Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • 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. My mechanic checked it with a computer and said that it is not a speed sensor or loose connections and that I have to replace the whole instrument cluster. However he didn't seem to be quite sure about this solution. Did anybody have a similar problem? Can it be a loose connection that the computer does not catch?
  • bryanbryan Northern VAMember Posts: 231
    Hi Ed: Sorry to hear about your Bonny's A/C problem. It sounds very similar to what mine is doing.

    Update on my AUTO A/C issues. When I drove the car back from DC to DE early in the morning on 6/9, the AUTO A/C worked intermittently as well. When I drove the car from my home there to leave for service at 2pm, it worked perfectly--ice cold and continuous. I left the car with all my Edmunds paperwork of advice and suggested fixes, and asked the service folks to drive the car until the condition duplicated.

    I retrieved car from service on Friday, June 16. The service technician informed me that they could not duplicate the problem. He stated he drove the car home one night and back the next day. However, he spoke with a GM climate control service tech and gave him all my info about how car was behaving. Based on that, GM advised them to replace the controller head again as there were a spate of them in Bonnevilles that malfunctioned.

    Following is how the AUTO A/C has worked since:

    Friday, June 16: Left dealer at 10:30 am, AUTO A/C worked fine to residence (about 5 miles; 10 minutes). Outside temp about 85 degrees if I remember correctly. Car parked until Sunday.

    Sunday, June 18: Set trip odometer to zero. Left DE residence for DC at 10:30 am; outside temperature display said 72 degrees. Drove four miles (about 8 minutes) to do errand, AUTO A/C worked fine. Shut off car for 10 minutes.

    Started out again and AUTO A/C worked fine until got just past Milton, DE (16 miles); stopped for traffic light. Upon normal acceleration, the car started blowing warm air. Outside temperature display said 87 degrees. Pulled over to side of road, turned off car. Restarted car within 3 seconds, AUTO A/C came on and worked for 30 miles. Had to floor it to merge in with traffic, AUTO A/C started blowing hot air (46 miles on trip odometer).

    Stopped for gas in Denton, MD; car off for about 10 minutes. Outside temp display read 91 degrees. (53 miles on trip odo) Started engine, AUTO A/C worked fine all the way to Arlington, VA! Now have 133 miles on trip odo.

    Went to grocery store about 3:30pm—outside temperature reading was 94 degrees. AUTO A/C worked fine going to and coming from the store (2-3 miles total trip).

    Monday, June 19: Left residence at 5:35am; drove 4 miles (about 10 minutes) to DC, AUTO A/C worked fine. Outside temp read 74 degrees.

    Left DC at 7:45am for Rosslyn (2 miles); outside temp read 80 degrees. AUTO A/C did NOT work entire trip; turned temperature down to 65—still did not work.

    As you can see, I am keeping a log this week. I will be taking the car back for the fourth attempt to fix. I wonder if it is the A/C clutch not engaging all the time, a software glitch somewhere, who knows? Only once did I notice the A/C Off in the Red Display, but that went away and I had cold air.

    I will take the log to the dealer on Friday and leave the car again for them to try and fix.

    I will keep you apprised. Good luck with yours and please let me know if you are able to resolve. Thanks.
  • sobczakj1sobczakj1 Member Posts: 1
    My Bonneville seems to be having problems with chugging when I am driving great distances. When I put my foot on the gas, it chugs before it gets gas, sometimes it feels like it's taking longer than it should to get up to speed. And when I get to higher speeds, around 70, it still has problems with the chugging. The best way to describe it is that it feels like the engine is "starving" for gas. Could it be that I need a tune up or possibly a fuel filter...the car has 105k miles on it and those have never been changed. I took the car to my local dealer, they reset all the sensors from the "check engine" light and told me to come in when the light comes back on so they can narrow down the problem and find a solution....but he feels it may have something to do with the transmission or the catalytic converter...I just had the converter replaced recently and my transmission fluid changed. Please let me know what you think the problem may be....fuel injector cleaner? More importantly, will the car be ok to operate while i save to get this fixed. Would I be able to take a 200 mile travel and give the car a break about halfway?

