I just bought a '92 Pontiac Grand Am with a 2.3L four cylinder engine. I was told by a friend that there was a factory recall on this car having to do with a cracked head. Is there a recall and what should I do?
There's no recall pertaining to the problem, but there is a Technical Service Bulletin (#57-61-26A) along with a Special Policy. The bulletin addresses a crack in the rear of the cylinder head near the exhaust manifold which causes an external coolant leak.
The vehicles involved are 1992-'93 Buick Skylarks, Oldsmobile Achievas, and Pontiac Grand Ams with the Single Over Head Cam 2.3-liter four cylinder (VIN Code 3) engines. Due to a factory defect these cylinder heads were cracking left and right so General Motors sent out letters announcing the extension of the manufacturer's warranty to cover this particular condition for seven years or 100,000 miles whichever comes first.
I don't know the mileage on your Grand Am, but you're coming down to the wire on the seven-year time limit. So open the hood and take a look at the rear upper portion of the cylinder head. The crack will be clearly visible and surrounded by a greenish coolant residue; if it's there get to a dealer quickly to see if they can slip you in under the special policy.
If there isn't any crack then don't bother. This was a Service Bulletin, not a Recall. If you don't have a problem they don't want to hear about it.