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Pontiac Sunfire Starting and Stalling Problems



  • read on one of your fixes you gave someone key turn how to do could you send me email on how to do this ive tried all kinds of things start some time and not other times thanks forward to peachstateboi please
  • my sons 99 sunfire cranks but does not start. he has changed the fuel filter and pump but when he turns the key on there is no fuel pump running. where should he go from here?
  • it might have jumped time, thats what happend to mine
  • got gas came home, car will turn over but won't start now, no other problems.
  • After reading every one else's problems, I can relate.

    My 98 Sunfire was running perfectly fine. On Christmas Eve, pulled up to a red light on the Boulevard and it stalled. After 15 mins of investigation, hit the ignition switch and it magically started. Went to Advance Auto, they put a computer on it to read my computer and it said that the CrankShaft A Sensor was bad. Bought one just in case for later replacement. Had no problems the rest of the night, finished my Christmas shopping and all was well.

    3 days later began to "sputter, rear and jerk" while I was driving it. Got it to the garage and replaced the CrankShaft A Sensor.. Worked fine didn't seem to have a problem whatsoever.

    Yesterday, it made it 6 miles and just shut off. Started again, made it another 3 miles and that is exactly where it sat. The garage put the computer on it again, and it said that it was the crankshaft sensor. In the meantime, after cranking on it to attempt to get it started the starter went out.

    The starter was put on, the cam sensor replaced drove it home... didn't make it but 4 miles and it shut off again... Same problem! To cover all bases, replaced the Coil pack module this time.

    So with this being said, the Crankshaft Sensor, the Cam Sensor, the Starter, and the Coil Pack Module have been replaced.

    It seems when the temperature begins to go up to normal running temp, it starts this. When it's cold it works fine.

    So, what now? Any suggestions, besides junking it???
  • onelexonelex Posts: 2
    im glad ur car got fixed! im having similar problems,i changed the fuel pump,iac sensor,map sensor and the crank sensor,replaced the all hoses that where cracked or just not looking good! i took the spark plugs out cleaned them,had the ignition module checked it was good! changed the fuel pressure regulator,put the original radio back in the car,the radio is working. i tried to start it up and it feels like it has more strengh but it still wont start!! what is going on i cant keep guessing! and if i could i dont know what else to do! doc can you help? i have a 1996 pontiac sunfire gt...
  • onelexonelex Posts: 2
    look at ur car book if u have one if not look up pontiac and there is a way to unlock the radio and keep it unlocked it just has to deactivated,or u can call pontiac the can connect you to a tech tat will help u!!
  • Did you have any luck with this? Believe it or not...same exact problem and the mechanic replaced the same things except the starter....No idea what to do next...Amazing...
  • Some of y'all might be interested in this, as I posted about it awhile back- this is the instructions direct from the manufacture in relation to the anti-theft reset problem I had- and everyone else has probably run into by now. You can go back and see how long ago we fixed my problem. I'm up to 177,000 miles now and I love my car!!! I wouldn't take anything for it at this point... now only if the driver side window was still working! :)

    --- Here's the instructions ---

    In order for a theft deterrent vehicle to run, a password is communicated between the Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC) and the PCM. If a PCM (ECM) is replaced, the new PCM (ECM) needs to learn the correct password of the vehicle. When the new PCM is installed, the EEPROM calibration is flashed into the new PCM and the vehicle will learn the new password upon initial ignition ON. If the IPC is replaced, the PCM needs to learn the new password from the PC. The password learn procedure is as follows:

    Attempt to start vehicle, then leave the ignition ON. The THEFT SYSTEM telltale will flash for 10 minutes .
    When the THEFT SYSTEM telltale stops flashing, start the vehicle. Once the vehicle is running, the password is learned.

    * Just my observation here, it's really going to be beneficial to have your factory radio installed to do this, as I don't know if you could even tell what's going on without it and its red flashing anti-theft light. By now it's just a couple extra steps to take your aftermarket out, put your factory back in, then once this reprogram is done, you can put your aftermarket back in.
    I will also tell you- I was uneasy installing an aftermarket radio after all the problems we had, but the key is a high quality wiring harness for your Pontiac. My 2000 Sunfire was the first year Pontiac went to this new fangle idea of putting the "brain" of the car inside the factory radio. So, where a lot of folks can go to Wal-Mart and get one for $10 I didn't have that luxury. I can say with all the confidence in the world to go with the Pac-Audio "Radio Replacement" (as they now call it) It's the only one that "Maintains a "healthy" status on the Class II databus" aka tells your PCM (ECU) that all is good. These items are costly ($100ish)- in fact they might cost more than the aftermarket radio itself, but don't make the same mistake I did and get a cheapo version- that's what caused my $1,000+ headache in the first place. And go ahead and google replacing your factory radio with a new factory radio, and be prepared for a real shocker! Currently, I can gladly say I've been using my aftermarket radio with my Pac-Audio piece now for months without any kind of issue what-so-ever. I'm not affiliated with this company, but I really should be. I will say I keep my factory radio in the trunk of my car just in case my aftermarket would ever be stolen, as I don't know if these cars would even run without the radio in there or not!

