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NHTSA — Engine Problems Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,208 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.

2003 Pontiac Grand Am engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments

problem #15

Jul 152017

Grand Am

  • 120,000 miles


Car overheated cuz of a blown head gasket failure I have to replace the whole engine

- Lead, SD, USA

problem #14

Jul 152016

Grand Am

  • miles
Blown head gasket and then blown motor

- Lead, SD, USA

problem #13

Jan 172017

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • miles
Vehicle completely loses power, engine shuts off) while driving! starts right back up, but considerable danger as it stops with no warning of any kind, have been very close to being hit by vehicle behind me not knowing that I had no power to do anything, after car comes to stop, have been able to restart.. mostly happens when slowing down, or taking foot off of accelerator. Going different speeds, happened 6 times just taking it to shop vehicle has 134300mi, happened at different speeds.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #12

Apr 292015

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • miles


Vehicle has been "repaired" as per NHTSA recall #14V400000 within the last two (2) months. On Wednesday April 29, 2015, at approximately 7:30 pm cdst, when driving the vehicle is shut off again just as it did prior to the recall "repair". keys on key chain are minimal (6). Vehicle restarted with no further issue or indication that there was a issue with the engine (no check engine light, etc.).

- East Grand Forks, MN, USA

problem #11

Mar 262015

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
The car suddenly stopped.

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #10

Apr 092015

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • 242,796 miles
My ignition cylinder switch is making my car to stall and shut off while I am driving and I had it replace on 4/8/15 and was driving and it not fix, my car has cut off on me while driver 3 time since I got it from the dealership I am not driving it and what the dealership to send a tow to pick the car up. I am not safe in the car and spent $377 for labor and the part for it not to function correctly. I had my key replaced on a recall and when I got that service my ignition locked and the key would not turn the car on.

- Clinton Twp , MI, USA

problem #9

Oct 292014

Grand Am

  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact stated while driving approximately 10 mph, the engine stalled and the steering and brakes seized. As a result, the check engine light illuminated and the vehicle crashed into a pole. No police report was filed. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was unknown.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #8

Apr 102008

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • miles
04/08 I read an article in the detroit free press about GM settling a California class action lawsuit for $29 million related to their long life dex coolant listing possibly 1.3 million GM vehicles with the potential for cross contamination of oil & coolant due to their dex coolant dissolving the silicone intake manifold gasket.owning both this 03 and a 99 Grand Am GT on the list I contacted Pontiac customer assistance to ask why no notice was given but they simply played dumb and delayed and deflected my concerns for months. They insisted I take my cars to my local dealer and pay for the diagnosis! I responded I have 29 million reasons why I shouldn't have to.finally after being stonewalled for months I took a day off work 11/08 and took my 99 to somerset Pontiac in troy, mi and after 1st being denied any free inspection the service mgr. Had a mechanic come to the write up area, pop the hood, unscrew the oil cap revealing a brown froth he said"yeap you have that problem" but refused any service unless GM stepped up to the plate as they had put undisclosed self imposed limits on claims such as less than 10 years,70,000 miles and a 10/19/08 filing deadline.the 03 met all restriction except the deadline but my escalation to the district service mgr.paid no dividends.when GM went into bankruptcy I figured no sense kicking a dead horse and paid to have the gasket replaced on the 99 at a cost just over $800 & hoped annual non dex coolant replacements & regular oil changes might avoid the same problem in the 03 but an oil change at matthew hargraeves Chevy on 2/12 discovered oil in the coolant.further online settlement research revealed that the bankruptcy court forced GM to extend the claim deadline to 9/30/09 making my claim on the 03 completely valid.but again my efforts thru the dealership, GM customer service & up to the manager of strategy& reputation fell on deaf ears.

- Clawson, MI, USA

problem #7

Apr 012013

Grand Am

  • 155,825 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact stated upon taking the vehicle to an independent mechanic for another service, the mechanic informed the contact that the vehicle was leaking fuel. The contact had noticed that the "check engine" warning light was continuously illuminated. The contact was then driving approximately 35 mph when vehicle began to shudder. The contact then coasted over to an emergency lane and the engine stalled. The engine did not restart and was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle had not been taken back to a mechanic for diagnostic test. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number :07E021000(fuel system, other). The approximate failure mileage was 155,825.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #6

Jul 162010

Grand Am

  • 20,000 miles
I had 2 kids in the car, the accelerator pedal stuck, car kept speeding up.. I was using both feet on brake & er brake as well!! I was swerving in & out of traffic, running red lights & praying for our lives, we got up to 85 miles per hour in a 35mph zone!! the car was revving out of control & black smoke was coming out from under the hood! I managed to slam it into park & we all jumped out & ran, very frightening & almost ended in a collision. The intake manifold gasket cracked at 1yr old and 10,000 miles, the tires needed resealing at 5000 miles. Ridiculous!!

- Westlake, OH, USA

problem #5

Jan 102014

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • 163,000 miles


While driving on expressway or street the car stalls without any warning. The car unexpectedly died cutting off while driving. Must try to merge off and out of traffic immediately. Happens on smooth and rough roads. Unsafe. Driving a 2003 Grand Am with same problems as the recalled vehicles. Please advise, support and service.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #4

May 082013

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 70,000 and the current mileage was 79,000.

- Dimondale, MI, USA

problem #3

Nov 012013

Grand Am

  • 236,000 miles
Bought the vehicle used. 2003 Pontiac Grand Am 3.4L V6. Constant ticking from hazard light switch. Grounding problems. Looked for recalls at GM dealership. No recalls on the problem. No choice but to remove hazard light fuse until repair. Should have been covered by GM. Gonna cost us $500! the transmission cooling lines rotted away causing coolant spraying everywhere causing white smoke and overheating of the engine. Spraying the serpentine belt and water pump. With visual inspection and touching confirmed spot. 3/4 of reservoir is leaked out causing rust on sub frame. Also front rocker panel bad. Front passenger panel rotted out. Bad oxidizing on the manifold cover and exhaust manifold cover. Shame on GM for not covering all gas on the hazard light malfunction and multi switch issues.

- Camden, AR, USA

problem #2

Mar 012009

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Coolant leaked into engine caused problems, wouldn't start half the time, couldn't fill up without gas pump cutting off constantly (took 20 minutes to fill up). Took car to dealer and other shops spent tons of money problem not solved. Got so feed up with this car I pulled the tags and bought a Honda. It is really unfair how the manufacturer of this car was allowed to get away with putting out such an inferior product. There should have been a major recall on any number of these problems. I was never notified of any recalls or the class action law suit.

- Houma, LA, USA

problem #1

Jan 012013

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • 99,500 miles
Hi, my grandam overheated while I was driving. I noticed that the coolant compartment was empty. I did not receive a low coolant warning from the car system. I had topped off my coolant compartment about two months ago. When I look at the engine block, I can see that there is a trail of coolant coming out the engine gasket. I did some googling and noticed that this is a common problem with the grandams and that there was a class action lawsuit filed against GM a couple years ago. I do not feel safe driving this vehicle as I worry if the engine will catch fire.

- Portland, OR, USA

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