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Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • ceca894ceca894 Posts: 6
    I saw you question on service bulletins. One place I found is alldata.com You can do a search for your vehicle and see if there are any bulletins on it. You won't be able to see the correction with out subscribing, but at least it is a start. I found my "surging" bulletin there on my 97 Bonne. transmisson. My GM dealer did the trick ($1150)worth. It is running great now. If any one is not getting response from dealer on repairs try GM internet customer relations. I was able to get them cover half my $1150 repair.
    Good Luck
  • Thanks - Ill pop over and browse around.
  • After just reading over 400 posts tonight, I feel that Ponitac needs to really review the TCC issue. I love by 97 Bonneville SE and plan to keep it for a long time, unless I have plop down big bucks to stop the lurching. I will try the new plug wires and plugs first.

    But here is the question. I only get about 15-17 mpg City from my car. I notice on a lot of previous posts that 23+ seems to be the norm, with some much higher. I don't pretty well on the highway, although I use the Yukon for most highway trips. I live in a mountainous area and am up and down at least three major hills every day. The hills also cause a lot of lurching by the way. Does anyone have an idea of how to improve my MPG short of moving to Iowa (it's flat you know).

    Thanks
  • Bummer, $500 in repair costs. The cheap? $260 plenum on my 95 3800 series allowed coolant into the intake and thus into the engine. Those who find their plugs fouled with caked-on white residue and have a coolant loss may have the same problem I had. If you are unlucky enough to find the engine won't turn over it means one or more cyliders are full of coolant. The coolant is forced back into your injectors and mucks them up as well. I got away with just having the plenum replaced and had to run a few jugs of injector cleaner thru the fuel. Oh, and don't put the Barr's Leak to it thinking this will plug the leak. It just makes things worse.
  • ceca894ceca894 Posts: 6
    Do you have a good GM dealer close w/ a good tranny guy? Have them take it out for a ride with a scanner hooked up. Our local dealer has a excellent tech who diagnosed my surge/lurching problem in about 10 min. Try to get GM to eat some of the cost. They covered 1/2. (better than nothing) I think all that surging can't help your mpg. I had my Bonne thru the mountains 2 weeks ago after the repairs and it shifted perfectly. My GM tech said people who avoid this TCC upgrade usually end up doubling their repair cost with a new torque converter. Good Luck...
  • jim237jim237 Posts: 10
    I own a 2000 SSEi and live in the high desert region of SW Utah, about 130 miles NW of Las Vegas. July and August daytime temps are 102-107 degrees. I have about 1000 miles on my Bonnie but since it was new I have had a problem with the windshield getting hazey at the botton third of the windshield. I have tried defrost modes, etc but nothing seems to eliminate the haze when the ac is on. Any suggestions!!!
  • jjocjjocjjocjjoc Posts: 24
    The new plugs and wires should improve the mileage somewhat. My '99 gets about 19-20 city and about 23-25 Highway. May also want to check into fuel filter and fuel injector service. Not sure how many miles you got on your 1997 and if you've had this done already.

    Also, do you leave the transmission in Overdrive during you trips threw the hills or do you crank down one to regular drive? I've think it's better to shift out of overdrive in hilly terrain.
  • h101h101 Posts: 62
    I think the haze is from the new vinyl. Most new cars will do that for the first year or so.
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    It must be something other than the traditional evaporated vinyl oils because the '00 and '01 Bonnevilles' dashboard is not made from PVC. Instead, the dashboard is made using TPO (read about it at Automotive Engineering International, Exxon or at responsibilityinc.com). Among the advantages touted for TPO is "no window glass fogging".

    Perhaps your dealer used an ArmorAll (or substitute) on your dash pre-delivery and it is this which has evaporated and settled unto your windshield.

  • I remember the days when a blueish haze on the windshield (when a/c on)meant a heater core problem. Is there a smell also (and not that lovely new Bonne smell) ?