    Thank you for the fast response.
  • lcathlcath Member Posts: 1
    Even though I will eventually be taking the car to a garage, I thought I'd share some problems I'm experiencing to see if anyone here has experienced and solved some of these problems I'm having. Here they are:

    Sometimes the car runs smoothly and normally but then there are instances when the car won't start at all, or when, while driving, the engine will cut off. I hear a "ding ding ding" sound, then dead car. Sometimes I can get it to restart, other times it won't restart at all (and then I receive evil glares from other drivers for stalling traffic :blush: )

    My windshield wipers don't work anymore, and the when I make a turn I have to manually turn off the left/right turn signal (it doesn't automatically turn off)

    Lastly, the clock does not work anymore. Just a blank screen. I can listen to the radio, I just have no idea what station I'm listening to since none of the digital screens work. (I don't know if I'm using the terminology correctly so please excuse any ignorance.)

    So, these are the problems. If anyone can share any insight I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    Sometimes the car runs smoothly and normally but then there are instances when the car won't start at all, or when, while driving, the engine will cut off. I hear a "ding ding ding" sound, then dead car.

    I had the same problem with my 95. I cleaned all the grounds and it seems to correct the problem temporarily. Then a month later stalling and no start. It seems to be the fuel pump now. As far as the other problems I don't know, but start with the 3 grounds under the hood, two in the cabin and two in the trunk.
  • palaltpalalt Member Posts: 25
    Any hints on what the most likely cause of both the ABS & Traction Control lights staying on solid as soon as I start my car. The codes it provides are 045=Inlet Valve & 061=Pump Motor Fault. I am thinking about buying some used parts but don't know if the first attempt should be the pump or the computer/circuit board under the dash. It also produces 033 & 037 errors which say both LR & RR wheel signals missing. Both rear wheel sensors have been replaced, having no affect.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,731
    I'd suggest finding a serviceman in your area with experience in what goes wrong. The hardware is certainly likely after 13 years. But you can throw a lot of money at parts and perhaps not fix it, doing it yourself or having a serviceman tackle it.

    My personal thought would be to take out the bulbs and drive the car without ABS and that's based on the pricing I've heard on a couple of callin radio mechanic's shows from this area.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • bryanbryan Northern VAMember Posts: 231
    I drove back to DE on Friday, 6/23. The AUTO A/C had worked off and on during the week's work commute. On Friday, AUTO A/C worked flawlessly from VA to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, when I stopped for about 5 minutes. Upon restart, nothing but hot air. Stopped again about 30 minutes later for gas, and upon restart, AUTO A/C worked perfectly.

    While approaching 4-lane highway from 2-laner, I slowed to make the right merge and with no traffic to merge with, did normal acceleration. I never stopped moving. As soon as I completed the merge, hot air began blowing. Drove 7 miles like that straight to dealership, where I pulled up to open service bay and did not turn off car. Service tech and A/C guru tech came to car, saw how it was not working correctly, hooked it up to diagnostics, and got NO codes. He then was able to get the compressor to engage and blow cold air by pressing the manual A/C snowflake button.

    But, now they have seen the problem themselves. I left the car, and have not heard anything yet. Once I know the problem has been fixed (like driving the car a few times myself with no more intermittent problems), I'll share what the dealer service techs did. Four has been my lucky number, so I'm hopeful that the fourth time will be the charm! ;)
  • boschlerboschler Member Posts: 6
    Have a constant "Security" light on in my '96 SSE. The keyless entry/truck/panic remote(s) do not work as well as the temperature indicator for A/C flashes 1 per/sec for a minute when car is started. Don't know if the two are somehow related, but mention it. Any others with similar experiences???
  • edwhedwh Member Posts: 5
    Bryan -
    Thanks for the info. Our problems may not be the same. The compressor in my car is engaged. The LED / LCD on the dash says the fan is going and it is not. There is cool air coming from the vents but without the fan. Sometimes when I brake hard or hit a bump it comes on and works fine the rest of the trip. When I start up, it either works fine for the entire trip or it may start up sometime during the trip. Once started, it works fine. Does not seem to have anything to do with the RPMs of the engine. Have had the wiring checked but may have it checked again. I drive alot and the car is out of warranty. What does a controller cost?
    My local Pontiac dealer wants $100 each time to look at it.
    Thanks again.
    Ed in Illinois.
  • stewcstewc Member Posts: 12
    I have a '94 Pontiac Bonneville SE with 136,000 miles. It has traction control. Except, when the traction control switch is pressed "On" the engine dies, and will not start again without the computer being reset. Anyone know how to solve this problem?
  • bryanbryan Northern VAMember Posts: 231
    Hi Ed: Sorry to hear you are out of warranty :sick:

    I think you are right--we have different problems but definitely the same issue--the AUTO A/C does not work as designed ;)

    As to the cost of a new controller, I can't tell from my initial paperwork as it has $00 and shows replaced under warranty.

