Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • leoh2leoh2 Member Posts: 1
    I have a new 2000 Bonneville SLE that I purchased in October 2000. Great car and fun to drive. I noticed a slight vibration around 3000 miles when traveling at 65 to 70 mph. I was going to tell the dealer about the vibration when I got a flat on the right front tire. I had the tire repaired and re balanced. The vibration seemed to go away so I thought it was a balance problem. Now I have around 6000 miles on the car and the vibration is back. The dealer checked it out and said one of the tires was out of balance. He re balanced it. I just tried the car on a long trip and the vibration is still there getting worse. The tires are Goodyear Eagles 235 R55 17 Any ideas??
  • sman002sman002 Member Posts: 3
    I replaced the oil pressure sending unit and flushed the engine, but the oil pressure gauge still reads low (into the red) and the chimes go off. Any suggestions? HELP!!!
  • theicemantheiceman Member Posts: 736
    Take it to a couple of independent tire / front-end shops and get 2nd/3rd opinions if you have to. Alternatively, you can just insist that your dealer do what it takes to resolve it but I doubt if the results will be any more satisfactory or efficient than taking it into your own hands.

    It could be the tires - a slightly separated belt or an imperfection in the sidewall of just one tire could easily be the culprit here. Those Eagles are great tires (I love mine) but I'm suspecting a latent and minor defect. The earlier you can get it diagnosed and fixed, the better for the rest of your tires, your suspension and your peace of mind!

    BTW, other possibilities include a bent or warped rim, loose or bent suspension components or even sticky brake calipers (although you'd usually feel that more at low speeds). I've been through all of this (not on my '00 SLE you understand, on other cars!) and it can make for frustrating sleuthing. Ended up scrapping my tires and forking out $ to replace all four - the result was that the vehicle then drove like new and the problem didn't come back after a few thousand miles either.

    Good luck! theiceman
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    Hello, I have the following problem. The break pedal moves with two switches. I assume that one of them is for switching the brake lights on and the second one says to the computer if the brake pedal is pushed. I have a problem with the second one. After I release the break pedal, the switch doesn't switch back and the computer then thinks that the brake pedal is still pushed. As a result, the computer changes gears as the pedal is pushed (do not use the fourth gear) and I cannot turn the cruiser on. If I push the pedal up by my foot, the switch switches back and since then everything is working fain. I need to repair this switch. However, there are two. So, at first I do not know which one is the right one. In addition, I do not know how to pull the switch out. I tried to pull out the lower one because it was closer to me, but I was not successful. There is a thread on the switch, but I could not twist with the switch to much. Could anybody give me advices what to do?
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    You probably have a mis-adjusted switch. Upper is TCC/ABS, lower is Stoplamp/BTSI. To remove, rotate the switch counterclockwise about 60 degrees and pull. To install, push switch in (with electrical connectors installed) until plunger is fully depressed into switch barrel. Rotate clockwise to lock. Do not push or pull on brake pedal during installation.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    Try removing the sending unit, and getting a mechanical gauge to make sure there is or is not oil pressure. If no oil pressure is indicated on the new gauge, it may be an oil pump or spun bearing. If it is the pump you are in luck otherwise look for a new car or motor. Some cars have 2 sending units on them, one tells the computer to turn on the fuel pump oil pressure is present and the other is for the instruments. The one for the dash is usually pretty big, and the other one is just a small black plastic and metal piece. Get a Chilton's or Haynes manual it will tell you where to look for the sensors. If the motor makes a bunch of tapping and ticking you are probably not getting oil pressure. One other messy way to see is to take off the valve cover. Oil will shoot everywhere, and you will only know that oil is flowing and not the pressure it is flowing at.
    Good Luck
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    Where can I find the GM color code on my Bonneville SE 1995? Thanks!
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Paint Code:
    Look on the Service Parts Identification Label on the spare tire cover.
  • j1tj1t Member Posts: 1
    Someone please tell me what the noise is.
    It's a 93 bonni,134,000mi, had front hub/bearing replaced last year.
    The noise is a heavy 'click' from the front when I do quick right turns or backing out of the garage.
    It is if something is engaging into a slot under load. I was able to duplicate the noise with consistency when out on an empty lot twisting the car sharply from left-center-right-center.
    It's a heavier click from the driver side on left-center turns - less noticible on the right-center turns.
    Anyone had similar problem before? There are just too many possibilities up in the front of these cars for me to guess what has worn out.
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    Paint code:
    There are many numbers. It seems to me that the color code ends with the letter U. There is the number 81U that could be my color. Am I right or do you know how to find out which number is the color one?
  • kzmkzm Member Posts: 55
    I bought an after market mask from Lebra for my 2000 Pontiac Bonneville In Feb 2001. I only had it for a month and moisture and heat from the mask formed a cloudy stain in the paint on my hood! What ever you do, only get a mask that your dealership recommends. This way they can be held responsible if anything occurs under they mask while you are using it. I took the car to my local dealership and they wouldn't touch it and Lebra says I have to first take it to an auto shop to have heat lamps put on it to try to remove the stain and I will have to be reimbursed for that! I've used a Lebra mask on my 92 Bonneville for weeks at a time with no ill effects. My wife uses a GM mask for her 98 Grand Prix and no problem there either, so I would just be careful.
  • smfransmfran Member Posts: 432
    I once had a rubbing/clicking type noise coming from the front of my '94 Bonneville on sharp right turns. I stopped the car in that position to find the left tire hitting a piece of the fender that came loose.
  • mlm4mlm4 Member Posts: 401

