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Pontiac Bonneville Electrical Problems



  • I'm having trouble with my brake lights (2002 Bonne SE). On my passenger side, the brake lights do not light up when I hit the brake pedal. However, they do light up when I lock/unlock my doors with the key-fob. I checked the fuse under the back seat, everything looks good.

    What is the problem???
  • ltigueltigue Posts: 1
    Just wondering if you found anything on getting this repaired. I have the same problem in my 02 Bonneville. I would appreciate any information.

  • gesepsgeseps Posts: 3
    It's possible that the brake light portion of the bulb is burned out. They are dual element bulbs, one for the general lights (lock/unlock doors) and the other element for braking. If your center light is working with the brakes, your wiring is probably okay. Replacing the bulb is fairly easy. You need to unscrew (3) nuts from inside the trunk which releases the whole lense casing. You can then remove the proper bulb and replace with a dual element bulb (about $5). Good luck.
  • gesepsgeseps Posts: 3
    Did you ever solve the issue with your windows not working? My passenger front and driver (rear) windows are not working. I can hear the relays when I use the switches but the windows don't work. I don't believe it is the motors since they have worked intermittently. Any advice? (other than to sell!!)
  • My passenger front window malfunction was repaired by mechanic who said he found a bad wire under front carpet. I imagine there must be a flowchart somewhere on how to troubleshoot it.
  • noakesnoakes Posts: 6
    2004 Bonneville has lately taken upon itself to lock the drivers door (only) after I have left the car.
    Have had two occurrences of this both times I partially pulled the key from the ignition and got out of the car. When I returned the drivers door was locked - other doors not.

    Any suggestions? Please do not suggest I remove the keys from the ignition, I want to solve the problem and leave the windows down just in case.
  • mmxbassmmxbass Posts: 2
    My '96 Bonneville has the problem where every so often the warning chime comes on indicating that the parking break is on even though is is clearly not on. Sometimes this will remain in this condition for hours at a time and the chime is extremely irritating. Is there a quick and easy way to disable the chime entirely, the chime serves no purpose other than to irritate the occupants of the car. I was considering forcibly ripping the chime module out of the car but I thought I would check to see if there is a simpler and cleaner way to stop the chime first. Oddly the chime seems to share a fuse with part of the ignition system so removal of the fuse is not an option.
  • I have a 1995 Bonniville SSE with 80,000 miles. I have just spent 30 minutes reading all the blogs about electriac problems, but didn't find any like the problem I am having. All of my electrical components appear to be working properly, but something is draining my battery within 8 to 12 hours. My alternater does make a sqeeking noise when running, but momentarly if oil is sprayed inside the wheel. I have had the alternater checked by two mechanics, and they both say that the alternater is good. Attempting to eliminate electrical parts, I unhooked the alternater and starter from the battery, and the next morning the battery was dead. When turned off, there are no lights on, no motors running, nothing that might drain the battery. My battery is new, the terminals are clean, please help me. I will check all the grounds that others written about, hopfully that will help.
  • at times when i am driving my 97 bonneville, if i tap the brakes the speedometer needle will jump and at times the airbag lite comes on then the chime will sound..i have disconnected my abs front sensors to eliminate still happens...i have checked the brake lite bulbs and they are all fine...i am wondering if the brake wight switch may be defective...this is an intermitent does not happen everytime i hit the any ideas??????????
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    Things to think about.

    Contacts inside the dash where different components have electrical contacts like circuit boards in a computer have corroded and are making intermittent contact with vibration from the brake pedal. Try hitting your shoe on things in the area of the brake pedal without using the pedal.

    The contacts in the ground buss at the corner of the A pillar and the floor. It's under the plastic door sill where you lift your foot in and out. Moisture in some climates can corrode the contact for the grounds which all press onto one large multicontact.

    Bad connections at battery cables where two positive cables overlay each other. The corrosion builds between the two contacts. Turn off AC with car running before removing these cables.

    Could be a weak battery.

    Could be a weak alternator or contacts at the alternator.

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

  • my 97 bonneville's fuel guage always reads full, i have changed the sending unit in the tank...i was told this model had an anti slosh relay...if it does could this be my problem?
  • i have a 95 pontiac bonneville and its giving problems starting...i have to try to start it like 10 times sometimes before it starts..and sumtimes can take a really long time to start.....i've been told many things that wud solve the problems like i got the water pump changed, crank system, and today the fuel pump...this car is still giving the same problem!! can sum1 please help me!!! im soooo fed me at ...thanx
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    You need to test for the right combination... fuel, air, spark.

    You don't mention how many miles. Or whether the fuel filter has been changed. So fuel could be a problem. Th fuel pump might not be making enough pressure to squirt fuel through the injectors into a mist that easily fires. That requires good testing. The replacing of the fuel pump requires dropping the tank and is tricky and dangerous because of explosion/fire danger.

