Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • palaltpalalt Member Posts: 25
    My interior lighting suddenly stopped working when you use the FOB to unlock the doors, or actually open the doors. They do light when you turn the headlight switch to the detent position, but none of the automatic features work. I've opened all doors to see if it was a single switch problem with a specific door, nothing. Any ideas??
  • monsterjoemonsterjoe Member Posts: 1
    i have a 94 bonneville with 156000 miles and at a low idle the car's rpms will surge back and forth and sometimes turn off. i have run fuel injector cleaner through it and changed air filter, spark plugs and wires. also when i acclerate the brake light will ding and come on for a short bit. i have taken it in to a mechanic but it did not act up when he had it. any ideas?
  • styersstyers Member Posts: 1
    My Bonney's headlights will not shut off. When you start the car they come on (even thought the sentinal and light switch is off) then when you shut the car off they will not go off. I replaced the headlight switch and that did not fix the problem. I looked for a relay but their is not 0ne for the headlights. At this time the only way to get the headlights to shut off is unhook the battery. Has anyone had this problem or have delt with this problem? Any ideas?
  • lucastllucastl Member Posts: 1
    Hello. Contrary to what your mechanic said, the o2 sensor is a big deal. This should have been replaced when you knew it was bad. A faulty o2 sensor can cause many driveability issues. I would start be having the engine light codes checked again and have the o2 sensor replaced. Since you say you had the head gasket replaced, I hope this was your true problem. If you are not having to add coolant regularly, you should be ok. I have a 95 bonneville and just replaced the plastic upper intake plenum. I was losing coolant due to an internal leak. The coolant was being burned with the gas and it also wiped out my o2 sensor and catalytic converter. Be sure that you are not mysteriously losing antifreeze before replacing the o2 sensor, or you will just ruin the new sensor. The plastic intake plenums failing are a very common problem on these cars. They can be hard to diagnose when the problem is small. Mine also had an internal vacuum leak which threw everything off. After replacing the plenum and gaskets and installing an o2 sensor, mine runs like new, fuel economy took a big jump for the better. The traction light coming on with engine light is normal with this issue. As a safety feature, the computer disables the traction control when you have certain driveability problems to help avoid a loss of control during an emergency situation with a driveability problem. Good luck.
  • arizonabobarizonabob Member Posts: 1
    I had exactly the same problem with my 1995 Bonneville SSEI.
    First try tightening both battery terminal bolts, (Cheapest and simplest fix) continue driving car. If problem reoccurs try having computer on passenger side under glove box on firewall replaced. I had this done before tightening battery terminals, dealer changed for about $275. Several months later the loose battery teminals caused the problem. Now I just had a recurrence and a mechanic tapped the ICM under the ignition coils and that solved the problem this time. However he said this is fairly common and the ICM (Ignition Control Module) is on the way out and should be replaced. I just bought the ICM, Three new coils, for about$196 but have not put them in yet. You have replaced the ICM , so try the other fixes. Other than that it is a great machine. Good Luck
  • rick2termarick2terma Member Posts: 1
    We have a 1998 Bonneville with the same problem. The water seems to be running down the inside of the fire wall.

    Have you been able to find a solution to your problems yet? We have not - It just started 2-3 mo. ago. We are very eager for a solution, s our car is really starting to smell.

    Thnaks, Toni
  • cbul0131cbul0131 Member Posts: 1
    I am having the same problems with my 2001 bonneville that you talk about in your post from 5/21/06. Did you ever find out exactly what was causing your problems?
  • buffmanbuffman Member Posts: 1
    i have a 2001 bonneville SLE
    first the check tire pressure light is on constantly.

    second the windshield wipers are in delay mode all the time.
    they won't turn off.
  • gregmalonegregmalone Member Posts: 1
    nOT SURE IF YOU STILL CHECK your replies as this is quite old but I am having similiar problems. Are you saying that using the c-clamp method never did work for you.

