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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
100,934 miles
Total Complaints:
14 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace intake manifold gaskets (5 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
  3. replace intake manifold (3 reports)
  4. replace compressor, radiator, rad hoses (1 reports)
  5. replace plastic intake manifold gasket (1 reports)
2001 Pontiac Grand Am cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2001 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments

problem #14

Mar 302010

Grand Am 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,197 miles


Again the intake manifold is leaking. 5 1/2 years later and 93,000 miles later. I had the same mechanic (fixed it 2004) work on this problem. I am not happy about the same thing leaking every so many years.

- , Pinole, CA, USA

problem #13

Dec 292004

Grand Am 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,550 miles

I originally took the car into the dealer with the complaint that the thermostat dropped to zero on my way to work and all the way back home. That was about 60 miles round trip. I took the car about 2 pm and by 5:30 pm they are calling stating there is a leak in the intake manifold and needs to be fixed and I needed an oil change. When I asked how much the cost would be, I was given the estimation of $1100. I told the service rep that I would not have it fixed right now and I would be there in about 15 minutes to pick up my car. He tried to argue with me, stating that they had already drained the oil in the car and they had not completed the oil change. I told him that's fine just put the dirty oil back in the car but I will be there in about 15 minutes. He was very unhappy with me, and when I showed up my car was still not ready. Again he tried to tell me how unsafe the car was to drive. I told him I would take of it. I know this mechanic and told him, he told me to bring the paperwork from Pontiac to him to read. I left my car with him and he replaced the intake manifold gaskets, valve cover gaskets, and oil pressure guide. And changed the oil.

- , Pinole, CA, USA

problem #12

Sep 112012

Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,340 miles

I am a student on a set income and still owe on the car. I cannot believe all of the complaints with the same problem that is up in Canada to. Overheating and losing coolant. I think GM decided to find something to have individuals to purchase new cars when their cars hit the five year old mark because of the coolant the company decided to use in their vehicles. I am going back to my Chryslers. My La Baron lasted 20 years with around 200,000 miles before it decided to die on me.

- , Fostoria, OH, USA

problem #11

Apr 072010

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,050 miles


my low coolant light is always coming on and going back off. i have had it in the shop several times and all they tell me is "its a leak but we can't locate it so we will fill your coolant back up and wait for it to get worse" THANKS!!!

- , Marion, IN, USA

problem #10

Oct 292011

Grand Am SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

My girlfriend bought a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am around October 2008. I told her not to buy the DAMN CAR but she was in a rush to replace her Plymouth Voyager, which was a piece of $#!+ too. It actually ran great until this year. We have both put way too much money in this car, and like complaints on here our Grand Am is having the same problems. I'm all for a class action lawsuit seriously!!! I can't afford to fix it right now and if GM knew about this they should have recalled these STUPID ASS CARS and take DEX-NOT-SO-COOL off the shelf!!!

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #9

Dec 082010

Grand Am SE 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I have a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am SE Coup that has a class III coolant leak. I've replace the thermostat and It's still leaking. I have to add coolant daily. I've read that this has been a problem with GM and Ford vehicle due mainly to the use of plastic parts instead of aluminum.

- , Killeen, TX, USA

problem #8

Dec 102009

Grand Am GT

  • 110,000 miles


This has been going on for over a year. Many, many trips back to the shop, several parts replaced, still not functioning properly. Smoke tested for gasket leak but that came back fine. I am still thinking that is the problem because we have spent lots of money replacing water pumps, coolant, temp gauges, etc. to no avail!!!!

- , Wallkill, NY, USA

problem #7

Sep 082009

Grand Am GT 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Bought a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am GT with 46,000 miles on it. Now at 75K with moderate driving the intake gaskets are leaking. I'm told it will cost $8-900 to fix. Now thanks to a little research on my part (Auto Beef and other sites) I'm realizing that too many others have had this problem and had no recourse. Was there really a class action lawsuit that was thrown out? Are you kidding?!!! This was a defect from the start. If I pay to get this repaired(I don't have a choice. I still owe on the car), how long will it be before I have to do it again?!!! I can't afford this piece of sh*t. No wonder GM has gone under, and the government bailed them out, did they? Who's going to bail me out of this repair cost? By the way, I replaced the pass lock sensor as well, another common complaint and also the driver's side front wheel bearings TWICE! This is bullshit. Can anyone give me any good news? Is there anything I can do? I'm through with American crap. They should have let them all go under.

