Engine Mechanical problem
2003 Pontiac Grand Prix 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 75,000 miles
The 3.1 in my Grand Prix started makeing a noise that sounds exactly like a sticky lifter at about 70,000 miles. Over the last 5,000 miles it has gotten louder. It is loudest when the engine is cold but can still be heard a little after it warms up. No loss of power, no colland leaks at the intake gasket, no coolant in the oil.
I have read a couple places and pretty sure I even saw it mentioned here that the 3.1 has a known issue with wrist pins. I'm certain I have even seen the GM piston replcement kit for that issue. It's said that this noise issue has been determined to have NO effect on engine performance or longevity.
Yesterday I took the car to my local Pontiac dealer to ask one of the service writers if the noise in my engine was THAT noise. He looked at me like a deer in headlights and said he had never heard of any issues with the 3.1.
Now I am lost and don't know what to think. Any ideas?
To kind of elaborate on my situation, I am going to be driving this car from Seattle to Jacksonville Florida next month and I'm not sure it's long trip worthy. I am also reading a lot of blogs about owners of 3.1 vehicles starting to have issues at about 80,000 miles and I'm wondering if I should just sell this car now before something major goes wrong.
In my younger days we used to test for loose rocker arms or noisey valve trains by sticking a screwdriver to your ear. Is there any way I can confirm if this noise is top end and not bottom end without pulling it apart? Secondly, how can I find out if this 2003 3.1 has the bad intake gasket I am reading so much about? I have a gut feeling that if this noise is valve train related and not piston, I am going to have future intake manifold problems if I break the factory seal to fix it.
April, 10, 2008 AT 12:30 PM
If it is a fast tick then it is most likely valvetrain related, bottom end noises tend to be a little slower and wrist pins wont react to oil pressure like a valvetrain issue will. The intake gasket Will eventually leak on that engine. That service writer must have been new. The 3.1 liter had those exact issues you read about. If the car has been maintained well and is not in a stay of disrepair, have it looked over by a shop you trust before your road trip