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Pontiac Aztek Goes The Way of the DoDo

Posted by: David Kiley on July 19, 2005


In the summer of 2000, I attended a global conference in Italy put on by General Motors and its just named CEO Rick Wagoner. One of the topics of conversation was the accelerating market for crossover SUVs, sport utility vehicles built on car platforms that ride softer and are lower to the ground than conventional truck based SUVs like the Chevy Trailblazer and Ford Explorer. As I sat with Ron Zarella, then GM’s head of North American operations, talking about the Pontiac Aztek taking advantage of the crossover trend, he said…”Well, not so much the Aztek. We have other vehicles coming.”

Huh? I thought. You are late to the party with crossovers, spend hundreds of millions of dollars developing a vehicle and you are already apologizing for it before it hits showrooms?

The Aztek has been the poster-car for GM’s canny ability over the last decade to survey the marketplace, poll consumers, anticipate style trends and come up with something so wrong-headed as to make Sony’s commitment to Beta look like marketing genius.

My sister-in-law once called me on the phone, having just picked up an Aztek from Avis, asking, “What the hell am I driving here? It looks like a giant grasshopper wrapped up in caution tape (it was a bad shade of yellow.) GM product boss Bob Lutz has quipped, “We’d fire the guy who greenlighted the Aztek if we could find anyone willing to admit it.”

For five years, I have listened to kind-hearted GM folks make excuses for and defend the Aztek. My favorite defense is that it has the highest loyalty rate of any Pontiac. I think that was based on surveys about how favorably owners felt toward the car after getting it home, not intent to repurchase. Of course, if you adopt the runt in a litter of puppies, the one with three legs and one eye, you are going to tell people you took the one with the biggest heart and you wouldn’t want any other. In truth, the Aztek has been a great value for buyers. It’s been so unpopular from a design standpoint that GM and dealers have had to discount the heck out of it. I even know an auto industry journalist or two who couldn’t resist the bargain for a vehicle with all-wheel-drive and space for a family with lots of luggage.

So, it’s fitting that Pontiac dealers are almost out of Azteks—-the last few collecting dust as GM employee pricing program for consumers clear lots of excess and unsold cars—just as the Pontiac gets ready for its newest design gambit. That’s the hot and spiffy Pontiac Solstice, Lutz’s affordable sleek two-seater convertible that marks the debut of the Lutz era—the first car in the showrooms designed and built from clean sheet of paper to showroom since the gray-haired septuagenarian came to GM in 2001. No one is apologizing for the Solstice, which makes for a good start to a new era.

Reader Comments

Markley Wilhite

July 19, 2005 5:10 PM

We love our Pontiac Aztek--it is by far the best vehicle we've ever owned and even though it's ugly it's fun to drive and go camping in.


July 19, 2005 10:22 PM

The Aztec is a heck of a versatile vehicle, I suspect many people villified it because they feel safer in a Tahoe or something along those lines. Talk to any Aztec owners; they love it. They also love the deal they got when they bought it so it's win/win all around.


August 2, 2005 9:05 PM

The Aztek is cute in the sense of pleasantly ugly. We love ours. Now if I could get oine of those camping attachments, it will be perfect.


October 7, 2005 11:58 PM

I love it, it is great for shopping for anything, it is not an ugly car at all. It is so much like an Humvee. Comfortable to take long trips, and room for everyone if need be. Just when car designs were getting into the the Jetson's state, they turn back the time and go back to those ugly old family cars.

How dumb....


October 13, 2005 10:15 PM

Not pretty I can live with ( people snicker )
The Aztek reliability is ugly too.
GM dealer said my complaints re: road noises
were unfounded - BEFORE WARRANTY RAN OUT !
Now with less than 50,000 mi. on it they want
over $2000 for wheel hub/bearings and over
$5,000 for rear drive.
Sadly those repair costs are all I probably
could sell it for in average condition.


October 13, 2005 10:15 PM

Not pretty I can live with ( people snicker )
The Aztek reliability is ugly too.
GM dealer said my complaints re: road noises
were unfounded - BEFORE WARRANTY RAN OUT !
Now with less than 50,000 mi. on it they want
over $2000 for wheel hub/bearings and over
$5,000 for rear drive.
Sadly those repair costs are all I probably
could sell it for in average condition.


October 28, 2005 11:46 AM

Well, I saw it and fell in love (small enough for a single Mom of a kindergartener) but I am having the darnest time finding one to buy. Pontiac doesn't even list it on their web site.


November 1, 2005 7:20 PM

I own an Aztek (2003) Just turned 48000 miles and things are begining to fall apart. The fuel gauge stopped working the other day, the electrical system is cooked, and the check engine light is on which means I don't pass emmisions. Funny thing, my parents own a 2003 Aztek, just turned 48000 miles and the fuel gauge broke, engine light is on, and electrical is cooked...we bought them at the same dealership. We both called GM who said, well, we'll have to see if we can make some "good faith" offer, but your warranties have expired.
Did you ever wonder why GM sells "extended" warranties after 36000 miles? IT's because their products are going to break. The cost of the warranty and the deductable with each trip to the shop offsets their cost for parts and labor. The customer thinks they got a deal, but really they got the run around again.
I'll never buy GM again. I'm buying my cars from Japan from now on!


November 23, 2005 6:15 PM

I love the Aztek. It is by far the most versatile vehicle for any lifestyle, its discounted like no one's business and its unique style just add to the car's personality. If people could get past the looks and be willing to check one out, unbiased, I guarantee they would fall in love with it once they saw what it had to offer for the price. So the next time someone says "Eww, the Aztek is so ugly.", simply reply to them the same way I do. I tell them "People have to get past the looks and see what it has to offer. Because if everything was just about looks, then alot of people out there would die alone."


December 1, 2005 7:09 AM

Three phrases should be among the most common in our daily usage. They are: Thank you, I am grateful and I appreciate.


December 31, 2005 11:13 AM

Im a pontiac fanatic. Well, this is the sad end to my pontiac days! I have had nothing but promblems with the Aztec,3.4 engine. It loves to eat oil 2pints every 1500miles. when brought the car into Potiac they said "It was Normal." My break lines went while driving "whew almost killed my son and I, the air conditioning quit, I replaced and 2000 miles later, I have no heat!Transmission has never shifted and pontiac never repaired or replaced even though it was in the shop every other week. They can find no problem. They even wanted to charge me 125.00 for dianostics when it was under warranty! This morning I have noticed a coolent smell when leaving the vehicle! Off to trade it in! OH yeah pontiac did give me 2000.00 off another GM vechicle! Well I will lick my wounds and move on! I have owned a Pontiac, Lemas,firebird, transport (which also ate oil)and LAST Aztec. You lost a valued customer! STAY AWAY FROM THIS CAR!


January 25, 2006 8:51 PM

I have 2002 Aztek that I use for my job. The car has 428,000 miles on it! Yes, you are reading that right...428,000 miles! I have had to do NO major repairs...just routine maintainence. My only complaint is that they SUCK to maintain yourself.


February 28, 2006 4:30 AM

I have almost 40K miles on my 2002 Aztek AWD. I fell in love with it during the designing stages when it was to have been a true outback type of vehicle. Eventhough GM never followed any of the publics wants or desires, I still found myself loving the Aztek. Eventhought the interior became more van like, I was greatful the exterior remained mostly untouched. I have only had to replace the muffler and a rear brake sheild. I love my Tek Noir.


April 13, 2006 3:09 PM

Bought it cause I loved it - 2003 and still love it today. I don't thik that it is ugly - it's just unique!!! Does everything on the road have to look the same??? Even though they have stopped making the Aztec they seem to have problems leaving the design behind - check out the new line of Torrents - doesn't it look a little reminicent of the Aztec? I just think that all those that make fun of my Aztec secretly wished that they had one!!! I have never had the slightest problem mechanically with it other than regular maintenace. As this is the very first new car I have ever owned - I am not disappointed at all!! Too bad that the rest of the world couldn't accept it for the terrific vehicle it really is (was). Being unique isn't really a bad thing!!!


June 6, 2006 12:27 PM

We love out 2002 Aztek more than any vehicle we've ever owned, including a Cadillac El Dorado. It rides like a Caddie at about half the cost, I can charge my cell phone or run a radio with the engine off, and the slide-out tray in the back is ideal to place my shopping without having to bend over. I love the sleek dynamic styling. However, it developed computer problem six months after purchase, and the dealer wouldn't replace the computer under warranty. Two months after the warranty expired the AC went out. I'll be trading for a Toyota this summer.


June 7, 2006 4:39 PM

I LOVE MY AZTEK! I just looked at the first one on the showroom floor and a year later bought one. Have had only one problem - a rear hub assembly. Would absolutely love to have another one,however, can't find one that is set up like the one I own (loaded car) and I am spoiled! It has 120,000 miles and will probably drive it til the wheels come off or the maintenance expense gets too high. They are a dream to drive and turn on a dime! GIMMEE ANOTHER ONE ANY DAY! It's my sixth Pontiac!

Aztec supporter

June 8, 2006 11:58 PM

I read all of your comments re: Pontiac Aztec and get a bit of a lump in my throat since this very day I purchased a Pontiac Aztec. I never knew it was so bad till I hit this web site. Sure hope that all of you are wrong (sorry!)

Canuck Chick

June 12, 2006 3:53 PM

Have a 2003 Aztek and its a piece of crap. If you are thinking of buying, run away!! Nothing but issues and none of the mechanics claim to be able to fix it.
Don't buy one!!! If you have one, leave the keys in it and hope it gets stolen.

Andrew Sievers

August 13, 2006 3:52 PM

I have a 2001. Replaced the transmission at 36,000mi, and had to rip the engine out to repair a head gasket at 42,000mi. Heat and Air have both died twice each. AND I still love the car even though I had to rebuild the whole thing. What can I say...I am committed. I will most likely keep it forever. I will just never by a Pontiac again. I have had no assistance from them. Even my mechanic told me they should have had a recall on the head gaskets. It’s not a Pontiac anymore. I rebuilt it and I renamed it. It is now the Sievers Aztek.


October 19, 2006 12:23 PM

I just bought a 2001 Aztec. Its the best car i have driven. Its eXstremly smooth. I've read these comments and if your buying a car used you can't exactly antisipate what the past owner has done to the car. Because you have to replace or fix something major doesn't mean it wasn't or isn't a good car. The Pontiac Aztec is a great SUV. Mine i bought with 91,000 miles...It has nothing wrong with it. I can tell that the past owner took very good care of it and that its a quality car that i will be able to to continue driving i'm sure for another 100,000 miles. You can't blame the car maker or car for faults someone who previously owned ti has caused.
That aside...the Aztec is amaZing!


November 15, 2006 10:47 AM

Well I am another very unhappy customer with my 2003 AZTEC! I would have traded it months ago if I could have! I have had problems since it hit 30,000 miles. I had it in the service center so many times and they always seemed to have an explanation for everything! I have had to replace the complete brake system, battery, gas tank system and now I leak oil and have to replace the oil sending unit. My antifreeze leaks so bad that I have to keep a bottle in the car to fill as needed. It needs a lower intake seal in the transmission replaced at $2,200. I will never buy a PONTIAC again!


November 15, 2006 1:18 PM



November 15, 2006 9:00 PM

I have a 2001 - love it. The turning radius is amazing. Had A/C issues, and the transmission isn't sounding as good as it used to, but in all I've put only about $1,500 into it over four years. Not bad at all. The heads-up display rocks and the leather interior is really nice. VersaTrak is useful in the winter. And you'd be amazed what you can haul in the thing - even with the back hatch closed!


December 1, 2006 9:26 AM

I too am a victim. My extended warranty (60,000) just ran out and my gas tank is cracked, my transmission started to slip. I have had it in the shop 10-12 times since I have owned it. It took the dealer 1 1/2 years to fix my A/C system. At least it was under warranty except for the $100/visit I had to put down after 36k miles. I do enjoy the versatility of the vehicle and the price was far below other SUV's for 2003 models, but now I am losing every bit of savings. I love the "cockpit" feeling of the drivers seat. I too will probably not deal with GM in the future. I really thought they had turned a corner a few years ago in quality, but I will have to return to foreign models in the future. I realize every make/model has its share of problems, but the Aztec has more than its fair share if you read around.

Ryan & Melissa Pass

December 2, 2006 9:42 PM

we got our aztek brand new in 2005 when my wife decided we needed more room for our baby boy. well ive got to admit that it did have more room than my sports car but the SUVan was a complete abortion and i knew it from the start and at first it was ok it handled ok and SEEMED to be reliable then shortly after several thousand miles the POS started to fall apart the vehicle its self had already depreciated by almost half so we were put in a huge hole no one would give us anything for it and no dealership would touch it even though it was covered under warranty. so hey pontiac f-you you'll never be what you once were in the 60's & 70's im so glad we were able to get out of that POS even though we now have a sky high car payment its worth it to be out of the $10,000 negitve equity pontiac put us in -R
And for all you mothers out there that think that this aztek is roomy and spacious, ITS NOT WORTH IT!! you will find yourself broke down on the side of the road and later finding out that the warranty does not cover the problems with the car. I made a HUGE mistake buying that and we will NEVER deal with Pontiac EVER AGAIN!! Oh and MOORE BUICK in jacksonville N.C is a RIP OFF!!! -M


December 9, 2006 8:45 PM

I have a 2003 Aztek. Lost both front wheel bearings early- under warranty. Lost the "lock" on the steering wheel -also under warranty. No real issues after that and have 135,000 on it. I just got the strangest letter in the mail from the dealer I bought it from offering to buy it back from me due to a "test market buy back deal". Anyone know what is going on? Thanks!


January 7, 2007 10:08 PM

I love my Aztek, terrific turning radius, very comfortable to drive, have loaded an entire apartment inside, with the rear hatch closed! Have mastered bumpy roads and held the road in extreme winds better than my previous van.
Too bad they don't make any more. I've been very happy with the maintenance with 70,000. Would sell, regretfully but need to reduce my fleet!


January 9, 2007 3:30 PM



January 9, 2007 8:21 PM

i got the 2003 in the summer of 06 it had 26,000km on it ,it has 47,000kms on it know and it has started to leak antifreeze for the second time and after reading the other posts iam gonna try and get rid of it,but first i guess ill have to pay the bill on the leak


January 12, 2007 8:04 PM

I bought an 02 Aztek used with 42,000 miles on it. It was wonderful. I hated the way it looked until I got inside. It's so roomy and we can pack all 3 of us and 2 labs plus all our camping gear for a week no problem! I replaced the rear bearing about 6 months ago and now it is going bad again! I cannot afford to pay these huge repair bills AND a car payment!! It seems that the bearings are a common problem. GM should make it right!! check out GM problems on! Hubby has 93 GMAC Sierra and it has over 200K in it with original engine! He hauls as much weight in the truck as the truck weighs!! I want to know why I got ripped off?? Obviously GM knows how to build a good vehicle why not all of them????????


