This is more of an advice more than a question but you should read and leave opinions.

Danny Sanchez

Asked by Dec 15, 2013 at 04:16 PM about the 1999 Pontiac Grand Am 4 Dr SE Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

first off let me start by saying that the Pontiac Grand AM SE 4DR 6 Cylinder is a great
car but it does have its cons, and this is my personal story. my car was overheating a
bit too much, even though i knew that was bad, i was still driving because i needed to
get to school and work, but after a few months the car started to deteriorate little by
little, first the ABS light and SES lights came on. Then there was water vapor coming
out of the hood (water leak due to a broken water tank) then vapor from the tail pipe and
ultimately, due to the overheating, the head gaskets got ruined and water went into the
engine. flooding it and ultimately putting my car out of the road. I know now that this
was a rookie mistake and i hope this can help some one out there. If you car overheats
do not drive it like that take to a mechanic for a check up, my car could have been
saved if i had taken the time to check the small things but since i was new to the car
owner situation i did not. if your car does not run smoothly and the way it is supposed
to then something is wrong and sometimes is just a little easy fix to get it checked out.

4 Answers


Thanks Danny. To many times people over look the little tell tell signs that their car is sending them or ignore them thinking that it will just fix itself some how. I am a firm believer that if something does not seem right with your car then stop and check it out. Not all issues will give you a check engine light warning. But they will almost always have a different sound, feel, smell, ect. If something is starting to go wrong with them. Drive safe.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

mmmmm, hosewater will destroy aluminum by corroding it on a galvanic level....overheating may stretch the connecting rods (my '61 was a {brought back from the dead} wonder of excitement would leave you stranded what was wrong THIS time...but it looked cool~ the cooling jacket...pump it up to 17 PSI with the tester and see where does it spray out....probably will need to replace the head gasket....with any luck connecting rods will not be stretched and main bearings ground to a pulp~ some mechanics tools....lock yourself into a garage and spend two weeks taking the thing apart then guessing how many replacement parts that you can buy from the pickNpull.. re-assemble the thing~


100% agree with you, Danny! I've owned one Pontiac ('87 Fiero GT) and had regular overheating issues with the 2.8L V6 on that car..mostly due to the mid-engine design and very tight engine bay (not enough air flow and engine couldn't cool off properly)...I didn't baby it enough I guess..and this led to a rebuilt engine and ultimately the death of the Fiero. Since then, I've been much more attentive about warning lights and things about my cars that don't feel or sound right. Thanks for the advice and helpful insight!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Good information Danny! Thanks for taking the time to share your personal experience. Another helpful hint here is research the type of vehicle you're buying. Your Pontiac for example is notorious for head gasket failures. The 3.8 engine, found in the GT models, are notorious for intake manifold gasket failure. Also, run a carfax or other vehicle history report once you've narrowed down your search to a few specific vehicles. Car is an excellent site to find out if a specific year make and model vehicle is plagued with problems. -Jim

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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