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Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • campo57campo57 Posts: 94
    The type of computer you have is listed on the emission sticker under the hood. If I'm not mistaken, it is near the upper left hand corner.

  • gdw3138gdw3138 Posts: 5
    Thanks Campo57. I found the sticker and it appears that I have a ODB-1 computer. However I still haven't found a scanner to read the DTCs for the ABS, nor found the traction control problem yet.
  • roma007roma007 Posts: 35
    gdw3138, I have the same problem. My car is a '97SSE. I took it to the mechanic, and he says the computer code is "Stuck AS Motor". It is costly to repair (close to $1000). I left it alone for now. The strange thing is that sometimes the AS/Traction Control works no problem.
  • roma007roma007 Posts: 35
    grr...the spell checker

    read ABS for AS
  • wnewellwnewell Posts: 14
    GM has a problem with the upper intake manifold leaking on the 95 and up 3.8 engines. You will lose coolant with no external leaks until enough builds up in the intake and starts to spill over into the intake ports and fill up the cylinders with coolant and keep you from cranking the engine. The upper portion of the intake is plastic and cost about $200. and GM recommends that you replace both upper and lower. I could get you a copy AERA bulletin and could fax or mail a picture of problem area.
  • Own a 96 Bonneville, with 130k miles... like most other owners I dislike the climate control.

    When the car is first started and the A/C is switched on, the temperature set point flashes several times. Compressor seems to be running fine (return line is nice and cold) however extremely hot air comes from the vents. Most of the time the air only comes out from the bottom. Regardless if in Auto mode or not. Believe the unit is stuck in the heat mode regardless of the temperature set point. Is there a sensor bad?
  • campo57campo57 Posts: 94
    The flashing temp means there is an error code set. I don't have my manuals with me but there is a problem with the A/C system. Have someone read the DTC and it should tell you what to look at.

    Off the top of my head it might be low freon or the relay that controls it might have gone south. I had a similar problem in my '92 and it was the relay (about a $390 part).

    If you have the Helm manuals, there is a troubleshooting section that will list what to look for.

  • That sounds exactly like the problem I am having. Called my local Pontiac service dealer and he said he had only seen one with the intake manifold but a few with blown gaskets. I passed your tip on to my mechanic since the barrs leak didn't hold. Estimate was around $375 which isn't bad. Head gaskets or manifold replacement will be higher. Thanks for the info. Marty
  • wnewellwnewell Posts: 14
    I personally know of three cars with this same problem in the last month. One of these belongs to an employee of mine, He has extended warranty and the dealer fixed his. The service manager said they had replaced many of the manifolds, and I suspect there will be many more replaced, I don't know how to post a picture on this web site but I could fax a picture showing you were to look for the problem.
  • ssparksssparks Posts: 1
    wnewell, read your posts with great interest as my '98 bonneville as just started loosing coolant. No obvious leaks, or steam from the tailpipe and the car runs great. The cooling system has a slight pressure loss on a pressure test and all of the spark plugs on the front bank of cylinders appear quite white in color. I was wondering if somehow you could send me some more information about the manifold leak you mentioned in one of your previous posts. Thanks
  • lexie1lexie1 Posts: 1
    Has anyone who owns/owned the '99 bonneville sse experienced any "stalling for no reason" problems or had any other bad experiences with this vehicle??
  • ghchfghchf Posts: 5
    Have a 95...had recurring loss of fluid...small amount...figured it was usage. Blew head gasket at 145K...fairly expensive repair. Heads were resurfaced, new plenum (plastic part warps) etc. I was advised that there could be ongoing problems. Car ran fine for another 3 months then bottom end more motor. Car in great shape and I had planned on keeping it anyway. Rather than go rebuilt, I had a factory fresh new engine installed..EXPENSIVE but car worth it. Nice to see shiny new motor arrive in shrink wrapped plastic sitting on a skid awaiting installation. Moral...stay on top of any coolant leaks. I now have a 95 with a brand new power plant...and new factory warranty. Real pricey but cheaper than a new vehicle. 95 Bonneville just too nice a car to give up on. Cheers.
  • wnewellwnewell Posts: 14
    ssparks, Try yur gm dealer for Gm Techical Bulletin 01-06-01-007. I can mail or fax to you some more info, just email me mailing address or fax number.

    ghchf, if you get antifreeze in your oil and it runs for any length of time it will damage the main bearings.
  • giamomjgiamomj Posts: 15

    I've had this vehicle since brand new - just 1 year at 17,600 miles now - no accidents, curb hits, etc. The thing has just been balanced re-aligned; I had to put new tires on at 16,800 miles at the same time because the alignment was so bad (this is a dealership goof that I am trying to get Pontiac to fix! - but they now refuse. The vehicle vibrates rapidly (shimmys) at speeds over 50mph - gets way worse over 60. I can feel it in the steering wheel, accelrator pedal, seat, even.

