I inherited my '99 Grand Am from my grandmother when I was 16 (in 2005). It had 117,000 miles on it and had no problems at all. Shortly after getting it, the window on the driver side refused to roll up. The volume control for the radio was faulty. Those were the only things that ever happened to it. I never got them fixed, and was fine. Went to college for a year without it. Sat for 2 years w/o driving. Replaced coolant system, fuel pump, and battery and it was back to running great! The side mirrors fell off (easy fix-it-yourself). Have to junk yard it because I got rear-ended. I'm sad to see it go. Considering getting another. Excellent car. I definitely recommend it!
I bought this car in 2002 when it had less than 30,000 miles. By the time I got rid of it at 130K, both side mirrors were held up with glue, the bottom of the car was held up with a clothes hanger, the front dash was cracked, the security system cut off the fuel system at random times, the fuel gauge was broken, it burned a quart of oil every 200 miles, the power steering fluid would spill out about once every few months, all windows were broken, the shocks were shot, the fan would only work on settings 3, 4 and 5, the knob for the fan was broken and ABS light would come on went I made sharp turns and the car would skid on dry ground regularly. In short, this car was a piece of garbage.
I really don't know where to begin with describing this vehicle. I inherited this from my parents who bought it relatively new. So let's flashback a few years: When my parents owned it, the power winders broke. I read that this is a common problem with these models. They were fixed, then a couple years later the rear ones broke again. They work now. Now that I have it, very occasionally the driver side window knob won't function, but after I play with a few times it begins to work. Let's start with the repairs I've put into it the past few years. The power steering went out whilst I was driving a couple years ago. I pulled into a mall market lot, walked to the nearest Auto Zone, and put power steering fluid in my car - only to notice it was falling right out onto the street. No small leaks, just a straight out fall. So I ended up having that fixed which was $600. Then, a few months later, the belt and crankshaft malfunctioned while driving. This was another $600 fix. Then just a few months ago, the engine started misfiring on the way to work. I found out one of the spark plugs blew, so I had them all replaced with platinum spark plugs, and from that point on, now it's running great; I can't really blame the car for this, I suppose the car was due for new spark plugs. A few "minor" problems: The AC wiring went out in the summer, sort of. It works, I just have to turn the heat on first, then back to air, and play with the knob a bit. The display on the radio has been out for quite some time, although this is an easy fix. I just have to guess what radio station I'm listening to; also, the right front speaker is blown. The lower intake gasket has been leaking anti-freeze for several years now, which I read has been a major problem in these cars, and since this is a $1000 fix, it's not worth it. As long as I keep refilling it with anti-freeze every couple of weeks, it's not a problem. The engine tends to run hot, also a common problem. The car overheats in stop-and-go traffic, but this can be nullified by turning on the heat. Yes, I have to drive with the heat on often to keep the thermostat level. It tends to burn oil - I discovered this when my "low oil" came on several months back, and put a quart of oil in. But the bright side to this is, you can go longer between oil changes since you are putting in fresh oil. When it rains, it leaks water on the inside of the car under the steering wheel. After a rain, when I turn the steering wheel right, water will leak and get my shoes all wet. I read online that this model gets 19/30 mpg - HA! No, it doesn't. This car eats up gas like crazy, especially in stop-and-go traffic. But I think this is because it has over 180K and the fact that the oil and anti-freeze leak. As far as physical: As many have already noted, the front dashboard is warped. The cupholder is a horrible design - it sits behind the gear shifter, and when the car is in park, your drink is locked in there. I have to use the passenger side cupholder. As far as positives: The engine runs great. At 180k, the acceleration is good and the ride is smooth like a new car. I started putting synthetic oil in it for the past few changes, which helps a lot. The transmission also shifts well despite being the original transmission fluid, although I added some synthetic fluid to the existing fluid. Honestly, at this point right now, I'm surprised the car still runs as great as it does. And the anti-freeze problem seems to have fixed itself. But I have put my last dime in the car: I can buy a new car anytime I want, but right now I'm just waiting to see how long I can take this so I can get my full money's worth out of it. I'll buy a new car when the next major problem comes.
I've had this car for nearly 4 years! And I've replaced just about every important part needed for the car to run!! I've spent over $1000 on my car, not the best but if your willing to have to fixer upper buy this car!! Plus the interior is poor quality, and why brown???
Ive owned this car for a Year and a half it was pretty much immaculate When I bought it I happened to be the second owner in Its life time the pros: Its fun to Drive ,amazing on gas, reliable if well taken Care of , very stylish mines in white , interior is stylish ,has curb appeal , excellent sound system didnt exspect it to be that good, my complaints about this car is the front bumper is way too low to the ground and allways scrapes Its rusting Like crazy around Wheel Wells and on the rockers of the doors clear coat is chipping on spoiler and the most important thing remember to keep your oil topped off to the top twin CAM engines are notorios for that they burn oil Like crazy