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Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair

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  • lkfinlkfin Posts: 2
    In response to message #1218, the noise I have occurs in each gear and increases with rpm. It cycles up, then down, as each gear is engaged. It is somewhat "high-pitched", so I would not describe it as a "humming" noise. This is very disturbing to me, as I have owned a number of new and used Pontiacs - but have never had to replace a transmission. This car has been well maintained and looks nearly as good as new, despite the high mileage. Are there any other Bonneville owners reading this board with transmission noise experiences?
  • does anyone have a problem of an altenator belt slipping when it is wet out? everytime i hit a puddle it slips and cause the volts to drop to 12 or lower then takes a while to charge back up (about 30 seconds). Does anyone have the same problem or know how to fix it?!

    Also i saw a 03 SSEi with 9,000 miles @ a dealer lot for $25,000, completely loaded was thinking about trading my 2000 in b/c of all the problems does that sound like a good price? I live in Mass. if that makes a difference.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Sounds like a worn belt tensioner, glazed belt, or both.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    My 2000 SSEi had developed the popping or clunking noise in the steering as well (this is a low-mileage car with only about 13000 miles). This is a common problem. The dealer replaced the entire intermediate steering shaft rather than using the lube kit. The lube kit is only about $7 but one hour of labor to take the shaft out, lube it and replace it. The new shaft was $158.51 list price, plus an hour of labor.

    After the repair I inspected what I could of it and noticed that the rubber boot over the shaft was pulled away from the point where the lower shaft meets the rack assembly. There is a lip on the boot and a flange on the rack that look like they should be clamped together, but it appears as if the boot just floats there. Doesn't look right but I think that's the way it was before they replaced the shaft.

    Later on the day of the repair, when it was dark, I noticed that all the interior lamps were not working. Turned out to be a blown fuse, but I'm wondering what the tech did to cause that. So after replacing the fuse I decided to check everything electrical. When I went to lower the right rear window, the regulator made a cruch! noise and now the window can be raised and lowered only by hand. Another common problem on these cars. Ordered a new regulator (apparently you have to get the motor with it) at gmpartsdirect for about $90 less than the dealer wants even with shipping. Might even try to replace it myself.
  • I have a 96 Bonneville SE with 78,000 miles. My dealer said that I need to have the brake fluid changed. What is the opinion of others and what kind of cost would be associated with this(?), dealer said that it will cost around $65.00.
    SUPERCHARGER: Had a 92, 94, 96, and 2000 SSEI and I always checked the SC oil every 10,000 miles. I never had a problem with any of these. I purchased the oil from the dealer....
    Thanks for the help:-)
  • Hi All,

      I had enough. I had a 2000 Bonneville SLE that I just could not stop the tires from vibrating. I tried everything. And I mean everything. But when I finally wore out the goodyear tires and replaced them with dunlop sa sport a2 tires, which I loved and balanced perfectly, and the car still vibrated I went to my local Pontiac Dealer and traded it for a new Grand Prix GT 2004. You may ask "Why another Pontiac?". Well I loved the Bonneville. It was a good car. Even with all its problems. But the wheels just kept on vibrating. But as much as I liked the Bonne, the Grand Prix is a much better fit for me. I like the smaller size and the sportier handling. The 3800 III ,yes III , is a better fit for a lighter weight car. And the drive by wire throttle is much more responsive paired with the electronic trans. And the wheels do not vibrate, the trans shifts much smoother and at the right places everytime. I trully look forward to every drive in the Grand Prix.

    Enough advertising. Just wanted to thank all you fine folks on the message board for all the info on how to repair the Bonne. It was most helpful. But it got to a point where the value of my car was decreasing and I needed to keep it or sell it. So bye, bye Bonne.
  • I have one too. Tomorrow I go to yet ANOTHER Pontiac dealer in hopes of finding out why it makes a droning noise (or hum) at high speeds and 2000+ RPM.

    I had the vibration problem you had. I went NUTS over it - Pontiac dealers (I went to many) denied the vibration was there or just continually lied to me about it. I eventually had to buy $600+ worth of new tires, and get them continually rebalanced. I finally sued GM and settled out of court.

    Firestone Corp. eventually got rid of the vibration problem! By just good balance jobs. I think GM dealers are a racket...
  • I have a 96 SLE with 78,000miles on it. Dealer is telling me that I need the brake fluid changed.
    Is this common and is the cost of $65.00 in line for this type of service? Thanks for the help and guidance.
  • I am seeing water leaking onto my carpet on my 2002 Bonneville. I pulled up the carpet and can see water dripping down the sidewall onto the wiring conduit and onto the floor. I poured water from the hose on the windshield and corner of the car and it did come in. I assume windshield leak. But, has any one experienced this, and can you confirm the windshiled or possibly something else to check?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
  • I had a similar problem with my 1999 GTP turned out to be the gasket seal around the windsheild letting water into the air intake for the heater, it blew my rear speaker due to the water getting into the amp that is located on the passengers side under the dash, however haven't had similar problem with the bonneville i have.
  • A possible passenger side water leak could come from the A/C housing drains being blocked. The unit fills up with water then leaks into the car. Have read posts about Grand Prixs with this type of condition. You may want to see if you can find the drain on the firewall of the engine compartment. See if it is clogged.
  • Folks new to board so just wanted to exchange repair stories; in particular if you have a 97 Vin K. Being a persistent person, I've tried just about everything I can, short of visiting GM headquarters to get the word out on bad design problems with this car.

