Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • jk119885jk119885 Member Posts: 2
    Can you tell me where the cabin air filter is located? I can't find it in the manual. Is this something I can do myself or do I need to take it to a shop for repair. I did go ahead and order the part it will be here this week.

    Thank you for your help.
  • haropharop Member Posts: 59
    Open the hood, look on the left side under the windshiled.
    You should notice a little plastic box. Click it open and
    you can remove the filter. If it does not have one, you
    can put one.
    P.S. I don't own one with, but have 95. A few month ago
    I was in a market for 2002+ Bonny, and I remember checking
    these filters for many while test driving.
  • blewczukblewczuk Member Posts: 1
    Hi. I've got a 96' Bonneville SSEi. I'm experiencing a couple of problem right now. First, the steering wheel radio controls on the left side of the wheel appear to have lost their 'spring'. This is causing the preset stations to change on their own. I only have to think about changing a station and they change. When I go over a bump...same thing happens. Any idea how to remove the module in the steering wheel of a 1996 Bonneville?

    Next problem: The driver information window, on occassion, goes blank and all the gauges except for the tach and speedometer freeze. I'll be driving and all of a sudden the gauges go all the way down and back up and then freeze and the driver info window flashes with all the info and goes blank. On occassion, it will come back up by itself while I'm driving. More often then not, it won't come back up until I've shut the car off and then restarted it. Any ideas?

  • ioanioan Member Posts: 1
    Hi. I own a 96 Bonneville SE. The AC compressor would not start so I got a can of R134 and tried to put it in. It took some of it, just enough to start the compressor but then stopped, the can stayed at least half full.The AC "hose" going in the dashboard is cold as ice, the return is warm. Seems that is a clog in the evaporator part of the system (I know nothing about cars except regular maintenance). Is there a product that you could put in like the refrigerant and undo that clog? Or the problem is serious and the repair should be done in a shop?
  • tina65tina65 Member Posts: 1
    my window seems to have fallen off the track. how can i get the panel off door to get window back on track?
  • bonneville96bonneville96 Member Posts: 28
    I have replaced the intake manifold gaskets and the plenum (turned out it was ready to fail as well), changed the oil, and the sound seems to go away, although it "clicked" for a few seconds after I started the car this morning.
    I checked several oil additives at the store. Some of them are supposed to be added right before the oil change and the car should not be driven before the change, others are to be added all the time for cleaning of the engine and better performance.
    What would you suggest? Should I put the one for "performance" and keep driving or wait till the next oil change and use the tough one for ultimate cleaning?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I wouldn't mess with additives. Just change the oil sooner and let the oil's detergents do the job.
  • smith26smith26 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Pontiac Bonneville se and the interior lights have quit working. The vanity lights nor the dome lights will work. I've replaced the fuse and it blew and I replaced the relay switch. After replacing the relay switch they worked for about 15 minutes and then quit working again. I have also taken the vanity lights out which caused the other lights to work for a very short period but have now quit also. I'm sure there is a short somewhere but I don't know where to start looking. Any suggestions? Thanks!
  • jtraynorjtraynor Member Posts: 1
    I have a 95 3.8l Bonneville, 150k miles good condition-
    Problem - the engine just cuts out at start up, driving, at idle, you name it.... today it is warmer and it seems to do it more so than other times. I put it in N and restart, sometimes it stays on for 15 minutes other times it shuts down again
    Replaced fuel pump, 02 sensore, crankshaft positioner, and mapping sensor... NOTHING helps ANY SUGGESTIONS ANYONE
  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    I just had major problems with my 95 Bonny and it was dirty ground contacts. Take the three under the hood off and sand them off to see if this helps. Also it could coolant temp sensor or air flow sensor. Good Luck!
  • capt3capt3 Member Posts: 1
    My 94 SSEI began to have a loud clanging noise at idle, sounded like it was losing a rod. But the sound goes away with idle above 1700-1800. I had a look at it and when i remove the belt which runs the alt. and power steering pump the noise stops. Any one had the same problem? It has me stumped as to why it can be so loud and bad sounding at idle and sound perfect the faster the motor runs. Any ideas would be great, Thanx. :confuse:
  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    Well after 187,000 miles it seems my fuel pump has died. I would like to see if it is the relay first. Does anyone know exactly where it is located? I see about 10 under the hood but they all look the same and they are not marked.
  • klightleklightle Member Posts: 1
    i have 89 bonneville. every time i depress the brake pedal the fuse blows . i went into my trunk were there was standing water and untaped all the wires so they could dry out what else could be the problem
  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    I am going to answer my own question. The relay is under the dash on the passenger side. On the cover is a listing of the fuses and relays. I'm sure someone else will find this useful.
  • jk06jk06 Member Posts: 7
    Buy a cheap stethascope I had same problem, idler pulley and one other time pulley on crank shaft! The stethescope told me which one.
  • kk3kk3 Member Posts: 2
    Got a '92 Bonneville SSE (hands down the best car I ever bought) not firing on two cylinders. No spark from the coil for these two cylinders. Coil primary and secondary windings test OK. Swapped the coil with a coil for two other cylinders and the problem stayed with the cylinders (did not move with the coil) so the coil is OK. HOWEVER, the coil plugs into two spades on the base. For the other two coils the resistance between these two spades is in megohms. On the problem coil, the resistance is about 25k ohm. I pulled the connector off the coil pack, and the resistance on the suspect spades when to megohms like the others. I then replaced the connector on the coil pack and pulled the connectors from the ECM and the readings on the spade terminals went back to 25k ohm.

