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.

Intake Manifold Leaking

2003 Pontiac Grand Am (Page 2 of 3) Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
74,592 miles
Total Complaints:
47 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace intake gasket (19 reports)
  2. not sure (11 reports)
  3. replace the head gaskets (6 reports)
  4. replaced both intake gaskets (5 reports)
  5. replaced gasket (5 reports)
  6. replace the intake manifold gasket and head gasket (1 reports)
2003 Pontiac Grand Am engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

Nov 302008

Grand Am GT1 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles


Well now I know where my coolant is going after reading this web site. I bought this car new in 2004. It has approx 34,000 miles on it now and I have had to add coolant to it one other time. Recently I added coolant about a month ago and today the coolant light was again coming on. My father retired from GM and I have always bought GM vehicles since I was 16. Our $40,000 Chevy venture mini van was replaced by a Suzuki xl7 because of so many problems with various items. Now it looks as though I will be replacing the grand am with a foreign vehicle. If I can't get something fixed as a GM employee family member, I can imagine how frustrating it is for other people. Well GM I've know you since I first got my drivers license and I'm sorry to say I can't rely on GM to provide me with quality products or service no longer. I have a family and we need competent transportation. I was embarrassed to tell my father that has worked hard for GM over many years that I had purchase the Suzuki....but his response was "You probably did the right thing, in fact my next car will not be a GM !!!!!! From the mouth of one of GM's dedicated retired employees. I had this same identical problem with my 1990 grand am se with the 2.4l and you recalled it and fixed it without question. Well I can say so much more but the final thought is I'm very disappointed in you General Motors and hope you do go out of business for the way you treat others and the way you treat your own GM family members by producing these poor designed vehicles. RECALL RECALL RECALL.....

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #26

Nov 122008

Grand Am GT 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,600 miles

I have a Pontiac Grand AM GT 2003� 115,600 miles. When I first bought it used in 2006 it had a 65,000.miles. After a few months I noticed it was leaking antifreeze. So I bought some coolant sealant at Auto Zone and didn�t have a problem. Well within the last year and a half; I�ve had to replace the starter switch, Had the wrong size tires on it?, I was hit some dumbass minivan which should�ve totaled it but was pretty much an insurance scam. (if you live in Tennessee NEVER go to Alexander!!! They took 28 days to �repair� my car and they didn�t even reconnect the break line and the brand �new� parts were covered in dirt much like the parts in the wreak..) then the alternator goes out with on the interstate and destroys the battery� 3 months later the fuel pump goes out on my way to work. NOW the manifold and intake gasket are leaking. WHY DID I BUY THIS SCRAP JUNK??? I still have 2 more years of payments! GM in order for you to get the bail out, you should have to fire these selfish bastard CEOs.. at one time you made a good car. But yeah after I get out of this money pit of a car, I�m going to Toyota which is Actually made in the US. Not crap parts from bum f*ck China and half assed put together in the US.

- , Murfreeboro, TN, USA

problem #25

Jun 092006

Grand Am GT Ram 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

We brought the car new back in 2003. After 31/2 years and 40K the alternator failed blew the battery and then the mechanic noticed the manifold leak. He estimated $1,200 to fix it. We drove it to the dealership they quoted $1,400 to fix it. We complained and complained to GM and the best they come up with was they would pay 50% towards the cost, if after we paid them $1400 to fix it, they determined it was a factory problem.

For some odd reason I did not trust GM (lol) and paid a local mechanic $500 to fix it.

Needless to say my next car was a foreign one. We still have the Grand Am. It has about 2 or 3 annoying problems I�ll list under Electrical and one huge problem that keeps it in the driveway most of the time. It won�t shift out of first gear unless you back off the gas and then slowly increase. What a car!!!! And GM wonder why the have fallen to number 2 in the nation. I think I would even buy a Hyundai or Suzuki over a GM product.

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #24

Jul 052007

(reported on)

Grand Am SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles


Noticed coolant running down driveway under car. Took into a GM/Pontiac Dealer/Mechanic and was called back within an hour saying the water pump and intake gasket needed to be replaced. Quoted $1100.00. Looks from this site seems this problem needs to be researched. Now I have to bike to and from work while I save the money for the repairs. I GM wants to get back customers that have gone foreign they need to learn what customer service is and get this problem taken care of. its not Quality or Customer Service its Quality AND customer service. Recall this car now for this problem.

- , Wenatchee, WA, USA

problem #23

Feb 132008

Grand Am GT-SC/T 3400 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,324 miles

I performed this repair on my father's car. his Low Coolant light had been flashing on and off, a typical symptom of Lower Intake Manifold gasket failure. I removed the intake manifold and found "banana sludge" coated under the manifold (oil and coolant mixed). I replaced both of the gaskets with FelPro gaskets, and re-assembled the engine and flushed the DexCool out of the engine, and replaced the coolant with the conventional green coolant.

