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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:31 pm 
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Location: Munford, Tennessee
Year and Trim: 94 Pontiac Bonneville SE non super charge 3.8
It is hard to say exactly what the car is doing... Here is a real fast run down. Some of you may remember me with the issues my husband and I was having with this car back in 2007. At that time we had put a water pump, fuel sending unit on the car, vapor canister, fuel filter, air filter, fuel pump, cat. converter, battery cables, sparks plugs/wires as well as Throttle Position Sensor. (Think thats it at that time). Ran for a bit and broke down again we borrowed money and shopped it. It was the intake manifold as well as the fuel pump.

Got it back from the shop and for about a year or so it hasnt ran to bad. Then we had to get a new radiator (about 6 months ago) A few weeks ago we changed the fuel filter, because it started acting up again. Well that wasnt it. It ended up being the EGR Valve gasket so we thought.

The car has been running very hot and sometimes you can smell burning under the hood. The 27th of Feb my husband got gas before going into work. When he went to come home the next morning he had the car running for about 5 minutes (he said when he applied the break) there was a noise towards the back end passenger side that sounded like a clunking/clanking noise. I can not describe the noise this is what my husband told me it sounded like. We called a tow truck they came and got it.

They had it on a flat bed so she was a bouncing around and such. Got it home started right up. We took it to the store to get some gas treatment thinking maybe water in tank or bad gas. Went out there that evening it started right up. The morning of March 1st it started up but after about 5 minutes it died and wouldnt start no more.

Last night I figured I would try to start it and see what happens well it started. I had it running about 20 minutes straight I shut it off let it sit for about 5 minutes started it again. At this time its starting fine no issues. I do this a few more times lift the hood to explore car is still running, but it is starting to get hotter then it should I think. The temp gauge is usually between 100 and 200 now its on and above 200. I can smell it getting hot as well. Then by all the belts and the water pump area the sound changes and like 5 minutes or so later it dies and wont start.

I tried to start it again tonight and it acts like it wants to start it rolls and everthing just isnt starting. Also after it wont start i turn the key to off and it goes "ding ding ding ding" dont know if that matters or not.

But as of right now we have more money in parts and repairs into this car then our purchase price. So here is the thing should we keep it and try to fix it or say bye bye and use it as a trade in. We are getting another vehicle as soon as we possibly can because this is way to much. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Maybe tomorrow I can record the "rolling" over part and post it so you all can see what I mean.

Thank You
Jammie


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:04 am 
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With your symptoms, it's easy to point fingers at alot of possibilities. But without getting our hands on the car personally, it's very difficult.

On a cold start, does the upper radiator hose get warm? About the time the temp gauge hits 200? 200° is normal, by the way, for a stock thermostat which opens at 195°. Is it possible for you to get the codes scanned? Where are you located? We may have a member nearby that can help with the scan.

Ultimately, it's going to take a bit more troubleshooting to narrow this down, and we'll do what we can to help with that. From what I'm hearing, it doesn't sound too major......yet. You're dealing with a component or sensor (or even possibly PCM) issue, not an engine or transmission failure.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:02 pm 
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Location: Munford, Tennessee
Year and Trim: 94 Pontiac Bonneville SE non super charge 3.8
willwren wrote:
With your symptoms, it's easy to point fingers at alot of possibilities.


Yup I know this part way to well. I got my handy bonneville book out and everything I have read about the symptoms it can be many things. I have talked to a few different people on the issue and I get about the same answer from all either timing or cam/crank sensor.

I do not understand when you say cold start. I know once it gets started everything under the hood is a bit to hot to touch all hoses are hot. And it has a burning/hot smell.

We are located about 30 minutes north of Memphis I called a garage and they want to charge me 50 to 60 to just look at it. Thats money I can use to get a new vehicle.

I think my husband and I are leaning to trade this into the dealer ship and get a vehicle with a good warranty so we dont have to mess with car issues. This is becoming a headache.

I think she is beyond repair it has almost 195000 miles and we got it at 186000 so yea we have put about 10,000 on it in 2.5 years.

10,000/5,000 = 2 hah it has cost us 2 dollars per mile we have put on it for the car as well as repairs. Thats not counting gas and insurance and oil changes and all the other minor car keep ups.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:19 pm 
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Things may not be quite as bad as you think. If you put 10,000 miles on it, and invested $5000, then it may make you feel a little bit better to know that it has cost you 50c per mile.

$5000/10,000 miles = 0.50 $/mile

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:53 pm 
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Location: Munford, Tennessee
Year and Trim: 94 Pontiac Bonneville SE non super charge 3.8
bill buttermore wrote:
$5000/10,000 miles = 0.50 $/mile

Your right I was not figuring it out right. As of right now I can't find the title so it maybe someone or something telling me not to give up. :???:

Right now I am just fed up with the car because of everything that has gone wrong with it. And we do not have the money to continue to fix it.

