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2000-2005 Discuss your 2000-2005 Bonneville SE, SLE, and SSEi Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 01-25-2014, 05:40 PM   #1
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Default 200,000 miles in the near horizon; 2001 SSEi

This is being posted in the 2000-2005 section as maintenance learned in this section is why I can post the following.

My 2002 SSEi is about to hit 200k miles. I just returned from a quick round trip from Luke Air Force Base in Arizona to Fort Bliss, Texas. Each way is about 450 miles. The average posted speed limit for most of the trip is 75 MPH.

The Bonneville ran awesome. Averaged over 25 MPG driving a few miles above the posted speed limit. Bonneville, after 13 years drives like new. I often rent cars for work as I have to travel by plane, and am always amazed how good the Bonny feels when drive it from the airport parking lot.

I almost sent it to the salvage yard at 165k miles. I was having major electric problems because of a water leak that allowed water to sit in the interior for 6 months while I was in Kuwait. I was pulling my hair out trying to fix the problems and locate replacement carpet. Seemed everything I fixed resulted in uncovering something else is wrong.

I look back now and am so happy I worked through the issues and kept the Bonneville. It fits like a glove, super dependable, and no car payment. It has a few issues still, I need to replace the brake lines, they are corroded pretty bad. The trans is still a concern, it felt like it was going to drop out of the car at 90k miles, I did the shift kit install and upgraded to DEX VI, 105k miles later the trans is still working, but not super tight at shifts and I always worry about it (after 105k miles of same issue and never stranded, lol) . Very grateful for this board about the shift kit install, and DEX VI. I exchange the trans fluid through the dip stick every 18 months.

Some of the things I have done that have been well worth the time and money over the last five years:
* shift kit install

* DEX VI fluid update

* resealing of plastic door sheet (needed after window actuator)

*new spark plugs

*new wires

*checking coils for corrosion (super easy to do)

* Replace rotors whenever replacing brake pads (always using Wagner products)

* Replaced front struts with Monroe quick struts (super easy)

*Replaced control arms with Moog control arms, which also included new ball joints and sub-frame bushings (fairly easy)

*Replaced out tie-rods (wish I would of replaced inners at same time)

*Replaced right side fromt wheel bearing. First time I used AC-DELCO, second time used Timken (thumbs up on Timken) driver side wheel bearing still original

* Dealer replaced LIM Gasket in 2007, before I discover this forum, total bill came to over 2k

* replaced rear bumper and tail-lights with GXP bumper and tail-lights

* spent $900 on new Michelin tires last year- they will last 75k miles

Since 2009 I suspect I have spent close to $2500 in parts (not including tires). I typically use whatever oil is on sale. A car like this would cost about $500 a month new on car payments for 6 years, with 5k down. I have no loan payment, no loan liability, and a super reliable and comfortable car.

Thanks to all on this forum for all your helpful advice and time!!
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:36 AM   #2
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It is amazing to see how my 97PA also shares an identical list as yours.
Yet Im at only 102k miles. hmmmm...
Ive done everything except window reg, bumper, wheel bearing.
And soon to do list, front struts, lower cont arm bushings.
I used a transgo shift kit and dex6 fluid as well after my P1811 code, all is well now.
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:25 AM   #3
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I don't even remember doing much to my Bonneville besides the engine upgrade. But, the body is pushing 180,000.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:44 PM   #4
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my bonny went maybe 170-180 on the bearings

130-140 on the trans before having it rebuilt

150 on the struts/shocks(pretty good for gm every other one only made 30-40) had to replace because the rears were leaking and took out the compressor, wanted to just replace it all at once

40-50k on the first upper intake 180 till the second time when i replaced the lower too

had to do oil pan and gaskets

most everything else is original with almost 200k now
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:51 AM   #5
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I recently traded in my 2001 SSEi at 230,000 miles, and was just mentioning to someone last weekend that certain systems had no issues over the time I owned the car.
  • Original exhaust with no signs of deterioration.
  • HVAC, heating and cooling never had an issue (never recharged the A/C).
  • Power steering was flawless.
  • Cruise contral never had an issue.
  • Only one new battery over 12 years.
  • Original water pump.
  • Never had an issue with the supercharger.
  • No electrical issues at all.
Some of the repairs I did (not including maintenance, brakes and tires):
  • Front wheel bearings.
  • Seat heaters.
  • Rebuilt trans.
  • LIM gaskets.
  • EBCM.
  • Inner and outer tie rods.
  • Half shafts.
I would say the most persistant problem I dealt with over the 12 years was battling the Service Stability System light. I think I drove the car more without ABS than with. Since I was able to fix pretty much everything myself (thanks in large part to this forum) the total cost of ownership was not high at all. I think the only big ticket item I got hit with over the 12 years was a rebuilt transmission.
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:27 PM   #6
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Thanks to all about these comments. I have a Buick Le Sabre with 91 k miles on it and have been wondering about wheel bearing life. From these comments it would seem like 100-200 kmiles. This car is the first one I have had without conventional (old style) bearings that could be adjusted and relubed. There are noises I hear from my car that might be wheel bearing noise but it might be something else.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:19 PM   #7
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sometimes age takes out bearing * too because they dont like to sit, the grease doesnt get pulled up into it just sitting. the first thing to do is rotate the tires and see if the noise moves. because they make very similar noise
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:50 PM   #8
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Could be sitting a long time is the culprit. I forgot to add the car is a 1994 and was my late mother'* last car. She managed to put all of 37,000 miles on the car between 1994 and 2008 and part of that was put on by myself and brothers. There was all kinds of maintenance issues from a lot of sitting. Like the coolant was never changed as far as I can tell. We did recharge the AC in 2012 but it was the first maintenance the AC ever got. 18 years that it worked I thought was pretty good. I have not explored the issue really because there have been some others. It is a cushy ride with good mileage and a good car to go cross country. I have put 55k miles on since 2010 most of it between MA and WA. When I get the block heater in I will look into wheel bearings in more detail. The wheels are definitely due for a rotation. I hope that the noise moves.
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