The car had a blown head gasket and a cracked head when I purchased it (with 58,000 miles on it). It probably had been setting for some time, as the damage required the replacement of the engine bearings and rings as well.
I could never get the air conditioner to work. I took it to be evaluated and was told that it worked very well; however, when I turn it on, the clutch on the compressor never engages. The problem may be with the control in the dash or a pressure switch.
At about 80,000 miles the vehicle developed an electronic problem with the temperature sensor that made it start hard in cold weather and then overheat (the radiator fan would not come on). After changing the temperature sensor with no success, I took it to a garage were they disabled the temperature sensors and installed an independent control for the radiator fan.
The oil pressure gauge became sporadic at 90,000 miles.
Alternator went out at 116,000 miles.
The emergency brake cable is rusted causing the brake to not release.
The driver's side door does not want to unlock after being locked. (That's OK since I never lock the doors anyway. It probably rusted from lack of use.)
The security lock that locks the gear selector in the park position when the key is turned off freezes locked in cold weather.
I've had to have some bodywork done to keep from looking like a 17 year-old car - it rusted through behind and under the doors.
The car had some very serious problems very early, but I can't complain about how it has held up since the first repairs. I've put 64,000 miles on it and ran it hard every mile.
It gets 28 miles per gallon regularly, and as high as 36 miles per gallon on trips.
It sets reasonably high off the road and goes pulls very well in snow. Braking isn't so good on slippery pavement, as the back breaks free easily.
I like the way the car handles. It has an amazing ride for an old car - the shocks are still excellent.
I probably still wouldn't buy a newer Pontiac because of their reliability ratings, but this car has been economical enough to maintain even with several problems.