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Pontiac Bonneville Electrical Problems

chef5chef5 Member Posts: 2
edited July 2018 in Pontiac
My 98 bonneville has frequently been stalling on me. It mostly happens when I first start the car up, or when I put the car in park after driving. But this week it happened to me while I was driving. When I try to restart the car it won't restart, but the weird thing is the windows won't work either. All the other electrical items in my car will work, except the windows. After playing around with the window switches for 5-10 minutes, the second the windows work the car will start. Once the car starts the check gauges light goes off. I have brought the car to my local pontiac dealership three times. The first time they said my battery cables were stripped. A week later it did it again. The second time I brought it in they said it was the pvc valve, but again it stalled. The third time they said they couldn't find anything wrong with it. I'm very frustrated. Anybody have any idea what could be causing this.


  • jeffbogjeffbog Member Posts: 63
    I used to own a Bonneville and read this forum often. Your problem sounds similar to others reported months ago. If I recall, it had something to do with a bad body ground. I believe it was near the firewall (inside) or near the floor (under the carpet) on the driver side (front). Check back a few months in this forum and you'll probably find more detail.
  • decemberdecember Member Posts: 7
    I have that exact same problem,my windows don't work also my power seats don't work either.Did you find the problem???
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    In some other discussions one place to start is all the connections for power and grounds in engine compartment. You have the double positive connector at the battery. Take that off (remove negative first) and clean up connection in both layers of washer-like contacts. Look for signs of battery acid leaking around the side post on the battery and getting into the cable and dissolving it internally. Check grounds on motor and fenders (frame); loosen, clean and tighten. Then reconnect negative ground at battery.

    Check large fuses in Maxicenter also (relay center on firewall above motor). Remove, wiggle, etc., to ensure contact is good.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    I am experiencing the same with my 95. When it stalls I cannot use the power seat, power windows, power locks and interior lights. The funny thing is that the defroster button will lite when I try to use these. If I play with these for a while I can get the car to restart. A sure fire way it will stall each time is just to put the defroster on and sure enough, 5 seconds later the car stalls and won't restart. My mechanic has given up, he can't find the problem! He only says it may be a rely problem! Help!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    One thing is to check the ground blocks for moisture damage. Are you in a climate where water gets carried in or leaks in?

    There's one by the driver's left foot by the emergency brake in the left kick panel. There is one under the carpet by the driver's door, between the door and the seat. There's on on the passenger side also. I'd start with the one by the emergency brake.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    Actually mine is a 95, but I imagine 98 is probably similar. I have had the car a little over two months and it is in great shape. It has 187,000 miles and has a lot of new items. It runs and drives like new! When I first got it there was a massive leak that had water entering the trunk and flowing into the passenger compartment. I found the leak, rear tail light area and fixed it. I suspect that these ground areas are damaged. Seems to be a common problem. I will be investigating this and correcting in the morning! Thanks!
  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    Well I found only two grounds in the passenger compartment. One by the parking brake and one in the upper right corner of the front passenger side. None by the two front seats. I unscrewed them and sanded the surfaces and connections. These seemed in good shape. Found two in the trunk and did the same, they seemed ok. Did three under the hood and these had some white deposits on them. Sanded them down and put them back. Well it seems for now the problem is gone! Power seat works without quiting as well as power windows and locks. The sure fire killer was putting on the rear defroster. Well I put it on for several minutes and the car kept running(usually only a few seconds would kill it). I'll keep my fingers crossed as I hope I solved this problem. Thanks! Rob
  • haropharop Member Posts: 59
    Azu, I have a 95 also with 160K. Just put new struts(Monro Sensa-trac) and tires(Michelline HidroEdge) and runs like a dream, well compared to latast model, 2000-2005, which I test drove for 6 month to find one. Finally gave up, hence new struts and tires.
    If you have a sunroof, please let me know, because your leak problem could be something else and I can help.
  • haropharop Member Posts: 59
    Azu, could you please decsribe the locations of the grounds you found more specifically. I cannot find them.
    I found all 3 under the hood, one on the battery side, and two on the other side. Please tell if these are the ones
    you found under the hood. Also, please help me to find the other 4, two in the trunc and 2 in the cabin I think.
    Appriciate you help,
  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    Well it has been several weeks and no problems, so it is safe to say I corrected the problem. The three under the hood are as you described. In the trunk the two grounds I found are behind the trim by the wheel wells. In the cabin they are under the carpet, one up by where the parking brake pedal would sit when applied and another in the same exact location but on the front passenger side. All but the ones under the hood looked ok. One in the truck however had the end piece of the ground contact touching the wheel well, so that could have been the problem. Under the hood all the ground contacts had a layer of white powdery oxidation film. I'm sure this was causing some problems. I just don't understand why my local garage could not find this, but I could? Thanks to this forum I had the knowledge to fix it. As far as the water leak goes it has been corrected. One of the rear light lenses only had one working bolt and since it wasn't sealed water flowed like wine. A bit of black silcone sealer took care of it. The other minor leak was around the power antenna. A little black silcone did the trick. Thanks again and good luck with your Bonnies! :)
  • clvjacksonclvjackson Member Posts: 2
    When I start my car all of the guages jump around, the only ones that are accurate are the speedometer, and the techometer, the other guages, and the compass are all off, and there is a bing bing bing warning sound that goes off about every ten mins. can somebody tell me wut the problem may be?
  • stewcstewc Member Posts: 12
    Try resetting your computer. Unhook your battery for 30 secs, then reconnect it. And start the car.
  • clvjacksonclvjackson Member Posts: 2
    nope still no good
  • stewcstewc Member Posts: 12
    Is your "Check Engine Light", or "Service Engine Soon" light on? If so, take to your nearest AutoZone, or other Auto Parts Store that can run a computer test to see what it is.
  • jentwonjentwon Member Posts: 1
    hi everyone, i have a 02 bonneville, i went to go to work the other morning and all 4 of my power windows didnt work, my power mirrrors dont work as well as the power door lock,,, this is hard for me to understand, i dont really have any body that can physically help me figure this problem out, so i came on this board,,,,,

