Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Have you recently leased or purchased a Lexus sedan or SUV? If so, a reporter would like to talk to you. Please reach out to [email protected] by Wednesday, December 19 and the Edmunds PR team may connect you with the journalist.
Have you recently purchased (not leased) a subcompact sedan (such as a Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Chevy Sonic or Ford Fiesta)? If so, a reporter would like to talk to you. Please reach out to [email protected] by Wednesday, December 26 and the Edmunds PR team may connect you with the journalist.
If you experience loading issues with the login/register form, please completely disable ad blocker or use an incognito or in-private window to log in.

Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • If it is none of the above pulleys it is most likely the
    bearing between the trans & engine. The bearing will get dry and start to radiate noise like a pulley going out.

    If it gets real bad your looking at 10 hrs of dealer time
    to change out a $6.00 bearing. The best to you and may it only be a pulley.
  • Did you ever get this solved-how many miles did it have
    on it when it started to have the noise?
  • Did you get this fixed, and if so, how? I have a 93 SSEi, recently acquired, and the RV mirror shakes more than I want it to. Thanks.
  • I have a 93 ssei and rebuilt the steering column radio switches rather than paying the dealer $228 for new ones. If the controls on the radio itself work, but the steering column controls do not, Check Instr Panel fuse box, fuse 24.If fuse is OK, the book takes you thru a lot of other wiring tests and will not go into the switches themselves. but most likely the rubber (?!?)switch plungers which operate the microswitches have deteriorated and no longer are stiff enough to depress the microswitch. If you want the instructions on how to remove and test your switches, then repair them, let me know as I have done the work on it for my 93 and now have working SC radio controls.
  • jgtmiljgtmil Posts: 19
    thank you I will check my fuses again but if you would let me know the rebuild info more so where to get the parts.
  • The procedure will be to remove the airbag module on the steering column and remove the left and right radio control switches which are wired together into one plug which connects to the back of the airbag bracket. This procedure is labor intensive and the only parts you will need is 10 or 12 5d common nails available at any hardware store. These will subsitute for the deteriorated rubber plungers which no longer activate the microswitches on the circuit boards underneath the Volume, pre-sets, AM/FM etc buttons.
    1) disable your driver side airbag--remove IP fuse #7, and to be safe, disconnect the negative battery terminal (check to see if you have a radio activation code as you may need that to operate the radio after you have disconnected the battery). Let the car sit for 15 minutes so the airbag capacitor fully discharges so that it does not accidentally inflate.
    2) While you wait, spray some liquid wrench or other lube on the four star socket bolt heads on the back side of the steering wheel. My 93 takes a star socket T-30 with a 1/4 in drive for a socket wrench. Loosen the four star bolts till you can pull loose the airbag module far enough to disconnect the a) airbag yellow connector, b) the black radio connector plug, and c) the single wire which is the horn wire (leave it in the horn well).
    3)Turn the airbag module over and remove the 4 hex screws that hold the radio switches to the module (you may also have to remove another bracket to fully remove the switches together). You are now looking at the $228 (non-serviceable) part the dealer will sell you.
    4) Start on one switch piece, with the switch buttons face down, and remove the two inset hex head (3/16 socket should do it) screws which hold the capper housing on top of the bottom side of the switch circuit board, feeding some of the wire cluster thru the access hole on top of the capper housing to allow you to separate housing from circuit board. Lifting up the circuit board carefully, you will see the mechanical workings--the rubber plungers which push against the little white microswitches on the circuit board. put a piece of tape over the plunger holes if the plungers tend to slide out easily. Mine were dissolved in the plunger tubes and I had to clean them out with rubbing alcohol and q-tip.
    5) To test your switches, plug the black radio female connector to the male end on the steering wheel shell, reconnect your negative battery terminal, and turn the key to ACC to get power to the radio. Get your radio working using the radio set controls. Now try depressing the small white micro switches on the circuit board you just removed. If they function, your switch is OK. Repeat the procedure for the other side.
    6)Assuming your switches are OK, the challenge is to remove one of the plungers to determine the length. I trimmed the 5d nails to length with wire cutters, and installed them into the plunger tubes, having filed down the nail heads with a grinder so they are thin enough to not stick too far out past the end of the plunger tube. This will all become intuitively obvious to the casual observer once you get into it.
    7)When putting your new plungers back in and the switch housing back together, dont screw the 3/16 hex head screws in all the way. My switches worked after I found the right combination of length of the nail plungers and leaving the hex screws loose. I had to do this because none of my rubber plungers were intact for an accurate measurement. 8)Once you have your switches working to your satisfaction, reinstall the switches on the airbag assembly, plug in radio, airbag and horn connectors, tighten the four star socket bolts (a little on each one, then another till all are tight) to reconnect the airbag assembly to the steering wheel. Reinsert your airbag fuse #7, turn the key on test your steering column controls to make sure they are still working. I have to tell you, I ducked down when I first started up the car--fearing the airbags would deploy. But they did not and I laugh about it now.
    There you have it, just like a woman's skirt. Short enough to keep you interested yet long enough to cover the subject. Hope this helps you and anyone else who has trouble with their radio steering column radio switches and does not want to spend the money for new ones. Hopefully if you do get new ones, they will not be made with the same rubber plungers the originals came with.
  • Have same problem with my 92. Pound or hit the hood with your hand in the very front a few times after pulling the hood latch. If it opens, lube up the latch mechanism with wd-40 or similiar lube. This works for me. Once in a while it sticks and I have to hit the hood again.
  • Hello
    I own a 1996 SSE and just love the car. I have 178,000 kms on it with no major problems. Get consistantly 35 - 40 mpg at 125 kph. But like everyone I want an SSEI and I found one with 58,000 kms on it. But I'm wondering how hot this one will run, because my 96 SSE runs very hot and I am not able to tow anything with it. Will this 98 SSEI be any better and can I tow with it? Would appreciate any help.
  • can someone please help me. i just bought a 1990 bonneville with 130k miles from a one owner. i love this car but there is one problem that has me stumped. when you try to enter the car, and the interior lights come on, they dont go out if you do not enter the car. you have to open the door and then close it. sometimes that doesnt even work the first time. if anyone can please help, direct me to the right place or anything, please let me know. thanks so much.
  • I just bought a 1994 bonneville started it and backed out of driveway when it died. I was adjusting the electronic seat controls when it died. My power windows also do not work. Any ideas.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,620
    Does it restart?

