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Pontiac Bonneville



  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    We just returned from Germany where I had a business trip and my wife tagged along to keep me out of trouble.
    We had an Audi A3 1.9L turbo diesel for a rental car and did that thing scoot. I "accidentally" laid rubber a few times with it and anything above 2000rpm in any gear(remember manual transmissions?) and it would get up and go with the turbo. I took it up to 200kph a few times which sounds so much more impressive than 125mph but generally cruised at 115mph on the Autobahn.
    There are a lot of diesels over there and if US automakers would introduce ones here similar to the ones in service over there, you might see a lot more of them here. Inside the car, you would never know the difference, even when cold.
    However, it sure was nice to slide back into the Bonneville this morning. With the 7 hour time difference, I was awake at 1:30 this morning so wound up getting to work at 4:00 am. Needless to say, there wasn't any traffic and so the Bonneville got over 30mpg coming in.
    We did see a few Caravans, a Yukon and an Accura MDX over there and they looked completely out of place because of their size. At around $5 a gallon, I wouldn't want to be feeding one of them for very long.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    I agree that the diesels over in Europe are quite impressive. Smooth, peppy and quiet. I had a new Citroen as a rental in France and all the locals were drooling over it. I saw a story recently that the US automakers are thinking about moving to these diesels if only they can get Americans over their pre-conceived notion that they are noisy and dirty. Having said that, I think ripping up the roads in France would have been fun in a Bonneville!
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    It's much more common in Europe because the emissions regulations there are more lenient for the use of Diesel in cars than here.

    And Diesel IS dirty and noisy. Dirty because even though it emits less CO, it emits more NOx and PM than a gas engine. Noisy because one can undisputably hear it approaching before a gas-power car, even modern ones.

    CO matters only to those who believe that it can catastrophically warm the climate. On the other hand, NOx causes smog that can be a severe irritant of the respiratory ways and PM are carcinogenic.

    Europe chose watery eyes and cancer, America chose to ignore unscientific theories. :-D
  • mem300mmem300m Posts: 12
    have a 94 B'vile w/114,000 miles. Last night the a/c fan went out. Regardless of mode (a/c, vent, defrost, heat), the fan will not blow at any speed or any switch position. Is this likely the fan motor itself dying or is there a circuit breaker or fan relay that might be at fault and if so how could I easily diagnose to see if it's fan motor or something else?

    please email me with ideas at


  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    4 months out of factory warranty, Pontiac replaced my intermediate steering shaft free of charge! They lubed it at 20,000, probably a temporary fix at best. Either way, I'm happy again without the steering clunk. They are taking orders on the GTO for December delivery... they will have 6, 2 are sold. GXP will hit the streets the following month with many more available...hmmmm. The new Grand Prix looks nice on the show room floor... unfortunately there is speculation of a 300 HP GXP version of it coming in 2004.
  • timfarntimfarn Posts: 289
    Just bought an '02 SLE that is missing both key fobs. For those of you with an '02, does it look and function the same as older model Bonnevilles? We have a '96 w/4 button. I'm looking to pick up a couple on Ebay...
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Congratulations! I have a '00 SLE. 40k miles and still love it.

    Yeah, the fobs are 4 button. But they come in synchronized pairs - depending on which one you use to open the car, certain features will automatically adjust to that fob on an SLE (if you take the trouble to program it). I'm not sure if picking up just any two will allow you to restore that particular feature.

    Wouldn't you be better off ordering a pair through the dealership?
  • timfarntimfarn Posts: 289
    The '02 will be my wife's (I take over the 225,000 mile '96 to rest my Avalanche), so the driver settings may not be so critical. My contact at a local dealer is gone - new fobs are in the $75 range each - programmed.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,236
    Just replaced fob for 03 LeSabre. Price??? $35, which included programming by service writer. (Due to quirk in program steps, the
    fobs ended up backwards, Fob#1, gave settings #2; Fob#2, settings #1 driver.

    Don't lose the key however if it's got the internal transmitter, it was over $50, including the programming so the car would recognize it...

    I'd ask about key fobs at a caring dealer... The programming used the

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

  • timfarntimfarn Posts: 289
    The rules have changed on the remotes; it does take the Tech 2 tool to reprogram. Anyone who says programming is a DIY and only takes a couple of minutes hasn't had the personalized settings. $35 for replacement is reasonable, especially with programming included.

    Do the 2002 fobs have the triangular trunk button with panic below?
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    link to GM's media info: - GXP

    Not too long now...


  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,932
    Thanks for that link.

    This is interesting. It appears that the GPX powertrain will be some sort of mix and match between the current Caddy SLS and STS. The motor appears to have the same specs as the Northstar as used in the SLS, but the final drive – at 3.71 – is what the STS has used. The trans. is the 4T80E, of course.

