1996 Pontiac Bonneville SE 3.8 from North America


Powered by the energizer bunny, keeps going and going and going


This car is very reliable! Since I have had it, only minor problems have occurred. I replaced the brakes and water pump around 90000 miles. other than that I just change the oil every 3500 miles.

General Comments:

I love this car. It starts with half a turn of the crank in any weather. I am a 20 yr old male. When I first got this car My Initial thoughts were, great I have a family car. This car has been the complete opposite of that. This car has great acceleration and handling. I take the high way to school daily. The car loves the on off ramps! I feel very comfortable going 50mph on a 25mph ramp. As soon as I get off the ramp, my gas petal is digging in the carpet. The 3.8 v6 accelerates to 90 mph in seconds. The cars tachometer stays around 2500 to 3000 rpm while traveling at 90mph. Being a male and 20 years old I tend to find my self leaving intersections with a cloud of smoke behind me. from a dead stop you can light up the tires and go through 2.5 gears while spinning the tires! Try entering an empty parking lot going about 35 and push down on the emergency brake while turning the wheel and flooring it. The Bonneville spins like a top, while smoking out the whole parking lot. The Pontiac's interior if fit for a king. It is very comfortable and convenient. I love the on steering wheel radio controls. The car is very roomy and comfortable for you and 3 of your friends. very road-trippable. I would recommend this car to anyone that wants a very reliable comfortable car, that will perform over and over no matter how much abuse it given.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2003

1996 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi 3.8 Series II Supercharged from North America


I love my car


A/C Compressor made a lot of noises and then died. Needed to be replaced.

Timing belts wear rather quickly, and the engine must be lifted to change them due to the positioning of the motor mounts.

Fog lights burn out often, needing to be replaced.

Aftermarket accessories such as light covers, bug deflectors, body kits, etc are sparse. As sporty and nimble as this car is, it seems to have been overlooked by the performance accessory manufacturers.

General Comments:

The responsiveness of this rather large car is impressive.. the comfort of an Oldsmobile with the performance of a Pontiac.

Plenty of room in the front seats, the back seats, and the trunk.

Nearly every accessory and gadget a person would actually use has been included, such as in-dash digital compass, heads up digital speedometer, remote trunk release, flip out cup holders in the center divider as well as a small console in the back seat, rear passenger air vents.. it even tells you when your light bulbs burn out.

Luxurious interior, the power bucket leather seats are unparalleled. After adding a wood dash kit and plush floor mats it feels like driving a Lincoln or Cadillac, but with a GM Monster under the hood.

I used to drive a 1992 Oldsmobile Trofeo so am accustomed to a blend of performance and luxury, but lost it in an accident. I still miss that car, but I think I've found a new favorite with my Bonneville.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th October, 2002

1996 Pontiac Bonneville from North America


Rife with problems


Where to begin? The biggest problem, which started to be noticeable 6 months ago, is that the back seat foot well floods when it rains. I mean it fills with several inches of water. I've tried sealing all visible cracks, but it still floods just as much. Water gets behind plastic seals and travels down into car.

The Check Engine light has been on for almost 4 years now. Had it checked early on, they told me it was a crossed wire and fixed it, but it came on again a few weeks later. The engine has not actually needed checking, despite this.

AC stopped working 2 years ago. Had it fixed.

Radiator leaks currently. I sealed it with that sealing powder.

Driver's door panel inside came loose as well as plastic strip near window. Glued it repeatedly, but eventually had to drill through and put in a screw to keep it from flapping in on me.

General Comments:

Temperature control system is terribly designed. To simply put on the vent, for example, you have to push a number of buttons, including turning the AC off, since it automatically goes on. Then you have to push push push the temperature button to find the one you want. It's almost like programming a computer while trying to watch the road at 60 MPH. This is the most poorly designed temperature control I have ever encountered.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th October, 2002

7th Apr 2003, 15:42

What you have described are not huge problems compared to others who have the Series II 3800 engine like you. I have a 1994 SSE that is at 111,000 miles, and there are no major problems, but I too had a leak as you do.

It took me a while to fix it. If you have the optional moon-roof on your car, I would bet that your drain hose(s) became clogged at one point and came apart. My hoses were disconnected on both sides, flooding the floor with water. Gently pull back the ceiling material to see (if you have the moon-roof) if your hoses are apart. Simply connect them again if they are. I have not had one drop of water leak into my car since.

*** If anyone else has had a leak onto the rear floor, this may very well be the solution! ***

I know quite a bit about Bonnevilles, and know others who can get quick first-hand information on them as well, so feel free to contact me: bonneville94sse@hotmail.com.

8th Jun 2003, 20:07

Dude this is very ironic I have read and have and had all of the same probs. with my Bonneville, In fact I'm working effortlessly on the water thing now Jerry.

12th Oct 2004, 20:52

Has anyone had any problems with the vent system not working properly in the dash?? I turn on the ac and get hot air. When I turn on the heat, I get cool air. I hardly ever get any air out of the center set of vents right in front of the driver and passenger. Can someone help me out. I haven't taken it to a mechanic or dealer to be looked at for fear of running into hundreds of dollars in labor just to fix something simple and stupid. Any help will be greatly appreciated. You can contact me directly at: snaketen@yahoo.com.


6th Feb 2009, 21:46

I am having problems with my AC. The air comes out the vents on the dash board, but I have NOTHING coming out the other vents.

19th Aug 2009, 08:31

I have a Bonneville 98, and am having a few problems with it.

1. It sometimes will lock itself before I even get out of the car.

2. The windshield washers won't spray.

3, The air blower kind of cycles. Blowing hard, then not at all. Like a minute or two between cycles. Please help; I'm not working, and can't afford a new car yet.