Hi Guys! Having a few problems with my $$Money-Loving Bonny, and hoping someone can give me some advice on what to check!
My 1996 Bonneville SSE (no supercharger) has had Traction Control and ABS problems for awhile now Ė starting off with the lights coming on during winter driving whenever TC was required for more than a few seconds. From there, it continued to get worse to the point that I would start the car, drive forward a few hundred feet on dry pavement, and immediately have it disable. I figured that it was related to the wheel sensors, but since it was winter without a garage in New England, I didnít bother checking it Ė I actually prefer to have ABS off for winter driving (although traction control *is* useful). Both front wheel bearing assemblies had been replaced recently Ė driver side a little over a year ago, passenger side last fall. So I put it on the list of things to check this summer.
Well, it seems to have gotten worse and developed other problems (or vice versa, and the TC/ABS issues were early warnings for other issues). At this point, when I start the car in the morning, I hear something rotating/cycling several times, and then the TC and ABS lights come on Ė before Iíve moved or even put the car in gear! Iíve been driving it like this for awhile (figuring it was still part of an optional system) when last week, I was driving back from work (45 minute commute) and encountered a new drive problem. I was driving on the highway between 50-65, and every time the car started to climb a hill and downshifted to maintain speed, it would make a grinding noise and the entire car shuddered back and forth. Maybe my imagination, but I also thought I caught a slight burning smell. I havenít driven it for more than a few minutes since then, and havenít been able to duplicate the problem on a short trip (10-15 minutes of driving).
Any thoughts from the helpful gearheads on the forum? Iím thinking differential problems? Any simple way (other than a tranny shop) to try and determine if this is differential, CV, transmission, or something else I havenít even thought of yet? Is this something that I may have caused by running it without TC & ABS? Also, any thoughts on what ďlikely causesĒ might cost to fix? I still owe the bank $2K for this car, but I canít afford to put much money into it Ė my biggest problem with this car is that I canít afford to fix something until ití* actually broken, by which point it has killed two other things, as well. Is it getting time to junk it?
Thanks in advance for any and all advice!