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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:00 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1996 Bonneville SE 143xxx
Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum. I recently traded my pickup for a 1996 bonneville for better gas mileage. The car is in amazing shape and has 143xxx miles on it. I've already put on nearly a thousand miles on it in the last 2 weeks. Two problems I've noticed about the car however, one is a strange grinding noise coming from the intake. The noise sounds like steel grinding on steel? It doesn't speed up with reving the motor or anything like that.

My mileage is also not what I've expected. I've heard that the 3800 is capable of 30mpg on hwy and 19 in city. My first tank only achieved 16mpg in town. I don't have a lead foot or anything, just casual driving. My second tank was all hwy (70mph), and I managed 22mpg with just me in the car. After seeing this I replaced the fuel filter and plugs, but has not proved to be any help.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I've searched and search on both and haven't found an answer.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:47 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1998 Pontiac Bonneville SE
maybe the iac sensor ? is it like the sound when you start up cold and sounds like a intake with the plumbing off ?

try taking out the iac and clean it maybe it has some curd in it and not fully closing after warmup


Last edited by LouderBonneville on Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:18 pm 
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Idle air control valve could be a culprit. It makes a "grinding" sound for a minute or two when the car is first warming up to let the engine spin faster to burn more fuel, thus lighting off the catalytic converter faster. It should not make that sound after a few minutes, or when the car is fully warmed up.

I'd start by pulling it (You'll need a security Torx bit set) and cleaning off the carbon. Also, if there's a lot of gunk plan on cleaning off the throttle body. If that doesn't work, get a new IAC valve. It's about $40 or so new, and a lot less from a yard.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:09 am 
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Year and Trim: 1996 Bonneville SE 143xxx
Thanks I'll give that a try in the morning see if that works. I guess I haven't checked to see if the noise continues after it warms up.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:41 am 
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Year and Trim: 1996 Bonneville SE 143xxx
Question, do you need to have the throttle body air inlet screen? I just installed an aftermarket intake and was curious if that is needed or not. Looks like its banged up a little also. Is it safe to drive without?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:17 am 
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Better to leave it in, according to all that's said around here. Something about leaving a good, less-turbulent flow of air through the MAF sensor.

The aftermarket intake should improve MPG's if it's a cone filter in the engine bay. That's sucking in warm air, which is good for MPG's and bad for power.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:44 am 
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Leave the MAF screen alone. It helps ensure that the MAF gets a proper reading of the incoming air. I don't think there's a single 3800 on this site that would gain any measurable HP from removing it, and this includes all the modded S/C cars. They would lose MAF accuracy and possibly LOSE power due to it, though.

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Last edited by 00Beast on Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:56 am 
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Okay so if I were to remove the throttle body, would I need to replace the gasket then? I know on my other car (crown victoria) I didn't need to. What should I watch out for?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:01 pm 
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You will want to replace the gasket. Here is some info you should look into, and do this all at the same time: http://www.pontiacbonnevilleclub.com/fo ... =53&t=1061

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Okay well I went ahead and took the throttle body off along with removing the mass air flow, throttle position sensor, and idle control valve. I clean the throttle body with carb cleaner. Thing was covered in carbon build up. Then I looked at the idle control valve, that was a mess. I couldn't even see the spring on it, was completely covered in crap. I tried cleaning it but after awhile decided to a get new one.

35 dollars later I return and put everything back together along with a new gasket for the throttle body. I triple checked everything, but when I started the car the motor revved up to 4k and stayed there for roughly 10 sec then dropped down to about 1800 for just a couple seconds then back up to 4k again. I shut it off after that since the motor wasn't warmed up. Didn't want to damage anything.

Kinda worried now what's going on now. I checked the instructions with the idle control valve and it says to measure the distance from the o-ring to the tip and if it's over a 1in and 1/8 then it should be adjust below that. Which I did check and it was below that measurement.

What am I missing?


Last edited by stealthmode on Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:59 pm 
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Did you install your TPS properly?

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=24989&p=255367

harofreak00 wrote:
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:02 pm 
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I feel confident I did do it right, but I'll check that now and see if that works. Thanks for the video! Let you know if that works or not in a few.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:15 pm 
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I'll be *dang*! Took it off and reinstalled in and what do ya know. Idles like a champ now. I feel slightly stupid for not checking that:/
I also had the engine light come on before I fix it and it was p0122 which was for the throttle position sensor. I reset the light and no issues. Thanks for the help!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:20 pm 
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Hey, that's why he made that video. Lot of things aren't as they appear. Glad to see you got it fixed!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:51 pm 
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yes good to know you got it all fixed ? let us know if your MPG goes up and by how much ?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:14 pm 
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Well I drove in town for roughly 10 miles and averaged nearly 20mpg according to my scan gauge. Haven't done much hwy yet but on a flat road at 55mph, I was getting 34mpg. I'll be taking a trip this weekend and will be all hwy. See what it averages over the trip.

Oh and also that intake I bought (cheap ebay) sounds amazing. I was surprised how much it changed the sound and the throttle response of the car. Only paid $22 for the kit. It's a short ram intake. Just a small aluminum polished pipe and a filter. I'll try and get a picture of it tomorrow.


Last edited by stealthmode on Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:23 pm 
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Oh the ebay short ram. I highly suggest building a box around the filter and replacing the filter with a good quality unit, like a K&N.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:30 am 
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Oh the ebay short ram. I highly suggest building a box around the filter and replacing the filter with a good quality unit, like a K&N.


Wish we could just hypnotize everyone to save up for an INTENSE FWI....

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