Thinking about buying a 2001 Grand Am SE.


eaglegtx
04-19-2005, 08:32 PM
The specs.
2001 pontiac grand am se.
2.4 litre engine.
Automatic trans


Like the topic title says...I'm thinking about buying one. The price is right, but I noticed a few problems.

1)Strange front end noise, kinda like a rattling sound. Any ideas?

2)Some engine noise. I've noticed a very faint tapping noise. A friend of mine told me it was the fuel injectors making the noise. Is there a way to cure the problem without replacing the injectors? Is this a common problem with 2001 Grand Am's, and should I even worry about it?

3)Side note. Some of my friends tell me that the pontiac 2.4, is the engine from hell. True or false...Please explain.

Ridenour
04-19-2005, 09:00 PM
welcome to the forum eagle.

1) - describe the front end noise more. When does it happen / what does it sound like

2) - If that tapping is coming from the fuel injectors, a fuel injector purge for 100$-ish at a shop should fix that problem. Are you sure it's not more of a ticking? If it is a ticking, it's just the notorious lifter tick, and nothing to worry about.

3) The 2.4 is a decent engine that should last quite some time. How many miles does it have on it? Like every engine, it has some weak areas, but it also has many strengths. The "Quad-Four" engine was one of the most common, reliable GM engines ever built.

eaglegtx
04-20-2005, 07:29 PM
welcome to the forum eagle.

1) - describe the front end noise more. When does it happen / what does it sound like

2) - If that tapping is coming from the fuel injectors, a fuel injector purge for 100$-ish at a shop should fix that problem. Are you sure it's not more of a ticking? If it is a ticking, it's just the notorious lifter tick, and nothing to worry about.

3) The 2.4 is a decent engine that should last quite some time. How many miles does it have on it? Like every engine, it has some weak areas, but it also has many strengths. The "Quad-Four" engine was one of the most common, reliable GM engines ever built.

It has 76k on it.

The front end noise is kinda like a clunking sound, happens when I hit bumps. I assume it's the struts, but I also here a sqeaking noise, as well.

I suppose it is more.. of a ticking sound. It increases with with higher rpm's, and is almost impossible to hear unless you are infront of the car.

I have to wonder why you think the 2.4 is a good engine? Since I last posted, I have spoken to many people about the engine, and have heard nothing but bad things. Nothing specific, but all bad.

jarhed
04-20-2005, 07:41 PM
Dont do it.

I'm trying desperately to fix mine so I can sell it, and everytime I think it's fixed, something else pops up.

eaglegtx
04-20-2005, 08:20 PM
Dont do it.

I'm trying desperately to fix mine so I can sell it, and everytime I think it's fixed, something else pops up.


If you don't mind me asking...What year is yours? What is wrong with yours? Have you had it for a while? If so...what kind of problems have you had with it?

jarhed
04-20-2005, 09:00 PM
Mine is a 2001 SE, v-6.

Lets see, where do I start....

Strange noise on steering column. Steering gets squirrelly at speed.

Serious hesitation during acceleration, replaced $60+ ignition coil, still a problem, re-gapped all plugs, still a problem.

Radiator fans dont want to work anymore.

Today, the temp guage decided it didnt want to work for a while.

Took it to dealer for recall on the hazard button (DONT LET THEM DO IT! DO IT YOURSELF!!), they shorted out my stereo lights, then denied it, and were backed up by GM.

Daytime running lights dont want to work anymore, but lights flash when car starts up, then the Service Vehicle Soon light stays on. (Dealer wants $125 to find the source of that problem)

DONT BUY A PONTIAC. I'm sticking with German cars for now on. GM can keep spiraling into bankruptcy for all I care. They wont even stand behind their own product or customers, as evidenced by my phone calls to them regarding the stereo light screwup by the dealer.

eaglegtx
04-20-2005, 09:07 PM
Mine is a 2001 SE, v-6.

Lets see, where do I start....

Strange noise on steering column. Steering gets squirrelly at speed.

Serious hesitation during acceleration, replaced $60+ ignition coil, still a problem, re-gapped all plugs, still a problem.

Radiator fans dont want to work anymore.

Today, the temp guage decided it didnt want to work for a while.

Took it to dealer for recall on the hazard button (DONT LET THEM DO IT! DO IT YOURSELF!!), they shorted out my stereo lights, then denied it, and were backed up by GM.

Daytime running lights dont want to work anymore, but lights flash when car starts up, then the Service Vehicle Soon light stays on. (Dealer wants $125 to find the source of that problem)

DONT BUY A PONTIAC. I'm sticking with German cars for now on. GM can keep spiraling into bankruptcy for all I care. They wont even stand behind their own product or customers, as evidenced by my phone calls to them regarding the stereo light screwup by the dealer.