    If it restarts, I'd check grounds inside the car. There is one next to the emergency brake, one next to drivers seat between it and door and same on passenger side. In some cars those get corroded with moisture and whatever causing funny things to happen. But usually not including engine dying.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • You may have to adjust the latch,sometimes they get move down and they just latch too tight.Do you have to slam the hood to close it?If so try rasing the latch.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,620
    If hood is ending up high, you could lower the two rubber supports on each side to take vertical tension off the hood latch. It's also possible the hood latch has a cable that's binding up. I'd check by taking cable off latch (if possible) and pulling to see if friction seems high. If so, try some graphite based oiling -- wouldn't use motor oil myself.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • I have a 96 bonneville running rough & showing codes p0135 & p1133. Any ideas?
  • Car stalls at stops or while in reverse or sometimes when idling after cold start. alot points to a crankshaft sensor i scanned it with rental scanner and no codes were visible or stored as the check engine light comes on intermittenly. one guy told me to pull the plug from the tranny ??? are these sensors hard to change for the back yard mech haha thanks curholl
  • first time user of this forumm not a reply to b mauzy on the 90 bonne stalling problem
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    P0135 = O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
    P1133 = O2 Sensor Insufficient Switching (Bank 1 Sensor 1)

    Might be a dead upstream O2 sensor on the front bank. Check first for the sensor wiring harness melted to the exhaust manifold, or a disconnected or dirty connector. If ok, check fuse #5 (20 amp). This also provides power for the EGR and cannister purge solenoids. If all's ok, probably a defective O2 sensor. Can be checked for operation with a scan tool.
  • I checked all the connections this afternoon but then my daughter had to go to work. I will check that fuse tomorrow.
  • Just the o2 sensor should make my teenage daughter happy for an hour or so. Thanks again.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Yep, I read your reply on the other site where you'd posted the problem. I'm one of the site administrators there. Glad to hear you got it sorted out. Good luck on keeping the teenage daughter happy. LOL
  • jgtmiljgtmil Posts: 19
    The vents do not seem to be putting out as much air as they used to on my 95 bonnie. the blower motor sounds fine but it seems as if the air way is restricted. When I first start the vehicle the climate control blinks for a while but i don't know how to tell what that means. By the way this Forum has been very helpfull thanks to all who respond.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,620
    Is it dual auto control air conditioning?