    Thanks for the tip about the front-end mask. Sorry to hear about the damage to your Bonnie. I have been wanting to get one for my 2000 SSEi and not all the mask manufacturers seem to have one yet for this model. I was thinking of just getting the GM Accessories one even though I'm not sure it is of the best quality or value.


    The number with the "U" (for "upper", "L" for lower if two-tone) is the paint code. What color this actually is you'll have to look in the Helm service manual or just ask the service or parts department at a GM dealer.
  • tpkentpken Member Posts: 1,108
    I'm also considering what to do to protect the front of my 2000 SE. It already has 23K on it since I bought it used and you can really see the chips on the facia and even the hood. I do a lot of highway driving and of course here in the northeast we have road salt and sand all over the roads. Not sure what I'll do.

  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    Hello, thanks everybody for the help with the color code. I have another problem now that seemed to me simple at first. After the engine gets warm I can hear squeaky noise from the engine. It comes from the belt and I was told by few persons that it is faulty water pump. Two days ago, the water pump was changed for the remanufactured one (NAPA). However, the behavior and the noise stayed the same. I tried to listen to the noise with the long paper pipe in order to allocate the source of the noise. It seems to me that the noise is coming from the bottom rear wheel that is moved by the belt also. I do not know what is the function of this wheel. My question is whether I could be right about the source of the noise. Or do you think that it has to be the water pump and the remanufactured one was faulty?
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    dbaca, if the noise is pretty much the same after changing the water pump then either the serpentine belt or one of the belt tensioner pulleys is probably at fault. A stethescope with a 12" probe (or equivalent) will isolate it pretty quickly. Obviously, take care around rotating components.
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    alcan, thank you for your help. The serpentine belt is brand new, so it must be one of pulleys or the water pump. The water pump is just a little bit wobbling; therefore, it occurred to me that the remanufactured water pump could be faulty.
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    I wrote the message 268 thinking that my problem is the water pump. However, starting the engine without the serpentine belt showed that the noise is approximately coming from the space between the engine and the transmission. The auto-mechanic took off the bottom cover of this space, but nothing bad was found. I found out that the frequency of squeaking does not change along with the engine repetitions. I have been driving with this noise 6000 miles and it is still the same. My Bonneville is SE type, has 91000 miles on and is from the year 1995. Does somebody have any idea what can be the source of the noise?
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    The noise turned out to be caused by the engine. People from GM looked at the car and they found out that there is too much vacuum in the engine. When they opened the gap for filling engine oil, the noise stopped. They suspected the PCV valve, but its change did not help. Any ideas?
  • blacksilverblacksilver Member Posts: 69
    That really would suck!
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    What do you mean? I really was told by the GM Goodwrench man that the sucking through the gap is too strong.
  • blacksilverblacksilver Member Posts: 69
    Maybe you should stand up -- I think it went over your head.