Well...Thanks for the info. I've been getting quite a bit of negative feedback... from different sources, as well.
BTW. That stereo thing blows my mind. Sorry to hear about that.

jarhed
04-20-2005, 09:29 PM
No prob.

After 20 or more years working on GM's in my garage or yard or for friends, painting, rebuilding engines, restoring classics, I've finally been completely disillusioned by GM. The last straw was denying an issue that they or the dealer could have corrected for a couple hundred bucks on their end. In the process, they've lost tens of thousands of dollars of potential sales revenue from me from what could have been my next 4-10 GM purchases over the next thirty years (if they last that long).

I'm on my 5th BMW since my first one in 1992 and will never go back. Yeah, problems exist, but they are few and far between. My 1992 735iL has less issues at 211,000 miles than my 2001 pontiac. Explain that? I've replaced the head gasket and a scratched up camshaft - it purrs like a kitten with PLENTY of power.

I will still fix this car and sell it. I bought it in 2002 and it was very powerful and a great ride. The stereo sounds great, and save the idiot rearending me on the way to work, has no body issues other than some peeling paint on the bottom of the rear wheel wells.

Hopefully, someone else will have much better luck. If I ever own a GM again, it'll be a 1970 Vette or 69 Camaro, for restoration purposes only.

jarhed
04-20-2005, 09:30 PM
BTW, I pasted the letter I wrote to GM on this board somewhere. I'll see if I can find it.

Ridenour
04-20-2005, 09:30 PM
Eagle, that ticking sound is just one of your lifters - don't worry about it.

Mine is a 2001 SE, v-6.

Lets see, where do I start....

Strange noise on steering column. Steering gets squirrelly at speed.

Serious hesitation during acceleration, replaced $60+ ignition coil, still a problem, re-gapped all plugs, still a problem.

Radiator fans dont want to work anymore.

Today, the temp guage decided it didnt want to work for a while.

Took it to dealer for recall on the hazard button (DONT LET THEM DO IT! DO IT YOURSELF!!), they shorted out my stereo lights, then denied it, and were backed up by GM.

Daytime running lights dont want to work anymore, but lights flash when car starts up, then the Service Vehicle Soon light stays on. (Dealer wants $125 to find the source of that problem)

DONT BUY A PONTIAC. I'm sticking with German cars for now on. GM can keep spiraling into bankruptcy for all I care. They wont even stand behind their own product or customers, as evidenced by my phone calls to them regarding the stereo light screwup by the dealer.

First of all, Jarhed, you're giving him input on a completely different engine. I have a 2001 GT with the 3.4 V6 (same exact engine as you) and I haven't had a single problem with it other then some hesitation a while back (which was caused by me using the wrong plugs). I've had very few problems with my car, and the one's that you describe aren't very common.

And GM is not going to "spiral into bankruptcy" - GM reported losses this quarter - true. But earnings always flucuate. GM has a ton of great new products coming out. I am in GM - I can testify to how the company is doing. It's doing great. And it could never go into "bankruptcy" due to it's massiveness - it just has too many assets. If you ask me, buying a pontiac at this time is a good idea - there's tons of great products right now. And I'm sorry to hear about your shitty dealer experiences - but those experiences don't neccersarily reflect how all of GM operates. There are some asshole dealers, but there are also many great ones.

Ridenour
04-20-2005, 09:41 PM
Mine is a 2001 SE, v-6.

Lets see, where do I start....

Strange noise on steering column. Steering gets squirrelly at speed.

Serious hesitation during acceleration, replaced $60+ ignition coil, still a problem, re-gapped all plugs, still a problem.

Radiator fans dont want to work anymore.

Today, the temp guage decided it didnt want to work for a while.

Took it to dealer for recall on the hazard button (DONT LET THEM DO IT! DO IT YOURSELF!!), they shorted out my stereo lights, then denied it, and were backed up by GM.

Daytime running lights dont want to work anymore, but lights flash when car starts up, then the Service Vehicle Soon light stays on. (Dealer wants $125 to find the source of that problem)


Let me try to help you out with some of those problems, Jarhed.

The steering symptoms sound like deffinately 1 of 2 things A) low power steering fluid or B) bad power steering pump

The hesitation could be caused by many things

Coil packs
Wires
Plugs - what kind are you using?
TPS
vacuum leak
Clogged / dirty fuel injector(s)
the radiator fan / temp guage sounds like it is thermostat related
the DRL issue is most likely a problem with your BCM - it's the unit underneath the glovebox are on your passenger side. It is known to be affected by leaks in that area on some vehicles - it's possible water could have corroded some of the connections and could be causing trouble.