    I will call the dealer tomorrow and see what progress, if any, has been made. I'll let you know what I find out.

    Good luck with yours.
  • edwhedwh Member Posts: 5
    Bryan -
    My 1997 SSEI had 220,000 without nary a problem. This 2003 has 125,000 on with a new transmission at 110,000. And now the A/C issue. I am going to the Pontiac dealer tomorrow - will let you know what they find.
  • bryanbryan Northern VAMember Posts: 231
    Ed: I just spoke with my service tech at the Pontiac dealer. One of their techs has been driving the car to and from work, and it malfunctioned on him. He had his sensor and plugged it in and got a code this time. Something about a relay switch. They think they have fixed it as it has been working perfectly since. I am picking the car up tomorrow, and will post the actual results from my work order when I return on July 10 from vacation.

    Good luck with yours. Let me know how it goes.
    Thanks, Bryan
  • edwhedwh Member Posts: 5
    Bryan -
    Good timing!! I just got back from the Pontiac dealer. A tech found a cold solder within the blower moter. The parts are ordered and will be installed tomorrow around noon. I will let you know if it is cured.
  • carawaycaraway Member Posts: 1
    i recently bought a used 1996 bonneville got it home then the key got stuck in the ignition because it wouldn't go into lock. then a few days later after we got the key out the car wouldn't start the interior light will come on but there really dim. i was wondering if any one else has had this problem and if so how did you fix it.
    thanks caraway
  • antnyantny Member Posts: 2
    We are trying to remove an engine mount in front of water pump on 93 Bonneville. We bought a manual which covers the years 85-2005 and it is not helpful as it doesn't tell us how to get the mount out after removing bolts.No details and we can't figure it out. We've supported the engine with a hydralic jack and there is one bolt we can't get to that goes into the pump cover by way of this mount. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • tallbumptallbump Member Posts: 1
    To all who have not discovered this yet, get over to bonnevilleclub.com. There is a ton of great guys and gals who can help with any problem you will eveer have.
  • wagsgirlswagsgirls Member Posts: 1
    i have a 96 bonneville se. the check engine light was on steady forever it seemed and we couldn't figure out why so we left it go. about a year ago we had to replace the head gasket and the garage checked the light on the computer and said it didn't show anything. the only thing they said was wrong after fixing the head gasket was the oil guage wire and the o2 sensor. he said neither were a big deal. yesterday we were driving and out of the blue the check engine light started to blink and the traction off light came on. the car now kind of putters around. could this just be because we never replace the o2 sensor or is it something more?
  • aeroplanaeroplan Member Posts: 2
    I recently bought a 87 Bonneville with 200000km. It has run great for 5 months, but now there is a problem. It will start, and idle for a few mins, then the 'Check Engine' light comes on. The car continues to idle, but the RPM's go up and down on their own, and when placed into gear, the car has no power and stalls. I can feather the gas pedal, and it will go a few blocks, but only around 15mph.

    It now sits in my underground parking spot.

    I bought a code reader, and 32,34 problem codes are showing. The 'Check Engine' light had been coming on for a couple of months prior at random, but I didn't pay attention as the car ran excellent.

    Any advice would be great. I am not close to a GM dealership, and if it's a simple sensor or circuit, I'd like to think I can do it.

    Thank you all in advance,

  • stewcstewc Member Posts: 12
    I'm leaning toward O2 sensor perhaps, but I'm not for certain.
  • stewcstewc Member Posts: 12
    165,000 miles. ABS light is on, always... what could be wrong?
  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    Code 32- EGR circuit

    Code 34- MAF sensor signal-low airflow indicated

    I would inspect air filter and see if it is clogged. MAF sensor is an easy fix. EGR may not be. Hope this helps!
  • aeroplanaeroplan Member Posts: 2
    Thank you stewc, and azu for your replies.

    According to the codes, it rules out the o2 sensor, but thank you for the idea.

    I did remove and inspect the air filter. It appears fairly clean, but I gently tapped out the loose particles. I replaced it and the car started and runs okay now.

    The check engine light still comes on, and both code 32 and 34 are still indicated. I will reset the code memory and see if the light comes on again. I have a feeling it may be a false sensor reading on the MAF, and possibly the ERG solenoid.

    Thanks again for the help!
  • stewcstewc Member Posts: 12
    Yourwelcome. It could have just been something in the computer with the air filter, thinking it needed replaced... and you taking the filter out, and cleaning it may have made the computer think you replaced it. :)
  • bryanbryan Northern VAMember Posts: 231
    :D It's fixed!!! AUTO A/C has been working as designed since I picked up the car on June 30.

