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  1. #1
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    Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am? **Added Pics of the install!

    We have a 2003.

    DD is rf in an AOE (old 30lb rf limit version) and DS in a Peg Perego Prima Viaggio SIP (2007 I think)

    We need to get DS a new seat soon, and I'd like to talk DH into getting DD one too.

    We have A LOT of trouble getting seats to install in our car. The recline is awful, It's difficult to get them tight enough. Esp the AOE. So I'm hoping for seat recommendations from people who have had experience with our car please!!

    Thank you!!
    Last edited by mamakaimon; 07-17-2010 at 03:58 PM.

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  3. #2
    CPS Fanatic Lea_Ontario's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    Yes, we have a 1998 Grand Am.

    I despise it.
    Mama to :
    Boo (2002), apramo backless booster
    Bug (2004), Parkway SGL
    Bear (2006), Parkway SGL

  4. #3
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kashi View Post
    Yes, we have a 1998 Grand Am.

    I despise it.
    They suck for car seats huh?

    One day I would like to get a new vehicle. But for now it's all we've got.

    What seats do you have in it? have you found anything that works better than others?

  5. #4
    Moderator - CPST Instructor QuassEE's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    I did a Frontier install in a Grand Am--not sure what year, but it had LATCH.. I'm thinking that the Marathon would fit for something rear-facing, since it fits in just about anything, but you'd obviously want to try before you buy. It may over-recline, because of that weird seat design. If it doesn't, it shouldn't tip since the base is small enough to fit on that weird "pad".

    -Nicole.

    Abbi (9, Ozzi/Olli), Aiden (11, Affix), Mason (16), & Kyle (18) in '02 Protege5 & '11 Ody TE.
    It's like free money...Couponsurfers.com

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    We have a '94 Grand Am and I don't hate it.

    We were able to install our Radian in the centre (seatbelt) with actually slightly too much recline (46*) and it was actually easier than the Evenflo bucket to install. It does have limited legroom for the passenger if installed outboard; the bucket took up more and I was still able to sit in the front (5'4"), but FH wasn't (5'9"). I'm fairly sure that a decreased recline would free up more front passenger space.

    I don't foresee a problem should we want to decrease the recline nor when we turn it FF - though in all honesty I doubt we'll still have this vehicle when that happens, not because of the car seat(s) but because its not big enough to even get my jogging stroller in the trunk and we're planning on having another child and no way will a double stroller fit in there!!

    Does that help? I know mine is older, but I totally understand the 'its all we have' argument. Good luck,
    Melissa
    Selina joined us Feb 19, 2010
    Calgary, AB, Canada

    Selina RF until 4 years, 1 month, 21 days old. FF in Radian until 6 years, 2 months (too tall). FF (harnessed) in Harmony Defender until 7 years, 2 months.

  7. #6
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    I have a 99, which is the same body style as your 05. The 98 was a previous generation. They kept the same style from 99 (pre-LATCH) through the end of the Grand Am, so it must be the same as the one QuasEE did.

    I don't have experience installing your specific seats in this vehicle, but I have installed a few seats. The seats are sloped, and a RFing seat often requires a pool noodle. Depending on the seat, sometimes I can skip the noodle by thinking about pushing the lip of the seat (near baby's feet, where it makes contact with the vehicle seat back) back into the seatback.

    My favorite part of that vehicle are the lightweight locking latchplates on the outboard seats. Just buckle, tighten, and done. No messing around with locking clips, and no switching the retractors. (Unless, of course, they changed that between 1999 and 2005.

    I've installed a Radian, Graco ComfortSport, TrueFit, and an infant seat in that car. Not simultaneously, of course. Theh Radian doesn't use pool noodles (ever, in any vehicle, not allowed). The ComfortSport could go either way. The TrueFit and infant seat need noodles. You can see that it really does depend on the seat.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  8. #7
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    We have a two door 2004 pontiac grand am. I know it has the latchs but I haven't really had two much trouble installing.
    The britax boulavard installed really well, and the graco cozy cline I have had a little bit of trouble.

  9. #8
    CPS Fanatic vonfirmath's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuassEE View Post
    I did a Frontier install in a Grand Am--not sure what year, but it had LATCH.. I'm thinking that the Marathon would fit for something rear-facing, since it fits in just about anything, but you'd obviously want to try before you buy. It may over-recline, because of that weird seat design. If it doesn't, it shouldn't tip since the base is small enough to fit on that weird "pad".

    -Nicole.
    We have a ROundabout50 RFing in our 2001 Pontiac Grand Am. Never had a problem.

    I didn't even notice that Grand Ams had problems so now I'm concerned!

    (And I hate my Grand Am for visibility and other reasons)

    --Sarah & D.J. (3-20-04)
    DS (08/07) ~ 8 ~ 52 pound ~ Graco Highback Turbobooster -- 3rd Grade!
    DD (08/11) ~ 4 yr ~ 32 lb ~ Britax Roundabout 50, Maestro -- Pre-K!

  10. #9
    CPS Technician Mae's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    I have a four door '04 Grand Am and actually, I love it for car seats. If I could, I would forever keep this car. I've never had a car seat that literally wouldn't install. It may take an install or two to figure out how to do it, but once I know the tricks, it's perfect.

    I've installed...

