On the fence re a 05 GXP - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


Bonneville GXP/ Northstar Powered Cars Discuss your Bonneville GXP and/or any other Northstar powered Olds or Cadillac... Including the 3.5L Twin Cam V6 (Short Star ) 4.0L and 4.6L Northstar V8's. Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

View Poll Results: Should I purchase or not
Yes, it's a great price and the problems are exagerated. 0 0%
No, don't buy and run as fast as you can. 0 0%
Buy it only if it's under $5,500. but expect problems. 2 66.67%
Other 1 33.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-22-2013, 10:59 AM   #1
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Default On the fence re a 05 GXP

I'm thinking of replacing the 97 Ei and found a white 05 Bonneville GXP with spproximately 130k miles asking price $7000. I don't need performance so the Northstar engine doesn't excite me but I do like the interior as well as overall look.

My concerns are mainly with the Northstar since I've read many bad things that may/could/will go wrong as well as the high price tag for those repairs. I'm trying to get away from doing my own repairs hence the move towards a 05, and as much as I like the GXP it sort of worries me. I would keep it till it dies but will it nickel and dime me to death?

Below is a list of concerns that I've copied and pasted over the last couple days.

Pontiac Bonneville GXP Problems

Blown ignition coil assembly causing misfire, $300+ part

broken temp gauge, requiring replacement of the whole cluster, $300+ part

**** poor design of intermediate steering shaft, requiring replacement

**** poor design of fog light wiring harness Bulbs burn out every 3 weeks, if that. I ended up installing HIDs to fix the problem.

Trunk leak. When I got the car, there was 3 inches of standing water in the wheel well. I fixed that problem by drilling 3 holes in 3 rubber caps at the bottom of the wheel well.

Considerable loss of coolant (low coolant light pops on after 2 weeks of filling the reservoir) Dealer suspect the coolant loss is a result of a failed head gasket at a high cost of repair.

Water pump is a high cost of repair.

Complete loss of power steering fluid (had to pour in 1/3 a quart of steering fluid last week.

Unreasonable loss of oil (I know the Northstars lose oil, but not at the rate of 3/4 a quart every 1,000 miles, not with this low of a mileage car)

Intermediate shaft is clunking again, so it needs to be replaced, again. Wait, wasn't this the updated and improved version that was replaced last time? Yeah.

Front wheel wobble is now unbearable at over 65 mph, and ití* not a balancing issue. Wheel hubs seem to be bad.

Tie rods need to be replaced

One or two of the plastic fittings that holds the door panel down broke or got loose so now my driver'* door rattles when i go over bumps.

Car nudges a little uncomfortably going from park to drive. Suspected engine mount is bad.

On two occasions, I've smelled burning oil coming through my air vents. Considering that and my loss of oil, I think there'* something seriously wrong.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:03 AM   #2
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If you are basing your decision on reliability, I would get an SLE with the 3800. Still has all the body-related issues like intermediate shaft, bearings, etc., but the engine related issues tend to be less expensive than the N*.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:29 AM   #3
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You pretty much know the drill with the GXP'* man and my position so I'll move forward.

130k For a blown ignition coils is even common for a 3800, I've own like 6 of them
$300 is a crazy price, go to rockauto and do it yourself

Instrument gauge in the GM clusters is common for all models in the middle 2000'*. Very common. I see alot of reman clusters for under $300. And a repair kit to do 5 gauges with instructions is a common item on ebay. Under $50 They all use the same motor.

Trunk leaks of most Bonnevilles with sunroofs is a problem, pain to clean out the drain lines but I do it. I should drill holes im my plugs too. Thanks for the reminder.

Water pump? Any NorthStar repair is expensive if you take it in to have someone else do it...nature of the beast

Power Steering pump leak is new to me but yours does have 130K. Lines on the NorthStar are problematic and that includes crossover lines for oil and water. Be sure they are leaking before you think blown head gasket. That is all but unheard of for a 2003+ Northstar unless the engine was overheated. If that were the case I would run from the car.



The IM shaft is a pain for all full size GM'* of that year range. Keep it greased or it will fail. And at mileages so varied it'* hard to figure. Perhaps temperature zones?