    Pontiac refuses to look further into the problem - it's been in like 5 times - I've been to two different dealerships now. One stated "the car is normal" - the other says "we won't find anything."

    Anyone know of this type of problem on the 2000/2001 Bonneville?? Anyone have any ideas?? (I am now thinking: shocks, suspension, transmission, other...???)

  • john325john325 Posts: 237
    I just noticed a shimmy on my '99 SE this aftenoon that's occuring at 50 mph. Now I have 46k miles on it which is a lot different than your 17k. I'll have to have my mechanic take a look at it. I don't think mine is quite as eratic as they way you describe yours. Good luck w/it & keep us posted.
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    I would go to a well-reputed independent suspension shop and get a written diagnosis of the problem. The bring that diagnosis back to the dealership and make Pontiac swallow it.
  • Well, if it isnt your alignment, it could very well be your tires.

    a common cause of "we cant find the problem" shimmy is bad rubber. either poor balancing or seperating belts inside, something along those lines.
  • john325john325 Posts: 237
    From one of the Shakers...Just yesterday the check enging light started flashing on my '99 se, and then stayed on after a while. I cornered my mechanic after church yestereday & he listened to it and said it's missing and probably needs wires or plugs. I believe the plugs are suppose to last 90K+ if that's at all possible. I'm suppose to drop the car by his shop tomorrow. In the meantime, this morning the check engine light didn't come on, but it's still running sluggishly. I believe my Michelins are fairly new, & I presume balanced correctly. I'm assuming/hoping the fix will be something minor.
  • vogel22vogel22 Posts: 4
    The only way to clear a theft lock is to take to a dealer. He can read a code with a special key. He will have to call Detroit with the code, prove he is a dealer and then they will give him the code to reset it to the starting point. They did it for me for free.
  • vogel22vogel22 Posts: 4
    The check engine light means a part of the emissions stuff is not working. I got it when the dealer broke a wire changing the oil.
  • john325john325 Posts: 237
    Funny thing; I just had my oil changed recently... I have it changed about every 3k or so. - Can that light mean anything else, or is it 100% emissions related? Thanks for your help.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    My biggest disappointment in reading these posts is when there is not enough information provided to be of help. Any recommendations just become shots in the dark. Infomation such as the last 8 numbers in a VIN number would provide year, plant, and build sequence( would allow readers to see if the car is built near their own car), mileage, engine, tire size, wheel type, and other info is often left out. This info can be added to people's profiles so it dosen't have to be repeated. Another issue is the difference between the manufacturer and the dealer. The manufacturer builds cars for the dealer, cars that they believe will not break down, and they maintain customer assistance centers to tell the owners to go to the dealers. The dealers, good or bad, are on the front line, and have the responsibility to fix things. The manufacturer dosen't "swallow" things. The dealer "swallows" things an hopes to get reinbursement from the manufacturer. Also no one ever seams to come back and end the story.
    Getting down of my soap box, while I was getting the brakes done on my wife's 92 Bonneville , I did some research on some recent topics. I hope the infomation helps.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    GM has issued a very complex service bulletin dealing with shake/vibration felt in the steering wheel, floor or seat between 60-72mph. (This sounds just like your description Michael in #465). This is for the GM large cars which icludes the 2000-2001 Bonneville. Its a very long procedure that could take up to 5 or more hours to perform and must been done completely and in order. It involves checking Tire Radial Force Variation. It talks about the usage of a special machine to check this. A Hunter Engineering GPS9700 balance/road force measurement machine. I surfed over to, and found lots of info about the machine and the condition. The best thing there is a locator to find someone who has one. (If you are thinking of asking for one for Christmas, I found a site selling them for $12,730).
    Michael, #465, you do not mention how many tires you had replaced, or if the condition was there before the tires were replaced. But here is my recomendation. Find out if your selling dealer has one of these machines. If not use the locator to find one at another Pontiac dealer. Make an appointment with them for the procedure and express your belief that it should be covered under warranty. Give them plenty of time to perform the procedure properly. The bulletin does imply that this procedure would be covered. (Keep in mind that aligments are only covered between 500 and 7,500 miles, and wheel balancing is only covered to 7,500) If there is not a Pontiac dealer close by, find another GM line and have your Pontiac dealer sublet the work to them. Good luck and please post back with results.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    The were alot of posts in the low 400s that involved the operation of the air conditioning of their newer Bonnevilles. I go the impression that most of them had the Auto A/C systems. I saw the dealer working on a 2000 Bonneville SLE with the Auto A/C. (The owner was unable to push the buttons and change any settings) With the Tech2 scanner tool, you can see all the infomation on these systems. You can see what has been requested, what the outside temp is, what the car thinks the inside temp is, what the temp is in each air duct upper and lower and left and right. This would prove if the car is miss reading anything and if the sensors were working. (Someone had posted thinks that his inside temp was reading wrong) Keep in mind the inside temp sensor is to the right of the steering wheel. Also output is measured at the dash outlet not at the driver or the seat. It is also possible that the system was not filled to the 2.2lbs level of coolant. Also a temp actuator in the dash may not be working properly on the passenger side. I also went outside to a Bonneville in the inventory and stated it up (85F outside) and the fan went to full. This is what I remember form the posts.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    This subject has also been kicked around over the last 20 posts. There is a bulletin that talks about coolant loss without seeing a leak, this could be a problem with the intake manifolds. Bulletin #01-06-01-007A. Keep in mind that coolant level can be checked easily when getting gas. As a starting point, make sure that the overflow bottle is clean and readable. This condition could be checked for if someone whated to by taking off the throttlebody. It looks like it has a triangle base. This faces the air filter box on the driver side of th engine. (I got a chance to see a manifold that the dealer ahd recently replaced-their first- on a 1995 with 135,000 miles) You will see a circular opening at the bottom of the opening. You could possibly feel around with your finger to see if any holes are developing in this area. Also if the orange gasket is carefully removed, you may also be able to see a hole developing allowing coolant into the engine. The repair looks like it takes almost 2 hours and requires about $500 in parts. Here in Massachusetts we get a little break in that the intake manifold is covered under our California Emissions Warranty for 7 years or 70,000 miles. So keep you eye on your coolant levels, and have any loss checked out.
    Thanks for allowing me these long posts, I hope they are helpful. With the way my wife goes through brakes, I post soon again.
  • boosted1boosted1 Posts: 90
    Montnafan: Sound like the Tech2 scanner can provide lots of good info...unfortunately it is only useful in the hands of a skilled user. My experience with the dealership near me has not been very impressive.

