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Pontiac Bonneville Starting/Stallling/Ignition Problems



  • azuazu Posts: 84
    Suddenly had this problem with my 95 Bonny SE. Battery is fully charged and will not crank. When I go to start I hear the solenoid kick on and starter moves the engine "one notch" and then nothing. Either the starter crapped out or I may have a bad ground suddenly. I'm betting it's the starter. I just had the serpentine belt replaced hours before. Maybe a connection? Anyone have any thoughts. Usually when a starter goes it does nothing or just runs without rotating the engine. The engine does move when cranked but only few inches. No warning symptoms! :confuse:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    Check battery cables and battery post. If you have the double layer positive battery cable be sure the washer between the top and bottom cable is good. Clean removing all corrosion on the cable connections and retighten well.

    Check into the ends of the cables for corrosion down in the copper wires beyond the ends. Some acids from batteries have corroded cables down in.

    It sounds like you're getting reduced power as in poor connection. Occasionally a battery post has broken inside the battery causing a make and break contact situation.

    Is your battery good? Have you tried jumping the battery?

    I replaced starter on 98 and it had given weakened sounds occasionally for a year like I had a weakening battery or poor charg9ing. Turned out to be the starter. Rebuilt by Delco authorized local store. Guy mentioned that solenoids die because of oil leaking into them and their contacts from oil hanging on the edge of the oil pan... Mine had very little but there was some. I never get a drop on the driveway...
    135000 miles and lots of short trips on the car so lots of starts.

    This message has been approved.

  • azuazu Posts: 84
    All the posts are clean and infact I recently replaced the connectors to the battery. Battery is about a year old.(I had a ground problem a few months back). I'll have to check the starter cable when I get a chance. Car has 190,000 miles and when it runs it rides and runs better than some new cars. Thanks!

    P.S. I did try to jump as at first I thought it was the battery.
  • stewcstewc Posts: 12
    Easiest way to see if its the starter is pop it off, "not hard to do." Take it to a local AutoZone, Napa, or TopLine or some other auto-parts store, and see if they can test it. They'll test it and see if its bad or not. I recently had to replace my starter in a 94 Bonneville.
  • azuazu Posts: 84
    I had someone look at it and said it was the alternator. He took the belt off and it started after he attempted with fail with the belt on. As always with old cars, once you fix one thing, something else will fail after that! I guess I am off to either the junk yard or auto store for another!
  • stewcstewc Posts: 12
    So the alternator was bad? Hm, that's weird. I don't see why the alternator failing would keep the car from starting. It would just pull from the battery...
  • azuazu Posts: 84
    Well it wasn't the alternator. After taking the advice of my daughters friend, I went to the salvage yard and installed the alternator. It actually is the a/c compressor pulley has seized. I'm off again to the salvage yard! :mad:
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    Thanks for the info. Wouldn't that have a code? Do you have any idea where it is located?
  • azuazu Posts: 84
    I guess you don't know what the OBC is. It is an on board computer that controls and monitors your engine and transmission performance, especially emissions control. This computer will store information, especially emission sensor status. Should an event occur, such as stalling, the computer usually will store a "code" that will pin point what sensor(s) or problem caused it. Usually the check engine light will come on, but not always. In order to "read" these codes, you would need a diagnostic computer to extract the code. Most garages use them and you can buy them at a local auto parts store. I hope that helps you. Good luck!
  • I'm sorry, I meant where the crankshaft sensor is located on the Bonneville. I thought the crankshaft sensor should generate a code if it was failing. I checked no codes. Thanks for replying.
  • azuazu Posts: 84
    The sensor is located behind the crankshaft pully by the timing chain cover. Good luck. I had mine replaced and solved my stalling and no start problems. It also did not set any codes.
  • I have a 1997 Bonneville that just won't start sometimes. It won't crank at all. Lights, radio, everything works. I wait about 10 minutes and it will start. Now I have been having to wait even longer. I can get it jumped and it will start. It started out just doing it every few months, then every few weeks, then every few days, to now many times a day. I was told the battery needed replaced so I put in a new heavy duty battery. Still having problems. I was also told that it could be the control module by the asst mgr at an auto parts store. He said that he has heard of other bonneville with the same problems. Can anyone help? You know how car repair shops can be when a female walks in. Thanks
  • stewcstewc Posts: 12
    Well, you can try the starter. It could need replaced. Or just have the shims realigned on the bolts. I'm having the same problem right now with my 1994 Bonneville. Does it seem to only happen when it's cold out?
  • Thanks for your help. It does it whether it is hot or cold. Have you changed your starter yet? Did that help?
  • I have a 92 bonneville sse and it when it heats up it dies and wont start til it cools down, its not over heating but when it dont start there is no spark to the plugs or anywhere it still turns over. we at first thought it was the fuel pump we changed that the fuel filter the spark plugs and the ignition control module and it is still having the problem. please help me?
  • it only does it when its hot and the starter works perfect
  • tempatures outside dont seem to affect it only when the car gets warmed up it sometimes dies and other times when i turn off the car i cant start it it happens about 15 min of driving or idling after that i shut it off and then it wont start til it cools down between 5-10 minutes of it being off
  • if anyone can help me please email me at, my pc is having troubles loading this site
  • tamwatamwa Posts: 1
    My husband was driving our '96 Pontiac Bonneville when it shut off in front of our apartment. He said that it had lost acceleration and smoke was coming from the muffler. Well, when he tried to start it again, it wouldn't start. Everything works (lights, radio, locks,etc.). It sounds like its about to start and them it just clicks thats it. Can anyone give me an idea of what may be wrong.
  • I've been having troubles keeping my car running. I drove it yesterday afternoon, and it started and ran fine. Yesterday evening, it would barely start. After a jump, it was stalling for a few miles, then ran fine. It sat over night, and would not turn over at all this morning. The battery is good, the alternator is good, and the starter is good. It seems like there might be something draining my battery, but I can't be sure. My turn signals went out, so i replaced the bulbs, finding water pooled inside them. When the car dies, the power locks, windows, or any indicators don't work. If anyone's dealt with this, please let me know of some of the possible solutions. Thanks. I appreciate it.
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