    The injectors might not be firing. You can hear them or feel the click when they open while cranking if you tought them. You can take a 194 bulb like the little bulbs used on side markers and taillights that have the two wire leads and put the leads into a connector for the fuel injector and see the bulb flash as the injector is fired.

    You can check for ignition spark by taking a spare spark plug and connecting a spark wire to it while it lies on a metal part of the engine and crank. It should have a good blue spark.

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

  • outside temperature on '02 bonn. shows anywhere from 12- 25 degrees warmer than should. it adjusts after shut down, as it should with warmer underhood temps, but never gets close to accurate. It won't kill me not to have it, but up here in wisconsin der hey, it comes in handy when your out and temps fluctuate around freezing. tried obvious things, such as disconnect power for short time, check harness, etc.
    anyone with same experience?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    Have you simply removed the sensor in front of the radiator and cleaned the connector? From what you're saying it has been doing this for a while--it's not recent with snow or moisture getting into the connector out front?

    You can remove the sensor and measure its resistance at various temperatures. I assume there's a table of proper resistances for various temperatures. It may be in the factory service manual. It's a relatively inexpensive part so depending on how much trouble you're willing to go through it might be easier to replace rather than test.

    The same sensor is $15.98 from plus shipping. I'd get AC/delco ACDELCO Part # 1571823 myself. You could check autoparts stores for a quality brand.


    BUICK LESABRE CUSTOM (1992 - 2005)
    BUICK LESABRE LIMITED (1992 - 2005)
    BUICK PARK AVENUE (1991 - 2005)
    BUICK PARK AVENUE ULTRA (1991 - 2005)
    BUICK RIVIERA (1995 - 1999)
    CADILLAC DEVILLE (1994 - 2005)

    are the models that all use the SAME sensor. Visit a recycling yard. Your odds of getting a sensor (ambient air sensor) would be good.

    Good luck.

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

  • well let me know if you ever find out the problem, mine is doing the same thing.

    i will report my findings as well...

    i have a 98 SE, and one day i thought i blew my starter, so i pepboys said it was my starter, so i replaced it, and my care began running again...

    later, every once and awhile, the car would not start for an hour or hours at end... it would not kick or even try to crank--just the same as when the starter was dead; it would just sit, dead. then later start up powerful like nothing had ever been wrong...

    now, it has basically stopped working... and i think that it was never my starter to begin with...
    when i turn the key, i have on "check gages" light and the "engine" light is on...

    i believe the pressure and everything else is fine... and i plan to get an engine diagnostic as soon as it finally starts back up for me to get it to the car service...

    if anyone has any suggestions, please contact me asap.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    Have you completely checked the ends of the battery cables? If you have the double positive cable, cut the plastic so you can see in between the two. There is a post that corrodes and a spacer that may not make contact. Check the copper wire on each cable to be sure battery acid hasn't corroded down into the copper wiring.

    Then you're down to diagnosing. Checking for power at the starter itself. Then checking for power on the relay terminal on the solenoid when someone turns the key.

    Then you're down to using a cable to supply direct battery positive power to the starter terminal to be sure the car's cable isn't bad. If the starter doesn't work with a direct jump, then you know it's the starter.

    Using a direct cable from battery positive to the starter positive is dangerous because you must not touch the cable to anything a part of the car or you've got a direct short which will cause fire and sparks. But it's the ultimate test.

    BTW has your car been dripping oil from the oil pan where you park it? When I replaced the starter on my 98, the AC Delco rebuild shop asked if it was dripping oil. He said the oil gets in the solenoid and keeps it from making contact.

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

  • Hi, I have a 95 Bonneville and have been having some electrical problems with it. For a long time I did not have any dash board lights but the check engine lights and stuff like that work. I also didnt have any lights on my radio or heating panel. Lately the dash board lights have been working. They came on about 3 weeks ago and have been working with out fail everytime. I went to get into my car tonight and my headlights dont work. I do have dash board lights still. I had a issue with the head lights a few months back but a couple of hours later they worked. Any ideas on to why its doing this? Could it be a fuse or do you think its an electrical issue within the wiring? Can anyone help me out with this? Its really starting to annoy me! Thanks. Any feed back is greatly appreciated!!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    The first place to check is the battery connections, especially the postive battery cable which is double layer on many cars after a certain year. Cut the plastic to check for corrosion between the two positive cables. They are separated by a lead spacer/washer that may flatten and not make good contact after tightening over the years. Check to be sure the copper cable is not eroded away by acid as well near the ends of the cables.

    Check the other ends of the connectors and the ground for the negatives. I suggest retightening them.

    There are ground busses under the door sill plastic and carpet near the A-pillar. Driver's side and passenger side.


    These are wrapped up in tape but still may corrode due to moisture from shoes dragging in snow and rain or open windows for some people.

    Instrument panel connections behind the instruments also may slightly corrode and not make good contact. For certain problems reseating them helps.