You got the right fog light fix....

Wheel hubs bearings are a known problem that can happen anywhere from 50K up it seems. I don't think the heavy wide wheel/tires were factored into the hub bearings for the GXP 18" tires. Add that the tie rods are gone, wobble is likely.

Door panels don't usually break on their own,... someone was "peeking" They are easy to get/replace.

An oil leak in the crossover lines has caused a few members to post the burnt oil smell. It'* a cost to replace them yes, but not a serious issue unless you run her dry.

Any American Car with 130k and probably not much previous maintenance ( and what it sounds like) is going to have issues to resolve.

$7K does sound a bit steep given all need to bring it up to speed. If you can get it for $5.5 that would be a fair offset for repairs. If things are done as they happen it isn't so much a nickel dime you to death affair. It sounds like the previous owner has just neglected things over the course of it'* life.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:27 PM   #4
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Thank you for the reply 2kg4u and GXP Venom. if I'm not mistaken I may have met you at one of Boosty'* meets many years ago, (Venom).

I can't seem to edit my original post but based on my wording there may be a misunderstanding. Anything below "Below is a list of concerns that I've copied and pasted over the last couple days" is not from the one I want to purchase. I just compiled various problems from a Google Search.

The only problem I can see based on the for sale pictures, the gauge cluster needs to be rebuilt. One of the stepper motors is freezing and causing the voltage gauge to max out all the time. I haven't taken the car for a test drive or even seen it in person as I'm not sure if I want to make the $5,500.00 cash offer.

I agree, most of the potential problems are not specific to the GXP other than the stepper motor which I'm sure I could replace with EBay parts and any potential Northstar problems. My main concern is the Northstar, based on the mileage; the engine could make or break the deal based on my concerns of various Google searches.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:37 PM   #5
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the list of things you posted isnt really anything to do with the engine. ive never had one but i have seen quite a few get p'ed and sell it. i think you answered your own question if you want cheap and reliable you will want to find a SLE with a 3800. or a well optioned se but those arent very common.

the only common issue on the 3800 is the intake manifolds which can be replaced for about 150. the heads and head gaskets you really have to try to get to go bad. unlike the nstar
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:19 PM   #6
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Ya, we did meet there moons ago, I think you gave me a ride back to the motel one night. NorthStar engines "grew up" and the ones of 2003+ lost alot of the inherent problems that made them horror stories. Mine with a few nitrous runs under it'* belt still runs smooth but does have a barely audible tick I haven't a clue about @ 50K miles. I guess the worse of the issues for the GXP era LD8 is the oil crossover lines, front motor mounts and hub bearings. Those have been the most common issues here in the Forum. The rest are pretty normal items. I have suffered no engine problems with some hard miles on. My hub bearings are suspect, my control bushings are shot, and the IM shaft needs replaced. I'm pretty sure the front air suspension that was on mine for 35K miles had alot to do with that. Given it all I love the car, it has still current styling and people are always asking what it is. I removed the only Bonneville badge on the rear when painted. It is my Sunday car and will never be sold.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:17 PM   #7
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You are correct about the drive to the hotel John, you've got a good memory.

My main concern is the Northstar and I understand that you've not had any real problems with yours. I wish I could be more confident about the one I'm looking at, and with my luck, I'd be posting in a couple months about and engine issue.

I'll give it some serious thought tonight, but I'm not sure I'll be able to spot whether this is a good deal or not so it maybe best to let this good deal go. As much as I want this car, I want future problems even less.

Thanks.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:49 AM   #8
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it would be fine for a sunny summer weekend car like john'* im sure, but if you want to drive it all the time and put some miles on it, it wouldnt be what i buy. just the gas would be enough to choose a l36 for a daily driver. my wife drives like john force and gets 28 with our sse. which has different gears. the se gets over 30 hwy and doesnt get into the upper 20'* till you get at least 50% town/city type driving
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:51 PM   #9
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I was hoping the 05 GXP to be a daily driver for my wife, therefore I'd need a reliable car. Maybe this GXP isn't the one.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:57 PM   #10
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Oh,..... the wife. Get her a Civic.
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