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NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems

2001 Pontiac Grand Prix (Page 1 of 3)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 28
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
101,876 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.

2001 Pontiac Grand Prix engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Pontiac Grand Prix Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #53

Jul 102016

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • miles


2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle fire under hood after recall 15757- under hood fire repairs. The consumer stated despite having the recall performed, on March 18, 2016, the vehicle caught on fire anyway on July 10, 2016. The vehicle was declared totaled.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #52

Apr 292015

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • miles
2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. Consumer writes in regards to recall notice 15V-701 repairs and seeks reimbursement. According to the invoice, thermostat, intake manifold and valve cover gasket were replaced.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #51

Dec 312015

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 186,000 miles
The contact owned a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. The contact stated that the engine caught fire while the vehicle was parked. The fire department extinguished the fire. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was towed to an independent towing lot. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V701000 (engine and engine cooling). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 186,000. Updated 02/26/16 updated 03/14/16.

- Bechtelsville, PA, USA

problem #50

Dec 262014

Grand Prix

  • 201,000 miles


Car just dies while driving replaced maf sensor map sensor was replaced previous. Took car of problem. 2 month later sputtering code came back catalytic converter. Had that cut off. 2 weeks later car won't start changed crankshaft sensor started but misfire coil packs changed and ignition control module. New spark plugs and wire. Car started ran perfect. Next day car wouldn't start. Went back to shop mechanic started looking at some wires car wouldn't still start. Next day car starts up just fine N running perfectly. When its not starting it will crank just not fire. Haven't checked to see if it will run yet today though. Brought it home yesterday. Could a key cause it to crank and not fire.

- Mankato, MN, USA

problem #49

Mar 142012

Grand Prix

  • 160,000 miles
TL * the contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. The contact stated that oil dropped onto the engine while oil was being added to the reservoir. The vehicle ignited into flames. The contact extinguished the flames with a garden hose. In 2009, the vehicle was repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 08V118000 (engine and engine cooling), but the remedy did not correct the failure. The contact also stated that the key would not release from the ignition switch. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 160,000.

- Valcia, PA, USA

problem #48

Jan 222014

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Original owner of vehicle. In January the car shut off while my wife was driving on a three lane highway. Towed to shop and next day the car started fine with no fault codes. A few weeks later the car shut off while warming up in driveway twice. Took to autozone to read codes, none again. A few weeks later the car shut off on a three lane highway with two children in car. I was able to get off road safely. A sts auto shop was near by so they took it to the shop. They brought the car in the shop and it shut off once but was closing time so they looked at it the next day. Next day the car started fine and they tried to duplicate the problem, but they were unable. No codes again. The car has not been used since. Other history, prior to this the car had suffered no start conditions for about five years. Each time no codes were present. In the fall 2013 the following parts were replaced. Fuel pump, fuel filter, crank sensor, ignition module, fuel pressure regulator. The car is going to have the ignition cylinder replaced next. Fyi - I have extensive mechanical background, faa licensed aircraft mechanic with 26 years working on large aircraft (747,777 ect). I would send in cylinder if this is a positive fix. Both these shut downs were very dangerous for me and my family.

- Massapequa, NY, USA

problem #47

Mar 072012

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • miles


2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. Consumer states vehicle caught fire the consumer stated he drove the vehicle to his sons house and after pulling into the driveway, he turned off the vehicle and went in the house. A few minutes later, his daughter-N-law saw smoke by her front her window. The vehicle then caught on fire. The vehicle was sold as junk for $200. The consumer referenced recall # 09V116000. GM wrote the consumer a denial letter stating the breach of warranty of limitations in New Jersey was four years from the date of purchase.

- Stockholm, NJ, USA

problem #46

Apr 232012

Grand Prix

  • miles
Exterior lighting:headlights, engine and engine cooling.

- New Bedfor, MA, USA

problem #45

Jan 302012

Grand Prix

  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. While driving approximately 45 mph, the contact smelled a burning odor. The contact pulled over into a parking lot. The contact inspected under the hood and noticed flames. The fire department was called and extinguished the flames, which was determined to have originated from the engine compartment. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was repaired prior to the fire under a recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 08V118000 (engine and engine cooling). The repair remedy as mentioned in the recall was not performed due to the left rocket cover gasket availability however, the wire loom and spark plugs were replaced. The contact experienced the consequence of a fire as indicated in the recall defect, as a result of the insufficient remedy previously performed on the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 145,000.

