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Pontiac Bonneville Electrical Problems

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.


  • 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.
  • 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 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,496
    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.

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

  • azuazu 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 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,496
    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.

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

  • azuazu 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 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 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 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 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! :)
  • 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 Posts: 12
    Try resetting your computer. Unhook your battery for 30 secs, then reconnect it. And start the car.
  • nope still no good
  • stewcstewc 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 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
  • 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 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 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,496
    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.

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

  • 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 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,496
    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.

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

  • 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!
  • 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 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
  • 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 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,496
    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.

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

  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,496
    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.

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

  • 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".
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