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Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • Does anybody know how to adapt an aftermarket CD changer (FM modulated) to the 2001 Bonneville radio? The antenna connection on the Bonny radio is not standard.
  • I heard that GM will do nothing about the wiring harness of the Bonnieville. The tranny shop said that a new harness will cost about 1500.00 and the installing will be about the same. They told me that there is a loopback plug that is 108.00 that will keep the car from going into O/D and not burn up the tranny again. Just to let everyone know, this problem has been going on since the car was 7000 miles out of warranty. The car is not worth the money for a new harness. Thanks GM for this piece of @#$%!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • What is it about 88,000 miles that makes a car start failing? Upon starting my 1994 SE yesterday, I got the "service engine soon" light, which stayed on as I drove about 12 miles. Car was driving poorly. When I turned the engine off and re-started the car, the light was gone and car was driving as normal. However, I pulled the code and found it indicated the Ignition Control Module. I'm thinking it could have been some kind of poor contact, temporary from moisture of something. Any thoughts on this? If I DO replace the ICM, any recommendations on aftermarket brands, or should I have the dealer hold me up for one? THANKS ALL and DRIVE ON!
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    I know that I posted last night on the owner's board because part of the post involved the enjoyable drive I had in New England. However, tonight's is more appropriately done on this board.
    I talked to our local dealer's service manager today who I have known for awhile and who's judgement I trust. I asked him if I was being unreasonable in assuming the dealer in Maine could have put my Bonneville back in running order and he said absolutely not. We also looked up the service bulletin about replacing and rerouting the shift cable. Imagine our surprise when we read that the service bulletin only referred to cars with a column shift, not the console mounted shift that I have. I then called the dealer in Maine and suggested that he might want to actually read the service bulletin. I told him that I expected him to get back to me with an answer on why they would have ordered a shift cable for column shift. Depending on the dealer's answer, I believe that I'll be contacting Pontiac to give them some feedback about one of their dealers.
    The local dealer here in Illinois also said that although it is not being advertised, effective the first of this year, all GM dealers can perform warranty work on all GM cars. I had called a local Chevrolet dealer in Maine and he told me to call Pontiac. So, if any of you find yourself in a fix, you don't have to go to a Pontiac dealer for repairs although if the dealer you go to doesn't sell a comparable platform, you run the risk of someone working on a vehicle they're not familiar with.
  • Try car . I put an after market control module on my 90 bonnneville 6 years ago, and have had no problems. You should do plugs and wires to.
  • The GM antenna connector is called a mini plug, and if you go to best buy, or circuit city they have the adapters. You will need one of each, one to go from mini to standard, to plug into the modulator, then one to go from standard to mini that goes from the plug on the modulator cord to the radio. That's it, I have used the FM modulators with success on 4 other GM cars,91 Delta 88, 97 S-10, 98 Express Van, and a 01 Yukon XL, with no problems at all.
  • Try following the antenna cable from the back of the radio towards the antenna. I had the same problem with my '92 and I found that there is an adapter to go from the standard size cable end to the mini end near the glove box. The cable with the mini plug end is about 1-2 feet long so I just put the adapter for the CD changer under the dash near the glove box and didn't have to screw with finding an adapter to go from standard to mini.

    Hope that helps.

