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1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 12-20-2002, 03:13 AM   #1
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Default Engine Light and other goodies

I took my car in to get the Check Engine Soon light looked at. The diagnostic test came up Code 41, which as most of you probably know is a Cam sensor problem. Its a minor item to deal with as an everyday driver, but apparently to fix it...well, thats another a story.

It could be as simple as replacing the sensor and thats it or as far as taking apart the camshaft and trying to identify the problem.

Is there any truth to this story?....apparantly this particular model of car has historically had problems with the Air Flow Sensor and the Cam Sensor. Can anyone at Bonnevilleclub.com confirm or deny that?

Its something that I can live with, however, it defeats the purpose of having a warning light, what if something serious happens?. As a driver, I won't know if there is problem until it is too late.

But hold on...it gets better....I went tonight to have a new CD deck installed and I decided to get a remote starter, keyless entry, and new speakers (front tweets only).

Well, the new deck is very cool...and the concept of having a car start up remotely by the touch of a button, is very cool as well. The locks work automatically now, its all timed and sequenced etc. The running lights flash a few times before start up...and of course nothing beats keyless entry...on an 1989 model SE...no doubt!!!

When I left the place, I found the performance of the car to be rather sluggish..which is not typical for my car. I got home and my engine was smoking...I figured something was wrong with the wiring and something had shorted out. I wanted to get back to get them to fix the problem. Didn't make it that far...

Bonnie died about 3 kms from the store.

I highly doubt it was the new electrical work, simply because the car turned over, started, but it couldn't idle at all. I tend to think that the guys who installed the new toys possibly loosened something or something came diconnected causing some kinda chain effect.

However the smoke was eminating from the back of the engine block.

This is an interesting point because of the new exhaust manifold and catalytic converter that was replaced and upgraded not long ago....at any rate, I hope its one of those things, at least warranties will cover this new problem.

I'm tired of seeing my Bonneville in a garage somewhere...its so much better out on the open road.

I will keep all of you informed....

Heres a toast to the open road!!!
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Old 12-20-2002, 01:32 PM   #2
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The Bonneville has 175, 000 kms or about 106,000 miles.

See, I'm not sure if it was smoke or steam. It gave off a burning plastic smell, its in the hands of General Motors now. I managed to drive it from the garage to the dealer. However the smell started to come back. No smoke though.

I honestly hope that the new hardware that was installed is not affecting the recent problems. I really like having the remote start up etc.

Thanks for the luck. I will keep you informed

Jim Wallace (aka 89BonnieSE89)
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Old 12-20-2002, 02:50 PM   #3
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The burning plastic is a red flag. This is typical of an electical short. What you are smelling is the insulation on some wires melting. I have a bad feeling that it is their installation. My mother had a 1999 Suburban with a dealer installed alarm (not factory--an aftermarket). The dealer asked her if she wanted a security system when she bought the truck new, and instead of puting in a GM unit, they put in a Viper unit. She had problems for the duration of ownership and kept taking it back to Michaels Cheverolet in Fresno, CA. (I think it is in Fresno). They never fixed it and she finally traded up for a 2003 Expedition. She did this after taking it to a different GM service department who pinpointed the problem right away. Some GM vehicles are not compatible with aftermarket systems. Michael'* new this shortly after installing the system but didn't want to pay for a new system that was compatible.

With an 89, I would think that you wouldn't have the compatibility problems. Do you have the passive anti-theft system?
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Old 12-20-2002, 03:11 PM   #4
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I hate red flags....

the wires melting is a bad scene for sure, but I can't seem to identify any electrical problems...not yet anyway.

I basically watched the entire installation happen and everything seemed OK, the wires were housed in the correct conduits etc. But anthing burning is bad.

Just wish I was more mechanically inclined then I could at least make an attempt at diagnosing the problem.

I agree with the fact that there should be no compatability problems, its a little to old for that kind of thing. There is no anti-theft devices...I bought the lower end startup/keyless package. Some of the high end units have a paging system between vehicle and owner.

The people that installed the new hardware assured me that if the problem was caused by their work. I would be compensated. We'll see if that happens

As for now, I await the phone call from GM...

Fingers crossed...

