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Pontiac Bonneville



  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    The laws vary by state, but where I live (Wisconsin), you need to have them try to repair the car for the same defect 3x in a year.

    Since this was a demo model, I wonder if they ever rotated the tires. Keep an eye on the replacement tires, and see if this problem re-occurs. If it does, THEN you have a suspension or wheel hub/bearing problem.

    The Hunter machine is the only one I know of which does road-force balancing. It's the only way to really do it. See the demo at

    Hope this helps,

  • I had the same problem on a '98 Trans Am. Nobody could seem to get the wheels and tires in balance until I found a shop with the Hunter balancer. They solved the problem. I rotated the wheels several times after that and the vibration never came back. I don't have the TA anymore, but I won't let anybody else mess with my wheels and tires now.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    The dealer at first balanced tires to nearest 1/4 ounce. That didn't work. On return visit they
    zeroed them out. And everything was smooth. The Michelins only showed 7 or 9 or less on the
    variation measured by the balancer. GM considered something 17 and under as acceptable variation in tires.

    You may need to check how well your dealer balanced the tires...

    Too even with the tires rolling nicely I noticed climbing long hills in PA there seemed to be a slight pulsation in the tires; that would be from alignment variation due to additional pull changing the toe. The platform is very sensitive to tires, but I think also to alignment issues. My car is 03 LeSabre. The service manager said problem is partly due to light mass on wheels, aluminum parts for suspension and wheels themselves, which react easily to slight variations in the tire force.

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

  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    Very quiet here. Maybe that's a good thing?

    Took the '00 SSEi on a 100-mile joy ride last evening, been a long time since I've done that. Windows and roof open, closest I can get to a top-down driving experience. She cruises effortlessly down the interstate at 80 mph, very stable and with plenty of power in reserve. HUD is great, especially at night. Comfy seats. I've sat in better seats, but most cars are much worse. Good sound system. Nice and loud. Wish I had XM in the Bonnie, had to settle for CDs and FM (the horror!).

    The trip began with a fill-up. The DIC announced my range was only 230 miles. I figure this was due to the short trips I've been making recently. After a half-hour of barrelling down the interstate, it had worked it's way up to 490 miles (and that's after I had burned a gallon of fuel). This seems right, since it shows an instantaneous MPG of 27 to 30 MPG on the flats, but I only get 19-20 on average around town.

    The vibration problem persists, of course. At 75, it phases in and out very nicely on about a 15-second period. At 80, it's is barely noticeable, but between 55 and 75 is it worst. She also pulls very slightly to the right. When I pointed this out to the dealer, they said, "Yeah, but only if you take your hands off the steering wheel." Thanks a lot.

    Had to add another cup of coolant to the recovery tank (almost empty when cold). This is the third time over the past 12,000 miles. Wonder where it is going.

    I was reading some of the consumer ratings here at for the 2003 Bonnevilles. One guy claims his SE is the "world's best car ever!" I wouldn't go THAT far, but the Bonnie does rock. Here's what I like about it:

    PROS: Big American sedan. Lots of kick. Love-it-or-hate-it looks. Comfortable for four. Big trunk. Sleeper (just ask those Mustang drivers ;-) Cool gadgets. Cool cockpit.

    CONS: Cheap feeling/looking plastic parts. Suspension too sensitive to imbalances (vibration). Not a "world-class car" for it's price. Almost no aftermarket support. Almost no consumer support. On the verge of being killed off by GM. Very sad.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    Loss of coolant? Look at the backside of the gasket on the plastic plenum on top next to the throttle body to see any stains orange brown from the coolant...
    Is yours in the recall for sealant and bolts on throttle body? Did they put sealant pellats into the coolant. That might be enough to seal up a leak, if there is one.

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

  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    The supercharger plenum is not composite. No recall that I'm aware of. It's going somewhere, but not there.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I got my car back on Friday after the dealer performed the coolant leak recall. Having had the upper intake manifold replaced at 17000mls, I expect/hope not to see any coolant on my garage floor again.