    From my repair paperwork: Test drove vehicle and had it act up with computer hooked up. Found Code P0532. Replaced AC pressure cycling switch. When replacing switch found wiring harness really tight, re routed.
  • edwhedwh Member Posts: 5
    Bryan -
    My AC is also repaired. The electrical connection to the blower was loose (maybe a solder gone bad). Replaced the blower and has worked since.
    Good luck!
  • bryanbryan Northern VAMember Posts: 231
    Ed: I'm glad to hear your A/C issue too was resolved. I don't know about you, but the ongoing problem was making me start to think about getting rid of the car. Enough that I picked up a brochure on the Lucerne and went on-line and built one!

    I was always wondering when the A/C would fritz out again that I no longer paid any attention to the car. But, no new car for me right now! I realized on my drive home Sunday from DE that I had "rediscovered" why I really like my GXP.

    Enjoy your ride.

  • missy77missy77 Member Posts: 1
    "hi I see you posted this message a few years ago. I seem to be having close to the same problem with my 97 bonnie. I will be just driving along 30mph,70mph,cruise on or off it really has no rhyme or reason for it to die it just quits. We can normally start again in nutral while still rolling but sometimes we half to pull over and put it in park. Did you ever figure out your prob? Let me know if you or anyone else has had and fixed this.

  • kmsweetheart2ukmsweetheart2u Member Posts: 2
    I have a 94 Bonneville and as of a month ago, my car's engine started to shut off randomly while driving down the road as well. Generally, it will start again after about 20 minutes. My car has around 132,7?? miles on it. It has been very well maintained. We have had it in the shop twice now. The first time the diagnostic said to replace the computer, so we did. That lasted for a week. Then it all started again, not just once, but a couple of times within 5 minutes. Took it back in and the car acted just fine. Not even a week later it happened again. Also, I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but my radio turns itself on and off as well as volume levels and radio stations. We are down to this being our only vehicle right now, and I put on about 1,000 miles per month when college starts back up in the fall. I really need to get this serious problem solved before someone gets hurt and before I have to go back to school. Can anyone out there PLEASE help me. :cry: :confuse:
  • mrelk2912mrelk2912 Member Posts: 1
    My bonnie has over 240,000 miles. The previous owner had the engine overhauled and installed a new supercharger. I have installed a new transmission and she runs like a top but the instrument panel is a mess. The boost gauge bounces up and down and then it will read correct(I think). The check engine light comes on most of the time and several people have checked it and it shows no problems. The traction control light comes on and goes off without switching it. sometimes the security light stays on. The antilock brake light stays on but has been checked and has no problems. The compass lights up but does not work and recently after picking it up after a new paint job the dash lights dont work. I have checked all fuses under the dash but still no luck. If any one could help with one or more of these problems please let me know.
  • stewcstewc Member Posts: 12
    Try unhooking your battery for aprox. 30 seconds, and reconnecting. Thus resetting your computer, may help... may not. Worth a shot though. Not a complicated task.
  • tylergirltylergirl Member Posts: 1
    I'm having problems with my '00 SSEi. When I have the cruise control on the low traction light will come on and throw my cruise off. Then out of the blue my message center will ding, low traction ,anti-lock lights will come on and the message center reads service stability center. My gas pedal vibrates when this happens also, sometimes my brake pedal gets hard to push. This doesn't happen all the time even though sometimes I just have to turn the ignition and all this happens. I've checked the battery connections and they're good. I've had it hooked up to a computer several times and no codes show up. Could it be a loose connection to the computer? :confuse: Any input would be greatly appreciated!!!!
  • bonneville96bonneville96 Member Posts: 28
    My speedometer and odometer on '96 SE failed recently. The panel is mechanic, not electronic. All the gauges work except the speedometer and the odometer. My mechanic checked it with a computer and said that it is not a speed sensor or loose connections and that I have to replace the whole instrument cluster. However he didn't seem to be quite sure about this solution, because he did not want to buy the part himself. Did anybody have a similar problem? Can it be a loose connection that the computer does not catch?
  • song77song77 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1995 Pontiac Bonneville and the brakes are not working correctly. When I apply the brakes, the pedal depresses about half way and gets hard. The car will brake but not 100%. It seems as though not all wheel are braking. there are no leaks visible and the brake fluid level is full. Any suggestions anyone? Thanks
  • stewcstewc Member Posts: 12
    Have you recently replaced your calipers? If you, you may try bleeding your brakes. Even if you haven't replaced either, you should bleed your brakes. The pedal goes down halfway without pressure because there may be air in the brakelines, and it has to push the air out, before it hits the fluid.
  • ketters33ketters33 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 bonneville ssei, and am getting a roar from the front end of her. It started about 2 days ago and is getting worse progressively. my question is,is it a wheel bearing or something more serious and how long will it hold up,thanks
  • larry1956larry1956 Member Posts: 5
    Can anyone tell me the correct high and low side pressures for a/c system and equalized pressure at 95 degrees ambient before system is started. I have a 92 Bonneville thats been converted from R-12 to 134A refrigerant.
  • richard47richard47 Member Posts: 1
    I need help.. My 1995 N\Bonneville only blows a/c cooled air from the defoster and the ac control blinks.. what could be wrong?