We had a grand prix before this it was a 92 I had only one problem with that car before the big one that made us have to sell. The fuel injectors was bad and blew the board it was under warranty so it got fixed no other problems for 6 years. Then Michigan weather messed up the stabilizer bar so we hand to get a new vehicle was the bonneville worst buy I made


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:04 pm 
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Location: Twin Lake, MI
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willwren wrote:
On a cold start, does the upper radiator hose get warm? About the time the temp gauge hits 200? 200° is normal, by the way, for a stock thermostat which opens at 195°. Is it possible for you to get the codes scanned?
Quote:


In case Bill doesn't get back to you right away, I believe he's wondering if your engine is pumping coolant into the radiator as soon as it should. A jammed closed thermostat or a weak fuel pump could cause this failure. A cold start would be starting it up in the morning (cold) and then making sure that the upper hose is warming up at about the same time as you're hitting 200 degrees on your guage.

And 200 F is about what we get on our '94 Bonneville SLE (identical to yours).

Maybe something else is heating up. Something laying on the exhaust manifold? Wiring (maybe bare) shorting out? If you think something is getting way too hot (especially if there's odd creaking noises), it probably is. But it doesn't seem like it would be the engine, unless your guage is off. If it's truly overheating, it might be blowing some coolant into your overflow tank. Be sure to check that (but don't go near the radiator cap!)

If you want to stay with this and can't find anyone nearby with an analyzer, I could probably loan you mine. It's an Actron CP9110 (Ithink like you used a year or two ago). It is set up for the OBD1.5 protocol for '94-'95 Bonnevilles. But I don't know if it can detect a bad cam/crank sensor. It would give some information about timing and engine operating temperature. A pro-quality analysis would probably be better, but maybe some of the gearheads can fill in better on this.

(BTW, you're near Memphis, I think?)


Last edited by slug on Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:47 pm 
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what is the air temperature like where you are? mine did kinda the same thing but only when the temp got below -2*C or 28*F. it would try to start but wouldn't..ended up being the ECT.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:12 pm 
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Location: Twin Lake, MI
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That's a good point.

ECT is the engine coolant temperature sensor (I had to look it up -- not yet in Don's excellent acronym article in TechInfo [required reading!]). It sends it's signal directly to the computer module and can affect fuel injection and ignition timing. It functions a lot like the IAT (intake air temperature setting sensor).

Willwren has already mentioned that sensors are high on the list as probable causes for Jammie's current Bonneville problems.

I really don't know much about this area, but Bill Buttermore describes in this thread how both can be tested:

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=7391&p=89793&hilit=iat#p89793

Others have good comments in this thread as well.


Last edited by slug on Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:26 pm 
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another way to test the ECT not mentioned in that thread is to un plug it.. thats what the mech did to mine. because it reads the coldest possible teperature it can.. also adjusting fuel output to max on start up. if the ect is at fault and you unplug it it should fire right up.

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Last edited by trf_ssei on Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:50 pm 
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Location: Munford, Tennessee
Year and Trim: 94 Pontiac Bonneville SE non super charge 3.8
That is all Foreign talk to me. Cold starts after a few days seem to start it. After it heats up it dont want to start. The air isnt to bad down here but it keeps going from hot to cold hot to cold that's why at first we thought water in the tank. Yesterday it was 80+ tonight we have ice/snow. Im gonna get the book out and look up all that an look into it. We are going tomorrow if roads are not to bad to see about getting a new vehicle with a warranty... We may let the car go we will have to see.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:55 am 
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There are TWO ECT's on your car. The one in the end of the LIM under the TB and above the exhaust crossover is for the PCM and engine function. The one BEHIND the TB in the LIM is for your dash gauge. It cannot affect driveability. If your mechanic was not very familiar with 3800's, he could have checked the wrong one.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:42 pm 
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no not driveability. my car just wouldn't start when it was cold.. the ect that controls the pcm and engine is the one that was replaced.. because it would start fine if the block heater was pluged in and not at all if not.(and only below a curtain temp) so he unpluged the ECT to test it..once unpluged the car fired up imeadietly...either way just a suggestion if she was having the same problem i was having.. but shes not hers is doing it when warm.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:45 pm 
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willwren wrote:
There are TWO ECT's on your car. The one in the end of the LIM under the TB and above the exhaust crossover is for the PCM and engine function. The one BEHIND the TB in the LIM is for your dash gauge.


Here's a pic of a definite ECT sensor (I think) on my '94 sle. But I'm not sure which one it is. I'm standing on the driver's side taking the pic to the right of the throttle body (TB). The sensor is sort of upper-left-center with a blue cap on it. It's going into the LIM.

I can't seem to find another one. There is a wire harness snaking underneath the sensor that connects to something on the under side of the TB.

(Bail me out here, willwren! (Too bad "DarkStar" isn't still around. She was even better than willwren at this stuff)).