    Too much vacuum.... that would suck.... get it?
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    OK, I have been just one year in the US. So, my English is not perfect and it is difficult to understand all jokes either.
  • mdb231mdb231 Member Posts: 1
    I've recently purchased a 1997 bonneville ssei. The Pontiac dealer told me there was not any type of oil check for the supercharger. Is this true?Also the hemp. gage fluctuates between 190 and 220-240 on a regular basis. Is this normal? Thanks in advance.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    It is probably your half shaft. Also know as a drive shaft, Prop shaft, or CV shaft. Turn the wheel all the way to one side, look at the rubber boots near the hub and trans. If it's cracked that is the cause of the noise. The boot keeps the grease in and more importantly the dirt and water out, protecting the bearings from excessive wear. The clicking and popping you hear is the bearing "eating" itself. Good luck and let us know if you find the problem, and what it was.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    It is probably the heads causing the noise. I had a van with worn out valve guides and seals that did the same thing. When the engine is on the intake stroke it pulls air from any place it can get it. With the mileage you have on the motor, this may be the reason. Nothing can really prevent this, it just wears out. If the engine runs good otherwise I wouldn't worry much. I drove the van for 100 K miles more after it started and sold it in perfect running order except for that noise, and a little bit of oil consumption, 1 quart every 2 K mi. If that is the problem the only way to fix it is to have the heads re-built, and that's expensive, like over $1000.
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    jgmilberg, it looks that my problem is the same as yours. However, the noise starts after the engine is entirely warmed up. Does it tally with your experience?
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Member Posts: 419
    I have to say that while I'm not a professional mechanic by any means, I've done my share of major work including complete rebuilds. I can honestly say I have never heard of too much vacuum and can't even conceive of how that could happen. Air leaks, regardless of the source, would cause the vacuum to go down and affect driveability.
    The engine derives its vacuum by the pressure drop of air as it passes by the throttle. The engine induces the air to be pulled in but the throttle actually produces the vacuum at other than wide open throttle conditions. That's why there is no engine vacuum in the manifold at wide open throttle.
    If the mechanic truly told you that too much vacuum was the culprit, I think I'd find another mechanic, one that isn't full of baloney.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Supercharger oil should be checked every 30,000 miles. The check/fill plug is located in the front side of the gear housing, low and toward the supercharger body. Remove the wiring harness shield to access. Requires a 3/16" allen wrench to remove. Do not remove plug with a hot engine as pressure may cause hot oil to blow out of the fill hole. Allow 2-3 hours cooldown before checking. Oil level is correct when at the bottom of the fill hole threads. Use only GM Supercharger oil, P.N. 12345982. And get a new dealer who knows what day it is.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    mfahey1-It is not the same as intake manifold vacuum. It happens in the valve cover as a result of worn valve guides. It's a negative pressure inside the engine crankcase itself, not caused by a manfild gasket or busted rubber/plastic line.

    dbaca- Yep only after the engine was warmed up and run for at least 20 minutes of driving would you hear the damn thing whistling, drove me nuts, I ended up drilling a 1/4" hole in the cap to get rid of the noise. Don't recommend doing this on a car, because my van had a remote oil fill tube under the hood where water didn't really find its way very easily.

    alcan- I have seen your posts and you seem to have a really good backround in auto repair, have you ever seen or heard of this happening.
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    This weekend, I got caught in a jam. The water temperature rose up over 200°F a little bit and it caused that the noise disappeared. During the regular driving, the temperature is 200°F. So, after I started to drive in the fluent traffic, the temperature got back and I started to hear the noise again. Why did the noise disappear? What should be the right temperature of the water? 200°F seems to me the right one since the water should stay under the 100°C.
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    I know that the noise is caused by blowing air. That is for sure. The operating temperature of my Bonneville is 200°F, which is 93°C, and my car keeps this temperature steadily. When I was in the jam, the temperature went over 200°F distinctly after 30 minutes staying in the jam. Both front ventilators worked properly; however, it was hot day, the ambient temperature of 80°F.
    I have not experience any swing of the temperature. I just wrote that the temperature of the water should stay under 100°C, which is 212°F.
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    Yep, exactly. Two proofs. When I start the engine without the serpentine belt on, the noise continues. If I remove the cap from the engine oil gap, the noise stops. If I put my palm on the open gap, I can feel my skin sucking in.
  • theicemantheiceman Member Posts: 736
    I'm stumped on this one buddy. Are you losing any oil?
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Have you verified the PCV valve is the right one and working properly?
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    theiceman - Yes, The car burns oil 1qt/2000miles. If I use better more expensive oil like durablend, it's a little bit better.

