Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

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Thread: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

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    Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    My brother has been toying with the idea of getting a different car. He likes bigger, roomier cars with decent power and one of the cars he mentioned to me as a possibility is a used 2004-2005 Bonneville GXP. Since he knows I'm into cars, he asked me what I thought about it, and quite honestly, I don't know anything about them. Anyone here have one or have previously owned one that could provide some of the positives and negatives about it? How has the Northstar held out in this application? Any common repair problems?

    The most common downside I have read on the internet is really the fuel consumption, but I think that should be expected on a powerful, bigger car. I'm anxious to hear.
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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    I owned a baseline 2001 Bonneville and the car was great. I'm a performance nut and purchased an 09 G8 GT to replace after the loss of the Bonneville. The Bonneville got me 19 around town but 28-29 on the highway. This was not the hi-po 4.0 V8 just the 3.8 V6. Doesn't really help you but it was a nice car the GXP has many more amenities which is good when it's all working and bad when things break. Hope this helps a little.

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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    The GXP's ate trannys for breakfast I believe.

    The non SC and non V8 Bonne's did fairly well. I inherited an '02 which unfort is on its 2nd tranny but has 129K so far (3800 motor)
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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    The Northstar GXP got the 4T80E
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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    I was asking a similar question a while back.

    https://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f...gp-gxps-87523/
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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    2004 Bonneville GXP has the "Northstar" V8. Northstars are notorious for blowing head gaskets after the headbolts give way. I would steer clear of anything with a Northstar.

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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    Quote Originally Posted by andretti View Post
    2004 Bonneville GXP has the "Northstar" V8. Northstars are notorious for blowing head gaskets after the headbolts give way. I would steer clear of anything with a Northstar.
    I know that was true with alot of the earlier cadillac applications. I guess I'm more curious in if this was addressed for the Bonneville application or are they prone to the same problems?
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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    Quote Originally Posted by Al63240 View Post
    I know that was true with alot of the earlier cadillac applications. I guess I'm more curious in if this was addressed for the Bonneville application or are they prone to the same problems?
    My understanding is that the newer ones appear to be improved but not totally "fixed" as far as the headbolt/gasket issue is concerned. This is why GM dropped the overhead cam, multi-valve V8 in favor of tried and true 2-valve push-rod V8's, even in the luxury Caddy's.

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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    Make sure you do a thuro test drive at all speeds and pay attention to speeds in the range of 62-75... if there is any shimmy, any vib felt in the steering or seat pass on it. There is no cure for those cars that have that issue. I myself spent around $1500 in mine and the dealer was never able to fix it. And for searching around google I learned that I was not the only one with this issue and no one has had any luck with theirs either. I am not talking about a shake from a tire that needs balance.. some of these cars have this problem, just make sure the one he buys does not.

    Water leaks. I would ride it through a car wash before buying. Doors leak (potentially all), sunroof drains pop off and leak and the trunks had a few issues with leaks too. Make sure to check under all seats, floor mats and under the spare tire.

    window regulators break a lot on these cars. 3 of mine did in two years.

    make sure the dual zone ac controller works both zone properly

    heated seats tend to go bad. when they do, the switch will turn off right after you turn them on

    clunk in steering at slow speed turns. best way to test this is by doing slow speed turns, fully turning the wheel in both directions. This was from a bad intermediate steering shaft.

    the steering wheel position sensor and wheel speed sensors are prone for failure on these cars too

    I've never owned a car with the northstar engine but have been told to stay away from them once they reach 100K


    Quote Originally Posted by goochman View Post
    The GXP's ate trannys for breakfast I believe.

    The non SC and non V8 Bonne's did fairly well. I inherited an '02 which unfort is on its 2nd tranny but has 129K so far (3800 motor)
    maybe it was the car or maybe the driver?? I've owned a few of these with SC on them and never had a tranny problem like that. in fact, I've only had one that gave me a major tranny problem and that was at 234,000 miles- that one did not have a SC on it. The torque converter went bad and the car would only move in first or reverse. That was about 2 years ago and the car was 15 years old.