    There's no one cure without looking at the factory service manual to follow the wiring to see what shares what connector among your various problems. So I suggest troubleshooting the above suggestions.

    Be sure to turn off your AC with the key ON so it parks its parts before disconnecting anything.

    The only other problem area is a worn ignition switch and the contacts inside don't make good contact on certain connections out of more than one it makes when in ON or RUN. This is the switch, not the lock cylinder at the top. The lock moves a rod that operates the switch which is down on top of the steering column to make it hard to mess with in a theft attempt. Some have reported fixing problems by replacing that but typically it's a shutoff while running which restarts easily. That doesn't sound like what you're getting.

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

  • emh1emh1 Posts: 1
    I have the same problem. Did you ever get it figured out?
  • san77san77 Posts: 1
    The new problem is the front windows, they will not work, they are stuck on up position. The heater/air motor is also going out, so there is not air, no way to get windows down. The back windows back in the winter one at a time, fell, and could not go back up, so they are bolted UP. The Sun roof is broken. I just got a call from our auto mechanic and they said to pick the car up they could not figure the problem out. I know the radio as well used to shut off when the door opens, well it stays on till it desides to shut off. I am going to have to take this to an electical specialist,,,, that is going to be very expensive..I think the car has been a lemon from the start, all the extra's on this car is not working...Windows, Heated seats, sun roof, heater/ air fan motor,
    But with the hot days coming, the car is black with leather seats, no air to circulate gets really hot,,,,,
    Can any one help,,, we checked the fuses,,,,,
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    The blower motor most likely is a poor ground from the motor that barely makes contact. If you can take the motor apart it's at the brushes end. Some people extend it with a copper braid wire. If you kick you foot up against the bottom of the heater case in the middle, does it start working? Or when you hit a bump?

    The windows are controlled by various modules that talk to each other over the network. Do your door locks work? There's a main module in the driver's door that communicates with the other door modules. Some people find a poor connection in a braid of several wires running under the carpet under the middle of the driver's seat area. There's a connection which may corrode.

    There also are several different fuses involved including under the rear seat and under the hood. The radio going off is part of the retained power and someone elsewhere just went through a diagnosis with it. I do not know if it's a part of your problem. I have not diagnosed one of these, but have read several people having done so.

    Your rear window is the regulator which has a slide that moves up and down via a metal cable to move the glass. The metal cable terminates in a plastic part. The supplier gave them several which are defective and break that went into 2000-2002s the way it sounds. People take out their regulator and send them to places on Ebay or other sources which repair and return or do an exchange. I do not recommend Ebay, but sometimes they have what is needed.

    If you set up your carspace email on your carspace page in the upper corner of this page which say's "my carspace" then send me an email at my carspace account which is my username in the title for this post with an at sign and carspace dot com. I'll try to help you find info.

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

  • 02gtpbonn02gtpbonn Posts: 1
    Hi everyone.
    I am a longtime lurker to this great forum and I need your help.
    I just put a 2001 3.8 SC from A Grand Prix GTP in my 02 Bonneville.
    The motor is in and all that is left is the electrical and the front shaft connections.
    I have a few questions and need some help if possible!

    1. We are thinking we need to use the computer for the GTP motor.
    2. The wiring harness( where it plugs into the fuse box, and the connection in the firewall-under the master cylinder is different.) The 02 takes a rectangular plug, and the one on the new motor is round.

    Anyone have any ideas on how to proceed?

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    I found your email, finally. Check your mailbox. Pay special attention to the link about the connection under the front seat that can stay wet and is a junction between the modules in the doors. People have found that doesn't make contact causing things to not work because they can't talk to themodule in the driver's door.

    Good luck.

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

  • tjp4tjp4 Posts: 1
    I'm experiencing the same issue with locks going on and off while driving. Have you heard any reason why?
  • tjacks1tjacks1 Posts: 2
    i cant get car to turn over when i try to jump starer with screwdriver it turns over but wont do it with th key is there a way to disable the security system or reset it the keys have a chip on it and i was told it might not be reconizeing them any one out there who can help with this problem
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    This is an early solution.

    If you put your key in and turn it to on and the security light flashes for 3 minutes and then resets to read a new key insertion, you either have broken wires in the column where the tilt flexes, the contacts that rub the chip are dirty (alcohol on key when inserted may help), or the contacts on the key are dirty (rub with pencil eraser).

    When the system doesn't read the chip right, the lights on dash all come on, but when turned to start nothing happens. You'll hear fuel pump when key is turned to on. But injectors and starter are disabled for 3 minutes after you turn the key 3 times to start with a wrong resistance reading.

    You can read your resistor with a meter, and match with the 15 choices in the link I posted. Buy resistors at radio shack for a series you solder together. Or see an aftermarket alarm place; they routined bypass these with resistor sets for alarms they install.

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

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