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Pontiac Bonneville



  • I too am surprised that major automotive magazines have not shown any interest at all towards the new Bonneville. I guess most of the experts think it is a discounted Cadillac Deville in terms of ride and handling. Pontiac could have made the car interesting if they redesigned the exterior to match the engine and horsepower upgrade. Also they could have put the higher horspower Northstar V8 instead of the base one. 320 sounds a lot better than 275.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    an all new interior would help.

    or, they could have pilfered the entire Aurora interior.

    they did a good job decladding the car and putting a proper engine in it.
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    I've been putting this off for over a year- been replacing anti-freeze gradually every 2 to 3 weeks- about 4 oz.- using Gold Seal Stop Leak which gave me this extra year- thought I had it stopped cause it held up most of the summer- but its starting in again and the system has been pressurized at least three times in the past year and no outward signs of leaking- had new water pump installed also last year.
    I got 2 separate estimates- one from my local mechanic that I've been using for years- $400.00 to $450.00 Approx.- complete-upper and lower replacement- clean-flush engine if necessary, new oil/filer etc. and one from the Pontiac Dealership-that we use for my wife's 2003 Grand Prix. The Dealership's estimate was DOUBLE- around $885.00
    Needless to say- the car goes in this Thursday at my local mechanic's for the repair at the lower cost of $400 to $450.00
    I don't think there is any other engine problems from this as the car is running very well- no overheating- hesitation, starting problems whatsoever.

    I just feel that i've been playing Russian Roulette and based on all the info I've been reading about people needing NEW Engines etc.-I think I pushed the envelope far enough.

    Anyonelse get this fixed recently?
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I got this service performed by the dealer while still under warranty. So far, 13000mls later, so good.
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    What year is your car and what was the mileage on your car when you had this done?
    Just curious. It seems there is no set average in regards to age of the cars, make or mileage. If it has the 3800 Series II engine, sooner or later your going to have a problem
    Mine is a 98 SSE with 85,300 now, but the leaking probably started with around 70,000 to 75,000 on it.-just nursed it this last year.
  • Chuck, how similar is this condition to the one that led to GM's recall last summer of 2000-2003 cars with the 3.8 Series II? In that recall, GM described that they had "learned that the 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 elvel and higer engine temperature."

    In the recall, GM replaced the "engine throttle body fasteners with redesigned fasteners, and added cooling system sealant to the radiator tank."

    According to the letter I received, the recall only applied to 2000 to 2003 MYs. But I wonder if there's a hidden warranty on other cars - particularly if you bought it new. If it's the same root cause, I'd appeal to GM. Incidentally, this recall is good until July 31, 2005 and GM has a deadline of July 31st, 2004 for claims for work that had been paid for prior to the recall.

    You might also be interested in these links:
    -On line petition: GM should recall faulty Intake Manifold Gasket installed in their vehicles
    -Reviews - this link has a suggestion that, if you replace this other than at a dealer, get an aftermarket one - because the replace plastic manifold is, in many people's opinion, equally bound to go.

    -Automotive forum - this one refers to an aftermarket kit.

    -service technician's perspective on plastic parts

    The problem isn't on the SSEi because it doesn't use the composite plastic manifolds on the supercharged engine.

    55k miles on the '00 SLE, 35k miles on the '01 GP GT - just had the service done in November on both cars and experienced no leaks before or since. Will be watching tho'...

  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Chuck - I had mine done under the recall program last fall - didnt take more than an hour to do the work while I took out a new SSEi for a road test! I had about 90K at the time. We're up to 95K now with no leaking. Yes I had noticed some a long time ago - maybe 2 yrs ago but nothing really for the last year and a half. I wonder - as part of the fix - do they drain and replace the coolant? I didn't think to ask at the time.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    I read the earlier links and post about replacement manifolds. Mine was replaced at 75K. Does using Green antifreeze instead of dexcool actually help? Is it too late to change? I didn't realize the replacement might have the same problem.

    I have a '98 3800.

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

  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I have an '02 SLE and it failed at 17000mls.

    The issue up to '98 was different than '99 and on.