January 23, 2007 2:41 AM

what was the first year the aztek landed on earth. i have a 2001, like the way it drives ,but have low mialage, i think a/c and trans problems are starting.


February 1, 2007 8:17 AM

My wife and I both drive Azteks, mine is a 2001, hers is a 2003. 2001 has 90K on it, zero problems except for a coolant leak that was fixed under warranty. 2003 has 41k, just spent $980 on front wheel bearings. This seems to be a recurring problem with the 2003's. Overall I am very happy. 2003 was loaded and cost under $20k new with rebate. I do not think you can touch a full size SUV for under $30K these days.


February 15, 2007 1:14 PM

I too am the victim of a 2001 pontiac aztec. I have had it in for service over a dozen times. Had a full transmission relplacement at 29K, and now at 109K the transmission is failing. The service dept. at the dealership where I bought the vehicle recommends changing the transmission fluid at 50K, however the service manual that I was given to follow when I purchased the vehicle suggests 100K. They were trying to blame the fact that I didn't change it for the failure. I reminded them that this transmission has only 80K on it....they directed me to the GM of the dealership. The air conditioning and heat have been repaired at least once each. Electrical problems are never ending. Leak in the cooling system, power steering went last year. Just put in a new thermostat. Back hatch lock has never worked consistently. Driver window got stuck in down position. Also was told that I have a bad passenger side rear wheel bearing. Eats gas recently like you wouldn't believe. Clips break every time you need to change a bulb in the headlights. I told the GM I will never buy Pontiac again!!!! From now on foreign all the way!

Katie Nixon

February 20, 2007 4:35 PM

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER buy an Aztek!!!! i own a 2001 and it is a POS..has been since the week i bought it! i will NEVER own another GM product!!!Every summer the A/C goes out (condenser has been replaced 4 times), brakes are messed up, bad seal on coolant tank, body control module went out, window messed up, soooo many things i can't even remember them all!!! And the worst thing is that all of this has happened at or before 50000. miles. I have owned three other cars - all foreign made - and NEVER had these type troubles! STAY AWAY OR YOU WILL REGRET IT!!!!


February 22, 2007 2:20 PM

I too am a victim of the 2003 Aztek. All kinds of things are wrong with that hunk of junk! An entire bottle of antifreezr leaks out within two days. Th eoil is now leaking. Get this, my mechanic told me antifreeze is leaking into the engine and mixing with the oil. Can you say disaster waiting to happen. According to the mechanic the head gaskets need to be replaced on both sides of the engine. As I read the comments posted these are problems that many of the Aztek customers are faced with. So the question of the day is-- is there something wrong with all of us who have the exact same problems with GM hunk of junk pontiac Aztek or is it innocent little old GM who has no idea what the problem is? GM is full of it this car should have been recalled a long time ago. Don't waste your money on the Aztek. It's worthless and ugly and for those of you who think otherwise it just grew on you. The Aztek sucks. Everyday I park mine by the garbage and wonder why sanitation hasn't picked it up with the rest of the trash! GOOD GOSH >>>>


February 22, 2007 11:28 PM

I bought an 03 pontiac aztek less than 10 months ago. I have experienced the same problems as others. When I purchased this vehichle it had 46000 miles and it now has 60000, the head gasket blew and now the motor has ceased to exist. The short bus is now sitting in the garage with the rest of the junk. Hopefully I am covered under the lemon law, if not I will have a really expensive tent for the back yard :-(. Shame on you GM. The next car I purchase will defintely not be a GM because we also have a 99 blazer with the same problem sitting beside the house next to the garage. So now I am paying on two vehichles that do not run. Fool me once shame on GM, Fool me twice shame on me. GM YOU SUCK, MAY THE PEOPLE AT GM CROTCHES GET INFESTED WITH A THOUSAND CAMEL FLEAS AND MAY THERE ARMS BE TOO SHORT TO SCRATCH.

Lori Dejager

February 25, 2007 1:18 PM

Wow, I just happened apon this site and feel kinda sick, I owned a 2003 maroon aztec with no spoiler on the the back, and my oldest son wouldn't drive it, too ugly, we bought it wrecked and it drove and road good while we had it, then a drunk driver rear ended me while I was in a turn lane in town (sounds like a blessing in disguise). He was going well over the speed limit and pushed the back end into the back seat and pushed me about 1/2 block before driving off, I had my seatbelt on and came out of it with a minor whiplash, I feel that says something for the safety of the Aztec. Well we replaced that one with a 2005, burnt orange with a spoiler,sunroof,and nice wheels, people actually comment on how sharp it is, It was also a wrecked one and we don't have it on the road yet, anyone having problems with the 2005 models????


February 28, 2007 1:02 PM

Yeah, I'm beginning to be disappointed with my bright yellow 2002 Aztek. It makes me sick that I picked the bad apple to buy. I really liked the uniqueness of the design, the kids call her "The Big Banana". HOWEVER, January '06 had $800 of work (some electrical thing) then $225 in December 2006 (some sensor thing) has a new gas tank from driving over a muffler laying in the road and all outside panels except one replaced from tornado damage. Now the clock light is half out and the windshield leaks. Oh yeah, and one day everything electrical on the dashboard and the doors and windows just died but then...came back. I only have 52K miles on it. I filed bankruptcy last summer so I can't buy another car for five years. I hope it lasts.


March 8, 2007 8:45 PM

I have 2002 Aztek, too. But unlike that previous post by a GM shill, my car has 824,000 miles on it! Yes, you are reading that right...824,000 miles! I have had to do NO major repairs...just routine maintenance. In fact, the engine is so well designed that it CREATES a pint of oil every 1500 miles!!

Dawn Cahpin

March 9, 2007 4:56 PM

I am another victim of the 2002 Aztek AWD. If it weren't for all of the mechanical problems I would love it...overall since I bought it, 4 years ago with 36,000 miles on it (it now has 94,000) I have replaced all of the wheel bearing Hub assemblies 2 and 3 times each wheel, I have had the problem with leaking antifreeze, the electronic problems everyone else is's outragous, I know that GM knows about everyones problems, why wasn't there recalls?? I will be talking to an attorney soon!!
Save yourself time and money. Don't buy one!!!

March 15, 2007 6:50 AM

agree with Dawn ...


March 19, 2007 9:32 AM

My 2002 Aztek has all the bells and whistles and I like the how versatile it is, that's why I bought it new, out of the box. However, the repairs have been very costly. Everytime I go for an oil change (I always use the dealership)I also have to ask them to check something else because it 1. isn't working or 2. sounds funny. The A/C condenser was replaced, the front wheel bearings, the dash console was replaced, the rear latch, the ignition, etc....Now the heater doesn't work. And of course it is time for an oil change! It will be paid in full this July. I am loathe to get rid of it because I really don't think that I can replace it for the money. It's just not as reliable as I'd like.


March 20, 2007 8:21 AM

I am another victim of the 2002 POStiac Aztek AWD with 130,000 miles.If it weren't for all of the mechanical problems I would love it also.Just put the 10th wheel bearing in,They last less then a year so you can get one under a part warranty. The upper bushings in the back went out $152.00 each, Got to change the hole knuckle.cooked the engine at 98,000 mi. coolant leaked out. steering is noisy but still works.A/C condenser went just as the warranty ren out.and now it has some sort of electrical problem Things stop working or work when there not sapose to. I got out and Left the car running and it locked the doors on me.a little later it let me in.I do much of the work my self
so the repair cost are still less then a car payment. I like my Pontiac's but not this one, worthless peace of S.Oh and Pontiac is not misspelled in the first sentence that is how you spell it when it is used with the word Aztek

jaime stewart

March 25, 2007 5:57 PM

i'm looking for a 2001 aztek,in good body and mechanical condition at a giveaway price. anyone have one?


March 29, 2007 1:39 PM

Wow, am I glad to find this web site. I thought I was the only one to have purchased the biggest piece of crap (2002 Aztek) made in America. I loved the look, didn't want a minivan, wanted to be different. Wish I'd known what I was in for. Both front hubs, a/c and cooling fan, heat w/blower switch, radiator, water pump, battery, all the lightbulbs and just today, the body control module for a small fortune. Thank you to all for letting me vent and an extra thanks for those of you who understand what I'm going thru. Maybe by the time I pay it off in June I can trade it for a goat with a cart.


April 7, 2007 12:30 AM

I have a 2001 Pontiac Aztek and I love it.There is plenty of room for the kids. It drives smooth. I am only having one problem with it...I can smell antifreeze. Before I bought it the intake gasket was replaced. I took it to the garage today and he thinks I have a hairline crack in the radiator. I still love it!

Wendee Gabby

April 12, 2007 5:44 PM

I have a 2003 Aztek and starting to experience same problems. Fuel sensor not working, leaking antifreeze, heater quit working for a while (works now) and my computer is infected! Doesn't remember my radio stations. My rear hatch has NEVER worked, even though the dealer worked on it twice. Sometimes the doors won't unlock when putting it in park and then you cannot get it out of park until you turn it off. Lots of these comments are about 2003 -- not a good year obviously!!


April 25, 2007 9:38 PM

I am going Friday to look at a 2003 I better print this page and tell them I want the head gaskets looked at and all that stuff huh.


April 28, 2007 4:10 PM

I was a fool for not doing research first in May 2005 when I purchased my 2003 Pontiac Aztek. I was in such a rush to get into something else because my old car was failing and I needed something right away. I wished I waited before getting stuck with this Pontiac Awwshucks. Bought at 48,000 miles and now 81,000 on it and engine repairs at $1800...not worth fixing at all. I've encountered every problem mentioned on this site by other Awwshucks owners...trying to get rid of it now and go with the foreign cars...only thing is i still owe about 12 g's on it...anyone know of any decent dealerships that will take it off my hands and put me into something more reliable?

Barberinos in Wallingford, CT knew it was a piece of s@*t when they sold it to me..Shame on them all.

GM should give all dissatisfied Aztek owners a refund..or an Envoy.(serious in CT)


May 1, 2007 3:05 PM

I love my 2002 Aztec but sadely enough the problems started at 40,000 km both wheel bearings, air condition, hatch door wont open, fan lost level1,2,3. Engine seal vs radiator,replace left bearing at 140,000, The positive side it has a good sound system. Its now 160,000 km paid for and there's lots of exterior noise when windows are down. Too bad for the Aztec being engineered by a bunch of losers.


May 3, 2007 11:07 AM

bought an 2003 aztec with 90800km and starting to have problems with the rear suspension. a roaring sound


May 3, 2007 12:27 PM

Add one more victim to the Pontiac aztek scenario!! I have an 01 with only 39k on it. Just found out that the intake gasket is leaking(not going to mention previous problems that were fixed under warranty thank God). Called the Pontiac cares hotline and found out that they don't care at all......They did however give me the 50/50 deal and I was supposed to be happy about that. However, I felt as though they should have coved it in full. I asked them what they based there decision on? The only thing they could say was it 6yrs old....never mind about the mileage at 39k. So basically, what the were saying is, you don't even have to drive them and they deteriorate. What planet am I on???



May 9, 2007 12:38 PM

Thought I loved my Aztek till all the problems came, replaced hub bearing,not to long ago needs them again, electrical problems, gas hand dont work heater/ac switch only works on high, antilock brake light will not go out, engine light on Made a real Az out of me wont happen again


May 14, 2007 12:17 PM

Bought my 04 aztec w/22K. 59K now and had engine problems, replaced power steering, gear assembly, intake manifold gasket, radiator seal, front break job, wiring harness, wheel bearing, now need bushings and spindles ($622).


May 15, 2007 7:33 PM

I love my 2003 Aztek, of all the cars on the lot at the dealership this baby jumped out at me, and i just had to have it. The only problem i have had so far is the steering wheel is not aligned which there was a recall on 2003's, this is a very serious problem that i hope has been resolved forever

Raquel G

May 16, 2007 8:27 AM

I have a 2003 yellow Aztec. Nothing but problems. Can't get rid of it because I owe $11,000.00 and no one will give me even half for it. Hub, sensors, gaskets, brakes, battery, dashboard lights all went out at 30-31,000 miles. When I apply the brakes the gas pedal shakes and a noise (poom/poom/poom)is made. Have taken car to dealership several times, service manager said its normal for ABS brakes to act this way. Funny, the car started doing this after the sensor went out. Also noticed that after you remove the hand break the service light comes on. This car has never been the same. CAN SOMEONE TELL ME IF THEY EXPERIENCED THIS WITH THERE AZTEC AND IF THEY WERE EVER ABLE TO GET IT FIXED? I SURE WISH I COULD SUE THE HELL OUT OF GM FOR SELLING A PIECE OF JUNK.


May 16, 2007 1:51 PM

i got a red 01' aztec with 57,000 miles on it...this is my first car and i have had no problems with it so far, its overall a pretty nice car and i love driving it daily


May 25, 2007 6:25 PM

After reading a most of these posts, I feel somewhat obligated to clear up a few things about the Aztec. I am a technician at an automotive repair facility, and have run into a few of these problems. Most of these problems are not specific to just the Aztec, however they are pattern failures (that occur with relative frequency,) condusive with ALL GM vehicles, with which they share parts. I'll start with the coolant leak issue. This problem is a pattern failure that MANY GM vehicles have - because they share the same engine. And not just Pontiac's. For example, the 3.4L and the 3.1L are essentialy the same engine. (Just different bore/stroke that changes displacement.) These 2 engines are used in almost every GM vehicle that utilizes a V6 engine.(Probably about 65% of their vehicles.) Be it either an option to a four cylinder, or a standard engine in a vehicle that can be had with a larger engine. Or, in the Aztec's case the only engine offered. (3.4) EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE ENGINES WILL have a lower intake gasket failure sometime in its useable life. This failure causes coolant to either leak externally, or worse internally, where it can fill the crankcase with coolant. The gasket is made from a thick piece of plastic with rubber ribs, that make the seal. Due to the heat they incur, along with the corrosive nature of the DEXCOOL, they become brittle and decintegrate. Some of them as early as 20k-25k miles! There is no way to change the design of the gasket, because the design of the intake manifold and the cylynder head it seals together, relies on this gaskets thickness to align them properly. This problem has plagued EVERY 3.1L-3.4L made since their design was updated(or down-dated?)around the 95 model year. If you have one of these engines, you either have had, or will have this problem, and most more than once. Now for the hub assemblies. The ones on the front of the Aztec are shared with many other GM full-size cars and crossover SUV's. Again- every one of these will fail
within the vehicles useable life. Unfortunatly they all have an integrated tone ring and AC voltage generator, built into the unit for the ABS. Every one of the failures in the posts above is a pattern failure found in many GM vehicles. Most are part failures due to poor design, or cheap manufacturing proceses.
Pattern failures are nothing new for GM. Rule of thumb: High content vehicle(lots of standard equipment)+low dollar price =pattern failure.


