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Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • palaltpalalt Posts: 25
    On any GM car I've ever had, the A/C Compressor engages on defrost cycle to dehumidify the environment. What you're seeing is normal.
  • While driving on freeway, car gas pedal did not respond. I coasted off freeway. When restarted, car would not go in reverse, but only forward. It makes a clanging noise when going in drive. Is tranny shot or might no reverse be due to something else? Thank you for the help.
  • jgtmiljgtmil Posts: 19
    You may want to check your tranny fluid first. the proper procedure is in the owners manual. When the fluid is low it will cause that to happen.
  • jgtmiljgtmil Posts: 19
    I have a 95 ssei and this forum has provided a lot of help. The boost guage at idle reads in the negative. the owners manual reads as if it should read 0 at idle. is this normal or did I miss read the manual?
  • 4lewis4lewis Posts: 2
    This car has an issue - the alarm / security feature does weird things. Now, it will not let me start the car. The Dealers want anywhere from $500 to $1,000 to fix it. That is not econmomically feasible or possible at this time. I am looking to bypass the security feature, but the dealers say it is not possible. The last dealer told me it was a bad battery and the car works fine now. The battery they replaced was 8 months old... Now, the car is dead in the drive way with the new battery.

    What is the sequence to turn off the security ? I bought the car used 4 years ago - never having this issue. The alarm light stays on after it is started for about 1-2 minutes and shuts off, but never any problems.

    Please advise. Considering a bulldog by pass module with remote starter. What do u think ? Will the car have to be able to start before doing this surgery ?

    Really disgusted as I love these cars. Had my last 88 (with the c motor) for 250,000 miles, gave it to the american heart association to live on !
  • jgtmiljgtmil Posts: 19
    I'm not sure which system you have (pass key, II) but if you have a visible chip on your key it is possible it may have went bad. That chip provides a certian amount of voltage resistance which in turn is used as the key code, also another common problem is that the two wires coming from the ignition switch to the alarm control module usually get broken at the ignition switch where you turn the key. If you can trace those two wire and put the key in the ignition you could check both the resistance and the connection,,,,
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,513
    >Now, the car is dead in the drive way with the new battery.

    Why is the battery dead?

    A battery that's putting out low voltage because of drain problems or charging problems will cause systems on the car to do funny things. Battery problem needs to be fixed to diagnose others. Is something draining the battery? Glovebox or trunk light staying on?

    >looking to bypass the security feature,

    When you sit in the car and turn the key to "on" without starting the car, what does the "security" light do? It should come on and remain on for a few seconds and then go off. If it stays on then you have a problem reading the key, most likely or some other more uncommon problem.

    If you have a light that stays on and won't let you crank, you can wait 3 minutes and then the light goes off and allows you to try again to insert a key with the proper chip in it. If you have a different key, try that one. If key resistor chip read is the problem, rub it with a pencil eraser and use rubbing alcohol on the key and insert into the lock cylinder wet to try to clean the contacts inside the lock. If you still have problems, there is a bypass method--same one they use when installing a remote start setup!

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

  • It’s normal. Called a dry air system many cars Mfg. use it to first dry the air before worming it to defrost the window more efficiently. On some cars the AC light comes on and others don't, most don't. To me I like the reminder that I am using more GA$$$$
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,513
    but the light may indicate a request for defrost settings and the compressor may not be running if the outside temperature measures somewhere in 40s or below (Fahrenheit). The compressor isn't run below a certain temp to protect the compressor.

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

  • I have the exact same problem as you have described. I have a 95 bonneville ssei. The dealership diagnosed it as a control panel malfunction. I know this is not the problem becauuse I installed two other control panels in the vehicle and I had the same problem. I check this site daily. If you have found the solution to your problem I would appreciate it if you would post it on this forum. THANK YOU!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,513
    If you have a dual auto air unit it might be related to the two doors that are operated by the programmer box that sits at the corner of the heater box and has a electric motor connector at the top and the motor moves a door that controls heat to the driver and passenger. I saw a post by one guy who removed the glovebox for access and hooked a coat hanger around the little rod to pull it to the heat position.

