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Pontiac Sunfire Starting and Stalling Problems



  • I just got out of the hospital. the abs or something withthe breaks is messed up sometimes they will click and i have to hit them a few times to work. about 3 weeks ago the weather was fine. coming up on a stop sign i pressed the breaks and it was like i was on ice. there was clicking ten i hit the breaks 4xs before it would work. well i had the car fixed. it scared the kids half to death. i paid $800 to get the body fixed but no problems were found with the breaks. me ans 2 of the kids just got out of the hospital. i hit the break 4 or 5 times and the didnt work at al then the car started jurking real bad right before we slammed into a truck and was taken to the hospital. now the car is probally totaled. im on work comp we have 9 kids now with no car and no chance of getting a loan bc my credit jackedup w unpaid dr bills from work comp. any ideas on the breaks. a lot of the time tracking and abs lights will pop on
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Jamn4kids,
    I apologize that you had an accident. Can you please email me your contact information, dealership, VIN, mileage and best time to contact you? You can get my email by clicking on gmcustsvc. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • yoyo126yoyo126 Posts: 2
    edited September 2010
    I have had my 2005 Pontiac Sunfire automatic coupe for five years. This car has never given me an issue until now. My car will start up then all of a sudden looses power. I do this a few times and again stalls looses power. After so many times it will start up and stay on. My mechanic says there is nothing wrong with it. He replaced the spark plugs and put it up on the diagnostic test and nothing came up. I drive back and fourth to work about 40 miles on MAss pike and it has stalled twice. I stalled this morning and when I tried to turn the steering wheel to get out of traffic it locked up. I turned the car off and turned it back on and drove to work. There is this noise coming from the front of my dash board where the steering wheel is and my passenger side windshield wiper does not want to work. My mechanic again said nothing wrong with it...anyone have any suggestions :mad: :( :cry:
  • I am having the same issue with my 05 sunfire. my mechanic says nothing wrong after I replaced spark plugs and all filters and oil change. has stalled on me twice on highways.
  • Hopefully some1 can help me with this, ill be driving down the road and my car will just stop going,it will not stall out really but ill pump the gas a few times and it will start going does it everyday for the last 4 days..It did stall once this morning on my way to take my kids to school n almost got t-boned...just need to know what it could possibly be so i can get it fixed! thanx
  • Have a 00 sunfire 2200. ran fine aside from a bit of flooding it seemed in the morning, but cleared up within 3 blocks. parked car that night, next morning i tried to start it and the bendex was deflecting off the flywheel. replaced starter, now engine turns over, recieves fuel, sparks fine, but never starts. after releasing the key it sometimes seems to attempt to backfire. replaced crankshaft position sensor to no avail. need some help, I can't afford to just keep randomly replacing parts, I need a bit of direction. Car also suffers from the clunky brakes and the headlight flickers. I loathe this thing but it's all I have right now. Thanks :lemon:
  • did you ever figure out what the popping was in the front end. this has been a good car and i just spent 400 dollars on a new axle and "nubber" that apparently no other car has to have and it still did not fix the popping when i put it into gear. my mechanic is a good friend and wouldnt lie to me but he told me he never has heard a pop like this. he wants me to drive it til he can get some answers on the net about what it may be but i found this site and figured it wouldnt hurt to ask around myself. i dont want to just drive it til it finally breaks something and cost hundreds of dollars so if u got any answers on that could u please send them my way
  • jaylaljaylal Posts: 1
    hey all,
    I've got a 2000 sunfire gt 2.4L 5spd. It's been acting up on me for the past month and has been bad (stalled a couple times) the last couple weeks. The car starts without any problems and idles fine. I can apply pressure to the gas pedal and RPM rev's ok (while in neutral). Once i release the clutch while in gear however, there is a great loss in power, almost to the point where it will stall on me. This happens for about the first 30 seconds of starting the vehicle then afterwards it's fine and there are no issues. It happens everytime i start the vehicle. It has stalled on me a couple times during startup. I've brought to the mechanic, computer said O2 sensors were faulty and they have been changed. Fault continued, I brought it back to the same mechanic and now they suggest it may be the MAP sensor. Anyone else have or had this issue and may know what it is?
  • Similar problem with my 2003 Sunfire as well. My ex-wife bought the car as a demo and it was doing it to her for 5 years. She took it in mutiple time and it was always the same answer, they couldn'r duplicate the problem. Kind of funny becuase i bought the car from her and have the problem daily. Car will lose idle below 400 rpm, then stall, or rev at 1400 rpm and return to base curb idle. She go so fed up with the problem that she sold the car to me. Toyota is having some safety related concerns and it has hit the press big time. Funny how many people are having similar problems with the Cavaliers/Sunfires and not even a silent recall or service bulletin on this problem. Maybe no one has been injured or died becuase of it yet. My ex-wife was so fed up with GM and this car she bought a Honda....and loves it. I haven't done any serious troubleshooting on this car yet, I was hoping some one on the net might have figured it out by now, but it seems many peole are just trying to live with it becuase the GM dealers can't even seem to figure it out. There is a definite link to my stalling/reving problem to the travel speed of the car. As soon as the speedo reaches zero, the slow idle tries to correct itself, or the fast reving idle slows down. Seems unrelated, but I have checked it over and over again and the care always responds to or chages when the speedo reaches zero. I can coast the car and it will either high rev, or try and stall with the clutch pushed in and just coasting until the car slows to almost zero. This has been tested at different speeds and durations.....odd I know. I have no explination. I can only guess that the speed of the car is being reported to the PCM, abd the PCM then adjusts the idle speed. Not shur of the reason or if it is supposed to be doing this. Apparently either does GM when they can't repair the car or diagnose it. I was originally thinking fuel pump, until it was caught reving, then I though mass air flow chance so far....thermostat....nope. So far I can only suspect the PCM.

