th Apr 2009, 10:42
Dude, you might be getting the shaft!!! Sounds like to me it could be a alternator that's getting ready to go.. Hope you got a second opinion! I have a 2001 SE and not one problem in 95k miles.
10th Dec 2009, 22:01
DW from Ontario Canada... I bought an 01 SE in the summer of 08 with 230,000 kms on it. Previous owner went thru the intake, valve cover, air conditioning pump, tranny, windshield wiper control problems, so I didn't have to when I got the car. All these problems in 230,000 kms..
BUT I must say that since I have owned this vehile, we went to Miami Florida last Christmas on our 1st trip with the vehicle, from London Ontario Canada, and found the trip comfortable, reliable & cost us in fuel $200 American.. Wow!! very impressed.
Have put on 35,000kms since we bought it, and not 1 problem. Previous owner did reg maintenance on it, I know for a fact because I did the body maintenance. Absolutely rust free and confident about all the repaired past problems.. Goes to show that a good repair history is extremely important when buying used.
Top of the line synthetic fluids & reg maintenance is absolutely required... I bet I'll get 500,000 out of her.
I do understand the GM bias, considering the past history of lots of my customers' complaints... GM is where they are for a reason.. They need to improve every aspect of the way they treat customers & build cars. I think I got lucky with my GP SE, because as luck would have it, it was repaired at very good independent mechanical businesses & not at the dealership. Dealerships apparently would not offer to repair at reasonable cost or offset with warranty, so the work was done independently. This was the reason I bought the car with so many kms on it.. Dealership never touched it. So I'll cross my fingers & see what I can get out of her. Good luck to others...DW.
23rd Feb 2010, 16:32
I bought a 2002 Grand Prix in 04 with 86K miles on it. It was clean and ran good.
In the time I have owned it, I can say that I like the car, and aside from regular maintenance, have not had to do very many repairs.
I replaced the cat converter and the hub bearings.
The 3.1L engine has the piston slap noise common to this engine. I now have 197K miles on it and running strong.
I do not get repairs done at quick lube places, only the oil changed.
No matter what car you own, you must do your homework when facing repairs at an auto shop dealer or not. If you do not understand the repair quoted or what it should cost, then you are at risk to get ripped off or possible have it back for multiple fixes. Please keep in mind Toyota is recalling cars by the millions. Honda has had its share of failures and recalls as well. If you are buying a used car, you can take it to most auto repair shops for very low fee and get an inspection on it, so that you are aware of problems before making what could be a bad decision.