NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,919 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.

1998 Pontiac Grand Prix engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Pontiac Grand Prix Owner Comments

problem #14

Jul 202011

Grand Prix

  • 145,316 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix. The contact stated that while driving, the vehicle caught on fire from the engine. The contact merged onto the shoulder where the fire was extinguished. A police report was not filed nor was the dealer contacted. The manufacturer denied any assistance with repairs to the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 145,316.

- Holland, MI, USA

problem #13

Jan 122007

Grand Prix

  • miles
During a snow storm, my car got stuck on my driveway. In trying to start the car, it wouldn't turn-over. The next day, it had to be towed to a service station. The starter had ruptured & was replaced. During the diagnostics to verify the repair, the coolant disappeared from the radiator. Diagnosing this problem, the mechanic discovered that the plastic intake manifold had cracked, causing the coolant to leak out. (this reminded me that in Jan 2005, I had a problem with sudden coolant & oil loss. I never found the reason for that occurrence, but now know it was related to the cracked manifold.) the plastic manifold was replaced with another plastic manifold. Parts are not available.

- New City, NY, USA

problem #12

Oct 012009

Grand Prix

  • miles
While driving on the parkway, the steering suddenly tightened up, making turning the steering wheel difficult. Then the battery/alternator indicator light turned on along with other indicator lights. Suddenly, the engine stalled & the car coasted to a stop. Opening the hood, I noticed the accessory belt was missing (actually, it had come off & was sitting on the front suspension). Checking the belt pulleys, I found that the accessory belt idler pulley bearing had seized, causing the belt to come off. I was towed to a service station, where they replaced the accessory belt idler pulley bearing. The old part is not available.

- New City, NY, USA

problem #11

Apr 062009

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • 176,000 miles


My 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix 3.8 litre V6 caught on fire on April 6 2009 and then a couple days later the recall came out. My car is a total loss. I have contacted Pontiac as of 4-16-2009 and I am waiting to hear from them! there is no police report, but there is a fire report due to the fire dept coming to extinguish the flames.

- East Liverpool, OH, USA

problem #10

Feb 272009

Grand Prix

  • 51,449 miles
After taking my car in for a recall (NHTSA id number 08V118000) I notice that the oil leak that I was experiencing would be fixed. When the oil leak returned, I took it back to the dealer to see if the repair was not fixed correctly. I was informed that the back valve cover and manifold was now leaking and the recall only fixed the front valve cover. I was also informed that the leak could cause a fire similar to the one that was the recall was suppose to correct. I informed GM support of the problem and they stated that unless a recall was issued, I would have to pay the cost of the repair ($1300). Since the problem seems to be related to oil leaks similar to recall, I think it should be covered under the recall campaign. Thank you.

- Anahein, CA, USA

problem #9

Jun 222006

Grand Prix

  • 129,650 miles
Intake manifold gasket needed to be replaced because of use of orange coolant--also serpentine belt replaced because of orange coolant spray all over it. Water pump had to be replaced 3 months later.

- Sun City, CA, USA

problem #8

Dec 012007

Grand Prix

  • miles


1998 Pontiac Grand Prix gtp -- rear valve cover gasket design is extremely poor -- it is only the size of a spaghetti noodle. It can not contain the oil pressure flow, thus leaks engine oil down the rear side of the engine onto dangerously hot components -- this results in: 1)a high concentration of toxic burnt engine oil fumes entering the passenger compartment, 2) engine oil leaking/spraying back onto the extremely hot catalytic converter, exhaust manifold header, exhaust pipe and 3) a very high risk of fire in the engine compartment and under the car.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

problem #7

Dec 062007

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles
I have a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix gtp that caught fire while driving yesterday, 12/6/07. I had noticed nothing odd other than on the evening of 12/5/07, my cruise control cut-out on me twice while driving home, which I just thought of as odd. 12 hours later, I was driving to work and the car started stuttering. I then lost all power and pulled to the side of the road, as I looked up after popping the hood, I noticed flames on the passenger side of the car. After a few minutes, local fire crews were onsite to put the fire out. The whole engine compartment melted and the car is a total loss. I don't know what caused this, but am reading reports of 1999-2002 supercharged gtp's having this same problem, but wanted the NHTSA to be aware of this occurring in a 1998 vehicle. The car is totaled and I am quite frustrated. I never thought this would occur in a million years.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #6

Jan 312001

Grand Prix

  • miles
Replaced oil pan gasket due to leakage. Started leaking again. Oil pan was not designed right, has ripples in it. The consumer was told there was a technical service bulletin out which recommended using silicone as a gasket.

- Ankeny, IA, USA

problem #5

Jun 282004

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,453 miles
Vehicle was parked in a parking lot when flames came from the engine compartment. The flames burnt up the entire engine. Fire department had to burst the driver side window to let the smoke out of the cabin. A fire report was filed.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #4

May 152003

Grand Prix

  • 65,000 miles


The engine caught on fire, while the vehicle was parked.

- Mountain Home, AR, USA

problem #3

Feb 242003

(reported on)

Grand Prix

  • miles
The engine stalled, and the ignition locked up.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #2

Sep 171998

Grand Prix

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The bolts on the oil pan were loose causing transmission fluid leak, the seal was also loose causing leak. Nlm

- Schnecksvi, PA, USA

problem #1

Oct 061998

Grand Prix

  • miles
While applying brakes there is a popping noise, sounds like a broken body mount. When turning hard to the right, sounds like a body mount broke.

- Rockvulle, KY, USA

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