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Pontiac Sunfire Starting and Stalling Problems



  • It's the battery I bought a new battery for my ponic at SAMs cluc n it was the solution. No more stalling.
  • jimd52jimd52 Posts: 3
    It sounds like the starter relay switch which is located on the drivers side rad support (if your car has one-some don't) It's about one inch square and two inches long with 4 leads. It costs about 37 bucks at the dealer- if they can find it. It's one of those GM after thoughts which isn't listed in the parts book. Use the part number instead. It has something to do with the anti theft curcuit as well, and is responsible for doing wierd things, like making the starter stick engaged, Just not turning over when you go to tart it, or the car suddenly cranking on it's own!
  • jimd52jimd52 Posts: 3
    Check to see if you have a starter relay switch bolted to the driver side rad support. it's a one in square relay with 4 lead terminal coming out the bottom. 10-1 that's your problem. It can cause a few wierd problems, the "dead starer", sticking starter, suddenly cranking on it's own, starting and stalling when you release the key- which is probaby the small black ground wire which runs from that relay to the starter housing. If that is broken or loose it will start but not run.
  • jimd52jimd52 Posts: 3
    Check if you have a small one inch square by 12 in long relay switch bolted to the drivers side rad support with a 4 lead terminal at the bottom. If you have this, it is most likely the problem. (Get a new one $37) If you don't have that relay, check your wires are tight on the starter selenoid which is right on top the starter. Check and clean battery posts.
  • This car has been sitting without being started for a few months. We tried a few weeks ago to start it, but it only cranked over. Appeared not to be firing. Today using starting fluid and spraying it in the throttle body it started, but then it dies. We tried this several times. It will start then die. I see both wires have been spliced on the top on the baffle that goes to the throttle body (on the top of the baffle). I'm not sure if that is a sensor or what. I will wire it back together. I'm wondering if we have a fuel pump issue here, or the key issue where you need to turn it on for 10-15 minutes and try to restart it. The battery is weak, but I have a good snap on jumper box attached to it trying to start it. Any ideas what will keep this car running?
  • lindseygjlindseygj Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Pontiac Sunfire. It has 130,000 Miles on it. When it starts it has been acting funny. It does not happen all of the time. Maybe 3-4 times a month. I will turn the key and it will sound like it's going to start and then it will back off and then it will start. This is the best way that I can explain it. I don't believe it is misfiring. Also, I have replaced the battery and the starter. I had the alternator and fuses checked as well. So far it has started every time but I really sounds like it isn't going to. I don't know if it is the wiring. I asked a bunch of mechanic friends if they had any idea but they don't seem to have a clue and everything they tell me sounds like bull. It was doing it before I changed my starter and then after I changed my starter it kept doing it but now it seems to be doing the same thing but sounds worse. It almost sounds like the battery starts everything but it dies before the engine can start but it keeps pushing and finally starts the car. I don't know what to do or any other way to describe it. Everything else is perfect about it. :cry: Please help me if you can. I just want to know what is wrong so that I can fix it.">
  • I suspected the fuel pump, and after replacing it, the car started right up. It was actually pretty easy to change out, too!
  • Could it possibly be your fuel pump going bad? These cars are common for fuel pumps failing. I just had to put one in a 2001 Sunfire. We could start it after spraying starting fluid in the throttle body, but it would die shortly after.
  • sounds like the fuel pressure regulator.its located on the fuel rail and is easy to fix.pull the vacum line off if gas comes out its bad.
  • I have a 01 Pontiac sunfire the engine tries to turn over but no spark. I have replace the plugs, wires, and coil pack/ignition control module. Any help would be appreciated.
  • kabeekabee Posts: 1
  • greuworgreuwor Posts: 1
    I had a similar issue, and it turned out to be a loose wire in the steering column.
  • sunfire_04sunfire_04 Posts: 1
    edited June 2013
    I have a rough idle in my 04 sunfire at times you can be sitting idling find then she bounces and or stalls..we have replaced, multiple censors, coil pack, plugs, throttle body, air filter, we have fixed some codes but still have random misfires on cylinders 2,3 and 4 none on 1 and a code for her running rich? Very frustrated any ideas? :cry:
  • jenfreyjenfrey Posts: 1
    I really hope you found an answer to this! I also have a 2002 Sunfire that just started not starting sporadically? I brought it to autozone... They said bad battery... Brought to Midas... They said alternator was bad. Replaced alternator... Fixed problem for 2 days. Yesterday... Car wouldn't start again? Midas looked at it, and said, " no idea it starts fine now, just drive it till it does it again."
    I travel for my job, and a dead car at the sketchy airport is not an option!
    Review: good battery, new alternator, good starter
    Any info would truly be appreciated!
  • kikipotskikipots Posts: 1
    PLEASE HELP.... i have an 04 sunfire. I noticed recently that it would have trouble starting i put some fuel injector cleaner in it. Then it stalled out on me twice then it just wouldn't start. I replaced the fuel filter and i know its not my fuel pump so i went into electrical. i replaced my plugs and wires and even the coil pack and module and still wont start. I also did a compression test and the readings came out great so my engine isn't blown is there anyone that can help.