    The bottom of the programmer has an electric motor in it and connects to a metal rod that snaps into a white plastic snapto thingie that moves back and forth. I believe that one is the passenger side control to adjust the relative heat/cool going to the passenger.

    I don't recall if the upper problem was a motor not working and he didn't want to take out the hush panel, glovebox and try to replace it -- it might require removing something higher on the dash for easier access...

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

  • palaltpalalt Posts: 25
    Didn't see anyone respond to your question, so here's my OPINION. My 93 SSEI always shows negative boost (which is actually a drain on the engine) until I reach some point of RPM or accelaration, at which time it registers positive and begins to "add value or performance". I've never read the owners manual about the actual guage but believe what you're seeing is normal. By the same token, if you're under full throttle and nearing maximum rpm in any gear, your guage should be reading towards the high/positive side, like 7 or 8 pounds of boost, which means it's adding the appropriate power. If you don't see the guage peaking like that or feel the performance gain under full throttle, I'd look into it.
  • 95ssei95ssei Posts: 2
    I have a 95 Bonneville which I recently replaced the engine in (long story and almost 3 grand later I have a replacement engine). The replacement engine (a used one with about 71,000 miles on it) is displaying a rough idle and surges as if one of the cylinders is missing occasionally while driving. It only does this at 2000 RPM's or below. As long as I am accelerating the car seems to run fine. I am thinking this could be the result of a partially plugged fuel filter and am going to replace it considering I don't know if it's ever been replaced in this car. Would anyone else have any other suggestions?

  • jgtmiljgtmil Posts: 19
    Thank you for your responce mine does the exact same thing but the manual does seen to state that it should read zero. I guess my real concern is what you mentioned, the drain on the engine. and if this affects the gas milage. never the less it runs fine.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,513
    How many miles are on the fuel filter? less than 100K? Might not hurt to change it. Mine at 130K has some blockage based on simple blow test after it dried in the sun for 24 hours.

    I assume the new motor has new GM plugs and new GM wiring? That would be my first place to start. At 70K and 12 years it's due if they were not already replaced.

    Second check might be the coils, but I'm not sure about symptoms on the coils from reading all the discussions. I'll leave that to knowledgeable people.

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

  • 95ssei95ssei Posts: 2
    The fuel filter has 116K on it as does the rest of the car. I'm have the new filter but a matter of finding time (and will power considering I'm in Ohio in January) to change it. I'll check all the plugs and plug wires out as well. Thanks for the advice!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,513
    If you're in the mood for fuel filter change today and couple of earlier days would have been great here in beautiful Ohio-at least SW.

    It's in front of the right rear wheel and up next to the frame rail. You relieve pressure or let the car sit overnight, jack up car slightly, put jackstand under rail in case jack lets go when you jiggle the car, and push in on clips and release the line then use wrenches on the other end. If you have the older location it's under the passenger's foot-a lot harder to get to requiring jackstands and some time.

    I'd do OEM GM or NAPA wires and GM plugs first if you don't know they're new within 20K.

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

  • haropharop Posts: 59
    Mine(not supercharged) was running rough after huricane Catrina, and then my mechanic(and a friend) told me first to change the gas(I was using cheap Costco, and now switched to Chevron) and use some Injector Cleaner. I bought Chevron(Techron) injector cleaner from Costco and after second tank, all problems were gone.

    12-15 DEGREES(2X & 2 MONTHS APART),
  • Hi,
    My 2002 Bonneville make a whining noise when I make a turn (left or right) AND accelerating at 20-40 mph. This noise sounds similar to a bad transmission gear noise.

    If I am coasting or braking when making a turn then there is no noise.

    Does anyone have any idea what this might be? Is this a serious problem that should be fixed immediately?
  • My 92 Bonnie (only 230,000 mi.) stalls after about 30 mins. running and won't restart until engine has cooled completely. It didn't set a code. I suspect either a crankshaft sensor or ignition module. Can anyone tell me if I'm on the right track and if so is there a way to test these individually. Thanks for any help I can get. p.s. Haven't checked fuel pressure yet but when it stalls it stalls dead and doesn't sputter.
  • There is nothing wrong with your boost gauge, or your supercharger. It is NOT causing a 'drain' on your engine. (Do not attempt to adjust your set. :shades: )

    Here's the secret: your boost gauge works on the same principle as a vacuum gauge on a non-supercharged engine. It measures pressure in the intake manifold, both negative (vacuum) and positive ("boost"). The only difference is that a vacuum gauge on a non-supercharged engine doesn't have a positive range. This makes sense, because the only way a non-boosted engine could generate positive pressure in the intake manifold is if you ran it backward.