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,731
    I assume you have automatic temperature control rather than manual controls.

    It may be you've lost vacuum to the inside of the car from the motor. See if you can find the little black tube from the intake manifold running upto the firewall to a small plastic vacuum tank or running under the right front fender. See if you have vacuum there. When there's no vacuum controlling the doors in the heater box, defrost is where the air comes out for safety reasons to keep the windshield cleared.

    You may have had a problem with the programmer box which interprets the sensors and input settings. There are various kinds of failures that happened with little vacuum connectors and electric motors that don't have the flashing indicators. Up till 1994, if you pushed on two buttons on the settings, it would read out a number telling what it senses is wrong. But I believe in 1995 you have to have a Tech II to see what it's complaining about.

    Check for vacuum.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • norm45norm45 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 1992 Bonnie that has a small freon leak at the low pressure valve. Is there a way to replace that valve? The valve that looks like a tire valve. I tried to tighten it, but stll bubbles when you spray water on it. Also is there anywhere you can buy this valve? Or is this a job for a repair shop?
  • probamprobam Member Posts: 1
    I need to find a repair manual , owners manual etc. I need to get it going . I live in Louisiana and it is hurricane season. I am retired , but I am willing to pay a fair price. Respectfully: Robert
  • 98bon98bon Member Posts: 2
    The other day on my way home the car started shaking and the oil, temp, and battery gage started fluctuating like crazy. Now the car will not start. The enginge will turn over though. I have checked the sparks,and i have oil and gas. If anyone has any ideas or could help please let me know! thank you
  • mgarrismgarris Member Posts: 1
    i own a 2001 bonneville it also had a whine mine ended up being the wheel bearing,150 for the part n fixed it myself.
  • aceladyacelady Member Posts: 10
    We own a 01 Bonneville. She is my husband's baby.

    He loves the ride and comfort.

    My question is this...His car has an electronic dash, I usually feel like I am in the cockpit of a plane when I drive it, anyway one of the lights is out behind the dash, fan switch I think. Is it easy to replace or not worth the time?
  • thelandprothelandpro Member Posts: 2
    I have a 92 Bonneville with 250,000 miles runs great but i belive my pass key system has failed i get no starter at all and no fuel. I am trying to find a way to by pass the pass key system. I have found a a vats by-pass system for installing a remote starter which showed a schmatic and two wires to cut from the ignition and the pass key decoder but i am not sure if cut those if that will dis able the system or my car all together, as well im not 100% sure on the locations of these items.
    Any help at all would be great.
  • thelandprothelandpro Member Posts: 2
    I also am having one more problem with my car when the gas gets below a 1/4 tank when i make turns the car seems to chug coming out of the corner it also was doing it on the express way when i wanted to pass if i stepped on the gas it would bog down but once i released the gas a little it picked up. My brother-in-law also has the same vehicle that has the same problem, he has changed the fuel pump and filter and still has the problem.
  • stewcstewc Member Posts: 12
    Have you tried running any fuel injector cleaner through your system? Try running some fuel injection system cleaner through it.
  • norm45norm45 Member Posts: 4
    Amazing, my wife's 92 has the exact problem. never changed the fuel pump, but almost everything else. Still does it. she has just gotten used to buying gas at 1/2 a tank.Must be something in the design of the fuel system......
  • kmsweetheart2ukmsweetheart2u Member Posts: 2
    For all of you random engine shut-off problems, I finally was able to find the problem and fix it. It got towed into the shop since it had died again and they discovered that it was a loose ground shunt that controlled the ground to the power windows, seats, ignition, & etc. They tightened it down and I haven't had any problems since. It's been three weeks. I hope that this info. helps someone out. :shades:
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