Last post on Jul 17, 2013 at 4:00 PM
You are in the Pontiac Sunfire
What is this discussion about?
Pontiac Sunfire, Electrical
#84 of 173 fell in a hole..
Feb 04, 2008 (11:35 am)
Just bought a 2000 pontiac sunfire SE last week, lucky me. Got it for a pretty cheap price, especially since it has 160K on the odometer. Runs fairly sound for the mileage and the engine is in check. However, aside from routine repairs like getting a couple blinkers replaced, I have found that my instrument cluster panel (i.e. all the guages) does not light up, at all. Additionally, neither does the odometer. I had it checked at a pontiac dealer garage (yea, expensive but they know their stuff) and found that they need to rip into the dash and rework computer/wiring behind there-- total cost of labor and parts: over 500 (total divided equally between labor/parts). Naturally, the quote was declined because I am merely a college student on limited funds. So, all that was done was that the computer was reprogrammed and they said that it will work now, but that it may shut off at any time in the future. In other words, I probably need to tote along a flashlight in the car at night "just in case."
Question is: has anyone else had an issue such as this? If so, where did you get it fixed and how much did it cost you?? I personally think I am getting screwed in the whole matter, at least with repect to the labor costs.
#85 of 173 Left rear signal bulb always busted
Feb 09, 2008 (6:29 pm)
I have a 97 Pontiac Sunfire SE. My left signal light went out, so I had it replaced. Just a day after, it stopped working again. I put a new bulb on Thursday, and now, Saturday, it's busted yet again. It has a burnt smell, and the plastic at the bottom of the bulb seemed to have melted. What could the problem be? Any input would be much appreciated! Thank you! (By the way, I went to Autozone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly, looking for a socket, just in case that would solve the problem, and none of them carry the left signal socket.)
#86 of 173 Misunderstood Sunfire
Feb 12, 2008 (8:12 am)
Ok so here we are I have an 2002 sunfire with 71000 miles on it and i've been having electrical issues. I took the car in because the battery was always drained and i was told it needed an alternator. I had the alternator replaced and still the same issue. I had the alternator changed again and the battery. Still the same. The i had a pcm and some wiring done. I was told there a short some where . Still same issues now the check engine light, trac off light and service lights are on and the car still starts as if the battery is almost dead! Can anyone help me?
#87 of 173 Re: Misunderstood Sunfire [confused02]
Feb 15, 2008 (12:53 pm)
Sometimes a "short" or "grounded out" wire is not actually the problem, when it could seem like it's obviously it. a poorly grounded negative can be just as bad, if not worse causing harm to alternators, batteries, ignitions, computers, basically everything. Here's what you can do.
If you have any experience with electrical, and a voltage meter, then this could be easy. If you don't, then I'll try to explain it to you so you can explain it to someone else so they can say "wow that's easy."
Since you have a new alternator and a new battery, this should help you find out EXACTLY what's wrong with it and you can save a LOT of money with costly "let's see if this works" type repairs.
First off, take the voltometer, (not a test light, those are pointless at this point) and test the voltage of the battery with the engine off, between the two terminals. If it's above 11, you're fine. Wait an hour, then check the voltage again, if it has gone down say... more than half a volt, you've got a short circuit. if it hasn't changed more than a few hundreths of a volt, then so far so good.
Start the vehicle, and leave it running for the duration of these tests.
2. Test the voltage between the two battery terminals. If it's more than 13.8, you're ok, 14 and up is preferred. lower than 12 indicates a dead alternator, dead/dying battery, or a big electrical problem if those have been replaced already. If this is the case, bring your car to a parts store, most of them like Advance Auto and such will test these for free. If the voltage difference is below 13.5 it means you could have a bad ground or charging wire somewhere so we move on to step 3.
(Keep engine running)
3. Now comes the fun part, test between the alternator's positive terminal, the one separate red wire coming off of the alternator housing, and the positive terminal on the battery. If there's a difference of more than .1 volts there's a problem with that wire. It's the one that charges the battery, and a common culprit.
4. Test between the frame (any unpainted bolt on the frame will do for this) and the negative battery terminal. Once again, a .1 volt difference is bad. This means that the negative battery terminal is not properly grounded to the frame.
After that, test between the negative battery terminal and the engine block to test that wire. Just make sure it's an unpainted surface when testing.
Lastly for the ground wires, test between the alternator housing and negative battery terminal. You're basically looking for a sharp increase in the voltage difference to indicate that the electricity isn't flowing between any of the grounded parts, the negative terminal, frame, engine, and alternator housing.
I replaced my battery, and my alternator, and the garages said "everything seems fine" but THIS was how I found out that I had a bad ground wire which gave me an increase in everything electrical after I fixed it, and solved the problems.
If it's not the wires, and you're getting 14+ volts between battery terminals, with less than the indicated differences in voltage, then the problem is not with your charging system, the electricity isn't getting to the spark plugs correctly. Ignition Coils on these go fairly quickly, but if you haven't replaced the spark plugs and wires yet, I'd go with that first, then get the ignition coil looked at if the problem persists.
Hope this helped, I had 2 dealerships and a garage tell me "generic electrical problems" and one gave me a huge estimate, but I fixed the problem myself with a 7 dollar cable from a parts store. If you're not having the same problem I did, then at least you know what it's not without having to "replace first, figure out problem later."
#88 of 173 Re: Rear speakers; 1 or both have a short? [sunfireb]
Feb 28, 2008 (9:51 pm)
coming from exp of installing audio systems it could be a short considering stock speakers are usually pieces of junk or just some loose wires i would up grade just go to walmart and get some new ones there probably going to be about 30-45 bucks but the extra money is worth it
they will last and the sound will be so much better
#89 of 173 heating problems
Mar 11, 2008 (4:01 pm)
where is the thermostat on my 2001 sunfire 2.2 L
#90 of 173 Re: heating problems [brian52]
Mar 16, 2008 (5:23 am)
uhm i would start with following the hoses off of my radiator maybe? one of them might just lead you to it wouldnt one think?
Apr 07, 2008 (11:12 am)
I have a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire and there is a loud thumping sound in the dashboard above the glove compartment. this happens the entire time the car is on. Doesnt matter if the heat/air is on or off.
#92 of 173 97 sunfire 2.4 electrical power lose
Apr 15, 2008 (2:59 pm)
car runs fine
but when u switch from park to drive theres a small power drain i can see with the dash lights
and then when u first touch the gas pedal its even a more of a power lose but the car still runs fine
on my dash when this all happens my day lights flash my stereo turns on and off my brake light comes on air bag light and seat belt light. then after a couple of seconds everything is fine.....or if a hit a bump in the road... i know it seems like a short... but were im thinking around the trany or the trany ground... any ideas?
#93 of 173 abs light is on
May 02, 2008 (3:27 am)
how do you change the back abs sensor on a 2001 sunfire 2.2 liter