- , Long Eddy, NY, USA

problem #6

Nov 222008

Grand Am GT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

I bought this car from a "certified gm dealership" and I have had nothing but problems with this piece of sh*t car. Within a matter of months, I had to replace both tie rods, the windshield wiper arms, and the head gaskets. The head gaskets were actually melted. Within about 6 months I ended up having to replace the torque converter. Let's see, less than a year later, the fuel pump went followed by the air conditioner. Now I am being told that the catalytic converter is gone and I have a leak in the intake manifold that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. I really don't want to ever purchase another Pontiac as long as I live. I would rather ride my bike than deal with this car again.

- , Browns Mills, NJ, USA

problem #5

Jan 082007

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I have had to have the intake manifold gasket replaced twice in my car. The first time I had reported a leak BEFORE my warranty ran out. After my warranty ran out and it had been in the shop a couple of times, they figured out it was the gasket. Thankfully, after a bit of crying and frustration on my part - they covered under a warranty. I had to pay a deductible of $200.00. Imagine my frustration - when it happened AGAIN a few years later and this time - no dice - I was stuck with the bill of $900 some dollars. I bought this car new so that I could have a reliable car. This car has been in the shop more than probably all my other cars combined and they were all used. I have had numerous electrical problems - the doors unlocked WHILE I was driving!?!. I have a dome light that STAYS on, a heater/AC that blows only on 3 (not 1 or 2), a cd player that won't play cds, I have replaced or repaired two windows, one - twice, a turn signal that is TWICE as fast as the other, a dash that is pulling away from everything, brake rotors that have to be machined most everytime the brakes are replaced, and a crunching noise on the passenger side when I take a bump that no one can find. If I lived close enough and it were feasible - I would WALK or ride my bike to work - This is ridiculous!

- , Hampton, VA, USA

problem #4

Feb 012008

Grand Am GT 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


I initially discovered this problem in the winter when I got into the car on a very cold day. Enough coolant had been consumed by the engine that the level had dropped to the point that the low coolant light came on when I started the car. I let it run for a couple of minutes to see if it would expand enough to hit the sensor and turn the light off and it did (I was no where close to buy more coolant to top it up). I drove it home and bought some famous "Dexcool" and whipped up a batch of 50/50 to top up the surge tank. At that time, I thought I had solved the problem.

A couple of weeks later the light came on again and basically I went through the same drill. I confirmed that there were no puddles of coolant on the floor in my garage or in my parking spot at work and both were dry. At that point, I had no idea about the infamous intake manifold and gasket problem with these engines, but after extensive research on the internet (a lot from this website), I was steered in the right direction. In June, the coolant consumption was getting worse and the car started to run hotter than usual, so I had to carry out the repairs. I did not get decent information or answers from several local GM dealers, so I took it to a local independent shop which is owned and operated by an ex GM mechanic with many many years of GM experience. He said that he had repaired a very large amount of engines with this exact problem. There are websites that state that this only affects the 3.1, 3.4, 3.8 and 4.3 L V6 engines, however I was told that it even affects some of the larger V8 engines such as the 350 (5.7L), etc. It may be wise to do some homework if you have a GM between 1995 and 2003 to see if your engine is affected regardless of the model. Dexcool seems to be getting a lot of the blame for these issues as it is an organic acidic formula that is meant to reduce corrosion to the inside of the aluminum components of your cooling system (heater core, radiator, w/p, etc). Care should be taken to ensure that the formula does not become too acidic and start to erode internal sealing surfaces. Varying time and mileage is being given by people who are experiencing issues. I decided to flush out the Dexcool completely and go back to the green type that has always been used in the past. It is also important to note that GM had released a Service Bulletin which not only mentioned changing the Intake Manifold Gaskets but also the studs which fasten the manifold to the engine as well. In addition to that, they also recommended a higher torque (from 11 ft-lbs to 18 ft-lbs - from memory - this should be confirmed), but this difference seemed like quite a blunder to me to recommend nearly twice the torque that was originally specified.

When I saw how large the problem was regarding how many engines and vehicle models this affected, it prompted me to research it further where I came across a website stating that there was a class action suit pending this case in the US as well as one in Canada. The Canadian website is: http://www.gmcanadianclassaction.ca/forms/form.html where you can enter all of your relevant information if you would like to join the long list of plaintiffs.