    went to an auto parts store, he checked the circuit breaker for power windows, he said it was fine, then we replaced an accessory relay,, that didnt fix it,,

    call dealership they said there is a 10 and 15 amp that could be replaced to solve the problem he didnt have any idea where they went though, front fuse box or back,,,,,

    then he said its probably not all these fuses going out at one time it could be a 700.00 body module?? dont know what that is

    any way i need some guidance into what i can do on my own, or what might really be the issue here,,,

    thank u all so much
  • klsumpterklsumpter Member Posts: 1
    I have had my 01 bonneville for about a year and a half, and the tire pressure lights keep coming on since about a month after i got it. we check the pressure and most of the time they are ok, and when they are low, i reset it and a week or so later it comes back on. I also have a problem with my air bag light that comes and goes. Some days it will be there, some days it wont. And my check gauges light comes on all the time. I figure there is something wrong with the electrical system since all these lights are coming on. I wanted to take it in to get it fixed, but if its something simple, I don't want to pay out the [non-permissible content removed] for it which my husband had to do on his car not too long ago. Any suggestions would be so helpful!
  • tchicktchick Member Posts: 1
    Hi, new to the forums here. I have a problem with my dashlights. I turn on my headlights and have no daslights aswell as no lights on the radio and climate control. My dim dosen,t seem to work eithier. Help please and thak you.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    I checked another discussion where I thought I had seen strange dash problems mentioned for Bonnevilles. I found someone talking about fuse tightness and connections in the fuse box that's under the rear seat. There's a fuse box set under the hood also. Lift up on front of rear seat to get to the battery and fuses and some relays under there.

    I believe I've heard mention of connection on the hot wire needing tightened in a discussion of 000 and up models. I have a Lesabre 03 and I note those in case they happen to my car.

    Are you resetting the tires after you've equalize the pressure and are rolling at moderate speeds? There may be something funny with the wheel speed sensors there that also apply to the ABS and Traction Control readings for the computer.

    Airbag circuits I'd be afraid of.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • clarkttclarktt Member Posts: 2
    my daughter has a 93 bonne that she overheated after the water pump went bad .didnt redline the temperature,and she drove it home.replaced the waterpump,went to start it but woulndt start.have fuel pressure,but no spark.changed crank shaft sensor ,looked melted.changed ignition control module,started right up.drove the car for 30 miles,parked it .the next day would crank but wouldnt start.noticed chime going off and acting weird now that it doesnt start.didnt notice that before.put a test light on 1 of the injector electrical plugs to see if i was getting power,flashes 1 time when you fiest try to start and then nothing.should i be looking at the chime module,keypass module,theft detterent module,or body control will crank but shuts the injectors off.why is the chime acting weird.i have power to the ignition control module which i know is good.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    Odd chimes and behaviors may be a sign to check the battery. Low voltage causes strange things. Some batteries look good but have connection problems at the double positive cable. Check for corrosion. Take it off, and clean both parts. Look into the plastic covering for signs battery acid has eaten down into the cable region of the copper. Check connection by retightening at fender and motor grounds and power leads. Remember you're dealing with hot wires unless you remove that positive lead from the battery while you do this.

