Transmission Failure


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
80,000 miles
Total Complaints:
14 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. needed a complete rebuild (11 reports)
  2. not sure (3 reports)
2001 Pontiac Grand Prix transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Pontiac Grand Prix Owner Comments

problem #14

Jan 022013

Grand Prix GT 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


Just found out that the 4th gear shaft in my transmission is bad and will need to be replaced as the car will not shift into 4th gear and remains in 3rd gear no matter how fast I am driving. Researched this problem and found that this is a MAJOR and VERY COMMON problem with GM cars and Pontiac Grand Prix's made before 2003 as Pontiac/GM was cheap and used unhardened parts for the gears and the shaft. Three different mechanics (two of the Pontiac mechanics) told me they see this all the time and there should have been a recall on this long ago! I bought the 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GT in 2002 and with all the problems I am now having as a single father of a 19 month-old little girl, I will never by GM or Pontiac again. By Japanese as those cars last forever and are made with quality that the companies stands behind. Pontiac/GM knew about this problems for years and have done nothing for their customers.

- Lance T., Milwaukee, WI, US

problem #13

Nov 122011

Grand Prix 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

I would of never bought this vehicle knowing all the problems we would have. I had to fight with the dealership to replace the transmission 2 TIMES! Then at 99,000 miles I had to replace the transmission AGAIN. Cost me almost $3000. Talk about the most unreliable vehicle I have ever had. We have 4 kids to drive around and pd over$12,000 for this vehicle. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY GM AND STAND BEHIND YOUR PRODUCTS. We are just everyday working people and we have been taken advantage of.

- Mari C., Omaha, NE, US

problem #12

Jun 182006

Grand Prix 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,833 miles

My biggest complaint was this car was sold to me by a dealer who certified this car, 2 days after purchase the tires kept going flat, the rear end would slide sideways when you applied the brake and the car always bottoms out when pulling into drives or any incline. The car had 36,000 miles on it when i purchased. Then at 70,00 miles the car started having tranny problems ended up costing me 300.00 after my extended warranty paid the 1300.00 then the alternator went out the next week, then the battery, now it's the blower capacitor on the air. This car has been a pain the ass and pocket book since day one.. and lets not talk about the rubber gaskets around the doors. Wish I had bought a chevy...

- Mona W., Indpls, IN, US

problem #11

Mar 012010

Grand Prix GT 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,987 miles


at 69,000 miles the catalytic converter clogged and the vehicle would not shift or go over 35mph after fighting with a sub dealer the chevy dealer diagnosed it and repaied it under warranty. Now not quite 30,000 miles later the transmission is going out 3rd and overdrive. I have ran automotive shops for 20 years and other than chrysler products that is unheard of. One of my friends that runs a trans shop said "Oh yea they have problems with the splines and have updated parts" Well thats just great at my expense as well as the wheel bearings that are 220.00 ea just for parts struts inner tie rods and all the normal things that need replaced. It's crap when they know there is a problem and can't step up and take care of it no wonder America is sinking into the greedy cesspool we are.

- Rich R., Des Moines, IA, US

problem #10

Jun 012009

Grand Prix GTP 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 146,000 miles

Trans would shift smoothly from 3rd to 4th gear at around 40 mph, then hold 4th gear until I go to 47mph, then down shift back into 3rd gear and stays there until I slowed down, then it would down shift normally. But when I increased my speed again it would go 3rd to 4th, and then back to 3rd again. Gas mileage went to hell, 12 mpg and RPM's in the 3,500 range on the highway. Trans repair guy told me the transmissions are not made with very strong metal anymore and wear internally. We (US manufacturers) used to make them with much better metals. The internal clutching system just wore out. Piece of crap trans, especially since we took very good care of it and never beat the car at all (although we did have to make sure the turbo boost was working right ever once in a while!).

- Dan G., Milwaukee, WI, US

problem #9

Jan 012008

Grand Prix GT 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I have a 01 3.8L Pontiac Grand Prix. There is no first or fourth gear in my car. I have had the tranny replaced and the computer replaced and am still having the same problem. What could it possibly be?

