Solutions to common problems - 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 09-29-2002, 12:34 PM   #1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Crap, I don't have time for that, I'm trying to catch a RAT. Ok, after he beats me, I'll do a couple writeups. I don't know what they'll be on, but I'll give you something!
You'll always have time!

GM P/N: 25639346 Cup Holder
Another related proble would be the center floor console'* latch breaks!
Velco works a whole lot better than buying the console too!
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Old 09-29-2002, 07:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Techinfo - common problems

Hey, a fellow Chicago Bonne owner. I was surprised at how closely your experience matches mine:

> I think it might be a good idea to list out common problem areas.
> For example on my car I have gone through:
>
> 2 waterpumps

Okay, this I've been lucky with so far: still on the original at 108K ('93 SSEi)

> 3 alternators

Har! I'm looking for #4 right now. Alternator died shortly after I bought the car in '96. The dealer (Sullivan Pontiac in Arlington Heights) replaced it with a rebuilt at no charge. That one lasted about 40K miles and four years, dying around 97K. Bought a Delco factory rebuilt unit at Trak Auto with the 7 Yr/70K warranty. That one lasted slightly longer than Trak did. I know they're still going out on the east coast, but I'm in Chicago, where they quit, so it looks like I have to buy another one now.

> 2 dimmer switches

Still on the original so far, although I notice the twilight sentinel is less sensitive to darkness than it used to be, and needs near-total darkness to turn the lights on.

> Popped transmission cooler line (rubber part came loose from connector)

THERE WAS A FACTORY RECALL ON THIS. I don't know if they would still honor it, it might be worth shmoozing your dealer about recall campaign 95-C-68 and see if the factory will still pay for repairs.

Question: Is there a list of Bonneville factory recall notices on this site? (Haven't looked around much yet; signed up last night) If not, we should add one.

> Broken cupholder

In the 24 hours between when I first saw my future car at the dealer'* and when I came back to test-drive it, some moron in the service department had broken the cupholder. Again, the dealer replaced it at no charge before I bought it, and I've been extra careful with the replacement.

As for the other problems people mentioned in this thread:

> Broken console latch

Mine was broken when I first saw the car. Dealer replaced it, then _I_ broke the replacement. Bought another but I never installed it; I'm saving it in the box until I sell, since the cover still stays closed most of the time by itself anyway.

Other problems:

Broke the heater hose connection at the intake manifold: the original plastic (!) nipple sheared off. Helpful hint: If you smell coolant at two stoplights in a row, it'* you. Local service station swapped in a metal piece instead; no further trouble.

"Low coolant" sensor keeps giving bogus signals; finally just unplugged it for now. (How much is the replacement part?)

Stress cracks in the outer corners of the plastic grille insert that attaches to the lower leading edge of the hood. It'* broken clean through on the passenger'* side, only cracked in back on the driver'* side. (That'* why in my photo at http://chickenboner.com/cartel/andy_green.jpg I'm standing in front of the passenger'* side

Broke the core of the power antenna one day, so it was running endlessly and wouldn't shut off. Couldn't believe the three-figure replacement price for the entire antenna and couldn't find a core-only swap, so did some surgery and improvised a fix using most of the remaining antenna core. Doesn't go up all the way anymore, but it works okay for now.

A/C is out; service place did a sniffer test and said the evaporator was leaking big-time, and that it'* common for Bonnevilles to do that. Maybe will replace it over the wintertime. I've got the factory manuals for the car and it only goes out on sunny days (or it would, if I had an alternator for it .

Cheers...
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Old 09-29-2002, 09:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Techinfo - common problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by t-type
I would like to suggest some additions to the common problems section. I think it might be a good idea to list out common problem areas. For example on my car I have gone through:

2 waterpumps
3 alternators
2 dimmer switches
Popped transmission cooler line (rubber part came loose from connector)
Broken cupholder
I haven't had a popped trans line or dimmer switch (switch supposedly replaced before I got it) but I have done 3 water pumps (1 under warentee) and 3 alternators and I am due for another. It works fine but he bearings are really starting to go and you can hear them rolling around in the caseing. Not good!
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Old 09-29-2002, 09:39 PM   #4
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I forgot about the center console latch, I replaced that too (mine wouldn't stay shut).