    The blinking indicates an error from the programmer (control) unit down on the heater box. Something is not working and you'll have to have the codes read by a mechanic with a TechII that can see the codes for the things beyond the engine control computer.

    A likely problem is the blend door for heat and cool air which is linked to the programmer by a rod at the bottom or the top door which controls passenger vs driver blending and is controlled by a small electric motor connected to the programmer box by tiny wires and a connector.

    The first thing to do is determine if you have vacuum control. Does most of the air come out the defroster and a little at the heater outlet at the floor? That could mean no vacuum and would explain why you hear air but get little effect from it. Check for that first. Turn on unit without starting motor. See where air comes out at defroster and floor. Then start the motor and vacuum should be able to change where the air is directed. Usual problem is when set for mid dash vents air comes out defroster instead which floor choice will work--if the vacuum from engine is reaching the programmer.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Something I've run into numerous times is refrigerant leaking from the evaporator core, leaving a film of compressor oil on the core. Dust sticks to the core and eventually does a great job of blocking it completely, restricting airflow. Remove the blower motor and use an inspection mirror and flashlight to check the evaporator core. Should be reasonably clean. I've gotten passable results for some customers who weren't concerned about the AC not working by using a pressure washer to clean off the core, but the proper repair (obviously) is to replace it.
  • palaltpalalt Posts: 25
    Your Bonneville might not be running as hot as you think. I own a 93 SSEI that at full operating temp looks like it's running at about 225, the needle being just above the mark between 200 & 240. At that point, the secondary fan turns on and it cools off to what looks like 210, then the cycle begins again. If you connect a scanner to the diagnostic port, while the needle shows 225 the temp is actually only 208 which is about what they're supposed to run at. I would say the true temp from the sending unit is not being correctly reflected on your guage.

    Also, to the guy that talked about his car not having vent circulation, I agree with the earlier response you received about the evaporator being clogged. I replaced mine for the very same reason and vent flow was vastly improved.

    I'm a longtime Pontiac guy. Currently own a 93 SSEI, 95 SSE and an 02 SLE, so while not being a certified mechanic I'm pretty familiar with Bonneville problems. Now If I can only resolve the ABS & Traction Control lights that stay on in my 93 SSEI that spits out multiple codes, I'd be happy. I've replaced both rear wheel sensors to no avail. Would like to know if the pump or computer would be next logical step. Errors point to both.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Which ABS codes are current?
  • jgtmiljgtmil Posts: 19
    Thanks for your responces i will give both of those a look.
  • palaltpalalt Posts: 25
    alcan! The ABS/Traction Control lights stay on solid and the codes I get are:
    033 R/R Missing 037 L/R Missing
    045 Inlet Valve 061 Pump Motor Run Fault

    It was suggested I replace both rear wheel sensors first, which I did. No change, still get the lights as soon as the car is started. This is on my 93 SSEI.
  • palaltpalalt Posts: 25
    I have owned an SSEI for years and I think you'll find out that the 5% savings you will realize by buying regular instead of the recommended premium fuel will be more than lost in the loss of mileage. This says nothing about driving the car with the computer retarding the engine to compensate for the crap gas. I tried one tank full of regular and lost 3 mpg and it ran like crap. Buy the premium fuel and enjoy the supercharger.
  • I have read a lot of post about this, but not sure if it is the same as my problem. My climate control display on my 96 bonneville flashes once and a while. When this happens my heat will start to blow out cold air. The only solution i have found is to manually go back and forth with the temp guage from 60degrees to 90degrees, and usually after about 5 minutes of doing this, it will finally kick back on. Or sometimes if it does this, i will simply turn the car off, then back on and sometimes the heat will kick back on. Also on a long trip, i wont even have the heat on, but my cabin of the car gets super hot, almost to the point of unbearable. Heat seems to be comin out of the floor vents, but not in a fast manner. A few weeks ago my heat was working perfect, then i had to replace my battery, and once i put a new one in, that is when the heat startin acting up again. Anyone have any ideas. Could a ground wire be loose? I heard some talk about vacumn lines, does that have anything to do with it? if so where are these located? Can i just reach in and examine them. Any ideas would help greatly since i am a poor college kid who is really cold this winter!!:) Thanks
  • on my 96 bonny, whenever i hit the defrost button, the A/C light always comes on. Is this normal? I didnt think that the AC should come on when i am lookin to defrost. Anyone want to share what happens when you turn on your deforst. Thanks for the input!
Sign In or Register to comment.