    Otherwise , id hop into the "something put on the dash camp.
  • Hi everyone! As usual, I'm enjoying the enthusiasm and interest of all on this forum. I've got a 94 Bonneville. Recently my alternator went out (voltmeter showed steady decline to below 10 volts, lower when accessories were being used). At the same time, I lost reception ONLY on the AM portion of my radio. I've replaced the alternator (and voltmeter now is in proper range), but AM radio STILL does not receive ANY signal. Any ideas on this one? Hope I don't have to replace the whole CD/radio unit!! BTW, this is *only* my 3rd alternator (car shows 88K miles)
  • rb8225rb8225 Posts: 33
    Chas-

    I had a CD changer put into my '95 Bonni. When I picked it up from the installer, I found on the drive home that AM didn't work, FM was fine. Took it back the next day and they fixed it, said the problem was a faulty ground to the radio. They had messed around with the power cord to patch in the CD changer. Might be a similar problem.
  • wnewellwnewell Posts: 14
    I had a 1988 Ford Taurus that seemed to eat alternators and batteries, one of the things I noticed was the radio was the first thing to quit when the battery was dying. I ran extra ground wires on alternator and engine to body and frame to make sure everything was grounded and had no more problems with it.
  • hi my 01 SLE is a great car i have it 6mos and have 7300 miles. has anybody had a problem with a large space between the seatback and seat cushin i have the leather int. I want to have the dealer fix this next month when i go in for another oil change.
  • I have a '00 SLE with leather interior and do not have such a problem.
  • On the 2000+ Bonnevilles, the front seat is now a two piece unit. The lower cushion and upper cushions are seperate. Watch from outside the car when you use the power adjuster up/down, you will see only the lower cushion moving. In some positions the "space" can seam quite large. I am guessing this is what you are questioning domi3.
  • Thanks for responding to my haze problem. I have a dash mat , which is a must in the hot temps we have here in SW Utah. The haze appears whether the mat is in place or not. There is no smell or odors other than the new car smell, that I wished I could keep forever. I went to Las Vegas last weekend running 78-80 mph, ( speed limit is 75 ) and got 27 mpg. Not bad for only 1200 miles, I figure by the time the bonnie is " broke in " 29 or 30 is very possible.I have been using 89 , 92 and 94 octane gas and cannot tell any difference other than the price. Don't understand why they recommend high octane fuel on a V6
  • I have a 1995 Bonneville SSEi. Bought it a year and a half ago with 26,000 miles. It's now got 47K on it and whenever I've been driving at freeway speeds for about 20 miles the transmission comes out of lockup and then out of 4th gear and will not operate normally until until the car is restarted or it has set long enough to cool down. It seems to do this less when the temperatures are cooler. I've read many other posts but none with this exact type of problem. My suspicions are that it's something electrical or computer related. I'd greatly appreciate any suggestions.
  • I had a similar problem (sort of) with another vehicle - turned out it was the tranny solenoid. Relatively inexpensive considering it was a tranny repair. Good luck.
  • Greetings Montanafan! - Thank you for the *very interesting information* on the Hunter Engineering GPS9700 machine, on Radial Force Vibration issues, and on the two bulletins GM released. (I'd love to know why two dealerships blew me off on this issue, considering the bulletins, eh?) Please tell me, where can I find these bulletins on the web? I could not find anything on the Hunter.com site regarding them. I wrote their local area rep; he merely gave me this information:

    "Mr. Giamo, thanks for your email and utilizing the Hunter GSP9700 web site. My best suggestion is to have the dealership involved go to the GSP9700.com website and locate users of the roadforce balancer in their area. I suggest several be interviewed to determine if they have 'in-between' cone sets (may or may not be needed for the wheels on your Bonneville) and also try to ascertain if the users have technicians competent in proper GSP operation for roadforce diagnosis and matching to include the procedure of rim runout measurement at the bead seat areas of the wheels. While there are a number of nuisance vibration problems that are caused by excessive RFV, vibration diagnostics of today's vehicles can be complex. If your vehicle has vibrations induced by balance or excessive RFV of the wheels & tires, the GSP9700 can identify and quantify the source(s) very quickly. If the wheels & tires are capable of being OEM matched, the whole process is extremely short in the hands of a qualified GSP technician."

