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Pontiac Bonneville Brakes

donnell_thomasdonnell_thomas Member Posts: 1
I am the owner of a pontiac bonniville, it has been a great car even though it is very old ('89 ) a few months ago the brakes started to grind badly. but the funny thing is, is that there was no sqeeking of any kind before the grinding. I'm very concerned because it makes me wonder how well the previous owners took care of the car, or how well the brake shop fixed the brakes the first time. depending on the temp. of the day sometimes they don't grind at all, but then sometimes they are super loud. I need to know if it is too late to just get the brakes fixed or if it is going to be a costly repair.

frusterated and very concerned car owner.


  • jojo3587jojo3587 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1958 pontiac with tri power and t has 330 horses. It has 55000 actual on it. I have restored all but the brakes, and i want to know what kind of disc brakes i can use to modify it. I have 14 inch wheels. I have been told by some that i would have to put 15 inch wheels on it, but i would hate to do that. Is the 1958 chevrolet spindal and brake linings the same also. It would be a blessing if they were.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    If it's the front brakes which are disk brakes that might be a problem. You didn't mention the mileage.

    If it's the rear drums and they're not grinding all the time with medium brake application, it may just be dust. I've had sounds from my rears on 98 LeSabre and I found it was just dust. It seemed worse when first starting out slowing and especially backing. And it was noisier when there was more humidity like dew or raining or high nightime humidity.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • kell3039kell3039 Member Posts: 2
    glad to know i am not the only one who has experienced the grinding noise never did it till i replaced the entire hub assembly and put a good set of pads on it u r experiencing a hard pad clamping down on a very smooth rotor as they get over time i recently had the rotors turned just a little and the noise went away thy that first..........
  • bjessenbjessen Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Bonneville. First time have ever own one. It is a great car. We need to replace the back disc brakes.
    My husband has never worked on one before only chevys and buicks. How do you get the brake pads off? Someone said you need a special tool to do it? does anyone know what that is and how to? sure could use some help. thanks
  • myer1myer1 Member Posts: 2
    The orignal master cylinder started leaking in the brake booster. Replaced the master cyl and flushed brake hydraulics. After a few days of driving the brake pedal would slowly go to floor. Replaced master cyl again and bled again and again using vacuumn, brake pedal with engine running and not running nothing worked, still same problem. I feel the master cyl is bypassing internaly but not sure.
    Anyone else have this problem?
    The car only has 40,000 miles and no rust or leaks at calipers or wheel cylinders.
  • myer1myer1 Member Posts: 2
    The problem was finally cured after many postings and phone calls to dealers.
    The car was taken to a gravel parking lot and made a couple of panic stops to engage the ABS. End result is that the Bonneville now has a full brake pedal with no fading of the pedal. The ABS must have gotten an obstruction on the first master cylinder change. :D
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    Thanks to you for coming back and telling us what you found. You probably have helped someone who will remember this post or find it by searching for spongy brake in the future.

    I would have thought the ABS check the system does where it cycles the brakes at each start up of the motor would have burped the air out!

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • afbryantafbryant Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 and I am thinking of putting on brakes myself.,front and rear..
    Have any of you done this yourself?
    Any special tools needed?
    Any info would be appreciated
    I do have general knowledge of putting on brakes but on up to a 1990 model that I owned.
  • rocky74rocky74 Member Posts: 15
    I just had my 1997 Bonneville inspected, and the mechanic told me that I needed new steel rods (or a new rod-- I forget which) in the rear brakes, that the old one was rusted out. He said that they don't sell them anymore, and he would have to make it himself, and it would cost a couple hundred dollars. I've never heard of this. Has anyone else had this issue? Thanks.
  • bluejay7bluejay7 Member Posts: 2
    I am working on my wife's 2003 Pontiac Bonneville brakes. The car was hardly stopping, the rear brakes looked like they never worked, the pads still looked new but they obviously were not engaging and it seemed like only one of the calipers in the front were working, so I replaced all 4 calipers and brake pads and all 4 rubber brake lines. I tried bleeding the brakes for hours and never could get the brake pedal to be firm so I thought the master cylinder was bad and replaced it. SO FRUSTRATING, bled for hours and still no brake pedal, it goes right to the floor. PLEASE SOMEONE HELP!! Anyone have any ideas? Someone in a previous post mentioned something about engaging the ABS, what will that do and how do I do it? Does anyone have any ideas? It seems like a nice car, sure would be nice if it would stop. Someone . . . send help. Thanks for any information.
  • jonneyboyjonneyboy Member Posts: 1
    my service brake light keeps coming on and dinging why does this happen i know nothing about electronic based vehicles this is drivind me nuts i have brakes does anyone know anything
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    edited June 2010 - - ers.pdf

    page 107

    I looked up the Buick owners manual. The light does not have a chime with it. It also covers the parking brake not fully released? It could mean failure of part of the brakes but the car is not stopping with only two brakes instead of four and no chime.

