Last post on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:52 AM
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Pontiac Bonneville, Sedan
#2158 of 2268 Re: 1997 Pontiac Bonneville SE Antifreeze Disappears. No turn signals [phillyfrank]
Jan 12, 2009 (6:21 pm)
>1997 Bonneville with 115,300 miles and I have to put Dex cool in my radiator every week. There's no leak that I can see but the radiator's very low after a week
Before panicking about the antifreeze let's ask some questions. Have you owned the car since new? If so has the upper intake manifold been replaced? How many miles ago?
If you bought the car used, how many miles on it and how many years. Take off the beauty cover on the motor by twisting the oil cap extension. Look at the intake manifold and look for three circles about the size of 50cent pieces. There will be a year on one of them when the upper manifold was made. If it's 1996 or 97, then you have the original intake. If it's later, the intake has been replaced once. If there are no circles, you have a replacement manifold that's not GM/Delco or whoever made them for GM.
Next, how does the DexCool look in the reservoir tank? Is it goopy and dark? Have you changed it every two years? It's supposed to last 5 years but reality is it should be changed every two years just like any other antifreeze--it's cheap.
Next take a close look around the upper intake where it mates to the metal lower intake with a good flashlight. Look for a brown trail if it has DexCool in it. You might have a leak where it meets the throttle body or at the bottom in that area. Sometimes the seals around the two openings that let coolant go to the throttle body to warm it start seeping.
The second route of failure is the EGR passage that goes up through the UIM. You see the outside tube that goes the lower intake. The gases then turn and go up through a metal tube above the lower intake manifold. The metal tube is the same size as the passage into the plastic upper. The heat deteriorates the plastic in the area of the two coolant passages for the throttle body and the coolant starts seeping out slowly. The plastic turns into little cube-like granules due to the heat.
Replacement manifolds _may_ have had a smaller tube that keeps the plastic cooler. If replaced early under warranty the Lower may have been replaced and had a smaller tube in it. Replacement uppers came with smaller tubes to insert into the old lower metal.
The replacement takes a full day for a medium mechanic. There are instruction pages. The replacement uppers are $125 approx. and couple of choices exist.
But first you must check the water pump for seep inside the pulley. Use a mirror. If you see powder that's red around that area you may have a drip that's being slung around and drying. Check the two 90 degree black plastic connectors that come out of the lower and go to the metal idle bracket if I recall correctly and the other is also in the heat hose circuit.
Check hoses and radiator for seeps.
If you still think you have a intake problem, check your plugs. White deposits indicate you're burning coolant in a couple of cylinders. Do you have an occasional miss upon starting or when the motor is running very hot (and the coolant is under full pressure)?
If the coolant has been ignored through the years, the lower gaskets may need to be done below the metal lower manifold to the heads and the block. That's an additional expense and time.
If the water pump has never been replaced, I'd really check there.
#2159 of 2268 Re: 1997 Pontiac Bonneville SE Antifreeze Disappears. No turn signals [imidazol97]
Jan 13, 2009 (9:38 am)
I bought the car in 05 with 95,798.miles on it. As you suggested, I took the beauty cover off and looked at the manifold, which has (2 half dollar circles and 2 small) I noticed some thick liquid at the bottom of the upper manifold, which looks and smells like the dex cool.
My radiator and reserve have thick brown goop, which I had flushed 3 years ago, but it's returned to the radiator (rather thick).
I had a new water pump put in 2 years ago but I'll check it as you suggested.
As for my turn signals, they gradually stopped working. They'd work slowly or sluggishly. Now they don't work and I no longer hear any clicking. My hazrd lights do work and seem to be the same bulb.
Thank You for your time and helping find one of the problems.
#2160 of 2268 Re: 1997 Pontiac Bonneville SE Antifreeze Disappears. No turn signals [phillyfrank]
Jan 13, 2009 (10:44 am)
Dry up the current liquid around the manifold and heads by soaking up with paper towels. See how soon it reappears.
What was the date on one of the circles for the upper intake? If it was original to the car, it may have had a partial fix applied. I believe during 1999 is when GM changed the size of the metal EGR pipe.
DexCool develops a gooop if regular antifreeze (old style) is added to it. If the original wasn't changed and there was air in the radiator instead of it being full, the DexCool breaks down and can become corrosive as well as gooey.
You need to have the system flushed to remove the goop. But if you might be having intake work done, you should wait now.
What you're really looking for is a seep somewhere other than the intake manifold to explain the coolant loss. That's better than replacing the upper and the lower gasket.
For the turn signals, if both left and right kept going at the same speed, I'd vote for the flasher itself having died out. Since you say it slowly got slower that makes it more likely for my first check.
#2161 of 2268 Re: 1997 Pontiac Bonneville SE Antifreeze Disappears. No turn signals [imidazol97]
Jan 16, 2009 (11:37 am)
I dried the liquid and I'm waiting to see if it reappears. The manifold doesn't have a date on it. I'll be taking my car to get fixed and inspected, and I hope it doesn't cost much. I'll let you know what happens. Thank You for all of your help.
#2162 of 2268 Re: 1997 Pontiac Bonneville SE Antifreeze Disappears. No turn signals [phillyfrank]
Jan 16, 2009 (11:51 am)
It doesn't have a date on it like this?
this one is from 1999, notice the arrow pointing to one of the four years.
Jan 22, 2009 (3:23 am)
Air bag chims when driving. Have a 03 bonnie se sedan only owner it has been dealer serviced. The air bag light comes on when driving and chims. It has not been in an accident, but might have taken a speed bump to fast.
Any one have similar problems. The waranty expired.
#2165 of 2268 Re: [charko2] Airbag Light
Jan 25, 2009 (1:26 pm)
I had the same problem last year with my 2002 Bonneville. The culprit is likely to be an open circuit in the airbag control module. Since we had many large and deep potholes during the winter of '08, one of them was probably the culprit when the car hit it.
A new connector was required costing about $37. However, the real cost with this repair was the labor, since the dashboard has to be removed and the airbag system disassembled and reassembled. My dealer did the repair. Total cost: $375, also not under warranty.
#2166 of 2268 Re: [charko2] Airbag Light [scscars]
Jan 26, 2009 (4:19 am)
Thanks, Since the car handles fine,I might decide to leave it alone until I get up to NYC in April. I am in Florida for the winter. I will be bringing it in to my Florida dealer for an oil change before I go up and see if he picks up the problem. If not,I will leave it until I get back to NYC and take it to people i can trust.
#2167 of 2268 Re: 1997 Pontiac Bonneville SE Antifreeze Disappears. No turn signals [imidazol97]
Jan 27, 2009 (2:07 pm)
The date arrow points to 00 on top of the manifold. Below is a photo of the leak, at the bottom of the manifold, under the nut. I also thing there's another leak.
In the 2nd pic there's something on the hoses at the bottom of the engine which looks like dex-cool. I'm bringing it to get inspected any day. I unhooked the battery to see if I could get the engine light off, but It didn't go off.