    Anyway - I'd like to print the bulletins out and read them. To follow up on a couple of questions you had on this issue: I DID indeed put 4 brand new tires on the vehicle a month ago - at 16,800 miles (and at my cost; GM is dodging the issue of paying for them now; we'll see...) I just recently the NJ Lemon law against Pontiac-GMAC(including hiring a Lemon-Law-expert law firm.) I currently have someone from Pontiac-GMAC in Detroit trying to find out where a Hunter GPS9700 is located so that Pontiac's final attept to get the car fixed (via their Legal Defense Team efforts) is worth my time. If the vehicle still vibrates after the final attempt at repair, I will go into official litigation with Pontiac-GMAC via my attorney. I understand from the law firm that I have a *very good* case as it's been so well documented. This problem began at just past 9000 miles.....right now I have 18,450 miles on the car. Still shimmys, new tires, alignment and all. So depressing - as I have paid for the car in cash in full! I own it outright. So here is more on my problem; thanks again - and any more info you might have on the bulletins will help!!
  • You have been busy since your last post. Read the bulletins while my wife's '92 Bonneville was getting the brakes done. Tossed my notes used for the post, but I think the bulletins came out in January/February so it may have been after your problems started. It appears the Hunter rep's suggestion and GM are both going the same direction by finding someone with the machine who is competent. But I remember the Hunter site as having a locator, so not sure why it should be hard to find someone. The Hunter site said these vibrations involved tires, so it is interesting they could still occur on the second set of tires. You might try a non-pontiac dealer to see if they would let you read the bulletins, since you wouldn't have them do any work.
  • Question with the A/C...The temp is fine but the amount of air flowing thru the vents is very weak. One guy said could be a clogged core? Said its 6 or 700 bucks to fix. Any one else with same problem?
    I've read some past posts on Mileage....Took the Bonny with 115k on it out east this summer 2000 miles with 5 adults and a trunk full of luggage...averaged 32 MPG the whole trip...couldn't believe it!
  • Here is the complete TSB, hope it helps with the dealer. Cut it and paste it into a word processor to print it up for reference when you go back in. Good luck, and let us know how it went.

    Shake/Vibration in Steering Wheel at Hwy. Speeds (Diagnose/Balance Tires/Wheels)
    #00-03-10-007

    Shake/Vibration in Steering Wheel, Floor, Seat at Highway Speeds on Smooth Roads (Diagnose/Balance Tires/Wheels)

    1995-99 Buick Riviera

    1997-01 Buick Park Avenue, Park Avenue Ultra

    2000-01 Buick LeSabre

    1998-01 Cadillac Seville (SLS, STS)

    2000-01 Cadillac DeVille

    1995-01 Oldsmobile Aurora

    2000-01 Pontiac Bonneville

    This bulletin is being revised to add models and model years as well as provide additional reference information. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 83-30-04 (Section 3 -- Steering/Suspension).

    Condition

    Some customers may comment on shaking/vibration in the steering wheel, floor or seat at highway speeds, between 96-115 km/h (60-72 mph) on smooth roads. This condition may phase in and out.

    Correction

    Tools and equipment for this correction are as follows:

    J 8001, or equivalent, Dial Indicator Set with Magnetic Base J 7872 and Roller Tip J 23672.
    Off-vehicle plane dynamic tire/wheel balancer (refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 73-35-05 dated October, 1997 for information on balancing aluminum wheels), or the GPS 9700 Hunter
    balancer/road force measurement machine (refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 00-03-10-006 dated December, 2000 for information related to tire radial force variation). Refer to the Additional
    Information section later in this bulletin.
    Tire changer
    Torque wrench or J 39544 (Torque Limiting Sockets)
    Vehicle lift capable of supporting the front suspension to simulate normal road posture, while driving vehicle on the hoist.

    Important

    This procedure must be followed step-by-step and completed in its entirety. Absolutely no shortcuts are to be made.

    1.Raise and suitably support the vehicle. Refer to Vehicle Lifting and Jacking in the General Information sub-section of the appropriate Service Manual.
    2.Visually inspect the tires and the wheels. Inspect for evidence of the following conditions and correct as necessary:
    Missing balance weights
    Bent rim flange
    Irregular tire wear
    Incomplete bead seating
    Tire irregularities
    Mud/ice built-up in wheel
    Stones in the tire tread
    3.Set tire pressure to 205 kPa (30 psi) cold.
    4.Inspect the engine and the frame mounts for proper position and installation (especially the driver side or rear powertrain "oval shaped" mount). For C and G cars, refer to Corporate Bulletin
    Number 73-71-04A dated May, 1998.
    5.Make the necessary repairs using the applicable Labor Time Guide times.
    6.Lower the vehicle.
    7.Road test the vehicle at the complaint speed for a sufficient distance on a known smooth road surface to duplicate the condition. This should be done after a tire break-in of at least 16 km (10 miles)
    at 72 km/h (45 mph) or greater, to eliminate any possible tire flat-spotting. Record the results on the Tracking Sheet found at the end of this bulletin.

    Important

    Confirm that the condition is not a brake pulsation.

