3rd Mar 2002, 05:17
Get rid of it now. You're are looking at major engine and transmission work on this model. Go to the NHTSA site and look at the technical service bulletins. I know, I own one, its engine has failed after two head gasket jobs.
2nd Dec 2002, 00:27
Hi, I just read all the comments about the Bonnevilles'. I have a clean 1995 SE and purchased this vehicle w/less than 34K miles. I carefully maintain it and still have the car.
The problems I read are not accurate unless you bought a bad model which one cannot always tell. It takes a lot of effort and VIN number checks to make sure the car is good.
My car has been nothing but reliable and smooth running. The only true problems w/Bonnevilles' especially the SSE/SSEI models w/lots of gadgets are underpowered alternators, possible oil pump failure, the brakes due to cheaper factory quality like other car makers follow plus slight nose dive (soft suspension), certain interior trim; screws come loose, power door lock actuators/window motors, and steering wheel discoloration; not a fault, cheap dye used on many cars these days. A good solution is to put a quality steering wheel cover on to protect it and enhance the look or keep conditioning the wheel itself w/a good product before any discoloration.
I suspect the dealer might have turned back the odometer on my car and I still have no major problems like you describe. Regarding the paint, Pontiac uses PPG and has a good quality consistent paint job w/less orange peel than the newest models.
Regarding the transmission, if it's worked hard/abused and most importantly the tranny fluid/filter hasn't been flushed/changed, your inviting trouble.
I can further back this up w/Bonneville owners on line dating back to 1990 w/high mileage and good reliability. My mother also owned a 1992 Park Avenue w/the 3.8 Series 1 and no major problems/failures except for the things I mentioned above and maintenance related items. We sold it w/110K miles driving like new and was scooped up in less than two weeks.
I would advise doing more research or talking to people who own new or non lemon used models and see what they have to say. Take care.
12th Jun 2003, 17:33
My 95'has 111000 miles and going well. I bought an SE @100k out of the newspaper with records from the dealership where it was purchased new. It had been maintained by them apparently with few mechanical replacements, (i.e. water pump, brake pads).
I gave high bluebook for it's almost new car like leather interior and nearly pristine paint with the factory alloys, new 60 series tires and ground effects. I am so pleased with the comfort and road ability of this car that I will not hesitate to do the necessary parts replacements to keep it as is.
So far. Front and rear struts and alignment-$700. Transmission flush-$120 (flushed and replaced torque converter oil also). Serpentine belt (original) -$60. Full engine diagnostic and tune up with wires and plugs and injector cleaning-$200.
Unfortunately for me I ran the tires too long on bad shocks so I'll take that in stride. This is a great car and will remain so for at least five years or about 180000 miles easily. The money I'll spend in total will be no more than 1/3 the cost of a new one. That's if the engine blows.
25th Mar 2004, 11:31
Our 1995 has been in the shop 3 times in three years also has a crappy paint job as all the paint is flaking off it looks like a big cow. Nancy.
1st Dec 2005, 20:34
Own '95 Bonneville for just over four years. Bought it from a reputable dealer, with all service records, and only 42,000 miles on car. I put 20,000 miles on it each year. Currently 109,000 miles. I have had to replace a lot of parts: brake master cylinder, water pump, water hose through water pump mount bracket, wheel bearings twice, all brake pads multiple times, front calipers, front rotors twice, rear wheel brake cylinders, two alignments, coil pack, plugs and wires. Currently I have the following problems that many mechanics can't seem to permanently fix: a cracking sound from the front end, a hesitation when requesting power from the engine, on a grade, during a mid-speed climb, and dash lights that don't work when my headlights turn on (this makes for scary night driving). Also, many interior parts have broken: console switch broke, cup holder broke, both rear heat outputs broke, both rear interior lights don't work and the switches broke, power antenna doesn't fully go up or down, windshield leaks, hood doesn't latch easily. It was my dream to own an older style Bonneville, and now it is a nightmare. I would never buy another domestic car, especially a GM. I have a '99 Altima and it has never been in the shop, even after 100,000 miles already. NEVER been in the shop. Buy Nissan or any other foreign.
19th Dec 2005, 12:08
Bought '95 Bonneville in early '98 with 50K miles. Got a great deal. Currently have 172,000 miles on it. Have had routine maintenance like brakes, rotors, tires, etc. In the last two years I have had master brake cylinder replaced, water pump, serpentine belt, spark plug wires, valve cover gaskets, oil pan gaskets, head gasket and oil crank seal replaced. Today my dash lights all went out. Do have other minor things to fix - one rear door lock actuator to replace, and minor paint peeling I will fix. All in all I still like the car. Rides smooth. For a 10 year old car that was paid off in 4 years. I have been driving it for near free till this last year. Will keep it till I have 300,000 miles!
31st Dec 2005, 00:32
I bought a 1995 SE in 2000 with 76K actual miles on it. I loved the car, but questioned my sanity of buying a car with that many miles on it. I have been pleasantly surprised. Car now has 191K miles. Over the past five years, I have had no trouble. Engine and transmission are original, work great and have had no major service. All electrical/mechanical and interior/exterior has weathered well. Engine/power train is all original except for a water pump at 148K. Bought Michelin X-one’s in 2001. Still have them with 88K on them and have never been rotated. In fact, the car has not been aligned since the tires were installed. One set of struts at 95K, one set of brakes at 156K and one serpentine belt. That’s it. Great car and still love to drive it! I'm 50 years old and have never owned a car this good. Wish I could buy it new today.
6th Apr 2007, 11:58
I bought a 1995 Bonneville SSE for a daily driver with 113000 miles on it, and it still looks great, runs better and I literally put in gas, change the oil, replace the tires, and drive it... end of story.
The only problem I have had... and this is at 146000 miles, and in March 2007, the sunroof has started to leak a bit. No big deal; I ordered a sunroof seal (part number 12371670) from www.gmpartsdirect.com for $62.93 including shipping, and away I go.
Great car... it's starting to rust a little, but that's because the owner before me didn't wash it enough or take preventative steps to keep it from rusting. Buy one that it is clearly taken care of, and you will be fine...