- sweetkisses11789, Conroe, TX, US

problem #8

Apr 102009

Grand Prix 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


This is the second time in a month that I've had to have this car fixed. Both times it was a costly expense.

- mvalenzuela, Schulenburg, TX, US

problem #7

Jul 202005

Grand Prix GT 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

The sun shell (something to do with moving from reverse to drive?) in the transmission "broke" and caused the entire transmission to need a rebuild. Dealership wanted $2,700. Russ Moore put in a rebuilt transmission that has a 75,000 mile warranty for $1,875. GM was willing to give me a $1,500 credit toward my next Pontiac purchase if I had the dealer make the repairs but I told them I wouldn't be buying another Pontiac if that was the kind of product and service they provide.

- Monte L., Fort Wayne, IN, US

problem #6

Feb 022008

Grand Prix 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

Garage kept, mint condition car, with only 20,000 miles on it. Had to have a totally new transmission installed. No noticeable problems with transmission until the day it broke. Spoke to GM and Fred Bean Pontiac dealer and both parties would not help with cost. Pontiac Dealership wanted $3,200 to replace. Went to a transmission dealer and saved over $1,000. Very upset. I will have to think again before I purchase another GM car.

- Fred S., Birdsboro, PA, US

problem #5

Jul 032007

(reported on)

Grand Prix SE 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Ok I buy this car at 56,000 miles and its running great and then at about 64,000 the transmission starts slipping. I get it diagnosed and come to find out it need a complete and total rebuild!!!!! I look around at many shops and the best deal i can get is $2,000! Of course I have to do it because i'm still making payments on this piece.

I ask around to all the other people that i know who own grand prixs and 6 out of 7 had to have a rebuild. It is not just 2001 models but models 1998 to 2004 with all different engines sizes. I feel that they need to do something about this reoccurring issue. Just wondering if anyone else has had this serious of problems with their transmissions... If so let me know please.......

- drofniwsaeela, Laingsburg, MI, US

problem #4

May 242006

(reported on)

Grand Prix GT

  • 90,000 miles


This same problem has now happened with my car. I've spoken with Pontiac directly, and they are willing to correct it if it can be determined that this was a direct result of the initial catalytic converter problem. My mechanic spoke with several other mechanics in Atlanta who handled the catalytic converter recall, and specified they have had 14 cars with transmission failure come in within 6 months of the converter being replaced.

- princess, Suwanee, GA, US

problem #3

Dec 102006

(reported on)

Grand Prix 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

About 1 year ago my transmission felt like it was slipping. I took it to a transmission guy and he drove it it of course it did not do it. He said he never heard of such problem. It sometimes does it, sometimes the Service Engine Light come on and goes off. I have had my catalytic converter replaced twice, 6 O2 sensors replaced; I have had it at the dealer 4 or 5 times with the same answer O2 sensor. Now this all has been done within that last year. Now my car will not go over 20mph and sometimes not even 10mph. I can not drive my car. I still do not know what is wrong with my car. I is going to the dealer this week with one pissed off customer!!!

- Dana H., Russellton, PA, US

problem #2

Aug 152006

(reported on)

Grand Prix

  • 46,000 miles

My car would not shift out of 2nd. ends up the cluch pad was messed up and the whole transmition had to be pulled out and sent out of town and rebuilt then sent back. I have also replaced two window regulators on this car. I see no reason why a these would happen to a car with so few miles and 5 years old. What an expensive fix!

- kathrynut, St George, UT, US

problem #1

Oct 132003

(reported on)

Grand Prix GT

  • 60,000 miles

At 100,000km my Grand Prix at less than 2 years old would barely move, I told the dealer that and that the transmission felt like it was slipping. It turns out that the catalytic converter was defective and was blocked, it in turn damaged the intake on the engine. They ended up fixing these issues under warranty(after fighting for it) except the transmission, they said there was nothing wrong with it. 6 months later the transmission went, it cost me $4000 (Canadian) to fix. I complained to GM as the orginal problems were the cause, but GM won't do anything for me. I am going to be taking GM Canada to court over this. It's pretty bad that GM won't do the right thing, I have been a loyal GM owner for many years approx 8 cars. Now I will never purchase a GM vehicle again.

- mharris, Bowmanville, Ontairo, Canada

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