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Dannar26

My Pontiac has a name...

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...and his name is "Bobby."

Bobby is my wife's 2001 Grand AM 4dr sedan with 2.4 liter engine. He came along with the girl, got married in 2011. Since then we got a newer car, and with a baby on the way, "we" felt that she ought to drive the shiny new car, while I would become Bobby's new principal driver.

Folks, I'm about as un-handy as they come. I was under the impression that oil changes were a once a year affair, and only recently learned the self explanitory art of filling one's tires. Yeah. Total tenderfoot here.

But I've decided enough is enough, and want to progress a bit more. I build computers, modify phones, and have a deep respect and interest in all things technology. I've found being part of forum groups helps one to gain new understanding about a given subject. So here I am. (The tapatalk support helps a lot too)

Bobby's a bit quirky, but I love the fact that he's cheap to insure, and that he incurs no car payment to us. I also enjoy the low to the ground feeling I get (as opposed to our high sitting Sentra) as I drive. I hope that the knowlege I gain here may help me get the most out of my Grand Am.

Duely blundered from my thunderdolt

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Yikes, the n00b of n00bs.

Words of warning: I tend to be extremely blunt. I know these cars pretty well, (I do own one after all, and modified four other GA's.) and know their usual quirks. The 2.4L DOHC engine (the LD9) is a pretty stout motor. They're known for water pump issues and timing cover leaks past 100,000 miles. The timing chain should also be replaced, as well as the valve cover gasket and spark plug tube seals. Those are the main issues.

Oil changes, make sure you have them done every 3,000 miles with conventional oil. Tire rotations every 6,000-7,000 miles, make sure the tire PSI is at 32psi all around. NEVER put them to the max shown on the sidewalls.

Any questions, just speak your mind.

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:welcomeFP:

We have quite a lot of people around that can help your knowledge grow ;) Mainly Chris will be one of the best point of contacts for the GA because well... he already explained it :lol:

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welcome to FP.

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welcometothetribe-1.gif

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Welcome! And yes, Chris (Chaos) sometimes comes off a douche :lol2: , but he's only trying to help!

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Hey, it's fair play. Nobody was rude, and I did jump into a car enthisiast forum saying I didn't know about oil changes. It's like going into a computer tech forum (something else I do) and asking "what the gigabytes are."

My wife's GA has 119k miles on it. It came into her possession around 87k miles. Since she's had it, I think the only major thing we've had wrong was the fuel pump dying around 112k miles. It was quite irritating...had to get it towed of course, and got raped for a 1100.00 repair bill for it. Been running fine ever since. She worked for an infiniti service shop, so it's maintenance has been kept up, belts, brakes, rotors, and oil all right where it needed to be.

Of course there was the time where it "vapor locked" (term my brother used) when my wife and him were driving around July of last year. It just shut down after she got cut off on a highway, and cruised to the shoulder without power anything. She tried accelerating after getting cut off, and that's when it happened. After that the engine wouldn't turn, and all the warning dashboard lights were all on. Ten minutes later, everything was fine. It was odd, but it only happened once. This was when we bought the sentra. Bobby, it would seem, got all emo jealous on us.

This car has a lot of personality. The turnsignal noise randomly clicks frantically here and there. Almost like it's talking...I know that seems odd to say. If we make a 3 point turn down a dark country road, he'll flip shit and click like our lives are in danger. Usually he isn't that noisy.

Duely blundered from my thunderdolt

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>fuel pump

>$1100 bill

>mfw

7d58778c.jpg

Anyway, a fuel pump job usually costs $150-$220 in labor, since the fuel tank has to be dropped from the chassis to be replaced. The fuel pump itself can cost between $150-$275 depending on your sources. The entire unit (the pump, sending relay, etc) is all designed together, and is replaced all together, unlike years gone by where the small fuel pump itself could just be replaced.

Vapor lock...that's unusual, for it to behave like that, something cause the PCM to shut off spark and fuel...I've seen bad grounds cause electrical issues like that, especially in older age when ground points corrode.

The clicky noise is a very common issue, basically the contact points in the turn signal switch in the stalk on the steering column become dirty, causing the random clicks from the hazard switch on the center console. Either disassembling the switch and cleaning it, or replacing it altogether are your options.

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Yeah, I never thought the price was fair. Old family friend said that if it was the fuel pump (we didnt know for sure) we'd be looking at a 600 dollar job. When I confronted the head mechanic about it, he showed me the invoice for the part he ordered. It was ~780. I guess he opted for the gold plated model. He then went on to give a lecture about how it's cheaper to pay for repairs than have to deal with a car payment, and I told him I disliked his bedside manner and the lack of reach around.

My guess is that when a car is towed to a mechanic, they have you by the short hairs.

He also said that the ethanol in gas these days tends to be rougher on older cars and, evidently, their fuel pumps. Is there truth to that?

Duely blundered from my thunderdolt

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Dunno about the ethanol...my original fuel pump shat the bed around 142K, but that seems the norm for N-body fuel pumps.

But $780 for a pump? Damn...I got my high grade aftermarket unit for $150. :lol: My advice: BUY your parts for the mechanic to install. If they refuse, find another shop. Most still accept customer bought parts to use.

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The only thing that ethanol would be hard on is the rubber components of the fuel system. Since there is no rubber in the fuel pump it should not be an issue. Being as your car is a 2001 it should have been able to handle 10-15% ethanol blended fuel.

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Hm. It was a consolation explanation. Next time I'll be sure to get the parts from somewhere first.

Do you guys use the standard retailer shops like AAP, AZ, PB, napa and the like?

Duely blundered from my thunderdolt

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I worked at Autozone for a couple of years, so I know people in the parts business. :lol:

Most of the time, I'll order from online sources. Rock Auto is a great source for replacement parts.

When you want mods, I'll get more info on that for you.

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