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #44

Feb 122012

Grand Prix

  • 140,000 miles
Car, while driving, experienced loss of engine power and began to stall. Small fire yielding smoke began in engine compartment while parked and engine off. Within 10 minutes entire engine compartment was engulfed in flames requiring fire department to extinguish.

- Tinley Park, IL, USA

problem #43

Jan 172012

Grand Prix

  • miles


I have read numerous reports of Pontiac Grand Prix's from 1997-2003 catching fire. The remedy offered by General Motors was to replace the failed valve cover gasket in the front of the engine (radiator side). The problem is that the failure it is not unique to the front gasket, as the front and rear valve cover gaskets are identical, and the rear one fails and leaks just as much as the front. The reason General Motors repairs only the front gasket is that it is fairly easy to replace and is easily accessible. The rear valve cover gasket, however, has a myriad of components in the way that have to be removed and disconnected for access to the valve cover and gasket, which is a much more time consuming and costly repair. GM denies this fact and forces us to believe that it is only the front gasket that is troublesome. I own three Grand Prix gtp models (1999,2001,2002) and every one has leaking valve cover gaskets, with sometimes the rear one leaking more than the front due to its close proximity to the firewall, resulting is less cooling and airflow, making it more susceptible to damage from heat, especially for a poorly designed or made of inferior material gasket in the first place. Now I agree that the age of the vehicle may be an issue as gaskets dry up and perhaps crack due to the many heating and cooling cycles over the life of a vehicle, but since GM has acknowledged a gasket problem and has redesigned the gasket, both should be replaced as a measure of responsibility on GM's part, and as consideration for the safety of their customer base. Why GM doesn't do the right thing is anyone's guess, but ignoring consumers complaints on such a serious issue is shameful!.

- Ottawa, On, Canada K1v 9h7, FL, USA

problem #42

Jan 042010

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I have had nothing but trouble with this pontic Grand Prix GT window motors three ABS brake brain leaking coolant I have spent over 3000 dollars repairing this car and now I have coolant leaking in my motor. By far the worst car I ever had shame on you GM you had to know.

- Dallas , GA, USA

problem #41

Dec 012011

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Driving to work December 1, 2011, I noticed a burning smell and then a fire through the dash. I immediately pulled over and removed dash panel and threw snow into dash trying to put out the fire. Within a number of minutes the engine fire was out of control and the car was completely engulfed in flames. This resulted in a complete loss of the vehicle. It is believed the underhood fire was a result of the issue of GM safety recall #09047. The safety recall work was performed by a dealership on May 18,2009. I do not believe this "fix" has prevented the underhood fires on many of these recalled vehicles.

- Avilla, IN, USA

problem #40

Oct 302011

Grand Prix

  • 173,041 miles
I was driving my car in a Suburban area at approx 20 mph when I noticed smoke coming out from under the hood. I immediately turned onto a side street and within 15 seconds of noticing the smoke there were flames shooting out from under my hood and the drivers side wheel well. I threw the car into park and got out. A passerby was already calling 911 and within less than a minute of my exiting the vehicle the entire front end was on fire. The fire department arrived and put out the fire and stated that there was so much damage to the front end of the car that they were unable to give a definite cause, but suspected electrical. The entire car is totaled, the fire was so hot it melted the driver window and the windshield and destroyed it within minutes. No electrical issues were noticed immediately prior to this incident, only change noted was that the passenger window rolled up a bit more slowly than normal.

- Manhattan, KS, USA

problem #39

Sep 032011

Grand Prix

  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. While parked, the unoccupied vehicle unexpectedly ignited into flames. The fire department extinguished the flames and advised that the fire originated in the engine area. The failure recurred three months after the recall remedy repair was performed on the vehicle under NHTSA campaign id number: 08V118000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle was declared destroyed and towed to a savage facility. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 200,000.

