Rocker Arms Loosening

2003 Pontiac Grand Am

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Pontiac dealer. Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
81,054 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. drill and heli-coil the bolt holes (2 reports)
  3. replace original bolts for the rocker arm (1 reports)
  4. replaced heads (1 reports)
2003 Pontiac Grand Am engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments

problem #7

Apr 272014

Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 159,956 miles


The rocker arms were torqued to the specifications. Cylinder 3 intake rocker arm pulled out of the head. Symptoms were slight to moderate mechanical knocking noise, misfire, rough but steady idle. Fixed in 5 to 6 hours of constant obscenities.

- , Collinsville, IL, USA

problem #6

Feb 042014

Grand Am 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I have a 2003 Grand Am 3.4 engine as well. This has happened to me 4 times now with a total of 6 rocker arms. The fix has been fairly easy and I am not the most mechanical person. Luckily my father is but he has been more there to oversee and ensure I don't mess things up. I have done this by myself once without issue.

If this happens you can take off the head cover and see the rocker arms and bolts. On the bolts that are stripped use I think a 5/16 drill bit (says on the heli-coil pack) to drill out the bolt hole. Then use the tap for the heli-coil pack you purchased from your local auto shop, mine used an M8 heli-coil and re-tap the hole. Place the heli-coil in the new hole and re-thread your bolts and rocker arm...I have done this each time the issue has come up and yet to have an issue with the ones I repaired...hopefully this will stay the fix and help someone here. (Ensure you shop vac the mess out of the head and change your oil shortly after repairing). The first time I have done this the car had about 60,000 miles on it and now has 130,000.

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #5

Apr 292011

Grand Am GT 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I drove to work put the car in park and it started clanking really hard. Took it to my friend who is a mechanic and he discovered a rocker arm bolt stripped right out of the head. He was going to repair it but discovered a total of 3 more that wouldn't torque down. We ended up replacing the heads with used heads. Now from what I read on here it will probably happen again. Really pisses me off!

- , Peru, IN, USA

problem #4

Jul 052010

Grand Am GT 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles


The Mechanic said the whole thing was factory and never touched. The bolts that hold the rocker arm stripped out of the block and left the rocker arm hanging in the cylinder. This was the case on both the #4 and #6 cylinder. The computer codes indicated a misfire. The compression in the cylinders was very low. He said it was clearly a manufacturing issue where the threads in the block just gave out. He replaced this with a Helicoil and bolt. He said good news is it's fixed bad news there are 4 more that could be defective. Luckily he is a friend of a friend and charged me half the cost.

- , Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #3

Sep 052007

(reported on)

Grand Am GT 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

Don't even bother with getting them fixed i have already gone through it 3 times and it is all good for about 3,000 miles and then it starts ticking again. GM is a sorry company and they do not know how to design a vehicle. Don't even get me started on the intake gasket problems. By the way the car only has 63,000 miles on it and the problems have existed since 30,000.

- , Grovetown, GA, USA

problem #2

Dec 082006

(reported on)

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

When I was getting an oil change my dealer found and fixed a leak in the intake manifold, which was covered under warrenty. Just about as soon as the factory warranty ran out my car begins to misfire. First dealer I bring it to doesn't know whats wrong, so I had it towed to another dealer. Diagnosed as 3 rocker arms loose and threads stripped out of the head. Dealer says they checked the other 3 on that side and they are fine, plugs and re-taps the 3 holes. 1 month later car is misfiring/ undrivable again. I had the car towed to same dealer that did fix before. Diagnosed as the 3 rocker arms that they said were fine before are now stripped out of the head and loose. Still not resolved. Car is still in undrivable condition.

- , Byron, IL, USA

problem #1

Feb 272006

(reported on)

Grand Am SE

  • 36,425 miles

Dealer discovered oil leak at intake manifold and repaired under factory warranty. In process loosened rocker arms. Car totally failed with rocker arm coming too loose later. Has reoccurred 4 times in past year with one rocker arm stud coming completely out of head stripping threads and having to be replaced. Still not resolved recurrs within 3k-4k miles

- , Charleston, WV, USA

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