    The grounds inside the car may be giving trouble causing dashboard oddities. There are ground buses under the carpet at the drivers seat next tot he door and same for passenger. There are connectors that have grounds plug into them to share the ground and they corrode from water getting into that area from getting in and out. There also is aground connection in the A pillar by the parking brake; I've never seen mine.

    The keypass module should turn on the security light when you turn the key to on. If you leave it there after about 5 seconds the security light goes off. If the light is flashing when you turn the key, the unit didn't read the right resistance in the key pellet. The car will not crank for 3-4 minutes.

    You will have dash lights when you turn the key, but there will be no start ( and no injectors and ignition spark).

    Otherwise your unit is probably okay. Sounds like you get the starter cranking.

    If you email I can suggest other help if you haven't already found the problem. Email is in profile; click on my name in header to read profile. But PasskeyI isn't it, the way it sounds.

    Try jumping the battery with cables from another battery after you check those on the car itself. The extra voltage/amps might make it start telling you there's a problem in a cable or connection at lower ampere supply.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • akaspariakaspari Member Posts: 2
    no audio out of my speakers after totally draining battery and getting it jumped. Dealer said it should show LOC since my 2001 Bonneville has theft protection. I said everything including preset stations are there, but no sound. Not even the bell for doors open, or key in ignition. Checked many fuses not one found bad. miss my!
  • sturgischicsturgischic Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know anything or have a problem with the gas gauge and temp gauge not working. My gas gauge occasionally goes clear past full or sometimes completely empty. Now within the last 2 weeks I put a thermostat in my car, it was overheating (so the gauge said) and it keeps pegging clear over to the red box on the very hot reading. Now today a few of my lights on my dash quit working? Does anyone think it could be my instrument cluster going bad or does anyone know of these things happening to others? I really do not think it was overheating actually but how do you know for sure? The gas gauge will eventually read correct but it is random.
  • awu10awu10 Member Posts: 1
    I have this problem happened once a few months ago. On last Saturday, I came home and got stuff unloaded from the trunk, when I closed the trunk, I heard the door locked and unlocked several times, just like someone pressed the keyforb. I ignored this instance and went to the house. When I came out to the car after more than one hour, the car lights were still on. I opened the door and closed it again, the light went off. On sunday morning, when I was get ready to leave house, I found the battery was completely dead. So I opened the hood, the head light clicked on and off crazy. At this moment, the key was not in the car or the keyforb was pressed. I charged the battery until full. I drove to the road, I didn't find any problem. I decided to turn in to the dealer. When I drove to the dealer a few miles away. When I was driving, the door in drive's side was clicked from lock to unlock. A few seconds later, the door behind drive seat was clicked as well. The car was driven and tested by the repair shop technician today. So far, they haven't find any problem yet.

    Any suggestion?

    Thank you
  • crite25crite25 Member Posts: 1
    i believe my problem is the factory security system, if anyone knows how to bypass it that would be great. my problem, when i turn the key nothing. all electrical components work. replaced the battery, starter, battery cables (cleaed all connections), misc relays, and checked the ignition switch. the starter has 2 wires, the battery wire, and a purple, the purple should get power in the start position, it does not. at the ignition switch it does. i can jump the selenoid to start it, but it will only run for less than 5 seconds and turn off. im almost certain its the security system. the security light comes on when trying to start it. pleeeeeeeease help me im going crazy!!!!!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    I believe I've read about the lock sensor on the trunk lid being the most likely to cause problems with a security system. I believe the temporary fix is to disconnect it completely at a connector close to latch.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • akaspariakaspari Member Posts: 2
    Found solution (no thanks to dealer). Dealer said it's the radio, $100 to take it out and send it out for testing (of course added costs). Car Toys looked into problem, found out that the amplifier was working but for some reason it wasn't getting the signal to turn on. Car Toys re-wired my amplifier to ignition switch as easiest and least expensive solution and $72 later I've got my sound system back! Thanks Car Toys!
  • foxymousefoxymouse Member Posts: 1
    My 1994 Bonneville will not start. I have replaced the starter, crank sensor, ignition switch and checked all fuse wires. Does any have any idea what might be the problem. I am about to lose my mind trying to find out what the problem is.
  • brownzfanbrownzfan Member Posts: 1
    have not had sound to rear speakers since buying 95 bonnie 3 years ago. was ok with it..figured radio was ready to dump. just put new stereo in it and still no sound to back speaker. put rear lead into front lead,...which i know work. still no sound. wiring diagram is useless. any ideas would be greatly appreciated. have checked all fuses etc...sot that's not it . help...PLEASE

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    Are you getting spark? Because of what you've changed I would infer you don't but you didn't really say that.