    I checked the ECM trouble codes, and no errors registered.

    Any thoughts?
  • kk3kk3 Member Posts: 2
    Problem was the ignition module.
  • bonneville96bonneville96 Member Posts: 28
    I was hoping my problems were gone, but I was wrong.
    Last month I posted a message here about a ticking sound from the engine (lifter) and a coolant leak.
    Recently I replaced the intake manifold gaskets and the plenum. The engine seemed to work fine after the repair except some hissing coming from the front, but the mechanic said it was due to the new design of the plenum.
    I drove the car for 2 weeks on short distances and didn't notice any problem. But 2 weeks ago I had to drive from New Hampshire to New York, and as soon as I got on the highway, the engine started to make some screeching or grinding noise.
    The sound usually starts after driving the car for about 15-20 minutes, now even in the city. It disappears when I hit the gas, but when I release the accelerator or when I stop the screeching starts again and it is very loud.
    Also today my speedometer failed. The car is just falling apart. :sick:
    Did anybody have this problem? Can it be the result of improper repair of the gaskets?
  • haropharop Member Posts: 59
    I had similar problem and found a solution in this forum.
    You will need to take a look at PCV housing. If spring is
    missing or some washers are missing, then it could be that
    noise. I bought the PCV housing from chevy/buick dealer and
    it was around $20 I guess.

    Of course it would not hurt first to check if the noise is
    comming from drive-belt pulley, but most probably it is PCV
    housing, because the description you gave, is similar to
    mine, and also in my case it started after some
    maintanance repair, when the PCV was replaced as well.

    Hope this helps.
  • bonneville96bonneville96 Member Posts: 28
    Thanks a lot, Haro.
    It is hard to figure out where the noise is coming from and as I said the noise is intermittent, it shows up only after the engine gets hot (usually after 15-20 minute driving).
    I am not quite clear, what housing is this? Is it the white rectangular one over the valves(one at the front end, and the other at the rear of the engine)?
  • majormajormajormajor Member Posts: 1
    What did you find out? I am having the same problem with my 2000 Bonneville SLE now. If anyone else has had this problem please let me know what it is and what you did to resolve it. Thanks. :confuse:
  • haropharop Member Posts: 59
    Atually this is much simpler than you think.
    If you know where the PCV is, then all you have to do
    is to twist it counter-clock wise and open. If you open the engine cover, then you should notice where the PCV is.
    It is also shown on the diagrams under the hood.
    So, after accessing the PCV, you will see if it is holded
    in place with a spring. If the spring is missing, you can buy the entire housing and replace all, including washers.
    If you still have problems to find the PCV, let me know.
    I will check this site after couple of hours, becasue now I am in hurry.
    Good Luck,
  • haropharop Member Posts: 59
    Here is the photo where you can find the PCV,
    as pointed, just in front of alternator. You need to open
    it and find the PCV. Mine is still too hot to open right
    now, but later on, if needed I can open it and post
    the photo of actual PCV and PCV-housing.