  • euphorbia said:

    I have a 96 Sunfire 2.4 (4 speed automatic) with 140,000 miles on it. It has been an awesome car since new. Recently it has been stalling when I brake from high speed and make a right turn. I notice that the tach falls below 500 rpm at those times and I can hear a clicking sound coming from the engine compartment (sounds like it is coming from the firewall just right of center). Does anybody have any experience with what might be the cause? I have replaced the throttle position sensor with no change in condition.


    I have not tried this personally, but I have read it on other car forums that these cars are known for their automatic transmissions to have their clutch hang up at high speed for any extended period of time. The solution that I read was something like the Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid and fluid and filter change to correct the problem. I haven't tried it yet cause I am working on figure out the knocking sound coming from my engine first. It revs up with the engine, but then it will rattle so I don't think that it's a rod. anybody have any ideas?
  • 1fastsnfr said:

    i have a 96 2.2 5spd sunfire, and its giving me alot of trouble. it will run fine until the engine is warm, then it will spit and miss, then die. while its missing, the tach will go all wonky, and the speedo will jump around. when it dies, it won't start for like an hour or so! i've already changed the igniti0on module, coil packs, fuel pressure reg., and fuel pump. in fact, after i put yhe fuel pump in, it acted crazy, and now it won't strat at all! is this an electrical problem, or something i can fix easy? PLEASE HELP! i love this little car, and id hate to have to get rid of it because i can't fix it! :cry:

    I know that u said that u already had changed it, but it sounds just like your ignition control module has gone bad again. these cars are notorious for this. just an idea.
  • wiresman said:

    :sick: Dude my daughter has a 2001 that is doing the same thing, she thought the trans was going out. I drove it and it runs fine, excellent power, no idle problems, but if you cruise with it at any speed then it starts missing and sometimes violently it usually drops 1000 RPM, does it in 4th or 3rd but not when I put it in neutral and hold rpms the same, or when I let off throttle completely. It only misses bad while steady cruising, I can wiggle the accelerator up and down a bit while cruising and it wont miss at all. The big prob for me is that no CEL or MIL is coming on. It has only 54,000 miles on it ! oh yeah its a 2001 Sunfire 4 Dr, 4spd auto with 2.2 OHV engine, no wonder I got it cheap. She is scared to drive it and doesnt have money to have shop fix it. So if you fixed your problem please clue me in, thanks. I usually NEVER have shop repair any vehicle of mine but I fear I may be becoming time and technically challenged :). I am figuring a vacuum leak (although I can't hear one with hose, and starting fluid didnt change idle either), or sensor feedback resulting in a lean condition, but no MIL and only 53,000 miles? I appreciate all and any replies in advance ! Thank You ! OBD II....doesnt know jack! :lemon:

    I'm not sure if you ever figured out what your problem was or not, but I have been told that the clutch will hang up in the auto transmissions and cause that problem. Someone told me to change the TCC Solenoid and fluid and filter and it should fix the problem. I haven't done it yet because I a working on the knocking sound coming from under the valves and trying to figure that out. Thought I would holler at you just in case you were still wondering and haven't tried that yet. Let me know if you ever did figure it out please. Thanx.
  • I have a 1996 sunfire. The book says 95 and 96 are compatible. Doesn't matter if it's 2.2 or a 2.4.  I had a steady red theft system light.  My theft system light will not turn off.  I could start it with starting fluid so I knew I had spark.  I month prior my alternator and battery went out...your pcm controls it. I replaced it, month later I had a bad missfire. Replaced all the sensors, all the fuel injectors. The ignition module, the fuel rail knock sensor, cam sensor, everything besides the pcm.  I finally pulled the pcm which is in the passenger side wheel well... it was cracked wideopen from corrosion. I pulled a pcm out of a 96 cavalier 2.2 ( I have. 2.4) put it in ( I swapped the knock sensor module, cover on the pcm) tried to start it and it fired up and shut off. I waited the 10 min as the theft light blinked and it went solid. I started it up and it now runs....
  • carguy2016carguy2016 Posts: 2
    edited September 2015
    Forgot to say that my car just died in a blizzard...water got in the pcm.  Tried every fix from every would not run...putting a new pcm and swapping the knock sensor module and letting it sit for 10 min fixed everything!!!! Email me at [Email removed] for questions
  • Hi All, I've recently bought a 1998 Sunfire SE with 95k on the clock. She was fine until about a week ago, now whenever I start the engine it fails to start sometimes, it fires but almost seems like it's stalling straight away. There's also a very odd niuse coming from the steering column area, almost like a kind of buzzing but not quite. After one, two or maybe three tries is fires up and if I apply gas starught away she fires up and should be fine. This happens 9/10 times I start her up! Also the horn doesn't work :sick: Any advice would be greatly appreciated! S x
    You could be having a problem with ur PASSLOCK System.Mine is a 2000 Sunrise 2.2L & my horn hadn't worked since we bought it. One day, I decided to take the steering column/wheel apart, as far as where the airbag is, & the horn had disconnected itself so you might want to try that. Mine is doing the same thing that yours is as far as not wanting to start or stay running. I just found out that I had a broken throttle body bolt which could have caused a vacuum leak and it is running very rich so I'm hoping that this will fix my problem. I will post when I have an answer. Good luck....
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