Last post on Aug 22, 2012 at 5:37 PM
You are in the Pontiac Sunfire
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Pontiac Sunfire, Coupe
#136 of 388 New Engine Damage
Dec 25, 2005 (6:00 am)
I have a 2005 Sunfire. Mileage is about 12,000 miles.
On my recent trip to Heath,Ohio, I was coming down a Hill at the posted speed of 50 mph. At the foot of the slope speed became 35 mph, and a sign was posted " BUMP 200 yds". I reduced my speed to 35, but did not see the BUMP sign. At end of 200 yds was a Railway Track, and I went over the track, and my Sunfire jumped.
I heard ckunk sound, and thought that maybe I will have a flat tire. As it was cold, dark and a lonely road, I continued to go further about 1 1/2 miles to the Motel on the main road. Halfway, Red Engine Light came. But, as I could see my Motel, I thought it would be better to go slowly into Motel's parking lot and then check. I was inthe Center Lane, to make a left turn, and the Engine stalled. I restarted the car and parked in the Motel.
I parked the car overnight, as it was too dark. Next morning I started the car, and it started, but showed the Red Light on the Dash Board Panel. I drove it slowly across the road to fill up Oil. The light disappeared, but came back after 5 minutes.
I realized that I was loosing Engine Oil. I called GM Roadside Assistance. They towed my car to a Pontiac Dealer. The dealer checked and said the Oil Pan was damaged and needed replacement. This will cost $ 500.
I agreed to have it done. However, when I went to pick up the car, i was told that the Engine was making noise and they cautioned me against driving on the Highway to Detroit and then to Toronto. They suggested to change the Engine- cost $ 5,200. My Insurance Company agreed to pay for this , and the Engine was changed this week on Dec 21st. I took possession of the car on the 22nd.
I have some questions that baffle me:
1. Why are the Struts/Shocks not strong enough to withstand the shock at 35 mph.
2. Many cars go thru Pot Holes on Roads, worse then this Railway Track Bump.
I hear other parts of the car getting damage, but not the Engine.
3. I drove about one mile after the Bump, when the Engine Light came on. Then I drove another 1/2 a mile. Is this distance sufficient to ruin an Engine ?
4. Could my Engine damage be due to :
a. Defective Struts ?
b. Defective Engine ?
I trust that someone who has experience such an incidence would answer me ?
#137 of 388 Chalk it up to a lesson hard learned
Dec 25, 2005 (10:42 am)
may39: Well what happened to you is not all that uncommon. Happened to me many years ago as well.
Damage such as you had could happen at any speed and under the right conditions to most any vehicle. If the road clearance was such that your oil pan could contact an obstruction it would not really matter how fast you were going or how well the struts reacted to the "bump" It could be very possible to knock a hole in the pan even at 5mph!
No way I can see that the engine was defective. You should have stopped IMMEDIATELY whan that red warning light came on. The engine was "oil starved" and probably came close to seizure and most likely scored some bearings and cylinder walls.
consider youself lucky that your insurance paid for a engine replacement.
Those engine warning lights are there for a reason and should not be ignored. had it been a coolant loss you probably would have gotten away with driving a mile or so more but no oil is a no-no.
good luck in the future, Believer
#138 of 388 Re: Chalk it up to a lesson hard learned [beliver]
Dec 26, 2005 (8:41 am)
Thank You for your observation.
Now, my point is why is the suspension/or the struts not effective on such bumps ?
Are they too soft ?
#139 of 388 ABS light, noisy braking and pulling
Dec 27, 2005 (3:13 pm)
I must admit the ABS light has been on consistently for about 1 month now on my 2000 Sunfire ST. Up until yesterday no issues so I ignored the light. However, now I'm noticing noisy braking (grinding), and significant pulling to the right. Could my driver side caliper be sticking? If anyone has had this issue or knows any causes please let me know. Thanks
#140 of 388 Re: New Engine Damage [may39]
Dec 30, 2005 (10:22 pm)
Sunfire and it's twin the Cavalier are not known for oil pan failures due to oil pan design or any problem with suspension. Based on your post of what happened either your speed was excessive for the road conditions or the road conditions were very poor and this was the cause of the holed oil pan.
VW New Beetle, VW Golf and VW Jetta 1999-2005 are vehicles that have minimal ground clearance between oil pan and pavement and are known for frequent destroyed oil pans.
What I find most disturbing is the cost to replace the oil pan and the cost to replace the engine.
A new, complete 2.2L Ecotec crate engine may be purchased for less than $2000, a used less than 10K mile engine for $500, and oil pan is $100 or less and there is not $400 in labor to install it.
You are lucky that you had insurance.
#141 of 388 Re: Pontiac Sunfire [dissatisfied]
Jan 03, 2006 (5:24 pm)
I have had my crappy Pontiac Sunfire for 41/2 years now, only prob I have had with it is also the check engine light, it was due to a bad gas cap, spark plugs, bad oxygen sensor, etc... it has now also come on for the hundreth time, what to do, warranty is well overdue! Please give me more info about this lemon law!!
#142 of 388 Rear Passenger Side Door Replacement on 02 Sunfire?
Jan 16, 2006 (9:12 am)
I own a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire 4-door, automatic. This morning the rear passenger door had a run in with a very large truck (my fault...so stupid!) and is now cracked (about 2 1/2 inches long) and dented (most of the door). Does anyone know how I would go about replacing the door? (Only cosmetic damage, I know. I am very anal about how my car looks though...)
I feel so stupid. Gosh...
It's already a salvage title...before I bought it someone totaled it and this guy fixed it.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Gosh...I am soo stupid..I was trying to park..in a too small spot. GAH!
#143 of 388 Sunfire: Where is the horn?
Jan 21, 2006 (7:53 pm)
I have a Sunfire coupe 1995 and my horn does not work anymore. The fuse and the relay are fine. I cannot locate the horn !
Can you tell me where it is located and how to access it if possible. (I cannot lift the car though).
#145 of 388 Re: Pontiac Sunfire [hatemycar]
Feb 07, 2006 (2:32 pm)
I had the same problem a few years ago. Go back to the dealer and have them look for the service bulletin regarding a wiring harness, and get it replaced. It should be free.