The Repair:

I had my local independent expert GM mechanic replace the intake manifold gaskets with a Felpro intake manifold gasket kit. He told me that he observed that they seemed to be slightly thicker than the OEM Genuine gaskets, so hopefully they will be a permanent fix (or at least last longer than the original ones did). He changed the thermostat while he was in that far and I had him flush all of the Dexcool out of the system and replace it with green coolant (OEM GM coolant was used in this case). As this problem can cause coolant to leak into your oil system, an oil change is required to ensure that clean and pure oil is put back in your system to avoid severe and even catastrophic damage to your bearings and other contact surfaces in your engine. Some engines have a plastic intake manifold that can get burned spots and require replacement. On this particular Grand Am GT, the intake manifold is aluminum and did not require replacement. The total bill was $1005 CAD which is hard to take especially after I had just had to replace the security key sensor 2 weeks earlier (also another huge issue with GM vehicles) to the tune of $800 CAD and the front brakes the week before that.

I have always been a GM fan (cars and trucks), but this car has been a real money pit and I have run out of reasons to not go with a foreign car. The North American vehicle manufacturers have a lot of catching up to do and hopefully they can before it's too late. I firmly believe that GM should offer some sort of compensation to its loyal customers for this issue. Typical warranty statements mention something to the effect of your equipment being free from material defects or workmanship for a certain period of time. These gaskets and the material are not free from defects especially when used in conjunction with a questionable coolant formula and a torque spec that was too low from the start. It will cost a lot of money to make this right, but that is the cost of doing business and I'm sure that most of GM's "victims" would be happy to get even a portion of their hard earned money back that they had to pay to correct a problem that should have never been an issue right off the drawing board.

- , Okotoks, Alberta, Canada

problem #3

Jan 082008

Grand Am Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

leaking coolant on driveway. intake manifold shot I was told that this is at least a 500 dollar fix but that it is very labor intensive and I don't like it when people start taking my car apart.

- , Northeast, OH, USA

problem #2

Mar 072007

Grand Am SE 1 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,933 miles

On 03/01/06 I took my car to the authorized dealer to have my brakes checked. My mistake. The car was no longer under warranty. I could have taken the car anywhere for repair. I was told that I need new brakes and rotors. I had them replaced. When I went to pick up my car I was informed by the dealer that I had a leak. I was told that it was a high pressure steering hose. They would have to order it. I told the dealer to order the hose and I would bring my car back to them when they had the hose which would only take two days to get the part. When I returned to the dealer they kept my car for two days. When I called to check up on my car they told me that there was nothing leaking and I could come and get my car. Couple of days later I noticed fluid under my car. I was not going to take it back to the same dealer. I took my car to another very qualified mechanic only to find that I had an oil leak that was mixing oil with coolant. This would have ruined my engine if I did not get it repaired. The high pressure steering hose was also leaking. I was told by my mechanic that this problem with the engine leak was common on the 2001 model only. It was the intake manifold. It was a defect and I should contact General Motors and officially complain about this problem. In order to fix the car correctly the engine had to be slightly modified. Now the car is fine. GM did not want to here it. As far as they were concerned this was not an issue and it was not their problem. Too bad this didn't happen while the car was under warranty.

- , Bronx, New York, USA

problem #1

Oct 112007

(reported on)

Grand Am SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I have been a long time Pontiac customer, but not after I get rid of this piece of junk Grand Am. First off, I had to have $16000 worth of warranty work done on the car in the first 2 years (thankfully I had an extended warranty). Then, approximately 1 year ago, apparently I hit one of those concrete curbs that are at the front of most parking stalls. The stupid cowling at the front of the car scraped against the curb which moved the radiator, condenser and heaven only knows what else. The air conditioner immediately stopped working. The GM dealership told me it would cost about $800 to fix which I couldn't afford, so I left it and just did without the air conditioner. Then last month, the car started leaking engine coolant like crazy so I took it in and $250 later was assured it was fixed. The next day, coolant was once again all over the driveway, and I was told it would cost at least another $900 to replace the rad, condenser etc.

This car just seems to have so many design flaws that cost so much money to repair (anybody else have problems with the lower engine cowl?). Goodbye GM, my money is heading towards an import.

- , Chilliack, BC, Canada

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