- Spring Valley, IL, USA

problem #38

Aug 122011

Grand Prix

  • miles
Our 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix, which has roughly 125,000 miles on it, stalls and dies at various speeds. It is not supercharged, but it does have the 3.8 liter series II engine. The vehicle will shudder momentarily and, if the car's going fast enough, the momentum of the torque convert spinning manages to restart the engine in default, allowing it to keep running. However, the tcs "trac off" light comes on and the tachometer drops to 0 until the car is shut off and restarted. Sometimes, the car will stall at low speed and, minus the shudder, everything else occurs as described above, except that the car simply dies. The ses light has lit up a few times, but there is no clear reason for it to do so, since, once restarted, the engine runs just fine. Occasionally, however, idle is a little rough; the engine sometimes drops to almost 400 RPM when sitting with the engine running, then slowly climbs back up to about 600-750 RPM. More alarming personally, however, is the fact that roughly 11 days ago, the car completely died twice on the same day, in a 15-second period. While coming home from work on the freeway, the car completely died (the oil pressure light came on and everything). Having pulled onto the shoulder and restarted, I did not travel more than 100 feet before it happened again, this time on the freeway off-ramp. I restarted again, and it drove home normally. Lately, the car is sometimes next to impossible to start. Depending on the circumstances, one of two things will happen; either the engine will turn over but not run; or the engine will not turn over, and the starter solenoid will simply "click" behind the firewall. The battery was replaced less than a month ago, and no serious electrical faults have occurred since it was replaced, aside from the above problems.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #37

Sep 302010

Grand Prix

  • 182,000 miles
I have a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix that had a recall for an oil leak. They did the recall on 6-6-2009. Yesterday about 20 to 30 minutes after driving it the car erupted into flame primarily on the right drivers side of the engine. Looking at the internet it looks to be identical to others who had this problem. What should I do?

- Lake Ann, MI, USA

problem #36

Mar 102007

Grand Prix

  • 50,000 miles
I bought the car in December 2006 from lafontaine 4399 highland rd, waterford, mi. Some time in February/March I took the car back to them do to the service engine light on. I never was told what was wrong because they said that did not fall under my warrant and plus my warrant supposedly expired. With in the next month my car started to leak oil really bad, I have to put at least 2 quarts in it with in about a week time. Come to find out when I went to get my oil changed I was told that my oil pan looks like it is rusted through. I spoke with a GM employer and was told that the only way an oil pan would do that is if the metal/material used to make the pan is defected, other than that, an oil pan should last it S life time. On top of the them telling me this, I was also advised that it looked like someone had tried to use something to stop the leak, like some sort of weld. Not sure what they meant by that. Next is the wipers, my wipers turn on when you start up the car and then stop at an upright position. I am being told that the wiper motor is going. Come to find out every time I see someone with my type of car, I just have to ask if they have any problems and they do especially with the wipers. I called ponitac on this and for them to consider fixing it, I have to go pay for the dealer to inspect it, then fax it in, and they may cover the fix, but it is not a guarantee. I priced what it would cost and it is a lot of money over $1300 for all to be fixed. I do not have this type of money, so for now I just keep putting oil in it, push my wipers down, and hope it does not ran, because the wipers get caught up, and hope the car last. I still owe money so I will do what I can to keep it running. I believe that someone put a quick fix on the oil pan and it was never revealed until I found out myself the hard way. If it is a defect part I do not think I should have to pay to get it fixed.

- Eastpointe, MI, USA

problem #35

May 302010

Grand Prix

  • 143,000 miles
I drove to the grocery store, parked, went inside. Five minutes later I walk out to the fire department putting out a fire under the hood of my 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. The car is completely totaled and was told by the fire department and numerous people that there is a recall on this vehicle for doing that. As of now nothing has been done to correct the problem.

- Wofford Heights, CA, USA

problem #34

Jan 212010

Grand Prix

  • 116,000 miles
There is a recall notice sent out by GM regarding the possibility of an engine compartment fire for the 2001 Grand Prix (among other date for the same model). Tonight when I started the car there was an explosion and the engine burst into flames. The fire department was called and they came to extinguish the fire after the car was engulfed in flames. The assistant fire marshall arrived and before he said anything else he said "this was caused by an engine compartment fire." I the N advised him that Pontiac has just sent a recall notice for the same issue. There are hundreds of people online who have filed a complaint with GM. Yet, they insist they are not responsible. Why did they issue a recall then if they are not responsible? unfortunately for them, our attorney general is going to take action. I'm not the type of person to sit back and watch when an injustice was done. I had to drag my handicapped son from the vehicle. This, as well as all of the complaints points to disaster. Something must be done now. My son could have been killed if I was unable to act quickly enough to save him.

- Shelton, CT, USA

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