    If so how did you re-seat the piston. I could not easily get that pin into the recessed area of the piston from the back of the brake pad.

    I am usnderstanding that simply turning the piston clock-wise will seat it in the bore. What type of tool did you use.

  • tim15235tim15235 Member Posts: 3
    Hey, Tim from Pittsburgh PA. I have a 1994 Bonneville that will stall when my foot is of the gas or going down a slight hill or into a bend. I replaced the fuel pressure regulator, Mass air flow, plugs, wires, and fuel filter and still have the problem. Please help!! The car runs better but still stalls. The car is pissing me off.
  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    Try the TPS (Throttle Position sensor). These things are hard to narrow down and you should have the computer scanned for any codes that are being set from this. Could also be crankshaft sensor and several other problems. Good Luck!
  • tim15235tim15235 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info. What other sensors could it be?
  • mcbaruchmcbaruch Member Posts: 2

    How did the water leak play out. I have a 98 also and I have puddles in front of the driver seat as well as behind it. I think the water is coming from the front but I am just getting going on pulling up carpet. Any information would be appreciated.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,731
    For the water leaks..., I haven't had them in my leSabre (98 or 03). But I'll pass what I've learned from others on the web. Try the garden hose into the vents under the hood where air goes in and around the windshield edges. See if you can find any water coming in then. This is best done when you pull the carpet back to dry it!!!

    Test the sunroof drains. They can back up and overflow into the car if the rubber is disconnected at the sunroof corners or not.

    Then most likely your problem is inside the door. If any work has been done on either door that's a tipoff. There's a moisture barrier that doesn't seal again at the bottom. There's a gummy, butyl like sealer on the plastic to hold it to the metal at the bottom of the door. If it doesn't, or the plastic is torn or damaged, water ends up coming inside the car from the door itself.

    Once you have a wet carpet, the mat underneath is wet (obviously). The best solution is to remove the seat bolts or whatever else is needed and take the thing completely out and hang it up to dry for a few days. Otherwise mold is a problem especially for the nonsnow states. (In snow area humidity has dropped enough a house fan blowing air into car may be able to pull moisture out after a few nights of sitting with fan blowing against edges of carpet.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • mcbaruchmcbaruch Member Posts: 2

    As to the hose into the vents, is that on the engine side looking at the fire wall or is it on the inside (since you mentioned pulling up carpet)?

    I am wondering about the door because I noticed a torn door seal halfway up the frame.

    Again, thanks for the information.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,731
    The hose is on the outside just making rainwater equivalent to a heavy downpour into the vents and windshield.

    If you found a torn door seal, try hosing the windshield and door and roof in that area and seeing you can find water tracking into the car. Repair the door seal with silicon caulk, e.g., like you'd buy for a door or window or bathtub repair. It also comes in smaller tubes with screwon caps.

    But several people have found inner door plastic layers that are not sealed down causing the water to get inside.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,731
    The hose is on the outside just making rainwater equivalent to a heavy downpour into the vents and windshield.

    If you found a torn door seal, try hosing the windshield and door and roof in that area and seeing you can find water tracking into the car. Repair the door seal with silicon caulk, e.g., like you'd buy for a door or window or bathtub repair. It also comes in smaller tubes with screwon caps.

    But several people have found inner door plastic layers that are not sealed down causing the water to get inside. To check that the door inner panel has to come off to see the plastic that keeps the water going back outside instead of to the inside when it gets in around the window seals...

