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Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    That description of the climate controls definitely sounds like a '95-'99 Bonneville, not a 2000. If you turn the system on and set it for the minimum temp., it will always force the A/C on (above 40F or so) with max fan through the dash, so everything you describe sounds right. I don't think you're missing anything. If it's not cold then there must be a problem with the A/C system itself. Sometimes if the system detects a fault it will flash the display, but there could be some other problem. Have a repair shop check it out.

    I subscribed to and they have PDF downloads for the owner's manuals for my '99 Chevy and 2000 Pontiac; I presume they will have the manuals available for all models at some point, but who knows how many years back they are going to go.
  • Sorry guys. I have a 2000 grand am but the bonneville is 1990. Not sure what I was smoking when I posted that. Haha.

    I checked all fuses and they appear good so I can still not get the sterio to work. all the lights light up but the display is totaly blank??? Maybe there is an inline fuse behind the deck?
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    I changed the oil today on the 2000 Bonneville and although the owner's manual doesn't say so, I think there must be a pure time component that goes into the DIC's calculation of remaining oil life.
    I last changed mine in May, just before the car was put away for the summer. So, in 4 months, I put a grand total of just under 900 miles on the car but the DIC said I was down to just 29% oil life. The miles I did put on were about 50-50 city versus highway so it isn't like I drive 2 miles to the store at 20mph and then come home. Obviously, this isn't a problem but just something I didn't realize about the service life calculation that the DIC performs.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    It may be that it does take time into consideration. Then again, there's nothing worse than 2ml-drives, when the engine barely reaches the operating temperature. So I guess that the computer did the right thing.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    That's interesting, because I don't see that with my car. Since it's my second set of wheels, I have been putting only about 3,000 miles per year on it, and I only change the oil once per year. When the car sits for an extended period of time (up to three weeks) the oil life does not seem to change. It takes about 12 months to get down to about 40% with about 50-50 city/highway use.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The main inputs to the oil life monitoring system are engine speed, coolant temp, and driving time.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    But an oil change is so cheap and the damage so expensive that I think it's worth following the computer advice just to be on the safe side...
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    Time to fess up. What I now think may have happened is that I forgot to reset the monitor when I changed the oil in May. I got in the car today and realized I hadn't reset the monitor the other day and may well have forgotten the last time.
  • I purchased a 95 about 3years ago with 59000 now it has 95000 and is costing me a fortune this year. water pump, plenum gasket (300.00 just for the part), axle, ac compressor and more. I have spent 3000.00 so far this year. I wonder if its time to go althogh the engine and trans and body seem fine. has anyone else noticed that everything seems to go near 100000. Should i dump it?
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    I would say that your experience overall is by far the exception rather than the rule. Most people seem to get many more miles than 100,000 with only a minimum of repairs. Personally, if the major items like the body and transmission seem fine, now that you have sunk the money in it, I would keep it. It certainly is far cheaper than the depreciation of a new one or a year or two old used car even though repairs and breakdowns can be a major PITA.
  • What is typical for oil consumption for the 3800 V6? I have a 1999 Pontiac Bonneville that I bought with 24,000 miles and it uses about 0.5-0.75 quarts of oil every oil change (3,000 miles). This has been fairly consistent as I have now changed the oil about 3 times. I use the reccomended 10W-30 and I like to use 1 quart of Rislone. There is no leakage and no visible smoke.
  • Just checked oil on my 2000 leSabre at 2800 miles down about .75 qt.. That's about what my 1990 Bonneville with 110000 miles uses.
  • I have a 2001 ssei with 42000 miles and it uses about .5 qrt. per 3000 miles since new. I would say that your oil consumption is normal.
  • My 99 has 63k miles on it. Recently we have noticed if you accelerate hard from a stop, you get a nasty "bang, bang" down below like you just ran over railroad tracks. All other accelaration and shifting is fine, and even shifting or accelarating from stop is ok if it's slow and smooth or from a rolling stop. Any clues?
    I had the transmission recently serviced (flushed) and wondering if that had something to do with it.
    Any comments? Thanks.
  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    I've had my 2000 SE around 2&1/2 years - oil consumption has been consistent- around .75 to 1 full quart every oil change (3000) miles.
    On my 98 SSE, which I've had since Jan of this year, its a little better- around .50 to .75 max every oil change (3000) miles. Both cars have the normal 3800 Series II (205-HP)

  • Folks,
    Thanks for the education re: Post# 539,575,614,615,637,645. Thanks to "Alcan" for the personal help. We abused GM owners need to unite and force the issue to resolve these failures. There are plenty of posts re; this 3.8L EGR/coolant leak/misfire issue.

