Transmission Failure (Automatic)


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
116,750 miles
Total Complaints:
13 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (10 reports)
  2. at the dealer right now (1 reports)
  3. rebuilt transmission (1 reports)
  4. sold car (1 reports)
2000 Pontiac Grand Prix transmission problems

transmission problem

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2000 Pontiac Grand Prix Owner Comments

problem #13

May 152005

Grand Prix SE 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,800 miles


Bought a used 2000 Grand Prix SE in 2003, with 27k miles and got the extended 100k warranty since I knew I'd be driving a long ways to and from work. From the beginning, I had issues with sensors going bad, a misalignment in the back passenger axle which cause me to get alignments and still have to replace tires annually, and the drivers side electrical switch going bad.

The kicker finally came in May 2005, when at 99,800 I was on a trip crossing central Kansas when I went to pass a guy on the highway, when all of a sudden the RPM's shot way up, I was getting no push and hearing a loud mechanical whining coming from underneath the car. I pulled over immediately at a gas station to find smoke coming from the bottom of the car. I let it sit for an hour to cool off, and then babied the car to where I was staying. Took it the next day to get a full transmission fluid/filter change, it was almost time for my second flush at 100k anyways and I wanted to see if there was any damage in the trans. The tech said the fluid was a little burned but no metal shavings and generally looked good. I drove the car some more and noticed that the overdrive was not kicking in, the car was not shifting into the final gear in "D". If i left it in there at 70mph, the car would slowly begin overheating. If I shifted to "3" the car drove fine, but got terrible mileage of course.

I called the dealer immediately and told them of the issue. They said that unless I could get the car to the Detroit dealer before 100k, there was nothing they could do. Over 800 miles away, I told them it was impossible and asked if a dealer in KS could do something, but they said no, it had to be the Detroit dealer. They said I could tow the car back to Detroit, but this was impossible. Even IF i got the car back to Michigan, they said I'd have to pay 900 for them to inspect the damage and if they determined factory related issue, I'd get my money back and they'd replace the trans. If they determined it was me beating on the car, then I'd have to pay the 900 plus more for the repair. I knew if i took it there, they'd point the finger at me and I'd be screwed.

3 months later, I took the car back to the original dealer and requested a trade-in. They took the Grand Prix out for the test drive, and since the issue only happened at highway speeds, they never picked up the issue and gave me a good trade in value. I got a new car, and they got their headache back and left the state. I hope they enjoyed their repairs

- guzmand19, Shawnee, KS, US

problem #12

Apr 182009

Grand Prix GT 3800 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,701 miles

my transmission was leaking out of the vent on the top of the transmission and my car was on fire

- mrjep_22, Chicago, IL, US

problem #11

Mar 142009

Grand Prix Se Sedan 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

I have owned my Pontiac for almost 3 years every since i have had it,it has cost me more then it is worth,the transmission has always slipped and i have had a very small oil leak since day one but i bought it as is and was not aware of the problems until i had it for a few months at first it didn't bother me i have kept the car up religiously,oil change every 3 months,i have flushed my transmission every year,well about a couple weeks a go it was really bad, apparently were my transmission is constantly shifting hard and my RPM

- Christy M., Lebanon, TN, US

problem #10

Mar 272009

Grand Prix SE 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 172,500 miles


I bought this car used with 27,000 miles and I have kept the transmission serviced every 50,000 miles. The transmission made a funny noise the other day and now the car won't go into overdrive. The RPM's are up and today the service engine light came on. I know the car has a lot of miles but I believe the transmission should still be fine. I have never had a GM car with a transmission this bad.

- davidtennessee, Lyles, TN, US

problem #9

Jan 182007

Grand Prix GT 3800

  • Automatic transmission
  • 262,000 miles

I bought this car with this issue over a year ago, i knew it had these problems when i bought it but for the price i paid it was well worth it, i will be driving down the road, pull up to a stop sign, when i go to step on the gas the car will act as if it were in neutral for a few seconds while it revved really high, after 3 or 4 seconds the transmission will grab, smoke the tires and put me back in my seat, it seems as if the transmission is slipping really bad. it doesn't always do it though, the car has its good days, and its bad days. if the sun is shining and its nice and hot out it does great, if it is raining and muggy out its not so good, like it has a mind of its own. i'm looking to get it fixed, i'm thinking about doing the work myself, but i don't want to spend more than $750 for a used transmission. i bought the car January, 18 2007 and it has been like that since day one. I'm not really wanting to get rid of the car since it has been a rather good car for me since i have had it, aside from the fact that it has 274000 miles on it now and it is all original. its not like i really have to depend on that car because i do have another car that is my good car. i just want someone else's opinion on my situation.