June 2, 2007 8:00 AM

I love my Aztek. I bought it 9/1/06 with 26,000 miles on it. It now has almost 43,000 miles. I get 25 mpg. The gas gauge has started to have some erratic fluctuations, showing too much gas when started up sometimes (the needle goes all the way over to the temperature gauge/shows about a 1/2 tank too much). Recently it began showing too little gas, dinging "Low Fuel" when it had a 1/2 tank (so now it's showing 1/2 tank too little gas). I just fill up at the pump each time and reset my tripometer so I know how many miles I've gone. It's an inconvenience, sure, but it's no big deal. There is a bulletin out from GM regarding this problem, but there is no fix out for it yet, which is why there has been no recall or notice sent to customers. Anyone having gas gauge issues should contact their dealer/service center. Hopefully the engineers will have a fix soon.

Other than that, no major repairs. I've always had luck with Pontiacs (I've had 3 Sunbirds and a Grand Am), so I don't see any reason why this one would be any different. The only things I've ever done are 1 timing belt at 100,000 miles, brakes, 1 rear brake line, and 1 air condenser in all four cars combined. I think that's a pretty good track record.

Anyone know what sound the front wheel bearings make when they start to go? What triggers the sound? I'd like to keep an ear out for that problem. Please post if you know. Thanks!

roncastillo,trianna garcia

June 6, 2007 1:00 AM

MY Aztec looks very good ,it is just the change

and the beginning of the new era,it different

looks as if is is from outspace,when I am driving

in the freeway I feel in heaven AZTEC is for

people that have CLASS ,I have no complain.


June 11, 2007 12:20 PM

I had a 2001 that I traded in at 75k miles and I miss it like crazy - I am currently looking for another one (not an easy task, since they don't make them any more, as you know). I replaced the A/C at 36k - under warranty, then never had another problem. I can vouch for the comments from the mechanic - my son has a pontiac Grand Prix and my daughter has a Grand Am and BOTH of them have had the gasket failure issue (the Grand Am TWICE).

Jen Van Der Pas

June 18, 2007 7:45 AM

I agree the design is UGLY! But it's my UGLY!!
I have a 2002 Aztek and bought it 2yrs ago off a used dealership. It now has 204335km and running like a dream. I have changed the computer two days after I purchased it but the dealership did it with no hassles. 6 months ago I changed the oil sensor BUT otherwise just regular maintenance every 5000km.
I love my YELLOW Aztek!!
Just bought the tent and now we are going camping!!

I have owned many vehicles / brands and they all had some sort of problem. Fixing them comes with them, nothing runs for ever. Read the manuals and have regular check ups. They are all built on an assemble line with the human hand.

Tom Ski

June 27, 2007 12:48 PM

I have a 2001 that's been on the road since Jan. 18 of 01 (only 50K miles though) and it's been fine. I purchased the extended warranty which was a good buy because two things WILL break on the 01s. 1. The AC compressor is mounted in such a way that it serves as a stressed member of the frame. At about 35,000 it will crack and leak. 2. The BCM - body control module - on the early Teks losses its memory after a few years and causes all kinds of havoc though nothing that will leave you stranded. The GM dealerships have a lot to learn about customer service from Toyota (our other car) but with average care I think the Aztek is no better or worse than other GM products.

We've done lots of camping in ours and the look really grows on you. Really.


June 27, 2007 8:24 PM

I own a 2003 burgandy Aztek. The check engine light went on and I took it to the dealership. They replace the fuel gage indicator but the light was still on, then they replace the wires that connect to the computer under neath the Aztek. But the light was still on, then they replaced the sensor, and you guessed it, the light is still on. I am not sure what more they can do but it is spending another night in the garage awaiting the mighty master mechanic to look at it in the morning. Does any one have any idea what could be wrong?

Tangie Shuster

June 28, 2007 8:04 PM

I Have a 2001 Aztek and had nothing but problems out of it. Transmission has went out of it 2 times and now it sits in the driveway brokedown again. I wish they would buy mine back.


June 29, 2007 12:18 AM

Seeing all the "I love my Aztek" comments from above, it looks like all the Aztek owners are trying to improve the resale value of this model, and get rid of their UGLY cars. Think about it, so many Aztek apologists in one place.


July 9, 2007 11:07 AM


Melissa K

July 11, 2007 7:06 PM

I am a TWO time Aztek owner. First one was a 2003. Unfortunately, it was totaled in an accident. I liked the vehicle so much, that I bought a 2004 Rally Edition to replace it with. Hmmmm. Ok, I absolutely love my Aztek, I will start with that. It now has about 38,000 miles on it. There have been some issues though along the way. There have been a couple of recalls that had to be dealt with, a problematic fuse issue that plagues my cigarette lighter and aux. power outlet. (The fuse blows faithfully every month) I can get about 15 uses out of each one. Something with a gasket leak????/ That needed to be fixed, the FUEL level indicator doing EXACTLY as someone else described. That was replaced, some engine relay thing, the rear hatch latch (which is bad again), the sunroof sensor has been replaced, I used to have intermittent stalling, gee..........I can't remember what else has been fixed or replaced. but THANK GOODNESS THAT WAS ALL UNDER WARRANTY!!!!!! warranty is UP. Yikes! Reading about all this stuff makes me sick! I have truly enjoyed my Aztek though. It drives beautifully, has plenty of room for two dogs and a kid, and it is actually pretty good on gas. I am HOPING that all the issues have been fixed and that I can drive it until it is paid off at least. Looks like the ugly duckling on the outside, but feels like a swan on the inside. Good luck everyone. (And yes, if they still made them, I would buy another)...I think.


July 14, 2007 9:47 PM

i loved at first but now iam having second thoughts we had went on a trip when we got back the differention whent on it and now we cant seem to find a part for rrrrrrrr

Johan Olsen

July 15, 2007 12:38 PM

I first purchased my yellow Aztek in 2002. It was so ugly, I subsequently purchased a second Aztek, this time burgundy in color. I have no complaints. Like many other cars in the past, some have problems and some don't. What has been important is that the dealer (Abeloff) has always stood behind the product when there has been a problem. We have now reached 98,000 and 75,000 miles and still going. I have also been rammed 3 times in one car, belive it or not, the yellow one. How can you miss it? Anyway, the othe vehicle has always come of wrose than me.


July 16, 2007 10:15 PM

i like it but had noithing but problem with just the other day the differentional when $$$$$$had to phone all over just to find one. there are a lot of other things air cond engien light comes and goes ect ect ect and like most of you said warnenty gone.


July 31, 2007 8:55 PM

Point to note about owning any model or make of car....THEY ALL BREAK DOWN and all mechanical devices require routine and some major servicing from time to time. I own a 03 Aztec AWD and a 99 Transport both required lower intake manifold gaskets I did these jobs myself with a moderate mechanical background, not fun jobs, changing spark plugs on these engines are no laughing matter either.!Ive owned a fair number of cars, trucks, SUV,s and the Aztec is the most fun.!


August 1, 2007 10:17 AM

Nothing but problems---i bought my 2002 aztec in dec 2006 and now 8mnths later its messing up---one day it was fine and now its going crazy--i turned my car on and as i was going to work all my power would go on and off while i was it was i took it home and the security system locked up nothing in my car would work so i had to wait till shop opened again in the morning...when i got up to take it to the shop my car was dead n had to be jumped....took the car in and they said all the power was going out bc of battery being pontiac fixed it and cost me 300$ for labor n!! pulled it off lot and it did same exact thing as it did when i took it in...left it there on lot so they could look at it next day....welll they drove my car 50 miles and used all my gas n said it wasnt acting up n was perfectly i took it home and the security sysytem locked up while going i took it back again and seen whati was talking about and they say its the BCM body COntrol Moduel..and is going to be another 500$ for that ....this car is full of problems and would rather just dump it then have to deal with this car ever sucks on gas milage and is bright ass yellow and i hate it...i bought it real wuick bc i needed a new car but finance cmpany said i had to purchase somthng with a certain milage n price range n thats all they had that matched that on the lot at that time.....should of researched this car first before i bought this piece of crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


August 23, 2007 6:44 AM

Indeed. I purchased my 2003 Aztek back in February of this year with 64,262 miles on it. I love it! I haven't had anything major go wrong with it. Noticed that the doors don't unlock sometimes after putting into park and won't let you shift from park sometimes unless you re-start the car.I have always been a Pontiac fanatic, especially with the Grand Am. My Aztek now has about 75,000 miles on it. Around 72,000 miles, one of my break lines had broken during an emergency stop! For a car of this year, I was told by alot of people that shouldn't have happened. I also noticed that another post here had mentioned the same thing. Replaced it. Now just recently, about 5 days ago, I had failed to notice that my sunroof did not close all the way and that it was still in "vent" mode. rained, alot. The next day the inside of my car was wet. From ceiling to floor. Shortly after, my fuel gage has quit working and my "service engine soon" light has been on. I know that there is an electrical connector that runs under the driver's the seat from the tank to gage. It may have gotten wet and shorted out my fuel gage (there was a notice for Aztek's of 01 and 02 for this problem.) As of right now, several days later, the service light cancelled itself this morning and my gage may be correcting itself as well. I always have a full tank when I start it, but after a few minutes of driving, it seems to slowly go to where I think it should be. I've had my eyes on the Aztek's ever since they were released, but I am disappointed that have had such a bad run! My friend has an 01 Aztek, and everything is dying on it! The computer is fried! I still love mine though, and I do hope that nothing else happens with it. I'm sorry for those who have had worse than me. Other than that, I too must say that this is the last GM car I will ever buy.


August 23, 2007 12:47 PM

I have a 2002 Aztek. I had only had minor issues before last winter. The first week I had it the tail gate stopped working; I have had it replaced 5 times. The last time the dealer replaced both the top and bottom of the hatch (Pontiac covered all of this). The ignition cylinder jammed and I was stranded in downtown Cleveland at 1 in the morning, I will say that Pontiac sent a tow truck to get me and covered the repair. The real major problem started last winter. The head gaskets started leaking and needed to be replaced, the car only had 52, 000 miles on it. I got Pontiac to cover about 70% of the repair by asking there customer service line if Pontiac is saying there cars are only good for 52,000 miles. They were shocked I questioned the integrity of the engine, but it worked they paid for most of it. Now I have electrical problems, the odometer reading ERROR when the car is on, only ½ the dash board gauges work. I have no idea how many miles are on the care at this point, around 80K give or take. I have been to the dealer and was told for $400.00 I can have a refurbished dash unit, a new unit is not an option. My husband drivers a 1996 Chrysler Concord I fear we will have to replace the 5 year old Aztek before the 11 year old Concord. I definitely will not buy GM again. I hate to say it because you always want America to work, but Japanese may be the way to go.


September 10, 2007 3:17 PM


LaQuita Folks

September 17, 2007 9:43 AM

My family have a '01 Aztek and I like my car (use that term lightly). I have had several problems out of it and it's driving me crazy. 1st problem was a few months after we got, antifreeze was pooring from the engine. Good thing it was under warranty, because it cost nearly $3000.00. In the past year and a half, we have replaced the hub assembly 3 times and it needs replacing again. It's not under warranty so that comes straight from our pocket. I understand that cars don't last forever but it's not even 10years old! My husband has a 1995 Honda Accord, and it runs great. Currently, our fuel gage is going crazy. I have to esimate how much gas I have because it always reads "full". GM needs to recall this vechile and give us something else for equal or lesser value that can fit the family who owns it.

victoria bright

September 20, 2007 7:32 PM

Well I have a 2002 p aztec,On 9-17-2007 we recieved a phone call from South Carolina,my mother-in-law was not going to make it,while driving my husband to the airport to be by his mothers bed side,2 miles from our home @5:00am all of a sudden we heard this clanging noise comming from the engine and the AZTEC died. Need I say he missed his flight,I missed work etc. Now I could have a used engine w/ 30.000 miles installed for $1600.00 or a rebuilt engine replacing the PLASTIC GASKET w/ a metal one for $1744.00 or $3666.00 for the engine and labor.I owe $7000.00 w/95,000 miles no warranty CALLED GMC there not aware of any PROBLEMS PLEASE HELP !!

Debi and Don Kendle

September 27, 2007 5:22 PM

Yes, we fell in love with all the features that the Aztec has as well,. We got all the optional packages it had to offer. We have traveled all over the continental United States with it. All the way from driving dirt trails in Death Valley, camping on the shores of the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, crossing over into Canada, and picnicing on the beaches of Cape Cod. We have camped in it, until it has paid for itself. However, all of the issues that other owners are mentioning are plaguing us now as well. It is getting expensive to maintain, just as we finished paying it off this summer. That must be why they stopped making it. Something inherent in the design that the same maintenance issues are hitting us all about at the same mileage marks.

Debbey Bart

October 5, 2007 4:21 PM

I bought a 2001 Pontiac Aztek new in Dec. of 2000. I truly do love the car because ugly as some may think it is, it looks like nothing else on the road. Aren't you tired of all the cookie cutter cars out there? The first year I had it I had all sorts of A/C problems, condensor replaced 3x. The final condensor must have done the trick because I no longer have A/C problems. I maintain the vehicle regularly and have had no major problems with it until last summer when the engine coolant leaks began and I had the intake manifold gaskets replaced. Then brought it into the shop today because exhaust was spewing a white cloud of smoke. Guess what? A head gasket leak. $2300 to tear down the engine, machine the heads and replace the gasket. UGH! But you know what? I still love that darn car. I take out the back seats, put all my dog crates in it and load a ton of other luggage and supplies and travel to dog events. I like the way my Aztek looks, and face it, if everyone else thinks its ugly I don't have to worry about auto theft. Will I continue to sink more money into it if it keeps having problems? I'm not sure, but for now, it's a keeper.

Carol Braddock

October 9, 2007 3:00 PM

We have a 2003 Aztek. 73,000 mi. Here is what happens: You start the car and drive it. You put it in park and as you begin to take the key out of the ignition it will not go all the way to off. It keeps the electrical system running. Sometimes after a minute or two it will 'let go' and allow you turn the key completely off. But sometimes this condition will last for hours. Any amount of restarting it or driving will not 'let the key release properly'. Is there a known bug fix for this? A relay? a fuse? Intermittently the 'security' light also comes on, but then seems to fix itself. Is this also part and parcel of the same problem?

