1999 Pontiac Bonneville electrical problems? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 10-07-2010, 11:51 PM   #1
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Cool 1999 Pontiac Bonneville electrical problems?

Hello, back again begging for help with this Bonneville of mine, .I have been having a strange electrical problem with my Bonneville for a couple of weeks now and can't seem to figure it out. The problem occurs at random and the first couple of times it happened the car would seem to lose all electrical power and engine would die. After a few seconds the car would regain electrical power and start back up on its own even with the transmission still in drive. Now when it occurs the engine dies, check guages light comes on, the chime goes off. It'* done this at night once and when it'* happened I lost all lights including dash lights and all exterior lights. After a few seconds all power comes back and I could shift the car into neutral and restart the engine like nothing happened. There are no codes in the computer and the check engine light is not on. I have checked the ground busses that are on the floor near the front seats and they are fine with no corrosion once so ever. I know the car is losing all electrical power becuase I installed an aftermarket radio in the car and the radio looses all its presets and goes to manufactures defaults when the power loss occurs which tells me that the radio is losing the 12 volt constant signal for the memory (I work with electronics for a living and never cut into a wiring harness unless I absoutely have to, I use harness adaptors for everything and the aftermarket radio is no exception). I am suspecting the body computer may be going but I am not sure since the problem is sporatic at best. Its the only thing I can think of that would have an affect on all these different systems at the same time. Sometimes it can go a week or more before the problem happens, other times it could be a couple of days between occurances. The car has a brand new battery in it and I had the charging system tested and it was found to be in good working order. I have heard that these Bonnevilles can have electrical gremlins but this one is just too weird. I am clueless as to what to check or where to look now. Any input on the problem is greatly appreciated as always.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:54 PM   #2
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This is a common problem. Clean both ends of both battery cables. Pull the boots back and clean up everything. Put some dielectric grease on the terminals and tighten back down. I clean mine 2 times a year.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:55 PM   #3
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hmm sunny thing i had the same problem in my 97 ssei turned out at first my postive batt cable was loose then later on the alternator went out....its a possibillity but im not expert on electrical but it sounds identical to the issue i had
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:01 AM   #4
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I had the same problem the radio would die, the car would hesitate, and the abs pump would cycle. But every week or so the car would start but as soon as I would come to a complete stop it would die again. A couple of guys here told me to inspect my battery cables. I checked them they looked fine but my battery cable stud that screws into the battery was stripped. I ended up replacing the cables and the stud and haven't had any problems since. I even upgraded the cables to a larger size and my amps get more current than before.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:10 AM   #5
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Ok, I have an update. I went to the gas station last night with the Bonneville and filled up the gas tank. Got back in the car and started it up, put it in drive and when I took my foot off the brake the car started to roll and then died. The Bonneville lost all electrical power and this time it didn't restart. I had no lights, power accessories, radio, not a single thing would work. So I let the car sit for a few hours while I tried to figure out how to get it home. After a few hours I broke down and called a local tow company and $84 later the car was home. When the tow truck showed up to get the Bonneville though the driver asked me to turn the key to unlock the front wheels and to put it in neutral, when I did this all the lights came on, and the power windows worked, but the car still would not crank and I still did not have a radio or anything else and the only way to make the lights turn off was to disconnect the battery. I am really thinking I have a computer issue here becuase of all the different systems that quit working, then start working all on there own again. I would like some more imput from other members as I am not 100 percent sure that this is the problem and I don't want to start droping money on parts that aren't the problem. Any information is greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brobbins87 View Post
Ok, I have an update. I went to the gas station last night with the Bonneville and filled up the gas tank. Got back in the car and started it up, put it in drive and when I took my foot off the brake the car started to roll and then died. The Bonneville lost all electrical power and this time it didn't restart. I had no lights, power accessories, radio, not a single thing would work. So I let the car sit for a few hours while I tried to figure out how to get it home. After a few hours I broke down and called a local tow company and $84 later the car was home. When the tow truck showed up to get the Bonneville though the driver asked me to turn the key to unlock the front wheels and to put it in neutral, when I did this all the lights came on, and the power windows worked, but the car still would not crank and I still did not have a radio or anything else and the only way to make the lights turn off was to disconnect the battery. I am really thinking I have a computer issue here becuase of all the different systems that quit working, then start working all on there own again. I would like some more imput from other members as I am not 100 percent sure that this is the problem and I don't want to start droping money on parts that aren't the problem. Any information is greatly appreciated.
Sounds like it could be netural safty swt. Maybe fuselinks coming off starter where your + battery cable connects. I read a post where aguy with problems simular to yours and he finnely found it, the fusable like had some corrision, when cold it made contact, when it warmed up it would loose contact, that was on a 92 Olds cirra 3.1, yours may be different.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:17 PM   #7
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Smile RE Bonneville electrical problems

We have a 99 Bonneville SSEi and had the same problems. It would just die for no apparent reason. I tightened the battery cables and that worked for a while, but it eventually came back. There are 2 positive (red) cables. One goes to the starter and the other goes to the electronics. The 2nd one is what was causing the problems. I replaced it with one from the GM parts store for $45 bucks and haven't had a problem like this since.

Although it'* a good car, the electrical system on this car sucks. Now I understand why they went out of business. The 92 SSE that we had previously was a much better built car.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:59 AM   #8
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