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Pontiac Bonneville Starting/Stallling/Ignition Problems



  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    Good God, you've replaced a lot. Unless it's a connection for the ignition control module that makes and breaks (ground?) you've pretty much hit the points.

    EGR valve might be sticking open due to crud on the pintle and sliding neck--but mine would stumble and almost die unless I opened up the gas pedal a little as I came to stop.

    How does it die? At idle? at 50 mph?

    Stumbles? quick quit like ignition shut off? rolling feeling like rich choke used to do? maybe trans staying locked up as you slow down with jerks?

    Does the tach go to zero as it dies while engine is still spinning?

    When it won't start, check for spark with a spare plug laid on the engine metal with a spark wire to it.

    Also try the Schraeder valve for fuel pressure (use a cloth to catch it or you might get covered or the car go up in smoke -- insurance value??? grin)

    You're going to have to diagnose for fuel, spark, and air. Those are the three things it needs.

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

  • it will die at 50mph or how ever fast you were going and it would be a total loss of power instantly tach to zero a quik quit like ignition cut off then sometimes it will start and then it wont what about the security system the security light goes off every time so i dont believe thats the problem
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    Crankshaft position sensor would be a first choice, especially if it's proportional to how hot the motor has gotten.

    But I recall comments in Bonneville discussions that a higher than usual number of problems came from the computers for those two years. I can't check to see if you replaced the computer...

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

  • Check the ground under the driver's side carpet, by where the door is but in front of the seat.
  • wicked7wicked7 Posts: 1
    I have a 01 bonneville and it cuts off at stop lights or like after ten minutes of driving sometimes it start right back up, and most times I have to wait a few minutes. Its not my battery, n I don't think its my fuel pump because gas is coming up n I hear the fuel pump, but it really seem like a lack of power. If I take off a wire from the coal pack then the engines shuts right off. I seen a lot of people on here with the same problem can someone please help me on this issue??
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    It could be fuel pump failing. You could install a fuel pressure gauge taped to the windshield with duct tape while you drive and watch.

    Also, it could be a fuel pressure regulator with a leaking diaphragm. That switches the amount of pressure at the injectors based on vacuum. You can check for raw gasoline in the line by pulling it off of the fuel pressure regulator (on front of engine on driver side with one vacuum line going to it--it will be shown on the vacuum diagram under the hood).

    And it could be the crankshaft position sensor. With that the tach would drop to zero and be your first sign the engine is dyiing, because the engine loses ignition control to trigger spark when the position sensor fails.

    People say splashing cold water on the crankshaft position sensor to cool it speeds up the restart if it consistently has to wait to cool before the CPS starts working again. It's behiind the edge of the balancer pulley.

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

  • My 96 Bonnevile SE started shutting down while Im driving down the road about 5 minutes after I got on the road, I would keep trying to start it over and over and finally it would crank and seem to do fine for another week. Then it would not start one morning at all so I checked for fire at the plugs and there wasn't any. I watched as my wife kept trying the key and it would fire for a second and stop, after alot of tries it starts, Its been so intermitent that I wasnt afraid to drive it but Its gotten now where I dont want to chance it. Could it be in the switch itself and how can I check the switch,(does the steering wheel and air bag have to come off to replace the switch)? Thanks
  • My brother has a 2001 Bonneville and has had this problem as you've mentioned above. He's thought of replacing many of the same items, but no one could diagnose what was causing the shut off in the middle of the highway shortly after starting to drive. As it turns out, today it was diagnosed as the Ignition Switch. It's not been replaced yet, but hopefully this will fix his problem and hopefully this helps all of you with similar issues!
  • Hi--what is the update on your car. I have a 2003 Pontiac Aztec--the problems you are discussing sound identical--car shuts off even on the highway at 60 mph. Gives me these security lights and then drops the gas light as if I have no gas, shows it to empty and then the call stalls, I pull over, start it up and I can go again. I have had other things fixed and doesn't fix the problem. The last I heard tonight is it can be the ignition control modual. Is that what it was for you?
  • Crankshaft position sensor, someone had told me to ck it so I went to auto parts store and they put a code reader on it and that was the answer and the fix.. Good Luck I know I love my Bonneville and would drive it forever if it will let me..
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    > they put a code reader on it and that was the answer and the fix

    I thought the CPS did not set any kind of code? That's what makes it difficult to diagnose using circumstantial evidence as to its being bad or not.