  • On my 96 SE when temperatures are 32*F and below the engine idle speed(cold engine) increases and stays reeving up to 3000RPM's. After the engine warms up and is shut off and re-started the RPM's are normal. If driving(cold engine) the engine RPM's will stick and will not decrease unless the transmission is shifted into neutral(acts like engine is in cruise control) if the engine is warm the idle will drop back to normal, if engine is still cold the RPM's will remain high. This condition only occurs when cold weather comes to New England. Any ideas?
  • Temperatures here in NC have cooled down and the car is now shifting perfectly. I can't figure it. Hopefully it's been a passing glitch. My rpm's were exactly the same as yours. Please do keep me posted on your progress. Sounds like you have had an aggrivating experience.
  • I seem to have had and resolved an identical transmission problem with my 1995 Chevy Lumina. I have the 3.4 DOHC engine and I believe the same transmission as the Pontiac Bonneville (4T60E or something like that). At around 85,000 miles the car began to shift out of overdrive and go to third at highway speeds (80mph or so) and stay there. The only way to make it shift back to overdrive was to turn the car off then back on. Sometimes that lasted for a few minutes or sometimes for a few days (if it was cold out). I drove it like that for almost 40,000 miles since it didn't happen often and I didn't do much highway driving. However it eventually got worse and would come out of OD at any speed above 50. To make a long story short I got numerous conflicting estimates ranging from a worn valve body, torque converter, wiring harness etc. Finally at 125,000 I gave in and left it at a shop. They tried EVERYTHING to fix it. I got a new valve body, new torque converter, new solenoid, new PRNDL position switch and probably several other things. Nothing worked! Just before throwing in the towel they called some place in Florida that I understand trains mechanics and based on their advice they replaced all the internal transmission seals to stop a possible internal fluid leak. They then removed all of the new parts they had put in and replaced them with my old parts (I didn't want to pay for what didn't fix the problem). Well the seals worked great! I've since driven 10,000 miles including a 1000 mile highway trip at speeds up to 90mph with no problems. Gas mileage and power have improved also. The mechanic was very fair and only charged me $400 total. I wish I had done this sooner. I hope this post helps.
  • The reason it happens less in the cold may be the fact that the fluid is thicker in the cold so the internal leak is not bad enough for the computer to put the tranny in safe mode(3rd gear). Second, turning off the car and turning it back on resets the computer to the default setting allowing the tranny to operate normally until it detects the low fluid pressure again sending it to safe mode. It makes it seem like it's an electrical problem. Of course this was the problem with MY transmission yours may be different.
  • Thus is a weird sound / feeling that has started up recently - and now that I have passed warranty , I was hoping for some advice based on past experiences before forking over wads of cash to a dealer.

    After taking a turn, regular corners and speeds , like in a subdivision etc . . . I get a popping sound and feel from below the floowboards just at the end of strightening out. It gives me the impression that it is something "clicking" or "popping" back into place after being raised out of normal driving position by the lean caused while cornering.

    Anyone have any ideas . . . .
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    I had this exact problem on my Tahoe when it was new. It turned out to be an under-torqued body mount (where the frame meets the body). Now, the Bonnie doesn't have a frame per se, but it might be a suspension component is not torqued properly. Have a mechanic check all the mounting bolts; it shouldn't cost too much or take too long.
  • OK - so I finally took my 2000 Bonneville three days ago in for its "final" repair (this would be repair attempt #9; the 5th by a DIFFERENT Pontiac dealership.) Since this car is now the object implicated in a Lemon Law suite, Pontiac-GMAC was very unforthcoming with both interest in fixing the auto or in giving me any information regarding the auto and what they did to it. (Per Montanafan and jgmilberg I gained extensive knowlege of the KNOWN vibration problems in 2000/2001 large chassis GM cars, including Bonnevilles.) So anyway - all the dealership did was check the tire balance on the hallowed Hunter GSP9700, decide that I had a radial force overage on a front tire exceeding 25 pounds(?) - and that they put the "bad" tire/rim on the rear of the car and recommended replacing the tire - AGAIN!! This would make the 7th new tire on the car since August....I am sick of this crap from the company.....I spent $627 bucks on 4 new Bridgestones in August; and now Pontiac/GM passes the buck back to Firestone. Driving home, the vibration in the car seemed worse (I had to drive over 1.5 hours to my house from this remote dealership) But - strangely - today on my way to work - the car barely vibrated at all....I was very very surprised. According to the GM TSB on this vibration issue, the problem phases in and out on some vehicles so affected. Mine must be one of them.

    So - I the next step is: I will go to litigation. Somebody somewhere suggested this problem has been remedied in the 2002 models. IF so - I may litigate (via my attorney) for a 2002 model equipped as nicely as my current 2000, which I still love - save for this vibration issue. What I DON'T love is the way Pontiac dealership/service personnel have treated me all along. They have avoided, deceived, cajoled, and outright lied to me about this difficult issue and what can be done to fix it.

