NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,069 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2001 Pontiac Bonneville engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Pontiac Bonneville Owner Comments

problem #13

Feb 042014

Bonneville 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles


We had a lot of snow and I live on a slight hill. Went to start the car that was covered in snow to move the car on the other side of the street facing down hill. I turned the key to start the car and heard it pop or backfire which it had never done before. I tried again to start the car and now it sounded like the battery was dead (which I knew it could not have been). The next thing I knew, a neighbor ripped open my driver door and was pulling me out of the car saying "your car is on fire". my neighbors called 911 for the fire department who came and put the fire out but the car was totaled! I am fortunate that the neighbors heard the pop, came outside, saw the flames under the car, and I was not hurt. This happened with the car parked right in front of my house! still unbelievable and very frightening!

- Berwick, PA, USA

problem #12

Oct 142013

Bonneville 6-cyl

  • 166,000 miles
When I drive my car it shuts down on me while driving and I have to wait at least 20 mins before it starts back up and sometimes it smells like something is burning.

- Detroit , MI, USA

problem #11

Oct 272011

Bonneville 6-cyl

  • 197,313 miles
On October 27,2011 I came on from work around 7:00 pm turn my car of and went into the house. I heard some one bamming on the back door, I open the door and a guy said that your car is on fire he asked if I had any on else in the house I told him yes so I go inside to get my children out the house. That is when I saw the same guy who was knock on the door use my hose pipe spraying water on the car. At that time I called the sheriff's department they advise me that the plaquemine fire department was on there way. The fire department put the rest of the fire out. One of the fire fighter told me that it was an electrical fire.

- Plaquemine, LA, USA

problem #10

May 092010

Bonneville 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


Battery dead, charged the car, started it up...the engine caught fire(plenum). Ins agent said it was the plenum and that it is a common problem with these vehicles. GM is lucky no one was hurt!!!!

- East Rochester, NY, USA

problem #9

Oct 082008

Bonneville 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,767 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Bonneville. The contact noticed coolant leaking underneath the engine compartment. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they replaced the intake gasket, valve cover gasket, oil pan, and several piping components at the cost of $1,400. The repairs were made at the contact's expense; however, the vehicle continued to leak coolant. The dealer stated that the contact should not be concerned. The contact later took the vehicle to a different dealer and they found that a coolant elbow pipe had been knocked out of place, which caused the leak. The necessary repairs were made to the vehicle for the second time at the cost of $10, due to the failure of the initial dealer. The failure mileage was 93,767 and current mileage was less than 105,000. Updated 07/08/09 the front passenger electric window motor failed and needs to be replaced for a second time. Updated 07/08/09.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #8

Mar 282009

Bonneville 6-cyl

  • 81,821 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Bonneville. The contact smelled something similar to that of an electrical fire coming from the vehicle. A leaking valve cover gasket was replaced and the contact realized that there was a recall on 3.8 V6 GM engines. At the time, NHTSA campaign id number 09V116000 only applied to Pontiac Grand Prix's, not Bonneville. The contact wants the manufacturer to pay for the repair cost since the failures were identical. She feels that it is a major safety issue. The current mileage was 83,000 and failure mileage was 81,821. Updated 05/19/09 updated 05/20/09.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #7

Jan 192009


  • 141,000 miles


Drove vehicle for 25 miles from work to day-care facility to pick up my daughter. Drove under various speeds. Parked car and went into pick up daughter came back out and smoke was coming from beneath the hood. Opened the hood and there was a fire near the exhaust manifold and valve cover area. Fire was spreading to plug wires, plastic engine cover and the wiring harness near the throttle body.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #6

Oct 072008

Bonneville 6-cyl

  • miles
2001 Bonneville SSEI 3.8L supercharged V-6 engine identical to engines in recall number EA07008. Strong burning smell. Valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, intake manifold gasket all leaking! oil is leaking into and contaminating engine cooling system! why isn't this model included in EA07008 recall? your website doesn't even list Bonneville for 2001. Please investigate and respond!!!

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #5

Mar 102008

Bonneville 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
Ref NHTSA investigation EA07008, why doesn't it include 2001 Bonneville SSEI, I do have the same problem as the Grand Prix and the regal gs.

- Elk River, MN, USA

problem #4

Feb 132008


  • miles
I had gone to a store, the car ran normal. I was on my way back when I met a man flashing his lights and waving his arms coming toward me. I stopped and he told me there was a fire under my motor. I got out and within 2 minutes the car was completely engulfed and totalled.

- Island Falls, ME, USA

problem #3

May 052006

Bonneville 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


Jumped vehicle due to dead battery, when key was turned engine backfire sound and blew up. Intake exploded parts of engine thrown every where. Engine caught on fire.

- Royal Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #2

Oct 102005

Bonneville 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
We own a 2001 Pontiac Bonneville. It has had to have a new fan motor, new manifold. And in Dec 2003 we had to replace the rack and pinion, in Dec 2004 we had to replace the rack and pinion. And now it is making the same noise again. In reading on the internet I see that there are many complaints with Pontiac over the rack and pinion issue. They need to make changes to correct this problem.

- Conway, SC, USA

problem #1

May 152004

Bonneville 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1)in March of 2004, I had to replace a front bearing on this vehicle, to register it. I then had the tires balanced, believing the shaking in the front end would stop, it hasn't.my next plan was to have the front end checked out.May 15th 2004 I started getting a knocking in the engine and set up an appointment to have it checked. The mechanic told me that there was a problem with the heads and that they may need to be redone. I spoke if some other items I wanted done: Adjust sun roof, fix drivers window, why is there still a shaking in the front end on the highway and why am I getting water in the trunk" the mechanic expresseed that this vehicle "had been in an accident". the whole drivers side of the vehicle has been replaced. Which might explain why the sun-roof is out of alignment, the trunk leaks water, the front drivers barring had to be replaced and the engine is quite loose under the hood. This vehicle was obviously in an accident with the first owner, repaired and turned in at the end of the lease. Also, how many other vehicles made in this year had to have the heads worked on at 45000 miles, or was the mileage turned back for the return of the lease???"

- Penacook, NH, USA

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