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NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems

2002 Pontiac Grand Am (Page 1 of 2) Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,303 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Pontiac Grand Am engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

May 012014

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


When it rains, at take off the car stalls and will not run until it dries out. This has been going on for a year or more. I have almost been hit from behind several times as drivers behind me think I am going and the call stalls. One time my husband was driving on the expressway at 70 and the car shut down. Most time it seems to be when coming to a stop then taking off it stalls. The car will start then as soon as you hit the gas or put it in gear it shuts down. My daughter has a 2003 Alero that does the same thing. This is very dangerous and we have seen multiple posts online about this and nothing is being done. My husband took it to the car wash and it starting acting up so he decided to try to get it to an automotive, it barely made it there. The repair facility had it for 10 days and could not figure out what was causing it. I guess if I get killed then maybe there will be an investigation and something will be done. I guess here is my proof I filed a complaint in case I die.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #25

Feb 122009

Grand Am

  • miles
After having the 2nd catalytic converter in 2 yrs put on the electrical went haywire. The ABS, trac off & service engine lights come & stay on for no apparent reason. I've had it serviced and nobody knows why this is happening. I had the brakes inspected and given a clean bill of health so to speak & yet at random times I have no brakes even after having them inspected by professionals. The car now overheats due to the dex cool I was told to use because it ate thru the cheap gaskets put on by the dealership which they will not cover. The blinkers have a mind of their own and only work during the daylight hours, I've had those checked & new ones installed as well and they still only work in the daytime and finally the plastic window clips on the passenger side(both) break constantly. I've had everything replaced even he engine! this car has cost me over 20,000.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #24

Jul 062011

Grand Am

  • miles
My complaint is with the lower manifold intake gasket leaking. I have a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am SE. I purchased this vehicle new. The lower manifold gasket has had to be replaced 3 times on this vehicle. At 54,566 miles, - $1000 140,735- $1200 and 169,750 miles $1500.

- Shakopee, MN, USA

problem #23

Jun 012004

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • 19,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact stated that the engine on his vehicle, at times, will not start. The owner stated this is a safety issue due to not being able to move his vehicle if needed. The weather or the temperature of the engine makes no difference. The vehicle was taken to a dealer but they cannot diagnose they failure. The failure mileage 19,000. The current mileage was 39,653. Updated 11/03/10. Updated 12/22/10 the consumer stated the problem was the passlock security was defective which caused the vehicle not to start. Updated 12/30/10

- Burton , MI, USA

problem #22

Nov 092009

Grand Am

  • miles
2002 Pontiac Grand Am SE - intact manifold gasket leaking. I have had this repaired twice in 2 yrs. I am being told that the gasket is faulty and GM is aware of this but they refuse to do anything about it. I have also seen articles stating that there is a law suit pending in the us and Canada. I have spent approx. $800 to repair this problem.

- Nicholasville, KY, USA

problem #21

Nov 112009

Grand Am

  • miles
2002 Pontiac Grand Am 2.2 engine will crank but will not fire. Security light is on. Will not start on several occasions. Believed to be ignition switch/theft protection issue. Cannot rely on car to start.

- Leitchfield, KY, USA

problem #20

Sep 072009

Grand Am

  • 75,000 miles


On my 2002 Pontiac Grand Am the timing chain failed in the 2.2L ecotec engine at 75000 miles. When the timing chain failed there was no warning and the car stalled suddenly and could not be restarted. I was able to coast the car into a parking lot and later have the car towed to a Pontiac dealer. The dealership has advised that the engine is ruined and needs to be replaced. I have found a great deal of information on the 2.2L ecotec engine online and this appears to be a common problem with 2002 and 2003 models of this engine. GM is aware of the problem and has issued a service bulletin to replace the timing chain oilier nozzle on these engines but GM has not 'recalled' the engine. Had we been on a busy highway this would have been a very dangerous situation.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #19