    So that's where I stand with my green metallic Bonnie right now. More later.
  • Sorry to hear of the extent of your experience. I think it's fair to say that most large corporations - let alone small dealerships (esp. those which lack the technical acumen) know how to deal with these types of situations very well. I hope your sitatuion is resolved to your satisfaction. Keep us posted.
  • Did the dealer try to "move" the tire on the rim? What I mean is to break the tire free from the rim rotate it 90 degrees re-mount it to the rim and balance it. That may be all that you need to even out the "overage". What they mean by overage is a heavy spot in the tire that makes it hard to balance, but if you have a heavy part of the tire in the same place as a heavy part on the rim it means problems with vibration that a simple balance can not get rid of. Another way around it would is to take the dealers repair invoice on to the shop you bought the tires from and have them swap out the "defective" tire with a new one, they should all still be under warranty anyway, right? Never mind the dealer take it to an independent alignment or tire shop have them give the car a good once over and wheel balancing. Explain to them the problem you are having and see what they can do for you. Try to find the place that your local police use to do frame repair and alignments, that is usually the best place to go, at least in my experience. If the private shop fixes the issue take the bill to the dealer and make them reimburse you for the cost of repair that they couldn't do.
  • giamomjgiamomj Posts: 15
    Thanks for your ongoing interest and concern.

    The dealer I just went to last week made it clear that they were NOT interested in telling me anything. The rep at the Service desk told me "everything you need to know is on the repair receipt." End of story. So they basically blew me off - they were aware that this car is up for a Lemon Lawsuit. The Service rep told me GM authorized them for only 2 hours of time - that because it was part of the Lemon Lawsuit, that was all they'd do for me. I got the "bum's rush."

    I'm really ticked-off at the way I've been treated. Finally really sick of doing anything more about this than go to court. I have an attorney. I have a great case, he says. GM has to pay for him, too.

    It's a shame. But this is apparently how customers get treated by GM sometimes. It stinks. I've heard other, similar horror stories.

    As you know, my car has been into the shop at least 9 times in 6 months for this very annoying vibration issue. And I still have the vibration. This could go on forever. I'm tired of it all, Pontiac-GMAC dealer says one thing; another says something else; one refuses to do this or that; Firestone dealers disagree on this (2 of them I've been to!) and then another tire outfit I went to, well - they say another thing; so then it's more back-and-forth, more *wasted time* for me - and so on and so on. I don't want to [and will not] pay for anything else with regard to this issue. I've had it. I now know, by virtue of all these experiences, that I cannot "make" Pontiac "do" or "re-imburse" me for ANYTHING. I'll I can do is sue under the Lemon Law and hope for the best. Sheesh.

    On another note: do you know if this vibration problem is "fixed" on 2002 models of Bonnevilles??
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    I blame GM for making the car the way it is, but I blame the dealerships even more for the ill concern and blaintant disregaurd for your feelings ion the problem. That is where in my opinion GM really lacks in the service, and dealership customer care. GM licences the dealerships as seperate entnties of the company, so they do not have control over any of the customer relations at the dealer, all yo can do is file a complaint with GM and hope it clears up. I did it and it seemed to work, at least when I go in to the dealer for service I get respect, and my truck comes back to me washed and vacuumed every time.

    I checked GM's online service manual and there are no TSB's for vibration listed at all. I did notice that they have a new rim design, this may be the fix that it needed in the beginning, but that is only speculation.

    Good luck in court, keep us posted on the progress.
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    Hey Kevin- how have you been- i've been away too long from posting anything- anyway, about 2 weeks ago my wife and I were outside of Atlantic city when i lowered the driver side front window- it went down but then went up about 1/3 and just stayed there- i re-lowered it about 4 or 5 more times and the same thing- stopped about 1/3 up-
    I also, on ocasion, heard a noise like the window was hitting something when it was completely up - i really didn't give it much thought- just figured maybe the window wasn't lining up properly-cause it didn't do it everytime- WRONG!- called my dealer from the Garden State Parkway on the way home- explained everything to him- brought the car in late that afternoon- needed a new window regulator- somehow, something got bent -and jammed the window from going up-anyway- same thing- they had to overnight the part and i got the car back late the next afternoon- no charge- still under full warranty thank God!
    just passing on info to anyone else- if you start hearing a cracking or clicking sound when your windows reach the top- be warned- its not normal- have your dealer fix it right away- especially with colder weather coming etc- its no fun when the windows are jammed!