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • madd0g1madd0g1 Member Posts: 1
    I own a 98 Bonneville SSE and also found the carpet behind the drivers seat was wet. My son who is a Pontiac mechanic said the sunroof drains were clogged. I cleared the drain holes and the problem was solved. But because of the design of the car this needs to be done periodically. The drain holes are located inside the front door jams. If you open your doors they are in the front at the bottom. I cleared them from under the car also where there is an exit hole. Hope this helps....
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,124
    i have a1995 bonneville and it is white the top starting pealing then trunck then sides looks like paint never took to primer i am sick this has to be a effect from when it was painted at gm
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,124
    i have a1995 bonneville and it is white the top starting pealing then trunk then sides looks like paint never took to primer i am sick this has to be a effect from when it was painted at gm can any thing be done about this can gm be held liable
  • 1196ssei1196ssei Member Posts: 1
    I need to do exactly what you are talking abut here with that actuator door. However, how did you get past that air bag? When I look thru that hole, I have my air bag sitting right there waiting for me to set it off. Do you have an advice on HOW YOU got this job done? Thanks & my hat is off to you.
  • djohn81641djohn81641 Member Posts: 13
    Thank you for that suggestion. I will try it.
  • hendrickhendrick Member Posts: 7
    Hi. I just recently purchased a 2003 SSEi with the HUD display. I was driving at night the other, well, night and noticed that the control knob/switch for the HUD was not lit... everything else seems to be orange back-lit, but not the controls for the HUD. It looks like they should be back-lit as the writing is kinda white, like the DIC and the headlight sentry controls, etc., but the HUD controls are not backlit... should they be? Is the switch bad? It still controls the HUD, it's just not back-lit anymore... assuming it's supposed to be. Can anyone confirm?
  • djohn81641djohn81641 Member Posts: 13
    Yes, the control switch should be back lit. I have replace other switches on my 2000 SSEi that went out, i.e., steering wheel radio control buttons, and the headlight switch. What you will need to do is order a new switch from the dealer, it will not be cheap. Once you have it, you will clearly see how to the current switch pops out and then you plug the new one in. Hopes this helps. Question does the gear shifter indicator on your center console, light up? My center console shifter is dark, but I can't remember if it was ever lit. Thanks
  • hendrickhendrick Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for the quick response! I actually just replaced the dash surround bezel as the rubbarized type coating on it by the radio when I bought the car was peeling. I had to pop out the HUD switch and then put it back in when replacing the bezel. There's only one plug for the HUD switch though, right? If the HUD still works, then I didn't forget to plug anything in, or screw something up, right?

