Last post on Apr 30, 2013 at 7:46 AM
You are in the Pontiac Grand Am
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Pontiac Grand Am, Sedan
Aug 02, 2002 (5:15 am)
I would not recommend getting a car bra. I was in the same position as you last year, my front bumper on my 2000 Grand Am was repainted and I wanted to keep it looking nice and new. I purchased a full front end car bra from my local Pontiac dealer for about $50. I wanted to make sure it fit perfectly and was made for the car so that's why I didn't go with an aftermaket one. A front end cover consists of the front end cover that covers the entire front end bumper and a hood cover that slides over the front edge of the hood.
I used it for a while and then stopped using the front end cover and only used the hood cover. About 6 months ago I stopped using it all together. These were my reasons:
1. It is not really difficult to clean the front end cover, but it does take time to dry. It is NOT recommended that you put the cover back on the car while wet.
2. Dirt, sand, etc. collect along the underside edges of the cover which can cause minor scratching of the clearcoat if left for several weeks without cleaning. Leaves, bugs, dirt, etc. also collect along the underside of the hood cover.
3. Water does not drain as efficiently on the hood cover as it does with the front end cover. This can lead to mold spots on the surface of the car. (see my experience below)
4. The hood cover caused paint to rub off of the side edges of the hood (This is where the cover wraps around the thin edge of the hood)
I had been using the hood cover for about 3 or 4 months when I discovered mold spots on the hood of my car. I like to clean my car every few weeks, so I was washing it and I removed the hood cover to clean it. As I was washing the hood of my car I noticed a few small green spots along the front of the hood, directly under where the cover sits. I had to end up scraping the mold off with my finger nail and then washing the affected areas well with the soap. After this I stopped using the cover all together.
I still have the cover, but it's in a box in my storage closet. I would recommend using the cover if you were going on a long road trip, say on a vacation or something like that. But for everyday, local driving, I would not recommend them because I don't think they are very friendly to the car if used regularly.
This is my experience, I hope it helps you decide!
Aug 02, 2002 (2:06 pm)
Please for anyone thinking about buying a Grand Am save yourself and do not I repeat do not buy the model with the Quad 4. They are okay if you trade your cars in every year or two but if you like to keep your cars longer this engine is a nightmare. Mechanics can't stand this engine. I have to beg and plead to get one to even look at my car. They just have a bunch of problems with this engine. And ofcourse a car salesmen is not going to tell you this unless he's one in a million.
Aug 02, 2002 (2:28 pm)
GM quit making the Quad 4 last year, finally.
#1507 of 2588 Key has gotten stuck in the ignition also!
Aug 02, 2002 (10:20 pm)
I have a '00 GA GT, and have had this happen to me about 8 times. As you said, the key will not come out, and the owner could spend a long time trying to get it out. Once, I got it out by braking hard and then shifting into park. It doesn't always work though. The other times it would just come out by force after turning the key back and forth (about 10 times). Ironically, my wife uses the car more than I do, and it has never happened to her. I have started to put and remove the key slowly and delibartely. So far so good, it hasn't gotten stuck again. The dealer said it would cost about $250 to repair and that they had succesfully repaired it for someone else. Also, if you definetly can't get it out, I suggest that you carry a keyless entry remote separate from the key chain so at least you can get in and out of your car with the key left inside and at the same time have the car alarm armed! I know this is only a temporary solution (and only if it doesn't happen every time) but it works when you don't need to be out of the car long. Personally, I would only do this if I were to be away from the car 20 minutes tops. Thankfully for me, it has been about a month since I started being very careful and there hasn't been a problem. I hope my comments helped and let me know what happens!
#1508 of 2588 UPDATE ON POWER STEERING
Aug 03, 2002 (8:21 pm)
My thanks go out to everyone with the help. After about a weeks of ponering and a long day getting the new power-steering belt on, the squeaking in my steering is completely gone. After loosening the pump and about 2 hrs of trying to get the belt out i ended up cutting it and ripping it out. i was very frustrated, but after that, i realized how incredibly bad shpe the belt was in: one of the ribs was almost completely gone, and the others all had considerable chunks out of them. I did end up getting the new belt in after about 3 hours of work. thank you to everyone the squeak is finally gone and no, the pump is not bad, works just fine now. Thanks again
#1509 of 2588 Quad 4 Engine
Aug 03, 2002 (11:57 pm)
Over the years, it became clear to me that the biggest problem with the Quad 4 was fact that it was used mostly in low end cars that probably wouldn't get very good care. Add to that the early attempts by GM (remember the original HO quad 4 without a balance shaft?), and the fact that most independent mechanics never understood it. I've had very good results with it for many years, but discovered early that any job that I wasn't willing to do myself should be left to Pontiac. A good example is changing the water pump. I once spent 45 minutes trying to explain to a local guy that you had to (well, highly recommended) take off the timing chain cover and remove the chain tensioner the relieve the pressure on the pump drive gear. He just couldn't except the fact that the water pump is driven off the timing chain.
It's probably better that it has become history.
Aug 09, 2002 (10:53 am)
Q4 was a very noisy engine. The Ecotec in our 02 Alero is a dream in comparison. GM finally made a good four banger!
Aug 11, 2002 (6:52 am)
still having a chain driven water pump.Check out the new 4.2L I6 belt driven water pump & a 4 & 5 cylinder to come.
#1512 of 2588 you have helped!
Aug 11, 2002 (8:40 pm)
In Feb. '02, my husband and I bought a '99 Grand Am. It is "my" car, since he has a '93 GA and I was driving an '88 Accord. I wanted another Honda, but his car had 180,000 miles on it with a few minor repairs, so I decided for the price and his car's track record to go American.
Since Feb. I have driven from Ohio to WV and back on three different weekends. We have also taken a week to drive through WV, Va, NC and back. The car has 54.000 miles on it. I also drive 60 miles a day roundtrip to work, so it gets a good workout.
During the past 5 months, the car has needed front brakes, back tires, a water pump, timing chain, and now it's at the dealer's for an alternator.
I stumbled upon this website in a desperate need to know that we didn't buy a lemon! I have spent the entire weekend reading all 1479 posts...THANK YOU for sharing what you have---it truly puts my mind at ease to know that it's not just my car. I absolutely love it when it's not in the shop, but it is getting a bit aggravating having it there every two weeks. I look forward to keep being "educated" on what to look out for and what to expect/plan for with GA's here...thanks again!
#1513 of 2588 Re: key getting stuck in ignition
Aug 13, 2002 (8:53 pm)
Nikkiknight, there is a cheap and easy solution to the problem of your key getting stuck in the ignition. (I have a 96 Grand Am which I got used back in 99, which gave me the same problem after a few months of ownership.) On the bottom side of the steering column is a small panel, about 1 inch by 1.5 inches. Pop it off with a flathead screwdriver. The next time you put the car into park and the key won't come out, simply stick your finger into the hole where the panel used to be, and then push the little cylinder inside of it. As you press it with a finger on your left hand, you should be able to remove the key with your right hand. Make sure that you are in park when you do this, of course. I almost always use my parking brake anyway (and it seems to help keep the rear drums adjusted and cleaned, allowing them to do their fair share of braking work while keeping your front rotors from warping too prematurely... I wish I had found out about this sooner! BTW, the key gets stuck less because I'm using my parking brake. I'm not sure why, though. Maybe someone else here does.).