    Good luck to all- and if anyone has any questions please feel free to ask away! :shades:
  • I'm going tell you, I would seriously consider getting a new ECM (computer) and checking out my post below on the key-turn dance you have to do for the anti-theft reset.

    Salvage yards might be a good starting point- I got my replacement at the Pull-A-Part for $32ish, O Reilly was able to flash it for me for $75, so one more $100 was annoying yes, but it turned out to be what fixed it for me.

    You could also get the whole package at O Reilly, and I think it was less than $200 for the computer (ECM) that was already flashed for my car.

    See just putting the factory radio back in didn't cut it for us, because the damage had already been done to the computer. Looking back, it was pretty obvious that something was going to be squirrely with this by the sheer fact that Best Buy wouldn't sell me any radio install parts, for fear of lawsuit.

    Out of all the things my husband changed, poked, prodded, replacing the ECM was by far the easiest, so you shouldn't have any trouble swapping it out.

    Good luck with it- let me know if it this helps!!!
  • i have a 2000 sunfire sedan. i just did a long road trip from canada to florida. didn't have problems before. but now my car has problems starting cold and doesn't real speed up when pressing the gas. the engine light is on. the motor still runs quit but u can hear the sputter from the tail pipe and my motor shakes. i had already changed the spark plugs and wire harness. it ran great the whole drive. just the next morning i started having that trouble. what can it be...?
  • Yes i have had my 96 sunfire do the same thing found out it to be the PCM i replaced it and all my troubles went away (its located on the passenger side in the wheel well)
  • Seriously, I would go with the ECM/PCM theory first. Don't be afraid of this, because dealers will make you think it will cost a fortune to get one.
    Not true, ed_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem35a72ce64aQQitemZ230438004298QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fT- ruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories
    $83 shipped on ebay, and already flashed to your vin number.
    It's very easy to replace compared to the countless other items we tried fixing first.
    Once you get it, you need to follow these instructions:

    In order for a theft deterrent vehicle to run, a password is communicated between the Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC) and the PCM. If a PCM (ECM) is replaced, the new PCM (ECM) needs to learn the correct password of the vehicle. When the new PCM is installed, the EEPROM calibration is flashed into the new PCM and the vehicle will learn the new password upon initial ignition ON. If the IPC is replaced, the PCM needs to learn the new password from the PC. The password learn procedure is as follows:

    Attempt to start vehicle, then leave the ignition ON. The THEFT SYSTEM telltale will flash for 10 minutes .
    When the THEFT SYSTEM telltale stops flashing, start the vehicle. Once the vehicle is running, the password is learned.
    There's a good chance this is the problem, and if it is it's really a simple fix, we've all just be taught to think "car computer problems" must mean spending a fortune on fixing!