    The Buick Park avenue Ultra I had, had over 160K when I sold it and the tranny was still going... but the seals in it were going bad and it would require you to warm it up longer before it would go into first gear.

    My current 99 Bonnie SSEi had just over 90K and it running strong on it's original tranny. IMO, if you are not trying to do one wheel burn outs these tranny will go a long time.
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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    Quote Originally Posted by EX-F150 owner View Post
    Make sure you do a thuro test drive at all speeds and pay attention to speeds in the range of 62-75... if there is any shimmy, any vib felt in the steering or seat pass on it. There is no cure for those cars that have that issue. I myself spent around $1500 in mine and the dealer was never able to fix it. And for searching around google I learned that I was not the only one with this issue and no one has had any luck with theirs either. I am not talking about a shake from a tire that needs balance.. some of these cars have this problem, just make sure the one he buys does not.

    Water leaks. I would ride it through a car wash before buying. Doors leak (potentially all), sunroof drains pop off and leak and the trunks had a few issues with leaks too. Make sure to check under all seats, floor mats and under the spare tire.

    window regulators break a lot on these cars. 3 of mine did in two years.

    make sure the dual zone ac controller works both zone properly

    heated seats tend to go bad. when they do, the switch will turn off right after you turn them on

    clunk in steering at slow speed turns. best way to test this is by doing slow speed turns, fully turning the wheel in both directions. This was from a bad intermediate steering shaft.

    the steering wheel position sensor and wheel speed sensors are prone for failure on these cars too

    I've never owned a car with the northstar engine but have been told to stay away from them once they reach 100K




    maybe it was the car or maybe the driver?? I've owned a few of these with SC on them and never had a tranny problem like that. in fact, I've only had one that gave me a major tranny problem and that was at 234,000 miles- that one did not have a SC on it. The torque converter went bad and the car would only move in first or reverse. That was about 2 years ago and the car was 15 years old.

    The Buick Park avenue Ultra I had, had over 160K when I sold it and the tranny was still going... but the seals in it were going bad and it would require you to warm it up longer before it would go into first gear.

    My current 99 Bonnie SSEi had just over 90K and it running strong on it's original tranny. IMO, if you are not trying to do one wheel burn outs these tranny will go a long time.
    The transmissions in the V6 Bonnevilles are pretty fragile. If you keep the transmission fluid/filter replaced pretty regularly you should be ok, but I had a 2004 Bonneville SLE that I got when it was 3 years old, 54,000 miles and the transmission fluid would overheat and cause the trans to slip (granted I'm a fairly agressive driver, but the transmission didn't seem to like it), it seemed to get better after having the fluid drained and refilled. Some people get lucky, it might be driving styles or that the previous owner did work to it, but the trannys don't seem very durable unless maintained relatively frequently since they don't seem to have a high tolerance for heat/excessive agressive driving or old fluid. I did have the steering column clunk on my Bonnie too. Overall, they're not the best quality car you can buy, but for the right price you may be happy with one.

    And the Northstar engines in the late model Caddys (2006+ DTS & Lucerne) & rwd models (STS, XLR, etc) don't seem to have many of the reliability issues that earlier models had, so I'd probably steer clear of the older GXP and try to find a supercharged SSEi, or just a different car altogether.

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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    Sorry yours had issues, not all cars are perfect. I've owned 6 of these cars and only one at +200K had a converter fail. I don't see many post about tranny issues other than faulty PCS in them prior to 2003. My 02 had that fail and was fixed under warranty. They are not bad transmissions at all... If they were, you wouldn't read about so many making it to 2-300K and beond on the net. These are great cars. The Series II UIM issue does give them bad marks though. Series I and Series III did not have this problem.
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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    Quote Originally Posted by andretti View Post
    2004 Bonneville GXP has the "Northstar" V8. Northstars are notorious for blowing head gaskets after the headbolts give way. I would steer clear of anything with a Northstar.
    2003+ Northstars received a significantly improved head bolt design that more or less eliminated the problem.

