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Old 01-21-2008, 06:52 PM   #1
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Default everything about 92-99 bonnevilles.

1992-1999 Pontiac Bonneville Reliability
Trouble Spots
Consumer Guide'*® Auto Editors have scoured repair bulletins and questioned mechanics to search for commonly occurring problems for a particular vehicle. In some cases we also give possible manufacturer-suggested solutions. In many instances these trouble spots are Technical Service Bulletins posted by the manufacturer, however, we have our own expert looking at additional vehicle problems.
Automatic transmission: 4T60E transmissions may drop out of drive while cruising; shift erratically; or have no second, third, or fourth gear because of a bad ground connection for the shift solenoids. (1992-94)
Automatic transmission: The 4T60E automatic transmission can suddenly go into neutral at highway speeds due to a problem with internal shift valves. (1995-97)
Coolant leak: The 3.8-liter V6 may leak coolant into the engine from the intake manifold. A new gasket kit, revised throttle body nuts, and sealing compound is available. Redesigned manifolds are also available in the aftermarket. (1993-99)
Coolant leak: Coolant loss via plastic intake manifold is corrected by installing upgraded manifold and gaskets plus new PCV kit. (1995-99)
Cruise control: If the cruise control doesn't stay engaged, or drops out of cruise, the brake switch can usually be adjusted. (1992-95)
Engine noise: Bearing knock was common on many 3.3- and 3.8-liter engines due to too much clearance on the No. 1 main bearing. (1992-94)
Engine noise: A rattling noise from the engine when the car is started after sitting is often caused by automatic-transmission pump starvation, or a sticking pressure-regulator valve. (1992-95)
Engine temperature: Overheating and coolant loss may be due to rough surface on radiator filler neck. Neck should be sanded smooth and cap replaced. (1999)
Horn: The horn may spontaneously sound in cold weather. Airbag assembly must be replaced. (1999)
Oil consumption and engine knock: 3.8-liter engines are prone to excessive oil consumption often accompanied by spark knock due to failure of the valve-stem seals. (1993-95)
Steering noise: The upper-bearing mount in the steering column can get loose and cause a clicking, requiring a new bearing spring and turn-signal cancel cam. (1994-96)
Transaxle leak: The right front-axle seal at the automatic transaxle is prone to leak. GM issued a revised seal to correct the problem. (1992-94)
Consumer Guide® Estimated Repair Costs
This table lists costs of likely repairs for comparison with other vehicles. The dollar amount includes the cost of the part(*) and labor (based on $50 per hour) for the typical repair without extras or add-ons. Like the pricing information, replacement costs can vary widely depending on region. Expect charges at a new-car dealership to be slightly higher.

Item Name Repair Cost

A/C Compressor $460

Alternator $190

Automatic Transmission or Transaxle $970

Brakes $230

Constant Velocity Joints $730

Exhaust System $500

Radiator $360

Shocks and/or Struts $750

Timing Chain or Belt $260

NHTSA Recall History
1992 w/console shift: Control cable on some cars may disengage from bracket and falsely indicate gear position.
1992: Parking-brake lever may release one or more teeth when applied.
1992-93: Transmission-cooler line in cars with certain powertrains, sold in specified states, can separate at low temperature.
1995 w/Twilight Sentinel: Excess current leakage can cause loss of headlights and parking lights.
1996 w/3.8-liter V6: Backfire during engine starting can cause breakage of upper intake manifold, resulting in nonstart condition and possible fire.
1996: Damaged capacitor may cause failure of "Key in the Ignition" warning chime and driver-seatbelt-unbuckled warning chime and indicator lamp; other functions may also be impaired.
1997: Seat cover trim on a few cars does not meet flammability requirements.
1998-99: A faulty fuel-pressure regulator may allow a fuel leak to enter the intake manifold, resulting in possible fire. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.
1999 w/chromed aluminum wheels: Studs on some wheels could break, causing tire/wheel assembly to separate.
1999: Clip that secures linkage of transmission-detent lever can loosen and disconnect; indicated gear would then differ from actual state of the transmission.

1992-1999 Pontiac Bonneville Specs & Safety
Vehicle Dimensions
Specification 4-door sedan

