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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 01-02-2007, 09:15 PM   #1
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Hi everyone. My wife and I are seriously looking at a 2000 SSEI. We are replacing a BMW 328i that'* getting old and is too small for the twins we just had a few months ago. We need a bigger trunk to hold the double stroller and it would be nice if my wife could ride in back with both car seats.
Anyway, the Bonneville we're looking at has 76k miles and is selling for 7k. There were a couple problems I notciced in the short period I saw it. I'm hoping I can get your input and some cost estimation on the forseeable repair costs.

First, there is a fluid leak of some sort that I could see on the front of the engine (looking at it). I didn't determine if it was coolant or oil, but whatever it is boils on the engine creating steam upon dripping. Unfortunately I'm no mechanic and didn't get a real close look at it, because at this point wasn't sure this is the car for me. I've read through this forum extensively and I see that intake manifold gasket problems are common, but I'm not sure if they would cause the symptom I saw on this car.
In any case, I pointed this out to the salesman and he had it looked at today. In the salesman'* words he said that the mechanic will be replacing the "head gaskets" first thing tomorrow. I hope they fix the actual problem as I expected he'd tell me it was the intake manifold gaskets. I'm not entirely sure he knows the difference.

Secondly, the cabin blower had a terrible sound. I also pointed this out and they replaced the motor(*) today. I later read on this forum, it could have been as simple as papers or leaves getting sucked into the fan chamber... but so long as it'* fixed, I don't care.

Next, the fuel gauge was all over the place while driving it. While idle, it would read empty, but during movement it popped up to full. I didn't find much info on this. Is this a common problem? If so, what and how much $$ does it take to repair? I'm not sure if I can get them to fix this or not.

Also, the sunroof was apparently bad. I didn't even catch that, but he told me they are replacing the whole thing.

Lastly, there was a noticeable alignment issue. The car seemed to pull to one side. Any reccomendations on what might have caused this and what to look for? Would a simple 2 or 4 wheel alignment help?

I didn't get a chance to try the power windows (didn't know they could be problematic until after test driving). I didn't notice the heads up display being on. Is this something that you can turn on and off?

I love the car even considering the above problems, but I want to do my homework before going to see it again and potentially purchasing tomorrow. I am a big DIYer but have never tackled anything internal to an engine, so any input from you guys and gals would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:17 PM   #2
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This is not the black 2000 SSEi in Orem is it?


This is the car I'm talking about.


here is a carfax I had done on it:


Purchased: 1999
Type: Personal
Where: New York
Est. miles/year: 10,950/yr
Est. length owned: 12/3/99 - 5/7/04
(4 yrs. 5 mo.)



Date: Mileage: Source: Comments:
12/02/1999 13 New York
New York City Area
Inspection Station Passed safety inspection
View what was inspected

12/03/1999 New York
Motor Vehicle Dept.
Scarsdale, NY Registered as
personal vehicle
03/14/2000 New York
Motor Vehicle Dept.
Scarsdale, NY Title issued or updated
First owner reported
01/02/2001 12,969 Inspection Co.
New York Vehicle Inspected
Anti-theft device present
at the time of inspection
01/06/2001 13,071 New York
New York City Area
Inspection Station Passed safety inspection
View what was inspected

02/14/2002 24,536 New York
New York City Area
Inspection Station Passed safety inspection
Passed emissions inspection
View what was inspected

03/27/2003 New York
Motor Vehicle Dept.
Scarsdale, NY Registration issued or renewed
Registered as
personal vehicle
Passed safety inspection
06/16/2003 44,060 Inspection Co.
New York Vehicle Inspected
Anti-theft device present
at the time of inspection
03/15/2004 49,430 New York
Inspection Station Passed safety inspection
Passed emissions inspection
View what was inspected

05/07/2004 49,631 Auto Auction Sold at auction
in Pennsylvania
Listed as
a dealer vehicle





Purchased: 2004
Where: Nevada
Est. miles/year: ---
Est. length owned: 12/14/04 - 10/14/05
(10 months)



Date: Mileage: Source: Comments:
12/14/2004 Nevada
Motor Vehicle Dept.
Las Vegas, NV
Title #7654098 Title issued or updated
New owner reported
Loan or lien reported
10/14/2005 76,514 Auto Auction Sold at auction
in Desert Southwest Region
Listed as
a fleet vehicle
12/07/2005 76,596 Auto Auction Sold at auction
in Desert Southwest Region
Listed as
a dealer vehicle


Its been for sale for 13 months now BTW.
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:23 PM   #3
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Uh actually, yeah, it is. Now I'm scared... what do you know?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans
This is not the black 2000 SSEi in Orem is it?