- Wesley B., Pontiac, IL, US

problem #8

May 082007

(reported on)

Grand Prix SE 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

The transmission slips really hard into gear. It jerks into gear before you can shift it there also. I had one incident where I did accidentally push it into 3rd before I should have, but for the most part it has done that jerking, day since day one we got the car. We bought this car used and are being quadruple charged, yet now it seems we will probably be paying out the ass to get the transmission fixed as well? I don't see how that's very fair. I'll never purchase another Pontiac. I've owned cars twice as old as this one, and never have been through the problems I've had with this car within just 1 year of purchase.

- Julia H., Louisville, KY, US

problem #7

Nov 082007

(reported on)

Grand Prix GT 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


When I financed the car, I included an extended warranty (against my usual judgment on this kind of thing). At 88,000 miles, my transmission started going out. Finally, an extended warranty that PAID OFF! Upon fixing the car I was offered two options, either pay the $50 co-pay and they will put a used transmission in it that had 35,000 miles OR pay $1050 for a new transmission. With 88,000 miles on the car, plus the huge price difference, I went with the used transmission. Now today (11/8/07), the damn thing went out again at 120,000 miles! If there is any advice I can give you, have it rebuilt with a QUALITY rebuild kit which will hold up a lot better than a new or used stock transmission.

- Lance A., Catoosa, OK, US

problem #6

Apr 072007

(reported on)

Grand Prix SE 3.1

  • Automatic transmission
  • 181,000 miles

The transmission went out while merging onto a busy interstate. I gunned the engine a bit to get into traffic, the trans shifted down a gear to increase speed and then began shifting erratically between overdrive and 3rd before finally settling on 3rd gear.... where it stayed. After that I couldn't go much above 55mph, it would shift fine to 3rd, but no overdrive. I checked everywhere and the going rate for a repair was always around 2100....... more money down the drain. I really love driving these cars and they look nice too but they're a dang money pit! (in fairness though, the car is fairly high mileage)

- Matt H., Cookeville, TN, US

problem #5

May 312006

(reported on)

Grand Prix GT

  • 109,400 miles

According to the dealership the transmission lost the overdrive. The dealership also stated that "Fix" would cost $2,500. I have researched this problem and found it wide spread across the internet with other Grand Prix owners; Grand Prix's and transmission failures are quite synonymous.

- fireguy, Libby, MT, US

problem #4

Oct 142006

(reported on)

Grand Prix GT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

The car has been taken care of soundly the entire time I have had it. From 36,000 miles til present. Never had an issue with it until the transmission gave me troubles the other day. I started the car, placed it in gear and it shifted HARD into second and wouldn't shift into 3rd. Long story short, the transmission had to be overhauled and the repairmen had mentioned that these transmission were made "weak". He reassured me that the overhaul kit is of better quality than the factory. So hopefully a normal 150,000 to 200,000 part doesn't go out at half life.

- David W., Sioux Falls, SD, US

problem #3

Nov 122006

(reported on)

Grand Prix 3.1 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles


I had the transmission rebuilt at Aamco at 82,000. GM would not cover any of the costs because the mileage was beyond the power train warranty. This was a huge, unexpected expense on a car that was only 5 years old at the time.

- Joyce B., Cockeysville, MD, US

problem #2

Jan 012007

(reported on)

Grand Prix GX 3.8 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

I drove to mississippi for weekend. as i arrived noticed tranny was stuck in 3rd. no cruise. had to drive back to Texas in 3rd at 60 mph, 3,000 rpm. believe may be in computer due to the way it seemed to happen. new years day so no diagnosis 'til tomorrow. use car in business so will lose weeks work, rental fee plus repair costs. 94k miles paid for but may have to give away on trade-in. can't afford this right now. anone with similar problems, solutions, cost?

- Phil H., Tyler, TX, US

problem #1

Jul 312003

(reported on)

Grand Prix GT

  • 77,000 miles

The transmission is stuck in 3rd gear. This is pretty messed up when you try and keep your car in good shape as I have done. (i.e. changing the oil every 3000 miles, and the Trans Fluid every 50 to 55,000 miles as the book recommends) and the damn Trans goes out. I almost blew the engine when I first noticed the car driving very irractically. The RPM's were very high and my speed was minimal at least 55 or 60 mph. Now it's gonna cost me a fortune to have it fixed. If there's someone else out there with similar problems or have a solution please inform me. I've had to replace the Battery 3 times the Alternator twice, The power steering Once and now the damn Transmission. Why hasn't anyone complained yet...

- Jeff H., Sugar Hill, GA, US

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