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97 Grand AM 3100

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My friends mom is selling her 97 Grand Am 4 door 3.1 and I'm thinking of buying it for the wife. She bought it new and the good part is it only has 45,000 miles on it. The car has never had a rough day in its life, just driven locally by an older woman. Even though it has low miles she had the dreaded intake manifold leak but had that replaced last fall. It also has new brakes and comes with 4 winter tires on rims. I can get it for $4000 Canadian (about 3300 U.S.). Should I Go for it or pass? I am aware of some of the issues these cars have but figure with such low mileage this car should be good for a while.

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Good car... we (my parents and I) had a 1997 Grand Am from 1997

to just a few weeks ago when it got traded in on a 2006 Cobalt coupe.

Their biggest problem with it was a $h!ty aftermarket anti-theft

system. Had it not been for that and some emissions issues they might

have kept it longer. It only had like 115,000 on it.

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I have 128,000 miles on my 3100 Achieva and I beat the $h! out of the thing and it still runs like a champ. The only severe problem I've had is that notorious head gasket issue with the 60 degree engines.. I'd get that checked out before it becomes an issue. Other than that and general upkeep, I haven't really put much money into keeping it running.

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I had 180K on my 3100 Corsica when the tranny went out out-of-state and it got junkyarded. Engine still ran very strong, and I never had a problem during the couple years I had it.

Check NADA and Kelley Blue Book guides for appropriate pricing, but it should be a solid car.

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I have 128,000 miles on my 3100 Achieva and I beat the $h! out of the thing and it still runs like a champ. The only severe problem I've had is that notorious head gasket issue with the 60 degree engines.. I'd get that checked out before it becomes an issue. Other than that and general upkeep, I haven't really put much money into keeping it running.

Thanks for the comments, I love to hear feedback from owners. As mentioned in my original post the car did have the intake manifold job done last fall so I don't expect to have any issues with that.

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If the intake was already done then you should be good to go for at least another 100K and regular service of course. The brakes on these cars aren't the best.

Thanks, I know Grand Ams have brake issues just like Cavaliers. Is it because of a $h!ty designed brake system or would going to better quality non GM brake parts extend the life of the brakes?

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I think you can do swaps for upgraded brake off a newer 99+ or W-body. But then you would need new wheels as the bolt pattern on those n-bodys are 5x100 vs 5x115. I'm not sure how direct of a swap they can be (if they are at all) but it might be cheaper getting from a junk yard. Just a thought :twocents:

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The only brake issues I ever see are leaking rear wheel cylinders , sometimes ABS problems with morraine 2 , not so much , good car but 3300 is a bit much - dealer would probably offer a grand wholesale

p/s pumps start to make noise when old

broken stablizer links

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Cool! Best of luck. :)

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I got the car and it is in very good condition. It has a bit of the paint peeling problem above the back wheel well and the lower front fender but I'm going to get that touched up by the body shop. Only 45K on it so it is a very solid car for a 97.

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We've had the car for 3 weeks now and like I mentioned before the intake gasket repair was done in February but the other morning it was cool and when I put the heater on I noticed it smelled like coolant inside the car. I know that is not a good sign but the Rad is full and there doesn't seem to be any leaks. Any ideas?

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If you like the overall body style and the way the car is packaged, then go for it. Low mileage cars are always a gem to find. My 1992 now has 225,000 miles, so a 1997 with 45,000 miles is pretty impressive...and rare. Be sure to get a batch of receipts with it, too.

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We've had the car for 3 weeks now and like I mentioned before the intake gasket repair was done in February but the other morning it was cool and when I put the heater on I noticed it smelled like coolant inside the car. I know that is not a good sign but the Rad is full and there doesn't seem to be any leaks. Any ideas?

Still notice the coolant smell in the car when the heater is on but the coolant level hasn't dropped at all. maybe the heater core is leaking?

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Still notice the coolant smell in the car when the heater is on but the coolant level hasn't dropped at all. maybe the heater core is leaking?

...maybe... If it totally goes, you'll have major window fog issues, and a stronger smell.

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