This is the car I'm talking about.
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:24 PM   #4
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The fuel sending unit is easy enough to repair and if your handy with simple hand tools you will be able to tackle yourself.
The sunroof can be tricky but we have walked through a few repairs here already.
The engine leak concerns me but I doubt it is the head gaskets or uim. Have it checked by an independant when you go back for a 2nd look.
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans
This is not the black 2000 SSEi in Orem is it?


This is the car I'm talking about.


here is a carfax I had done on it:


Purchased: 1999
Type: Personal
Where: New York
Est. miles/year: 10,950/yr
Est. length owned: 12/3/99 - 5/7/04
(4 yrs. 5 mo.)



Date: Mileage: Source: Comments:
12/02/1999 13 New York
New York City Area
Inspection Station Passed safety inspection
View what was inspected

12/03/1999 New York
Motor Vehicle Dept.
Scarsdale, NY Registered as
personal vehicle
03/14/2000 New York
Motor Vehicle Dept.
Scarsdale, NY Title issued or updated
First owner reported
01/02/2001 12,969 Inspection Co.
New York Vehicle Inspected
Anti-theft device present
at the time of inspection
01/06/2001 13,071 New York
New York City Area
Inspection Station Passed safety inspection
View what was inspected

02/14/2002 24,536 New York
New York City Area
Inspection Station Passed safety inspection
Passed emissions inspection
View what was inspected

03/27/2003 New York
Motor Vehicle Dept.
Scarsdale, NY Registration issued or renewed
Registered as
personal vehicle
Passed safety inspection
06/16/2003 44,060 Inspection Co.
New York Vehicle Inspected
Anti-theft device present
at the time of inspection
03/15/2004 49,430 New York
Inspection Station Passed safety inspection
Passed emissions inspection
View what was inspected

05/07/2004 49,631 Auto Auction Sold at auction
in Pennsylvania
Listed as
a dealer vehicle





Purchased: 2004
Where: Nevada
Est. miles/year: ---
Est. length owned: 12/14/04 - 10/14/05
(10 months)



Date: Mileage: Source: Comments:
12/14/2004 Nevada
Motor Vehicle Dept.
Las Vegas, NV
Title #7654098 Title issued or updated
New owner reported
Loan or lien reported
10/14/2005 76,514 Auto Auction Sold at auction
in Desert Southwest Region
Listed as
a fleet vehicle
12/07/2005 76,596 Auto Auction Sold at auction
in Desert Southwest Region
Listed as
a dealer vehicle


Its been for sale for 13 months now BTW.
Thanks for adding the carfax report. I hadn't pulled that yet. Anything on it I should be concerned about? Would the fact that it is a fleet vehicle be a concern?

Considering it has been out there for over a year according to this report, should I be worried, or is the market for these cars really that slow?

Last question, how did you know it was that very car???

I've been looking at cars for a while and gotta say that you can sure get a lot of car for the money with these Bonneville'*. I just hope I'm not missing something...
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:36 PM   #6
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It'* not the head gaskets, especially if the leak is too high up. Hopefully their mechanic can deal with that.

For the alignment or 'pull' issue, they should have that dealt with. It'* either an alignment issue or a sticky caliper.

Hans, do you know how long this one has been on the lot? Could be rusted rotors. Have them look into it.

The supercharged motors are somewhat less troublesome than the non supercharged, but ultimately with the right attention to details, these engines are nearly bulletproof. It'* a design based on a legend.

I personally wouldn't fear any of those issues you listed. But all are bargaining points on the price if they don't repair them.
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonjsimon
Uh actually, yeah, it is. Now I'm scared... what do you know?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans
This is not the black 2000 SSEi in Orem is it?


This is the car I'm talking about.


I was planning on picking it up if they would let the price slide, Replacing the sending unit is an expensive job in a shop......probably want to put a new fp in there as well.

I offered them $5000 for it sight unseen and got denied, then again they are fixing some of the issues it sounds like...I've yet to drive it, but since you drove it I might just avoid it. Keep in mind that other big dealer down there has a 2000 SSEi (it came in on trade in yesterday) for around 8 or 9 grand. same miles, but they were not sure if it had any issues

I was thinking about test driving the 76000 mile one next time I go down south.


They are SUPER firm on $7000 which is overpriced.....at least in the mechanical condition.
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonjsimon
Uh actually, yeah, it is. Now I'm scared... what do you know?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans
This is not the black 2000 SSEi in Orem is it?


