i have a 2002 pontiac boniville that has `120 thousand miles on it . i was wondering how long i could expect to drive it. and how to keep it running as long as possiable becides regular oil change and fuel injector cleaner.
Investigate changes in sound or performance: don’t let little problems become big ones.
Follow the Maintenance Schedule in the Owner’s Manual.
Don’t waste money on things like “induction service” or various flushes, however:
Change all fluids periodically. I recommend:
Transmission fluid: drain and refill every 30K miles, change the filter (if applicable). Use only what Pontiac specifies, no “universal” stuff.
Brake fluid: change (bleed) every 3 years.
Coolant: change every 5 years; change the thermostat and radiator cap.
Power steering fluid: drain and refill the reservoir every year or two; an easy DIY job.
You should have no problem exceeding 200K with your Bonnevile. I say this mainly because it has the 3.8 engine which is pretty much bulletproof. Just keep up all scheduled maintenance and the Pontiac will be around for years to come. Make sure the transmission is maintained as well.
My nephew still has the 1988 Bonneville that my wife and I gave him several years ago. We got it when my mother-in-law bought a new car over 10 years ago. He keeps it maintained and it’s past the 250K mark and going strong. As far as I know it’s only had a new alternator and water pump replaced on the engine.
In my local shoppping center there is a lady who decorates cakes (known as the “cake lady”) who drives a 1980 Pontiac Bonneville with nearly 300,000 miles on it. Her husband maintains it well, but does not go to extraordinary lengths to do so. Every weekend they take it out on a long enough trip to thoroughly warm it up and blow out the cobwebs.
So I think you have many years of happy motoring ahead of you. Don’t worry about parts in this case. Those GM cars were cookie cutter badge-engineered copies of each other. And wrecking yards will have enough body and trim parts.
I dunno, I got 530,000 out of my Buick that is largely the same car. Anymore it really isn’t how long they last but how long you want to put up with them and spend the upkeep money.
i was wondering how long i could expect to drive it. and how to keep it running as long as possiable becides regular oil change and fuel injector cleaner.
Do Pontiacs have a problem with fuel injectors?
They are usually a non maintenance item…unless you go to those fast oil change places who sell unsuspecting people those type of services.
Back to the orig question…Follow your owners manual as to what maintenance should be preformed and when. Drive it til the wheels fall off.
Use a premium synthetic oil in the engine. By this I mean one that meets the European specs for Audi, VW, Mercedes, BMW, etc. Just get the proper weight such as 5W30 and make sure it meets those specs and you should be just fine. As other suggest, don’t neglect the transmission fluid.
I have a 2003. It’s in the shop now and they can’t figure out what’s wrong with it. I feel kind of betrayed! I’m the only owner, always pampered it, gave it proper maintainence, fixed everything promptly etc…I planned on driving it 20 years! I guess some things just can’t be fixed and you just never know…
@Jenetix - click on the ‘New Discussion’ button (top right) and tell us what the problem is, maybe somebody here can help.
Yep, the first step in any repair or problem resolution is identification of the problem. If you can’t get that step done, not much can happen.
I’ve got a couple of friends with this type car. One owner got 300,000 miles on a supercharged 3800 engine and gave it to his college age son. The transmission was rebuilt once at about 225,000 miles but very little else except preventative maintenance. The others have between 150,000 to 250,000 miles.
With normal maintenance those 3.8L engines seem to be as bullet proof as small block Chevrolets. I have replaced several timing chains on engines with well over 200,000 miles that continued to run well for years.
Driving a car indefinitely as long as the body is solid, is possible with all cars. Just changing the motor oil doesn’t gurantee that you may still not keep it because the body rots or the AC or power windows are no longer worth fixing. There are so many things that go into keeping a car a long time, that motor oil changes and fuel injector cleaning are just a prt of the decision. If peripheral problems start piling up and are really expensive to fix, you WILL junk it regardless of the condition of the motor and injectors.
Too many of us are fixated on oil changes and motor maintenance, we don’t see the real picture of long term ownership. @Jenetix comments are a perfect example of the frustration felt when problems arise in older cars that have little to do with your maintenance. The two types of cars that our family kept for over 200 k miles and 10 to 15 years were either those with exceptional reliability record for all systems and/Or were " manual everything" with little to go wrong. I’m sorry to say, that some cars are very difficult to keep a long time, regardless of how well you maintain them. Their limited life expectancy is " engineered in".
Full European spec synthetic for this car is like putting track shoes on an elephant.
Back in the 1970s it seemed that no one sold a Dodge pickup because it was worn out. They just got tired of them wearing ruts in their driveways and annoyed at having to lift the door to get it to latch.
You really need to look at more maintenance, air filter, fuel filter, trans fluid change, possibly timing belt, alignment, coolant change, check belts, check hoses, change spark plugs, sure there are maintenance costs but usually they are less than repair costs.
Gotta agree with Barky. I used to just change things on a schedule to avoid problems on the road but you don’t always get everything. I always prefered to do repairs on my timetable rather than the cars.
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