    My saga....I recently purchased a ’98 Bonneville SE and drove and performed beautifully the 2 times I test drove.....of course…. then read a few past posting after it started acting up after 60 miles… on "Town Hall" on the intake manifold coolant leaks. My '98 Bonneville suffered from just such a leak as described here and in the TSB. The original upper plenum, intake manifold, 2-5 coil, plug wires, and platinum plugs were replaced by previous owner 2K ago @ $1300 done by private repair. Prior owner left oil change sticker in window and I was able to find mechanic and spoke directly to the owner/mechanic of the one-man shop. He is a straight up, former, 20 yr experience GM-Buick trained mechanic and followed the "All Data Repair Book" for these symptoms. He gave me the failed parts (plenum and intake manifold)the prior owner saved. He says there is a GM -TSB on the very subject and wonders why GM isn't making good on the design flaw. Car was cherry until 42.5k. Prior owner took car to him exclusively since new in 9/98 for all service. No vehicle service history on Car Fax. Clean title. 1 Owner . has no history.....She wrote a complaint letter 3 months ago to GM. I bought Bonneville last week and same drive symptoms described now, ie surging and choppy acceleration, particularly evident in O/D when negotiating even the slightest when you are running out of fuel w/ fuel injection, here now exist at 44.6 K total miles, are occurring after 600 miles since i bought last week from wholesaler as-is. Do I have another intake manifold leak after only 3K miles or do I have a tranny problem?......such as Alcan said I should also investigate? What is GM doing about these failures?? What can we do as disgruntled GM product owners? What can I expect from a after market warrantee program offered through the credit union???..should the same problem reappear??
    Thanks in advance for your cooperation.
    Rgds........disgusted and concerned
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Not sure without driving it if these symptoms are the same as yours, but check Transmission Trauma topic posts 440, 450, 452,453, and especially 460.
  • I believe it would be impossible for the intake manifold to fail in 2,000 miles. Although there could be a problem with the repair, but not the part. If your problem was caused by a coolant leak of some sort, you would have a low coolant light. If the problem was an engine misfire ( Ignition/Emissions related), you would have a flashing check engine light. In my area, AAMCO transmisison shops are advertising their expertise in diagnosis of these type problems, you may have them check out the car. If you bought an extended warranty thru your credit union, it will list the parts covered but may not cover diagnosis. You may even want to check with the shop that did the intake repair to see if any warranty for their repair would transfer to you. Good thing you bought the car wholesale with no warranty so you can have the money available to fix what might be wrong.
  • My problem turned out to be a "pressure control solenoid" replacement. Part was only $48, but labor was $485 at dealer! Service rep mentioned that tech said these can out about every 30-40k miles; didn't think you should have a tranny repair at 30-40k miles. I also saw there is a TSB 00-07-30-002A related to this issue.

    Who do we write to complain these re-occuring issues?
  • I had a 94 SSE Bonneville nicknamed "Green Hornet"

    A) If you hear a knocking (no matter how slight, it will get louder eventually) you will needed a new torque converter.

    B) Radio control buttons located on the steering wheel stopped working after 2 years.

    C) After 5 alternators it was the ECM went bad and it just happened again 1 month ago for the second time in less than 2 years!

    D) O-ring that goes between the exhaust manifold and your exhaust line - went bad 2 times in 4 years.

    E) A/C will blow air through the top registers on the dash board once in a while then it will go back to normal.

    Had a really bad MOJO although I loved the power of the car and the comfortable ride, I had to DX it (Army term for exchange / trade-in) and selected something more reliable a 2002 Toyota Camry V6. Great little car, very fuel efficient.
  • Saw the bulletin you mentioned while getting my Voyager serviced yesterday. (My Bonneville is older and dosen't have the same type transmission). You may have been on to something about the transmission flushing. The bulletin deals will trans conditions due to 1) sediment inside the pressure control solenoid causing it to bind 2) sediment in the valve body causing the torque signal regulator to stick, or 3) incorrect oil levels. Correction is to perform some electrical checks to confim things are sticking, then clean things out and recheck.
  • I have 98 Bonneville SSEi with 45,000 miles, and I'm struggling with 3 electrical problems.

