2003 SE lighting and possible transmission issue... - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 03-19-2010, 08:01 PM   #1
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Default 2003 SE lighting and possible transmission issue...

Hi Everyone,

I just joined the forum today, and I was told by my uncle who has owned several pontiacs, that this is a great place to learn about my new car and ask questions. This is my first ever pontiac, and I am very excited to have it, and love it so far. I bought a 2003 Bonneville SE last week, and I had a couple of questions about whether or not some things are normal, and a couple of electrical issues that I am not sure about. Thankfully I can take it back to the dealership and have these issues fixed, but I wanted to get a couple of opinions before doing so next week.

The first issue I am having involves my dome lights, dashboard lights, and headlights. For some reason this week, my dome lights have stopped working, and my dashboard lights and headlights will turn off at night if I turn the twilight senitnel delay switch on and then off. I don't use the twilight senitinel feature, but I noticed the other day after this issue started that my headlights and dash lights will come on automatically in the dark even thought the headlight switch is in the off position which ususally only provides daytime running lights if I am not mistaken, but if I turn the twilight sentinel swtich on and then off, the headlights will turn off, and the dash lights will also turn off, and I will have to manually turn the headlight switch to "on" to get them to come back on. Could anyone shed some light on this for me? Does this model car have automatic lights even with the headlight switch being in the "off" position, or is it normal to have to turn the headlights on and off automatically with this model car? Also, is it normal for the twilight sentinel switch to disable the automatic lights like described above? Are the dome lights, and these other issue connected? Also, my gear shift letters on the middle console do not light up? Is this normal? I cannot find on the internet or in my manual whether or not the letters on the gear selector on the actual gear shift in the middle console are supposed to light up or not?

My other two complaints may be normal for the car. I have noticed sometimes that when I park, and I need to back up and readjust my car in the parking spot, when I put the car in reverse while turning the wheel at the same time, the car will shudder like I am not in gear good enough, and the steering will make a whiny lightly grinding sound, and when I go back into drive, the car will shudder a little. This is on a VERY light incline, and it'* random when it happens. Most of the time when shifting to drive, I don't really feel, or barely feel the car drop into gear, and while driving, the only gear that I can usually feel engage is third. Is this normal behavior for the car?

I have also noticed lately that my driver side window is making a grinding sound when rolling the window down, and but not when I roll it up. I am not sure if I never noticed this, or if this is normal, but it'* almost like something is grinding. The window goes up and down fine, but it'* just the sound that is making me nervous.

I have also noticed to that when I turn my heater on to mid or high, it is very loud, and it almost sounds like the engine of the car is idling very high, although when looking at the tachometer, it is at a normal 500 rpm idle, or somewhere in there. Is it normal for the oil pressure guage to move back and forth depending on what speed I am going, whether or not I am at a stop, etc.? I have also noticed that when I turn with this car, I can feel a "bump" in the steering, almost like a pole inside a tube is tapping the side of the tube...that'* the best way I know to describe the feeling.

This is the first time I have bought a car from a dealership, and I am terrified of having bought a lemon, and am really worried that my 90 day warranty will expire, and then something will go wrong related to the things I am describing. I typically buy toyota'* becasue of their reliability, but my Grandfather has always loved Pontiacts, and he recently bought an '05 Grand Prix, and I really like it. Being that I needed to buy a new car, I found this Bonneville online at a dealership for below Kelley Bluebook price, (the same dealership my grandfather bought the GP from), and it turned out they wanted $8000 for it, and the online price was wrong, but I still got it for the online price. I really like this car so far, love the dashboard, the leather seats, the throaty 3800 Series 2 engine...I like that if I need to accelerate really fast, my car doesn't make that WHRRRRRRRRVROOOOOOM! sound like I am stopming the gas that you will hear in most 4 cylinder cars, but instead the car just gently accelerates to the speed I want, with what seems like little effort. I can't seem to get the car to go WHRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRVROOM!, which is fine by me. I am attributing this to the 6 cylinder engine. This is my first V6, so I am not used to this type of power.

One last question. Can anyone speak on how reliable this car is? I have read some pretty horrible horror stories about intake manifold issues and things of that nature, but I have also read alot of good reviews on the car as well. I am so sorry for the long post, but I really appreciate everyones help and answers! God bless, everyone!

Last edited by bparkerson04; 03-19-2010 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:32 PM   #2
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One thing I also forgot to mention is that I really don't know alot about cars...so I am not really familiar with car terminology and acronyms. Layman answers would be much appreciated.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:33 PM   #3
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First thing is check fuses for your lights.

As for the shutter, you will want your motor and trans mounts checked.

The oil pressure gauges tend to not work all the time. But moving around a bit is nothing to be concerned about.

Seeing that you have a warranty on the car I suggest taking it back ASAP and give them a list of what'* wrong. It should have been inspected before the sale.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danthurs View Post
First thing is check fuses for your lights.

As for the shutter, you will want your motor and trans mounts checked.

The oil pressure gauges tend to not work all the time. But moving around a bit is nothing to be concerned about.

Seeing that you have a warranty on the car I suggest taking it back ASAP and give them a list of what'* wrong. It should have been inspected before the sale.
I was thinking the same thing. I would figure that the car would be checked, and checked once more. The transmission is what scares me the most. I have had two people drive the car, and they think it feels fine, but it'* random when it happens, and it usually only happens when I am recorrecting my position in a parking space for some reason. Thank you for replying Danthurs. I've been reading through various posts, and you seem to know alot about these cars. I very much appreciate your expertise, and again thank you for taking the time to reply to my post.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:47 PM   #5
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From what you describe it sounds like a trans mount. The engine is moving around and that'* what your feeling. If you have a helper, open the hood, hold down the brake, and shift in to drive. then go to reverse. Watch the movement of the engine. If it moves a lot, then inspect the mounts.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:48 PM   #6
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I would say try to get the dealer to do as much as you can get them to, if they say nothing is wrong with the motor or transmission mounts then have a friend take a video of the motor moving as you take the car out of park and put it in reverse, then put it in drive, then back to park without letting of the brakes, with that video we will be able to have a good idea if you motor mounts are good.
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