    I also asked them to balance the wheels. The infamous vibration between 65 and 70MPH is almost gone, but still there. I'll take it back in the hope that they zero out the tolerances...

    What was the TSB that described this issue?

  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    The latest iteration of the vibration TSB is 00-03-10-007E, April 2003. This is version 'E', which would make it at least the fifth. Each has been a little different. At rev 'B' I think they began suggesting screened tires because the OEM tires may have been bad (only for 17" tires and only for the first 12,000 miles/12 months). At one point they suggested checking the stud runout, but that has since been removed from the TSB. The latest rev has a new one: replace the lower control arms. I hadn't heard about this before.

    "On Aurora, Bonneville, DeVille, Park Avenue, Park Avenue Ultra and Seville models, a newly developed hydro-bushing lower control arm with improved damping characteristics has been released. The new lower control arms may provide an incremental improvement to the vehicle ride. Customers who have become "tuned in" to the shake condition may still feel some shake in the vehicle after the new lower control arms are installed."

    Lower control arm part numbers are P/N 25746324-Left and P/N 25746325-Right.

    It's worth noting that I drove a rented '02 SE from Orlando to Atlanta and it had the same vibration as my '00 SSEi. Different tires and wheels - same shake.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    In your list of cars affected by the latest bulletin, was LeSabre in
    the list?

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

  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    TSB 00-03-10-007E covers the following models:
    1998-2003 Buick Park Avenue, Park Avenue Ultra
    2000-2003 Buick LeSabre
    1998-2003 Cadillac Seville (SLS, STS)
    2000-2003 Cadillac DeVille (DTS only)
    2001-2003 Oldsmobile Aurora
    2000-2003 Pontiac Bonneville (17" Tires only)

    Curiously, LeSabre is not among the vehicles listed for the lower control arm replacement. This replacement is the last step in the TSB, if all else fails (balancing, wheel runout, radial force variation and then screened tires). There is no exception noted, so perhaps this was an oversight? I don't see why LeSabre would not be included. On the other hand, the fact that they enumerated all the vehicles but LeSabre makes me think they excluded it on purpose. The text reads:

    8. Replace both lower control arms (P/N 25746324-Left and P/N 25746325-Right) on Aurora, Bonneville, DeVille, Park Avenue, Park Avenue Ultra and Seville models."
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    This board is so dead I traded my SSEi in for a Denali. Guess I'll haunt the Yukon board. A little more action there. This seems to have run its course. Yes, my pulley puller is for sale.
    Best to all. Rod...Ice, I've seen you on the GTO board...I'll be watching you.
  • I guess I have maybe just been lucky. I have a 2003 SSEI with 10k miles on it. Just ran 1,500 miles through Kansas and Colorado over the Rockies, and it was smooth as glass all the way--no vibrations at any speed up to 85. I put aftermarket wheels on right after I got it, kept the original Goodyear RSA's, and had them balanced by the Hunter road force system.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Greetings to all

    It's been a long time since my last visit here and thought I'd pop in to say Hello and see what's the discussion topic these days.

    I still have my 00 SE model - with 84K on it now. It's still a great car and has been extremely reliable. Time for a tune-up soon and before winter hits I'll need tires again. I see some paint blistering aong the leading edge of my hood and with all the stone chips from highway driving the front end is looking a bit battered these days. She's still smooth and responsive so no telling how long she'll be around. I expect to pass her down to my kids in a couple years when they start to drive. Before that happens I may pick up an Aurora 4.0 for myself as a replacement ride. 2001s and 2002s with low miles are a steal.

    Best wishes to all.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi Ken, nice to see you again. :)
  • Nice to hear your still hanging around this board.
    I was just thinking that its been over 3 years since we had that little mini-meet at the Rockaway Mall (NJ).with our BRAND NEW 2000 BONNEVILLE'S. It is true, time really flys by!!
    Even though I traded in my 2000 for the 03 Grand-Prix- there have been times that I wish I still had the 2000 Bonneville. I know i've said it a few times on this board and the Grand-Prix board also that i still prefer my 98 SSE to the 03 Grand-Prix- (trading in the 2000- the price I paid to have lower car payments and still have a NEW VEHICLE.)


