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Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    I replaced the right rear window regulator in my 2000 SSEi. It took a little under two hours. The old regulator is on the top of the photo. Notice that the motors are different, and at different angles, which made the new regulator easier to get into the access hole than the old one was to get out. It doesn't look like the motors are interchangeable, partially explaining why they only sell the regulator with the motor.


    My theory about every GM part having an Achille's heel stands. This regulator looks like it was engineered to last the life of the car, except for that one weak spot that was bound to fail. The upper cable is attached to a piece of UHMW that snapped in half. Metal pulling against plastic is a recipe for trouble. Interestingly, I heard the "snap!" when I was lowering the window, yet the cable that broke free was the one that raises the window, which makes me think that something got bound up with the cable or the reel. Yet, when I got the old regulator out, both cables moved freely when I ran the motor.


    It is apparent that the design of the part that failed has not been changed on the new regulator. This is what the new one looks like:


    It's only a matter of time before the other regulators break too. At least now I know how to replace it!
  • I do not notice that the lights dim with my problem. In fact there really is no hesitation at all, the engine will just stall momentarily then resume running. It is more noticeable during hard acceleration because of the sudden loss of power. I have switched the DIC to the volt meter mode and plan on looking at it the next time this special event takes place. So far I drove to work and back today without a mishap.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,498
    Thanks for sharing the pictures of the regulator mechanisms. I hope that's not going to happen with the 98 I have, nor the 03.

    Lights dimming:
    I had that trouble with 93 LeSabre just before I traded it. I decided it was the heater control head losing ground and turning on the air conditioner, and both cooling fans. When that happened a big load hit and the lights dimmed almost scary at first.
    The ground problem was in the major collector next to the driver's door under the carpet. But I never got to dig in and clean up the connections before my wife traded it in.

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

  • Another day, another problem. Anyone have their heads up display (hud) get dimmer for no apparent reason, just keeps dimming and then will come back to bright, dim and bright. I watched the volts but they stay constant because at first i thought it was my battery. Any suggestions would be great. thanx jr
  • I purchased my 2000 Bonneville SSEi about 6 months ago, after having it about 5 weeks the rear right side window regulator went bad, then about 2 months ago the console bezzle broke where the drivers side heat seat switch is I had to replace the entire bezzle which was not covered under my extended warranty, luckily all of the switches come on the bezzle which was nice since the light in the heat switch was burned out. Now I have had my car in the shop for 6 days, they said they think a planetary gear had gone bad. I have 54,000 miles on the car. The warranty company is making the dealer do a complete tear down of the transmission rather than just letting them replace it. It started making a noise a week ago, the noise would change with the speed of the car and not with the RPM change. I would start real deep and then at about 70mph it would become a high pitch whine. I'm waiting for them to finish the tear down today to see what the problem ended up being. I just can't believe the trans. went bad a 54,000 miles. the car has been serviced by the book. Has anyone else had a similar trans. problem?
  • The dealer's body shop confirmed the windshield as the cause of the water leak and is re sealing it. They also found a problem with the interior weather strip on the bottom of the door. Thanks for every ones input.
  • anyone have problems with their rotors warping. I just put new rotors on 12,000 ago and they are warped already! Had to replace the other ones because they were warped. Also every morning i get in it (or after it sits for a few hours or more) the breaks grab really suddenly on the first few stops and make loud screeching noises...any thoughts?

    Also has anyone ever heard of struts going at 55,000? I'm starting to think i bought a real p.o.s.
  • giamomjgiamomj Posts: 15
    Boy oh boy....when it rains it just pours.

    After much too much wasted time, Pontiac dealer thought torque converter was bad in SLE. I left car on Dec. 29 for repair. Got loaner covered by warranty. Never heard another word from DLR. So I called them on Jan. 2, when I'm told:

    1. The guy who was originally fixing the car is in the hospital (I wonder...)

    2. Torque converter is apparently now NOT bad; DLR. says transmission mount causing droning noise/hum at higher speeds 2000+RPM. (this is tranny second mount in 2 months....they are replacing another one, apparently.)

    3. Part will be late -(tranny mount); it never comes in until Jan. 7 - and I find out yesterday that while car is in DLR. lot somebody breaks in a window and steals my radar detector! God knows what else might be gone. I've been fighting with the DLR. because my extended warranty won't pay for the loaner past 8 days MAX.

    4. Well, I MAXed-out on that loaner as of yesterday. DLR. replaced window and cleaned out broken glass, says will pay one more day for loaner since car wass on their property when window was smashed out. Today DLR. claims car will be road tested today for fix(?) in tranny mount.

    I hope this is over after today. Seems like every warranty trip to a Pontiac dealer results in real disappointment, unexpected more troubles -or just no satisfaction with repair - and/or additional costs and frustration.

    5. Anyone know anything about trans. mounts and engine drone or hum as a known problem (DRL. says drone at 2000+ RPMs is really a "vibration/trans mount" issue, but I don't know whom to believe anymore....)

