Last post on May 10, 2013 at 2:05 PM
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Pontiac Sunfire, Coupe, Convertible
#179 of 304 battery/alternator problems
Feb 01, 2009 (11:26 pm)
I bought a 1996 pontiac sunfire last year, the previous owner said he had replaced the motor mounts, water pump, and brakes. It ran great except for it getting hot when at idle for long periods of time, a few months later had to replace the radiator due to a major crack. Before that had to get a new rotor and all the brakes replaced. Now today when i started the car the battery light was on, went to the gas station filled the car up and got back on the road no problem other then the battery light and now brake light was on, took the highway home and the longer i drove the more the power in the car went, first the radio sputtered in and out then finally just quit, then the dash lights and head lights got dimmer til they were out but the car was still running, didn't stop at all til i pulled in my parking lot and the car died right as i put it in park. The dome light would still work just a little dimmer then usual so the battery cant be all the way dead. Anyone have any ideas? reading on here i think it's the alternator and am going to get it checked in the morning, any other ideas? any help will be greatly appreciated!!
#180 of 304 Re: Stalling Sunfire [jaxbuddy]
Feb 03, 2009 (12:41 am)
Had similar problem with my 2001 pontiac grand prix. Dealership changed crank shaft sensor but it didn't solve problem. Check when vehicle stalls if vehicle blows black smoke out of exhaust pipes. Car stalls when trying to accelerate, especially at a red light. P0118 engine coolant temperature sensor high input. I changed the Engine coolant temperature sensor , located under the large hose that connects from the radiator to the engine on the right side. It's at a slight angle under the radiator hose connecting to the engine block. Very hard to get to. Problem solved. Cost $15 bucks at autozone. I have been having this problem for over a year. I hope this information helps.
#181 of 304 96 sunfire starting problem
Feb 04, 2009 (8:31 pm)
I have a 96 pontiac sunfire, 2.2 L engine with 110,000 miles. It will start up perfectly fine from a cold state, but doesn't like to start when the engine is warm.
When I try to start the engine while warm, it will turn over normally but it won't fire. When the car does eventually fire, the engine will catch, shudder and chug as if it is not getting enough gas. Then the car will jerk and stall out.
If I press the gas pedal when the engine fires, I can push through the chugging, stuttering stage and the engine will stay running but the idle will be very rough.
If I let the car sit for couple hours after it was warmed up, (so the engine is cool again) it will start up normally.
I have had new plugs and wires installed.
Fuel pump tested o.k.
Fuel Filter replaced.
Crank shaft sensor replaced.
I had the entire fuel system and spark plugs thouroughly cleaned.
I have invested over $1000 in the car and it still has this problem. Does anyone know what is going on? I would really appreciate any input as I am really not in a situation where I can afford to buy a new car.
Thanks so much!
#182 of 304 Re: 97 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L Stalling and Rough Running [seamusz]
Feb 16, 2009 (3:19 pm)
I have a 96 Sunfire 2.2L, same symptoms after my wife ran out of gas. I tried replacing the map sensor, fuel filter, 02 sensor, none of which worked. So I read online that the PCM chips are known to have water leaks that can toast it. I pulled it out, and it looked just fine. Rubber seal looked ok, no water damage. Even pulled out the chip itself from the PCM case and it seemed ok. Put it back together and it started running just fine. Took a little time for the PCM to readjust the settings, but has been purring like a kitten ever since. My guess is that some of the logic in the chip goes wonky when you run out of gas. By pulling it out and putting it back in I think it essentially did a system reboot. Not sure if disconnecting the battery is enough to clear the chip or not, but you might try that first. The one thing I will say is make sure you're properly grounded when touching the chip because it's static sensitive. But see if this fixes it, as it won't cost you anything but a little time if you do it yourself.
#183 of 304 97 Sunfire Gt
Feb 18, 2009 (7:47 pm)
I have two problems that I need help with, one is do they make an AC bypass pulley for the 2.4 engine, my AC clutch is grinding, but I don't use my AC and think it would be easier to install a bypass than to replace the clutch.