  • bonneville96bonneville96 Member Posts: 28
    Yes, I was able to found it right there. It also has some electric connector on top held by 2 plastic latches (one of them is broken on mine, but it does not seems to affect it), the connector still holds on top of the assembly.
    I opened it by turning this upper part that shows on your photo counter-clockwise. Inside there is a rubber sealing washer, and what seems to be a valve at the bottom of the assembly. Other than that it is empty. Is it supposed to have anything inside?
    However, the noise seems to come from inside the engine block or from under the intake manifold plenum (I can't say for sure).
  • haropharop Member Posts: 59
    Mine is 95, and as you can see on the pickture, there
    is no electric connector, so I am not sure about that.
    But I think you got the right part, which is the PCV,
    (Positive Crankcase Valve) and if you are not seeing
    the spring, which should hold the PCV tight down,
    then this could most probably be your noise source, i.e.
    the PCV is "shaking" incide making all that noise.
    For completness please look at this photo and also please
    remember I am not a professional :)


    If you can notice, there are two washers, one RED, and
    another one black, on PCV. The "neck" of the PCV goes
    through the spring and locks in.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,707
    I didn't reread the whole discussion here but I recall some posts about people having two o-rings in place by accident and getting vacuum into the crankcase causing high suction. Could that also cause noises? -along with oil useage.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • bonneville96bonneville96 Member Posts: 28
    In mine, there is this red washer, but definitely no spring, and no valve like this one either. There is some opening at the bottom of the housing, which I thought to be the valve.
    I've read at another forum that GM made some improved design of the PCV, where there is no valve itself in the form as you have it. Maybe it is built-in or something. I'll have to check which one I have. I'll keep you posted.

    To Imidazol97 (message 1888): I suppose that in the case that you describe, the noise would be more like whistling. In my case it is a loud screeching that sounds like when some rotating metal part touches another one without lubrication. I'll check the oil level, but it didn't seem to go down.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,707
    Dumb question on my part but have you checked the idler pulled that keeps the serpentine belt tensioned. I recall some people have had trouble with those wearing out. I don'tre call the symptoms however.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • bonneville96bonneville96 Member Posts: 28
    No, I haven't. The problem is somehow related to the temperature of the engine: when I just start the engine there is no noise, but it starts to sound after 10-15 minutes of driving (when the engine reaches the working temperature).
    Can it be related to a speedometer gear? My speedometer just failed a couple of days ago. It is mechanical, not electronic. All the gauges on the panel work except the speedometer and odometer. I tried to reach it from underneath the dashboard, but couldn't figure out where the connection was.
  • haropharop Member Posts: 59
    Could it be when your temperature reaches some level,
    then the gases come out to PCV, and then it starts shaking
    because of no spring. I think 3.8 engine did not change
    much from 95 to 96 so there must be a spring holding down
    your PCV. So, still I am inclined to checking your PCV
    housing. If you go to dealer and ask for PCV housing, you
    can check the parts to see if you are missing something.