    I see nothing referring to a version of the TapShift that was introduced on the ’04 GP GTP. I had hoped . . .

    With a quoted weight 200+ lbs less than an SLS, and that 3.71, I expect acceleration to be – umm – brisk. If the traction is there. With 61% on the front wheels (18”) this will be a possible issue. But probably not much better than 15.0 sec. in the quarter. Not class leading, at this point – and likely very similar to the ’04 GP GTP. And the ’97 GP GTP. Though clearly the Bonne is a bit larger than the GP.

    With less weight than a STS/SLS, perhaps they will be able to improve the fuel mileage compared to the S_S's? Though EPA 18 / 27 for the ’04 SLS is certainly not bad for a 4000 lb vehicle.

    One thing that I do not understand is the stated requirement for 92 octane fuel. The 2 Caddy S_S's have been running the Northstar at these HP / TQ level with 87 octane. Strange.

    Anyone have any insight here?

    The 14 inch front / 13 rear brake disk diameters are an interesting touch.

    I wonder what the performance-tuned exhaust system will sound like. A V6 can be tricky to tune for a decent note – but a V8 ought to provide opportunity for something nice. But I doubt they will actually provide a true dual exhaust. “Pleasing rumble” does sound promising. We'll see.

    And I wonder exactly what interior changes will have made it into production. I have not seen official pictures, and obviously have no password to access those ob this site. It sounds like mostly minor trim changes.

    - Ray
    Now awaiting a test drive with renewed interest . . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • xavier64xavier64 Posts: 76
    Thanks for the link to the GXP. Hope this will continue the Bonneville's future with GM.

    I wonder if the Northstar engine would have the intake manifold gasket issue that occurs with the 3800 engine. Would it be possible to place a Northstar engine in Bonnevilles from 2000 on? just a thought...

  • Bought a factory owned car with 34000 miles on it. twice now the brake light comes on and the traction control disengages. first time under warranty dealer said ok. did it again. both times it reset itself after restarting car. anyone else with this problem or ideas as to what to do about it. thanks in advance for any info.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    The brake warning lamp (or MIL) will turn on when there is a problem with the brake system (ABS has a separate MIL), when the parking brake is depressed or during the lamp test when the ignition is turned on. When the parking brake is set the traction control is disengaged, I believe (this is the way it is on most GM cars), so my first guess is that the position switch on the parking brake is bad or maladjusted. Maybe an intermittent short in the signal. Just a thought... Also make sure that when the parking brake is released that the pedal is coming all the way up.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaPosts: 252
    the "ABS" and "traction off" light are permanently illuminated on my parent's '93 SSEi, I think due to a problem with an ABS sensor up front or it could be any range of other more serious issues. Any time that you lose the use of your ABS, you will lose the traction control, because that's how your traction control functions, by using the ABS. Is it the "BRAKE" light or the "ABS" light that comes on? If it's "BRAKE," then mlm4 has the right opinion. If it is anything dealing with the ABS, then on a car that new with that mileage, my guess is a bad sensor. It used to be a pretty common problem with the previous generation Bonnies, but I'm not sure about 2000 and newer models.
  • xavier64xavier64 Posts: 76
    Hope all are doing well. Back on post 180, there was some discussion on trying to set up a Bonneville meet. One location was Pigon orge,TN.

    I was wondering if this sounds like a possible place and perhaps sometime in the fall (late Sept/October). If anyone has other suggestions please drop a line.

  • thanks mlm4 and idntnvu for the response to the brake light. idntvu asked if it was the abs or the brake light. it was the brake light, not the abs. thanks to you both. will be checking into it.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaPosts: 252
    Hi all, "the user formerly known as 1badsidekick" here...the parent's '93 SSEi is having a fit again. My mom took it to Gatlinburg TN this past weekend, and on the way up into the mountains, it overheated, and wouldn't start again for a while. She finally got it restarted, and didn't drive it the rest of the time they were up there. She and her sister got in it to come home yesterday, and the thing was heating all the way home (about 4 hours, 230 miles). She kept the climate control on 90 the whole way, and considering the temperature outside was 87, they were a little warm. Now, the question is, what is causing this? The fans at the radiator seemed to work intermittantly, but they did work. I know the engine has to reach a certain temp before they kick in. What else could this be? Thermostat? Water pump? Any help is appreciated. I'm going to try to get it to the garage today for them, but I'd like to get it in there and halfway know what to expect, rather than going in there with a blindfold on. (Even though the mechanics at our garage are good, they tend to "throw parts" at the problem, rather than knowing immediately what it is.) Any advice??
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Not that I ascribe too much importance to this result: NHTSA
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    Unfortunately, the fine print goes on to state that all Bonnevilles delivered in Canada are actually made of a waterproof cardboard composite and are prone to frame/body seperation during normal driving conditions. Between that and the numerous (96%) block heater fires, it makes these 100 degree temps more bearable. I've rolled mine (U.S. delivered) numerous times and have only had to buff out a few scratches.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaPosts: 252
    It sounds like someone has watched a lot of "Dukes of Hazard." Do they REALLY make cars out of "cardboard composite"? That is extremely scary.
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Ah yes but Armorall Canada recently introduced these disposable wipes which actually repel lateral g-forces - and falling debris. Our cars are virtually impervious to roll-overs. Cardboard, steel, or paper - it doesn't matter a hoot.

