Test drove a 2000 SE I want to buy - Your input requested - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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.

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-18-2008, 04:58 PM   #1
Member
Posts like a V-Tak
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 39
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
torero500 is on a distinguished road
Default Test drove a 2000 SE I want to buy - Your input requested

Hey there - I'm 30 yrs old and been reading on this post before I might buy a Bonnie all the problems inherent with this vehicle, the top 10 main problem areas, etc. I hope you as reader might comment on the results as to whether you think I should buy, or whether some of the problems I mention are going to be a big hassle/expense down the road.

I test drove a silver 2000 Bonneville SE (94,000mi.) in Tucson today, used dealer price $4995, to see how it drove and did some other mechanical checks.

General inspection:
All the power window regulators still worked, even in back.
No apparent leaks in the doors or trunk (it rained yesterday and the carpet was dry in all cabin and trunk areas)
Motor mounts were fine
No paint bubbles on hood
No road rash
Didn't check cv boots yet
Gas guage worked fine, so did oil pressure guage
Oil seemed thick and not contaminated with coolant (intake gasket leak problem), so appears it doesn't have that leak - although the coolant reservoir was nearly empty....that could be due to various reasons from basic lack of filling it up to a leak somewhere.
Bridgestone tires lots of tread left, but starting to dry rot (crack)---should last awhile longer)
Engine bay was extremely clean
Cloth interior and carpets very clean
Idle very smooth, a about 800-900 rpm

Driving results:
1. I did notice the intermediate shaft was clunking a little when turning the wheel hard. I have only ridden in the Bonneville once, and I'm already starting to get annoyed with it - if a person did put a new revised one in, will that sound go away, at least for awhile? Greasing it, too....this just seems like a really stupid problem by gm that owners shouldn't have to worry about.

2. At about 70 mph-75 mph, a fair amount of vibration in the wheel. I've seen some old posts-could be tires, tie rods, who knows.... but the vibration seemed to go away above 80mph and below 70mph.

3. Sitting at a stoplight, sometimes it smells like burning plastic or smoke something in the cabin that goes away fairly quickly....maybe a leaking valve cover gasket? Something else?

4. Once at slow speeds (30mph) a little jerk from the transmission shifting up to the next gear. A minor problem or major expensive headache?

5. Brakes had a slight shutter to them when braking at both slow and high speeds. Felt this in other cars too like the Intrepid and Lesabre. My guess is the rotors might be a bit warped... can these rotors be resurfaced once or twice before having to get whole new rotors?

Overall, I think the comfort and styling of this car is pretty good. I still plan to swap in from ebay a oem stereo with a cd player (this car just has cassette), and also add a $40 aftermarket keyless entry system, and add a better tint job.

Seems to me at the minimum I'd be adding in for repairs/upgrades:
replacement radio off ebay (about $100-$150 incl. unlock code)
keyless entry ($40)
new valve cover gasket ($200)
turn rotors, rebalance tires ($75)
intermediate shaft (grease myself) or put new one in ($80 from gm+ship, install: $200 total)
New window tint: $150
New weatherstripping bars right below windows (these are faded and cracked) - $50?
Floor mats - $25

Dealer said in their pre-sell overhauls brake pads are replaced if less than 60%, so that'* why just the $75 brake work/tire job above....by not sure if a person can trust a used car dealer on that info. So basically looking at another $900 input to get started.
Trading in a pretty green 95 Jeep grand cherokee i want 2k for in trade in, so looking around 3k +$900 repairs +$600 tax, title, license, doc fees.

So, that'* about $4500 for a 2000 Pontiac Bonneville SE with the upgrades and repairs mentioned. You think this is a good deal worth jumping into? The Bonnie has a certain charm to it, with some mechanical disadvantages I'm willing to overlook to a certain point because I normally do all the mechanical work to my cars myself. Most other comparables, like the Grand Prix or Intrepid, seem a little small and/or chintzy, and I hate the interior drabness of Toyotas and Hondas.

Thanks for reading and look forward to your comments!
torero500 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 06:36 PM   #2
Senior Member
Posts like a Turbo
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 360
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
hawkjet is on a distinguished road
Default

Why an aftermarket keyless enrty? The car should have that already.

I am suspicious of the low coolant. Just because there is no coolant in the oil doesn't rule out the intake gaskets.

The transmission shifting hard is not a good sign either. It is possible it is a Pressure Control Solenoid. Changing it is a PITA. If you determine it is a PCS, a $90 shift kit is easier and cheaper and will probably fix it. But it isn't a slam-dunk that it is the PCS.

The vibration at 70 sounds extreme. It is possible the brakes would cause that. Balancing the wheels could make a difference.

If the brakes shudder, you will probably need new rotors. The OEM rotors (and cheap replacements) are notorious for warping. If you turn the the existing rotors, they will just be warped again in a month. $75 probably won't do it. In my experience, it doesn't take much to cause this in these cars. The work needs to be done by someone of better than average skill to get everything straight and accurate.