    Dexcool has nothing to do with it though, as it doesn't with global warming, WMDs, sperm whales, etc. :-)
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    theiceman: It may or may not be the same problem with leaking gaskets but Gm I think separated it into 2 separate issues.- First : by only allowing for vehicles from 2000 on out and by fixing/changing fastners,adding sealant etc- not actually changing the upper/lower manifold gaskets, etc for vehicles prior to 2000- GM is still in denial that there is anything wrong.
    I did not buy the car new and only took out an extra 6 month warranty back in 2002- so it looks like i'm biting the bullet on this one but its still better than not having it done and then having the coolant ruin your engine and really have to pay big bucks as some less fortunate owners then I have had happen to them already.
    I know there are class action suits against GM on this but its really a shame that GM still denies they designed this wrong and should make amends.

    Ken: I had the same service recall done on my wife's 2003 Grand Prix GT.- I could be wrong here but I do not believe that they completely drained/replaced the entire coolant system- I think they just put in different fastners, added a radiator sealant and re-added any fluids that were low.
    Ken, remember my white 2000 Bonneville SE I had,
    now that I think about it, I was adding a little bit of coolant on occasion but never worried about it
    as it had only around 35,000/40,000 miles on it
    when we traded it in for the Grand Prix.
    There probably was a leak on it but I never gave it a second thought at the time.

    Evandro: You are right- GM is treating this as two separate issues. 2000 and newer for the voluntary recall etc and prior to 2000- no help for anything.

    Imidazo197: I've heard both pro and con for changing the coolant from Dex-cool back to the Green. A former Service Manager at a Pontiac Dealership told me once that Dex-cool was bad and caused clogs/corrosion etc.and not to wait the 5years or 150,000 miles to have the system flushed etc.
    I think I also read somewhere that its almost impossible to make sure that all of the Dex-cool is out before you switch and because if it isn't it can contaminate the regular green anti-freeze as they don't/can't mix. I need help guy's/girls on verifying if this is true or not- I really don't know for sure.
    I'm not going to change mine back to Green. I could be wrong here but I have not had any overheating problems/radiator problems
    etc because of the Dex-cool so when the job is done this Thursday I'm having them replace with the Dex-cool.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    FWIW, I used a permanent marker to... mark the coolant level on the expansion tank. As I park the Bonneville always at the same side of the garage (the water heater robs space from the other side), it's easy to check if there's been any change in the coolant level every Saturday morning.

    17000mls after a new intake manifold, the level has been the same for about 5000mls since the recall.
  • begins Feb. 16th with shipments to start on Feb 27th.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Michael - I just took another look at your site after the suggestion from Ice and really enjoyed the link to the 1958 Bonneville - arguably one of the most attractive GMs ever produced. Also took a gander at the stats and demographics for Bonneville owners - no wonder I feel so much at home in my car! lol

    Sure do hope to be heading your way next month. The temps have moderated from the deep freeze but it's a lonnnnnnnngg time till spring here and more dreaded 'wintry mix' is headed our way tomorrow!
  • Yup, headed here too. From the States IIRC. As I said before, Ken, bad weather always comes from somewhere else... >:)
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    In Texas we call them "another Northern aggression." :-D
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    Going to take your idea on marking the recovery tank!
    Just got the car back this afternoon- Total Cost $492.17
    Upper and lower intake manifold gaskets/replace anti-freeze/ oil/filter/water temp switch and 5 hours of labor! NO COOLANT CONTAMINATION!
    Upper manifold gasket was the problem area.- no sludge/gunk/ coolant in engine compartment.
    Engine clean and running strong!
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Our Bonneville is going to get it's first exposure to Fla sun in March! We're planning to drive to Naples for a week's vacation mid month. My MIL has agreed to stay with the kids so this is an 'adults only' vacation! WooHoo!!!