    I have basically had to sink $3,250 worth of repairs into a vehicle with 65,000 miles. Unacceptable!

    The car was fine until this summer, when it started leaking coolant. Wow it made it five summers without leaking which is an above average failure timeframe I guess comparing the other notes on boards. So we went with the $1100 new intake manifold, luckily the leak was external so the engine was safe.

    No sooner we replaced the intake as the transmission started slipping all over the place; 3rd and 4th gear. This car has been babied (it's my wife's car, primarily used to pick kids up from school), so it riddles me how the transmission was "abused" but that's what the dealer's mechanic "told" us it "looked like."

    Too bad for GM because we were also negotiating the sale of an Envoy with their sales staff; unknown to the maitenance dept. So I then took the car to another very reputable transmission shop who basically told us in short order it had to be rebuilt. So another $2,100.

    I am happy to inform that after $3,200 in repairs this year the car neither leaks coolant, nor the transmission slip. Wow what a deal!

    So I started making the rounds with GM. I have service receipts from the point of ownership; a case was opened; many letters sent to GM. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

    Guess with the new global economy these folks just don't give a hoot about even responding in writing to the average consumer.

    I will never, never, never, never buy another GM - which was just about every car my father owned while I was growing up, and what I have owned so far.

    Anyone else tried to get a word out of GM on paper, and if so what was their response in writing to the coolant issues?
  • I find it hard to believe that you received no acknowledgement for your many letters. Why didn't your extended service plan cover the cost of repairs? Why did your coolant leak cost so much to fix? What did you ask your dealer/GM for?
  • Well folks - luck finally went my way with a dealership. After taking a mechanic out for a test run, and pointing out to him the bizarre drone coming from the engine at 2000+ RPM/high speeds - the problem is apparently that the TORQUE CONVERTER is faulty. What a relief to find out after being told by other dealers that "nothing is wrong that [they] could find." The mechanic I went to suspected he might NOT find the problem with the noise (which he said might be due to "age" (ha!), and he was very unsure that the big drop in gas mileage (which is getting worse) were related. But after he hooked the car up to all these gadgets (I was not able to see any of that process, of course) the service manager finally came to me in the waiting room and said "the tech thinks the 2 problems you have are related: your torque converter is faulty and the transmission has to be separated from the engine to fix it." So I take my Bonne back to service on Dec. 29, for what will be a two to three day repair job. Let's hope this is the end of the story! I'll let you good folks know...

    Can anyone tell me more about torque converters and how this problem would so affect my auto by creating this high speed droning noise and greatly reduce gas mileage??
  • the air pump for the suspension keeps cycling on every 30 seconds in my car (2000 SSEi), i'm assuming it's a leak. Any suggestions?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Use soapy water in a spray bottle to check for leaks at:
    Lines from the air dryer to the rear shocks. Replace as required.
    Rubber air sleeves on the rear shocks. Replace as required.
    Solenoid valve -- Replace the air compressor head if leaking.
    Air dryer to compressor head O-ring -- Replace the air dryer if leaking.
    Air dryer cover -- Replace the air dryer if leaking.
    Air compressor head gasket -- Replace the air compressor head if leaking.
    Air compressor head cover gasket -- Tighten the cover bolts to 5.6 N·m (50 lb. in.) if the head cover gasket is leaking. If the leak persists, replace the air compressor head.
  • I have a 2000 SSEi that has served me well. Within the last two weeks a problem has developed that has me stumped. The car will intermitantly stall. It will stall under acceleration, it will stall under no load at all. Sometimes it will stall and restart it's self. Each time the altenator light will come on and then go off if it restarts its self. I have changed the battery thinking that this might be the problem since it is almost 4 years old. This did not cure the problem. The altenator appears to be putting out adequate voltage. It seems to be charging at 14 to 15 volts. Could it be the built in voltage regulator inside the altenator? The car is perfectly driveable otherwise. No missing or hesitation at idle or under a load. Just the occasional dieing of the engine. I have checked all the battery and altenator connections, they are tight and free from corrosion. The problem seems to occure more frequently when there is a load on the electrical system, ie, fog lights, head lights and other accessories on. Any assistance on this problem would be appreciated, I really hate to take it in to the dealer for diagnosis, they don't have a good reputation.

    Thanks, Ken Bidwell
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    Question: is the engine just starting to stall, or completely shutting down? What you describe sounds familiar, except for the stalling. My 2000 SSEi has a similar problem where every once in a while the lights will dim and the engine seems to hesitate (but only slightly) as if the alternator load just went sky high. The voltage will drop to battery level and then slowly climb back to 14-15 volts. As far as I can tell, GM claims this is "normal" although I don't understand why the electrical load is changing. It most often happens when I first start from a full stop, both in forwards and reverse, or when I step on the brake, although it has happened at other times as well.
    Watch the voltage reading the next time it happens and I bet the voltage drops to 12 briefly.
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