As a mechanic, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND not using DexCool, even though the dealer advises you to. The DexCool coolant is the reason these gaskets fail. I recommend flushing the DexCool out and running normal Green antifreeze. Also, if you do end up replacing the gaskets, I recommend FelPro's Intake Manifold Gasket kit, the OEM gaskets have not been improved on well enough, and are still made of plastic. The FelPro gaskets are metal, and have much thicker material on them.

The total cost of repair was around 150 dollars, the reason for the low cost is that, 1, I did it myself, and 2, I work at a parts store as well and receive a discount. It is not a difficult job as long as you have the proper tools and instructions if you are doing it for your first time.

- , Rochester, MN, USA

problem #22

Apr 302007

Grand Am SE 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

Having problems with leaking coolant. No signs at all of leakage, including checking the oil for possible mixture. A lot of people are having this problem from what I've read, but hard to have fixed when you don't have the money. Just have to keep adding coolant when light comes on. Was only adding once a month when first got car but now every week. I agree it is a problem that GM should stand behind as they built the cars, not those of us who drive them. I would get rid of car but don't have money for down payment, still owe 2 years of payments, and don.t have good credit. Also had to replace fuel pump about 6 months ago as well as oil pressure sensor.

Update from Jun 6, 2009: Getting ready to have fixed in about a month. Local mechanic is going to charge about $500 to fix. I will be saving about 2/3 of that in coolant over a year because I have to get a gallon every 2 weeks. Just now being able to get up the money to fix. Finally got oil pressure sender squared away but having an occasional electrical problem i can't figure out. Just seems if it isn't one thing, it's another on these Grand damns.

- , Yadkinville, NC, USA

problem #21

Apr 082008

Grand Am GT 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles


Another manifold problem with the 2003 Pontiac Grand Am. I had to fill up the coolant once a month and knew this wasn't normal. At first I thought it was something simple like a leak in a hose, however I brought it to my mechanic and he says he's done about 50 Manifold gasket replacement jobs on the Pontiac Grand Ams. GM NEEDS TO DO A RECALL TO CORRECT THIS PROBLEM WITH THE PLASTIC MANIFOLD.

- , Burbank, IL, USA

problem #20

Nov 232006

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Back in 2006 I started having problems w/ my cooling system in my Grand Am. The antifreeze was leaking into my oil is what they told me when I took it in, and I paid about $900 to get it fixed. After a few months passed I noticed I had to fill my coolant again, and then again a few months after that. It's basically been that way ever since, until yesterday when the light came on and I filled it to the top again, just as I always do. Only then it came on again today. So I'm thinking okay, it can't be that bad, I just filled it yesterday afterall. Well, the car ended up overheating on the tollway during a traffic jam in Chicago. I had my 4 yr old nephew in the back seat. I had to sit on the side of the road, let it cool for about 20 minutes, fill it/ coolant (which I always carry in my trunk), and then drive right to the nearest gas station. By the time we got there, it was already empty again. So I filled it and somehow made it home. I guess I'm going to need a rental car until they can get it drivable again.

- , Westmont, IL, USA

problem #19

Apr 012008

Grand Am SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

2003 Grand Am.

Bought from dealer with 26,000 miles when it was a year old. First month replace brakes because they made noise, 40,000 miles had to replace fuel pump. Now at 75,000 miles I am being told I have oil in my coolant and it is possibly a head gasket. Lots of money. After reading all of the same complaints GM should do something.

- , Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #18

Jan 012007

Grand Am SE 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

Well it started after we came back from a road trip. Our coolant light kept coming on and we would fill up about every two weeks. We couldn't find the leak. My father has looked at it and he is a mechanic and couldn't find it. Well I never worried I just kept filling. I even put a stop leak stuff into because Auto Zone said it was a leak in a gasket some where. Well it kept leaking. It would never leave a puddle under my car or anything but you could smell it in the car. Well about two weeks ago we finally found where it was coming from. I had a couple of people tell me it was the head gasket. I took it to the dealership and I had the salesman (which was family) tell me that about how every newer grand am is doing the same. The intake manifold and head gasket. Well, its a lot of money to fix and I can't afford it at all. My cousin from the pontiac dealer says get rid of it soon. Then we found this web site and saw all the complaints. How can we get this recalled from GM. Is there a way we can put pressure on them. If the Pontiac dealers are telling me that it happens all the time and all they did was walk by my car and smelled the antifreeze and knew what it was off the bat and made me lift the hood and show me where the leaks are. Shame on Gm for putting families in danger and then making them pay for their cheap ass parts and labor. After you think you pay for a great quality car and to come to find out they are so cheap they fall apart in no time. I knew this car had been worked on before. I bought it 2 years ago. Will never buy another Grand Am or Pontiac car again. Go to hell Gm and take your car with you. Thanks for letting me vent.