As to the recall on the trans line, I did take it to a dealer but he said something to the effect that the recall didn't apply to my car :( . I cut off the connector and just clamped the hose to the line. I drove the car for several years like that. Then one day the metal lines rotted to the point that they were leaking, so I broke down and bought the 4 replacement lines and fixed them properly.

I work in the automotive industry and I knew the waterpump engineer for the 3800s. He did tell me that they was having major issues with waterpump and alternator bearings. I believe all the 3800 from the early to mid 90s have this problem. When I got my third alternator I heard that there is a way to get a reliable rebuild on the alternator. My current alternator was rebuilt that way, but now I don't remember what they did special. I'm sure someone else will know.

I can also do some write-ups, but a lot of the stuff I did a long time ago and I don't remember the details.
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Old 09-29-2002, 10:28 PM   #5
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Pep boys has a life time warrenty on their alternators.
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Old 09-29-2002, 10:46 PM   #6
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> Pep boys has a life time warrenty on their alternators.

Kewl. Anyone know what they'd want for a rebuilt one? (after deducting the core charge)

What bugs me about the dead one I have now is that it'* a GM factory rebuilt unit, nice and clean, only about 10K on it before it just stopped charging, but physically it'* still in great shape: good bearings, etc. Is it worth opening it up for a look-see? I mean, I'm not ham-fisted and I can do all kinds of fiddly delicate work, but I don't know (1) how to get it apart -- unscrewing the three long exposed screws isn't the answer, 'cause I tried that already (Do you have to remove the pulley?) -- and (2) what I'm really looking for, other than something obviously burnt, maybe. I'd hate to trade this pretty decent one and find out later that I could have fixed it myself with a $6 part, or something like that.

Only unusual thing I see on the outside is at the back. There'* three "windows" of cooling openings in an arc about 100 around. The rightmost "window" is black with soot that comes off on your fingertips real easily. This is probably a Bad Thing.

Is there a web page anywhere that shows how to tear down the GM 105-amp alternator and rebuild it? Tried some Googling for it without much success (although that'* how I discovered the Bonneville Club)...
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Old 09-29-2002, 11:04 PM   #7
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Do you have a system in your car ?
Autozone gives the prices over the internet .
Any time iit breaks they will replace it over and over again for as long as you own the car and it still cheaper than the dealer!!!Same goes for water pumps !They used to do it with brake pads but I guess they were losing tooooo much money!
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Old 09-30-2002, 12:19 AM   #8
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I'm from the "Old School" of actually fixing the problem. Not this "New School" of just replacing the part. I rebuild most parts myself. I've rebuilt my own alternator with new parts & it has lasted longer than any store bought ever will.
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Old 09-30-2002, 10:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathRat
I'm from the "Old School" of actually fixing the problem. Not this "New School" of just replacing the part. I rebuild most parts myself. I've rebuilt my own alternator with new parts & it has lasted longer than any store bought ever will.
Did you ever think that maybe some people don't have time to take out alternators and rebuild them . Sometimes it'* better to pay for the dirty work!And I'm as new as it gets , ONLY 19 YEARS OLD
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Old 09-30-2002, 03:49 PM   #10
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> Did you ever think that maybe some people don't have time to
> take out alternators and rebuild them . Sometimes it'* better
> to pay for the dirty work!

Oh, sure, absolutely. But in my case:

1) It'* trivial to remove the alternator; it'* not something you get dirty doing and takes all of maybe 10 minutes

2) This is the third one that'* died, so I'm interested in any alternative to just throwing more money at it, since buying even rebuilt ones gets expensive after a while. (I thought I got past that point by buying a Trak Auto unit, until the d*mn stores went out of business in the midwest.)

3) This is not my only car; it'* my fun-driving, sunny-day car, so I'm not under the gun to get it fixed ASAP.

> And I'm as new as it gets , ONLY 19 YEARS OLD

Then you have many years of alternator replacements ahead of you; might as well start learning the procedure now and you won't have to spend as much money later to have others do it for you.
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