    alcan - Yes, it was the first thing I did, but it did not help. However, I started to hear the noise exactly after the first oil change that included the replacement of the PCV valve. I bought the car as a used car and it was the first oil change. I thought that they could give me the faulty PCV valve, so I replaced it, but, as I said, it did not help.
  • pdstest1pdstest1 Member Posts: 1
    Hello all.
    I have a 95 SE I bought new that now has 64k miles. No problems 'til now, other than tires & brakes. I had fluid on the garage floor for a few days, but didn't identify it's source 'til now. I'm leaking water from what appears to be some kind of bypass hose above the water pump going into the Intake Manifold.
    This sounds similar to the message above about the 92 or 93 Bonneville that had a bypass hose leak (found after replacing Water Pump), but this is the "Series II" 3800 V-6, if that matters.
    Is this something I should be able to fix at home or do I need to take it to a garage. Water pumps, alternators, Serpentine belts, struts, even starters, OK. Pulling the entire Injector system, intake manifold?? No, thanks.
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    If the lower revs mean the lower repetitions of the engine, then it is the opposite way. I hear the loudest noise when the engine is idling. Probably, it is because the engine is quieter.
    jgmilberg wrote that the air sucking is caused by worn out valve seals; however, you are saying that it is caused by worn out head rings. So, the question is what is the cause.
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Member Posts: 419
    The classic symtom of worn valve seals is smoking on start up if the car has been sitting for awhile, typically overnight. With the valves stationary, oil will leak down the stems of the valves into the combustion chambers and burn off when the engine is first started.
    While not unheard of, it seems that anymore you rarely hear of worn piston rings, especially on a relatively low mileage engine such as the one that dbaca has. Perhaps if the oil change intervals were far longer than recommended, this might be a possibility.
  • theicemantheiceman Member Posts: 736
    Mark: I agree with you - but both problems are kinda rare on a low mileage powerplant. I still say dbaca should get the compression tested and at least rule out rings or valve seals. However, something seems to be at work pumping air out of his block. In the olden days, I would have lept on the seals or ring explanation - today, I'm less sure.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    Try going to a thicker oil. What is your oil pressure normally? If you have a lot of miles try putting in 2 or 3 qts of 20w-50 at the next oil change. I used 20w-50 to do a complete oil change, didn't hurt anything. Stopped the noise and slowed the oil burning too. Basically you have worn out valve seals, and guides. Nothing to worry about really, just an annoying whistle.

    If the car was overheating like that,have your cooling fan checked out. Most common thing to go bad is the sensor that turns the fan on, costs around $15-$20, just screws into the water jacket in the head. Normal operating temp is around 195 degrees F
  • dbacadbaca Member Posts: 20
    I see that my problem turned out into the pretty interesting discussion. That's nice. Thanks everybody for your help.
    mfahey1 - You are right about the smoke. During the winter, the car was too smoky even when idling.
    jgmilberg1 - The pressure of oil is 40PSI when the engine is idling, and I guess around 70PSI when running. It applies for the warmed up engine. Of course, when the engine is cold the pressure is significantly higher. The cooling fans (there are two) work fain. When I let the car idling, I saw them turning on and off.
    My car has 93000 miles on now. I use the car for commuting 50 miles every working day.
  • girlwithtoolsgirlwithtools Member Posts: 26
    I was driving our '97 Bonnie SSE (85k) yesterday up hill, air conditioning on and it seemed like it was surging. I looked at all the gauges - nothing was abnormal. I tried to reproduce it again later in the day and was unsuccessful. This morning, however, same surging feeling on the same hill without the air on. I dig under the hood regularly, but am not the brightest crayon when it comes to troubleshooting these symptoms. Any ideas?
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Try reproducing the condition then lightly depressing the brake pedal with your left foot (enough to turn on the brake lights). If the symptoms disappear it's the torque converter clutch cycling on and off.
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Member Posts: 419
    Depending on mileage and prior maintenance (or lack thereof), you might be due for plug wires. It's fairly typical for this engine at 60-70,000 miles to need wires.
  • smfransmfran Member Posts: 432
    My 2000 SSEi has rattles and vibrations coming from the door panels. How do I remove them to add insulation? Does anyone have any additional comments on this?
  • homer2000sseihomer2000ssei Member Posts: 159
    Same problem - same year. I have had the dealer remove the panels for some warranty work many mant many months ago - no problem then . . .but now there are those annoying sqeaks . Ive been thinking about some clear super glue, epoxi-type adhesive to make it stick in the noticable areas.
  • smfransmfran Member Posts: 432
    I appreciate the reply and welcome to the Bonneville discussion(s). I'm hoping that someone can tell us how to remove the door panels. I don't think glue is the answer because then you won't be able to remove the panels easily.
  • girlwithtoolsgirlwithtools Member Posts: 26
    The surge is ever so subtle, it's hard to notice. Since I'm a "do it myself" kind of gal, are plug wires something I can manage or is it better to take it into the dealer for replacement? I come from the notion that proactiveness is better than passiveness and would like to think the wires are a good starting point to troubleshooting. I'm probably off my rocker. ; )
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Member Posts: 419
    They're pretty much a piece of cake. If possible, try to find a set made for your car rather than a more generic set. That way, the lengths will match what you have. Do pay attention to exactly how the wires are routed as they are done a particular way to prevent crossfiring.
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