1997 Pontiac Bonneville SE 3.8L from North America


Good full sized reliable car


Fuel float sensor at 89,000Km Replaced under extended warranty.

Water Pump leaking at 95,000 Km.

Grinding noise on strut towers.

General Comments:

It is my wifes car, she loves it wouldn't mind another newer model.

Good for long drives adequate power and speed.

Handles well in wet and snowy weather.

I wish Gm would put better speakers in their cars, paper cones!!!?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th March, 2003

1997 Pontiac Bonneville SE 3.8 from North America


The jury is still out


Purchased the car used in 2002 with about 63k miles. since this time, I had to replace the water pump and serpentine belt/chain and the intake manifold (the plenum). looks like I may have to replace the O2 sensor also because the check engine light keeps coming on.

General Comments:

I thought that this was a good car.

I didn't anticipate having to sink this kind of money into the car. I thought that it was reliable.

I hope that things turnaround with this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 8th January, 2003

1997 Pontiac Bonneville SSE 3.8 V6 from North America


Disappointed purchase due to the amount of required repairs


Clear-coat bubbled up on the roof and top of trunk at 32,000 miles and was repainted.

At 41,000 miles the cam-shaft failed, GM paid for replacement part only.

At 42,000 miles the intake manifold gasket began to leak.

At 43,000 miles the water pump failed.

At 68,000 miles the battery post fell off, technician said post had been cracked for a very long time.

At 72,500 miles the automatic transmission failed and was rebuilt.

At 80,000 miles the clear-coat and paint began peeling off the hood of the car and was repainted.

At 92,000 miles the AC/Heater Fan works one day and not the next.

General Comments:

This is a beautiful car that is packed with power and handles well, however it has a high sticker price for all the repairs and maintenance required.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 2nd January, 2003

12th Apr 2004, 09:42

I bought an extended warranty to 100,000 miles. It helped with an air condition and a transmission problem.

Now, I have the dreaded manifold problem which will most likely do my car (engine) in.

I love my Bonneville, but like you there are problems.

Pontiac and GM know of some (like my manifold problems) and do not inform the customer. If I had known the problem was to widespread I would have gotten my mechanic to fix it early and maybe saved my engine.

Everyone needs to check the internet often to keep up on car problems to head the off.

GM and Pontiac could have done more here.

1997 Pontiac Bonneville SE 3.8 (non-supercharged) from North America


Good, but not great - especially over 50,000 miles


5000-Check engine light.

7500-Check engine light.

10000-Check engine light. Finally dealer replaced O2 sensor. No check engine since then.

14000-New Alternator.

50000-Slipping Transmission.

54000-Intake Manifold Leaking Coolant.

General Comments:

The 92-99 Bonnevilles are fairly reliable cars. However be advised they do have the potential for one ugly problem in particular. On the L36 (non-supercharged) engine the intake manifold is made out of composite. Over time, the <intake manifold> will probably start leaking externally or internally. Research this problem at other sites on the internet.

Right now our 97 has 54,000 miles on it and runs pretty good besides the leak (and probable eventual manifold failure) and a transmission slipping problem.

The car is paid off so it's a debate right now as to what to do; wait until these problems occur or trade the car in. I really don't want to trade the car in as I would hate to have someone else get the vehicle and have these pending issues. Will probably run it into the ground.

Would I buy another Bonneville? NO. It is a nice car for trips and "fairly" reliable. However, I'd probably go one way or the other and either (A) get a much less expensive car (Honda Civic) or (B) spend another $10,000 and get an import.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th December, 2002

17th Mar 2003, 15:37

I'm writing about your manifold leak-beware! I had no indication this was happening until the car let me sit. It had 112,000 impeccably maintained miles. The manifolds were replaced after finding antifreeze all through the motor, then the check engine light came a few weeks later. The oxygen sensors and catalytic converter went because of the antifreeze. They were replaced. Then it let my wife sit a few weeks after that. It threw a bearing, diagnosed as probably due to the antifreeze throughout the motor. Least expensive estimate to replace the motor? $3700. Right now it's sitting in back of my house, where I parked it 2 months ago. Pontiac and the dealer have been less than helpful. Good luck on this one.

18th Apr 2003, 12:21

Well I just made the 54000 mile club with a 2000 Bonnie, it developed the same leek and this make the car to cut out at any speed. The dealer said that I found this problem just in time before thr leak mixed with the oil. I have had other problems replace a hub 4000 mile ago, the front end has been worked on two times. I have spent a great deal on money on repairs for a car that costed over $30,000 and is only 30 month old.

21st Aug 2003, 07:15

I love my 97 Pont Bonneville. at 60,000 miles my trans goes out. I called "Pontiac Cares" and they say there is nothing they can do. I was 700 miles from home and to leave my car in a GM garage while it is being fixed. I will not buy another GM car.