97 Bonneville SE won't start - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 12-16-2010, 05:10 PM   #1
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Default 97 Bonneville SE won't start

I have a 97 Bonneville SE and was driving last week when the car suddenly died. I pulled off the road and tried to start it. Car will turn over but not start. It is not out of gas as I had just put $20.00 worth of gas in. Gas gauge shows correctly when starting but always goes to full. Tried using different keys (we were told something might be wrong with key). That did not help. Disconnected battery for 24 hours. No change. Car will turn over but not start. Had someone listen for fuel pump, nothing heard. When I check fuel will only drizzle out. Checked for spark, the spark was yellow with a little blue. Checked the ohms on coils output 1-4 and 2-5 was 5.21. 3-6 was 5.02. On the coil itself 3-6 and 2-5 couldn't get a reading. On 1-4 it .15-.33. HELP PLEASE! We can't afford a mechanic! Wife needs her car for work!
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rass91 View Post
I have a 97 Bonneville SE and was driving last week when the car suddenly died. I pulled off the road and tried to start it. Car will turn over but not start. It is not out of gas as I had just put $20.00 worth of gas in. Gas gauge shows correctly when starting but always goes to full. Tried using different keys (we were told something might be wrong with key). That did not help. Disconnected battery for 24 hours. No change. Car will turn over but not start. Had someone listen for fuel pump, nothing heard. When I check fuel will only drizzle out. Checked for spark, the spark was yellow with a little blue. Checked the ohms on coils output 1-4 and 2-5 was 5.21. 3-6 was 5.02. On the coil itself 3-6 and 2-5 couldn't get a reading. On 1-4 it .15-.33. HELP PLEASE! We can't afford a mechanic! Wife needs her car for work!
Also when we try to start it the security gauge on the dashboard comes on!
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:09 PM   #3
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https://www.gmforum.com/trouble-shooting-test-procedures-141/testing-coils-spark-plug-wires-278818/ there is a thread on testing coild and the readings you should get...

as for the pump you should be able to hear it..and im pretty sure feul should do a little more than dribble out lol..Sounds more like the feul pump..As iv'e never seen a coil just die buit iv'e seen feul pumps do it
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:09 AM   #4
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Thanks, thats what we are thinking to. We tested the coils and only got a reading off of one of them. Just not sure how to tell if the fuel pump is bad cause when you turn on the car all you here is that beeping noise saying your keys are in the ignition. Was also told it could be a fuel pump sensor. Will test that tomorrow!
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:28 AM   #5
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If you're checking the fuel pressure at the fuel rail and it just dribbles out, either the fuel filter is severely clogged, or the pump has failed. Pump could fail due to bad relay, inertia switch, or bad pump.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:48 AM   #6
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Sounds liek yoru VATs is the problem. Try a different key. Here'* a write up on bypassing the VATs system. https://www.gmforum.com/electrical-133/bypass-vats-92-99-a-279119/
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:55 AM   #7
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How can VATS be the problem? VATS in 97 should allow priming of the fuel system, allow the car to start and then not turn the injectors on, which makes it stall out in 3-5 seconds of starting.

Click the key on/off/on/off 4-5 times and press the valve on the rail immediately (in case the check valve is allowing it to leak back). You should have good pressure at the rail. If not, I suspect pump and or filter. Likely both.
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:59 AM   #8
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Went back and read more. No fuel pressure. Start with the fuse, can't remember the fuse number off hand. Then relay, then enertia switch. I'm not at home right now so can't give much more detail then that.
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:15 PM   #9
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Fuse is on the passenger side A pillar. Pull the hush panel under the dash and it'll have a sticker saying which fuse.

Been there..got towed for one of those...lol
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:16 PM   #10
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Default Won't start?

If your car won't crank over, that could be the VATS system. I might be wrong for a 97, but for my 98 when the key did not read right, it would not crank and the security light would flash for 3 minutes and then I could try the key again after cleaning the contacts. The VATS system also turned off the injectors, if I recall correctly. There is a starter solenoid buried inside the dash that the computer turns off if the theft deterrent module doesn't get the right reading on the key circuit.

A normal operation for the VATS is that you turn the key to ON and the security light comes on for a few seconds and then goes off.

If your car is cranking over but won't start and run normally, then you may have a fuel pump problem.
The fuel pump primes for a few seconds each time the key is turned on.
You should be able to hear that inside the car with all the accessories off, and it'* easy to hear with the fuel cap off listening there when someone turns the key to ON.

Hitting the bottom of the fuel tank with a rubber mallet sometimes will start a pump running from the vibration.
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