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Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • Hi...I know your post is 2 years old, but I'm having the same problem on my '03. Were you able to resolve the issue? Thanx.
  • 92bonny92bonny Posts: 6
    So I have a 92 Bonneville SE with about 225,000 miles that's been giving me quite a few problems. It all started about 1 month ago. At first the car would shake while I was stopped at a red light, sometimes even turning off. I started noticing that this would only happen when I had the radio, the heater, the lights, etc. on, I also noticed that the battery gauge needle would get kind of low almost below 12V. So I took both the battery and alternator to get checked and it turned out the battery was bad. I replaced the battery and no more turning off, but eventually the shaking started back up again, a few times it even backfired when I accelerated. So then I changed the wires, spark plugs and one coil (it had some white build up on the terminals), again no more shaking or backfiring for about a day or two, eventually it started shaking again and only while stopped at a light.

    Finally decided to take it the mechanic and he put the code reader on it and he said it was a Code 41, Camshaft Sensor. There I go changing the camshaft sensor, though this would solve the problem but as soon as I installed it and turned it back on the car was even worse. It was REALLY shaking now, almost like a misfire. For whatever reason I decided to disconnect the sensor and start it back up, I guess I was just curious. Started up fine, no shaking at all, been driving it a two to three days now without ay problem so I left the sensor disconnected just because I got tired of dealing with it.

    But, just yesterday, again while stopped at a light, the car feels like it's accelerating on it's own, no shaking though. It wont do it all the time but it's starting to worry me. Anybody have any suggestions? HELP!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,246
    Hard to diagnose.

    People often have to replace crankshaft position sensor.

    People sometimes have to change the spark control unit that the coils mount on top of.

    People sometimes find it's fuel pressure from the pump in the tank. Can you duct tape a fuel pressure gauge to the windshield while driving to see if it drops below the require psi? maybe your mechanic will loan you one and tell you the psi necessary.

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

  • sehoseho Posts: 2
    My daughters '92 bonne tail lights recently stopped working. All the other lights work fine (brake lights, flashers, turn indicators, etc.) I removed all grounds, cleaned and reconnected, checked all bulbs, still nothing. The fuse block diagram and manual diagram don't identify any particular fuse or relay for tail lights or running lights. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • When you say tail light are you saying no stop/turn/tail. What about license plate light-is it working? If all are dead suspect wire harness problem. Does your daughter like to jump ditches along side the road like mine use to? Be very specific when posting back, please.
  • sehoseho Posts: 2
    All other lights work fine. The only lights that don't work are the tail lights. Brake lights work, turn indicators work, hazard lights work, every other light on the vehicle works. Only the tail lights do not work.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,246
    You need to see a circuit diagram and find the connectors to check all along the circuit for ground and power when the lights are turned on.

    One way is buy your own factory service manual which was originally printed by Helm Inc. That'll be about $120 including shipping if I recall.

    You can buy a used version on eBay. You need to know if it was two volumes or one; many people offer one volume and people pay the price thinking it's the whole thing.
    It looks like the SE and SSE have different manuals. I found this one by a GM dealer who's selling some. The picture shows sse and ssei on the cover. AT $23 plus shipping I'd jump on it, my personal opinion. - - - _W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2em20Q2el1116QQhashZitem130269699926QQitemZ1302- - - - 69699926QQptZMotorsQ5fManualsQ5fLiterature

    I searched for pontiac 1992 factory service manual. Remember it looks like this is two volumes based on the picture in the one I found for SSE and it looks like the base model has a different service manual than the high trim models.

    Some people buy a DVD with supposedly the service manuals for several years. I bought one and can't get it to work on my computers. So be careful of those.