Wheelbase, in. 110.8

Overall Length, in. 200.6

Overall Width, in. 74.5

Overall Height, in. 55.7

Curb Weight, lbs. 3446

Cargo Volume, cu. ft. 18.0

Standard Payload, lbs. --

Fuel Capacity, gals. 18.0

Seating Capacity 6

Front Head Room, in. 39.0

Max. Front Leg Room, in. 43.0

Rear Head Room, in. 38.3

Max. Rear Leg Room, in. 38.0

Specifications Key: NA = not available; "--" = measurement does not exist.
Powertrain Options and Availability
Under the hood sits the same overhead-valve 3.8-liter V6 that has powered full-size GM cars since they were switched to front-wheel drive in 1986. However, GM adds more horsepower, with 1992 models featuring a 170-horsepower at 4800 rpm and 220 pound-feet of torque at 3200 rpm. For the sporty 1992-93 SSEi models, Pontiac provides a supercharged edition that delivers 205 horsepower at 4400 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 2800 rpm. Both V6 engines comes paired with an electronic 4-speed overdrive transmission. For 1993, torque on the base engine rises slightly to 225 pound-feet at 3200 rpm, with an all-new engine arriving in 1995. The new unit is a reengineered 3.8-liter, called the Series II 3800 V6. In its new form it delivers 205 horsepower--35 more than before--and 230 pound-feet of torque, up 5 from the previous version. For '94, the more potent 225-horsepower supercharged edition of the V6 is available for those ordering the SSEi Supercharger Package. It provides 275 pound-feet of torque at 3600 rpm. Both engines remain teamed with an electronic 4-speed automatic transmission. For 1996, power for the optional supercharged engine jumps to 240 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 280 pound-feet of torque at 3200 rpm.
Engines Size liters /
cu. in Horse- power Torque Transmission:
EPA city/hgwy Consumer Guide Observed

ohv V6 3.8 / 231 170 200-225 4-speed automatic: 18/28 4-speed automatic: --

ohv V6 3.8 / 231 205 230 4-speed automatic: 19/29 4-speed automatic: 17

Supercharged ohv V6 3.8 / 231 225-240 275-280 4-speed automatic: 17/27 4-speed automatic: 16.5

Specifications Key: NA = not available; "--" = measurement does not exist.
NHTSA Crash-Test Results
Test 1999 Bonneville

Front Impact, Driver 5

Front Impact, Passenger 3

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests a vehicle'* worthiness in front- and side-impact collisions and rates its resistance to rollovers. Front-impact crash-test numbers indicate the chance of serious injury: 5 = 10% or less; 4 = 10-20%; 3 = 20-35%; 2 = 35-45%; 1 = More than 45%. Side-impact crash-test numbers indicate: 5 = 5% or less; 4 = 6-10%; 3 = 11-20%; 2 = 21-25%; 1 = More than 26%. Rollover resistance numbers indicate the chance for rollover when the vehicle leaves the roadway: 5 = Less than 10%; 4 = 10-20%; 3 = 20-30%; 2 = 30-40%; 1 = More than 40%.
Built In: USA
Drive Wheels: transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

1992-1999 Pontiac Bonneville Road Test
Pros Cons

Acceleration Fuel economy

Automatic transmission performance Ride (SSE, SSEi)

Cargo room

Consumer Guide® Road-Test Evaluation
Even with the base engine, which currently delivers 205 horsepower, acceleration and passing response are brisk and sure. The supercharged version has all the feel of a burly V8, but requires the use of costlier premium unleaded. Expect real-world fuel economy of 17-18 in the city for the base engine, 25 on the highway. That drops to 15-16 city mileage for the supercharged version and 23-24 on the highway. Both engines team with an automatic that shifts promptly and smoothly. The CCR feature in the SSEi felt too loose and bouncy in Touring mode, and in Performance mode it failed to absorb bumps very well. Bonneville has the same spacious interior and trunk as its more sedate siblings at Buick and Oldsmobile. There'* ample room for both passengers and cargo. The trunk is wide, has a flat floor that extends well-forward, providing 18 cubic feet of storage. Inside, the seating is comfortable and the instrument panel is well-executed.
Value for the Money
The Chrysler LH/LHS sedans are roomier and have more daring styling, but the Bonneville and its GM cousins are high-quality cars that can be tailored to suit a variety of tastes, from cushy luxury to sporty performance.
Consumer Guide® Road Test Ratings
Pontiac Bonneville SLE Rating

Performance 6

Fuel Economy 3

Ride Quality 6

Steering/Handling/Braking 6

Quietness 7

Controls/Materials 6

Interior Room 7

Room/Comfort (rear) 5

Cargo Capacity 4

Value within Class 6

Total: 56

Each vehicle report contains one rating chart for representative model. Consumer Guide® rates in ten key areas: Performance, Fuel Economy, Ride Comfort, Steering and Handling, Interior Noise, Controls and Materials, Driver Room, Passenger Room, Cargo Capacity, and Insurance Costs. These ratings compare the particular vehicle rated to ALL other vehicles, not a vehicle'* standing in a particular class. In the ratings table, "1" is the lowest rating and "10" is the highest rating.
"i was gonna fix my car but then i got @&#$"
1995 bonneville se 114,000 miles and crashed the f up due to an idiot driver with state farm..then repaired 100% by yours truely..1988 bonneville sse 74,000 miles. my best car yet. never let me down.. (edit: o.k just once thus far on 1-14-08 )
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:24 AM   #2
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Thank you very much for this awesome post! I'm definitely putting it in my favorites! So that I can always easily find this, I'm going to write something really weird here:

frog façade with green

There. I hope I remember that. Thanks again!
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:03 AM   #3
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Keep in mind that list of possible common problems is pretty 'out there'. We've really never seen many of those. The useful information here is basically the vehicle dimensions.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by willwren
Keep in mind that list of possible common problems is pretty 'out there'. We've really never seen many of those. The useful information here is basically the vehicle dimensions.
Honestly, I skimmed through that list. My fascination really is for the dimensions, curb weight, and things of that nature.
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