Will update as info come down the pipe

BTW the remote unit cost about $ 270 (CDN), not a piece of junk by any means
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Old 12-20-2002, 07:31 PM   #5
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Default ENGINE TROUBLE UPDATE

It took the whole damn day and a test drive with the mechanic...to figure out whats wrong.

First the bad news:

A coolant plug blew out, the engine was running with no coolant. It immediately blew out the thermostat rendering the gage useless. The steam and burning plastic smell was coolant dripping on the manifold. I need a new thermostat, new block heater, more coolant and a test to make sure that the cast iron engine block was not too damaged by the 9000 degree temperatures. It was a relief to find no knocking noise or seizing of the engine

Good news.

The cam sensor is not a serious problem, the magnet is out of place but it is something I can live with. The new electrical work that was done (new CD deck and keyless entry/remote starter is OK...speaking of which, gotta call them....
It will be finished as good as new on Monday. ...whew...

At least I know what is wrong and what it will take to fix it.

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Old 01-03-2003, 07:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Engine Light and other goodies

Quote:
Originally Posted by 89BonnieSE89
I took my car in to get the Check Engine Soon light looked at. The diagnostic test came up Code 41, which as most of you probably know is a Cam sensor problem. Its a minor item to deal with as an everyday driver, but apparently to fix it...well, thats another a story.

It could be as simple as replacing the sensor and thats it or as far as taking apart the camshaft and trying to identify the problem.

Is there any truth to this story?....apparantly this particular model of car has historically had problems with the Air Flow Sensor and the Cam Sensor. Can anyone at Bonnevilleclub.com confirm or deny that?

Its something that I can live with, however, it defeats the purpose of having a warning light, what if something serious happens?. As a driver, I won't know if there is problem until it is too late.

But hold on...it gets better....I went tonight to have a new CD deck installed and I decided to get a remote starter, keyless entry, and new speakers (front tweets only).

Well, the new deck is very cool...and the concept of having a car start up remotely by the touch of a button, is very cool as well. The locks work automatically now, its all timed and sequenced etc. The running lights flash a few times before start up...and of course nothing beats keyless entry...on an 1989 model SE...no doubt!!!

When I left the place, I found the performance of the car to be rather sluggish..which is not typical for my car. I got home and my engine was smoking...I figured something was wrong with the wiring and something had shorted out. I wanted to get back to get them to fix the problem. Didn't make it that far...

Bonnie died about 3 kms from the store.

I highly doubt it was the new electrical work, simply because the car turned over, started, but it couldn't idle at all. I tend to think that the guys who installed the new toys possibly loosened something or something came diconnected causing some kinda chain effect.

However the smoke was eminating from the back of the engine block.

This is an interesting point because of the new exhaust manifold and catalytic converter that was replaced and upgraded not long ago....at any rate, I hope its one of those things, at least warranties will cover this new problem.

I'm tired of seeing my Bonneville in a garage somewhere...its so much better out on the open road.

I will keep all of you informed....

Heres a toast to the open road!!!
Hey , that is the same code that I have. But I hope nothing that crazy happens to my car!!! I feel the same way about the ever so helpful engine light. I have replaced my CAM sensor, but no change, which makes me believe that it could be the misallined magnet... but I don't feel like messing with it right now. I have no time. Let me know what happens if you fix the problem.
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Old 01-03-2003, 07:53 PM   #7
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Thats exactly what it is....the magnet is misaligned. It costs about $1100 for the dealer to rip apart the engine to get to the camshaft.

I told the mechanic to forget about it. It doesn't hinder the performance of the vehicle, however once in a while at start up, it sputters on acceleration. To fix the problem, spend the money and replace the magnet. Or drive, evantually the problem smooths over or restart the car. That always works for me.

The downside, since the Check Engine Soon light is on, you have lost your warning system.

Good luck and happy motoring

TiMSmoOth That blue Bonnie is really sweet...I like!!!
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Old 01-03-2003, 08:03 PM   #8
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Holy crap $1100!!!
screw that, If I had to I might as well rebuild the engine with new performance parts.
well... so far, the car runs perfect, and DAMN that crappy engine light warning system!
O and thanx for the compliment.
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Old 01-04-2003, 01:48 AM   #9
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I need more friends who are mechanically inclined and with air tools...100 bucks would be great to spend to fix the problem and turn the engine light off...

Until then.....
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