Looking at buying a 2004 Grand Am GT. I haven't seen it in person yet, but I wanted to ask you opinions on them, and the 3.4L OHV engine. I am not familiar with this particular 60* V6. Thoughts? Thank you!
My father had one from about 40k miles to about 165k when he traded it in. I don't recall him ever having any major issues with it. Mostly just wear and tear items like brakes/tires. I do think he had a wheel bearing issue a couple of times and I think the power windows might have had some electrical gremlins toward the end. It was a 4 door 2004 Grand Am GT if memory serves me correctly. I do recall him saying that the car certainly didn't owe him anything.
Not first hand experience, so take it for what it's worth.
------------------ Past: 1988 base coupe sold 1984 base coupe rust Present: 1986 SE 2m6
[This message has been edited by Fiero 88 (edited 11-15-2016).]
I had a '99 Grand Am with that engine. It's the Generation III 60º V6. It's a good engine with aluminum heads and roller cam. It makes around 170-185 HP depending on application. Early versions like mine had a recurring problem with Lower Intake Manifold gasket failures, but they went to a new design gasket by 2004. I replaced mine with the new design and never had any more issues.
Easy to maintain, too. Bleed valves for the coolant to make getting air out of the cooling system after a coolant flush easy. Incredibly easy to change alternator and water pump.
One weird thing is there is an engine mount that mounts to the front of the engine where the serpentine belt is. The belt actually goes around the mount, so you have to take the engine mount loose to change the belt. It's not difficult and there's a trick to doing it so you don't actually have to completely disconnect the mount. That's the only weird thing I ran into with mine.
As with any late model car with ABS, I recommend flushing the brake fluid every 1-2 years. Dirty fluid can ruin your ABS module and that's an expensive repair. Fluid changes are cheap insurance. It's best to have a shop do it. They can hook up to the computer and activate the ABS module so make sure everything is purged out of the module as well. A regular bleeding of the brakes won't do that.
We had a 1999 Alero (basically the same car) and really liked it. It felt solid and the engine made lots of torque for what it is. Sold it when kid came (It was a two door and getting the car seat in was tough). The neighbor has a Grand Am and the only real issue seems to be rusty rockers that hide themselves under the plastic covers. crawl under there and check for rust.