    I wish GM had a call center so at least we could call and get some engineering expertise to help troubleshoot.

    I'll post If I solve the problem.


    Daniel Rohr
  • ctorrctorr Posts: 1
    My 2000 sunfire would stall uphill or on the highway at high speeds. I would have to steer the car to the emergency lane. After finding nothing wrong with my car I was suggested to change the gasoline filter. Until now no problems. Check it out, its a cheap fix.
  • spade_2002spade_2002 Posts: 1
    edited January 2011
    Sounds to me that your wiring harness to your CPS (Crank Position Sensor) has a short in it. As if the 2 wires are shorting out to one another and the ECM (Cars Computer) looses signal from the CPS long enough to Kill the fire to the plugs. Then after cooling off will restart and run untill it touches again. Hope this Helps P.S. This will throw a CPS code on a scanner
  • aubuyaubuy Posts: 1
    I have changed out the fuel pump and checked the fuel relay switch and I can't get the fuel pump to kick on could there be something else that I am missing thanks
  • I have a 2005 pontiac sunfire and I just had a problem with it that I can't figure out. I try to start the car and nothing not even a single sound no clicking anything then, I notice that it only started when I held the brake in. I know that it's not the battery as I just replace it.
    If any one can give any Idea I would very much Appreciate it.
  • bigj8bigj8 Posts: 2
    2.2 Standard Coupe - 260,000 miles so far - bot it new in Oct 95 and besides the standard tires, battery, plugs, brakes and oil changes this is all I've done:

    Alternator and serpentine belt at 96K
    Fuel Pump at 226K

    The horn and A/C stopped working but I never had fixed as my middle finger functions as a horn and it's cool as I live in the mountains.

    Original clutch still functions perfectly. I've never flushed or replaced the coolant or the manual transmission fluid (manual says never do this).

    Just bot a 97 Sunfire automatic sedan with a 2.2 engine at a yard sale for $200. Only has 85K on it, but has the infamous Head Gasket problem. Hope it pays off.
  • bigj8bigj8 Posts: 2
    Forgot to mention I consistently get 32 to 36 mpg and even scored 40 on a long road trip.
  • slackermanslackerman Posts: 43
    My '96 Sunfire convertible has just over 148,000 miles. 2.4L, manual transmission, and the AC still works. But I have changed the fluids. It's a great car, fun to drive, and people still tell me it looks sharp.
  • alvii89alvii89 Posts: 1
    My 2000 sunfire died while i was still driving, so I replaced the fuel pump and it still wont start we cannot figure out the problem any advice or suggestions would be well apprieciated.
  • slackermanslackerman Posts: 43
    Same thing happened to me at highway speed in my 1996 Sunfire @2000. Mechanic couldn't find anything except a weak battery. Replaced the battery and it hasn't happened since...