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

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    >--car shuts off even on the highway at 60 mph. Gives me these security lights and then drops the gas light as if I have no gas, shows it to empty and then the call stalls,

    I would check the ignition switch carefully. I do not know anything about the physical arrangement of the parts on your car, but that ignition switch can have different contacts for different services. As it heats while the car's running, individual contacts can lose connection while others stay in contact. Heat, vibration, burning, can lead to the bad contact while running.

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

  • 00 bonneville that will start and run but hit throttle and dies. Have replaced fuel filter, fuel pressure regulator, thought maybe cat was plugged but eliminated that and still runs like crap. Once it warms up, it will just start up and shut off. Will not hold fuel pressure with key on not running, once running has pressure, not sure how much dont have guage. Have checked all vacuum lines and cannot find any leaks. When I first start it up I can drive it down road and seems to go ok but if you kick it down seems to not have a lot of power or cuts out funny. Have been digging around a bunch and am stumpped. Any help or ideas would be appreciated. thanks
  • hello tamwa, did you get your problem resolved? If you did could you post on here what you did to get it going again.
    I am having the same kind of problems with my '96 bonneville ssei supercharger.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    You need to verify your fuel pressure. You can get loaner pressure gauges at certain auto parts stores in this state of Ohio. Don't know where you live.

    The pressure should be tested with the engine off and the key on. The pump will run a couple seconds and then shut off. The pressure should hold unless there's a bleed down from a leak or the fuel pump. Then the pressure should be checked with the engine running at idle, and then the pressure noted when the engine is accelerated causing the vacuum to reduce which lets the fuel pressure regulator up the pressure.

    Second choice would be the MAF sensor may need cleaning.

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

  • marceaumarceau Posts: 2
    ive heard a lot of horror stories about it being a feul pressure regulator and if not fixed can be very bad for both the car and you .it can pool gas in the intake and explode the intake off.there about 60 bucks
  • marceaumarceau Posts: 2
    also there is a ground under the kick plate on the driver side that gets corroded and can cause all kinds of fits
  • scscarsscscars Posts: 92
    I had this problem late last year. It is related to the MAF sensor. Worn motormounts created stresses that "tugged" on the MAF sensor and caused it to malfunction. Replacement of one of the motormounts helped, along with a MAF sensor cleaning. I still need to replace the second motormount and probably should replace the MAF sensor as well, even though it is only about three years old. So far, I've spent about $350 on this problem. I have a 2002 Bonneville with a non-supercharged 3.8 Liter V6. Hope this helps.
  • 95 bonneville ssei, 90,000 miles. I am having a variation in my idle. It at times is smooth, slightly rough, very rough, and choppy. This can all take place within a 10 minute period. Any thoughts on what it can be? We've tried 2 computer replacements, 02 sensor. Please help?
  • Yes. I had a similar issue 7-8 years ago. Your have a Pass-Key theft deterant system. Your key has a tiny chip in the shaft of the key that is picked up by a couple of clips inside your ignition lock cylinder. Over time, especially with keys that are attached to large/heavy key chains, the chip wears down, or damages the clips in the ignition lock cylinder. I had both probems present. I needed a new ignition lock cylinder and a new set of ignition keys. Once that was done, problem never surfaced again. Your owners manual will tell you what your car normally does relative to the theft determant system, and what happens when a non-conforming key is used. I'll bet if you read that, your system is telling you that you are using a non-conforming key (subtle method with a blinking light). If that is your case, you know you need either new ignition keys or a new ignition lock cylinder, or both.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    edited November 2013
    92bonny's post is from 2010. He hasn't logged in on Edmunds since March 20, 2010.

    But for others reading this, I'd like to offer a cheaper way to handle VATS problems where the security light blinks for 3 minutes AFTER the key is turned indicating it's getting a wrong reading on the resistance through the key.

    The owner can identify the usually orange tube that has two fine white wires in it that comes from the ignition switch (not the lock) and goes to the connector on the firewall above the parking brake. Cut those nearer the steering column to leave some slack. Put in soldered resistors in series that add up to the resistance on the key chip, within 5% or so. Usually that will fool the TDM (theft deterrent module) into thinking the same key resistance is presence. This will cost a dollar or two for resistors from Radio Shack if you are able to do the soldering and locating work yourself.

    The usual break point for the two fine wires is where the tilt column is flexed every time it's moved. The contacts in the lock also do wear and cause trouble along with a dirty key contact. So bypassing the whole mess eliminates the antitheft protections, but saves a whole lot of money.

    Locating the orange tube with white wires inside that looks like a solid orange power wire is the hardest part. There are youtube videos that show some of this.

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

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