    As for your question, yes, the center console gear indicator should be lit as well. I noticed that at the same time... that it shows the gear indicator in yellow on the dash (the other gears not being used are still reddish orange), and the center console gear indicator also shows the same thing, backlit in yellow for the gear you're in and orange for the ones you aren't...
  • djohn81641djohn81641 Member Posts: 13
    Yes, I believe there is only one switch for the HUD. You will clearly see how to connect the switch base on the connections for the new switch.
  • sheliasheliasheliashelia Member Posts: 1
    Could anyone tell me how to replace my brake light?? I have a 2000 Bonneville.... Thanks so much!
  • jim237jim237 Member Posts: 10
    My SSEI has 33,000 miles and all of a sudden has developed the following leaks
    water pump
    valve cover gaskets
    oil pan gasket
    power steering, ( which I had dealer replace for $ 700.00 )
    The estimate from dealer for all replacements was $ 2700.00
    The PS is the only repair I have approved. Will trade the car before I would sink another $ 2,000 into the car,
    The 3800 series motor has been a great motor for Gm, but cannot figure what is going on with mine??
    Your thoughts??
  • fdh01bonnevillfdh01bonnevill Member Posts: 4
    I have an 01 SSEI and I bought the extended warranty... it was a good deal! I know the person who owned the car before me had a mainfold coolant gasket replaced around 35,000 miles. I just had my pwr steering lines done,valve cover gaskets; but no problem with water pump or oil pan. Gaskets don't seem to be their best thing! I have 82,000 miles. And let me tell you what a difference the valve cover gaskets made in the supercharger performance!! (Also, beware of the intermediate steering shaft... you will be in for that too.) The $ seems about right, though. A little high, but if it's in good shape, keep it rolling. I had an 89 SSE with 318,000 miles and it was still going! GOOD LUCK.
  • kevakasperkevakasper Member Posts: 6
    I have the same problem going on with my 92 sse, I have tried to find a used cluster, but to no avail. Does anyone know if a cluster from an se without the compass and lightbulb monitor will work, they are a dime a dozen, or where can I get the cluster repaired?
  • kevakasperkevakasper Member Posts: 6
    Hi, I have a 92 sse with 150K on it. Car runs great now that I have the front suspension rebuilt. I am having the common problem of the dash gauge cluster going nuts. It has worked intermittently all winter and now that it is getting warmer it is getting worse, I have tried swapping it out with two used units, but neither has worked. I am looking for suggestions on a possible bad ground, or where to get the cluster serviced. Only 1/2 of the cluster dies. The speedo, and tach have been consistent in working, but the rest of the dash will go black, or just bounce around. When it is "working" the oil pressure and amp gauge still are erratic. HELP I don't think the dealers even support this anymore due to the age of the car. After reading the forums this morning, I realized that mine too is soaked on the drivers floor. Where exactly is the ground bus for the dash? Is the dash grounded by more than one ground? Thanks for any input or help.
  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    I have a 95 Bonny SE. Had problem a few months back and computer was not throwing codes(Should have). Found problem through lucky elimination. Now I have a problem where the timing is being thrown off and engine is laboring and backfiring out the exhaust. Just recently the check engine light came on. Once engine turned off and turned back on the light is out. My question is: Where are the codes actually stored at? The ECM or the removable PROM? If it's not the PROM then I can save time and money and just get another ECM rather than the PROM.
  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    Car was running great(Getting close to 25MPG) and suddenly started to miss and backfire. The exhaust now hums and every 10 seconds or so you can hear backfires in the exhaust and they seem to come in pairs. There is so much backpressure some of the engine gaskets are starting to seep oil(They leaked slightly before but it's increased). I replaced ECM as I was not getting codes. So far with new ECM, Check Engine light hasn't come on. I did some initial testing on sensors and they all seem to check out ok.

    I am leaning towards an ignition problem, clogged catty or stuck values. I'm going to start with checking the coils for wear and damage. If they check out I will change plugs and wires. If that fails I'll replace Ignition Module. If that fails I'll have the catty checked. Is there anything else I could be overlooking? Like I said the car ran great and suddenly went bad.

    It's a 95 Bonneville SE 193,000 miles on it. It has a rebuilt engine in it with about 60-70K on it.


    No exhaust color but I can smell it's running rich.
  • suez1suez1 Member Posts: 2
    I saw message #1968 with the same problem, but, no answer
    My headlights will not shut off when car is off.....
    I have to unplug the battery ...97 bonneville se
  • suez1suez1 Member Posts: 2
    i have a 97 that just started doing the same thing, but, I saw no answer to your probem here
  • bonnievillbonnievill Member Posts: 1
    ok look under the dash on pass side panel take it off on the upper right side u will c a fuse box take them out 1 by 1 untill u find the blown fuse :)
  • dblanddbland Member Posts: 2
    I have a 95 Bonne SE. It will periodically shut down, no pattern to problem. Just prior to shut down I get 3 dings and the engine will run rough for a seconds. I have seen posts here before that suggested a bad ground might be causing the problem, or a possible ignition control module. I have replaced the ignition control module, all 3 ignition coils, plugs, plug wires, positve battery cable to starter/alternator, negative battery cable, and have cleaned and reseated all three sets of grounds in the engine box. I also just recently had the fuel filter replaced and the fuel injectors cleaned and serviced.