    A neighbor had a different GM car that had a bad computer. It would run poorly at idle sometimes and roughen above idle and couldn't be driven. Junkyard equivalent computer fixed it. But be sure to diagnose first to avoid wasting money on guesses.

    Are you getting fuel? Does fuel pump run. Push the schrader valve on gas line; does fuel squirt out at high pressure? Use cloth over opening to catch spray.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • twilfongtwilfong Member Posts: 1
    I own a 95 bonnevillle. it has a general misfire under load. new ECU and still same problem as before. seems to run perfect until moderate load applied- seems to be sluggish and power comes in "bursts".
  • enealkenealk Member Posts: 2
    my temp guage went all the way around to pointing straight down and has stayed there ever since and sometimes the gas guage registers less gas than I know is in the tank (since other times it works properly & when it isn't working right it starts by clicking & then stopping in the lower position).
  • peislanderpeislander Member Posts: 2
    I have a 95 SE that all of a sudden has no dash lights at all... interior lights work as do the leds in the door handles but absolutely no light on the dash displays at all... I have looked in the main fuse box and there is no blown fuse there, nor is there a listing for any dash displays... anybody know where the fuse might be for this? I checked the big fuses located under the hood as well and all look good... help?????????
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    Do you have the owner's manual in the glovebox?

    I don't know if your has the panel above the passenger's foot above the hush panel under the glovebox? It may be on the side of the car under the A pillar, i.e.

    If it's the standard dash and all the lights are out... have you tried the knob, lever, that changes the brightness of the dash lights. I am probably suggesting something you already have tried. I recall some headlight switches have had trouble heating and charringplastic connectors on the back of the headlight switch and that might affect the dash ligthts.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • peislanderpeislander Member Posts: 2
    hi there.. no manual.. but I do remember now that you mentioned it that there is another fuse panel on the passenger side under the glove box... all in total there are 3 separate fuse sites, one under the drivers side, the big fuse panels under the hood and the one you just mentioned... I will check that out... thanks for the idea
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    Email me and I can connect you to other help sites for Pontiac. I am a long time lesabre owner. There seem to be unique problems to the Bonneville version and slight differences in things just like where you're having a problem. I don't know how the dimmer is set up for the dash lights, but I just wonder if it is turned all the way off or broke. Email is in profile-read the whole thing.

    Does the radio dial light go bright and dim with the dimmer if it works? Or is it out too?

    My leSabrs were 93, 98, and 03. So I don't have a model near your year. But I can help fix you up.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • pkb_63pkb_63 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Bonneville SE. Is there a fuse for the security system? I have lights blinking on the inside of the car and they won't come on, on the outside of the car, the car just dies for no apparent reason. A guy at the parts store suggested that it might be the security system causing the problem, and thought we could disconnect it. Does anyone know how to do this, and is it a lot of trouble?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    I think you might have a battery problem. The symptoms of lights not working with blinking and strange symptoms might be that.

    The battery itself could be a problem or the cables that connect to the battery and connect to the grounds and other ends of the positive cables could be it. If you have the double cable with one connector on top of the other screwed to the same post those are susceptible to corrosion. Remove them and clean both completely. Look down into the plastic part of the cable. Battery acid has corroded down inside the plastic on some.

    You probably already know this but remember to remove the ground cable first and connect it last to prevent arcing from your wrench on the positive.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • cammy1cammy1 Member Posts: 3
    my information center on my 93 bonnie ssei flickers on and off at times and my guages bounce left and right very fast and get stuck, also my a/c comes on by itself.....can anyone help me with the proplem?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    I had a 93 leSabre for 150K miles. It developed a minor problem where the AC would default to defrost (no electrical control of vacuum doors) and the AC compressor came on which appears to be default when no power was to the programmer (controller) part of the AC. It was a manual system where I selected cold-warm with a lever.

    At the same time the power door locks wouldn't work. This sometimes happened while driving and lasted up to 10 minutes. I rarely if ever happened while sitting in the garage when I first started the car.

    I used my service manuals and figured it was a ground problem. There is a ground buss piece where several grounds connect together at the bottom of the A-pillar, beside the emergency brake and under the carpet. I can show pictures if you want. It seems to be sensitive to moisture being in carpet from getting in and out with snow, rain, on feet.

    Some people have tried stomping to vibrate the connection which is buried under the plastic edging and had the connection work. I learned about this after I joined another forum--I had figured out it was a ground but didn't know where.

