Pontiac Firebird Reviews & Ratings

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Pontiac Firebird (23 Reviews)
I bought my WS6 new in 2001. As of 2015, my car has 210,000 miles. My car is still completely stock.

During the first 100,000 miles - I had to replace the AC compressor while still under the factory warranty. The only other item under the hood the went bad is the alternator. I replaced both headlight gears with brass gears. I had to replace the turn signal light housings multiple times because they would crack and fill with water, causing the lights to stop working. Finally, I drilled drain holes in the bottom and have had no more issues. I had two Monsoon woofers blow and the replacements were supposed to be upgraded. They have not been a problem since. My volume knob on the Monsoon radio is not working as it should but I have steering wheel controls and replacing it will not prevent it from going bad again. The knob is a poor design. I replaced the clutch slave cylinder and installed a new clutch while I was there even though it didn't need it. I had to replace the passenger window motor which is strange because that window is almost never used.

The second 100,000 miles - I had to replace the water pump and the power antenna motor. My alarm no longer functions as it should. I cannot lock the car or it sounds the alarm. The Monsoon is beginning to have problems reading CDs on occasion. The differential gears are starting to whine so I need to have the gears adjusted. Here's the big one - the pilot bearing went bad and chewed up the input shaft of my transmission. I had to have the T56 rebuilt.

After 200,000 miles - My AC compressor is starting to make noise so it will need to be replaced soon. I also had to have my sail panel replaced because the paint was bubbling. It turns out the GM started using an inferior glue in 1998 the leaches through the composite and will destroy the paint. There is no fix other than full replacement and if your car is an LS1 it WILL happen eventually. This problem actually started when the car was still under the corrosion warranty and GM would have replaced it for free if I had known. It never occurred to me that it was something they would warranty. It would have been nice if they sent a letter to owners to let them know, since this issue is fully their fault.

Of course I still have the typical LS1 piston slap when the engine is cold. My car has no squeaks or rattles except for a very slight noise from the t-tops. I do have a little wind noise but I still have the original weatherstrips. The interior has held up very well with only moderate wear to the leather driver's seat and the Hurst shift handle.

Overall, its been a good car. Some of the complaints or poor ratings I have read just make no sense to me. For example to say the AC is 'fair'? The AC is excellent! Plenty of force from the fan and 41 degrees in the middle of hot humid Texas summers.

I tracked my mileage with every fill up for the first 100K and I have a spreadsheet with all of the data. I saw around 20-22 mpg in town (This is with the skip shift eliminator) and have seen a best of 31 mpg strictly on the highway, on multiple occasions. The worst I have ever seen is 17 mpg after a night at the race track followed by town driving.
Bought used at 128,000. Window motors quit working, door hinges weak and need replacing, transmission slap-shifts into 2nd and needs a module, the intake manifold gasket leaks oil into the water---a VERY common problem on the 3.8s. The electrical system is a nightmare with different lights and guages turning off and on at strange times Clear coat came off nose cone and paint now looks a different color. Even with switch off, heat continues to come through heater system. T-Tops leak on both sides. These cars look good when kept clean but are cheaply made, like most GMs. Ive been a GM guy all my life but no longer. Every GM car Ive had has been cheaply made, especially the interiors. Ive had Rivieras, firebirds, a caddy, century, fiero (lol) etc. My most recent vehicle is a Ford and I love it. Should have stopped letting GM experiment on me long ago. I had the infamous diesel caddy that blew after 10,000 miles, a fiero (nuff said) a century with constant problems, etc.
I am the original owner of my 2002 Trans Am which has only 50,000 miles on it. Recently an engine oil leak has developed and I was told it could be the oil pan or the main rear seal. It may cost over $500 to repair the problem. My mechanic topped off the oil and told me to come back in one month and they'll put some type of sealant additive in with the motor oil. Who knows - maybe it will help or work. I have had to replace light bulbs too often on this car. No big deal - not too costly. I did replace the "cracked" sway bar with a solid sway bar, as the factory installed one was hollow. I love my car, it looks great for being 10 years old and I still get lots of compliments! It is costly, however, for premium gasoline to keep this car running at its best.
1995 Pontiac Firebird (automatic)

Key turns to acc position but will not start the car. Shifter goes into gear. Any ideas.
1998 Firebird Formula- just turned 136,000 miles. No major problem thus far. Typical maintenance items...waterpump, starter, fuel pump. Nothing out of the norm. It has the LS1 (Corvette) engine in it. TONS of power on demand. I smoke mustangs and camaros all day long in this thing. LS1 engine is a very, very good engine- a hotrodders dream. I absolutely LOVE my Formula and will never sell it. To all of those who got the V6- should have bought the V8, dummies.
has 126,000 on it so far so good, no big problems but now changed out front lights switch in car and worked for a half day and went out again replaced again and went out again. Not sure where there is a short now or what problem is.
Any suggestions or same problems, please respond to this. It is a formula style.
My bird has been with me from the car lot with no problems. Until recently and I believe the cat is bad and debating whether to remove the cat and run pipe or get the $ together to fix it like new. Just saying.
I have a 1999 firebird that I paid 2000 for it is a running nightmare the CAR LOT that I bought it from told me it had salvage histroy not salvage title it has a lot of electrical problems such as the radio will change stations by its self the windshield wipers will start doing off like there on and its leaking oil from the timing chain cover the valve lifters need to be replaced the car was involved in a flood I'm honestly thinking of taking the car lot to court due to the fact I live in n.c you have to have your car inspected there is no way that this car could have passed a insoection what should I do. I love it I want to put a ls 1 in it
97 Formula WS6 6-speed. First of all, fix the headlights and replace the power windows. Then, love the car and drive it nice, don't race it around every time you drive it, and it will be dependable and last as long as any good car. You can average 30 highway mpg in these if you are careful. That makes it a practical 4-seat hatchback, only with super looks and super power and handling on tap when you want it.
my 02 Firebird has 89k miles so far. i do the maintenance myself and have never had a problem yet. but recently i've noticed a coolant leak and think it might be the water pump gasket.

