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Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair

roma007roma007 Posts: 25
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?
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Comments

  • 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: 25
    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.
    Jono4
  • 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.

    Thanks
  • 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.

    Thanks,

    Steve
  • 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
  • I am currently looking for a new automobile and I think the Bonneville is the one for me, or that was until I read the message board. I'm undecided I was looking at the 2000 no particular model at the present time. Can anyone give me any bad news about the 2000 before I take the plunge?
  • bmauzy,

    Have you looked in the Sedans conference. All you SHOULD read about in this conference is trouble. Check out the Sedans conference for a more balanced view, but remember, 10 satisfied customers may never say a peep about their experience, but the ONE who has a bad experience is NEVER silent....

    Your host, Bruce
  • Can you find out what "reseting the Adaptive memory" is. I asked a friend and he seemed to think that was the same as "relearning the idle".
    If you can provide this info I would appreciate it. (concering trans. shifting problems at mid-range speed)
  • My son has 197K miles on his 88 Bonnie that I passed down to him in 1994. My wife's 2001 SLE will be built next week. All my friends love their Bonnies and none are having the problems that are mentioned. I've only been reading these because I have a new SLE on order and I wanted to see what people are saying. We started out to buy an Aztec but my wife has some physical limitations and she could not easily lift the rear hatch. As soon as she sat in the Bonnie the Aztec was history.
  • Hi Gang!

    Well, I'm happy to post that my 2000 SSEI has reached the 3000 mile mark without any problems; the only complaints I have is some rattling here and there, especially ion the sunroof and the passenger front door (fixed by the dealer), and the lousy designed headrests - other than that, this car is a dream come true.

    Sincerely,

    Dennis D. Mullert
  • Well, I am the proud new owner of a 2000 SSEI. I bought it a few weeks ago with 11K miles on it. I love it!! Ok. I have noticed a few problems though.

    1. After coming to a stop, turning the steering wheel is very difficult when the car is not moving; it's much easier to turn when the car is rolling forward or backward slightly. Somebody said it could be a problem with the "Rack" of the car.. He said it was called a "Lazy Rack". Is this something that is easily corrected? I don't know anything about rack & pinion steering.

    2. After driving home (about a 48 mile trip), when the car is idling, before I turn it off, the motor seems to surge a bit, over and over, fluxuating the RPMs just a small amount. This doesnt happen every time, but happens enough for me to notice it. Should I be concerned?

    I'm now at 12K miles. Thanks all!
  • Someone posted a while back that your dealership can adjust the steering stiffness with the computer to allow you to have a smooth power steering or a more sporty feel; you may very well have it set yo the stiffer setting. You cannot fix this - the dealer has to do it for you.

    Dennis
  • The torque converters in GM cars do have a history of 'hunting' while going up a hill. What I believe Bonneville owners are experiencing is the shift between lock up on the torque converter and unlocking which is essentially a normal occurrence. Heavy load on the drivetrain and the converter unlocks, reduced load and the converter locks. The process is there to keep the engine from stalling or experiencing detonation (spark knock).In GM cars, the process is jsut more noticeable than in other makes.

    If the the torque converter locks in first or second or fails to unlock when coming to a stop, then there's likely a failure with the TCC switch. This failure is not uncommon in GM cars; my 86 Grand Am experienced it. The switch is inexpensive and should only take about an hour to replace. By the way, my 89 Grand Prix has done that since new. The car now has 221,500 miles on it w/o a failure to the tranny. AND that's with the infamous 440T transmission!

    As to the power steering unit, GM's Magna Steer is not without complaints of erratic performance. While I believe there is a software 'fix', the problem is not related only to Bonnevilles. Seems the unit tends to think it's going slow when it's going fast and vice versa. When the car is going fast, steering effort is supposed to increase and when the cars slows, steering effort is supposed to decrease. There are some reports of Magna Steer units doing the opposite and causing vibration. See topics related to Suburbans for discussions on steering problems.
  • On response #31, I meant to say that the tranny in my 89 Grand Prix has 'hunted'when going up a hill since the car was new. I did not mean to indicate that the TCC switch has failed since new. Just wanted to clarify my statement.
  • 2 YEARS AGO WE HAD PROBLEMS WITH TRANNY NOT SHIFTING. THE CAR HAD 50,000 MILES ON IT. THE MECHANIC SAID THE TRANNY WAS SHOT AND PREPARED TO ORDER A NEW TRANNY. AS AN AFTERTHOUGHT , HE DUMPED A COUPLE OF QUARTS OF FLUID IN AND VOILA!
    THE THING WORKED AGAIN. OVER THE NEXT 18 MONTHS WE HAD MINOR SHIFTING PROBLEMS, ALWAYS CURED WITH ADDING FLIUD. ODDLY ENOUGH, WE NEVER SAW ANY FLUID LEAKING ON THE GARAGE FLOOR. LAST SPRING WE FINALLY NOTICED SOME TRANNY FLUID ON THE GARAGE FLOOR AND PROMPTLY BROUGHT THE CAR TO A MECHANIC. THE PAN BOLTS WERE LOOSE. THE MECHANIC EXPLAINED THAT THE PAN BOLTS CAN NOT BE SNUGGED DOWN TIGHT BECAUSE THE PAN IS ALUMINUM AND WILL WARP. ONE DAY MY HUSBAND WAS RELAYING THIS INFORMATION TO AN OLD SEASONED MECHANIC. HIS RECOMMENDATION: PURCHASE SPECIAL PAN BOLTS FROM A GM DEALER At about $20. THESE BOLTS CAN BE SNUGGED DOWN AND NOT WARP THE PAN. HE ALSO RECOMMENDED A CORK GASKET. ALL TOGETHER IT COST US $120 WITH THE LABOR ETC. 2 MONTHS AGO WE PULLED A 1400 LB TENT TRAILER OVER A CASCADE MOUNTAIN PASS AND THE BOONIE NEVER MISSED A BEAT. THIS IS WORDY ,BUT HOPE IT HELPS SOMEONE.IT BETTER THAN $2800 FOR A NEW TRANNY.
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