    8.If a road test indicates the shake still exists, go to Step 9.
    9.Raise the vehicle.
    10.Look for and remove all stones, water, snow, dirt or other elements from the tire treads and from inside the wheel rim, now and after each road test (for balance accuracy and safety).
    11.Label the tire/wheel assembly positions (LF, RF, LR, RR). Mark each tire/wheel assembly and one stud in order to return the assembly to the original position.
    12.Remove the tire/wheel assemblies from the vehicle.
    13.Mount each tire/wheel assembly on the off-vehicle balancer.
    14.Follow these steps for the off-vehicle tire/wheel assembly radial runout measurement (refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 00-03-10-006 dated December, 2000 for information related to tire radial
    force variation):
    A.Slowly rotate the tire/wheel assembly one complete revolution and ZERO the dial indicator on the low spot.

    If reading is inaccurate/inconsistent, wrap tape around center of tire tread. Measure radial runout of taped surface.

    B.Measure the tire/wheel assembly radial runout at the center of the tire tread (refer to Figure 1). It may be necessary to wrap the tire center tread circumference with tape to allow a smooth dial
    indicator reading. The off-vehicle radial runout of the tire/wheel assembly should not exceed 0.76 mm (0.030 in). Record the results of each measurement on the Tracking Sheet found at the
    end of this bulletin.
    15.If the off-vehicle tire/wheel assembly radial runout DOES NOT exceed 0.76 mm (0.030 in), go to Step 19 in order to inspect and balance the tire/wheel assembly to within 1/4 ounce. If the runout
    DOES exceed 0.76 mm (0.030 in), remove all balance weights and go to Step 16 in order to "match mount" the tire on the wheel.

    Important

    If the reading is inaccurate/inconsistent, wrap masking or duct tape around the entire tire on the center tread (especially on tires that use an all-season or aggressive tread pattern).

    16.If any tire/wheel assembly radial runout exceed 0.76 mm (0.030 in), "match mount" the tire on the wheel (rotate the tire 180 degrees on the wheel) and re-measure until the runout is within 0.76 mm
    (0.030 in). Record the results on the Tracking Sheet found at the end of this bulletin.
    17.Perform the off-vehicle radial and lateral runout measurement. If you are unable to bring the tire/wheel assembly within specification, follow these steps:
    A.Dismount the tire from the wheel.

    B.Measure both radial and lateral runout of the wheel at both the inboard and the outboard bead surfaces (refer to Figures 2 and 3). If any measurement exceeds 0.51 mm (0.020 in), replace
    the wheel. Record the results on the Tracking Sheet found at the end of this bulletin.

    Important

    Always measure the radial and lateral runout of a new wheel.

    18.If the wheel is within 0.51 mm (0.020 in), replace the tire with a tire obtained from your normal local tire source. Measure radial runout of the new tire/wheel assembly off-vehicle and maintain within
    the 0.76 mm (0.030 in) runout specification. Record the results on the Tracking Sheet found at the end of this bulletin.

    Important

    When mounting the tires on the wheels, lube both tire and wheel, inflate to 275 kPa (40 psi) to ensure proper seating, then adjust to 205 kPa (30 psi) . Use of proper lubricant is essential. GM
    G
  • 18.If the wheel is within 0.51 mm (0.020 in), replace the tire with a tire obtained from your normal local tire source. Measure radial runout of the new tire/wheel assembly off-vehicle and maintain within
    the 0.76 mm (0.030 in) runout specification. Record the results on the Tracking Sheet found at the end of this bulletin.

    Important

    When mounting the tires on the wheels, lube both tire and wheel, inflate to 275 kPa (40 psi) to ensure proper seating, then adjust to 205 kPa (30 psi) . Use of proper lubricant is essential. GM
    Goodwrench rubber lubricant, P/N 12345884 (GM of Canada P/N 5728223), or the equivalent, is suggested. After tire servicing, the wet lubricant may allow the tire to move on the rim during hard
    acceleration or braking and such vehicle operation should be avoided for approximately 3 hours. Mark the tire at the valve stem for position to notice any movement (and resultant loss of balance)
    during initial vehicle operation.

    19.Balance the tire/wheel assembly to within 1/4 ounce on either rim flange.

    Important

    Use a known good, recently calibrated off-vehicle two plane dynamic balancer. Use the finest balance mode available in order to perform a "perfect" balance of the assembly. The center pilot hole is
    the primary locator. Back cone mounting is recommended. If any assembly calls for more than 1/4 ounce on either rim flange, remove all balance weights and re-balance.

