Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

Head Gasket Failure

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

9.6

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,491.00
Average Mileage:
112,539 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace head gasket (5 reports)
  2. not sure (3 reports)
  3. replace head gaskets (2 reports)
2001 Pontiac Grand Am engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments

problem #10

Oct 082014

Grand Am GT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

This Pontiac car seems to in general have a problem with the engine and coolant system. Coolant leaks and as a result the engine gets hot. GM should really fix these issues because the problem is so common.

- , Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 172013

Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

My car would intermittently just spew coolant out of the overflow, all while reading 200 degrees on the temp gauge. Then complain that the coolant was low. I took it to the dealership and found the head gaskets were leaking on the exhaust side, which allowed exhaust fumes into the coolant. This condition increased the pressure past the 15psi and thus triggering the overflow.

The cause of the problem is three fold:

* First, is dexacool. The dexacool changes chemical composure over time, and eventually starts eating away at the head & intake gaskets.

* Second, owners are not following the mfg recommended maintenance. The manual calls for a coolant flush at 5 years or 100,000 miles.

* Lastly, the gaskets used by GM during manufacturing are thin and cheaply made. The felpro replacement gaskets are much better.

All in all, a $1200 repair give or take. Add another $450 if you count the rental car for 2 weeks. I had mine professionally done, which included sending the heads to a machine shop to be milled and included new valve springs.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #8

Dec 012010

Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

DON'T BE FOOLED BY MY FIX PRICE OF $300,I FIXED IT MYSELF FOR $300 IN PARTS.

WIFE WAS DRIVING HOME AND CAR OVERHEATED.SHE SHUT IT DOWN RIGHT AWAY AND CALLED ME.I TOLD HER TO START IT UP AND SEE IF THERE WAS WHITE SMOKE COMING OUT OF EXHAUST AND SHE COMFIRMED.WE DROVE IT 1 MILE TO GET OFF FREEWAY AND HAD IT TOWED.MY REPAIRMAN COMFIRMED IT WAS A HEAD GASKET AND QUOTED ME 1500 TO REPAIR.LUCKLY WE ONLY WENT 1 MILE BECAUSE ANTIFREEZE WENT INTO THE ENGINE BUT THE CAM BEARINGS WEREN'T HURT.CAR WASN'T WORTH MUCH MORE THAN THAT SO I DECIDED TO DO IT MYSELF.AFTER TEARING DOWN I SAW THAT THE HEAD GASKET ON ONE CYLINDER WAS OBLONGED WHICH I SUSPECT WAS A FACTORY DEFECTIVE GASKET..I GOT LUCKY,BECAUSE IT WAS ONLY A BLOWN HEAD GASKET AND NOT A INTAKE MANIFOLD GASKET. THATS ANOTHER INCIDENT THAT HAPPENED TO MY 97 GRAND AM.

- , Kasson, MN, USA

problem #7

Nov 172010

Grand Am SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,335 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

First Happened on November 17th 2010 we have paid $900 cash and was resolved for 1 week then it happened again and again and again for about 8 times the symptoms are battery light turns on then the car starts to heat to about 290 degrees then the power steering shuts down causing the check engine and coolant light to come on then the car makes a loud bang almost like a tire exploded causing the engine to shut down multiple times then the coolant escapes thru the head gasket causing the car to finally shut down for good.also theres a sweet smell before the incident in the ac vents so the inside of the car smells sweet and heavy with chemicals thats how i know its going to happen

- , Lehigh Acres, FL, USA

problem #6

Dec 182010

Grand Am GT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,855 miles

The low coolant light began to come on over a year ago, and I brought in the car to be fixed. The mechanic said that the problem was a leak where the coolant was entering the engine at the manifold. I had it fixed for over $1000.

Just a couple days ago I started to smell something burning so I brought the car into the mechanic. He said the issue was the head gasket and it needed to be fixed for $1700. He also said it was a common problem for this car. This is ridiculous that a common problem would not be covered by the manufacturer. Is it worth fixing this car?

If anyone filed a lawsuit or has had success in having these expenses covered, then please contact me.

- , Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #5

Nov 012010

Grand Am GT v6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

i have only owned gm products but i have had it with them. this is my second owned gm product to do this i have rebuilt the heads one time and now

I'm having to do it the second time and im stuck with this car due to im still paying on it and due to if i go to trade it in the thing with the heads blown if they could get this problem fixed i would think about buying another one now thinking about a ford will check my next car out b4 buying

- , Greenville, SC, USA

problem #4

Jul 112008

Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

So, is there a permanent fix to this problem? I have had the same overheating problems and now I have a blown head gasket. I was quoted 2200 to fix it, which I think may be a little too pricey for the fix now. If I replace it, should I expect it to go out again. How can we permanently fix this problem. I wish I had read these reviews before purchase. I still owe on this car.

The car had been overheating. NO apparent leak, but the coolant kept needing refilled every 3-4 weeks. Then a few days ago, the car was overheating about every mile so apparently the head gasket was blown. Should I just replace the engine?

- , Winter Haven, FL, USA

problem #3

Aug 242007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,200 miles

Typical intake gaskets leaks due to Dexcool coolant crap! I've had the car 2 years. Replaced intakes gaskets in early 2006. Replaced again a month later. This month just replaced again along with cracked head. I'm out over 3k because of this f'n stuff. This is my 3rd Grand Am I have had. This one has gave me more issues the double what the other two gave me. I 'm a big GM fan (mainly Chevy stuff) but this really burns me. No wonder GM has been having financial troubles.

- , Platte City, MO, USA

problem #2

Feb 142007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT 3.2 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

Wow horrible to see I'm not the only one this problem. I'm twenty and at first my dad told me i ruined the car. Car dumps coolant into my oil and on the ground. Car smokes thick white gas. Can't believe they sell this car they know they can make extra money off of repairs. Car has only 72000 miles. Don't even want to mention the faulty temperature gauge and gas gauge.

- , West Jobm, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jan 092007

(reported on)

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Original owner of a 2001 Grand Am, never missed a service or an oil change, then all of a sudden one day my front end of the car starts to shake. Take it in. thinking that it just could be a faulty plug and then I get the call that there is coolant leaking and it is a head gasket. The dealership has had the car for two weeks, will not supply a courtesy car, I have no bus service to my work location, and the total bill is going to be $2,500.00 plus taxes - Canadian and they want me to pay for a rental as well.

The sad part is that everyone at the service department said to me, oh well, we have had numerous problems with head gaskets in this year of Grand Am. If so, then why was there not a recall on this vehicle. All of my servicing was done through the Pontiac Dealership so why was the leak not caught before this, just had a new battery put in a month prior to.

What normal person has $2,500 to spend in the month of December!!!!! Merry Christmas and yes today is January 9th and my car is finally ready.

I will be writing a letter to GM and I will never purchase another GM product in my life.

- , Delta, BC, Canada

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