I hope you understand in my last post I wasn't bashing on you or anything - just had to disagree

jarhed
04-20-2005, 09:42 PM
Eagle, that ticking sound is just one of your lifters - don't worry about it.



First of all, Jarhed, you're giving him input on a completely different engine. I have a 2001 GT with the 3.4 V6 (same exact engine as you) and I haven't had a single problem with it other then some hesitation a while back (which was caused by me using the wrong plugs). I haven't had a single problem with my car, and haven't ever heard of half the ones you describe, so they must not be too common.

And GM is not going to "spiral into bankruptcy" - GM reported losses this quarter - true. But earnings always flucuate. GM has a ton of great new products coming out. I am in GM - I can testify to how the company is doing. It's doing great. And it could never go into "bankruptcy" due to it's massiveness - it just has too many assets. If you ask me, buying a pontiac at this time is a good idea - there's tons of great products right now. And I'm sorry to hear about your shitty dealer experiences - but those experiences don't neccersarily reflect how all of GM operates. There are some asshole dealers, but there are also many great ones.

Never said they were going to spiral into bankruptcy, I said they COULD for all I care. I'm glad you havent had the issues I've had, I wouldnt wish it on anyone. My problems are not all engine related. Minor electrical snafu's are probably the biggest issue (the new temp guage issue, the hesitation, the daytime lights). By the way, if you've never heard of those issues, you may want to read back a few months. All of those are described by other Grand Am owners, both with 4-cyl and 6-cyl engines.

Yes, earnings always fluctuate, but dont ever make the mistake of thinking a company could "never go into bankruptcy due to it's massiveness". Regardless of it's assets, any company can have serious trouble (Remember Chrysler's bankruptcy?). Not to mention, that assets dont mean anything unless they are liquid. If you cant sell off any more buildings, layoff more workers, sell more equipment, etc, you cant bail yourself out. (Remember Chrysler? Pan Am? TWA? Corporate Life of Phila? AMC?). I dont expect that GM will ever fail, but they can (and have in the past) consolidate and trim their expenses to a point that almost seems drastic from the inside. I'm sure you've seen this in any company you've worked at.

Also, my problems are not only with the dealer, they were the root of the problem, yes. The real surprise is when every person I talked to at GM in Detroit gave me the same line of bull**** that my stereo problem was just "coincidence". Let me tell you, I've owned MANY GM cars, and NONE have had stereo lights burn out in a three year old car. Again, GM could have sided with a loyal customer and fixed the problem for what amounts to pennies to them, but decided that I was not worth their effort.

So, GM and their vehicles are no longer worth my money. Simple as that.

jarhed
04-20-2005, 09:53 PM
Let me try to help you out with some of those problems, Jarhed.

The steering symptoms sound like deffinately 1 of 2 things A) low power steering fluid or B) bad power steering pump

The hesitation could be caused by many things

Coil packs
Wires
Plugs - what kind are you using?
TPS
vacuum leak
Clogged / dirty fuel injector(s)
the radiator fan / temp guage sounds like it is thermostat related
the DRL issue is most likely a problem with your BCM - it's the unit underneath the glovebox are on your passenger side. It is known to be affected by leaks in that area on some vehicles - it's possible water could have corroded some of the connections and could be causing trouble.

I hope you understand in my last post I wasn't bashing on you or anything - just had to disagree

Here is what I've already done or am in the process of doing:

Steering problem - not a power steering fluid issue, not a pump issue, it's mechanical *CLUNK, CLUNK!!* I know where the noise is coming from, identified the problem, just not willing to buy a new steering arm at the price offered currently.

Coil Packs - Already replaced the affected cylinder pack #3.
Wires - Brand new (factory ones are garbage)
Plugs - NGK
TPS - not addressed yet
Vacuum leak - tested and found none
Fuel Injectors - had injectors and entire system cleaned, will next replace injectors
Radiator Fan - just noticed problem, will dig this weekend into the problem.


I have no problem with you disagreeing, thats fine. My point is that GM let me down. Literally abandoned me. Thats not what BMW does to me, on my 92 735iL or my 97 528i. I know parts wear out, but DAMN! I honestly have never seen this kind of part failure in a car this young. That includes any other GM I've ever owned (76 Monte Carlo, 71 Vette, 76 Monza-my dads car, 79 Monte Carlo, 4 different Camaro's, two Grand Prix's, a 97 Sunfire, this Grand Am, and yes, even the Vega with that crap slant aluminum engine).

I know you love GM's, I have no problem with that. I did too until last fall when they slapped me in the face. Now, it's all I can do to keep up with things that are breaking just to sell this car.

My opinion still stands. I wouldnt buy a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am. Period.

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