    1. When I leave the car the sit for more than a few days, the battery tends to go dead. I have replaced the battery, to no avail.

    2. The interior lights do not work. I have replaced the fuse, and still nothing. The power mirrors are on the same fuse, and they still work.

    3. When driving, the right speakers (front and back), tend to completely cut-out at the slightest bump/jerk. I've tried "wiggling" various wires throughout the dash, when parked, but haven't found the one.

    Any ideas?
  • I have a '98 Bonneville SE that has a few electrical problems:
    1. The car will sometimes quit as if I had turned the ignition switch off. It starts right back up.

    2. The clock sometimes resets itself overnight as though the battery was disconnected.

    3. Most recently, the interior lights are staying on. The only way to turn them off is to pull the fuse.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks, Ducatibob
  • I had a stalling problem,with my 97 Bonneville, that ended up leading me to the fuel pump. After trying 2 different fuel pumps I started looking elsewhere. I had the same problem with the windows not working properly and the lights being dim.

    Answer for me: On the floorboard on the drivers side to the left of the front seat where the carpet meets the molding where the door shuts. Did you get all of that? Anyways pull back the carpet and you will see a bus bar of black wires. I had a faulty ground at this connector, I could wiggle the wire and get the windows to work and the car would start. It was the larger wire going to this ground bus. I fixed this connection and have had no problems since.....that is until transmission will act up until I shut off the car and restart it....that is why I came here.

    Hope this helps somebody
  • kaatuukaatuu Posts: 1
    I have had a stalling problem with my 95 Bonneville for a couple of months now. When scanned we get a code that is "Lean condition detected". Over the past year I have replaced the intake plenum, plugs, wires, coil packs(all), ignition module. I have checked the ECM with a good one its okay. When the intake plenum was replaced the tech "forgot" to put the o-ring on the PCV valve causing a vacuum in the crankcase. A backyard guy figured this one out. The engine runs very rich (you can smell it) I need help! The engine will die on decel and will not idle. It will surge just before it quits. Fuel pressure is in spec. No vacuum leaks. when scanned all seems normal except for that one code. Its fine in open loop but has the problems in closed loop.
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    How can the computer say the engine is running lean but it smells like it is running rich? I'm certainly not an expert but a number of times people have posted the same type of problem and the problem turns out to have been the coolant temperature switch. When it is telling the ECM that the engine is cold, the mixture is enriched. If the engine is actually warm, it will run rich. There is a procedure if you have a digital VOM to check the sensor that someone may be able to help you with.
  • I have a 1996 SE with 136K miles. On occasion every few months, it will not start. It will turn over, but not start. There is a constant clicking noise coming from behind the glove box when this happens. I will give it a couple hours and it will start. It will happen a couple more times over the next few days, then it will go 6 or 7 months before doing it again!! I does not leave an error code, and of course, has never happened while it has been in the shop. Any suggestions?? And yes, I've had the infamous truck leak as well.
  • mem300mmem300m Posts: 12
    Can anyone tell me a way to check the error codes for this car without having to go to the dealer or purchasing a code reader?

  • Just a couple of days ago, the gas pedal and brake pedal in my 95 Bonneville got really hard to push. The gas pedal is really firm and requires much more strength. The brakes are less responsive. Could it be fluid, hydraulics, hoses, something like that?

    Also, ever since we had the brakes serviced (front and back) we get a hard shudder when we put on the brakes around 65-70 mph, and a slower, almost wavelike shudder when braking at less than 10 mph. It feels like something isn't balanced correctly. I brought it into a competing brake dealer and they said the brakes look fine. But the car still shudders.
  • Well, the solution to the gas and brake pedal problem was easy. The carpet was wedged up under the pedals. :) Yikes!

    The shuddering, as anyone more familiar with brakes than me could have pointed out, was caused by my front rotors getting too thin and warping with the heat. So, new rotors. And new cylinders in the back to replace the leaking ones there. Cha-ching! I guess it was time for the quarterly wallet emptying.

    Next stop, the electronic climate control, which refuses to give heat half the time.

    I wonder if I'd save money by putting myself through auto mechanic school and buying a hydraulic lift for the garage.
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