  • avuxavux Posts: 12
    Ok, I give up. Now tell me where the PCV valve is on my 93 SSE. Pleaseeeee.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    My 3800 93 had the PCV on the belt side of the engine right up against in the intake
    manifold... if I remember right. I was a vertical pipe area against the intake manifold with a cap on top. It does not look like they used to look. It had a 1 1/2 inch
    plastic top that had to be twisted hard to turn it to take off the cover. I think I had to push
    down to get it to turn as I twisted. The new GM PCV seemed just like the old one.

    Hope someone else can be clearer. I'm doing this from memory since I did that years ago
    at 90K. Traded the car at 155 K 'cause my wife wanted the new 03 in Crimson Pearl (LeSabre)
    and the old car wasn't good. Ran Fine.

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

  • avuxavux Posts: 12
    Thanks for your reply,
    I have seen that tube and cap but didn't want to break it when I tried to remove it. I'll work on it tomorrow, Thanks again.
  • October 2003

    • October 3-5, 2003, 2003 Pontiac/ Oakland/GMC Western Regional, Long Beach, CA. Sponsored by the Southern California Chapter of POCI at the Long Beach Mariott in Long Beach, California. For more information, contact: Chuck Abbott 949-362-1477; e-mail:, or visit:

    • October 4, 2003, Pontiac-Oakland- GMC Trucks Show,Thornton,CO. Sponsored by the Colorado Chapter of POCI at Grand Auto, 2000 W.104th Avenue, Thornton, Colorado. Rain date October 11th. For more information, contact: Mike 303-708-9715 (evenings); e-mail:, or Bill Colburn 303-650-4663.

    • October 5, 2003, 24th Annual All Pontiac-Oakland Car Show, Bogota, NJ. Sponsored by the Garden State Chapter of POCI at Sifford Pontiac-GMC, 250 W. Fort Lee Road, Bogata, New Jersey. For more information, contact: Steve Kiellar 201-652-5651 or Greg Pavan 973-471-5619.

    • October 11, 2003, 16 Annual Drag Race Fun Day, Cordova, IL. Hosted by the Blackhawk Chapter of POCI at Cordova Dragway Park (CDP), Cordova, Illinois. For more information, contact: Dean 309-797-4985 or 309-788-7636; e-mail:

    • October 11, 2003, POW WOW at the Beach, Myrtle Beach, SC. Spon- sored by the Palmetto Chapter of POCI. Held at the Nascar Cafe in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. For more information, contact: Linda Bray 803-957-0481; e-mail:

    • October 12, 2003, 8th Annual All Pontiac Show, Houston, PA. Presented by the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of POCI in conjunction with Houston1s Pumpkin Festival. For more information, contact: Joe Wheat 412-922-0616 (9 a.m.-5 p.m. M-F), or Pete Rust 412- 833-1441 (after 5 p.m.).

    • October 19,2003, 3rd Annual All Pontiac-Oakland-GMC Show, Greenbelt, MD. Hosted by the National Capitol Area Chapter of POCI at Capitol Pontiac-GMC, Greenbelt Road in Greenbelt, Maryland.For more information, call: John Gott 410-604-2577.

    • October 26, 2003, 3rd Annual All- Pontiac Halloween Car Show, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Sponsored by the Hurricane Chapter of POCI at Pines Pontiac-GMC-Buick in Pembroke Pines. For more information, call: 305-648-0623, email: POCIHurricane@ATT.Net, or visit:
  • Went to the dealer last week for an oil change and while I was waiting, I went to take a look to see how many Bonnevilles were in stock. There were 22 2003 models available and a few more used models as well. I would like to see Pontiac advertise a bit more on selling the Bonneville but it seems their focus is more on the Grand Prix.

