Last post on May 21, 2013 at 9:27 PM
You are in the Pontiac Grand Am
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Pontiac Grand Am, Sedan
#426 of 2589 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine, & salvage car
Aug 30, 2000 (11:36 pm)
We have an opportunity to purchase a 1998 Pontiac Grand Am GT, it has a 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine, 2000 original miles, It is sharp, looks and smells like new. The damage from the accident entailed replacing the driver side door and front fender. The owner buys cars that are repairable and fixes them and sells them, he is licensed. This car is his 17 yr old daughters but she says she is selling it to get a truck to haul her horses.
They have said that when it rains the digital radio lettering gets deformed but otherwise works ok.
Now to my question; I have heard from a friend that is a mechanic that the 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine is junk and that he hasn't heard anything good about it. Also since this car is considered a salvage car , 2000 miles, would this be a good deal? I am a little concerned after reading about electrical problems with other Grand Ams that the radio may indicate the same kind of problem in this car. Would replacing the CD/ Radio solve the problem? Also at 2000 miles this car is quiet but we live on a gravel road, how long before we hear some of the noises many of you have complained about. Is there any Grand Am owners out there that love their cars? Your input would be really appreciated concerning this car. Our daughter is in college so she can't afford much more than $8000 but we do not want more trouble than it's worth. Also are these cars hard to work on yourself? Thanks for all the advice.
#427 of 2589 To cgus
Aug 31, 2000 (1:52 am)
My finacee and I own a 99 GA with 37,000 miles on it. We bought it used from a rental place through a dealers program i.e. program car. There were many interior issues that we had to deal with:
1) New carpet due to shrinking (free)
2) New interior door panels due to bubbling (free)
3) Spoiler drained and drain holes put it (free)
4) New Windows due to scratching from misaligned door panels (free)
5) New Radio because old one had funny display (free)
The dealer stated that these were all free because of remaining warranty and that should have been fixed previously, but the rental company ignored the notices. The car has never let us down and has ran and preformed wonderfully. I hope that this helps you make a decision. Nerss
#428 of 2589 Dear cgus
Aug 31, 2000 (1:17 pm)
I own a 1999 GA V6, I also bough it from a rental place through a dealer. The only problem I had with it so far, is that the radio knop wouldn't turn up the volume, replaced radio - free. The grand am's are hard on brakes. I do not know what car isn't but I currently have 60000km not miles, about 37500 miles and I have to replace the rotors, they have been turned 2 times so far. A few people in the company that have company cars, there GA also have lots of brake problems. Its not the pads, its the rotors. So make sure that when you change your rotors get good ones.
Other than that,the car is great. Love it. Everything about it.
my 2 cents
Sep 01, 2000 (1:03 am)
You didn't say how much the car is selling for, but you mentioned $8,000. If that's the price, it sounds like a good deal as long as the damage was superficial only.
I was under the impression that GT's were only available with the V6 in 98. Better check it out. It wouldn't be the first time someone re-badged a salvage to get the price up.
Personally, I prefer the V6 because it's stronger and less noisy than the 4, and the gas mileage is about the same. As far as the reliability, by 95 the Quad 4 was much improved. It is imperative to keep the oil changed and topped up, as it is in any twin overhead cam. I have a 95 with a 4, and a 99 with a V6. The 95 hasn't had any engine problems in 58,000 miles, but I do keep it well maintained with 3,000 mile oil changes.
Be advised that front brakes are a problem, and usually require frequent service. Than can be much improved with aftermarket parts, and GM is now replacing them for free in most cases.
I love the 99, no doubt about it. I havn't had any problems in 35,000 miles. Front brakes have been done twice, last time the rotors were turned and next time I'm replacing them with high performance cross drilled ones and titanium pads.
Sep 01, 2000 (1:08 am)
cgus, I just looked at the Edmunds used car site and the 4 cyl was the standard engine for the 98 GT, so disregard my statement above.
#431 of 2589 Re: fan noise
Sep 04, 2000 (2:18 pm)
On Mon 21 Aug '00 (08:26 AM) it was written:
> On my 1999 Grand Am GT, I've also noticed
> that the vent fan has begun to sound
> louder, with a whirling/whining type
> I've had stuff like leaves stuck in a
> vent before...
And leaves, pinestraw, etc. is exactly it is. These can be stuck or wrapped around the "squirrel-cage" type fan slats.
It is easy to clean. One way is to remove the glovebox. Make sure you have the freshair mode is selected (whatever it is called) so that the intake is opened to the outside vent. Manually turn the squirrel-cage until you have found all the pinestraw and leaf debris.
Another way to clean this is to remove the outside wiper arm black plastic shield base. This is a long piece of plastic that goes from one wiper shaft to the other. Remove it to expose the entire water tray which is above the intake vent.
Note the intake vent does NOT have any type of protection or debris guard. The wiper shaft holes do, but the protection has rather large webbing. Pine straw can very easily go through.
Removing the glove box is the easiest way and you can have a nicely running fan in just a few minutes.
Sep 04, 2000 (2:52 pm)
Remove the glove box and wiper arm shield base? How, by chance, is this accomplished?
Sep 05, 2000 (4:16 am)
You are wise to be concerned Cgus. I wouldn't do it. As good a deal as it seems, a car that has been in an accident is usually a risky proposition at best, especially one, no offense GA fans, which has a less than stellar reliability record to begin with.
It's unlikely the accident was minor either. They don't normally issue salvage titles for 2,000 mile cars involved in minor fender benders. Most states have statutes which specify when a car is to be given a salvage title.
It could have been given a nice big kiss by a Lincoln Navigator driven by a pissed off soccer mom, knocking that clock out of wack, and the suspension, and the unibody, and other things.
Plus, check with GM. See if the warranty will follow the car given it has a salvage title. There's a good chance it may not. If not, the thing could turn into a major money pit.
For $8g, you can pick up a pretty good, average mileage Accord or Camry from the early 1990s.
#434 of 2589 To Rich310
Sep 09, 2000 (7:52 am)
To help you decide, if you haven't already, between the Grand AM and the Olds Alero let me point out some differences between them that I found in my vast search for a new car. The Alero and the Grand AM are basically sister cars, but I found that the Alero seems to offer less for more money than the Grand AM. The Grand AM interior can be had in very dark grey (nearly black)and the Alero only comes in light grey(if you want tan it is available in both). All Grand AM models come standard with fog-lights and rear-cornering lights. Also, I believe that only the Grand AM is available with the great monsoon stereo and steering-wheel radio controls. While the Olds seemed more comfortable only in front-passenger legroom than the Grand AM the driver's seat and rear seemed identical in the two cars. The bodyside moldings on the Grand AM are thicker and more extensive(especially on the GT) than the Aleros, which should make door dings and dents almost non-existent. The vents (circular)on the new Grand AM are also great and can be adjusted to an infinite number of positions. The dash on the Alero seems more conservative (yawn) while the Grand AM's screams "UNIQUE" (if you can handle the big pods). Also the Grand AM's red backlighting also was different (AUDIESQUE). So I guess if you can live with a bit of sportiness and the pods (my wife hates them) not to mention a item for item price difference in favor of the Grand AM and without the added prestige that comes with Oldsmobile over Pontiac the Grand AM should be a clear choice.
#435 of 2589 To rich310
Sep 09, 2000 (8:05 am)
p.s.I can only say V-6 is the way to go. It gets similiar gas mileage and is a lot faster and should be more reliable in the long run. Needless to say you will get a much better trade-in or resale value in the future.