My car is almost dead... - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 05-05-2008, 01:16 AM   #1
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Default My car is almost dead...

So I own a 1992 Pontiac Bonneville SE that has recently ran into many...many problems.

The first thing to happen was the water pump went bad and developed a slight wobble, this led to the belt repeatedly slipping off. So I quickly replaced that water pump, and I was doing good for maybe a week.

Then my power steering went out, the pump developed a bad leak.. So.. Not having much money or time, and this being my only vehicle, I just put power steering fluid in it every time I needed to drive.

Well... This fluid was leaking onto the belt and throwing it into the alternator. So now from what I can assume the alternator is out. The car will not start unless jumped, when driving the battery charge indicator shows that its getting charged, but after long drives it still will not start after shut off.

So I got paid, bought a new alternator and power steering pump. Left the car running all day while I was at work so that I could get it to a garage to fix it. On the way to this garage... well, Murphy'* Law right? The transmission went out. The vehicle no longer shifts from 2nd gear to 3rd gear. I didn't push it over 3k RPM'* on the way to the garage, took it nice and slow, but it just refused to shift, and when you got up to about 40 you could hear a odd whining noise coming from the car. The beep in the car that goes of when something is wrong (i.e. low on gas) repeatedly sounds when going over 30, and it sounds right after shifting to 2nd.

So, needing money for a new vehicle, I returned the alternator and power steering pump and haven't touched the car much since.

I want to fix this car up, I loved it when I had it and it has sentimental value for me.

I'm assuming I need a new transmission? How hard is it to take one out and could anyone point me to a website that offers information on doing so?

Can any of these problems be linked together? I know my battery is not bad, I had it professionally checked and it turned out to be ok.

Any and all imformation anyone can give me on whats wrong with my car would be much appreciated. If you need any other info from me, just ask!

Thank you very much,
Zach
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:38 AM   #2
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Default trans

First off Welcome to the club.
Leaving a car idling all day is certainly not good for a trans as the fluid heats up hot as 220 or more as the engine runs hot.
Check the fluid. Is it burnt smelling. Could be a clogged filter.

Don't assume the alternator went out. A simple voltage check at the battery will tell you if its charging. Or a positive reading on the dash volt gage.
Batteries that fail can no longer store voltage as the alternator charges.
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Old 05-05-2008, 03:07 PM   #3
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x2, my car did the same thing (said it was charging fine, ran fine, but wouldn't start without a jump), turned out to be a bad battery.

sorry i can't offer much more help on your trans. than to check the fluid and filter.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:20 PM   #4
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So I took my car in to a shop that does free Tranny inspections and estimates, they told me the pump in the transmission was bad and that it would cost about $1,700 to rebuild it... Car will be sitting for awhile it seems...*sigh*
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Old 05-07-2008, 03:11 PM   #5
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Ok, so i'm thinking about calling local Junkyards and looking for a transmission...

What years and makes Pontiac Transmissions will work in my vehicle?
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Old 05-07-2008, 03:32 PM   #6
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Just tell them what you have. Let their computer system do the cross-referencing for you.
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:46 PM   #7
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always have your car'* computer checked before replacing a lot of seemingly unrelated parts. the alternator not charging the battery and the tranny not shifting may seem like seperate problems, but if your onboard computer is shot, the engine is on it'* own and doesn't know what to do, since it'* not getting any info from the computer. before you replace the transmission, be absolutely sure that'* the problem.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:04 PM   #8
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I had a 92 Park Avenue with 172,OOO miles and happy memories on it when I parked it. I finally scrapped it rather than pass the problems to a friend or family member. It had all the problems of yours, even the tranny slipped untill it was hot, plus the suspension was all but shot, Brake and gas lines rotting, rear airshocks leaked, gas tank leaked and the interior baffles broke so it stalled around corners. Winter salt here in PA makes 20 years on the road a lifetime in car years. Sometimes Father time says time to move on. I would consider the effort and cost to get it in good order and wonder what is next to break. For me I decided to move on.
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