The car gets 15 in the city, 20 on the highway, doesn't leak coolant, has been nice bearing and gasket wise so far. The rotors are going bad, but that is because it was parked in a tide area of Sausalito, CA and got salt water on the brakes.


October 17, 2007 8:15 AM

Adored my 2003 Aztek with camping package! Had the bearings replaced @ 20k, along with weather stripping, no big deal, still under warranty. Then @ 88k miles a sleeve needed replaced in the transmission because GM knowingly put a wrong gasket in the transmission on some Azteks that "Should work fine". Cost $1300.00 ,now at 15 mos later, it needs a whole new transmission that GM will,"GET THIS", give me deal on @ $3200.00. What a deal?! My personal machanic will replace it for 2500.which still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. This vehicle was great til it hit 88k road miles on it. It is and was extremely well maintained. My toyota ( I had to buy used because my husband wouldnt buy a foreign car) has been great! Now my husband is considering buying a foreign car new! Wow! GM has diffently made an impression on us. Just not a good one!


October 20, 2007 7:35 AM

My 2003 Aztek has just gotten 60.000 miles on it. I have not had any major problems with it til now. I got out the car and got back in and the key would not fit into the ignition. I have owned alot of cars and this is a new one on me.


November 11, 2007 8:33 PM

Carol Braddock,

You put it in park and as you begin to take the key out of the ignition it will not go all the way to off. It keeps the electrical system running.
-well i've had that chronic problem also to the point of changing to many batteries than should, and putting a strain on my starter and all the above,
let alone in the winter the dash board looks like a christmas tree. And in the summer the dash is normal. But if anyone has a suggestion as to the ignition problem, please email me @


November 14, 2007 12:59 AM

Ok everyone that needs parts, I have a few parts left from A salvaged 2004 pontiac aztek.
I was going to rebuild it, but seem to not have much luck on bady panels.
It only has 40,000 mi. on it.
I have the complete drive train, including front seats that have the side air bag curtains, I know alot get discouraged at their Aztek, but like all cars, things go bad and especially the Aztek era for GM, things were going down hill for GM, but if anyone would like to keepo their AZTEK going, drop me a e mail and lets keep our AZTEK's on the road.
I will help you out in any needs possible.
Alot of parts are available to the canadian side of the earth but not in the USA, So I bought me a spare parts car, since i own 3 AZTEK's. I would not get rid of mine for all it can provide ofr me as in camping vehicle, shopping, travel and just plain out eye opener Vehicle, Alot ask me what is it, I tell them it is A CUV, they say; CUV? yes, Camping Utility Vehicle.
if you need help or anything parts wise, contact me e mail
KEEP the AZTEK alive...............

Herbert Freeman

November 15, 2007 1:43 PM

I had been driving a 91 S-10 Tahoe no air, stick PU since April 1990 bought new. Sold it in 2005 with 320K. mi. Never had to spend more than $2500 in repairs which included 3 sets of tires, I did the majority of work on it. Excellent mechanal shape, just kind of rusting away and the clutch was killing my arthritic knee. My doughter borrowed our 72 Datson station wag bought used in 1993 with 30K, she said for 2 wks in 1998 and kept it for 8 mos. I had to tow it home. It just wasn't worth repairing. she drove it under the ground if you know what I mean. Outside of rutine maintainence and 1 set of tires, never had to spend a penny on it for the 180K mi. that I drove it.

One rainy friday evening in Nov. 05, My wife decided she wasn't going to ride in my truck anymore, and we went car shopping. She fell absouluty in love with an 2001 white Aztec Gt AWD camper mpdel with 62K,(I think it was the handsome young salesman)at a nearby Chrysler dealer. It appeared to be in perfect shape. We drove a couple of times and I was very impressed with how well it handeled in the changing rain to snow that evening, on both city streets and xpreswy at speed. The only acessorries missing, as far as I was concerned, was a owners manual and sunroof and duel heat controls. I love the radio. It plays both tapes and Cds. As it was quite dark by this time, I tried to tell whify to wait untill the next day to check it out in daylight, but she said she was not going to set foot in my truck again for life, just had to have that car now!! You guessed right. We drove away in it. I insited on buying a 2yr extended drive train warrantee. A good thing we did. Well the first thing I noticed the next day was the air cond, wasn't cooling and not enough heat. They kept the car for a week and gave us a loner, and fixed the air, replaced one headlight bulb,and incedenly left off the back cover, and started getting water in the housing, but not the thermostat. I didn't notice that right away because we were in a warm up weather cycle. The Crys. dealer said thermostats wern't part of the drive train warrenty and wanted $150 and a week to change it. I went to a Pontiac dealer and bought one for $14 and Pep Boys put it in for $25 and one hr. About 3000K more mi. and 74K, I went to a Pontiac dealer fot an oil change and another headlight bulb replacement. they wanted $50 to change the bulb, I learned how to do that myself, and was informed the intake manifold gaskets were shot. They replaced top and bottom gaskets under warrentee and charged $300 to flush the motor. They said warrentee didn't cover the flush. At about 78K tha trans started clunking at shift points. Charged $250 for fluid change and screen cleaning. Quiet for about 2k, clunks returned. Still there. 82k stuck in park. $200 to replace freyed and burned wires. 84K Check enginlite $240 to replace most sensors so I could pass emissions. Advised by favorit mech to drive until trans fail. 96K decided to get trans work done, discovered warrentee expired. Still clunking along Hope it last thru winter, also have a miner oil gasket leak. Think I can do that. Wife still loves the hell out of this car, and guess what. So do I. But I'm kind of looking at the 2008 Vue hybred tho. They are about the same size. This high gas is kicking my butt.
Good luck 2 all U. ugly car owners and happy holidays to all
Herb & Ruth Freeman


November 26, 2007 11:15 PM

I have to say this, even though it seems completely off-topic. This is my attempt to steer honest, hard-working people away from CRAP automobiles and companies that do nothing for their customers:

I own a 1987 Nissan 300ZX. I am on the original transmission and engine. My maintanence has consisted of ONE set of springs, ONE set of shocks, two sets of tires, ONE set of brake pads, ONE set of rotors, timing belt change, and ONE spark plug/cable change. The fluids have been changed per reccomended periods. The only mechanical failure I've had, was my OEM starter going out this year.

The car has less than 90K miles on it, but it is over 21 years old. I see posts of cars such as the Aztek with 30K miles and FOUR YEARS falling apart like crazy. The second these POS GM car warranties go out, they fall apart. I had a pontiac last 6 years and 99K miles. The second I hit 100K, my transmission went out right after the AC stopped working. I previously had a 1990 Nissan with 161K miles, OEM everything. No issues. I see a pattern...

I'm not endorsing Nissan, since I have no idea how their new cars hold up. I'm simply trying to put the question in peoples head that asks, if OLD technology cars can hold up this well without a hiccup, why do a good chunk of new cars fall apart after 3 years? Why do the dealerships and companies do NOTHING to help the buyers?

Why can you buy a 15K imported Toyota econobox, push it to redline on a daily basis, and read claims of people surpassing 100K miles in just a few years with NOTHING changed but tires, when at the same time you can spend 32K on a new midsized sedan, take a look at your manual, and notice that the recommended maintanence will cost you at least 7K in 5 years time?

Anyway, the Aztek is by far the world's ugliest car.


November 27, 2007 12:34 PM



November 30, 2007 7:23 PM

Marie...learn how to spell before you post. It's "their", not "there".

I LOVE MY AZTEK!!!!!!!!!!

chitown guy

December 2, 2007 5:20 PM

I think everyone is going with a trend on this car.

1st of I have seen way uglier vehicles. I stand and look at my truck everyday and I don't think it's ugly.

People think it's cool to jump on the band wagon and say it's ugly though they have one. Shut up!

2nd the truck is wonderful I have no complaints, great gas mileage, spacious, good HP.

3rd go test drive one and see if you don't fall in love with it. People are paying thousands for vehicles that aren't any better than this vehicle.

Great sound system
Great storage

I could go on and on but I decided to break the mold. I was trying to find out how to replace my headlamps because i'm retarded like that and stumbled upon this site and was like jesus. It seems people just read and jump on the bandwagon.

Vehicle = not ugly people are just stupid... you mean to tell me the PT cruiser is better looking? No the torrent? or the eqinox or however you spell it... no wait the pacifica?!

NO! plus they all suck!

I love my BWA - Big White Angel and that's all I have to say about that Jenny.


December 4, 2007 8:19 PM

To all the GM bashers sharing their ignorance:

Start any web site bashing a car and the few people who had problems, some with an axe to grind, and those who do not perform maintenance can make it appear that ANY car has a bad record. I submit the following:

1. The Aztek uses common transmissions and engines used in other GM vehicles. There are no "Aztek" problems.

2. GM has the longest warranty in the industry because they build the best cars. People who rave about their Asian cars have neve tried a GM car. Their parents bought Nissan so they buy Nissan. They are no more informed than bubba was when the Asians first came here during the GM's heyday.

3. Ten percent of the Toyota Tundra big V8 engines had to be recalled for suddenly locking up.

4. Those motor oil ads about "sludge" are directed at Toyota and to an extent Volkswagen. Toyota has had major recall problems. Just Google Toyota and sludge or Camry and engine problem.

5. Azteks are ugly?? Are they?? Who says, Hollywood? And what is a Prius a Jeep a Volkswagen Beetle or an Element -- Design exercises? Why are looks important on this one car when the whole world condemns shoppers for buying SUV's based on vanity and image?

6. All the objective sources say all GM cars are as good as anybody's and many are better than anybody's. The same sources say the only problem that GM has is perception. "Perception" is just a polite term for choosing to be ignorant.


December 19, 2007 12:21 AM


I am a loyal GM customer, but my 2003 Aztek is a piece of junk. I had to replace all my wheel bearings, several brake rotors prematurely, heated seat doesn't work, and now my 3.4
L needs new lower intake manifold gaskets. I have a Chevy Silverado I bought at the same time and the only repair it needed was an $80 U joint. My 99 Saturn has been great. 2000 Saturn not as good as 99 but much better than Aztek.


December 25, 2007 12:09 PM

I have a 2004 aztek rally I love the car, besides gm putting in junk bearings from the start, in the buick renezvous, saturns vue and etc. The pontiacs had a service bulletin for the wheel bearings. They refunded my money, check online, Remember its a vehicle that needs maintance just like any other vehicle you run it and don't service it on a regular it will breakdown and cost more, Im looking for a second awd!


December 28, 2007 4:49 PM

some people pretend import cars don't also make plasticky lemons, maybe in 1987 they were making a good sports coupe but my girlfriend has a 2000 Nissan Xterra which has proven to be a quite a headache, with small (but expensive to repair) things like wheel bearings and brake components failing quite suddenly and often between 75,000 to her current 100,000 mi and thus in and out of the shop constantly. my '99 Ford Ranger has been much more reliable, with only 2 small unscheduled repairs in 119,000 mi so far. the main one, which is a common problem was with the heater core valve that broke at 100k but other than that, no complaints. FYI my dad also had a (I forget the year) late 80's Nissan Stanza that was a bomb with strange electrical problems, finally dying for good when the engine gave around 85,000 mi. that said, the Aztek has to be one of the worst conceived and made cars ever and particularly heinous to look at or be near. I almost died when they gave that thing away as part of a grand prize on "Survivor" about 5 years ago, when that show was at the peak of its popularity.


January 3, 2008 1:40 PM

It's expensive to maintain but overall loved it. I wish I had another one.


January 4, 2008 12:13 AM

i have a 2004 Aztec bought used with 12000 miles on it and paid 16K. have had no problems as of yet with 96K miles on it. rides great, and four people with golf bags are comfortable. get the big kick from people's looks, like what the hell is that. i didn't buy it to please your stupid attitudes of what looks good in a car. ha ha 25mpg not too bad, you Yukon suckers!


January 7, 2008 7:41 PM

I am a single mother,teacher and owner of an 01 tec with 80,000. It has had the AC replaced and some rear end thing replaced and a few other things that it should have been recalled for. About a month ago. The odometer quit displaying the millage I took it in and the mechanic pulled it and said they would have to send it out but, it wasn't urgent and it could wait until I returned from my planned 900 mile trip one way. Oh, he also put in an o2 sensor and changed the oil. When I got in and started the car the gauges went hay-wire, the locks seemed possessed, then it went into security mode, the radio is locked as well as everything inside lights, locks, UGH! It was working fine. No one has an answer and when I did some online research and tried to share it with my mechanic, he was offended. I'll never get another Aztec or Pontiac and I will tell everyone I know about all the problems I've read about here and on other sites. You would think that Pontiac would do a recall. They should be ashamed.


January 14, 2008 7:45 PM

I just bought a '05 Aztec and I absolutely LOVE it! I traded my '00 Pontiac Grand Prix GT for this! Although I miss My "Red Rocket" I have to say the Aztec is great! I bought it with 60K mi on it and It is in great running condition! I lvoe the Gas Mileage too! My "redrocket" got terrible gas mileage the TEC gets greater milage than my car! I agree with all the positive people on this site and it is all due to iggnorace that you people are being sooo pesmistic! I would buy another one in a heart beat! You have to be RESPONSIBLE if youstandards are going ot be sooo high and if you think any car is going to stand up to your standards it has nothing to do with GM or the Aztec or anything like that it is your shear Laziness & Iggnorance that your vehicle has not lasted as long as you think it should! Maybe you should try changing the oil flushing your whole systems & just stop B****ing about it! Be RESPONSIBLE that is why you have a car in the first place!


January 24, 2008 12:29 AM

I am having a problem with a leaky gas tank on my 04 model. How do I find out if there is a possible recall.


January 29, 2008 2:43 PM

I see a lot of people complaining about the same issues that I currently have. My AC works only if the inside of the car is cool, but if I turn the car off and go inside somewhere for an extended period of time that the inside of the car gets hot, the AC does not work. My heater also doesn't work properly. There is no need to start my car in the morning since it only blows cold air. When I am driving the car, the heat starts to work. When I come to a stop and am idling, the heat stops working. My brother replaced the thermostat last year and it seemed to work a little better, but now I'm back to square one - although it has been quite cold this year.


One would think that since there are so many consumers with the same issue, that Pontiac would fix the problem..HA HA HA.