  • bonneville96bonneville96 Member Posts: 28
    I went to the auto parts store today, got a repair manual and checked it for PCV. Guess what?
    Those idiots that repaired my intake manifold forgot to re-insert the PCV into the new plenum. There was nothing in the housing indeed, but the valve had to be there.
    I bought the valve, but the store did not have the O-ring or the spring. I'll have to check other stores or the dealership. :mad:
  • 93bonnefs93bonnefs Member Posts: 1
    :cry: hey i have the same problem as the person above..........but i have a 93 bonneville, n i cant start it i changed the starter but it didnt do nothing.... people tell me its the IGNITION KEY??? i also have the dash problem can some on help me out i just bought the car like a month ago n im having problems.........some one please help!!!!!
  • bonneville96bonneville96 Member Posts: 28
    I installed the PCV valve and the O-ring (turned out my engine didn't need the spring), took a short test drive and the problem seems to be gone, no more noise. Thanks a lot, Haro. Even my mechanic was surprised when I told him about this problem and the solution.
    My only concern is whether this could cause any damage to the engine, because I drove for about 3 weeks (400 miles) without the PCV valve and the engine actually "ate" about 2 quarts of oil.
    Any ideas, anybody?
  • bonneville96bonneville96 Member Posts: 28
    My speedometer and odometer on '96 Bonneville SE just failed. The panel is mechanic, not electronic. All the gauges work except the speedometer and the odometer. Is there any way for me to fix it on my own? :confuse:
  • haropharop Member Posts: 59
    I am really glad for you and will keep my fingers crossed
    and hope it is really solved.
    For the damage to the engine you should not worry, but
    someone else might tell you better. My guess is 3 weeks
    400 miles is not a big thing for the engine, and moreover
    it is not 1 day 400 miles, which could put more pressure
    on the engine.
  • bonneville96bonneville96 Member Posts: 28
    Actually it was 300 miles in 1 day. I drove from New Hampshire to New York and the rest I did in short trips around the city. But since the problem was not continuous (only after the engine got hot) I hope it didn't do much damage. I will probably have to go to my mechanic anyway to fix the speedometer, so I'll ask him to run some test on the engine as well.
    Thanks again.
  • haropharop Member Posts: 59
    Make sure you absolutelly 100% trust the mechanic you will
    go, or otherwise you may get charged for something not
    needed at all. Hopefully someone else can reply here
    if you may have any serious problems while driving with
    no PCV for 400 miles. I will also call my friend in CA who is a good mechanic and I will ask him about this.
  • haropharop Member Posts: 59
    OK, I called him and he said everything should be fine,
    but it would not hurt to change the oil, because some
    type of "return gases" can get mixed with engine oil.
  • bonneville96bonneville96 Member Posts: 28
    Thanks a lot, Haro. I appreciate your help very much.
  • bryanbryan Northern VAMember Posts: 231
    I also posted this in Maintenance and Repair, Climate Control Problems (A/C & Heat)--All cars forum.

    My GXP has the automatic climate control. The A/C in "AUTO" mode worked fine until two months ago; now it works sporadically. My paperwork from dealer service indicates "Found HVAC Control Assembly Bad--Replaced Control Assembly Head". It worked fine in AUTO for a couple of weeks, but is now acting up again. Took it back to service--got that dreaded "could not duplicate". Told me the compressor worked fine, was properly charged, etc.

    According to the owner's manual, "When in AUTO, the air conditioning compressor will come on automatically, as necessary". I don't recall seeing anything lit up on the control panel display when the AUTO system was working correctly. However, when the problem started, "A/C Off" would indicate on the control display. I usually could reset it by turning off the climate control and restarting it by pressing AUTO. Not any longer!

    The A/C seems to work fine when the car is first started; after a few minutes, the cold air ceases, and it starts to smell "musty". It may then kick back to cold in a few minutes, or not for awhile. Once when I floored the car to pass on a two-lane highway, the cold air came back on! However, now that doesn't happen.

    To fix my car, it appears that the service folks overroad the auto setting by pushing the A/C button--the "A/C on" is now lit up all the time on the control display panel. It worked fine for awhile, but now it stops producing cold air, even though the "A/C On" is lit up on the control panel. I even got the "A/C Off" to light up for a short time, and did not press any button! It will sometimes cycle the air back to cold, but when that musty smell starts, I know the cold air is done!

    It never did that before when in AUTO. For manual A/C operation, my owner's manual says "Press this button to override the automatic system and turn the air conditioning system on or off. When A/C is pressed, an indicator light in the button will come on to let you know that it is activated". The "snowflake" button does NOT light up. And, the "A/C On" does not always readily light on the control display. I usually have to turn the car off and then press the A/C button immediately upon restart to get it to indicate "A/C On" in the display, but, cold air does not always come out of the vents!

    The dealer got no codes when hooked up to diagnostics. I believe they are stumped as well. I have used this forum to address other issues, and my dealer is anxious to see what you folks suggest. I apologize for the long post, but if someone can help, it would be most appreciated!

