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Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • 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?
  • Does anybody know how to adapt an aftermarket CD changer (FM modulated) to the 2001 Bonneville radio? The antenna connection on the Bonny radio is not standard.
  • I heard that GM will do nothing about the wiring harness of the Bonnieville. The tranny shop said that a new harness will cost about 1500.00 and the installing will be about the same. They told me that there is a loopback plug that is 108.00 that will keep the car from going into O/D and not burn up the tranny again. Just to let everyone know, this problem has been going on since the car was 7000 miles out of warranty. The car is not worth the money for a new harness. Thanks GM for this piece of @#$%!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • What is it about 88,000 miles that makes a car start failing? Upon starting my 1994 SE yesterday, I got the "service engine soon" light, which stayed on as I drove about 12 miles. Car was driving poorly. When I turned the engine off and re-started the car, the light was gone and car was driving as normal. However, I pulled the code and found it indicated the Ignition Control Module. I'm thinking it could have been some kind of poor contact, temporary from moisture of something. Any thoughts on this? If I DO replace the ICM, any recommendations on aftermarket brands, or should I have the dealer hold me up for one? THANKS ALL and DRIVE ON!
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    I know that I posted last night on the owner's board because part of the post involved the enjoyable drive I had in New England. However, tonight's is more appropriately done on this board.
    I talked to our local dealer's service manager today who I have known for awhile and who's judgement I trust. I asked him if I was being unreasonable in assuming the dealer in Maine could have put my Bonneville back in running order and he said absolutely not. We also looked up the service bulletin about replacing and rerouting the shift cable. Imagine our surprise when we read that the service bulletin only referred to cars with a column shift, not the console mounted shift that I have. I then called the dealer in Maine and suggested that he might want to actually read the service bulletin. I told him that I expected him to get back to me with an answer on why they would have ordered a shift cable for column shift. Depending on the dealer's answer, I believe that I'll be contacting Pontiac to give them some feedback about one of their dealers.
    The local dealer here in Illinois also said that although it is not being advertised, effective the first of this year, all GM dealers can perform warranty work on all GM cars. I had called a local Chevrolet dealer in Maine and he told me to call Pontiac. So, if any of you find yourself in a fix, you don't have to go to a Pontiac dealer for repairs although if the dealer you go to doesn't sell a comparable platform, you run the risk of someone working on a vehicle they're not familiar with.
  • Try car parts.com . I put an after market control module on my 90 bonnneville 6 years ago, and have had no problems. You should do plugs and wires to.
  • The GM antenna connector is called a mini plug, and if you go to best buy, or circuit city they have the adapters. You will need one of each, one to go from mini to standard, to plug into the modulator, then one to go from standard to mini that goes from the plug on the modulator cord to the radio. That's it, I have used the FM modulators with success on 4 other GM cars,91 Delta 88, 97 S-10, 98 Express Van, and a 01 Yukon XL, with no problems at all.
  • Try following the antenna cable from the back of the radio towards the antenna. I had the same problem with my '92 and I found that there is an adapter to go from the standard size cable end to the mini end near the glove box. The cable with the mini plug end is about 1-2 feet long so I just put the adapter for the CD changer under the dash near the glove box and didn't have to screw with finding an adapter to go from standard to mini.

    Hope that helps.

    Campo57
  • On my 96 SE when temperatures are 32*F and below the engine idle speed(cold engine) increases and stays reeving up to 3000RPM's. After the engine warms up and is shut off and re-started the RPM's are normal. If driving(cold engine) the engine RPM's will stick and will not decrease unless the transmission is shifted into neutral(acts like engine is in cruise control) if the engine is warm the idle will drop back to normal, if engine is still cold the RPM's will remain high. This condition only occurs when cold weather comes to New England. Any ideas?
  • Temperatures here in NC have cooled down and the car is now shifting perfectly. I can't figure it. Hopefully it's been a passing glitch. My rpm's were exactly the same as yours. Please do keep me posted on your progress. Sounds like you have had an aggrivating experience.
  • I seem to have had and resolved an identical transmission problem with my 1995 Chevy Lumina. I have the 3.4 DOHC engine and I believe the same transmission as the Pontiac Bonneville (4T60E or something like that). At around 85,000 miles the car began to shift out of overdrive and go to third at highway speeds (80mph or so) and stay there. The only way to make it shift back to overdrive was to turn the car off then back on. Sometimes that lasted for a few minutes or sometimes for a few days (if it was cold out). I drove it like that for almost 40,000 miles since it didn't happen often and I didn't do much highway driving. However it eventually got worse and would come out of OD at any speed above 50. To make a long story short I got numerous conflicting estimates ranging from a worn valve body, torque converter, wiring harness etc. Finally at 125,000 I gave in and left it at a shop. They tried EVERYTHING to fix it. I got a new valve body, new torque converter, new solenoid, new PRNDL position switch and probably several other things. Nothing worked! Just before throwing in the towel they called some place in Florida that I understand trains mechanics and based on their advice they replaced all the internal transmission seals to stop a possible internal fluid leak. They then removed all of the new parts they had put in and replaced them with my old parts (I didn't want to pay for what didn't fix the problem). Well the seals worked great! I've since driven 10,000 miles including a 1000 mile highway trip at speeds up to 90mph with no problems. Gas mileage and power have improved also. The mechanic was very fair and only charged me $400 total. I wish I had done this sooner. I hope this post helps.
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