    A third method is your local library. Many libraries offer all their databases through your home computer. Even if you're a small library they often share with larger ones. But AllData is not available through your home computer access because of the cost structure. But you can go to the local branch and use their public computer to access the AllData for your car. You can print out the pages that show the circuits and the grounds and the connector locations (where they're buried). Or I took a thumb drive and plugged it into the computer and saved the graphics and pages (as html) to the thumb drive. I would save multiple ways in case one one work on your home computer. You also may be able to save to a floppy diskette or CD depending on the library computer setup for security.

    EDIT: another thought is that the taillights may be a different circuit out of the headlight switch. Do they work on Park setting on the switch? Do the front parking lights work? Check the circuit diagram and them check to see if power is coming from the headlight switch. I believe I've read of a few Bonneville headlights switch problems--the connectors also may heat up due to poor connection and not make good contact due to burns.

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

  • How do you replace the speed sensor on a '03 Bonne? Traction control, Brake, and ABS lights stay on....
  • Does this have to do with the speed sensors? How do you replace them?
  • dmg24dmg24 Posts: 4
    My son has a 2001 ssei that ran out of gas, and now he can't get it started. He got it started twice, once for about 5 seconds, and the other for about 2 before it shut off. My question is, since it appears to be starving for gas, do you think it may just be the fuel filter that is clogged with gunk from the tank, or could it still be the pump? How difficult, and what is the procedure for replacing both the filter and pump? Could it also be the fuel sensor? Thanks for any help you can give me.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,246
    I would change the fuel filter, just in case what you suggest happened. But there's a sock over the intake in the tank that catches a lot of stuff. Has the tank had enough fuel put in to prime it? Running low may have overheated the pump; the gasoline serves to cool it.

    The access is easy. It is a plate on the front of the trunk floor. The pump and intake along with float come out in a geometry puzzle type of movement. There are videos on replacing the thing on Utube. Be sure to get a new seal from a GM dealer based on what people say. If you take it out, I'd suggest a delco replacement. Others have luck with and bad luck with other brands.

    Does the pump run when the key is turned on?

    Do you have a fuel pressure gauge to test the pressure?

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

  • dmg24dmg24 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the help. The pump runs with the key on, as I have tried to "prime" it by letting it kick on for a second or two before I actually try to start it.

    It has about 4 gallons of gas in it now, and I'm not sure if that is enough or not. And no, I do not have a fuel pressure guage.

    Is the fuel filter located along the rail close to the tank? I'm going to try that first, and if that isn't it, I'll replace the pump with a Delco. Thanks for your help.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,246
    I just suggest looking underneath to see where the tubes go that leave the tank. I don't know on which side the fuel filter is.

    I'd beg, borrow, buy a pressure gauge just to check. The pressure should be in the 40s but I'm not sure how high.

    Try turning key on for 3 seconds, then off, then on for 3, etc. On the motor is a Schraeder valve that you can press in to check for fuel pressure even without a gauge. Put a towel over the spray direction. Do not do with a hot motor or cigarette, etc. That would check for fuel pressure, but it might be 35 instead of 42 or whatever is required at the and look like a healthy pressure.

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

  • dmg24dmg24 Posts: 4
    I'm not much of a motorhead, but I have a friend coming to help me tomorrow. I'll try to get a fuel pressure gauge before then. Where is the Schraeder valve on the engine? I don't have the car here so I can't go outside and look at it. I'll get my son to try turning the key on for 3 seconds a few times before starting it, like you suggest. Again, thanks for all the help.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,246
    Above the thermostat housing, up on the fuel rail, is a small canister about the size of 35 mm film container. It has a valve on it covered by a plastic cap like a tire valve cap. There you are. Right front upper corner of motor (facing the motor).

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

  • dmg24dmg24 Posts: 4
    IT'S FIXED!!! I got my son to go out and do the 3 second thing a few times and it started right up!!! Thank you so much for the help! Also, I found a couple of videos on youtube that helped me at least know what the Shraeder valve looks like(along with your help). This forum is awesome. Wish I could buy you a beer or two for saving me some cash. Thanks again.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,246
    > buy you a beer or two for saving me some cash

    >buy you a beer or two for saving me some cash

    Errr, let me give you my address. Grin.