    ...Yes, I know the battery shouldn't have had any affect at highway speed, but the solution worked and that was ten years ago.
  • Have your catalytic converter checked. When they plug up it chokes the engine, especially as the car gets hotter.
  • Hi! I have a 2001 Pontiac Sunfire sedan. It has 127000miles. The car runs perfectly except for this wierd wiring issue that recently began. I will turn the key and none of the accessories (gages, radio, or lights) will come on, the car starts and immediately shuts off. My husband jiggles the wire and it will start, however I haven't got the magic touch like he does and really want my car to start normally. It doesn't happen all the time but there is a 50/50 chance it will. Sometimes the accessories will stop working while I am driving but the car keeps running. We know it's the wiring or the terminal but not a clue how to fix it? Any ideas? We do not have a lot of money and hoping this is something we can do without a mechanic or if it as a simple as getting a new wiring harness or ignition wiring or something..
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
    edited October 2011
    amyb102, one of our members wrote a great post a couple of years ago about checking for electrical problems -- he wound up with a pretty cheap fix. Not sure if his solutions will work for you, but here's the post:

    Many Many Many Things

    ClaireS, Host
    Automotive News & Views | Coupes & Convertibles


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • My Sunfire used to die warming up(closed loop) or driving at normal temp(open loop). Many parts were changed. Even searched edmunds. The fix was found after a fuel pump that did not correct it. the mechanic tilted the steering wheel and it died. He got it started after several attempts and it died again. he took the cover of the bottom of the column and found the SOLUTION. The factory did a recall on the ignition I believe and rezipptied with a very tight tie in the wireharness going up the column. THIS PULLS THE WIRES TO TIGHT. hot and cold make them pull out of the ignition. it is like shutting of the key. the engine stops gages sometimes stop. the car dies at highway speed. He cut the zip tie that pulls the wires tight to the column and let them hang by connection. He also disconnected the ignition switch at the harness to push the connections from the wires back in with the batery disconnected so it would not short out when reconnected. One year latter no problems :) Cost to fix remove 3 little bolts, cut bulky wire zip tie. and push wires it switch.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
    Thanks for posting this, good2go2!

    ClaireS, Host
    Automotive News & Views | Coupes & Convertibles


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • ts123ts123 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire that occasionally won't start. I turn the key and nothing happens. Doesn't turn over, no click, no sound at all. After numerous attempts, it eventually starts and then doesn't do it again for another month or so. I replaced the battery and thought the problem was solved. A few months afterwards, the problem started again. Any ideas?
  • I have a 2003 sunfire and I am nearing an answer. I replaced the ignition control module. This will run great for 6 months. There are several things that seem to wear it out. This past summer was a record for the number of days over 110 and I think this has helped wear it out. The MAF sensor needed to be cleaned too. The o2 heater sensor went bad. When I start the car in the morning it is ok. I can drive around all day and start fine. But, around 5:20pm when coming home from work the tempature is higher and there is more traffic and more idling etc. If I stop on the way home. The car sputters and and stalls at start up. I had this happen six months ago so badly that the ICM had to be replaced. I am getting ready to do it again. I also just changed the catalytic converter and o2 heater sensor yesterday. There still might be more issues but right now the ICM is what is the bad culprit. oh.. and last time I replaced it six months ago it died in two weeks due to our heat down here in Texas.
  • Clean the MAF Sensor with MAF Sensor cleaner and see if this helps!
  • when it rains my car will sputter and die I have traced the electrical and fixed the problems i could find, there was some bad splices but the problem still is there and it doesn't do it all the time when its raining only sometimes
  • i have a 1999 sunfire just replaced the starter charged the battery and out one gallon of gas in (hopefully thats enough to start it )now the car starts and then stalls does anyone have a clue thanks
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