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Old 08-21-2007, 02:48 AM   #1
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Default Do I really wnat one of these cars?

Hi folks, I really like the looks of the 2000+ bonn'*, sle and ssei in particular. Now I dont really need the extra hp and increased fuel consumption of the ssei. I dont want to borrow money to buy a car so that pretty much leaves me w/ an '00 or '01 sle as my options. After reading the common problem thread, I fear I'm going to be spend a lot of time and money keeping this car on the road.

Are many of you having these same problems?

Perhaps a better question would be...How does this car compare to other cars you've owned in the past (regarding maintenance)?

Thanks

Edit - fwiw - I've seen in Consumer Report the '00-'02 Bon is listed as a car to avoid. Man they sure look sweet though.
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Old 08-21-2007, 03:14 AM   #2
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compared to my 97' firebird M.E.(maintenance edition)this car is ALOT more reliable, so far. the 'bird'* list: Opticrap, waterpump(the cause of previous), radiator(biggest PITA ever), fuel pump, clutch, torque arm mount, IMPOSSIBLE to get to LH plugs, turn signal switch(didnt have brakelights when that went ), headlight motor gears, window motors(both), power antenna motor, most of the speakers(monsoon papercone pos'*) and the rear end gears broke FOUR TIMES(the main reason i got rid of it). the bonnevilles list: ignition key cylinder(inside, to start the car), stabiltrak is malfunctioning, and my LIM gasket failed. i also did not want to get a supercharged car for MPG resons(i was looking at SLEs and GP GTs). being the leadfoot i am(especially being used to my eltee juan), when i saw a decent deal on this, i got it. have not regretted it. if i didnt drive mostly highway, though, i might be./end of essay.
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:56 AM   #3
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Take Consumer Reports recommendations with a grain of salt. All they care about are the imports. Knock on wood, I've owned my '03 SLE for a year with no problems yet.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:23 AM   #4
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Just remember that even though the common problems link is 5 pages long, many of the problems discussed are repeats.


This is quoted from the last page.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon
A list such as this can be quite overwhelming, especially when you look at the page count. Plus, some of the things that made the list are not necessarily "common", but still informative in that it gives a possible solution if you experience it.

The most common problems, that many people experience are:
Intake gasket problems. This is also a common problem for the 95-99s so is not specific to the 2000+. Replacing the upper (for the L36) with the APN kit, and the lower with the GM aluminum framed gasket should solve this problem.

Intermediate steering shaft. GM has issued a different design. Time will tell if it solves the problem.

Rear window regulators. Repair information is available in techinfo.

Like any complex electronic/mechanical device - things will break. The 2000+ is a more complex vehicle. Other problems occur, but are less common than these.
Also, remember that we are here to help with ANY problems that you may have if you decide to buy one. Many members here will also open their garage up to people and help out with the work.


Now, as far as increased fuel consumption goes, that depends mostly on your driving style. Driven without a lead foot, both supercharged and NA cars can get over 30 MPG on the highway. However, the supercharged engine will get slightly less mileage then a NA car in city driving.

I don't think anyone really NEEDS the extra HP for a daily driver, but it is nice to have if you ever decide you want it..... ( EVERY time I hit the gas, in my case )
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:10 AM   #5
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Your only gonna have to keep throwing money at it if the original owner did not maintain it properly.

The 3800 SII is a very reliable motor, minus the plastic intake (stupid).

Wheel bearings are pretty common on all forms of newer GM vehicles. Easy fix.

The intermediate shaft is a common problem, doesn't need to be repaired, but very annoying.

Basically, just keep up with the normal maintenance, and you will be fine.

BTW, where are you in Northwest Ohio? I'm right here in Toledo.
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:26 PM   #6
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I've had my 2001 SE since the end of March. I have about 95k miles.

Since I got the car, I've been on this forum. I've found from my experience that the most common problems are:

1. Intermediate steering shaft. It'* mostly an annoyance - it won't actually fail. It needs to be removed and lubed every year or two (or replaced with new part design).

2. Front motor/trans mount. $80 for factory replacement or $15 - $20 for hockey puck mount.

3. Fuel sender malfunction. $50 to fix using instructions on this forum.

4. Front door water leak. $15 to fix using instructions on this forum.

5. Transmission Pressure Control Solenoid. $80 for Transgo shift kit and $25 for fluid and Sea Foam Trans Tune.

6. And of course the Dexcool devil and new UIM gaskets.

Others have had to deal with window regulators, a water leak in the trunk and instrument panel lights. The sense I have from about six months of watching this forum and dealing with my own car is that the above is a list of the MOST common issues. ALL of these things are well covered in this forum.

P.*. BTW - I bought my car in Ohio and drove it back to CA. You may have an occasional SES light due to the gas cap not sealing well. The salt from the roads in the winter have made the fuel filler rust and I'm amazed it seals at all!
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:32 PM   #7
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I have had the usaul problems like everybody else.
Wheel bearings.
Rear window regulators.
Motor mount. Hockey puck works awesome.
LIM /UIM gaskets.
and other little general maintenance.

If your looking for a nice reliable car that can get up and boogie when it wants too.......def. buy a Bonneville.
If your looking for a car to beat the **** out of.......buy a honda.....save the bonneville for someone who will apreciate it.

If you do buy the Bonne' you have some of the best guys on here who know the cars blindfolded. just ask any question.....and it will be answered.

Good luck "TheKaddyKid"
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:49 PM   #8
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Also, go ahead and visit other sites for other cars. You will find that every car ever made is going to have issues, even the hallowed imports. You just have to decide what car will be the best for you.
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:49 AM   #9
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My 00 SSEI is a front-wheel drive with decent horsepower (drives well in snow that we get up here). Best I can recall, I've probably spent $650 on do-it-yourself repairs and $350 on dealer repairs and diagnosis or the lack thereof (of which $500 total was for windows mostly done myself) in 7 years of ownership for what I would deem "common problems to the Bonne" that I would hope not to have in a vehicle. I've rolled out "expected maintenance" costs out of this figure. I've a few things remaining to fix and have been living with it for now but plan/hope to fix them soon.

So it sort of depends on what you're looking for; and I can't speak for reliability of "imports", which is sort of a loose term anymore given the amount of imported parts cars contain. And yes, the people and assistance provided by this forum are simply phenomenal!!! I've never seen anything like it before and would have never expected anything like this would be "out there on the internet". It'* easily saved me a few hundred bucks (from a fuel sending unit repair alone).
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:56 AM   #10
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Make sure when you go to the dealer, if that is the case, check the things on the "common problems" list on that particular car and if anything is making noise or wrong point it out to them. My intermidiate shaft(unbenounsed to me at the time) was clunking on the test drive and I told them and they wrote it up in the contract to fix it. And they did. Do a thorough check of things on the car before you buy.
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