Image


Here's a socond pic on the left side of the throttle body. Several sensors but probably none ECT?.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:38 pm 
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Location: Munford, Tennessee
Year and Trim: 94 Pontiac Bonneville SE non super charge 3.8
Ok ya'll ready for this. Thanks to Slug we have got codes. Now these are codes from last start since it wont start now.

First code is: 122 - Throttle Position Sensor - Low (no voltage at all I do not remember if when we replaced it before if car had to me running or not)

Second code is : 341 - Ignition System Problem, Camshaft Sensor, Intermittant signal

Third code is : 406 Linear EGR, Pintle Position, Position Error.


Can the TPS be causing the camshaft sensor to give error or is the cam messed up. I need advice big time. Fix the car or not fix the car. We have 194,000 miles on it. We put about 10,000 on it the rest was there when we got it. We gave 2,250 for it 2.5 years ago and we have in parts/labor about 3 to 4,000. So yea ....


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:49 pm 
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TPS - yes, that would cause a no-start condition. Cam sensor would too...it's odd that you have both going on at the same time.

EGR - that *shouldn't* cause a no-start.

Changing the TPS is easy, and the EGR valve is easier still. Cam sensor's rarely fail since all it is, is a magnetic pickup. BUT the magnet associated with the sensor (it resides on the cam gear) could very well have come off. Start with the TPS first, then let's move onto the cam sensor circuit.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:24 pm 
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Ok we got the TPS on and that was one cause now it is reading voltage it is trying to start more. Then it was giving the 341 error we cleared the codes now its saying it is fine. So I guess we will go get a camshaft sensor tomorrow and see about getting that changed. I hope this fixes it if not its taken into our "downpayment" money


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:40 pm 
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"gets the hammer ready" Well 100 in parts and still nothing. Blah


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:39 pm 
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sandrock wrote:
TPS - yes, that would cause a no-start condition. Cam sensor would too...it's odd that you have both going on at the same time.

EGR - that *shouldn't* cause a no-start.

Changing the TPS is easy, and the EGR valve is easier still. Cam sensor's rarely fail since all it is, is a magnetic pickup. BUT the magnet associated with the sensor (it resides on the cam gear) could very well have come off. Start with the TPS first, then let's move onto the cam sensor circuit.
:laughing3: Is the cam sensor error completely gone now? If not, like Sandrock said, need to check and see if the cam magnet has fallen out! With the cam sensor out, you can use a mirror to view the end of the cam. If you can manually turn the motor and watch, at some point, you will see either the magnet or the hole that it goes in. If it's just a hole, then, of course, that's the problem.

If the errors are intermittent, it is possible that one or more of the female pins in the harness side of a connector is loose. I had this problem with my 93 and it tested my patience. I spent much money replacing sensor after sensor after item after item. I found there was one pin on the ICM harness connector (Ignition Control Module) that fed to the computer (PCM). It drove me crazy until I found it. I could jiggle or unplug and replug the ICM plug and the problem would go away for days, sometimes, even months. After fixing that one, a loose one on a harness connector at the PCM from the ICM. Likewise, took a while. Both of these enabled the ignition. Don't know if you are up to trying this, but I also offer it to others with similar problems.
:bsnicker:
I used a VERY small jeweler's screwdriver, similar to the ones you fix glasses with; you're trying to duplicate the size of the male pins on the module side of the connector. Whatever you use, it needs to just fit into the female pin with a SLIGHT amount of grip. You go by feel... just a slight resistance on good ones... but the loose one(s) will have little or no resistance. That is the pin that needs to be reformed to grip better.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:50 pm 
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Location: Munford, Tennessee
Year and Trim: 94 Pontiac Bonneville SE non super charge 3.8
Well we have changed throttle position sensor and the camshaft sensor and no codes are being thrown BUT we cant get it running to send a SES message. I dunno what to do we are gonna go get a HIGH interest vehicle :sad: But i guess my husband is gonna use this to tinker with and if need be see about putting a whole new motor in it. The body is in good shape for being a 94


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:44 pm 
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Location: Twin Lake, MI
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Jammie:

Be sure to try the trick that Sandrock and "RedSled" suggested regarding timing problems. Use the mirror to see if the cam magnet is still there (or maybe wobbly?). You can usually find a bolt or nut somewhere on the front of the engine that can be used to crank the engine a little along with a socket and long breaker bar.

Also, I like "RedSled"s suggestion of going through the connectors, Cars like ours that are over 15 years old are certainly going to develop some connector corrosion somewhere. Massage those terminals like "RedSled" said.

Somewhere I picked up some dielectric grease (that prevents corrosion) that even has some copper particles in it. It's made just for the purpose of salvaging and protecting ageing connectors.

Like I said, our beloved '94 cars are getting "old" and you have to be continually inspecting, maintaining and replacing components. As they age, we also tend to store them outside. This is hard on cars. Mice and chipmonks will nest and chew wires like you wouldn't believe. That's yet another reason for getting under the hood and car with a bright flashlight and looking around. Luck!!


Last edited by slug on Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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