    A quick balancer calibration method is to check the "repeatability" of the balancer by releasing the tire/wheel assembly from the balancer after the first balance readings, rotating it at least 90 degrees
    and reclamping it to the balancer. Obtain readings at the new position and compare to the first readings. The two sets should be within 1/4 ounce.

    Use polyester epoxy coated MC Series balance weights (long term retention) on aluminum wheels. Install with a plastic-tipped hammer so that the coating is not damaged.

    20.Install the tire/wheel assemblies in the original position as marked in Step 11.

    Important

    When reinstalling the tire/wheel assemblies on a vehicle at any point in this procedure, the following tightening procedure must be followed:

    A.Hand tighten all the wheel nuts.
    B.With a torque wrench or impact wrench with a wheel nut torque limiter socket, tighten the nuts to approximately 1/2 specification, 70 N·m (50 lb ft), following the normal "star pattern"
    procedure in the Tires and Wheels sub-section of the appropriate Service Manual.
    C.Again, using the same "star pattern" and a torque wrench or wheel nut torque limiter (J 39544), tighten the nuts to full specification 140 N·m (100 lb ft).
    21.Road test the vehicle at the complaint speed for a sufficient distance on a known smooth road surface to duplicate the condition. Record the results on the Tracking Sheet found at the end of this
    bulletin.

    Important

    Steering wheel shake generally indicates a front tire/wheel assembly problem.

    22.If a road test indicates the shake still exists, determine which front tire/wheel position appears to be the major contributor and attempt to improve by "indexing" the tire/wheel assembly to the hub on
    the vehicle one stud at a time until the shake is eliminated or minimized (there are five possible wheel stud "index" positions).

    Important

    BEFORE PERFORMING THE FOLLOWING STEPS, DISABLE THE TRACTION CONTROL BY REMOVING THE FUSE AT THE FUSE BLOCK.

    A.To "index," raise the suspect vehicle front wheel assembly off the ground. Support the lower control arm so that the tire is in a normal operating position and the front drive axle is at a
    normal operating angle.
    B.For accuracy and safety, inspect for and remove all stones, water, snow, dirt or other elements from the tire treads and from inside the wheel rim.
    C.FIRMLY SECURE (BLOCK/CHOCK) THE REAR WHEELS.
    D.FIRMLY SECURE (BLOCK/CHOCK) THE FRONT TIRE/WHEEL ASSEMBLY THAT IS NOT BEING "INDEXED."

    Caution

    Do not run the vehicle higher than 55 mph (89 km/h). Stay clear of the universal joints and the balance weight area in order to avoid personal injury. Do not run the
    vehicle on the hoist for extended periods of time, as this may cause the engine or the transmission to overheat.

    E.From the driver's seat, operate the vehicle at 1/2 speed on the speedometer (i.e. 54 km/h (34 mph) on the speedometer indicates tire speed of 109 km/h (68 mph).
    F.Monitor the steering wheel, floor and seat for vibration.
    G.If the vehicle shakes, stop the vehicle, remove the raised front tire/wheel assembly and index the wheel one stud at a time. Refer to Step 20 for the tightening procedure when reinstalling the
    tire/wheel assembly on the vehicle. Operate the vehicle as noted above and again monitor the steering wheel, floor and seat for vibration. Continue until the best wheel-to-stud combination is
    determined.
    H.If suspect, measure the wheel stud runout of the wheel hub bearing assembly. Measure as close to the mounting flange as possible. Refer to Figure 4. If runout exceeds 0.310 mm
    (0.012 in), replace the hub assembly.

    Important

    Prior to the road test, enable the traction control by installing the fuse at the fuse block.

    23.Road test the vehicle at the complaint speed for a sufficient distance on a known smooth road surface to duplicate the condition. Record the results on the Tracking Sheet found at the end of this
    bulletin. If the condition is still unacceptable, perform a high speed on-vehicle wheel balance. Leave the original balance weights (from Step 19) installed, add any additional required weight, splitting
    it equally between inboard and outboard rim flanges. Ensure that brake drag is eliminated.

    Important

    When performing on-vehicle wheel balance at the speed range in which the shake/vibration occurs, front wheel speed can be determined as in Step 22 and rear wheel speed can be determined with a
    scan tool.

    24.Road test the vehicle at the complaint speed for a sufficient distance on a known smooth road surface to duplicate the condition. Record the results on the Tracking Sheet found at the end of this
    bulletin. If the condition still exists, contact the Technical Assistance Center (TAC) for further discussion.

