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Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair

roma007roma007 Posts: 24
Hey guys,

I have a '97 SSE. The driver information console
shows that my tail lamp is out. I fixed it, but
the lamp won't go out.

Also, I am not sure how much gas I have in the
car. When I fill it with about 6 gallons with the
needle at almost empty the reading goes up to the
1/2 mark. This is happens every time.

Has anybody else experienced this?


  • scrajscraj Posts: 10
    My 96 ssei had the same problem. The tail light went off and the dealer replaced it and the information console is perfect now.

    The gas tank, i guess, the design is different. I had the same issue. When the tank is full, the needle is perfect. It would come very slowly till half and fall down drastically from half to empty. When i asked the service manager, the guy gave me a written notice saying that it is the design of the gas tank and the meter. Don't know what that is. But, got used to it now and i have a habbit of keeping a tab on the no of miles i drive, by resetting the trip meter everytime i fill the tank. I know that the tank would be empty very soon once the no. crosses 350 miles.
  • roma007roma007 Posts: 24
    That's right. I have the same thing. When the tank is full the needle is fine, but once it crosses the 1/2 mark it goes down fast.

    I am used to it now. Also, I notice that when the needle is at Empty or below I am able drive for quite a while. I try not to drive more than 10-15 miles so I don't get stranded.
  • jus88jus88 Posts: 2
    Anyone no of any problems with the 88 Bonneville besides the fact that it can't keep away from rust???
  • jono4jono4 Posts: 8
    Had to replace steering rack at 44,000 on my 98 SE. Pretty spooky to think a car would rupture such a huge part at such low miles.
  • glennb4glennb4 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 94 Bonneville and right out the gate I had to replace the alternator. When I disconnected the battery, the radio in it's infinite wisdom, locked on me, and I haven't got a clue what the code is. Any suggestions?
    By the way, I love the car!
  • anonymousanonymous Posts: 314
    I'm a very new ssei owner (2 days). I was reading
    ezrapon's message #495 and might have an explanation. I'm just turning in a '98 GC and
    it has a 5.9L motor. I replaced the computer and put in a K&N cold air box (57i), both we ordered from the local Chrysler dealer. The K&N setup for this truck is dyno'd 27hp extra, at the rear wheels....Between the 2 add-ons and the factory 245HP, I surprised many drivers. I'm going to try and run the two vehicles before I give back the GC. I'll let you know.
    As far as everything else goes, the ssei rules supreme.
  • Check your owners manual. If you don't have one you may try to hit mute button on the steering wheel. That worked on my 91.
  • hodgie1hodgie1 Posts: 4
    I purchased a 98 SSEI about 4 months ago with 18000 miles on it and have had nothing but trouble with the transmission. The first problem was with the car lurching on the highway from the passing gear back to overdrive, the dealership upgraded the software. I then had trouble with the car hesitating when shifting and bogging down. The dealership said nothing was wrong. The next problem was with the transmission slamming into gear when I needed to slow in traffic, they replaced a selinoid. Now less than 4 days later the car is making a growling noise at parking lot speeds and when I am accelerating. I have also had alternator problems and several other minor issues but I still love this car. Anyone have a similar experience with the Transmission?
  • We can relate to your story -- almost identical! 1997 Bonneville SE

    Our alternator was replaced at 18K. They decided is was a bad unit from the factory. We took it in because the gauge was reading low and battery charge problems. Surprise -- the replacement was replaced within a few months. They said its rare for the replacement part to be bad as well, we're so lucky.

    Now, our car is having the transmission replaced. A few short months after the warranty period is over. We had complained about bad shifting into overdrive, and they couldn't diagnose (wait until it gets worse). We took it to a transmission shop, their diagnosis was that the torque converter was locking up, an electrical unit that they were ill equipped to diagnose more specifically. So, back to the dealer with this to check out, and the dealer now says the transmission needs to be replaced. Ouch.

    Very disappointing. We like the car also, very comfortable to drive. But, this is the second GM product with major needs at the end of three years.
  • I have a 1994 Bonneville SE that has been giving me fits. First I replaced the Alternator, a few months later the car started to surge at around 2000 rpm. It was like it was shifting from overdrive to drive back and forth. At first it was only when I was driving up hill but it progressively got worse. I ended up taking it to the shop for a diaganostic test and replaced the plugs and wires because the mechanic said it was an emmision problem. STILL not fixed. So I took the car to another guy who said the injectors need cleaning and the transmission fluid needs changing(he said the transmission was fine) and by the way the fuel pump is not suppling enough pressure, he said "this ought to do it" --wrong!!!
    So yesterday I carried the car to a friend of mine and he replaced a bad injector and said he'd seen this type of problem before on bonnevilles but never the less my car still surges back and forth with any type of strain on the motor. I'm in desperate need of sound mechanical advice-any help with this problem would be greatly appreciated.8/31/00
  • hi,