unlike other owners i haven't had problems with the T-tops leaking or any mechanical damage or defect. however the electronics tend to burn out like any GM. the driverside headlight motor and window motor. also the headlight and turn signal bulbs blow out more often than usual.

the car drives, handles and brakes smoothly and the front seats are comfortable. the audio system is also very nice
I love my car! Bought it in 1996 and with over 225K miles on it, it's still running!
Car engine threw a rod after only EIGHTY THOUSAND MILES. I took extra special care of this car. My mechanic was confused as to why it did it and so was everyone else who checked the car. What a waste of money that car was on top of terrible gas mileage I can't believe that the engine failed on me! Careful, and if you absolutely need this car, get some sort of mechanical insurance.
I want to change the distributor cap, and can't get to it. What has to be moved in order to replace that part.
This car really looks good and I thought it would have been fun to drive but ever since I got it, I have had to put money into it. First the Mass Air Flow Sensors, then the oil pan gasket, then the Serpentine belt, then the rear differential gaskets, and now the fuel pump, cat converter, tune up, brakes, window regulators, etc. Yep, the car looks good, but you better have deep pockets to care for this car. Cost more than double in repairs than what is was worth. Very disappointing.
I haven't had any major problems with my '02 Firebird until recently. My fuel pump is being replaced after 86k miles. My window motors were replaced, both sides, about two years ago. I've changed the battery twice and a few light bulbs occasionally, but other than that, the car is running strong.
I just jinxed myself, huh...
I did Jinx myself; all of the valve lifters had to be replaced. &$%@#
I ran the car into the ground at about 300k. it was a great car the whole time i owned it. i think the first problem i had was at 200k, and the speedometer cable broke...i moved it to a wet snowy area after many years in socal. great car.
Body pieces have gaps. Brakes are excellent. 6 speed drive train is excellent, but have had problems with leaking differentials on two of these cars. Electrical problems are frequent, particularly with the power windows in my experience. LS1 engine is one of the best made. Exhaust sounds great, but emissions system creates problems. A/C is average. Suspension and handling are good, though car tends to be difficult to control in rain or snow. Suspension creaks and groans over speed bumps.
I have a love/hate relationship with my 1999 Trans Am WS6. I love the body styling (especially the Ram Air hood), although the materials used in the interior are cheap, flimsy and poorly put together.

The sheer power of the stock WS6 is awesome, and I was previously driving a 1996 Mustang GT. This car makes my old Mustang seem like a mule. The added horsepower from my SLP exhaust and larger airbox lid made a noticeable difference, and the stock exhaust, while fairly loud, was nothing compared to my upgraded SLP exhaust rumble.

Literally everything else about this car irritates me, though. I'm the second owner of this ride (with currently 105k miles on it in August 2009), and have owned it since July 2004, yet I have had to replace both window motors, the fuel pump, the alternator (FOUR TIMES), the starter coil, the entire rear end TWICE, the oil pan gasket, the transmission repaired...this list is too long to continue here. The mileage sucks, the steering wheel is too large, the air conditioning is weak, the optional 500W Monsoon stereo system is loud, but all the stock speakers are horrible (I've had to replace the same speaker twice before replacing those twin speakers with Infinity speakers after the 2nd speaker broke).

The headlight gears broke on me once, and this car also has unlimited electrical and wiring problems. I just discovered today that my entire air conditioning system needs to be replaced due to multiple leaks and a bad compressor, and both idler pulleys, belt tensioners, and both belts need to be replaced. This car has ended up not being worth the head-turns and positive comments I get at red lights and gas stations. I'd consider covering it with a tarp and getting into a cheap Corolla until I can afford to work on this Trans Am as a project car. :(
This is a great car if taken care of properly. One of the biggest problems with these cars is the headlight motors. They will start making ratcheting noises when turned on - off. There is a company that makes brass gears as a replacement and is about $100.00 for the pair. GM used plastic gears on plastic gears, and the drive gear for the motor gets eaten away. I am assuming the power window motors probably have the same type of gearing. My LS-1 also has a slight knock underneath and only has 12,400 mi.
I love my car. I look after it and it looks after me. I've had most of the common problems mentioned but she's still the best looking car on the road. If they make one this good looking that is also fuel efficient and better for the environment I'll be first in line!
My girl friend bought a Firebird Trans Am and what a nice car with the 305 cubic inch V8 it got about 20 MPG and was very reliable.
I think we need a bit more information from "natural energy"! Top fuel mileage from my V8 Bird has been in the mid 20'S. Lot's of squeeks and rattels. The drivers side window motor had to be replaced. Over all, not a bad car - better for a smaller person!
30-45 miles a gallon, what else can I ask for