    Mike, frustrated in NJ
  • giamomjgiamomj Posts: 15
    Last year my local Firestone dealer printed out for me a TSB from GM on rotor problems, including Bonneville models. May I suggest you go to your dealer and PRESS them about this. Seems rotors have to be replaced to fix problem, and it's an expensive fix.

  • Took my car to a local garage that has a Hunter balancing machine. That definately did the trick! They said that my tires were all out of balance to begin with (thanks alot Cape and Islands Tire). They also said that the tires that i have on my car are excellent (Michellins). Now it's onto the warped rotors. Thank god that ones over.
  • Greetings from another member of the 2000 Bonneville SSEi equipment failure of the month club. Still haven't been able to put aside the money to get the front wheel bearing fixed,(spent the last money on tires...old shimmy a bit better, Stabilitrack repair, rear door latch mechanism replacement)... and the heated driver's seat decides to puke in the coldest spell we've had all winter. Light on the switch goes on then off within seconds. Checked the mini-fuse, which is conveniently located under the rear seat, and it was OK. Interesting that the passenger side mini-fuse is even more conveniently located under the hood. Gotta hand in to GM, they have a sick sense of humor. Next time?...Japanese!
  • had the exact same thing happen to mine. It is the heating element in the seat itself. GM wanted $980 just for parts alone, labor was on top of that. I told them there was no way i was spending the money on that. It is cold here on cape cod this time of year as well when i could really use that heated seat...oh well.
  • Part required to fix each heated seat is $105.26. GM says about hour & 1/2 to replace.
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    I've had heated seats go on two other cars I've owned - a Volvo and a Mazda. They don't seem to last long. Perhaps they're more durable on other models available today but my expectations are low for longevity here. My experience is also that the repair is a couple of hundred, not a grand. Annoying but not major.

    That said, if I'd had bigred's aggregate experience, I probably wouldn't be considering another Pontiac either. Ironically, my '00 SLE has been just shy of perfect (not even a rattle) - and I have an extended warranty!
  • i wonder why the dealership i went to quoted me $980 just for parts? They said they had to replace the entire seat. This this true or are they seriously trying to screw me?
  • Thanks for the responses on the seat gentlemen. It will be interesting to see what kind of quote they give me to repair the heater....after the wheel bearing gets fixed. My girlfriend's pre-GM '90 Saab 9000's heaters still work fine.
  • i have a sse 1989 for the last 2 month and someting hapen few days ago , first i lost my compas and driver info and the dash and my battery indicator show 18 ( full overcharge ) supposed to be beetwin 12.5 to 13 maybe but now is to hight , so i change my alternator , my battery and my starter and now my steering whell bottum do not work any more .....
    can someone help me , i have no idea what to do anymore , seen everytime i try to fix someting , someting else broke :( please let me know if you get some ideas

    thank you
  • Driver's side went out on my Lesabre Limited (Bonnie's corporate cousin) under warranty. They had to take it to an upholstery shop next town over. They had to sew in the element to the seat. I love the heated seats. Once you have them, you don't want to give them up. It has worked over a year so far.
  • On my 2002 SE I have had both my driver and passenger side heated seats go within a year and only 6000 mi. The invoice price was around $400 if i remember correctly for parts and labor for each seat.. Kind of makes me wonder what the longevity of this item will be down the road.. My dealer is pretty fair with me and if i have a reoccuring problem that was documented under warranty they will stand by it when the warranty runs out.. Ill just wait and see..
  • anyone have a problem with engine mounts? I noticed that when the car is in park the engine is shaking badly. I rocked the car back and forth and then engine jumps up. I watched the lower mount (near the radiator) while doing this and it is lifting off the bottom by at least 1-1 1/2 inches! Is this normal? The rubber looks all cracked around it. Is this normal???
  • This morning on my way to work at -15F, my '93 Bonneville had a complete electrical failure (engine, lights, everything)as I tried to adjust the electric seat. I have 220,000 miles on this car and want to keep it. I'm assuming a fuse or circuit breaker failure, where should I look first? THANKS FROM MINNESOTA!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,498
    If the headlights went out too, I'd look at battery cables. Sometimes they have internally corroded inside the plastic, but usually it would be a failure in the connector at the end.

    Take each one off and clean and tighten it back. That he other ends of those cables, loosen and reconnect at the engine and starter and ground connector to the body (follow the black cables).

     It could be a battery failure also. Might check with that in mind.

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

  • Reply #1265 - I just got my B-ville back after nearly 2 months of trying to get that hum/drone out: tho it ended up being a warranty repair, it also cost me over $200 in additional rental car fees, plus I had to eat the cost of the radar detector that was stolen when my Bonne was broken into at the dealership during the long period of waiting for diagnosis and parts.