    Thanks for coming back; sometimes people forget to do that. It helps me and helps others. Remember don't run fuel low. I keep above 3/8. Sometimes kids are bad about driving on fumes to not put money into their fuel tank.

    for others following this here are three videos showing how to replace fuel pump and sender (gauge sender). This guy is actually repairing the gauge part on the fuel pump which sometimes wore and didn't make good contact. But the videos are GREAT!

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

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Nice job and thanks for being helpful to others! :D

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  • My trunk "opener" has snapped broken and I cannot find a replacement.
    It is a long metal torsion rod that is installed somehow between the trunk hinges and it helps to open the trunk by twisting itself.
    So now I have to lift all the trunk weight by myself. It is a nice workout but not as nice when your hands are full of shopping bags.
    Does anyone know how to properly call this part? Everybody calls it different names online, and I am not sure what to search for on car-parts websites.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,246
    A thought is if both pieces are there, you might have the two welded back together. I've read of someone doing that with a similar setup on an earlier year. I don't know if they can be welded in the car with the tension off the end.

    The rods are available from with right or left and one is $14 andother $21 plus shipping. I don't know which is which.

    Removing them says you remove the C pillar trim snaps off, remove the rear deck under the window and then can remove the bolts for the hinge. The trunk lide has to be supported...

    The piece is a torque rod.
    A local recycler may be able to pull one out for you. Recycler means junkyard. :grin.

    I'll check the 98 Factory service manual for LeSabre to see if that's the removal technique but that will be tomorrow. I have a ballgame tonight.

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

  • Thanks for your suggestions. Unfortunately, welding doesn't seem to be an option. The rod is made of hardened steel. I talked to my mechanic, and he said that it is likely to break again if we try to weld the pieces together.
    I also checked 2 junkyards nearby and they do not have it.

    As for the "torque rod", this is not it. The one I need is located kind of parallel to the torque rod. It is a one-piece 1/3"-thick rod with some bends at the ends, and a rubberlike sleeve in the middle.

    I checked Chilton repair manual for 86-99 GM cars and it only explains how to remove the trunk lid, but does not go any further.

    From your experience, does it necessarily have to be the part from '96 Bonneville, or the one from LeSabre or Olds could fit?
  • I would like to retract my last posting.
    You were right. It is the torque rod. I got it from The problem is that their illustration was very confusing and did not show the rod the way it is. It shows only one part, where in fact there are two rods.

    Thank you so much.

    P.S. It is weird but I went to about 10 junkyards before finding it online, and nobody had it. I guess they just did not want to bother going and removing it from a salvaged car. In fact, one junkyard said they might have had it, but if they did, it would cost $50, which is twice what I paid for the new one.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,246
    I appreciate your apologizing. But I am wrong on occasion also. I learn a lot from these forums. I appreciate even more your coming back to tell others what you learned and where you got the part.

    The junkyards may not want to remove the old rods because I think it requires taking off the trunk lid and removing the back shelf inside the car--if I understood my service manual correctly. It's been a while since I looked that up in my 98 service manual so I again may be wrong. To take off the rear package deck you pop off the two covers on the side panels (C-pillar) and take out the back seat to get at the bolts. Probably not a big job, just irritating.

    You may be able to get it replaced without doing all that...