Mar 012007

Grand Am

  • miles
I have a 2002 Grand Am GT. I drove it off the lot new with 34 miles on it. I have had nothing but problems with this vehicle. The low oil sensor has been replaced 3 times. The gasket intake valves were leaking causing my lifters to melt together. I had to have the lifters replaced in the engine at 70,000 miles. Being that my salesman worked with me, all I had to pay was the cost of labor. That was still $1000. At 81,000 I had to have a new catalytic converter put in. One year later I have been told that I need another new catalytic converter. I have also had trouble with the blinkers and brake lights as others have written. My security light has also just started coming on. I have had nothing but GM vehicles up to this point, as have the rest of my family. I even had family that worked for GM. I had a Grand Prix before this, and it was great. However, I will never, ever, buy another GM vehicle for as long as I live. They do not produce a product that they will stand behind. No wonder they need a bailout!

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #18

Aug 012008

Grand Am

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact heard a noise coming from the hood. She took the vehicle to the dealer and was informed that the failure was due to a cracked oil cap, which caused the oil to evaporate. The contact stated that the oil pressure light did not illuminate on the instrument panel. The driver side window was also defective. The dealer replaced the hook three times. The manufacturer took a report; however, they did not offer to assist with the repair. The failure and current mileages were 100,000.

- New Springfield, OH, USA

problem #17

Jan 232008

Grand Am

  • 85,000 miles
I went to start my 2002 Pontiac Grand Am and it wouldn't turn over, just a very high speed spinning noise. The day prior there had been a rattle during start up. I had the car towed to the dealership where I bought it. They checked it and the timing chain had broken. They told me that it was an interference engine, and as a result there was valve and cylinder damage. They had to rebuild the engine almost completely as a result. This was at approximately 85,000 km.

- Sidney, 00, USA

problem #16

Feb 282008

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles


Lower intake manifold gasket replace for leakage 5/06 water pump replaced for leakage 9/06 power steering rack and pinion replaced for leaking 2/08 multifunction switch still malfunctioning all work performed at dealership and records have been retained. All maintenance on car is up to date with records to validate.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #15

May 162007

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I am the original owner of a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am - four door vehicle. It currently has approximately 40,000 miles. All four tires leaked air and I needed to constantly to check and fill all four tires. They seemed to leak a random paces losing air at different rates. I have had multiple problems with this vehicle, including noise from the tires shortly after purchase. The dealership agreed to replace two of the tires per some service bulletin but once they were rotated, the noise started up again. Also, had problems with my windshield wipers remaining on when utilizing mist for up to 25 swipes. The wipers also stop in the middle of the windshield when using mist or the intermittent option. The electric door locks and window buttons only worked on occasion other than those on the drivers side. At approximately 33,000 miles while having a routine oil change, a valve had to be replaced due to antifreeze/oil leaking with the potential of burning out the engine. Clearly this has been just one problem after another. Am completely disappointed in Pontiac. This was my first (and last) Pontiac purchase due to the number of issues with the car. The intent at purchase was that this vehicle could then be passed to my teenage daughter who will begin driving this year, knowing that I have maintained the car and it has low mileage. At his point, I am concerned for her safety.

- North Canton, OH, USA

problem #14

Feb 152007

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles
Everything electrical would turn on in the car except the engine. The engine will not turn over at all. The battery is fully charged and all diagnostic tests came back ok. I don't want to see anyone stranded in this vehicle because of something that is obviously warped.

- Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #13

Nov 072006

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,218 miles
GM 3.4 liter engine intake gasket failure. This is my second vehicle with this motor that has had the intake gasket fail.

- Bellevue, NE, USA

problem #12

Sep 152006

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,700 miles
My 2002 Pontiac Grand Am has an oil leak in intake manifold and front crank seal. The car is less than 4 years with 66000 miles. I have had alot of problems with this car since I bought it new. I understand this is a constant problem with this car 3.4 engine. Why isn't anything being done about this? I had a 1997 gran am and put 140000 miles on it with no problem. The tech's say they used cheap gaskets on this car. I don't think thjis car will make 140000 miles without a major failure.and GM wonders why they are losing sales to Japanese car makers. My next car will not be GM and this is after owning nothing but GM cars for 40 years!!!!!