    Important

    Be prepared to review each and every step of this procedure. Every step must be completed before contacting TAC.

    The Tracking Sheet will be required for further assistance. Be prepared to fax the Tracking Sheet to a TAC Engineer for review.

    Additional Information

    The
  • The vehicle structure is very sensitive to rotating corner assembly runout and/or imbalance and/or tire uniformity/force variation (internal tire structure characteristics) issues. This procedure must be
    completed "step-by-step" to reduce rotating component runout and imbalance to a minimum. The majority of the vehicles will be corrected by addressing runout and balance issues with the original tire/wheel
    assemblies.

    Short-cutting will not repair the condition. This is not, and there is not, an easy fix.

    Keep your District Service Manager informed.

    Positive communication to the customer during this procedure is necessary for customer satisfaction.

    There is a new piece of equipment now available in the GM Dealer Equipment Program by Hunter Engineering that will reduce time and errors when measuring force variation, runout and static/dynamic
    balance. It is a vibration control system called the GSP 9700 with Road Force Measurement. For detailed information on models and accessories, contact your Hunter representative or call 1-800-448-6848.
  • I apologize for the long post but I know a lot of people on this board have had this problem. Hopefully armed with the information, the dealership will get off the high "we already fixed it" horse and fix it right.

    In the event the postings get deleted due to the long length, feel free to email me for the tsb in full. You will find my email address under my profile.

    If you don't want to email me the TSB number is 00-03-10-007
  • I am having the same problems as you. I posted msg. #216. Since I posted #216, I have taking the car to a tranny shop and they guaranteed that they could fix the problem. They worked on the car for a week and rebuilt the tranny. I paid them and picked the car up. Within 5 miles of the shop, the car was doing the same thing. It will go into over-drive for a mile or so, then go to torque lockup, then to 3rd and stay there at highway speeds. Are your rpms running about 3200 at 70 MPH and should be running at 22 to 2300 @ 70 MPH? I took the car back to the tranny shop and it has been the there since July. They have had some GM people out there and are now saying that it is the wirinig harness. It may be covered under some GM hidden-hidden warranty. I should know today. I will keep you informed, so you don't have to go though what I have with this
    *@#$ car. If you read post 216, the car has not ran well enough to get to bankruptcy court yet.
  • Thank you, John Milberg, for your kind help in getting me that "vibration bulletin" - which I just printed out. Tomorrow (Tuesday, Sept 10) my 2000 Bonneville goes in for the "final repair" in keeping with the NJ/PA Lemon Law. It's going to a Pontiac dealer that I've never been to; apparently they have the Hunter GSP9700 that may (or may not) do the trick.

    I'll keep ya'll informed. Trouble is, if they don't get it right (and if not my attorneys will likely get all of my money paid back for the car - all of it - as it's already paid for) - don't know what kind of car to get next (that I can also afford.)
  • This is for anyone who has had problems with their rebuilt alternators. I have tried a number of alternators from different vendors and they all fail to maintain voltage at idle with a number of electrical loads (fan on high and rear defrost, etc.). The original factory alternator always handled the load fine. A good friend of mine rebuilds alternators and gave the following explanation. It seems that the same basic alternator used on the bonneville and other GM 3800 engines is also used on other GM vehicles, some of them with smaller engines. When installed at the factory, GM would install different voltage regulators based on the needs of each vehicle. Larger cars with larger engines and more electrical loads would receive a voltage regulator which would produce more output at idle. Smaller cars with smaller engines would receive different voltage regulator that put less load on the engines at idle. However, on the rebuilt market, the only voltage regulator available is the one used in the smaller vehicles. So, basically, all rebuilt alternators are made for smaller four cylinder engines that cannot handle a larger load at idle like the 3800 can. These alternators also have had a history of overheating and the new regulators will shut them down when they experience a heavy load to save them from failing. Unfortuantly, there is no fix and the rebuilt alternators keep the battery charged. Just have to live with dim lights, slow wipers, etc. The 140 amp retrofit may be an option but it is pricy. I have had some luck finding used OEM alternators from junk yards but they don't seem to last more than a few months as they are already well used.
  • Has anyone had problems with the drivers side floor getting wet (I am assuming that it is some kind of ac problem. I dont frequent the boards so feel free to email me at aikifarm@hotmail.com
    It is a 98 SE, btw it too has had alternator problems. As well, although not to often, in mid flight it will quit on me...I shift to neutral and start it again and off we go. Why does it do this and what is the cure?
    What's good for GM is sh-t for the country?
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