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

  • I replaced it at a shop. And, fortunately, we did not have to go through all that routine that you described. Maybe it was not the most proper way, but the mechanic just unscrewed one bolt securing the hinge to the body from inside the trunk, while I was supporting the trunk lid, and then the hinge lowered a bit so, that we were able to insert the loop-shaped end of the rod into position. After that he screwed the hinge back on.
    Then he twisted the other end of the rod with a metal pipe and secured it in a groove on the other hinge. The whole operation took about 15 minutes, but it requires at least 2 people (one to do the job, and the other to support the lid), and some extra tools.
  • One more quick question for you, experts.
    My belt has been making some chirping noise for a while. Not constantly, mostly when it was cold and humid outside, and usually the noise disappeared after the engine was hot.
    Several people told me that if you put a little lubricant on the belt, it is O'K, and it helped to eliminate the noise for some time.
    Last time I went to my mechanic, he sprayed the belt with WD40 (maybe a little too much), and it helped with the noise for several hours, but now the noise is back and it gets worse when I hit the gas.
    Otherwise the belt seems to be good, no cracks or wear, I've had it replaced maybe 3 years ago, and only added about 10-15 kMiles during this time.

    Is it time to replace the belt, or do I have other options, like degreasing it or something?
  • subie956subie956 Posts: 1
    I have a Pontiac Bonneville 2000 sle, It seems to be pulling to the left a bit. I am hearing different reports on certain pontiacs that need a certain style of alignment. A regular alignemnt and some vehicles need a more indept alignment. Does this style pontiac require such an alignment? Thanks
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,246
    Did the WD40 treatment change the noise when the car was started cold?

    I don't recommend putting anything, anything on the belts. Your problem is how to remove the lubricant that's now on the belt?

    My first check would be if the belt is causing the noise or if it's an idle pulley. Or perhaps a water pump starting to make noise.

    The real test there is when the car makes the noise, such as cold, take off the belt and and manually rotate various pulleys to see if they make any noise, have any looseness or wobble.

    Then spray with a water bottle or a plant misting bottle to see if the belt makes a noise when water is put on it as the car is started COLD.

    As I've indicated, I suspect something else other than the belt unless it's an inexpensive belt and there's something about how they're made that they're prone to noise. The water test can determine if the problem is the belt or it's a rotating part that makes a noise cold and that will continue even with water squirted on the belt.

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

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,246

    First, your tires. How long have they been on the car in miles? Have they been rotated correctly every 6-8000 miles? Move the right and left front tires on the car to the opposite side and see if the pull moves with the tire change?

    Then it's time to start checking alignment if the tires aren't causing the problem with a bad belt in one causing a lead.

    The alignment needs to be spot on to the exact recommended setting. You don't want one of the fast food places where they determine the setting is within specs therefore they don't put it to the ideal. You're paying to align and you expect a correct, full alignment.

    A good shop should check the parts in the steering and suspension. In some salty areas a few H-bodies have had a toe-in adjustable link on the _rear_ suspension break, but people usually find the car feeling floppy over bumps because of the lack of control on the toe-in for the rear.

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

  • Eventually it turned out to be only the belt problem.
    I tried removing the lubricants from the belt with a coarse brush, then windex and bounty, while the engine was idling. Actually it eliminated the noise for a while, but not for long and then it came back only worse.
    Then, one morning I started the engine and while starting it made some snapping sounds. I drove straight to my mechanic and on the way there the engine started making continuous rattling noise, like the belt fibers were breaking and beating around. However, when I got to the shop and we removed the belt, it looked absolutely perfect, without any cracks or excessive wear.
    Anyway, we replaced it and since then the engine runs smoothly without any noise.

    Moreover, I just made two round trips to Cape Cod (1200 miles totally) in a week recently and noticed that my gas-mileage improved significantly. If previously it was making 18-19 highway mpg, now it makes 27-28 mpg. Can it be related to a new belt?
  • jlbpajlbpa Posts: 1
    I'm trying to replace the outer boot on a 90 bonneville but it's not obvious to me how to get the joint separated from the axle so I can slide the new boot on. I was expecting to see some sort of clip but I don't see one. I've read and seen on the internet that some joints are removed from the axle by whacking it with a hammer in order to overcome a "circlip" . Is that what I must do.....force the joint from the axle? Or is there a snap clip some where that I need to remove with snap ring pliers????

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