    Still love the car though, and the A/C issue is resolved by using it "manually" when outside temps are high.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    My A/C issue with my Voyager is beeing resolved with the coming of fall.
    Hey I remember another one. My cousin had a 1986 Grand Am and one of my college roommates had a 19?? (early 90's) Grand Prix Coupe with the aero package, both of which developed simular paint issues in front of the rear wheels. I think the fix for the GA was a repaint, and the GP was the addition of clear protective tape. I think the tape is fairly common on cars today. I will check the cars in the parking lot during shopping tonight. Perhaps while your cars are still under warranty, your dealers body shops could add some tape?
  • You are a bundle of information. All of it appreciated. Where are you getting the technical bulletin info? I would love to get my browser pointed to the same place and read up. My warranty just expired 2 weeks ago, and the car was in many times during the year and 9 months I had coverage. There may be lingering issues to be dealt with if i had bulletin info.

    Many thanks for contributing.
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    Montanfan,any idea what the bulletin # was for the steering wheel vibration? When my 2000 was new, I took it back several times for this problem and the second trip back, the dealer "fixed" it. All well and good but when I recently installed the Saner rear sway bar, I also rotated the tires since the rear ones were off anyway. The vibration is now back, leading me to think that all the dealer did to fix the problem was put the offending tire in the rear.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    Sorry guys/gals about forgeting the bulletin number, had it here in my notes. #00-03-10-007 deals with the procedure. #00-03-10-006 is another generic bulletin that deals with the Radial Force Variation (No specific models listed) The Hunter site also had copies of Chrysler bulletins that deal with this issue. The vibration is more noticeable in some platforms. This may not be everones problem but it matched up with giamomj's. Oh, the bulletin came out in January of 2001. Again, my reading is that this procedure is for after the traditional causes are checked and ruled out.
    All I did was ask a few questions when I had my wife's 92 Bonneville in for service. Also have a big family with serveral Pontiacs (leased/balloon/finance), so have good access to info.
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