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Pontiac Bonneville Battery Won't Stay Charged

eric_133eric_133 Posts: 1
edited October 2014 in Pontiac
I'm not real smart when it comes to fixing a car but here is the problem at hand:

My 1995 Pontiac Bonneville won't keep a charge to the battery. I can jump start the car and it seems like it will run fine, but when you shut it off and try to restart the car it just clicks as if theres no power at the battery. So far I've replaced the battery and the altenator. The new battery in the car lasted about 2-3 days before draining. Replacing the altenator made little to no difference at all being it won't start. Does anybody have any suggestions on what they would try next?


  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,506
    Could be a starter problem. It might be draining the battery occasionally. You need to disconnect the battery cable and put in a device to measure amperes of drain. Then see how many milliamperes of drain are there. the number .03 amp comes to mind but search to find what normal draw is for the computer and systems in the car.

    If it's high then start pulling fuses one at a time to see which one cures the draw. Don't forget the maxifuses in the relay center on the firewall.

    But I keep thinking there was something about a wire to the alternator on certain years that was needed so the alternator would charge properly. You might search for that on the internet. I don't know if it's your year, but it was something about the charging was supposed to be controlle through the computer, but a direct wire from somewhere was needed to the alternator so it would sense the charge needed. Verify all this because I'm operating on a long ago memory and don't have time to search for info for you.

    A good check would be does the battery charge when you run the car after getting it started? It should show 12.6 v. car stopped. Then show 14.5 and higher when you start it.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • you have to make sure that the battery is good.take it to auto zone or pet boy they can check for free. next step is the starter. make sure the wires is not loose or coroded can cause problem in cold weather.good luck
  • Hello,

    In response to your inquiry. I too am having this problem with my 1999 pontiac bonneville. I have replaced the alternator and battery which of both I have replaced them with a rebuilt GM alternator and a brand new 7yr GM battery. I had the problem occur when it was severe cold here in the north east this past month. When I replaced the alternator and battery I made sure the connections to the alternator and battery were super clean and making a good connection. The volt guage on the dash was reading a little over 14 but at times it will be in the middle. I think it may be a starter problem as well as I did have the same thing. I would just get a click and nothing else. I did put the battery on a charge for several hours and have not had a problem yet but I am still going to be running more tests to see if any draw from the starter is causing it or if there may even be a dead spot in the starter itself. I hope this may help out some of you there that are having the same problem. If any one knows of this so called wire that is to be attached to the alternator please let me know. I did replace my alternator as it was going bad as the battery was not charging properly at all. I also thought that it would cure one of my other problems that is a whining squeal that sounds like a bad bearing but it is not the alternator since that was replaced and not the ac compressor as I replaced the entire ac system this summer my only things left are waterpump, belt tensioner and the power steering pulley? Does anyone have any ideas?

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,506
    >whining squeal that sounds like a bad bearing

    Take off the serpentine belt and rotate and wiggle each pulley. My first guess would be the tensioner. They are easily replaceable with just the pulley containing a new bearing; note the bolt is reverse thread so that the spinning pulley doesn't unscrew the bolt.

    >connections to the alternator and battery were super clean

    Did you separate the positive cables and check for corrosion between the connectors? There have been problems due to corrosion between them; I believe there's a lead spacer between.

    My guess would be a starter beginning to not make contact in the solenoid. If there's oil seeping from your oil pan bolts, that may get into the starter causing eventual failure--I was told that by a Delco rebuild shop when I replaced my starter at about 150,000 miles.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Check your battery wires and the studs (your connectors from your wires to your battery) you more than likely have a bad wire and its draining the power without returning the power from the Alternator.
  • hello,i have a 1992 bonneville ssei,i bought it in had 48,000 miles on it,i have been a mechanic for many years problem is the bonnie goes through alternators like crazy,i know quality is one factor and wiring and the amp draw on these cars is crazy high,the longest lasting alt. is from napa,i have tried G.m. it lasted approx 1 year,i have tried all that i can get from the part stores and some i get 6 months others approx 1 to 1 1/2 yrs.the one from napa i have got almost 3 yrs and now its bad,i have checked amp draw,wiring,all relays and connectons,i cant find a problem,has any one had this problem,if so is there something im missing or as our local G.M. dealer told me its normal for these cars because they do draw a lot of amps at all times,its kinda hard for me to believe this,it had 112,820 miles now and 9 alternators since 1996,thanks very much.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,506
    I suggest you research your grounds for the battery to the body and the motor along with the positive leads.

    Also I recall some comments about the wiring for the alternator and people direct wired it or cleaned the grounds. I suggest doing some searching for that using keywords on forums about Bonnevilles.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

This discussion has been closed.