The part in the last comment mentioned is the heater inlet pipe with seal I believe.
I bought my 1996 Pontiac Bonneville SE 3 weeks ago and it started acting funny recently, and now it will not start.
The mechanic has it now and told me the upper intake plenum has cracked and is leaking anti freeze.
So he needs to replace that, a seal, the plugs, the oil and the antifreeze among some other small things for a total of parts and labor $640...i gotta pick it up the end of the day today.
Does that seem like a fair price?
In April 2006, I bought a used Pontiac Bonneville with 132k on it. I have put about 9000k on her since then. The interior of her is perfect. It rides and drives like a dream. so far so good! (knock on wood) Who ever owned this Se before me, had to have taken very good care of her. She is loaded with all the options, after buying 3 new cars in my life time, I have to say this Bonneville SE is my all time favorite ride! Drives like a dream. I have put 4 new tires on her, and so far that is it.
I sure loved my Bonneville SE too. I always took good care of it and it did the same for me. I was a little annoyed with the price if the Del co spark plugs. I couldn't get normal Del co plugs anymore so I had to switch to the performance ones. I tried running Champions, but for some reason the car ate them at about 3000km. Strange, but true! The parts are expensive, but I didn't have too many problems until it let go at 498764km about 3 months ago. I've since bought a new car and now I have to say goodbye. I will get another one in the future though.
I bought my Bonneville in April of 2006. I put 4 new tires on her. She had 122,000 miles when I got her. She now has 152,00 and with Gods help, I have done nothing, but drive her. I love to go on road trips with my Bonnie se, she drives like new and looks great!
We got our 1997 Bonneville with 149,000 miles on it 3 years ago. It now has 179,000 miles on it. We replaced the front brakes, power steering pump, tires and starter. It is constantly plagued with problems. Won't start for no reason, (wait a day and it will start), the tires constantly leak air, the heater blower won't work and no one can figure out why, the anti-lock brakes shoot the brake pedal back at you, it sounds like the front end's going to fall apart, it always smells like antifreeze, (but there's none anywhere to be found), the gas gauge is stuck at full, the compass always needs to be recalculated... there's probably about twice as many more problems as what I have remembered here. Now the transmission is going out for the 4th time (we got the car from parents, so we know it's history) and we won't be fixing it. It's sad, too - it's a nice ride, leather seats, HUD, sunroof, power everything and the engine has some power, but there are too many other problems to make this car worth fixing.
I own a 2005 Bonneville SE with 27000 on it now. I've driven the car only on long trips and changed oil way before the 3000 miles recommended between changes.
Now the car leaks oil and antifreeze from the upper intake gasket and the bottom gasket is only moist, but the mechanic told me the leaks will only get worse.
Now I have a basically new car which I paid 17000 for, that already needs expensive repair.
Funny thing is that my father also purchased a Pontiac Bonneville last year and his is leaking as well after only 18000 miles and he drives it every day.
Poor quality! Will never buy another American car especially GM. I understand that we should be patriotic and support local companies, but my money doesn't grow on a tree in the back yard. I feel cheated of my money by GM. I own a Ford Probe GT made in 1995 and that car has now 195000 miles and it is more reliable than my new Bonneville. Buy Honda or Toyota! same money less repairs!
I have a 1995 bonneville that the floors would get wet. finally blew the air bags.
We bought our 96 Bonneville 8 yrs. ago. It now has over 260,000 miles. We knew the 1st owners and they drove like demons. Our driving habits are a bit milder, we wait to get on open roads to drive 5 or 10 mph over speed limit. We and they had no problems with any of the stuff you have discussed. But the problem now is that it won't even try to crank over. If we jump the starter it will run for a minute then die. So I guess one of the safety switches are out. I do my own light mech. work, but I can't find any info on my problem.
I purchased my Pontiac Bonneville about 3 years ago. Now gas gauge won't work and the heat gauge won't work. I was searching on the internet and this is a real problem and I feel this needs to be addressed.
I have owned a 1994 SSEI and a Rare optioned 97 SE with all the goodies of the SSEI without the body cladding and HUD.
The 94 is still a daily driver with 250m km with original engine and tranny and alternator. I still cannot believe the alternator. I strongly believe the main issue with the engine is the water pump and the intake manifold, which do not seem to happen as often on the supercharged engines. My SSEI manifold did not leak until about 240m km, and I caught it right away before it could cause internal issues with the engine. The 1997 has 270m km and is my daily driver. The 94 is my wife's car.
With regular maintenance, these cars seem to run fine with few issues. Everyone says switch to import. If you maintain your Bonneville similar to the maintenance schedule of a Mercedes Benz for instance, you would probably get increased service from you american car.
The 3800 is a durable motor - the plastic intake with the EGR valve in it is not. Go supercharged and you will not have this issue. My cars go 5000km between oil changes without topping up. Cast iron block and heads are the best combination for longevity.
I drive a Mercedes that has always been dealer serviced and it runs like a top. It's simple; follow the maintenance schedule or it's gonna cost you, especially with an import.
I have a handed down...from my parents...96 Bonneville SE. Now that it is 2008, the car is older, but it looks great. It has been running well with 190,000 miles. Just the other day I noticed some leaking oil and my coolant was constantly low. So I started searching and pulled up the information on the faulty upper intake. I found this out just in time for it to have filled a cylinder and I can't start it. Called the mechanic and he guessed the problem without knowing anything or seeing the car. I laughed, but since this is the first major repair and all else is running so well, I don't feel too bad about it. All of this to say, I love my 96 Bonneville and would buy another Bonneville in a heartbeat!