    Hope everyone can get out and enjoy the fall weather and treat one's Bonneville to some nice road trips.........sxb
  • Who can recommend a good snow tire for the Bonny. It seems 18" snows are few and far between.
  • Correction: 17" not 18".
  • I may consider the lower control arm replacement since my '00 Bonneville SSEi has been vibrating for years. But only after I replace the front wheel bearing that is in the process of going($500 est) and also the stability control system sensor($200 est), which keeps making the SCS system cut-out and flash "service SCS system: on the diagnostic system.
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    After driving my new Denali for about 3 weeks, I can honestly say that I don't miss the ssei at all. My wife and I bought twin Yukons and neither of them have been near the dealership's service dept. The ssei practically lived in the shop. It made at least 20 visits for various reasons. They never did get all the rattles and squeaks out of it. The main reason I got out of it was questionable reliability. Front end problems, (steering) hoses, leaks, computer, DIC, sunroof, and heated seats 3 times. Not to mention the worst stereo I've ever had. There were good times when she was clean and whatever god controls the rattles smiled on me, but those times, I'm sorry to say were the exception rather than the rule. It did look nice, but when a car has that radical of a style, it tends not age well. BTW...I did drive a GTP before closing on the Denali. It was under powered, the radio was bad, and the interior was boy racer with a funky knob on the console for the HUd...tacky. I'm glad I didn't wait on the GXP. It would have been more of the same. I'd have to give the ssei a D- at best. It reminded me of GM cars from the mid 70's reliability and build quality wise. At least I didnt have to deal with the intake manifold insanity...Pontiac, back to the drawing board.
  • Hello all!

    I'm brand new at this and I hope you can help me.

    I have a 2002 chevrolet sedan with 29k. There's nothing wrong with it.

    I was attracted recently to a 2003 pontiac bonneville at a local dealer with 22k. It's an SE model and very clean. The dealer is asking 16,900 for it.

    I have never owned a pontiac and know nothing much about them. You guys seem to be real pontiac enthusiasts with much knowledge.

    Should I trade? Will I be improving myself enough
     to warrant the cost of trading?

    Please advise me and tell me what you might know about the bonneville and the differences beteen the two vehicles.

    Thanks a million, and I'll await your replies!
  • Saw this posted on another board (sorry Edmunds, we do stray).
    Base Price $35,995 with destination. Options are the same as the '03 SSEi it looks like. HUD $325, Heated Seats $295, 12 Disc $595, Sunroof $1,100 and the two new ones, XM $325 and Tri-coat paint $750.
  • Where did you find those prices??
  • -one of the regular posters there works for a chain that includes a Pontiac dealership.
  • Man, this board is moribund...

    Fishing, if it's not too late, I put 225-55-17 (V-rated) Nokian WRs on my '00 Bonneville a year ago and they were amazing and they've worn exceptionally well (20k miles on them already and they're still quite grippy). Easily the best all-season you can go with. Great in snow, excellent on ice and wet, decent on dry. Unfortunately, they didn't come in a 235-55-17 when I bought last year - but the 225 doesn't make that much of a difference. Don't forget: the Bonnie isn't exactly a slalom car.

    If, however, you prefer dedicated winter tires, I don't have any personal experience to share but I'd consider the Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3 or Blizzaks. These are both really good snows - from what I've heard and read.

    Here's a link to an article on the Nokians:
  • Learned a new word today, thanks ice. I'll try to help.

    My 01 SLE has 30K. The stock RS-As are wearing well, but have dryrot around the rim and in the tread area. Never seen this so early. Anyway, they completely suck in the rain lately and suspect will not do well in the snow. I don't want to commit to a second set of winter tires and am thinking of purchasing Dunlop Sport A2s. Good ratings from Consumer reports and good reviews from Tirerack.

    Hoping that owners that have already replaced their tires could reply with the brand and driving characteristics. Thanks.
This discussion has been closed.