    Thanks, Bryan
  • hwromerhwromer Member Posts: 2
    The fan noise on anything above the low setting is so loud that it drowns out conversation or I have to turn radio up real loud. Is there a way to lubricate fan or do I need to take it in for service at a dealership. I have too many miles on it for warranty work.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,707
    Another factor on the air compressor cutting on and off is that the pump turns off when the car is under load, i.e., climbing a hill where your accelerator is pushed down a certain amount. Mine cut off today and I remembered that was a normal action. If the compressor cuts off on hills you will get the humid air coming out until the compressor cuts back on.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,707
    Is it possible paper or something is hitting the fans' squirrel cage? You might open the plastic door in the air intake area of the cowl when the hood is open. Check to see if you can see anything off toward the center of the car where the fan is located. If you have a filter in there for the passenger compartment air, you will have to pull it out first.

    Does the fan keep making noise after you turn the blower off while the fan is still spinning? Does it make a rushing air sound? That could mean your doors inside the heater module aren't working correctly and the air from the fan is trying to go through a door blocking it's path that should be open in one direction or another to let the air pass to where the switches are set.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • bryanbryan Northern VAMember Posts: 231
    When yours cuts off while under load, how long is it off? Most of my driving is highway back and forth from VA to DE, about 135 miles each way, and it is predominately flat country. Most of the drive is on cruise control. Last trip to DE the AUTO AC stopped working about 10 minutes into the drive. During that drive, the one time it did re-engage was when I floored the Northstar V8 to pass a car on a two lane rural highway. Boy that car can move! Anyway, as soon as the engine kicked into passing gear, you could feel the whoosh of cold air, which had not been present for the previous 60 or so miles. And, it kicked back off within 3 to 5 minutes!

    I have been driving the car back and forth to work this week, about 4 to 7 miles depending upon the route taken. It takes me 10 to 20 minutes timewise. The AUTO climate control system seems to be working fine when I first start the car, but seems to "give out" anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes into the drive, and I get the "AC OFF" on the display screen. And when I do stop somewhere and then restart, the AUTO is reengaged, AC is cold, but then will blow warm and give me the "AC OFF" on the red display.

    I plan to take your earlier advice and leave the car with them to get the condition to duplicate--they can drive the car as much as they like. I am going to see my dealer service guys tomorrow early afternoon, so if one of the techs has the time, I'll let him drive with me for 20-30 minutes to give the condition a chance to duplicate.

    Thanks again for all your advice.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,707
    The cutoff is when the pedal is more than halfway to the floor. It's meant to let more of the power go to the wheels when you're calling for more power. As soon as you let up on the pedal, the compressor comes back on.

    With a Northstar v8 you don't need much power-saving cutoff time! grin.

    It doesn't sound like that's what yours is doing.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • irresistibleirresistible Member Posts: 1
    :shades: Hi There.
    I have a question i have lost the key of my Pontiac Bonneville SSEI (1994) i got one from my Friend but from a different model (with the black resistor in it).
    But the key seems to have a different Resistor Value.
    Ist this key used the VAT system or maybe the Passkey II =`?
    does somebody know the resistor Value for my model or know where i can get a Bypass Box '? or 2 Blank Keys with the right Resistor Value ?

    I Live in Switzerland and the Car is Imported as Type X..

    Many thank in advance. Marco L. (Greets from Switzerland)
  • norm45norm45 Member Posts: 4
    As an owner of the same car, with the same problem, did you solve the problem?
  • hwromerhwromer Member Posts: 2
    I found access door once I opened the hood. I could see dried leaves inside squirrel cage of fan. Reached in and pulled them out and no more noise.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,707
    Great glad you found the cause. Lots cheaper than a trip to the dealer!

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • edwhedwh Member Posts: 5
    Bryan -
    I have the same problem with my 2003 Bonneville SSEI. The first code was a bad A/C high pressure sensor which I replaced. Now the AC is intermittent. Sometimes when I hit a bump or stop quickly, it comes on. Once on, it stays on and works fine. I have checked for loose wires and connections. Any progress on diagnosing yours?
    Ed in Illinois
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