    Check your fluid level in the master cylinder. It seems to me I had that happen when I owned a 93 LeSabre.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • blue305blue305 Member Posts: 1
    I just found this site and was reading through the problems.Came across yours.There is a recall campain ID #00V114000 on some of the 2000 models,but this maybe the problem that your having. I hope that you have already had your problem resolved.
  • mack1amack1a Member Posts: 5
    edited September 2010
    Living in Western New York(Buffalo area), with our winters, and al the rock salt applied to the roads, has caused some of my brake lines to rust out.
    Had a line go while on the road, but was lucky enough to have it happen near a GM Dealership.

    Yesterday, I went to put my '03 Bonneville in gear, and the pedal went to the floor.

    Found a rust caused leak in the line going from the rear port on the master cylinder to the ABS.
    With my luck, it'll be a "Special Order" part.

    I'd like to find a diagram of the brake lines, and try to do it myself.
    But with the ABS module involved, I'm concerned about bleeding the system properly.

    I was a USMC Heavy Equipment Mechanic, and have a fair idea of what I'm doing.

    But I just really don't want to have this sumbitch towed to the Dealership and get rooked.
    $$$ is really tight right now.

    Well, nevermind. It's on the way to the Dealership.
    $111 for the Tow, and we'll see what the damage$ are for the work/parts.

    On the good side, the Dealership has a $30 Rebate for the tow!

  • paulnitropaulnitro Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1995 Bonneville. The front driver side brake was sticking to the point that the pads completely wore off. I thought that maybe the brake caliper froze so I replaced the brake caliper and pads. The front driver brake still sticks. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    There also can be a problem with the hose. The interior of the hose comes apart and blocks the return of the fluid. I wonder if there can be a problem with the ABS system also not allowing the fluid to return.

    Does the caliper on that side stay hot while driving? If it's dragging it would be very hot even if not used for stopping. Try stopping using the parking brake after driving along at slow speeds. If that front brake is not hot, your problem is the brake caliper on the other side is frozen and not applying. Therefore the left front brake is doing all the work stopping the car. It would wear out the pads quickly because the other side is not doing half of the work. The fronts do most of the stopping work on the car; the rears usually do only a low percentage of stopping work.

    But I recall some early GM cars where the rear calipers on the disk brakes would rust up and not do any work. The fronts were doing all the work and people kept having to replace the front brakes often. They didn't realize the back brakes weren't helping any and the problem wasn't the front calipers and pads but was the rear calipers.

    I believe your 95 is built like my 93 and 98 leSabres. There is a pin and a rubber grommet on the outside that fits in the caliper ears. The huge amount of rust inside the ears after winter salt for years here in Ohio filled up the space some pushing hard on the rubber which pushed hard on the sliding caliper bolt. Replacing the caliper fixed that. If the caliper wasn't replaced, the ears were supposed to be reamed out with a brake cylinder type hone to remove the rust thickness to free up the rubber grommet.

    Check your caliper for sliding action on the other side. See if it's frozen up.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • paulnitropaulnitro Member Posts: 2
    Well this past weekend I replaced both front brake hoses and so far so good!!!! I hope this was the problem. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.
  • awileyawiley Member Posts: 1
    I have replaced the brakes on my 92' bonneville se. I have also bled the brakes! (front and back) DO i need to change the back brakes as well! I have no pressure on my brake pedal. what do i need to do?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,011
    Did you allow the level of fluid in the master cylinder to go down to the bottom?
    Did you open the line to replace the calipers and leave it off so that it drained?
    Do you have a leak?
    You need to start with the rears and bleed to the front from the longest line to the shortest.
    You may have a leaking rear wheel cylinder on the drum brakes.

    MOST LIKELY IS A PROBLEM WITH A CORRODED BRAKE LINE. With age this is becoming a problem on some of the H-bodies.

    If you did not let the fluid get down the bottom of the master cylinder you may not have to bleed it. There is a procedure for bleeding it and I am not knowledgeable about it. It may need to be removed to do the bleeding. You should get expert help about the master cylinder and bleeding it, if necessary.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • apumaapuma Member Posts: 1
    i want to know what year did pontiac made the squeak waring noise i have a 93 bonneville and the brakes is making squeak noise what can i do to make it stop
  • amandasmithamandasmith Member Posts: 1
    Mine just did that. I have a 98, and the bad news is check your brake fluid. Mine came on right before my break line busted through. Normally means your just getting low on fluid :)
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