    Regards to all!!!

  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Nice to hear from you again.

    Cheers, Dan
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Chuck - Glad it wasn't January when that happened to you. I bet that would have been an expensive repair if not under wty.

    Good to hear from you. Is you old PC working well these days or did you give up and buy a new one?

  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    Dan : glad to hear your father is doing well-
    thanks for the welcome back!

    Ken: i got a new PC awhile ago- nice system- Hewlett-Packard.

    In reading the posts i see where you had that rear stabilizer bar from Saner installed- big difference?
    If so i may have to think about having it also installed on my SE.

    Just an update- car now has around 23,500 on her and no problems except those originally listed- brakes and driver side front window.
    Still a great running vehicle!!!
    Congrats to all those new members who purchased Bonnevilles- best of luck and happy motoring!!!!!


  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Sorry everyone - couldn't resist the header!

    Chuck - I do notice an improvement in the cornering manners of my SE since installation of the stabilizer bar in back. There have been comments in the press regarding the less than precise handling of the SE model in handling emergency maneuvers. Well I would say this fixes that issue very nicely. I'm not really an aggressive driver since I do try to maximize fuel efficiency but when taking some of the sharp bends in my road and on curving highway on and off ramps I definitely see the difference.

    Go for it - you'll not regret it at all.

    Anyone else driving an SE might want to consider the same upgrade. Perhaps the 2002 model has this standard now? It should be.

    Best wishes to all

  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Whose car did that rear stabilizer bar come from, the SLE/SSEi?

  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    My stabilizer bar came off Mark's (Mfahey1) SSEi. He got a beefier one for his car and was so kind as to offer me his OEM unit. You probably have the same one already on your SLE?

  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I read somewhere that the SLE/SSEi had thicker sway bars, but I wasn't aware that the SE lacked one in the rear.

    Someone posted here a link to a site where information like the sway bars diameters in a car could be found, but I didn't bookmark it.

    I picked the SLE over the SE exactly because I thought that it handled better, more obedient to steering wheel commands...

    Have I already said that the car is a joy to drive? ;^)
  • Hi folks. Still wondering if I need to replace my ICM after getting the "check" light TWICE and determining it was for the ICM. I'm thinking replacing the gasket ($2.00) rather than the entire ICM ($290.00) could fix it. Haven't gotten the light in a while, tho. Car runs fine.
  • rdbm3rdbm3 Posts: 6
    I recently read the past posting on the intake manifold coolant leaks. My '95 Bonneville suffers from just such a leak as described here and in the TSB. While the upper plenum shows signs of deterioration around the EGR port, the lower manifold appears good and I question the TSB's recommendation of replacing both parts. I would like to take up WNEWELL's offer of a fax or e-mail photo showing the specific problem area. Please post a message or contact me about how to get information from you. Thanks.
  • wnewellwnewell Posts: 14
    rdbm3 I would be glad to fax to you the info, just email to me your fax number and I will send it right away.
  • Howdy all. First time poster here, just found this group.

    Anyway, I have a 1995 Bonnie SE with 54K miles on it. It is new to me, had it about 2 weeks now. It is in perfect condition, just like a new car, well, except for one little thing.

    I occasionally get the four chimes that mean ‘check the gauges stupid’. When I look at the dash I see the ‘check gauges’ light lit, but all the gauges look good. I have to look quickly, because this condition only last for a few seconds, then the check gauges light goes away and all is well. This sometimes will not happen for several hundred miles, and sometimes during a 14 mile round trip into town it will happen five times. Naturally, this is annoying, mostly because anytime the check gauges light comes on the cruise control kicks out. But twice the car has actually shut down, it restarted at the first turn of the key.

    So I went and got a code reader and checked the codes. After every repetition of this fault the reader displays P1629. I have two different code list and they call this code two different things, but both are related to the theft deterrent system.

    As near as I can tell the car thinks I am stealing it, but only a second or two at a time….lol

    Anyone have, or know were I can find, a troubleshooting flow chart for this code? Better yet, has anyone seen this problem before and can point me in a direction to start looking? Is the GM manual good for this type of work?

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