    Could I have a bad computer? Are there any other ground connections that I have missed?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    I had the same problem and it was dirty grounds under the hood. Also check the two grounds in the cabin, one on drivers' side and passengers' side floor. It is under the carpet right where ones' foot would go, left foot on drivers side by parking brake and right foot area on passengers' side. I found these to be ok. Are you having problems with power locks, doors and seats? If so there is two more ground buss locations. One next to each front door. One of them grounds the fuel pump. If you need help with how to locate and/or clean these let me know. Good Luck!
  • kevakasperkevakasper Member Posts: 6
    Re: Grounds... Has anyone experienced a bad ground causing the instrument cluster to go haywire? If so which ground buss affects the instrument cluster. Everything else on the car works, but I am afraid to let my kid drive it due to the lack of gauge readouts. Any help is appreciated.
  • dblanddbland Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. Another mechanic stated the fuel pump as a possible problem. Could you tell me where the grounds inside by the front doors are located.

  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    I too at first thought it was the fuel pump and replaced that after changing fuel filter, regulator and relay. Fuel pump was fine after all but replaced since I had old one out. The ground Buss is underneath the trim next to the seat and door. Pry that off and you will see wires bundled together in a black plastic tube. My buss was underneath the wires and you can tell it is it by the blue color. I just took out the metal plate and cleaned it off and put some dielectric grease on it. Some say to take each wire out and clean connection but I couldn't get them out. There is a buss on each side of the car. I have heard also that a bad ground at one of these can also cause gages to go haywire as well. I believe that buss is on the passenger side but don't quote me on that. Again good luck!
  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaMember Posts: 254
    My sister's 1993 Bonneville SSEi will not start, not even crank. I had it running just a few days ago, everything was fine. I went to move it the other day, and the starter turned slowly and intermittantly...figured it was the battery. Hooked up a jumper box, turned the key...nothing. Not even a sound. I'm thinking starter, but could it be something else? The car has 145k miles on it, a used engine was put in it a year ago and at the time, had about 160k on the engine, so it's probably 170k by now. I'm thinking it's time to lead it out to the pasture and shoot it, but she loves the car and doesn't want to part with it. It's been sitting for about a month because she's been out of state. Any ideas?
  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    I would suspect a bad starter or blown relay. Also check the battery cable connections and especially the cable going from the battery to the starter.Good luck. These cars can run for a few hundred thousand miles so don't give up on it yet.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaMember Posts: 254
    Thanks, I'll check those out and let ya know.
  • cravenscravens Member Posts: 2
    hey there, just joined the forum because my 94 bonny was doing the exact same thing. it is in the shop now, computer showed crank sensor was bad causing the ignition mod. to fault..they are changing it today (sensor) it is a relatively cheap part (45.00) but labor jacked it up to 206.00 . let me know what cured your problem. i will re post to you after i get the car back if it cured my problem. mine did this for almost a year maybe once every 2-3 months, then every week, then last 2 days every few miles, especially when i would decrease speed or brake to turn..it did it mostly when the temperature was hot outside, less early in the morning, weird problem, but have read about alot of bonnys doing this, mine has a little over 100k miles..judy
  • cravenscravens Member Posts: 2
    so ok, my 94 bonny was shutting off with no warning, just like dbland, got it back from the shop a few hours ago and the problem is fixed..or at least seems to be..they relaced the crank sensor and it runs like a dream..hope this helps others..judy
  • azuazu Member Posts: 84
    That is great. Mine too had three seperate no start problems. Bad ground, crank and then camshaft sensor! Ride on!
  • billydeanbillydean Member Posts: 1
    My '87 3.8 has a low rpm miss. It is most nticable when the torque converter kicks into OD. It has a slightly ruff idle. A bit of a miss on start out. But runs good. There is a new crank sensor, cam sensor, oxygen sensor, and MAF sensor. I have serviced the EGR and checked for vacuum leaks. There are new plugs and wires. Any suggestions?
  • destiny4destiny4 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 94' Pontiac Bonneville and have found a oil leak (puddle )under the car . I have checked the head gaskets and it does not seem to be them . Can anyone give me any advice on where it might be leaking from ?
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