    Any running engine is sucking air down its intake. If you can find a naturally aspirated car with a vacuum gauge and watch it (some cars in the 80s used to call them "economy gauges"), you will see it gives the same type of readings under the same conditions as your boost gauge. A vacuum gauge shows higher manifold vacuum (that's greater negative PSI) when the throttle is closed or the engine is decelerating. That's because the engine is pulling really hard to suck enough air through a tiny opening. To demonstrate, pucker your lips and inhale fast - watch your cheeks pull in with the negative pressure.

    Now try the same with your mouth wide open. This is what happens when you step on the gas - you open the throttle and the wider opening reduces the negative (vacuum) pressure in the manifold, because more air can now get in. This makes the gauge swing 'up' toward zero - but a vacuum gauge doesn't quite reach zero unless the engine stops running, because any time you're sucking any air this creates a manifold pressure that's lower than atmospheric pressure. (Tip: "Zero" on a vacuum or boost gauge = atmospheric pressure.)

    Again, the only difference on your car is that with a supercharger adding pressure to the intake manifold you will eventually get into positive PSI ("negative vacuum?") when the throttle is open wide enough, the load is high enough, and/or the revs are high enough.

    But even before the gauge swings above zero, your engine is getting the benefit of added air pressure and volume from the supercharger. More air down the intake = more fuel = more power. There is never a "drain" from your supercharger reflected on the boost gauge - it only shows the pressure of the air the car is inhaling. As a matter of fact, the extra "drag" imposed on the engine from having to spin the supercharger belt would actually be reflected in a slight INCREASE in boost on the gauge. (If that doesn't make sense read on.)

    The highest pressure that the stock supercharger on our cars is supposed to generate is 8psi - at that point a dump valve spits out the extra pressure before it turns our engines into giant grenades. If your gauge ever lingers in the red zone above + 8psi, it probably means you have a bad dump valve and you should fix it quick.

    Other than that, only two types of readings indicate engine trouble on a boost or vacuum gauge. (1) Vacuum not high enough at idle indicates a vacuum leak. Your gauge should be pegged in negative territory at idle. It might creep up a little when you put it in gear, and a bit more when you turn on the A/C. This reflects the load on the engine. (Get it? More engine effort = lower vacuum, and eventually positive boost if you have a blower.)

    (2) Erratic vacuum readings indicate rough running, like a cylinder missing its spark or leaking/mis-timed valves. I'm not talking about a gauge that swings wildly when you change throttle position - it's supposed to do that. I mean a needle that wobbles or jumps around, especially if you're not moving the throttle and the engine load is constant.

    That's about all I can add - your car sounds like it's fine. Hope this helps!

  • Where is the battery located in a 2003 bonneville?
  • hey, how/where do you find these codes? Is it something I can do without buying one of those expensive scanners?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    A scanner or code reader is required. AutoZone will retrieve trouble codes no charge.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Under the rear seat, per the owner's manual.

    12-15 DEGREES(2X & 2 MONTHS APART),
  • I have a 1987 pontiac bonneville.
    My car is idleing rough. and it dies at stop lights. it feels like its not gettin gas. and when im driving it has no more acceleration. it used to be quick when i stepped on the gas. but now it hesitates. and i can hear the engine and the rpm but it doesnt even feel like its going anywhere. could it be a second fuel filter?
  • This morning I started my car, no problems. However, noticed that when I came to a stop or had to sit and idle in traffic my car started to shimmy. It shimmies from side to side, and the service engine light came on. Thinking maybe some built up carbon could be the issue, got some cleaner for the fuel system. That has yet to show an improvement. It hasn't stalled, and doesn't really act like it's going to. Just running rough. Acceleration is poor. Definately no significant change in the rpms. Recently changed spark plugs and cables. New battery too. Any advice would be great.
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