    However, it's still a pricey engine to maintain when factoring in the cost of accessories, hoses, and other odds and ends.
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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    Quote Originally Posted by andretti View Post
    My understanding is that the newer ones appear to be improved but not totally "fixed" as far as the headbolt/gasket issue is concerned. This is why GM dropped the overhead cam, multi-valve V8 in favor of tried and true 2-valve push-rod V8's, even in the luxury Caddy's.
    The "high feature" Ultra V8 Northstar successor was in development but dropped due to bankruptcy.
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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    Quote Originally Posted by EX-F150 owner View Post
    Make sure you do a thuro test drive at all speeds and pay attention to speeds in the range of 62-75... if there is any shimmy, any vib felt in the steering or seat pass on it. There is no cure for those cars that have that issue. I myself spent around $1500 in mine and the dealer was never able to fix it. And for searching around google I learned that I was not the only one with this issue and no one has had any luck with theirs either. I am not talking about a shake from a tire that needs balance.. some of these cars have this problem, just make sure the one he buys does not.

    Water leaks. I would ride it through a car wash before buying. Doors leak (potentially all), sunroof drains pop off and leak and the trunks had a few issues with leaks too. Make sure to check under all seats, floor mats and under the spare tire.

    window regulators break a lot on these cars. 3 of mine did in two years.

    make sure the dual zone ac controller works both zone properly

    heated seats tend to go bad. when they do, the switch will turn off right after you turn them on

    clunk in steering at slow speed turns. best way to test this is by doing slow speed turns, fully turning the wheel in both directions. This was from a bad intermediate steering shaft.

    the steering wheel position sensor and wheel speed sensors are prone for failure on these cars too

    I've never owned a car with the northstar engine but have been told to stay away from them once they reach 100K




    maybe it was the car or maybe the driver?? I've owned a few of these with SC on them and never had a tranny problem like that. in fact, I've only had one that gave me a major tranny problem and that was at 234,000 miles- that one did not have a SC on it. The torque converter went bad and the car would only move in first or reverse. That was about 2 years ago and the car was 15 years old.

    The Buick Park avenue Ultra I had, had over 160K when I sold it and the tranny was still going... but the seals in it were going bad and it would require you to warm it up longer before it would go into first gear.

    My current 99 Bonnie SSEi had just over 90K and it running strong on it's original tranny. IMO, if you are not trying to do one wheel burn outs these tranny will go a long time.

    This site is invaluable for Bonnevilles if you buy one: http://pontiacbonnevilleclub.com/forum/index.php

    Mine had the sunroof leak, trunk leak, shimmy, heated seat problem, window regulator, etc.....This site has pretty simple fixes for all these problems except the shimmy. There are a # of theories on the site for the shimmy fix.

    I almost popped my shoulder out of joint fixing the sunroof drain tube issue I had but alot of problems can be fixed at home.
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    Re: Pros/Cons of the 2004-2005 Bonnveille GXP

    Quote Originally Posted by goochman View Post
    This site is invaluable for Bonnevilles if you buy one: http://pontiacbonnevilleclub.com/forum/index.php

    Mine had the sunroof leak, trunk leak, shimmy, heated seat problem, window regulator, etc.....This site has pretty simple fixes for all these problems except the shimmy. There are a # of theories on the site for the shimmy fix.

    I almost popped my shoulder out of joint fixing the sunroof drain tube issue I had but alot of problems can be fixed at home.
    Thanks! I am already I member over there too and yes, the 02 Bonnie I had had ALL those common leaks (most all of the common problems too). I did fix all the leaks and thanks to Harofreak00 over there, he helped me locate the draintube behind the E-Brake pedal assembly. I could not find it even after removing it. I am glad I only weight 145lbs because getting into the postion I had to to retrive it was a challenge lol. I moved back in the 92-99 gen and will not look at another 2000+ again. They are nice looking but not without issues.
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