    - True Fit
    - Safe Seat 1 base/no base
    - Alpha Omega
    - Radian
    - Nautilus
    - Symphony
    - Scenera
    - Britax Chaperone
    - Chicco Keyfit base/no base

    I definately agree, the Alpha Omega is horrid when installing outboard RFing, I couldn't get it tight enough. I admit, I didn't try too hard though. Are you using LATCH or the seatbelt? I could possibly try to see if I can find any tricks for it. Since I always had that seat in the center, I really didn't have a need to find any tricks for the outboard position.

    The majority of the other seats worked in seconds. Like Pixels said, you just buckle and pull tight. Most of the time, I do have to twist the seat buckle down. Remember that you can twist the buckle a total of three full twists.

    ETA: The radian installs in seconds RF outboard (to use the RFing tether, it has to go behind passenger) via LATCH. Rock solid, too. The only problem is that there isn't much foot room for the passenger if you use the tether. I can get the Radian about 33 degrees upright. If you'd like, I can take pictures of passenger room and such tomorrow with the Radian. I have it installed right now.
    "Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't." - Bill Nye

  11. #10
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    Thank you all for the replies!

    The AOE we install using the seat belt. No matter how hard we pull it just does not get tight enough with the latch. We have two towels under it - just to get it to a 30 degree recline. I can't even imagine what it would take to get it to a 45 degree angle. Trust me we tried everything. With the base, without the base, latch, belt, etc.

    DH is really not into getting DD a new seat. He really wants us to wait a bit, since her seat is still good. I just don't like it. So I'll live with it for a bit more and try talking to him again later.

    NannyMae - it's good to hear something positive. I wonder if there's a big difference in the seats between the 2003 and the 2004.

    I've gone ahead and ordered the True Fit. DH didn't want me to spend a lot of money (another reason why he didn't want me buying two seats). The True Fit was on sale through BRU so I got that one. Although now I'm reading that it's hard to tighten the harness rear facing so I'm nervous.

    I considered the complete air for the 40lb RF limit. But I read that it's hard to install and similar to the AOE in that respect so I didn't want to get a seat I might hate!

    I considered the Radian as well but it's quite a bit more than the True Fit so the TF won out. It should get here next week so I very well may be back for installation advice!!

  12. #11
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    The TrueFit isn't too difficult to tighten/loosen RFing in the Grand Am. The shape of the seats plays nice with the TF.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  13. #12
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixels View Post
    The TrueFit isn't too difficult to tighten/loosen RFing in the Grand Am. The shape of the seats plays nice with the TF.
    So glad to hear it! Thank you!

  14. #13
    CPS Technician Mae's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    Quote Originally Posted by mamakaimon View Post
    NannyMae - it's good to hear something positive. I wonder if there's a big difference in the seats between the 2003 and the 2004.
    For what it's worth, this is my backseat:




    I have a True Fit, but I can't recall if I've ever installed it (RF) outboard. I've always had that one RF in the center, but I do know that it works FF outboard, lol.

    If you have any trouble with installing it, let me know and I can try it too.
    "Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't." - Bill Nye

  15. #14
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    Quote Originally Posted by NannyMae View Post
    For what it's worth, this is my backseat:




    I have a True Fit, but I can't recall if I've ever installed it (RF) outboard. I've always had that one RF in the center, but I do know that it works FF outboard, lol.

    If you have any trouble with installing it, let me know and I can try it too.
    Looks like mine! (Only much cleaner! mine needs a vacuuming!)

    Thanks! I'm excited for it to get here!

  16. #15
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    That's what DH's 99 looks like, except yours is cleaner.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  17. #16
    CPS Fanatic vonfirmath's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    Wow. I wouldn't take a picture of my backseat right now. I just couldn't. In fact, I need to clean it out preparatory for taking a "Last RFing ride" picture at the end of the month.

    --Sarah & D.J. (3-20-04)
    DS (08/07) ~ 8 ~ 52 pound ~ Graco Highback Turbobooster -- 3rd Grade!
    DD (08/11) ~ 4 yr ~ 32 lb ~ Britax Roundabout 50, Maestro -- Pre-K!

  18. #17
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    If it stops raining I'll be installing today!

    I vaccuumed the car and reinstalled DDs seat.. and then it started raining on me so I'll wait to figure out the true fit.

  19. #18
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am? *pics of install*

    OK it's in! Reinstalled the AOE as well.

    So - the AOE is for my 23lb, 35inch 2 yr old. And the TF for my 17.5lb, 27 inch 6 month old.

    The TF is slightly more reclined than the AOE. But not at 45 degrees. I could use the bigger pool noodle to recline it more if needed. There's a pic of the leveller ball. I *think* the AOE is no less than 30 degrees upright but I really don't know how to tell for sure. So maybe compared to the TF you all can tell.

    If you need different angles of more pics let me know! I tried to keep my camera level with the ground. The car is parked on a slight incline to the right (toward the TF) but front to back it's even. I took pics from both sides because of this.










    Please Please Please no flames on the mirror. I know they're not the safest thing. But DS is a screamer in the car. Like make you want to drive into a ditch high pitched screamer. The mirror helps some. He can see himself and (when DH is driving) I can turn a bit and he can see me.

    ETA: WOAH those are big.

  20. #19
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am? *pics of install*

    Looks good to me.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  21. #20
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    Re: Anyone have a Pontiac Grand Am?

    great! thanks!

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