    All of my mounts, trans and engine - were replaced. (Unfortunately, the hum is diminished - but NOT gone.) Your engine mounts should be replaced - the engine should not be "jumping" and I can only say that if my 3 year old Bonne's mounts were shot (according to the dealer) then it stands to reason that yours are shot too.
  • Thank you imidazo197 for your quick message. Your diagnosis sounds right on to me so I'll give that a try. This was the first time I used this service and I really appreciate your response!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,498
    I'm not sure it would affect the starting and running of the engine, but there is a ground terminal box at the left of the driver's seat under the carpet. A lot of things from the dash area go there for their ground connect. My car, a 93, had some door locks not working part of the time, and AC system switching to AC because of loss of power. I had found from reading here that was t he common thing they shared, the ground.

    Because that area can be damp in rain and winter (in North), the contacts inside can corrode. High draw by power seat could have burned through some corrosion and lost the ground connection.

    The box is where your left hand would danger when putting it between the seat and the door.

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

  • For those of you that have not replaced your intake manifold yet, You should be able to buy the upper plenum at you local parts store. Dorman part # 615-180 should fit 1995 to 2004 3.8 engine.
    A local parts store quoted price of $129.00.
  • I have noticed within the last month in my 02 SLE (20,000miles) that the steering wheel when turning feels a little like it is binding and making a slight clicking sound. Thought I saw something on this at one time in this forum. Wonder if this is a safety issue or what the remedy is.? Anyone else had this problem? Otherwise no shaking..and drives great.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    This might apply:

    Clunk Noise from Front of Vehicle During Turning Maneuver/Steering Wheel Rotation (Lubricate Intermediate Shaft) #01-02-32-001C - (09/12/2003)

    2001-2004 Buick Regal
    2000-2004 Cadillac Seville STS
    1997-2004 Chevrolet Cavalier
    2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo
    2001-2003 Oldsmobile Aurora
    1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue
    1997-2004 Pontiac Sunfire
    2000-2004 Pontiac Bonneville
    2003-2004 Pontiac Grand Prix
    This bulletin is being revised to add and remove models. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 01-02-32-001B (Section 02 [shy ] Steering).

    Some customers may comment on a clunk type noise coming from the front of the vehicle during a turning maneuver. This condition may also be felt through the steering wheel when the vehicle is stationary and the wheel is rotated from steering stop to steering stop. Typically, the clunk noise will be heard once for every 180° of steering wheel rotation in either direction for J-cars (Cavalier and Sunfire). However, some vehicles may only exhibit the noise once for every 360° of wheel rotation. On all other vehicles, this clunk noise will be noticed during low speed acceleration or deceleration, typically in light turns of the steering wheel.

    Do not replace the following steering gear part numbers:
    GM P/N 26063582, GM P/N 26056808, GM P/N 26031078, GM P/N 26079915, GM P/N 26055468, GM P/N 26079917, GM P/N 26079929, GM P/N 26081813, GM P/N 26080057, GM P/N 26088612, GM P/N 26086001, GM P/N 26088334, GM P/N 26088539, GM P/N 26068964, GM P/N 26058681, GM P/N 26068967, GM P/N 26088606, GM P/N 26067451, GM P/N 26087241, GM P/N 26087416
    Do not replace the following intermediate shafts:
    GM P/N 10327501, GM P/N 10327502, GM P/N 10327553, GM P/N 22680754, GM P/N 22704392, GM P/N 26050292, GM P/N 26055042, GM P/N 26073020
    GM P/N 26078302, GM P/N 26079240, GM P/N 26079787, GM P/N 26100571

    This condition is commonly misdiagnosed as originating in the steering gear and has resulted in the replacement of numerous steering gears without correcting the concern.

    This condition may be caused by inadequate lubrication of the steering intermediate shaft which results in a "slip stick" condition possibly resulting in the clunk noise.

    Remove the intermediate steering shaft from the vehicle and lubricate the shaft with a Steering Column Shaft Lubrication Kit, P/N 26098237. Follow the service procedure listed below.
  • My 2003 SSEI developed the same condition at 17,000 miles. The dealer removed the intermediate steering shaft, lubricated it, and reinstalled it. Problem solved. Steering is smooth as velvet now.
  • Have replaced my 98 Pontiac Bonneville(SE)'s power steering pump due to leaking power steering fluid at 78480, 84456, 84772 and 86419 miles. Now at 927xx miles it is leaking again. Last time(only) a DELCO pump was installed; all others were new but not OEM equipment. NOTE: I encountered the initial leak after I had to have the serpentine belt tensioner and belt replaced when I was about 200 miles from home. "Mr Good Wrench" did that repair on a Saturday and failed to notice that the power steering pump was also leaking. By the time I got back home I had no power steering capability. The same shop here in St Louis has replaced each of the leaking pumps and thankfully has done most of the work under the original warranty. But I need a car that is safe to take on trips out of town and the Bonneville is not it. Anyone else had this problem?
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