    im an owner of a 92 bonneville se. for some strange reason the power locks will open and close at random times. even at times the trunk will open every now and then. anybody have any clues as to what the hell is going on with my car? thanks!!
  • I have a 97 Bonneville that Jumps in and out of the torque conv. when in OD. Usually only happens when you start up a hill. I can increase the throttle and the torque conv. will stay disengaged, but if I stay at a constant throttle it will continue to bounce between converter lockup and overdrive. It sounds like other people have described similar problems and even have had to have transmissions replaced. I don't know anything about these transmissions but it seems like it must be electronic or torque converter related. Any info on this problem is appreciated.

  • I am the owner of a '98 Bonneville SLE. i am the second owner of this verhicle, and it operated its first year trouble free, 53,000 miles. Since i have bought it, 5 months down the road, at mileage 89,797, The engine ruptured the intake plentum gasket, causing coolant to leak into the intake. There were no warning lights. I found out when the engine would not run anymore. GM rebuilt the engine, under waranty. now, im out of waranty at 121,000 miles. The engine just siezed up on me after the exact same failure happened. This engine is now siezed up. Anyone else having the problem? I know 2 people who have '98 3800 series II V6's with the same failure.
  • Also, to add to my last post. I have experienced the Tourque converter problem, only mine was worse. Pressing the accellerator with the tourque converter engaged would not dis-engadge it. you would have to FLOOR the accellerator to get any speed change, up hill or on flat ground anywhere from 45-52mph. after that speed, the dissengadgement would be slow, but would be fast enough to accellerate somewhat normaly. GM answered this problem by saying that nothing was wrong. The told me to dissengade the Tourque converter manually by tapping the break pedal then push the accellerator. This works. But still, this car developed this problem, and i think it is a problem, not one to be ignored.

    second off. Gas millage. since the 1st time the engine was rebuilt, and the torque convertor problem, i have noticed gas millage problems. before the repair, i was geting 450-500 miles per tank. now, i can only get 380 if im lucky. if you do the math, i was getting 33highway, and now i get 24 highway and 24 city. in my oppinion, if a great number of you are experencing these problems, we need to start writing GM and demanding that these problems be fixed. we are getting robbed guys!
  • There are some specific conditions (throttle position, manifold vacuum, speed of vehicle), under which this trans. may hunt gears under the condition you have mentioned. Before you spend any money on this symptom try simply selecting DRIVE instead of OVER-DRIVE. This will still allow lock up to remain engaged and reduce the load on the eng. and the hunting will not ocur. An other option is to either speed up or slow down under the conditions you have described.
  • I have a 94' SSEI and have a problem with some similar issues.I had a problem with every once in a while it would buck beetween D and O.D..I changed plugs and wires and it was fixed,mabye.
    6 months later my service engine light started coming on and the car would run rough,Untill I realized that when I turned the car off and turned it back on, the service engine light would go off and the car would run ok.Now,it is still doing it and now it is making a bad bearing sound once and a while and it seems like the charger is NOT working properly.HELP
  • I understand what I can do to sidestep the problem that I have with the transmission but I am concerned that this is an abnormal condition and it may only get worse. From the looks of this board, I am not the only one experiencing this problem. It also appears that there is no easy fix and there could be numerous contributing factors to this problem. I will investigate through a dealer but it sounds like there is no definite fix. I looked up service bulletins concerning this transmission through the NHTSA and hope to be getting them within the next month.


  • I am somewhat relived that my terrible luck was not cast upon me for some evil deed that I'm unaware of, I'm talking about the surging Bonneville problems. It seem quite clear to me that several of us have the same problem which is to say we may all have the same solution. I'm taking the car to a guy who says he has fixed four different late model bonevilles with the same symptoms and he guarentees he'll fix it or it will be free. I hope to be writing you all soon with hopes I have solved the mystery of the surge.
  • I have been working very closely with my local dealer who I must admit has worked very hard to solve my problem (see post 9). They have adjusted software and replaced a selenoid in an attempt to resolve the issues without any luck. Finally the tech spent about 20 minutes with me test driving the car and I was able to reproduce the problem for him. He reset the adaptive memory and thought if the problem persisted it may need a new valve body.
    So far the car has run flawlessly after a 1000 miles. I cant say for sure yet if this was the solution but its been a long time since the transmission has felt this good.
  • Thanks for the replys and keep us informed on your solutions. Could you please explain what the adaptive memory is and what it entails to reset it. Thanks for the info
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