    Good luck- let us know!
  • monaemonae Posts: 1
    Until 2 weeks ago my Sunfire ran great (almost 30 MPG) and gave me no problems. It has less than 70,000 miles (25K more than when I bought it 1 1/2 ago). Twice it acted like it was starting, not hesitating cranking sounds, but nothing happened. It was like I hadn't turned the key. Then last week after making a turn it just died. On the third try, it started and drove fine the 7 miles home. I took to my mechanic and after 45 miles, several starting and ideling for 30 minutes, they could find nothing. Oil and fuel pressures perfect. All connections fine. I drove less than 1.5 miles and it died again. And again started on second or third try. I have been told everything from fuel pump to short in the car somewhere. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • trpd5trpd5 Posts: 1
    I would check for bad wiring down by your PMC
  • vickiecvickiec Posts: 3
    it was running fine yesterday quit today Help
  • vickiecvickiec Posts: 3
    It was running good , So I thought it just will not start today I dont know what could of happend over night but it did.. I am A single mom with one car if some one could Help I would be Thankful..
  • vickiecvickiec Posts: 3
    some one said it could be the brain is that true...
  • i parked my lastnight and when i started today morning it is not getting started. i tried jumper cable ,if my battery is not good but didnt work. Gas tank is half full.
    can anybody help me? i really dont know ABCD of Auto.
  • The main problem is we have now replaced the Catalytic Converter 2 times now in this care. One time in Dec 2008 and just today. You can be driving the car and all of a sudden it starts to spudder then will shut off, the weird thing is it will start right back up? We had to have the Catalytic Converter replaced this time so it would pass inspection, we were told that since engine light was on and computer said this was the problem it had to be done to pass inspection. Has anyone else out there have problems with 2000 Pontic Sunfire? If you did please let me know what you did to fix this. We are about ready to get rid of this money pit soon. We only drove it about 1200 miles in the last 2 years.
  • tremorztremorz Posts: 2
    yesterday my 03 sunfire started sounding a bit gurgly when at an idle, to it down the highway and it performed well. At the bottom of the exit ramp heard the gurgly and a bit of a jerky motion will sitting with the brake applied, reached my destination in less then a mile and there was no clearing out the gurgle and the slight jumping it was doing , and yes i could see it in the rpm gauge it almost never bounces , but it was slightly.\r\ngot back in it an hour later and the low idle gurgle and jumping was still there took it back down the highway and performed just fine, same issues at the next exit. took it home and had another person move it for me and it was progressivly worse, had a neighbor look at it and we listened to the engine, sounds fine under the hood, but not in the cab, he suggested that it go on a machine and see if any codes are coming up on it , no dash lights appeared .
    decided to move it up on the driveway , which has a slight incline to it and as i was backing it up it stalled out. now it will not start at all , but cranks over like it wants to. i had no choice but to drag it down to an auto shop and have it put on a computer this morning and no codes are coming up on it and no dash lights are coming on, no check engine, oil, appears from the computer check and my problem guages that it has no issue, but will not start, and yes there is over half a tank in it. not sure where to go next from here ??!!?? the plugs were found to be fouled out and were replaced but still will not turn over.... :confuse: any ideas?
  • I have this 2002 sunfire which was sitting for about 6 months. I put some gas in it as well as some gas tank cleaner stuff. Then I charged the battery because it was dead, and turned it over fine. Got insurance for it about 5 days later and then went to turn it over and nothing, so I checked the battery eye and it was dead. I bought a new battery yesterday and it turned over just fine, I ran it for about 10 minutes and even drove it down the street. I turned it off and 1 minute later turned it back on no problem. I went upstairs for about 45 minutes and came down to go get dinner and nothing, it wouldn't turn over the dash lights were all blinking dully and then I noticed the light switch was on. So I turned it off and turned the switch off and tried again, but I still didn't hear the fuel pump engage nor did the starter click at all. Even if the lights were left on for 45 minutes there is no way in hell the battery should be dead it is brand new. When I turn the key I get nothing at all now. Can someone please help me as I have no idea what to do?????? :mad: :cry: :sick:
  • cpeliscpelis Posts: 1
    edited May 2010
    i have a 95 pontiac sunfire 2.2L 5 speed manual that needs an exhaust. I have had problems with it idoling funny and extra loud when it is hot outside. it also spudders and shakes when im driving like it is running out of gas. i just replaced the fuel filter and no luck. sometimes if i excellerate very slowly it wont do the shaking and spuddering.... any ideas whats wrong???
  • I have a 1997 Pontiac Sunfire that stalls when the outside temperature gets to high. It is a 2.2L, 5 speed, with 235,000 miles. I have had a computer plugged up and only saw a misfire on the codes. I have replaced all plugs, wires, and coil packs. The engine runs perfect until the temperature outside gets hot, maybe 80 or better. During winter months it is fine and at night also. It is a very strange mystery. When it stalls it trys to keep running but it sounds like a engine that is choking down. When you cut it off and let cool for 10 min or so it will crank and run fine till it warms up again. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • dulinaadulinaa Posts: 10
    Sounds electrical. Does the car just stall the engine, or cut all power completely? The heats causing an open circuit somewhere. with the high miles, i would check for any engine control relays(i.e ignition, injection, ECU, main) and replace them, fairly cheap. Is the Check Engine light on? Scan it. After that, a possible sensor is breaking down from the heat, take it to a trained professional. worst case is the Engine Control Unit is malfunctioning.
  • jeffs47jeffs47 Posts: 2
    First the battery light, then the abs light, then the gauges going crazy, then the stall, a new battery and 2 good hours before the final shutdown. Is it an ecm or an oxygen solenoid sensor, or should I warm up the bike?
  • jeffs47jeffs47 Posts: 2
    I've had the same problems. Who knows how to do the antitheft key turns? Can it be disabled? How much does it cost. Too cheap to buy a new car.
  • ladyvicladyvic Posts: 1
    I have an 05 pontiac sunfire with a little over 50,000 miles on it. About a month after I got it, which was at about 5,000 miles, The ABS, Trac light and service light started coming on. Took the car in at least 15 times, the only problem they found was the wheel sensor. Still having the same problem til this day. The car will sometimes sputter or shut off when backing up while turning the wheel. Nobody can seem to find the problem. I'm tired of paying $40.00 each time for diagnostics. Also if I slam on the brakes which happened to me twice, the brakes seem to act like they're not in the right position as I feel it thru the pedal. I don't know what to do anymore about it.. of course the warranty is over... Please help someone :cry:
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Ladyvic,
    I apologize that you are still experiencing a concern with your vehicle. Can you please email me your VIN, current mileage, contact info and dealership so I can look into this further? You can get my email by clicking on gmcustsvc. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • sam1971sam1971 Posts: 1
    I have a 2 door 1999 sunfire which I just replaced both oxygens sensors only to still have the same problem, Rums like a charm till you go to take a turn ot apply the break. then shuts off. sometime you can smella burning smell like coolant and the temp gauage goes up and the ets light comes on before stalling. Does anyone know what the problem could be?
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