Final generation of the Pontiac Grand Am.

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Why does my grand am gt overheat sometimes?

My 2001 grand am started overheating randomly or at least the gauge says it does. When I go for a drive in it I notice it will stay normal then rise to the red, sometimes when turning on the heater it will lower. Sometimes the heater blows cold and sometimes it blows hot, when it does blow hot I notice the level is normal, as soon as it blows cold I can expect the gauge to rise. When driving it the gauge will randomly lower if I accelerate, weird I know but it’s only sometimes. I also notice sometimes it does like a gargaling sound somewhere towards the end of the dashboard, it also sometimes get send vapor out the end of the hood that fogs up my windshield and I have to use the wipers to clean it up. The car has no loss in power whatsoever nor does it the engine do anything to where you would think there is major damage. When the gauge has been all the way to the red, I have opened the hood with the car on and touched the reservoir and the hoses and they are cold. PLEASE HELP, I’ve had this car since high school and she’s my baby I don’t want to let her go this way.

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First things first. Check that the coolant level is good. There is an air pocket in your cooling system or the heater core. On the hoses to the radiator there will be a small screw valve that you can use to let the air out. With the vehicle running and warm, loosen the screw and let it flow until there is no air coming out. Allow the engine run for ten or fifteen minutes. Loosen the screw again and let any air out. It may take several times. Also, make sure your heat is on while doing this. That will push any air out of the heating system. If you cannot get any air to come out and this doesn't fix the problem, then you can start checking sensors and gauges and such. Hope this helps.

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The hoses shouldn't be cold, for one thing. First thing, scan it. See what codes come up, clear them drive it, scan it again. If the same ones come up, research them and fix what needs fixing. Clear the codes, drive it, scan it again. See what comes up.

It is possible that your coolant temp sensor is faulty, or your thermostat is faulty, or a whole host of things. Make sure that you are using the correct grade coolant for your car.

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The problem is related to the computer sending a ground signal to the cooling fans. I just fixed my daughter's 2003 Grand Am GT. The problem is what looks like a relay mounted to the driver's side fender wall. It's located directly across from the air filter assembly. Pontiac has located this device there and all your major grounds join here. The mounting plate attached to it becomes corroded which interferes with the grounding signal from the computer to turn on the cooling fans. The bolt that held it in place was actually so rusty that the head of the bolt had broken off as I removed it. I used a circular wire brush attached to my drill to remove the corrosion from the back plate. Used the same brush to create a new bare metal spot on the fender and a self taping screw to reattach it. No more over heating from there on, Fans triggered and varied speed as they should.

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Also check the O-ring on the coolant reservoir cap isn't broken and or missing. This keeps air out of the system.


I have a 2001, and I’m going through a similar issue. When my car sits idle the temp rises to 205-210 . As it’s in motion it goes down to 200. Today a mechanic told me that my gage is reading wrong. That my fans are working properly. Could this be true? I live in Indianapolis and plan to drive to Spartanburg. It’s a beautiful smooth running car with NO alerts. Got most of my hoses replaced..I use Prestone Coolant.


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