Sharon Lewis

January 30, 2008 6:05 PM

OK, OK, OK -- I have an '01 Tec and I am having or had most of the bad issues: 1) the a/c went out and now I have NO Heat (in Chicago! C'mon! 2) I replaced the driver side wheel bearing too. I love this car (rides really smooth since the bearing has been fixed) and I am Blues singer who occasionally must haul musicians and equipment it is the perfect size - not too big at all. But, from what I read here, since we are ALL having most of the same issues THIS CAR SHOULD HAVE BEEN RECALLED!

I liked it (unusualness) from the first time I saw it. But, I too did not do my homework or there were people out here too embarrassed to say they were having problems.

I want to get rid of it but have a little more time to pay on it - I WANT MY MITSUBISHI BACK! Sorry, GM...


February 4, 2008 3:00 PM

I bought a 2001 Aztek and loved it at first.....Have not had THAT many problems...Did need to get headgasket replaced at 69,000 miles which cost me $1,612.00. Now I just got a letter from GM that offers to reimburse me for a repair done in late 2004 because of a small crack at the base of the fuel tank....I will be getting a $340.00 refund from GM......Now THAT is great news! GM admits a mistake after 3 years and is going to give 2001 Aztek owners repair refunds!.....Anyone else get that letter from GM?


February 8, 2008 5:08 PM

I got that letter from GM one day last week. I own a 2001 Aztek with 76,000 miles on it. For the past 3 months or so the car has been going crazy, as though it is possessed. When my mechanic fixed the A/C last year (A/C and heat has been repaired two times since 2004), he said that the A/C wasn't working due to a problem with the BCM. Now I can be driving and all the lights on the dashboard start flashing, all of the gauges go crazy, doors start locking and unlocking, radio locks up, rear hatch locks up, security light or service vehicle soon light stays on continuously. Though they were off today and everything was normal except the rear hatch will not open. If I reset fuse 28 under the hood, then the rear hatch will start working for a day or two. There is also loud noise around the wheel on driver side. I suppose that is the wheel bearing. It was leaking antifreeze back in the fall, but that just quit leaking one day. Next week it goes in for BCM replacement. This car has been very disappointing. I will not be buying another Pontiac, maybe not even another GM product.


February 10, 2008 1:01 PM

Bought a 2005 aztek brand new had problems with the car shutting off at 6000 miles had brake problem four times and the car now only had 15000 miles on it and is still cutting off. This car was a piece of trash and they should never make another car like this one.


February 11, 2008 3:33 PM

I just bougt a 2003 Jet Black fully loaded Aztec and it has been wonderful(knock on wood)!!I hope it lasts because it is a good looking car.


February 13, 2008 12:39 PM

I have a 2002 pontiac aztec and it is a peice of crap! i have had problems with it since the moment i signed the papers! before i even bought the car, i drove it for two days... and did not have any problems with it... the day i signed the papers for the vehicle, i noticed my gas tank was leaking. Within the first week of owning it, the gas tank was replaced, put in a new battery, a new alternator, new fans, new belts, and a new hatch for the back, since then, one year later, i have still had to fix electrical wiring, the belts, again, head gaskets, the rear hatch is broken again, and now i need to fix the thermostat. Not to mention for over a year, my check engine light was on, awd was disabled and my abs light was on, everytime i took it to have it checked, no one could figure out what was wrong!!! i put new tired, the lights went off. not to mention i went to leave and i backed up maybe 2 feet and all of a sudden my "brake" light came on for no reason... I personally do not feel safe in this vehicle, I have a two year old son, and unless I absolutely HAVE TO I choose to use any other car except mine. Oh and something similar to some others ive read too, drivers seat heated seat doesnt work, half the dash lights don't work, a/c don't work and my heat is letting go! it's the middle of winter and the temp here is 5 degrees right now. gm should just give every pontiac owner their money back and just shred these.. THINGS!


February 13, 2008 2:14 PM

I do love my aztek even though its not that attractive. Plays my music loud, fits a lot of my friends for camping plus their camping stuff. Great on gas and people can't believe how far I can get on a tank of gas. The only thing I really didn't like is when I took it in to pontiac dealer ship and they screwed me over royally. First they ran over a nail blamed it on me, then they said my heater was blown and I told them no cause it would still go on if you tapped a wire and they said no blown moter, then I replaced the supposed blown motor which still wouldn't come on without tapping that wire, now they were saying connection. Something that should have costed me 3 - 4 hundred cost me 7 hundred. I will never go to a dealer ship again for services.


February 14, 2008 7:46 PM

Can't argue with people who've had problems--I still remember the last 2 years of my Aerostar and the last 2 months of the Caddy we traded in for the Aztek. My wife found this thing (as we pulled into the lot, I asked her "Gawd, WTH is THAT funny looking thing?" I had no idea she was intending to buy a car; thought she was just starting to look. But she'd done research and wanted the Aztek. She beat the dealer down to 0% interest (about six months after they'd been doing that); we got it with the camping package and have camped in it, towed with it, and just turned 100,000 with it yesterday. And apart from a rear latch that never works the first time until I take it to a dealer, and having to replace the AC fluid once, all we've done is standard maintenance (knock on wood). The worst thing that's happened so far is, the thin, cheap plastic place where the keychain goes through the remote broke on both units. My wife picked up those rubber/plastic coinpurses, and put the remote in there; wprks fine (much better than the $50 replacement units (plus anothere $50 to reporgram them--I found a website that gives that info; GM oughta be ashamed!)

Never had such success with a vehicle; all I can say is: make sure you do the maintnance. Sorry for those of you who wound up with a POS. Got my fingers crossed for the next purchase....

Paul Wolf

February 16, 2008 12:14 AM

As for the heat problem I had the same on my 03 Aztec and it is easy to fix. All ponticas have this problem some how after awhile a small air pocket forms in the heater core. You need to open up the air bleed nut there are 2 you only need to open one of them and run the engine after you open it just a crack. keep it open unit you see a steady flow of the coolant. Go to your local auto store and they can show you where the bleed nut it also it takes 7mm nut. You might have to do this a couple times, but it works and fixes the problem


February 16, 2008 1:35 PM

I also have a 2001 I loved it the body the color red I also have the camper package well... here are the problems... a/c first then the thermastat, head light went out, car would not disengage from park, starter went out, now I have NO dash lights my stereo is LOCKED and my mileage reads error !! I am a single mom and this was a horrible mistake on GM they will not fix or refund or repair there MESS of a car... this car only has 75k miles one owner and has been maintained it has to go..... SHAME on GM .....


February 17, 2008 9:33 PM

Bought my Aztek new in 2004 and this evening it nearly killed me! Horrible snowstorm, windshield impossible to see out of and god forbid the windshield wipers decide not to work!!! I am reading about the electrical problems and realize that the doors AREN'T supposed to stay locked after the car is in park...silly me. I also have noticed that my heat is not working...defrosters take years to actually defrost. I can only imagine the AC is probably also not working but too cold to try it out. Oh, only has 21,000K on it and yes the warranty is off but I owe too much to trade it in. YIKES!!!


February 18, 2008 10:30 AM

My wife has an 04 Rally she has liked it so far. It has about 86,000 mi on it and has not had any problems. She wants to get a new car. I started to look around to see how much it realy is worth. I was going to trade it in but the guy said no-one wants them, they have been discontinued etc. He offered about $4,000. I thought he was full of it. It is gray so it does not look so "ugly" as they say. Any body know the real going price avg.


February 20, 2008 10:26 AM

I have an 03 Aztek that I have really enjoyed. I'm up to 110,000 miles on the vehicle with no issues other than maintenance. Engine is strong with no oil usage and drives great. I will keep it until it falls apart.


March 1, 2008 12:46 AM



March 7, 2008 7:08 PM

Coming up in April 2008, my dear red Aztek will be seven years old. Today I have to replace the original battery. It's on its second pair of tires. Still looks good inside and out except for a peculiar sunburned effect (flaky, peeling) on the tail light plastic and the roof rack. This was a replacement for my 15-year-old Chevy Blazer S-10. It needed to haul 4'x8' sheets of plywood or whatever just as the Blazer did. It did that just fine, but also assumed the role of hauling my kayak on the roof rack. Excellent! It has proven to be a good all-around UTILITY vehicle. Oh yeah, the driver side seat never did heat up like it was supposed to do, but that's my fault for not pursuing a fix. The passenger side does heat up as it should. The A/C has always been quick and efficient. The fuel gauge works just fine. Mileage is pretty decent...25mpg. The limited vision out the back was a concern at first, but I adapted and now it's not a problem. It's a great little vehicle. I feel very confident driving it. I did the Onstar for the first year, but the cost was exorbitant and now I rely on my cellphone. I don't know if Onstar service has improved at all in the past several years, but we had trouble connecting with it. It wasn't a big confidence builder.

D & G

March 9, 2008 12:45 PM

We have a 2002 Aztek & we just love it. Yes it is different looking but it's the best vehicle we have driven and we are sorry they don't make them anymore.
We have had very few problems with our Aztek.
D & G

Don & laurel Zach

April 3, 2008 9:41 PM

WOW! We are thinking of possibly buying a 2001. We drove the car, and love it! I have read every post and there is a few who love the car but more hate it. We think the car is cool, not ugly, and drives great. But now I am not sure. As much as we want it, we do not need a money pit!
Could we get any advice?


April 5, 2008 6:39 PM

My husband and i just bought a 2002 Astek, we like the room for 2 car seats and a 14 yr old, like the room for strollers, and us, rides okay, problem is the heater fan for 1,2,3, dont work, and left light bulb blew out , my husband just cant figure out to replace it , oh, and this thumping noise just started when you make turns, need help with the head light replacement, no manuel


April 5, 2008 11:25 PM

As an owner of a 2001 aztek I bought it last year with 61,000 miles for only $6800... great deal on a great car!! It has 99k miles on it now. At 96k we replaced the thremostat ($12 at autozone) and a vacuumm hose ($3)... and thats it... other than that, the AC fan selector switch does not work on high.


April 7, 2008 7:54 PM

I have an '03 Aztek, and yes it is ugly, but it is a great car. It gets great mileage for it's size, has plenty of power, has been pretty low maintenance. Mine has 105,000 miles on it and we have had to replace the intake gasket, thermostat, and the drivers window regulator. That's all. Oh, and after all that mileage I still have not done a rear brake job. It has so much room in it. When you take out the rear seats you can slide in a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood in it without having it hang over the tailgate. There are not too many family vehicles or SUV's that can do that. I'm keeping this ugly car until it dies, which might be for quite some time.


April 8, 2008 7:33 PM

We have a Aztec with 86,000 mi. It has made a humming noise since we got it after you shut it off. Took it to the dealer and they could'nt hear it. Called the main office and they never heard of it. I just call it the haunted car and tell that to the people that hear it. We usully park far away so no one hears it. I like it but wish it did"t make that noise.


April 9, 2008 6:48 AM

I just stumbled upon this site. I have spent days researching the aztec. I have read alot of postive things and some negative, but mostly more positive. I am buying a 2004 tomorrow that has 50,000 miles on it. I am a bit nervous, but as some say all cars have issues. I just got done with a dodge stratus believe it or not I had that car 12 yrs, it was a 1995, I got my monies worth. Yes I had repairs along the way, but I don't feel it was bad for the years I had the car. Thinking about the milage thats on the car (250,000) I will kiss it good bye and send it off to car heaven. If I reviewed that car right now I would likely have heart failure and never ever buy one!! lol....If I do as well with my new aztec I will be very happy.There are haters for every make. Even threw my car search I had so many people with different opinions. Ohhh don't buy a ford one would say, and the next would say get a ford! oh don't buy a dodge...and so on...whatever I was looking at everyone had a different view. This will be my first pontiac.Some of the sites I reviewed said alot of good things and helped me make my choice for the money I have to spend.I am still nervous but I would be with any purchase or and make or model. They are offering an extended warranty, and I will buy it..... I need to have this car as long as the old dodge I am saying rest well to. I am still searching reviews and I pick up my car I am driving myself crazy hehe...I will be back in a few weeks to post how I like my 2004 aztec. Cheers all my fingers are crossed!!Here is one of the sites for the people who want more opinions on the aztec


April 9, 2008 6:48 AM

I just stumbled upon this site. I have spent days researching the aztec. I have read alot of postive things and some negative, but mostly more positive. I am buying a 2004 tomorrow that has 50,000 miles on it. I am a bit nervous, but as some say all cars have issues. I just got done with a dodge stratus believe it or not I had that car 12 yrs, it was a 1995, I got my monies worth. Yes I had repairs along the way, but I don't feel it was bad for the years I had the car. Thinking about the milage thats on the car (250,000) I will kiss it good bye and send it off to car heaven. If I reviewed that car right now I would likely have heart failure and never ever buy one!! lol....If I do as well with my new aztec I will be very happy.There are haters for every make. Even threw my car search I had so many people with different opinions. Ohhh don't buy a ford one would say, and the next would say get a ford! oh don't buy a dodge...and so on...whatever I was looking at everyone had a different view. This will be my first pontiac.Some of the sites I reviewed said alot of good things and helped me make my choice for the money I have to spend.I am still nervous but I would be with any purchase or and make or model. They are offering an extended warranty, and I will buy it..... I need to have this car as long as the old dodge I am saying rest well to. I am still searching reviews and I pick up my car I am driving myself crazy hehe...I will be back in a few weeks to post how I like my 2004 aztec. Cheers all my fingers are crossed!!Here is one of the sites for the people who want more opinions on the aztec


April 9, 2008 9:41 PM

I own a 2002 Pontiac Aztec. I have never liked the look of it. I never would have dreamed I would have bought one. After getting in the drivers seat and driving it I loved it. The look is something that still hasn't grown on me. My Aztec has over 100,000 miles on it. I have had some issues with it but all and all it has been a real good vehicle. I have replaced one front wheel bearing since I owned it. I consider this a normal maintenance issue. If there are people who think they can purchase a vehicle that won't have normal issues like, tires, brakes, oil changes, I guess what I am saying is normal wear parts. Every vehicle has these things. Saying that I will say these are the problems I feel I shouldn't have had. Electrical problem, which I feel has to do with a bad ground somewhere. Now I am having a heating problem which I am not really sure where to look. My guess is the coolant fans aren't turning on like they should, which again, has to do with electrical. If I am driving the car and there is air flow going through the radiator the car runs cool or what I would say is normal. My problem with the whole thing is that once the car heats up from either sitting there idle or in some cases on a hot day if I go on a long trip or I am towing my travel trailer and the temp gauge gets to 3/4 and I shut the car off it will not restart until it cools. Does anyone know if the computer has some sort of safety feature that doesn't allow the engine to start until it cools back down? I have no coolant leaks and I have never seen or heard my fans kick on. I took it to the repair shop for this and told them what I thought the issue was, the mechanic who is a good friend of mine and is ASE certified said he could get the fans to kick on and off with his scanner. This is the second Pontiac I have owned and I would say both vehicles have been very good to me compared to what else I have seen out there for the price.