My second problem is intermittent, when I am driving a highway speeds, in any conditions, with or without cruise control, the engine rpms will drop to around 1500rpm. It is for less than a second, then it returns to normal. It happens about once a month, and fuel tank level does not affect it. Any ideas what would cause this? I have replaced the fuel filter, and plugs.
#184 of 304 Re: 96 sunfire starting problem [bauekel]
Feb 18, 2009 (7:51 pm)
Trouble warm starts are usually the fuel pressure regulator. Especially if the fuel pump has been ruled out. Usually I'll rule out the pressure regulator before looking at the pump.
About $50 at any auto parts store. Located on the fuel rail right on top of the engine. Consult your Chilton's; easy fix.
#185 of 304 Re: 97 Sunfire Gt [gzalesky]
Feb 18, 2009 (8:40 pm)
"...it would be easier to install a bypass than to replace the clutch."
Cheaper but probably not easier. Pulling an a/c compressor and it's related components is never easy. I guess that's a matter of opinion though. Also consider that other than a bypass pulley not being made for the 2.4L, it would only be about $40-50 cheaper than a clutch.
"...the engine rpms will drop to around 1500rpm."
Does the vehicle physically slow with the RPM drop or does the automatic trans upshift causing the drop? What RPM are you running before the drop? Is the trans sticking in third while occasionally wandering into overdrive?
Just a guess without driving it; I'd say 3-4 shift servo. Sounds like it needs to go to a trans shop. I'm more familiar with the 4L60E in GM light trucks than these little guys, but if GM does anything consistently that overdrive servo has gone bad.
#186 of 304 2001 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2l won't start
Feb 25, 2009 (6:47 am)
I need some help.
My son has a 2001 Pontiac Sunfire. The car worked great up until about a month ago. He started having problems where the car would start to lose power and stall when he was going slow or at a stop light. I am in Canada and we thought that maby his gas was freezing up so we put some methalhydrate in his gas tank. It helped for about a week then it started doing the same thing again.
We decided to change that battery as the car got so when it did not start he would require a boost. That helped for about another week.
Now even with the new battery and a boost we can not get his car running at all. The odd time with a boost my husband can get it started but it will not keep going then it just will not start again with a boost.
He borrowed a error code reading machine from a friend but the car is not putting out any codes. He has tested the battery conections. Does anyone have a solution for our problem it is getting annoying. My husband is mechanicaly inclined but everything he checks appears fine. Does anyone have any suggestions please.
#187 of 304 Re: battery/alternator problems [whatdidigetn2]
Feb 26, 2009 (11:35 pm)
Don't let me get started with my sunfire. I have a 96 sunfire 2.2 engine I replaced the alternator 5 times since I bought it in 2001. Mine did the same thing every time (lights dimming, all lights coming on.) I asked my Mechanic why and he said these cars are known to go through alternators. Also These cars and the Cavaliers, BonnieVille, grand am, and the grand prix are all known to have problems with the blower motor resistors going out. I have a sunfire, brother has a cavalier, two friends with cavalier, and one friend with a grand prix. All of us had same problem. The heat started going out one setting at a time. Till finally #4 went out and the heat/ac would not come on. If it ever happens to you, you can repair it yourself. you need a 5/8 or 5/5 socket and a ratchet and ext. a swivel would be better. Drop the blower motor out and right behind it you will find the resistor, remove the two bolts and pop new one in. I'm sick of mine, in the last month I put new ball joint driver side, new brakes & rotors in front, new caliper passenger, new trans mount, cv boot, rear struts, now I need new motor mounts, omg what else.
#188 of 304 Re: 2001 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2l won't start [debnb]
Mar 02, 2009 (12:20 pm)
Thank You my husband figured out what the problem was cost was about a couple bucks and couple hours of his time. car now works great