- Laurel, DE, USA

problem #11

Apr 302006

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,937 miles
I went to have my oil changed and car maintenance and the tech said that I have oil in my radiator. I was extremely shocked by this and he said that it could be a leaking gasket or worse that I should take it to a dealership right away. I took it to a local GM dealership and they took it in and the gaskets were leaking on my 2002 Pontiac Grand Am GT with only 56000 miles at the time. I had never heard of such a thing on such a low mileage car and well maintained. I knew I had to get it fixed so they fixed it GM said that they would pay 50% of the repair costs. I have further researched my car and the orange antifreeze and issues many others have had with this anti-freeze and how it eats gaskets and causes many other problems. GM does not want to admit to this and they are continuing to use this product even after all the findings. My brother has endure this same issue in his truck he has since replaced his gaskets and now is using only green anti freeze. I now have since found out that I have a wheel bearing going in my car. What is going on with these cheap parts. This could be a hazard. I am waiting for my refund from the repairs of the gaskets so I can turn around and repair the wheel bearings all the while I am still making car payments.

- Ocala, FM, USA

problem #10

May 292006

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles
First, the car began with overheating. I had to continually replace the coolant to keep the car from overheating. It would not leak out of the car. Upon visual inspection the leak from the coolant did not leak out of the vehicle. The vehicle finally failed after driving. The temperature gauge reached a high level and the vehicle shut off. The vehicle was clearly overheated with again the coolant levels low. Was repair began, it was found that the all the gaskets within the engine had blown. This caused water and coolant to leak into the engine. Causing the engine to work more due to the build up and causing overheating. This also caused the water to leak out of the intake manifold. Finally a build needed to be flushed out of all the hoses and engine itself. A build up mixture of water and oil.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #9

Nov 232004

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I purchased a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am SE brand new. I began having trouble with it starting at 36,400 miles, the security light would come on, and car would not start. I called the dealership and because it was off warranty, they were not willing to help (although they had been very helpful during the sale). I took it to a small repair shop, and they thought that the problem was caused by a remote start system that I had installed at a dealership. Removed the remote start, but continued to have problems with it starting, and the security light coming on (if I kept the ignition on for 10 minutes it would reset). At 44,000 miles, while sitting in my driveway warming up the engine died. I had it towed to a local dealership where they found that the timing chain had broken and completely destroyed the engine. I called the dealership that I had purchased the vehicle from, and they refused to do anything about it. After much effort, they finally said that they might consider a "goodwill" warranty if I could provide receipts for all of my oil changes. Since these were done at home, I did not have receipts. I am still making payments on this car and feel that because it was a catastrophic incident that the dealership should have been willing to help me replace the engine in the car. The vehicle only had 44,000 miles on it, and it is sitting in my driveway dead. Anybody that looks at the car will know that I loved my Grand Am. Because I did not have the money to replace the engine (they wanted $3000) I ended up buying a 1995 Jeep Cherokee with 225,000 miles on it, this vehicle starts and runs everyday!!! it is very sad that General Motors cannot take a few lessons from Jeep in how to build a reliable product. Up until the day that I called the dealership with a car that would not start at 36,400 miles, I raved about what a terrific place they had been to deal with. 400 miles off warranty...they did not even know my name.

- Brooktondale, NY, USA

problem #8

Feb 012005

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
Coolant leak - internally.... blew head gasket. Car brand new!! service records indicating that car was 100% properly maintained by owner. Service department at perruzzi Pontiac in langhorne, pa. Is keeping a tight blindfold on this known defect in this car and all other Grand Am GT 2002 models that have reported the same problems.

- Bristol, PA, USA

problem #7

Apr 092002

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,900 miles
Intermittently vehicle will not start. Vehicle was taken to the dealer on numerous occasions, and no defects were found. Manufacturer stated they will make contact with the dealer vehicle was serviced when the dealer found the same defect two years ago, and currently the problem recurred.

- Halifax, VA, USA

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