- , Parkersburg, WV, USA

problem #17

Feb 182008

Grand Am GT 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


Cant believe with all these gr ams the gm doesn't do a recall on intake gaskets. Come on gm were good enough to buy them lets get of your duffs and do something. Just like others this will be my last gm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Temple, PA, USA

problem #16

May 182007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

I see now that I am not in the boat alone when having bad luck with the Grand Am's. Not only did the gaskets have to be replaced, but the left wheel hub, and ABS system both failed. For a car that is only 4 years old, this shouldn't be happening. I think that mostly it's our fault though. I know I "gun" my car and I am sure most of you do too. Maybe they weren't made to be rough-housed around with. Pontiacs; fast, but made cheap.

- , Lancaster, KY, USA

problem #15

Jan 312008

Grand Am V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I own a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am. I'm by no means an expert on this matter, but today I went to get an oil change. 1/2 awake at 7am this morning (I work nights) I was told by my dealership that I was leaking coolant internally. There was no coolant in my reservoir and no external leaks. The job all together was going to be about $1400. I'm done paying for this car early next year and I just spent a thousand (including towing from 60miles away from my garage) to have the fuel injector replaced. I went to get a 2nd opinion and my local garage told me that this is a common problem, and as long as I watch my coolant and replace it about every month or so I should be fine. I really wish they would do a recall. I WILL NEVER get a Pontiac car again. I hate this car, I somehow owned a used 92' Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra before this and that car never had the amount of problems my pontiac does, and I had that for 7 years... I wish I kept that car instead.

- , Albany, NY, USA

problem #14

Nov 272007

Grand Am V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Well here we go again with more issues that the car is worth, this is a mystery leak at this point, I know the damn head gaskets are leaking so that is part of it. Trust me folk

Pontiac Grand Ams are the most worthless garbage ever built by GM, they are endless money pits and frankly every one should be recalled and turned into scrap metal.

- , Gulf Shores, AL, USA

problem #13

Jan 072004

Grand Am V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

Chalk up another Pontiac Grand Am head gasket issue, yes this one started leaking probably from the 1st day it was ever turned on. GM must have farmed out these partds to god knows where, the gaskets are pitiful at best. They probably did not even properly torque the head bolts either.

- , Gulf Shores, AL, USA

problem #12

Sep 052007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

I have had 4 sets of intake gaskets put on my car, the first at 34,000 miles, second 39,000 miles, third 47,000 miles, after that i started ignoring that it was leaking and made it last till it completely failed at 59,000 miles and then the fourth at 63,000 miles accompanied by a new transmission. It is not only my grand am but every other Gm produced car on the road they are SH*T!!!!!!!! I HATE GM AND I PRAY THAT THEY GO OUT OF BUSINESS EVERY NIGHT......... DO NOT BUY THEIR SH*T!!!!!!!!!! AND YES I HAD EVERY REPAIR MADE AT A CERTIFIED GM DEALER....

- , Grovetown, GA, USA

problem #11

Apr 232007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT 3.4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

Oh, my goodness.... My family has 4 Grand Ams and one brother has spent $8,000 on a 2002 Grand Am for these problems.... his girlfriend older module (the car of course); and has had to replace the water pump twice and now they said it was because of the intake manifold....3rd times a charm I guess. My other brothers wife 77,000 miles drained Dex-Cool and has to get new intake gaskets since GM used plastic gaskets on their intake cases and then the Dex-Cool gets hot and cool and expands the plastic... no picture needed there u can take a guess what happens... that is why I am in the boat now too... quote $1,000 to fix the intake gasket and make sure my heads are level my mechanic says he does one Grand AM a week with this problem... oh and by the way I called 2 dealerships in the STL area one wanted $2200.00 WOW over double and one want $1500.00.... why does that happen your mistake u fix it it needs to be recalled instead a lawsuit has to happen. I was really happy with my car until the dealer will not even stand behind it now. Helpful hint when u replace this REQUEST FIBER gaskets do not do this again!!!!!!

- , Hillsboro, MO, USA

problem #10

Mar 092007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Coolant was leaking all over from the gasket. Was covered under extended warranty, but I have seen several others with the same problem. Should definitely be a recall item!

- , St Louis, MO, USA

problem #9

Mar 092007

(reported on)

Grand Am 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

I'm so glad I found this site cause now I know whats wrong with my piece of s*#t(car). I've been refilling my coolant every week for like a month and a half now and every time I get it looked at, they tell me its nothing. I just was told to change my thermostat and i'm gonna. But by the sounds of it, it might not matter cause if everyone else's gasket is going I guess mine is no different. I used to believe in GM cars but considering that I still owe 8 grand on my car and i take good care of if it, and i put 5 grand into it over the last 2 years just for problems I think I'm going somewhere else next car.....

- , Brick, NJ, USA

problem #8

Mar 052007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT 3.1 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

Had antifreeze leaking into crank-case. Cost was $800 but could of been worse if I didn't catch it in time. Did some research and apparently DEX-COOL eats away at these type of gaskets. Why does GM still use DEX-COOL?

- , Oak Harbor, WA, USA

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