Keep in mind that swapping OEM radios will require a trip to the dealer to program the TheftLock (as much as $100 depending on the dealer).
hawkjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 06:40 PM   #3
Member
Posts like a V-Tak
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 82
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
fbody69 is on a distinguished road
Default

They are good cars.... You might want to add wheel bearings to your list. Just a guess, but with the vibe and the mileage..... All used cars have there problems. I would talk them down and buy it. But I like em.
fbody69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 07:37 PM   #4
Member
Posts like a V-Tak
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 39
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
torero500 is on a distinguished road
Default

Thanks for the input so far hawkjet and fbody....Yeah, I bet I'm gonna have to put on new rotors. Cross-drilled ones worth it? They look cool at least. Keyless entry I'm adding because this base SE model doesn't have it. Looks like for 2000 it was offered as standard only on the SLE and SSEi and not on the SE unless it was put in as an option.

This steering shaft problem is something I'd like some more input on, as to whether it can really be fixed with a fair amount of luck and the redesigned part from gmdirect.

Not quite sure what to think of that little transmission lurch I experienced. Might have been just a misshift, it shifted flawlessly on the interstate, or might be more serious as hawk suggests.
torero500 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 07:47 PM   #5
Senior Member
Posts like a 4 Banger
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 114
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
champ5601 is on a distinguished road
Default

Mine is in the shop as we speak for the pressure control solenoid. Mine jerks while shifting at the lower speeds. Once I hit highway speeds, it goes away. I'll keep you updated on the total damage for this.
champ5601 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 08:57 PM   #6
Member
Posts like a V-Tak
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Spartanburg SC
Posts: 49
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
silverws6ta is on a distinguished road
Default Blurb on I-Shaft

Read my blurb below on the Intermediate Shaft -- mine is on number 4 and original owner (well my mom was).

I replaced it myself and GM is footing the bill this time. Almost three weeks and approx 350 - 400 miles later on the 'Double D' design .. still no clunk!

My Magnasteer has also been set to FIRM as well so I'm sure it was intensifying the effect previously.

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...ic.php?t=95416
silverws6ta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 10:31 PM   #7
Senior Member
Posts like a 4 Banger
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Just outside of Syracuse NY
Posts: 148
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
windshield_time is on a distinguished road
Default

In regards to the intermediate shaft. I had the dealer replace mine a week after I bought it which was 16 months ago. 40k later and no clunk. They used the new style from what I was told.

I would also tell them, replace it, don't grease it or I would be back until they got it right.

I have an 03 se an I love it. Now only if Idiots and animals would stop breaking my front bumper
windshield_time is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 10:41 PM   #8
Senior Member
Posts like a Corvette
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,446
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
ddalder is on a distinguished road
Default

Do you have, or can you get the VIN? Please post if possible. This will help a little.
ddalder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 01:15 AM   #9
Senior Member
Posts like a Turbo
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Sheridan Wyoming
Posts: 210
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
57chevythunder is on a distinguished road
Default

Torero500, Welcome to the "BC" As you can see by my signature, we have two Bonnevilles at our house, the wife'* '99 and my '02. We love them both, and even with the known problems I think they are cars with excellent value overall. Besides, in my opinion, most of the common known problems can be fixed by any decent mechanic. (I'm retired, and still do all of my own mechanical work in my home garage.)

The one thing in your post that made me post this reply is your comment on the coolant recovery bottle being nearly empty. To me, this is a definite warning sign of coolant being "ingested" due to the very common failures related to "coolant leaks." (which I'm sure you will read about, if you haven't already.) It doesn't get into the motor oil, that is not until you experience the "catastrophic lower intake manifold gasket failure." And if you should wait that long, I'm thinking that you'll be pretty sorry because it may cause a lot of other engine damage. (again plenty of detailed material for you to read on this most excellent "bonneville club" website.)

Once again, please read the excellent discussions on this website related to coolant leak issues. If you read, heed, and take "preventive maintenance action" you will be very glad you did.
57chevythunder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 03:23 AM   #10
Member
Posts like a V-Tak
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 39
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
torero500 is on a distinguished road
Default

When I go back I'm going to check around those bolts for any seepage. Should it be that the upper intake manifold is leaking and has never been replaced, how long do you think it could take to replace it? I read jr'* detailed repair post....looks like about 4-5 hours one day to tear down, then come back the next day to re-assemble. Maybe shorter maybe longer....why am I buying a Bonneville again??? lol
torero500 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I want it! I want it! I want it! I want it! GOT IT!!!!! MOS95B Lounge 28 02-13-2006 03:38 PM
Mellotone? - AD_BEAR AND RIDIC, YOUR COMMENTS ARE REQUESTED mremer Performance, Brainstorming & Tuning 15 03-25-2004 05:55 PM
Your valued opinions are requested. willwren General GM Chat 45 03-03-2004 08:24 PM
Repost: High Res Pix of Your Ride Requested Merlin 91/97 Your Ride: GM Pictures & Videos 4 12-24-2003 06:48 PM
Abbreviation input requested! willwren General GM Chat 22 01-31-2003 04:55 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:38 AM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.