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NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems

2002 Pontiac Grand Prix (Page 2 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 18
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,745 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 Prix engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Pontiac Grand Prix Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Aug 122008

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • 12,500 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix SE. While performing an oil change, the mechanic discovered a coolant leak around the intake manifold gasket. The vehicle is not included in NHTSA campaign id number 08V118000 (engine and engine cooling). The current mileage was 30,600 and failure mileage was 12,000.update 09/10/08 updated 09/15/08.

- Skowheggan, ME, USA

problem #14

Jun 082007

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix. After parking the vehicle, the contact smelled burning motor oil. He noticed oil on the ground underneath the vehicle. He replaced the front rocker cover gasket, but stated that the rear gasket was the one that needed to be replaced. The contact recently received a safety recall notice for the front gasket. He would like to be reimbursed for replacing the front gasket and would also like the manufacturer to replace the rear gasket. The contact also stated that he could place his hand behind the engine and find oil leaking. NHTSA campaign id number 08V118000 (engine and engine cooling) was referenced. The current mileage was 120,000 and failure mileage was 80,000. Updated 07/09/08 updated

- Edna, TX, USA

problem #13

May 132008

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • 152,772 miles
Car was parked in a sloped drive-way. Was not drivin in a few hours. Heavy smoke from wheel wells. Entire engine compartment was completely engulfed in flames within 8 minutes. Fire department was called, they extinguished fire within minutes. Luckily my car was not parked in my garage.

- Collinsville, IL, USA

problem #12

Apr 122008

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles


I have a random and intermittent starting problem that my professional mechanics cannot solve and for which there is no diagnostic code or even a check engine alert. Sometimes when I try to start the car, it will crank but not turn over, and eventually, nothing happens. If I wait 2 hours, the car will start. Also, the car has stalled and not restarted for an hour when it is put into park. It has stalled when I started it and pulled away from refueling, and it sometimes idles roughly as if it is going to stall at any second which, at times, it has done. I paid professionally certified GM and other mechanics on several occasions to investigate this issue with no results. In the past, I had the exhaust system repaired by GM. I have had fuel lines, the alternator, the thermostat, the starter, the battery, the exhaust, and other things on the car investigated as possible sources of the problem. Other work done has been a gasket replacement, because one was leaking, and routine maintenance. I have had several electronic diagnostic checks run, and nothing comes up. I have maintenance and upkeep done regularly on this car, so it is not that the car is not properly taken care of. It gets regular oil changes, had the transmission, radiator and brake flushes done at appropriate times, and is checked over every fall as a precaution. However, my car absolutely cannot be relied upon to drive any distance. The problems occur with short or long trips and in all types of weather, whether I drive fast or slow, or whether I am in heavy or light traffic, although after driving in heavy traffic is when it seems to not want to start the most. I think that GM should be able to provide a possible reason for these issues. I have had this issue since I first bought the car, and I am tired of investing money into trying to solve a problem which has all the mechanics mystified, including GM ones.

- Cascade, MD, USA

problem #11

Jan 012005

Grand Prix 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Hot smell coming through vents. I love my car but since hearing about fires I no longer will drive it. I have noticed the hot smell for about a year on and off.

- Londonderry, OH, USA

problem #10

Sep 152007

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
Car's engine caught fire while car was turned off and parked. The car was deemed a total loss.

- Millville, NJ, USA

problem #9

Jul 312007

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix. He stated that the vehicle began dieseling when he attempted to start it. Initially after dieseling, the engine would start however; he was currently unable to start the vehicle. There is a safety recall for the fuel system storage tank assembly (NHTSA campaign #07E021000). The current and failure mileages was 29,000. The purchase date was unknown. Updated 02-01-08 the consumer stated the vehicle has not been repaired as of yet. Updated 02/01/08

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #8

Feb 282007

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,902 miles
- the contact called regarding a 2002 pointac Grand Prix. The contact stated he took the vehicle to dealer for a routine oil change and was advised by the repair shop that there was a gasket leak. The gasket was replaced. The failure mileage was 60,902. The contact stated that he believed the antifreeze caused the gasket to be replaced the current mileage was 60,951. Updated 04/12/07.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #7

Dec 262006

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles
The intake manifold gasket on my 3.8 liter Pontiac engine failed, causing antifreeze to leak into the crankcase. The top end of the engine had to be disassembled to install the new "improved" gasket set. My mechanic claimed that this is a common repair on that engine and that he does at least 3 per month. I called Pontiac's customer care, they offered no financial assistance.

- Fountain Hills, AZ, USA

problem #6

Nov 222005

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
I was driving the 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix gtp on a highway with 45-55 mph speed limit for approx. 45 min. The car shut off 15 sec. After I heard the engine backfire. The speedometer went from 0 all the way up, and back to 0. I pulled into the nearest parking lot and popped the hood. I discovered a fire near the intake and the lower right side of the valve cover. The car was towed to a Pontiac dealer. They replaced the fuel injectors, the lower intake, valve cover, spark plug wires, electrical harness and much motor the cost was approx. $5000. After saying it would take 2 weeks, it took the shop 6 or 7 weeks to fix, so my car rental bill was thousands more than insurance would cover the car wasn't nearly as responsive and had trouble going up even the smallest inclines. Also, the shift-park interlink stopped working so the car would not shift out of park after the fire. And my sunroof hasn't worked since. And my fan for the A/C and heater only works with the fan on 5. also I have noticed a weird sound coming from the speakers on occasion. About a week or two later the car was in the shop because they had not replaced the spark plugs; one of them was cracked and was most likely cracked when I got the car back. The car had about 90,000 miles when it had caught fire. Then on June 3, 2006-after less than 2000 miles, the engine locked up. The dealer said the only option they can do to fix it is put a new engine in--the initial estimate is $5200. Also, I'm going to be out of a car again and will have the burden of rental car costs again. From what I have read, there have been numerous fires involving the GM 3.8. something needs to be done.

- Greenwood, IN, USA

problem #5

Apr 112006

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles


On Saturday March 11, 06 my 40 th anniversary edition Grand Prix 2002 car's engine compartment started on fire while driving down the road and by the time the fire department come to the seen the car was a total loss. My wife, daughter and grandchild just left the car before it went up in flames. After the fire the car was taken to an expert repair mechanic for analyses of what caused the fire. According to the mechanic the fire started by the intake manifold and the cooling fan. All repairs were done by GM certified mechanics and shops before the fire happened. From research done on the cause of the fire it has a relationship to NHTSA cases EA02030 and PE02050.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #4

Oct 262005

(reported on)

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • miles
Consumer 2002 Pontiac intake plastic gasket leaked. The consumer was told by the dealer her vehicle was leaking anti-freeze.

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #3

Aug 042005

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
Faulty intake manifold gasket leak loses coolant fluid.

- Mandeville, LA, USA

problem #2

Aug 082004

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Leaky intake gaskets. The car has 42,000 on it. Looses engine coolant. Motor will burn up. Nothing done yet.

- Fairfield, ME, USA

problem #1

May 122004

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
While driving at 55 mph consumer heard a loud noise. Vehicle suddenly veered to the left near the shoulder. Then, vehicle stopped, causing the consumer to sustain mouth injuries. Consumer discovered that the cradle for the motor only had one bolt holding it in place. The motor and all of the engine parts had simply fallen to the ground.

- Pontiac, MI, USA

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