    Turns out all the cheap air fares are long gone for that week so we'll do the 1700 mile roadtrip which is fine with me. I may even let my wife drive a while - perhaps even more than the 100 miles she drove on the same trip last April!
  • 1700 Mile road trip. Good time to pickup one of the satellite radio options out there.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Hmmm - there's an idea. I'll have to look into that. Does anyone else here have this in their car already?
  • I have factory XM Radio in my '03 SSEi. It and a few CD's are all I listen to anymore except when the weather gets bad--then I listen to local radio for latest weather info.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    Last March, I picked up a Delphi SkyFi and signed up for XM Radio through GMFamilyFirst (my mother-in-law recently retired from GM - until '97, she worked at the Lake Orion plant, assembling Bonnevilles, Auroras, Lesabres, and Rivieras :-). I quickly got the boombox for work, and move my SkyFi (modular receiver) between my car and my desk. I love it, and listen to it all day. Regular radio? Can't stand it (sped up songs, the same songs over and over, 15 minutes of commercials per hour, I lose interest/it annoys me).

    My wife was a DJ for many years ("Renee Andrews" in mid-Michigan :-) until we got married, and even she loves XM. I installed a second SkyFi cradle in her car in September for a road trip, and it was awesome listening to tunes while traveling. When we got stuck in traffic in Chicago, we turned on the comedy channels to lighten the mood. She liked it so much that I didn't get my SkyFi back, until I bought her a Roady for Christmas. I've converted several family members and co-workers to XM. Especially now that the music channels have no commercials, it's awesome - the sound quality, the music selection (I'm a big 80's music fan/buff), and the variety of channels - it's worth the $10/mo. to me (that's less than the cost of one CD, or a little more than eating lunch out).

    For anyone who spends a lot of time alone in the car, it's highly, highly recommended.

    whose 12-CD changer in his Aurora hasn't been used in months
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Guess I'll take a look. My own daily commuting listening habits are less for music and more for political talk radio but it will be interesting to find out what is offered. Certainly for road trips the music is more desirable.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    I recently put the Delphi XM Roady into my SSEi. I've had XM in the Tahoe for almost two years, and it rocks, especially on road trips. No more static, fade or small town radio (you know, the kind where you hit SCAN and it goes all the way around before coming back to the one and only station it can receive). Plays through the cassette player, sounds awesome, almost as good as CD to my ears. The only thing XM doesn't have that I miss: NPR Morning Edition (oh, and Car Talk, of course ;-). But I can get that locally anyway...
  • Just wanted to comment on GM's recall on the intake manifold gasket. I took the Bonnie in for the warranty and the leaking occurred after the warranty work was done. After smelling the antifreeze coming through heating ducts and seeing the leaking occur after coming home one day, I had the dealer do it again. It seems a shame that this occurred with only 16700 miles on the 2001 Bonnie (helps walking to the train station and then going into town). Will watch to see if the repair on the warranty work holds.
    I did checkout the Philly Auto Show last Sunday and after seeing the V8 Bonnie, how hard would it be to place that in 2000-2003 cars? Hopefully they don't have a problem with the manifold gasket.

    Although it will be some time before the Affinity tires are replaced, a tire dealer in the Philly area is carrying the Nokian tires that you have on your Bonnie. It seems that those tires have done well for you in Toronto.

    Ken, hope your doing well and when you leave for Florida, I will deliver some cheese steaks to you for your ride down.

  • Pat's or Geno's.
  • How about both Pat's and Geno's? Or Steve's Prince of Steaks in the Northeast.... Cheese fries as well...

    Ken, will you be going through NJ or PA on your trip to Florida? You may see my parent's down in Florida as well since they are leaving at the end of February. If you see a black 1997 Buick Riviera speeding past, it will be them.

    Next Saturday I will be taking the Bonnie up to State College PA to meet up with a friend from Penn State. Should be a nice drive and it has been many years since I was there.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Shoot - I'm gonna miss out on a Philly Cheese Steak in March but maybe I'll get one in April. We decided to fly to Fla in March rather than drive despite the lack of cheap air fares - in order to prolong the stay there and maximize the relaxation factor. However during April we will be driving the family to Williamsburg Va (in the Suburban) for a week and could take up any offers!
  • I see GXP production start has been moved back a month to mid-March ( there's nothing ominous going on. Guess that means April earliest before any GXP’s arrive in dealerships. My dealer doesn’t know anything about it other than he has three GXP orders in and has heard nothing from GM on their build dates.
  • production started Feb. 16th and shipments are to start Feb. 27th. I saw one on the road today. Looked very nice.
This discussion has been closed.