This is the car I'm talking about.


I was planning on picking it up if they would let the price slide, Replacing the sending unit is an expensive job in a shop......probably want to put a new fp in there as well.

I offered them $5000 for it sight unseen and got denied, then again they are fixing some of the issues it sounds like...I've yet to drive it, but since you drove it I might just avoid it. Keep in mind that other big dealer down there has a 2000 SSEi (it came in on trade in yesterday) for around 8 or 9 grand. same miles, but they were not sure if it had any issues

I was thinking about test driving the 76000 mile one next time I go down south.


They are SUPER firm on $7000 which is overpriced.....at least in the mechanical condition.
Wow, what a small world! I apologize if I stepped on your turf with that car. The owner told me today that he won't budge on price whatsoever, so that backs up what you've also found. I think I'm okay with that unless the consensus is that I can do better... How long have you noticed it on his lot (or listed on autotrader)? Did you notice the $10995 price on the pictures? Wonder what happened there.

I get the feeling that they likely won't touch the fuel sending unit. Is there a writeup somewhere on the board?

I didn't see the other ssei.
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:13 PM   #9
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Well the SSEis are overpriced in this part of the country because there is not very many to base the prices off of. Sometimes you see them go for SE type prices some times, in the case of one a few miles away from me you see them going for $12000 for a 2001 with 100,000 miles lol. Obviously its still for sale, but the prices people list the SSEis at for around here is either really cheap or really pricey. I had to buy my current car from Washington because I had a hard time finding one in the Idaho/Utah area.

Your not stepping on my turf at all lol, its a car I've kept my eye on for the past 2 months or so, its been 7000 that whole time, but they said it used to be at $8000, and probably was at $11000 when they first listed it.

Here is one for sale in Woods Cross.

This one is the other one for sale in clearfield, they seemed like they might take $5999 when I talked to them about a month ago.

This one was for sale for 3 days and sold for around 8 grand but its the big dealership i was talking about, I've seen 2 other cars from there listed on autotrader sell within a week or so, 97ssei for $5000 and a 2002 SSEi for $9000. They called me again today and told me they had an '00 with 79,000 they might let go for around $8000

there are dozens of SE'* for sale.....20 or so near salt lake last time I checked.

the 74k one has been for sale for what sounds like 12 months however the guy I talked to only said "we've had it on the lot a couple of months now" When asked exactly how long he said he said "I dont remember". From that phone conversation it seems kinda sketchy.

As of right now its the cheapest 2000+ SSEi unless you want to take a trip to california, theres one there for $4999 that needs window regulators.

Main reason I have not picked it up yet is the neglect for the issues, if they just forgot about fixing the problems I'm a little worried perhaps the previous owner(*) forgot to change the oil and stuff like that.
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans
Well the SSEis are overpriced in this part of the country because there is not very many to base the prices off of. Sometimes you see them go for SE type prices some times, in the case of one a few miles away from me you see them going for $12000 for a 2001 with 100,000 miles lol. Obviously its still for sale, but the prices people list the SSEis at for around here is either really cheap or really pricey. I had to buy my current car from Washington because I had a hard time finding one in the Idaho/Utah area.

Your not stepping on my turf at all lol, its a car I've kept my eye on for the past 2 months or so, its been 7000 that whole time, but they said it used to be at $8000, and probably was at $11000 when they first listed it.


Here is one for sale in Woods Cross.

This one is the other one for sale in clearfield, they seemed like they might take $5999 when I talked to them about a month ago.

This one was for sale for 3 days and sold for around 8 grand but its the big dealership i was talking about, I've seen 2 other cars from there listed on autotrader sell within a week or so, 97ssei for $5000 and a 2002 SSEi for $9000. They called me again today and told me they had an '00 with 79,000 they might let go for around $8000



there are dozens of SE'* for sale.....20 or so near salt lake last time I checked.
I didn't realize they could be had cheaper in other parts of the country. How much do these go for in other regions? I guess because everybody and their dogs aren't driving these like hondas around here, there isn't enough of a market for them? That'* one great appeal for me is that Bonneville'* are less common out on the roads. That'* a good thing in my book, but I guess that can be a downside too when it comes to buying and resale.

In case you're not already aware ksl.com classifieds are a great resource for used cars in UT. Also, craigslist.com has quite a bit of car ads as well. What part of ID are you in?

Any other input by all on the above mentioned issues would be most appreciated - sorry for wandering off topic.

I asked about the alignment and was told that unfortunately they don't have the equipment in their shop to do it, so it doesn't sound like that will get done either.
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