April 9, 2008 11:14 PM

We have 63k miles on ours that was bought new in 2004. It is FWD and loaded up with options. It's been a pretty reliable vehicle and averages 25mpg with the v6. If you keep the speedo at 65-68mph you will find it can get a steady 27-28mpg. Not bad for one of the uglier vehicles to grace the American roadways. Oh, and as a Police Officer, I can tell you that I've never heard of anyone stealing one of these. Enjoy your "new" car Sue.


April 11, 2008 11:53 AM

I have fallen in love with the aztec in 7 grade knew i wanted it got it as a graduation present last april its an 01 and its made it home and back to school for awhile but now it has no heat and it is leaking antifreeze. Many people have looked at it we cant figure out whats wrong yet but they want me to sell it i cant i love it its a god vehicle my mom thinks its good cause of the protection it provides so i want to fix it and then keep driving it.


April 11, 2008 12:10 PM



April 16, 2008 2:16 PM

I bought my 2005 Aztek in January of 2006 with 12,000 miles on it. I love it! The only things that have had to do is routine maintenence and a few light bulbs. I am completley pleased with my Aztek!


April 18, 2008 3:04 PM

I have a 2001 Aztek and despite a few problems, it is the best vehicle I have ever owned. I would love to upgrade to a new Aztek eventually but unfortunately they have been discontinued. They are so unique, not at all ugly. Just a bit more than boxy or rounded as all other vehicles. The interior is awesome. If they ever make they again, I will be standing in line for one!!!!!!


April 25, 2008 5:24 PM



April 25, 2008 10:47 PM

I have an '01 yellow Aztek with graphics on the sides and I love this car!! With the back seats rolled down or out, the car is so versatile it's amazing. Have we had issues - repairs - yes. Total cost over 6 1/2 years has been $1900, in 2006 for induction system cleaning and left front wheel hub bearing replacements, and since Nov '07 replacements of the BCM electrical module, battery and security system module. Good news, not many repairs. Bad news, last three in the last six months. If repairs continue at the current pace, probably time to get a new car. Otherwise, ready to move on, hardly; I love my Aztek!


May 15, 2008 5:20 PM

I bought an 2001 Aztec second hand. It had 93,000+ miles in 2005. The previous owners replaced this with a newer Aztec. They do look like space ships from Judge Dread, but the family (my Husband-a big guy) and the dog can ride comfortable. I am going to drive this thing until the tires fall off. Oh wait I just got new tires in august of 2007. Well I love my "little red wagon"

Mr. D

May 18, 2008 1:25 PM

Bought my 2004 Aztek on ebay paid $11, 100 with 8900 miles on it. Honestly, I am satisfied. No major problem, but I'm religious with 3000 mile oil and filter changes etc.. Use the camper set up and love it. Haul's a real load and very decent mpg...on highway, I ran 25 mpg last road trip to Chicago. Buying used highly depreciated "undesirable" vehicles is smart...ugly? Yeah, in a cute sort of way like some dogs and wives...husbands too.


May 27, 2008 1:22 PM

102,000 miles so far, no major problems except a recurring shudder in the front brakes, which only started in the last 5,000 miles or so. First 95,000 were trouble free. We went out shopping yesterday to replace it, but really can't find anything as useful. We have a baby in a car seat and 3 large dogs, nothing else can carry us but a minivan. Guess we'll just keep driving it for now.


May 29, 2008 2:33 PM

Bought my 2002 Aztek new in the Fall of 2002.

Here is my list of problems:
2003 - Check Engine Light is ON. Water intrusion caused electrical problem; fixed under warranty.
2005 - Transmission failed at 60k, water intrusion into body harness causing electrical problems. Replaced tranny, torque converter, Body Control Module, Wiring Harness, etc. for $7k out of pocket.
2007 - AC went out.
2008 - Leak in low side service port for AC. Also found lower intake manifold leak. Fixed AC problem for $400; replaced manifold gasket for $800.

Car now has 70000 miles on it. It's my second car. I would get rid of it, but I have spent too much money on it ($30k with repairs). It still drives well & now its my beater.

ADVICE: If you buy a used Aztek, buy one that has already had the AC condenser, wheel bearing & manifold gasket fixed. Then get the best warranty you can find and find a dealership/mechanic that provides free loaners.

FYI - If you replaced your lower intake manifold gasket, you may be eligible for full/partial reimbursement due to a class action lawsuit. Read more about it here:


June 17, 2008 10:31 AM

I feel really bad for all the Aztec owners that have had problems. I bought my 2001 Aztec used in 2006 with 90,000 miles on it. I have never had it in the shop (except for routine oil changes) and absolutely LOVE my car. It handles beautifully, rides very smoothly and is roomy and comfortable. I am hoping to keep it for another few years (but if gas prices keep going as they are might be sooner)


June 19, 2008 4:51 PM

We purchased our 2004 Aztec in 2005 with 17k on it. My wife insisted on it instead of the Jeep I wanted. (yes it's ugly, but the look seems to be finally coming into style). Sometimes we need to hit the hatch button a couple of times, but big deal, so what? My wife used to love the car and it's made a LOT of long-haul trips, but now she wont drive it until I fix the haunted gas gauge... she's afraid that it'll stop on her... My fix is simple... if I don't like the gas reading, all I have to do is repeatedly turn the ignition off and on until it reads what I want it to... I imagine I could drive it forever on a single tank of gas using this method (but I'm not willing to try that). What's really amazing though, is that the "full" mark is at the 12 o'clock position however if it's reading half a tank when I fill it up with gas, the needle goes all the way to about the 2 o'clock position... despite the fact that the temperature gauge is to the right of the gas... I dont see it as a problem with the float since I can get it to change its reading, but I'm not really willing to spend big bucks to fix something that a can of gas in the trunk wouldn't take care of just as well...
Ugly gray car, TONS of pep (I got it to do a sustained 130 mph once) and my wife [used to] get great gas mileage.


June 23, 2008 12:56 PM

I have a 2001 Aztek and despite the problems that seem to be common to them, I love the vehicle. I would gladly buy another one if it was still made. It does sound like the 01 had less issues than the later models.
I will keep driving this as long as possible by choice! Sorry to say this may be my last Pontiac as it was so unique looking in and out, but now Pontiacs are the same as the rest.
The Aztek should have been saved and the issues worked out. It still rates as one of the highest in owner loyalty!


July 6, 2008 3:26 PM

I have had my 2001 Aztek since it was new and love it. I'm at 90,000 miles and I've treated it very badly maintenance-wise (irregular oil changes, fluid refilling, etc) and no problems! I would happily buy one again. It is ugly as sin however, but I kind of like that about it.


July 26, 2008 10:52 PM

I bought my 2001 Aztec at 10,000 miles on it in 2002.The transmission had to be fixed when it stopped going into reverse. However, I went immediately to get it checked out and didn't allow it to get worse.My warranty covered it.The dash board went out in the first year and my warranty covered it also. Air conditoning stopped working and warranty covered it.The front end seemed out of line regularly. Wore down a new set of tires in no time.I bought new tires and took it in to have them rotated and a oil change and the dealership told me I had an oil leak and they showed me the oil..they charged me 1000.oo and I am not really sure it was leaking. I take good care of maintaining under the hood stuff and funny I never noticed the oil leak. As much as there was where they showed me, I am surprised no oil was underneath my car on the driveway. It has never dropped one drop of driveway is clean and stain free!I love my Aztec and hope to keep ot fpr many years more. It just turned a little over 100,000 miles and right now it is running as good as a new one. I keep the transmission and engine serviced. Got new shocks today and new struts.Just a part of maintaining it.


July 28, 2008 8:29 PM

I also have an Aztek 2004. So far I have had nothing go wrong other than a slight tapping / knocking sound underneath the car. It was the emergency brake cable hitting underneath . Once secured, it was fine. I just returned from a 600 mile trip and I averaged 31 miles per gallon with the a/c on, in the mountains! My cousin who was with me could not believe it. He was the one who topped off the gas. I do use 5w30 synthetic oil from about 800 miles. Now I am at 34ooo. Still going strong. Oh, I forgot to mention that the radio,single cd, was replaced by pontiac at 10k under warranty. Other than that , no other problem....


August 7, 2008 7:37 PM

I have a 2003 Aztec and the flor boards always are wet and it don't seem to be antifreeze it seems to be water just wondering if anyone has this problems and knows what it could be. please advice thank u all so much


August 14, 2008 2:04 PM

I have had the same problem with my Aztek where the floor board is wet and it stinks. It has something to do with the air conditioner. You know those cooling units that you put in your home window and they leak outside, well it's the same thing. I couldn't get mine's fixed, and the mechanic couldn't find the problem. It finally went away. But I too have the same problems as everyone else. Right now I am without a car because my key cylinder is locked and my car won't recognize my $50 a piece keys and the Pontiac house wants to charge me $500 to fix it. The part cost $58 at NAPA and the coding of 2 keys. SO, WHY IS IT SOOOOOOO MUCH MORE FOR LABOR!!!!!!!!! RIP OFF! Sorry this is happening to you. Fortunately, mine's is paid for and I did truly like my Red/Black 2001 Aztek. But too much is starting to happen to it. Good Luck!


August 15, 2008 6:17 PM

Kristy, your prob. is a plugged up or miss-routed a/c drian. Now for everyone else, it was mantioned above that this is not just an Aztec problem(s). These problems occur on just about every car ASSEMBLED in the U.S....All of the big three...It used to be ..A long,long time ago in a galaxy far far away, every single part that was installed on an American made car was made in America ! Now the only thing they can claim is that they are assembled here. Only about 5% of the car is accually made here. Mass production of parts in third word countries for pennies leaves out the cost for Quality. Also the fact that the American driver wants a car that does everything but wipe his A@# has put a major strain on electrical systems. On top of the fact that we feel the need to get where we are going yesterday as fast as we can, and not take the time to enjoy the ride.....For all of the people who have sworn off of G are doing nothing more than killing the American economy. You will not get any better quality from the Jap. cars as they are manufactured the same way, in the U.S. ....I have been a mechanic for over 25 yrs. , and have worked on every make and model known to mankind. They all have the same problems. PERIOD.......All that being said, I have a 2003 Pontiac Aztec. The absolute best car I have ever owned. 148,000 miles of smooth ride, family vacations, and lots of fun. Still get 33 mpg. hwy. 27 in town. Rack & pinnion replaced at 26,000 (under warr.), and Intake gaskets (also like mentioned, on every G M 3.1-3.4 engine). No other issues at all. Like I tell my children, if you are going to spend that much money on something, you better D@#$ well make sure you take care of it. Treat it like it's a new born baby every time you touch it.

Terri in Peterborough, ON

August 30, 2008 3:19 PM

We loved our Aztec when we first picked it up. After awhile we noticed the brakes squealing ever tho the GM machanic said there was nothing wrong other then the dampness/dew/humidity/heat/cold. After the warranty ran out it stated to be more then the above and out came the plastic. Two days ago the Master Cylinder cracked....2003 with only 72,000 kls. The dealership "Bill Storey" in Peterborough, ON. said it's uncommon in vehiles with such low mileage....WHAT?? Maybe there was a problem from the get go. We are going back to foriegn cars maybe a VW Jetta.


September 1, 2008 10:40 AM

How do I change the transmission fluid and filter in my 2003 Axtek?



September 19, 2008 10:13 AM

I don't even know where to begin. I just purchased an 01 Aztec and after reading this I am petrified. I have only had the vehicle three weeks and my heater just stopped working. I live in Maine and it's September, which means cold early morning rides to drop my kindergartener off to school and then to work. Also, my Service Engine soon light is on. It doesn't stay on all the time however, it is on and off. Every time I turn my steering wheel to the left it feels and sounds as if something is rubbing. There is a tapping/ Wrapping noise in the engine at times. I just had the oil checked, that is fine. I'm a single mom and don't have a lot of money, if anybody could help with advice as to how at least the heater could get fixed, I would greatly appreciate it. And by the way, I purchased a 2002 VW Passat with 54k on it in Novemeber of 2007, within the first week it was back at the dealer, the turbo blew, a week later the car would not shut off, and a week after that I got in the car and the entire passengar side floor had two inches of water on it. The drain for the moonroof was clogged. So yes, I am scared to death with this Aztec now, but I seem to have had many problems with my foreign made too. And to be honest, I like driving the Aztec better, much more spacious and great for kids.


September 23, 2008 9:17 PM

If any other company produced the Aztek it probably would have been a hit, something about Pontiacs people love to hate like the Fiero which I would love to own. I personally think its great looking, fun to drive and can haul a lot more than my Grand am. Everyone seems to think the PT cruiser is so great but I find it totally ugly along with the Prius and so many other vehicles. The looks is what sold me on the vehicle and the totally maintenance free Grand am that I previously owned gives me total faith in this Aztek.


September 23, 2008 11:11 PM

I would like to know if the fix has been found for the following Aztec probs: It's a 2004 AWD.

Unable to get keys out of ignition most of time.

Gas guage needle goes all over the place....even into temperature control guage. Never know how much gas there is.

please e-mail


September 30, 2008 3:11 PM

When we bought our Aztek it was so ugly it was cool. We loved the ruggedness, the roominess, the interior features, and yes the exterior look. Within the first six months our 2005 Aztek was in the shop a total of 19 days. The dealership told us they couldn't find anything wrong with it. They wanted us to give them a $200 diagnostic fee to try again while the car was under warranty. Our Aztek would just turn off while we were driving. That means loss of brakes and power steering. My wife was almost creamed by a semi as she was going around a curve when it stalled. Then our sunroof started leaking and they said water leaks were not covered under warranty. Then the passenger side wheel hub went out at 25,000 miles. Then our AC blower went out today. Bob Sellers Pontiac in Farmington Hills,Mi. can not be trusted anymore than GM can be. They both told us there wasn't anything they could do, we would have to pay for everything ourselves. My next vehicle will be a Toyota or Honda.


October 1, 2008 12:05 PM

I have a 2003 Aztek, my red brake light comes on with an annoying door open dinging bell ringing that won't quit until I turn car off. Then it starts again withing minutes. Had it looked at and the mechanic(s) are clueless...anyone else have the same problem?


October 5, 2008 12:39 AM

I love my 2001 Aztek!! It has been a great vehicle. It drives and rides great. We've never had any trouble with it. I like the way it looks. My 20 year old wants it over her Kia and my 16 year old says she's taking it with her to college.


