1998 Pontiac Bonneville SE from North America


Defective, but a beautiful car


Intake plastic Manifold (plenum) melted around the erg valve pipe creating hydro lock.

General Comments:

This is a major defect with the 1998 Bonneville's. Should of had a recall, otherwise a real fine car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th October, 2004

1998 Pontiac Bonneville SE 3.8 Liter V6 from North America


A large, sporty, powerful car that is well balance between a family sedan and a sporty cruiser


Several sensors were replaced having caused the "check engine" light to come on.

Transmission valve failure caused car to stall at every stop at about 60,000 miles.

Intake manifold/gasket failure at about 65,000 miles.

General Comments:

Comfortable highway cruiser.

Powerful and sure footed.

Responsive handling for its size.

Nicely appointed and overall good value for a larger car.

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

Review Date: 5th June, 2004

1998 Pontiac Bonneville SLE 3.8 from North America


It's a great car, but if you buy one, get the intake manifold problem resolved!


This car has been exceptionally reliable until a recent loss-of-coolant problem. It seems as if many GM 3800 engine owners have experienced a slow internal coolant leak because of a defective design in the plastic intake manifold. This resulted in an overheated engine and blown head gaskets. My mechanic is still working on the problem.

General Comments:

I used to love this car. Maybe I still do, but I expect that the water leak problem is going to cost me about $2000. Okay, that's just 4 car payments, but I'm angry at GM because this was a known problem and they didn't notify me. As a result, $2000 out of pocket. I can't imagine Toyota treating their customers this way.

Aside from that, this car gets great mileage for a large car. I average 27-30 mpg in warm weather. The rental car I'm driving now (Dodge Neon) is one half the size and only gets about 33 mpg.

It has also been very reliable. The only other problem I experienced in 131,000 miles was a defective alternator that was replaced under warranty.

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

Review Date: 21st May, 2004

22nd Sep 2004, 15:11

I also had the manifold intake problem to the tune of $2200.00CDN and broken down far from home. Does anyone know if GM is considering liability?? Also a problem with an unreliable ignition. but I loved the car great performance and ride a lot of bang for the buck.

9th Nov 2004, 22:55

Same, same. Intake manifold problem to the tune of $2000.00CDN. Considering all of the complaints resulting from the plastic upper intake manifold, its time for a North American wide recall by GM and restitution for those owners who have already paid to resolve this issue. Love the car, but unfortunately its my first and last GM car. Its time for Government transportation and consumer protection agencies on both sides of the border to take note and start recall proceedings to force GM to address the issue.

1998 Pontiac Bonneville SLE 3.8L II from North America


Good car for the money


Voltage regulator failed, causing dim headlights, reduced air flow from blower, etc... at low RPM. - warranty repair.

The sun roof module failed. - warranty repair.

The alternator has failed twice. - warranty repair.

Most recently, there is what I assume is a vacuum problem that causes all of the air vents to close when accelerating. When you let off the gas and cruise, vacuum seems to equalize and the vents will re-open.

The clutch system on the air conditioner compressor is excessively noisy when the A/C is turned off.

General Comments:

Overall, this has been a good car. The SLE package makes for an affordable "luxury" car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th August, 2003

1998 Pontiac Bonneville SE 3.8 Series II (3.8L) from North America


Lots of features means lots of problems!


Driver side speaker cover came off.

Windshield leaks causing all types of electrical problems when it gets wet due to the wiring harness under the dash getting wet.

Paint chips real easy and it is hard to find touch-up paint that is the right color, medium teal green.

The hood latch squeaks and needs grease about once a month.

Exhaust manifold is not aligned properly with the exhaust pipe and causes the exhaust pipe to hit the transmission dipstick letting fluid seep out. Dealer said the engine would have to be removed and re-aligned to have the proper clearance.

Horn sometimes blows when you close the trunk to hard.

Right rear window works sometimes by either switch.

Console lid is broken.

Tie-rod ends are worn and need replacing.

Interior lights come on when your driving down the road and then won't work when you open the door.

Twilight Sentinel sometimes forgets to turn off the headlights after three minutes.

Fog light bulbs need replacing to often.

Do I need to keep going? I think I bought a lemon.

Alternator gage and oil pressure gage sometimes drop into the red area causing the "check gages" light and "low oil level" light to come on, although the oil level and alternator amperage are fine.

General Comments:

This car has very good response during and after take-off.

Steering could use a little tightening and magnasteer is worthless.

Seats are comfortable.

Nice stereo.

All features are nice, just questions about reliability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th July, 2003

14th May 2004, 20:55

Your car has 115,000 miles, you have had no major problems, and you're calling it a lemon. Tie rods and light bulbs are normal maintenance, and you're complaining about paint chips - come on! If you expect a perfect car, get a new one and stop complaining about a reliable car with 115,000 miles on it.

2nd Jun 2004, 04:07

I have a 96 Bonneville with 110k and a warped plenum (plastic intake manifold)...not sure yet if the engine was damaged by coolant leaking. I have had this car since 96 and still love it. My front end needs work too, but after all these years and miles you have to expect parts to wear out!

6th Jun 2004, 09:38

Question-on the comment about the alternator/oil gage to go into the red. How did the car act? This is happening on my 1998 Bonneville and the car dies out. My mechanic has replaced several parts and no luck fixing this continued problem.

7th Jul 2004, 20:15

I have a 1995 Bonneville SE. It has 78,000 miles on it and it also has that same issue with the oil/amp gauge drifting into the red. I had the alternator checked and it shows that it is putting out 14 amps. I just recently orderd a replacement alternator to see what happens. My car dies out at times, but starts right back. I bought the car used at 76,000 miles and have already put a water pump on it and it has used about 1-1/4 quarts of oil.

15th Dec 2006, 23:42

Problems with the 1998 Bonnie (97K) ; driver side speaker cover, windshield leaks, console lid broken/loose, and the interior lights come on when all the doors are shut (scaring me because I don't believe in ghost, until then) are some problems I've had. They all seem to be in line with yours and that manifold recall? Are you serious? I am going to Reeves Pontiac here in Greenwood real soon.

12th Jul 2012, 22:41

Honestly, all GM cars have all the those same trait problems. Then people wonder why the US government had to buy the company. GM cars are nice in theory; I know, I have had many of them to know.

1998 Pontiac Bonneville SSE 3.8 Series II from North America


Bought new dent in your wallet, used more bang for the buck


Second Wk I owned it, it blew a power steering line putting me back 400$

General Comments:

Well I've had the car for about 3wks now I haven't really put it through any tests.

I took a clover leaf at 60mph with ease I have no major dislikes and the toys etc.

The car I purchased has every possible option power seats, moon roof, fully automated automatic, which there's a big difference between performance and touring mode.

The 16" wheels low profile tires and never ending curves make this one of the sleekest family sedans on the market.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th December, 2002