    Ya gotta cross the border more often...


  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaPosts: 252
    I've been to Canada 3 times. I've covered Niagara Falls, Montreal, and Quebec City, and all areas in between, twice, and then I've covered Nova Scotia, PEI, and all areas near on the east coast of Canada once. Wanted to go back last month, but a health problem earlier this year prevented me from having the cash flow to do so. I love it up there. But I did not know the cars were cardboard ;). I did notice different cars up there though...and even cars sold in the US with different names, like...the Pontiac Firefly, aka Geo Metro, and another Pontiac, can't remember the model, but in the us it was sold as the Chevy Corisca. Saw several others but those were what stuck out in my mind.
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Dear General Motors Customer:

    This notice is sent to inform you that General Motors is conducting a voluntary customer satisfaction program that affects certain 2000-2003 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo; Pontiac Grand Prix, Bonneville; Buick Regal, LeSabre and Park Avenue model vehicles equipped with 3800 Series II (L36) V6 engines.

    We have learned that your vehicle may develop an engine coolant leak at the upper intake manifold to throttle body gasket, or at the lower intake to upper intake gasket. This condition may result in a low engine coolant level and higher engine temperatures.

    To prevent this condition from occurring, your GM dealer will replace the engine throttle body fasteners with redesigned fasteners, and add cooling system sealant to the radiator tank. This service will be performed for you at no charge through July 31, 2005.

    If you have already paid for some or all of the cost ... you should contact your dealer to seek reimbursement.... Your request for reimbursement ...must be received by your dealer by July 31, 2004.

    "Adding cooling system sealant"? Doesn't sound like much of a fix to me...

    Anybody else yet received something similar?

  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    The Grand Prix sites are posting the same info today. Looks like GM will be paying the price for discontinuing the coolant sealant being added at the plant in the 2000 model run. US owners have to apply for reinbursement to GM. Appears to indicate the the 2000-2003 3.8 leak area was the gaskets and not the manifold itself.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I have also got the famous letter about the manifold issue (in my case, after a new manifold dropped in at 17000mls).

    Has anybody got the service performed? And how about this sealant, what exactly is it and why is it necessary?
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    During the early part of the 2000 Model run, GM discontinued the practice of adding cooling system sealer to cars at the plant. This was done becuase the discoloration of the coolant overflow tanks was thought to be a consumer turn off. This lead to coolant leaks from the throttle body gasket and upper intake manifold gasket on the 3800. Another potential leak cause in the throttle body area is caused by the nuts becoming loose.
    My brother had this procedure done on his Grand Prix on the 12th. The new throttle body nuts have a wider base which turns on the attached nut. So it must distribute and hold torque better. They crushed up the sealant which comes in circular tablets and add it to the radiator.

    There are GM engines which require the sealant tablets any time the cooling system is openned. And a friend (also a grand Prix owner) tells me that a retired GM engineer who speaks at the car shows, has always recommended sealnat tablets with anti-freeze changes.

    As far as is it needed? GM thought it was before, stopped it, got gasket leaks, and so now thinks it is important enough to pay to have it added.

    They also felt there was enough misdiagnosis to send out a bulletin saying that upper intake manifold replacement was not neccessary.
  • I also received the letter from GM regarding the replacement of throttle body bolts. It goes in tommorrow to have new bolts installed. I talked to the Service Rep and he explained what they do...basically replace the bolts and it takes about 1/2 hour. The Service rep did not see any leaks related to this, however, there was evidence of a previous leak possibly in the upper manifold area not related to the throttle body gasket. The upper manifold (previous) leak was now dry and we decided to keep an eye on it to see if any leaks develope. Current mileage is 15,000 and I still have 2 years left on the warranty. Will let you know how all goes on Wednesday.!
  • scscarsscscars Posts: 92
    Took my 2002 SLE with 22000 miles in for new throttle body bolts and cooling system sealant today. The actual work took about 30 minutes and the dealer washed the car afterwards. Total time spent was about 40 minutes in all.

    While I've been watching for coolant leaks, odors, unusual temperature spurts, etc. that are related to this problem, the Bonnie's manifolds have been solid and I've been lucky to date. However, since reading all of the intake manifold horror stories on this board since last year, it did not take me long to move quickly on this problem, and I would encourage others with Bonnies having a few miles or more to do the same.
This discussion has been closed.