October 9, 2008 9:46 PM

I love my car when I got it but I have had nothing but trouble with it. Since I got it with in the first three months it was in the shop for something and after that ever six to seven months for one thing or the another. My car is only 5 yrs old and I can not drive it because the dealership is tell me that my car need a new engin and it only has 73000 miles on it and I still have six payments so I


October 15, 2008 12:21 PM

All those positive comments are a bunch of BALONEY! I know of countless owners of the AZTEK and they have had nothing but problems with it. First, intake manifold problem that GM goes not admit exisits even though it it common on Montana and Aztek - had to replace the engine because of overheating. Replaced Condenser, Radiator and other spending twice as much on the repairs than the cost of the new car. Shame on you GM - never again will I even consider buying a GM product. Everyone take heed and stay away from this overpriced garbage.


October 22, 2008 8:04 PM

I have a 2001 aztec, the biggest mistake and headache of my life. Have had nothing but problems. First it was my instrument panel went out and I could not tell how many miles I had on it . took it to the dealer you said it was the cluster box that went out, cost me 1600 dollars to fix, days later all my warning lights would come on , they diagnosed the problem as needing a new starter switch. cost 275 dollars. 2 weeks later it is now the BCM module, my security light comes on randomly and traction light. After turning vehicle off, the car locks and unlocks itself continuously, and wears my battery down, dead 3 times in the last week. Cost for new BCM is going to be 458 dollars. Who knows what will be next. What a piece of junk. Only have 86,000 miles on it and definitely dont want to put any more money into it. Will never buy another GM or pontiac again. Wish I had seen this site before buying the POS. and would never recommend it to anyone.


October 29, 2008 7:49 PM

Ok, question!!! I had no probs with the aztek until now, the other day it just decided it would not start (after driving for 2 hours) when you turn the key the lights and sound come on, alone with the battery picture... BUT it wont turn over, wont even try or make a cant put it into neutral (which made it hard to tow) and we tried to boost luck- its been in the shop for a couple of days, they changed the starer, still did not work- then they changed the BMC (or whatever) panel, and its still not working- now they think its something to do with the wiring- they are completly lost and its so frustrating....any one have any suggestions?


November 1, 2008 12:14 PM

I bought my 2001 fully loaded Aztec in 2002. I love it, I call it my doggie van. The dogs love it, they ride looking out the back window while laying. They are not hanging out an open window,or jumping around. Other than ROUTINE maintenance and replacement of worn out parts, it is still moving with 140,000 miles. Yes, it has needed some of the above mentioned repairs, A/C, leaking gaskets, etc. But it is by far the best car (CUV) I have ever owned and I will drive it until it cannot be safely repaired anymore. I am a lover of the AZTEC and I too wish they would bring it back with all the hiccups fixed, I definitely would buy another one.


November 4, 2008 2:34 PM

I bought my 2004 Aztec in March of this year.30,000 miles. I took it in the next day due to a scrubbing sound when you first take off. Service dept could not explain why and did not get it fixed. I had a blown headlight the next week. The next month, I was pulling into work and it just shut off as I was turning a corner in the parking garage. It has done this 2x since then. Both other times I was driving in heavy traffic on the freeway with my 2 year old daughter. Scared the crap out of me. I have also had trouble with the car not unlocking or coming out of park at odd times. After reading the above comments, I feel I got screwed. Royally. No wonder this car got traded in. I wish I could retrade it myself and not come out in a hole!


November 7, 2008 2:26 PM

We have an '01 Aztek, it's had problems, A/C, wheel bearings... but all in all, it's been pretty darn good. The average cost of running it is not out control... we count on about $2,000 of repairs a year (~$175 a month)... it's run a little over that this year, but no big deal, that's still a lot cheaper than a new car, and we love the convenience and features of the Aztek. When you factor in the deal you get on these cars, how can you complain about a few repairs?

As for those who say they'll never buy GM again, that's rediculous. The '08 Malibu has significantly better reliability scores than the Camry... you have to judge what to buy on a car-by-car basis, not a blanket statement about brands.

Bottom line, use the Lemonaid used car guide (by Phil Edmonston), and be a smart shopper.


November 7, 2008 11:56 PM

I have a 2003 Pontiac Aztec and my odometer is digital I can no longer see it could it be bulb or something else. If it is a bulb how do I replace it


November 12, 2008 2:35 PM

2001 Aztec,black, leather seats 125000 miles, loved it to start with but also lots of problems. Currently my headlights would not cut off, you could hear a clicking noise until I manual turned it off. Yesterday, left work, stopped at store got back on the road and every light in the thing starting coming on and off and the the automatic doors were locking and unlocking, it was like it was possessed! I have had the ac condenser replaced, it has an rear oil leak, sunroof leaks, driver side window is not working properly. Still owe 2400.00 on it. Does anyone know what the flashing lights on and off could be?


November 12, 2008 4:31 PM

I agree with BOB (GM product boss Bob Lutz has quipped, “We’d fire the guy who greenlighted the Aztek if we could find anyone willing to admit it.”)

go find the idiot that signed off on the Gremlin or the Pacer and you will find the guy to fire.Oh and don't forget the Pinto!!

it is no wonder the auto makers are in deep shit you can look at the 80'a and 90's and you will find a lot of bad car designs that no one wanted.


November 12, 2008 7:35 PM

I have a 2002 aztez also known in our house as the "craptek"--we bought it with 16k miles on it in 2004 and have regreted it ever since. It now has 127k miles on it and here is a run down of what we have had done or problems we live with--2 full sets of wheel bearings (very pricey) inner and outer tie rods twice, the rear hatch does not work and often times the tailgait has to be unlocked and re-locked to open it up, the car does not always unlock when you put it in park, the air conditioner condenser went out, head gasket ($1800.00), the rear diferential another $1500.00, I had the anti theft system lock up and could not get my key out (by the way each key is about $60. for a replacement--and the repair person had to tow the car because it was stuck in my driveway with the key in it, the brake lights have been stuck on causing my battery to die--even though the car was off and nothing was touching the brake pedal, and now it is in the shop with a coolant leak and we are trying to decide weather to cut our loses and move on--I am sure that I have forgotten many of the things that have gone wrong--I try to block them out!! Run Fast and don't think about getting this hunk o'junk!!


December 8, 2008 9:51 PM

Just say this site today when looking on how to replace a headlight...
We have a 2002, with about 48K on it. The first problem we had was with the fuel system. When the car was hot, and we were driving slow, it would die. Also, if we had been driving for a while, and turned off the engine, it would always start back up. It after a few trips to the shop (while we were camping of course)we got it fixed, under warranty luckily. It was a wiring problem by the gas tank. When it would get hot, it would short out, and stop the flow of gas (this is a known issue). They have to remove the gas tank, and if I remember correctly, replace the fuel pump, or rewired it (sorry, I have slept since then). Bridget, this may be your issue. We have had to have the front bearings replaced (we got a letter from Pontiac to have them replaced for free, but now the noise is back!) Also, we had the coolant issue with the bad gaskets and the dexcool. (I found on the web a class action lawsuit about this, and sent in copies of my bill, but not holding my breath on ever getting anything back!)We had to have both lower and upper replaced. The shop replaced them with aluminum, so hopefully that will no longer be an issue (plus we no longer use the dexcool). the only other issues is the trunk latch, AC is not so cool anymore, and my headlight just went out today!
Overall, we like the car, and the way it looks. We got a pretty good deal on it when we brought it, it was one year used, but by the car dealers wife, and had less than a 1000 miles on it. The leather heated seats, the heads up display and other amenities make a nice car to drive for a long periods time. We use it for towing a popup trailer, and for Boy Scout trips, and we like it a lot. We can cram a lot of stuff in it, and fairly seat 5 comfortably (3 teenage boys in back, all over 5’ 10” tall!) (Not me or my wife, I am only 5’8”, she 5’ 5”, go figure!)

Also, Janice, we had that same problem with our old Pontiac Montana Van. It would honk, and stall, and the sliding power door would open and close on its own! It turned out to the battery in the key remote! Once we replaced that, all was well again.


December 8, 2008 10:48 PM

Does anyone ever read the user manual? I own an Aztek 2003 AWD (highly modified esthetic and motor) for now 5 year, I crashed it too often to remember how many time, 3 ft jump, tree run, several collision with car that had to leave with a towing (yes im a wreckless driver)… name it, and I can say that this car is a tank! Nothing like japan plastic car (I agree Aztek look plastic too but its only to mask how strong it is) all you folk who have issue with this car just don’t know how to take care of a car, I’m not a mechanic, but I can read the owner manual and follow their recommendation, and if you don’t rotate your tire, uneven stress will be applied to the bearing… don’t check your oil, motor/trans blow… don’t bleed your radiator at 120k, stop heating… and sooooooo ooooon. I LOVE MY AZTECK AND I TAKE CARE OF ITS NEED!!, this car/suv/small truck whatever you call it is very strong and I beat it everyday, racing 200kmph, accelerating like a rocket and following my friend who own pickup and jeep wherever they go. I’m at my first bearing replacement (approaching 200k) and guess what? I skip 3 tire rotations because I was too busy. I’m working on the road and love to travel and this beauty is not a GM abomination. Older car last longer because they use less part, with less technologies, thus reducing the chain factor degradation, take care of this car and it will take care of you. Hope mine will last forever and I’m looking for an other one just in case I crash it for good. Damn I never loved a car like this one.

tim t

December 11, 2008 10:27 AM

i bought a used 2001 aztek. I am going on a 3000 mile road trip to go home for the holidays. I have had no problem so far. I love it even though nobody elese does. It has 63000 miles on it


December 11, 2008 3:05 PM

I have 2003 RALLY AWD, those of you with AWD and Antilock brake disable light problems, the wheel speed sensors are junk, i've already replaced a couple and they continue to fail. Very dangerous in Minnesota winter climate. wheel bearings have also been a problem.


December 19, 2008 8:13 PM

Own an 2002 Aztec-First of all.It is one of the most stable/sturdy vehicle I have ever owned.Bought in Vermont-Fantastic in snow/mud etc..(just FWD) Problems?- Damn right...Because the (us/me-now Floridian)people who have head gasket and front/rear hubs, and dash components, must realize that their Aztec was made in Canada. Check out class action suits...Poor workmanship and parts. My wifes Canadian so no bad words here...Great people...more management issues..If yours is from Mexico...Haven't heard an issue yet (not that i would have). But it is an GM...Compared to are cheaper and plentiful...You just need a little mechanical background..Did the head gasket 1.5 years ago. And to replace a hub is about an hour-two...Still going strong after 7 years and 102k...And just as quiet and sturdy as day one..


December 27, 2008 12:32 PM

Have an 04 with few problems so far, but, does anyone have any problems where the engine races? I turn it on, and the RPM reads 1.5 to over 2 thousand. It does that some times when I'm driving too. I turn it off at red lights and keep restarting until it settles down. I've had it in the shop several times, but it still does it. Any suggestions?


December 29, 2008 9:00 AM

Our 2001 'Tek just turned 309,000 kms. Still runs great. It has had some problems over the years, but all in all it has been a pretty good vehicle. We just recentently started to have problems with the dash lights flashing, etc. After a little research we're pretty sure it is the BCM and are going to replace it. The body is in amazing shape, car doesn't look it's age, and the way I figure it, replaceing the BCM is a lot cheaper than a new car payment, and I still love the car!

Shallon Smith

December 29, 2008 12:49 PM

Tammy, sounds like just an oxygen sensor or fuel filter to me. Both of them are simple repairs.


January 2, 2009 8:44 PM

my car has 201K miles, it is so quiet I can never tell if it's on - so i have to see if there are RPMS...


January 3, 2009 7:58 PM

We have an '01 Aztek. For the 2nd time, it has totally seized up - can't get the key in the ignition, can't put into park, can't turn the steering wheel. The first time it happened, we were told to wiggle the steering wheel and rock the car - eventually it released. This time, nothing seems to work - the car has been seized for 2 weeks - does anyone have any suggestions?


January 7, 2009 8:41 PM

I just brought HOME A 2004 Astek. This site has me messing in my pants. What in hell did I by. Can I take it back?


January 15, 2009 2:23 PM

I have a 03 Pontaic Aztek and everything that could go with it went wrong and to my suprise on a Brand New vehicle....I got the run around from GMC and I had to sue them....I have a extended warranty and some problems still existed and never seemed to get fixed so I took them to court and recently settled my case and won...I would not recommend this car it is a money trap....we never buy a pontaic again...KLA


January 17, 2009 3:04 PM

i bought a 2001 aztec yes people make fun of it but i just went home for leave on a 4,000 mile trip and i never had any problems i love mine


January 26, 2009 9:37 AM

I have to say I LOVED my Aztek. Yes I know it's ugly, maybe I liked it so much because it was so different. Perfect size for a family of 4. That is until the warranty ran out. I now have 111,000 miles on it and have had to replace a head gasket, air conditioning freeon, gas gauge quit working, anti-lock brakes fail to come on or come on for no reason. Service engine light is now permanently on. Countless other problems that have cost me THOUSANDS of dollars! It just doesn't start some days... I can't wait to get rid of it. Luckily it's paid for but a dealership will only give me $1 or 2,000 max on a trade-in. What a dissapointment for a Pontiac!

Shallon Smith

January 28, 2009 8:50 PM

Bill... Hopefully your car is not still seized, but if so just disconect the battery for about 30 minutes and then reconect... good luck to you....


February 10, 2009 8:00 PM

Shallon - thanks, we tried it but it didn't work, car is still frozen. Sitting in the driveway unable to even get it out of park!!


February 11, 2009 1:00 AM

I have had my 01 aztek for about a year now. When i bought my aztek it had 171,000, and now i am up to yearly 185,000. I have had no major problems with it, just routine maintenance. The hose for the oil cooler rotted away, but that has to be expected. I had that replaced, and now i have to take it back in cause it started leaking coolant again. I LOVE MY AZTEK! I want to buy another one when this one dies, and i reccomend them to all my friends.


February 11, 2009 10:25 PM

87 DODGE DAKOTA: Constant stalling problem, drive shaft had to be replaced, numerous small problems. 95 GMC 1500 TRUCK: Blown motor at 64,000 miles. 96 FORD F-150: 4 catalytic converters replaced. 03 AZTEK: front wheel bearings, intake manifold gaskets, key sticks in the ignition, BCM is starting to fail. 04 TOYOTA TACOMA: 0 problems. Anybody notice a pattern? Next vehicle will be a HONDA or TOYOTA. Wake up american car companies. You folks having AZTEK stuck key problems with your ignitions there is a hole on the bottom of the steering column (mine had a rubber plug covering it) that if you push a pen or screwdriver into will release the key.