    I another discussion there is discussion about DICs not working. Is your car an electronic display speedometer? It might be those pesty circuit boards. Email to my address listed by clicking on my name at the top of this post to see my profile. Read it all to find my email. I'll send you info that may or may not help. Your problem with gauges/DIC could also be the ground. I can post pictures here if you wish.

    Ebay seller of electrical reman stuff

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • cammy1cammy1 Member Posts: 3
    no my guages are not digital(speedom.ect) just my dlock,information cented,and the display of the inside tempeture but yes i would love to see some pics please.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • cammy1cammy1 Member Posts: 3
    well i located it and it looked fine, but i cleaned it off anyway,but it didn't help i still have the same problems. my gauged still still stick and bounce from left to right,and every once and awaile the a/c comes on by itself.....Do u think if i were to replace my instument cluster it would stop?
  • wspfoozerwspfoozer Member Posts: 1
    Hello. So I noticed that one of my reverse lights did not work, and that is located on the trunk not the body. So I replaced the bulb and still nothing. I was in Iowa at the time and just leaving to come home to colorado. Got home and still didn't work. Took it apart and while I was tinkering with the reverse light(drivers side) all my passenger lights went out. 2 tail light and the reverse. So now i have NO reverse lights and no passenger running lights. Lights on the body work still.

    What can I do?

    Wires look good.
    Plug ins look good and secure.
    Bulb sockets are ok shape. Little rust not much.

    Thank you for your time.
  • guzickiguzicki Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I have a 00 bonniville. My door lock and window work only on driver side. The windows and locks on front passenger and both rear do not work. I got in and probed al the wires from the switch and at the window modual. I found all ground down by kick panels those seem to be ok. i have a after market car start I thought maybe that had something to do with it so I followed every single wire to make sure there was not a short. I even unplugged the dumb thing since the remote start is wired into the locks. i have taken every single door panel off. I am going crazy here. I noticed that my fuse box under the car seat , there are 4 fuses that are getting very hot. One is to the cig lighter, the other is ign. 3( whatever that is). The fuse box under the hood, there are fuses very hot in there also ignition 1 ( what ever that is) The switches all the way around do not work the only button that works is the driver door for that door only. Any suggestion I need help.
  • jstieljstiel Member Posts: 1
    I have the exact same problem with my 2002. Haven't been able to find a a solution. I have a driver's door switch assembly coming to see if that will do it.
  • mdeciphermdecipher Member Posts: 9
    Hi, I feel like your long lost twin, down to the after-market remote starter. My mechanic is actively troubleshooting the identical issue in my 00 and I will share with you our findings. Since the car is relatively new to me, I have no prior experience to go on, but other Pontiac's I have owned usually developed a similar problem where the wires came from the body of the car to the door, and eventually developed stress-like fractures. We seemed to have ruled that out now, so it is new territory.
  • mdeciphermdecipher Member Posts: 9
    Mechanic found a problem with wiring that he traced under the front carpet toward middle of floor where there was a bad connector sitting in a indentation in the floor where there was moisture accumulation. He fixed wiring, and drilled a few small holes to allow moisture to drain since it appears that water is piling up here from some undiagnosed leak. This also fixed my passenger side view mirror motor which was also not working.
  • brakeman01brakeman01 Member Posts: 1
    My wife's 2002 windsheild wiper came on by themself and will not go off. I tried disconnecting the battery but that did not help. Any idea where to go from here? The car only has about 12500 mile and is very sheldom out in the rain.
  • nuliphenuliphe Member Posts: 1
    heater blower fan:relay good,power to relay, no power to fan runs intermintly stumped,wires good,a little information will help me a lot thanks
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011


    You probably have a blower control module problem. It is an automatic temp control car? This is where the fellow is pointing on top of the housing for the incoming air for the blower motor which is to the right of his hand. The module is held in by two bolts; it gets cooled by the air flow.

    Access is easier if you take out one or two bolts holding the relay center above the blower unit and raise it. I don't know if he did that in the picture.

    You can double check by supplying power directly to the blower leads from the battery with a fused power wire and keeping it grounded to be sure the blower motor is working.

    The module is available from ADvance auto, junk yards-different ones for different carso-be careful, and,, and another one to price shop online. It's under AC/heating, electrical, usually.

    Troubleshoot it first to be sure it's the problem. They usually fail stuck on and drain the battery running the blower motor after car is turned off. Also fail where they vary with temperature how they act with the blower motor running sort of at very odd speeds for the setting on the dash control...

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

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