97 Bonneville dies at speed, problems starting - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 10-04-2008, 12:09 PM   #1
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Default 97 Bonneville dies at speed, problems starting

Hi all, new here.
I've a few problems with my 1997 Bonneville. Started a few years back. The wife and I had a 320 mile a day commute, and sometimes, the car would die at speed. Tach, speedo would drop, kick it into neutral, and the thing would come back to life...
Once in awhile, it wouldn't restart, and would have to hit the key, and it'd fire right back up. A little disconcerting at 75 and four lanes of traffic!
The other big problem I've got with it comes after driving it across town, perhaps five to ten miles. If I park, run in, come back out and try to start the car, all it'll do is crank. I smell fuel if I crank for a bit. Once in awhile, it'll start if I rack the gear selector back and forth and reset it to park and try it. Once, all I did was slam the door, and it started back up.
When it DOES run right, we're getting sometimes better than 30 mpg out of the thing, so you can understand why I'd like this sorted out.
Oh, by the way, the chassis has 278K miles on it, first engine replaced at 138 thousand. I have no idea who did the work, or what their skill level was. When I first got the car, I pulled the air intake hose and found straw hanging on the wires in the intake.
Wondering if I should just do the shotgun thing, replace all the sensors I can get to, and a new ignition switch? Maybe just an adjustment on the shift quadrant for the neutral start?
Scratchin' my head on this one, I grew up adjusting points and carburetors!!!
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:11 AM   #2
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Couple of things here.

First off is pull back the carpet at the driverside front floor and find the wire loom running along the door. Taped to that wire loom is a rectangular item. It is the ground distribution and stalling can be caused if it is corroded.

Next up would be a crank sensor replacement. Overall not a bad item to change, bit of a pain with hand tools though.
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:38 AM   #3
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Thanks! I'll try that this morning. Would that perhaps explain why my gas gauge has never worked? Well, it did a couple of times for a minute or two, then pegged past full and lives there.
One other odd thing happened a couple of weeks back. When I got off work to go to lunch, I unlocked the driver'* door with the key, and for the first time ever, the lights started blinking, and the horn started going off. Didn't stop until I locked and unlocked the door a couple more times.
We used to drive out of southeast Idaho to Ogden, Utah every day, through the salted slush in the winter, and I don't recall that the carpet ever would completely dry out for perhaps six months at a time. I'll pull the door panel, also, and see what'* going on in there. The key-fob control thingy that we got with the car has never worked, someone busted the prong that goes to the back side of the battery off, but it looks cool hanging on the keychain!
Again, Thanks!
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