February 11, 2009 11:43 PM

love my 2003 Aztek with 158,000 on it. lots of room and handles really well in snow. too bad someone doesn't make another like it with a better style profile but same price point.


March 11, 2009 12:00 AM

I owned 2002 Aztek.I had it since Jan 2004.During the first few months I had the car.Each morning after I start my car was making noise under the engine.I took it to the dealer n found nothing wrong.then I got frustrated and got my cam and recorded the noise I had discovered. rigth before my was the catalyc converter.then later on about 4 more months later,by then my 50,000 warranty had run out so does my air condistioner condenser.then my all wheel bearing started to go.sometimes I was in the highway my truck stopped at least more than 5 times.Due to some small tiny chip fuse.I like my truck regarless of how some people described it ugly. I love the space that others SUV don't have.
So,far no major repair needed as long as you take care of the maintenance.


March 29, 2009 6:00 PM

Our 2001 Aztek is great. We drag a Honda Goldwing behind it. We strap a 15 foot kayak on top. We move furniture.... and it is good on gas. Problem right now is the odometer light is out. Oh well.

For all you who hate them SELL THEM!!!!!!!!


April 9, 2009 12:01 AM

Where to start... I bought the 01' Aztek with 100,000 miles in october 2007. The lower intake gasket was bad, the a/c compressor was bad, there was a bad sensor on the gas tank. I did the gasket the day I got it and let the other problems go. In mid November 2008 It stopped moving. I decided to tear it down myself. There was a design flaw in the transmission where a shaft's splines were shaved straight off. So I rebuilt the trans and replaced the torque converter. The head gaskets were leaking out the sides, resurfaced the heads and replaced ALL the gaskets. Replaced the rear main seal and the oil pan seal. I had the instrument cluster rebuilt because a bunch of gauges stopped working. Replaced the radio because it stopped taking cd's. Front driver side wheel hub FUSED to the half shaft. I had to cut the halfshaft at the ujoint and take it out in pieces. Replaced the A/C compressor. Replaced the fuel evap sensor and fuel harness. Double flushed that crap dexcool out and put in the green stuff. Replaced the wheel hub and half shafts on both sides in the front. Replaced rear cv shaft seals. Had to drain and replenish the rear diff, TWICE to get most of the whining to go away. I had to replace the driver side seat airbag. I had to redesign the trunk latches so they would fricken work most of the time. I had to replace the rear springs because they snapped on both sides near the top. I had to replace both of the rear calipers because they were both LEAKING brake fluid. Needless to say I overpaid for the car ($4900 after taxes) and 90% of the problems happened within the last 5000 miles. And now I put $3200 into PARTS for all the repairs and 140 hours or so finding/fixing/modifying (so some of the original crap design wouldn't just break again a few thousand miles later) every part PERFECTLY. If it wasn't for junk yards/ebay, I would have had to pay more for the airbag, some trans parts, and some other misc. stuff which would have brought my parts costs up to $4200. Dealer repair cost with a 12k mile warranty, dealer parts and someone slapping everything together half assed... $9500. I am no mechanic, I just didn't have $9500 to put humpty dumpty back together again to only have him fall off the wall in 20k miles. With a good service guide and some common knowledge of how cars work, you could do the work yourself to. I can FINALLY enjoy my practically new Aztek. I love the car, how it looks, how it drives, but I HATE the plethora of design defects and general problems. I can only hope none of them come back from all the redesigns and care I put into all the repairs.


April 21, 2009 4:00 PM

I love my 2003 Aztek! It is more comfortable and rides better than my Ford Explorer. It holds 4 people and all our camping equipment for a week in Yosemite. I don't think it's ugly, it is just practical, and I love not looking like every other stupid little car on the road. Too bad they stopped making them but now I having rare, beautiful and comfortable. I have had no mechanical problems with the car since I bought it in Feb 2004 except that I need brakes now. I LOVE MY AZTEK!


April 22, 2009 3:58 PM

I bought my 2004 Aztek January 2008 and I have loved it ever since! I've had no major problems, my only complaint is when I turn it makes a weird noise? I didn't notice it when I test drove it. Anyone else's make that noise?? At 70k miles my engine light came on today. I'm a little afraid to get it checked out reading some of the stories above. Wish me luck!!!


April 25, 2009 1:29 PM

I love my 2003 Aztec. It turned 73,000 miles and I consider it a rare find. we find it comfortable and practical for any use. Owners wave to each other and if you look at the imports, they are a copycat without our rear hatch. The rear hatch line blocks lights in back of you at night. No problems here and all I have to change are the tires. Thanks,Pontiac and GM.


April 26, 2009 9:22 PM

I bought my 2003 atzec about a year ago. and it has bearely survived that long. All of my problems seem to coincide with everyone elses. When I test drove it, it drove beautifully and thats why I fell in love with it.( clealy not for its looks) After my warranty was up... Every single thing started to go wrong with it. When i was turning it made a very loud grinding noise... that loud noise has progressed into a constant obnoxious loud noise. Turns out my axel is shit. Already replaced ALL the wheel barrings, eats gas ridiculously. My brakes fail on my almost everytime I want to stop... they grind adn refuse to stop for a couple seconds. Im pretty sure I have a coolant leak, a cracked wash fluid tank. Fuel pump is a piece of shit. Half the time my car stalls out on me when I start it. My shifter gets stuck in park ALL the time. Cd player seems like its about to break. Trunk has NEVER worked. my gear lights havegone out.. and all the lights are starting to fade out on my radio/ etc. Ive had nothing but problems since my warranty was up. How ridiculous right? Too bad Its about 3000 worth of damaged i just dont have. I would never recommend this car to my enemy! I still have 4 more years left to pay it off. I doubt it will last me a couple more months. Too bad trading it in or selling it in general is IMPOSSIBLE!


May 6, 2009 3:28 PM

OK, my girlfriend inherited this (02 Aztek FWD) car from her parents back in 2003. Long story short, they tried to sell it a year after first buying it, no wanted it and my g/f had turned 16 at the time so they gave it to her...2nd big mistake (1st was the purchase). This car is a pestilence and it has drained the funds of my g/f and her family... and now me. Approximetely $10,000 has been pumped into this vehicle for repairs not related to basic service and maintenance. I just pumped out $2200 for a freak issue in the steering column and a broken fuel gauge. The dealership "fixes" it and now the odometer is broken. As a matter of fact, the only reason I came across this article was because I did a google search on "Pontiac Aztek" (the biggest return on google was 'Pontiac Aztek Problems'...ouch) and narrowed my search looking for a DIY fix on the gauge cluster or a cheap replacement ($500 job from the dealership). We have been trying to sell this thing for 5 months but everytime something gets fixed, something else breaks and we barely get any bites on it in the first place. BTW, the car only has 88,000 miles on it and my old Honda Accord had 166k miles on it and a total of $5400 of repairs unrelated to basic maintenance invested in it... and that was mainly because road shrapnel kicked up by a semi acted like a claymore on my front-end and tore it up. The Aztek has been a blight on the name of GM and has been a multi-million dollar virus upon the resources of all those who were unfortunate enough to be connected to this vehicle line. I believe that GM should repurchase these vehicles at an equivalent pricing as if the vehicle was in excellent/good condition from every sad soul who currently owns one. They could then sell them to the U.S. military to be used as cannon-fodder for weapons testing and various explosive training exercises. Also, this vehicle not only is just ugly on the outside, but the design layout of the engine bay and its complete wiring setup is absolutely retarded. There is no reason that a removal of a battery should take over 3-5 minutes. Go ahead current Aztek owners, I challenge you to remove your battery in a timely fashion. I have worked on Toyotas, Hondas, and a couple of GM trucks and never before have I seen such horrible design features as I have seen on the Aztek. For those who say they love their Aztek and have no problems, you are running on borrowed time, get rid of it NOW!!!


May 29, 2009 12:23 AM

I own a 2003 pontiac aztek.I bought it at a car auction now i know why they let them take it! What a piece of crap i replaced the rear differential$400.00 for part,the knuckle $210.00 the hub fronts, the bearings all the way around.All brakes ,rotors,and some coil thing.The aztek has left me stranded alot because the key in the ignition is wearing out so,I have been told today it is stuck in my driveway because i went out to start it and it acted like the battery was dead.needless to say it did not start.i had a hard time getting the key out so, when i finaly was able to get the key out the ignition is still on i can not get it out of park to even push it up the driveway!The ignition acts like it is still on with the service engine still on!I can actually try turning it over with out the key.I have also been told by my mechanic that i need the gasket changed.Oh did i also say i just bought this piece of crap march 14,2009!I wish to god I would have kept looking i already have over $3,000 in parts! I can not believe pontiac is not re calling anything!Stay away from this suv it is so not worth it!The funny thing is I have wanted one of these since they first came out!I have owned chevy, gm, and ford and a nissan, The only car I never had a problem with was my nissan if i can get rid of this POS I will definetly go back to a nissan in a heart beat!!!!!!!!!!!


June 4, 2009 1:25 PM



June 4, 2009 5:18 PM

My Aztek is awsome. It's a 2004 AWD white "Yeti" (as my friends call it) I've had it for 4 years and it's got almost 70,000 miles on it. I absolutely love it. I did my research before I bought and I knew going in that the wheel bearings would prolly need to be replaced around 60,000 miles (63,000 for me). I also knew that it didn't get the best gas milage, but it could be worse. I get anywhere from 18-25. I drive it like I stole it and it's still going strong. I don't care what anyone says about my car, it's reliable, it's roomy, it's safe, it off roads great, it plows through snow like a beast (hence the yeti nickname), and I like it.


June 21, 2009 4:55 PM

We also have a 2003 aztec. We have 105,000 miles on it. Right now it won't turn over and we had this problem a couple of months ago and a mechanic changed some wires. My husband is fustrated with it but it is paid for and does not owe us dime. We paid 16,000 for it with 10,000 miles on it. I want to drive it till it dies as long as we don' have to stick over3 to 4 hundred dollars in it


July 5, 2009 10:24 AM

Bought a yellow 2002 Aztec AWD for the wife. We loved it so much that I later bought a 2001 black one for myself. I think these cars probably do run somewhat above average for repairs but nothing absurd... and, afterall, half the cars on the road run "above average" for repairs. that said, we LOVE these things, and they will go down as one of our favorite cars of all times. It's 2009, and my car my be needing a new tranny. The wife's car - with 107,000 miles -- just keeps plugging on. We hope to keep hers a LONG time. The yellow ones look hot/sporty, people are checking it out ALL the time, and it's just a great vehicle!


July 23, 2009 12:54 PM

It seems that most of the problems with the Aztecs occur with the 2001 models. I'm looking into a 2004 with 134,000 miles on it. I was hit by someone who ran a red light and totaled my 03 Pontiac Vibe, which I LOVED. It was just under 100,000 miles with no problems. Still on the original tires and everything. I did oil changes, but was lax on the other maintanence.

Anyway..looking for imput SPECIFICLLY on the 04 Aztek. Also, with so many miles, I'm thinking that the major defects that happen early are over and done with. Anyone have opinions?


July 28, 2009 6:21 PM

bought my 2003 Pontiac Aztek 1 year ago with 50,000 on it.
Always wanted one. Now it does NOT run.
1st were the brakes, pads rotars, dealer said they sound that way no problem I paid for that. 5 1/2 months loud noise when turning-ballbearing could have hurt alot of people if we didn't catch it. Both trans lines leaking still waiting 6 monmths for parts. But wait, don't need them, engine popped when excelerating uphill. Needs new engine. Less than 80,000 miles. But I still have to pay for a car I can't afford to fix.


July 29, 2009 4:44 PM

I have a 2001 Pontiac Aztec. It has been a good car with nothing major wrong with it other than the brakes have failed me three separate times, always in the same area about a half mile from my home, long periods of time inbetween failures. Absolutely no brakes at these times, goes right to the floor. After the car stops, the brakes are good again. The brakes were checked the first time under warranty by the dealer and twice since by a private mechanic and were good. I can't afford a guessing game as to what is wrong.


July 30, 2009 7:55 PM

Oh My word. I have one of those dreaded 2001's as well but I've only owned it since October of 2008. Since March {its now July} it has been in the shop at least to weeks of every month. To top that off the engine decided yesterday without any warning that it was done with life.

Amanda Rae

August 8, 2009 10:18 PM

I love my 2001 Aztek. It has such character and is so much FUN to drive. I've had some maintainence and wear/tear repairs, but that is all. Knock on wood no biggie costs. I've been shopping for something newer but every thing I try just falls short of my Aztek. I am hard pressed to find something as fun or as roomy. I can find one or the other, but not both. Pontiac, I will miss you and I wish I could find more Azteks. I'm shopping for a newer model. Fully loaded, I've spoiled, of course.


August 12, 2009 1:11 AM

I had my 04 Aztek in the shop last month cuz my hubby smashed some 10ft pvc pipe into it and the lights went out on it, it still worked, you just couldn't tell what time it was. Pretty funny now. Still haven't had any unexpected or major problems with mine. I am very sad to see that GM is doing away with the whole Pontiac line. That's my brand, 1st car was a 94 Grand Prix and I traded it in for my Aztek. So sad.


August 14, 2009 8:35 PM

Another Aztek fan. I own a 2001 and I fear the day that we have to replace this car. We have had no major problems.We love the comfortable ride, spacious head room and plenty of room for hauling. This is one sweet car!!!!!


October 9, 2009 4:19 AM

2004 Burnt Orange Rally. About 82 k on the odo and so far fuel pump went out and gas tank leak. Fuel pump was $350 without labor, but luckily the tank was covered by recall or as GM calls it a special replacement, not a recall?????
Bought it new, put on airshocks in rear and towed 3000lb pop-up. Tried to run hot, but didn't. Found out 100K Spark plug and wire change will be $600. Won't have it that long.


October 26, 2009 8:08 AM

This is our second Aztec and we love t he versatility and space BUT this is the second one with shifter problems. It seems that as the shifter gets worn, it won't release the key and you can't shut the car completely off and get the key out of the ignition. We had the first one fixed and we do't know what the dealership did to the shifter but it didn't hold in park and it ended up over the hill in the river, still in park. Hence the 2nd Aztec (a 2004) and now we can't get the keys out of that one either!


October 31, 2009 1:42 PM

I bought my 2003 Aztek used almost 3 years ago....I loved my Aztek and still kinda do.. I'm very disappointed because I have had to constantly refill my engine coolant since I bought it. Turns out it was no minor issue. It has been leaking because my head gasket is blown! Worse part is noone wants to work on it because the whole engine has to be dropped out of the car before they can work on it. $2600 later.... I will drive it for a few months & then trade it in. I loved my Aztek...but it's time to put old faithful down. :-(

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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