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Pontiac Sunfire

moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
edited January 2014 in Pontiac
Purchased a Pontiac Sunfire 2005 on 31 December 04. MSRP $18,9XX and cost after rebates was $8,7XX. Was a bit surprised with the vehicle. It is equipped with ABS, traction control, RDS equipped stereo, sunroof, fog lights, power windows & mirrors & trunk release, sunroof, cruise, tilt wheel, 4 spd auto w/overdrive and alloy wheels. The motor is the ecotec 2.2L and I've found it to be both powerful and fuel efficient.

Overall the car is better than it's reputation led me to believe and a decent value with incentives.

Fit and finish and ergonomics are still no match for even a 90's Toyota or Honda, however, for less than $9,000 I don't expect a Civic.

Sunfire is worth a look if seeking an inexpensive new car.


  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    In June, the weekly reports, GM will stop production of the Sunfire without a replacement in sight, although the Sunfire’s twin, the Cavalier, is being replaced by the Chevy Cobalt.


    No more Sunfire and no replacement.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    So far so good, no build defects found on the new Sunfire. Biggest irritations are design problems, the seats are not so great and the sunvisor can not be used w/o moving the rear view mirror to allow it to be lowered.
  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Member Posts: 274
    "MSRP $18,9XX and cost after rebates was $8,7XX."

    Can you give us the math between those two numbers?
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    The MSRP was $18,990

    Dealer sold it for $17,200, minus $8500 in rebates and incentives, equals the $8700 price (before sales tax).


    moparbad, "Rebates, Incentives, APRs - Questions & Comments" #2354, 3 Jan 2005 2:35 pm


    $3000 GM Card (including the $2000 "bump" in earnings)

    $1500 GMAC Financing bonus

    $500 GM Instant Value

    $500 Military

    $3000 Sunfire Rebate
  • fredmcmurrayfredmcmurray Member Posts: 215
    I noticed from your linked post that you were planning to pay off the loan quickly so as to avoid the high interest rate of that loan. Have you tried that? I would think GMAC was counting on a certain amount of interest to recoup that $1500 and wouldn't let you pay it off too soon.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Loan is already paid off. No penalty for early payoff.
  • fredmcmurrayfredmcmurray Member Posts: 215
    Cool, smart move on your part.
  • brybrybrybry Member Posts: 25
    Anybody have there wipers stop in the up position when you turn them off, they work ok they just won't return to the proper place(bottom) when I turn them off. It's a 1997 sunfire. Thanks
  • dhainesdhaines Member Posts: 1
    We are looking to purchase a 1999 Sunfire for our daughter who just got her license. Is the 2.2L engine dependable or has there been any problems?
    This car has 110,000 miles on the engine.
  • beliverbeliver Member Posts: 155
    dhaines: I think the 1999 Sunfire offered both 2.2 engines, a ohv that has been around forever and the much newer and advanced ohc twin cam "Ecotec" engine which is a great engine. I had a 1992 with the ohc and it gave me absolutely no problems in 75,000 miles. That being said, I would be VERY careful buying any Sunfire/ cavalier with that many miles on it unless you had it checked out from head to toe by a certified mechanic. At that mileage there could very well be a lot of things ready to go bust !

    Those cars are noted for a lot of suspension problems, brakes, struts etc. Also if you are buying it from a private party you will have NO recourse if it goes "belly-up" the day after you buy whereas if you get it from a dealer you may be able to get some warranty but @ that mileage iI doubt it, At 110,000 it should be dirt cheap but you WILL have to put some money into it pretty soon @ those kind of miles

  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    2.2L Ecotec was introduced as an option in 2002.
  • beliverbeliver Member Posts: 155
    Moparbad: Mine was a 2002 ! NOT a 1992 as I stated. The 2.2 twin cam was indeed a option @ $250.00 as I look @ the window sticker. I traded that Sunfire on a 2004 Mustang------------ wish I had the Sunfire back. LOL !

    Thanks for the correction. Reagrds Believer
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Anyone know how to program a new keyless remote for a 2005 Sunfire?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    You say, " wish I had the Sunfire back." Why? What don't you like about your '04 Mustang?
  • beliverbeliver Member Posts: 155
    torque: Well, I do a lot of highway driving and the thing just has a horrible ride unless the road is glassy smoothe, it has a very heavy fell in the handling department and gets lousy gas milage for a 6 cyl. (about 20 overall) and it has a really crappy, cheap interior ( so did the Sunfire to be honest) that is beginning to wear even @ 9000 miles.

    Well, you may ask why did I buy the thing in the first place? I didn't! It was bought for an employee as a company car. The employee was called up for duty in the military so we have a spare car on our hands. My Sunfire was about to roll over 100K miles so I took over the Mustang.

    The Mustang is a ok car just don't expect it to be a true sports car, a sporty car yes, but not in the 6 cyl version. I have not driven the 2005 Mustang but I bet it will have a lot of the same "genes" as the 2004 even tho it's "all new".

  • beliverbeliver Member Posts: 155
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Member Posts: 421
    We have 77K miles on our 98 Sunfire. Just this past weekend I drained all of the DEX coolant out the cooling system to replace a heater hose. (I noticed within the past year that the car would start to run hot in mild temperatures around 50 degree when in stop and go traffic.) We did have a small leak in the heater hose that I patched prior to replacing the whole heater hose. After I put everything back together and re connected the wires and battery, I filled the cooling system to the recommended level. I started the car and let it run for about ten minutes to reach it's regular temperature level and no leaks. Then I took the car for a drive on the express way going about 60 MPH for about 15 min. The outside temperature was 35 degrees and raining. The temp. gauge never moved but was steady. But when I parked in the garage, with-in a few minutes the temp. gauge started to move up past mid range to the top part in the "normal temp." section. I checked for leaks but didn't see any. Saw now steam coming from the engine or smelled any coolant. I let the car run for about 10 min. while I checked everything and noticed that the radiator fan never turned on for those ten minutes. Anybody have any advice as to what the problem is and what I can do to fix it. The dealer wants $120 just to run a engine diagnostic. I believe that I can fix it, just need to be pointed in the right direction. Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    If you mean the temperature went up after you shut the engine off, that's pretty normal. If you meant that it went up as you idled in the garage with the motor running, then I'd guess either your cooling fan sensor isn't working or that your thermostat is sticking.

    I'd go more with the fan because your car was being cooled at high speed with onrushing cold air and didn't need the fan to cool it, but as soon as the air stopped, it got hot. This indicates to me a fan problem. A stuck thermostat usually causes very rapid overheating at any speed.
  • mikey00mikey00 Member Posts: 462
    I am looking for a new car for my son. All my shopping so far has been on Sunday so I don't have to deal with a salesman yet. The local Pontiac dealer has a Sunfire on the lot with a sticker of 18600 and a price of 11600 after rebate and incentives. I also have $3000 in GM credit card points, which would bring the price down to 8600 before tax and tags. I know the Sunfire is done in June and I also know of It's ratings in Consumer Reports but the price seems to good to pass up. I have a few questions:
    One Sunfire has "Wipers, controlled cycle" the other does not. Does this mean the one without only has 2 speed wipers, no delay?

    The window sticker for the VIN on GM Buypower shows "4 speed auto w/ enhanced traction control" The sticker on the car does not list traction control. Is there a way to tell? Like traction control switch?

    moparbrad: What ended up being your total cost of GMAC loan, to get $1500 rebate and pay right off?
  • SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
    You may also want to post your question in the Pontiac Sunfire: Prices Paid & Buying Experiences discussion.
  • montanafanmontanafan Member Posts: 945
    In years past, when ABS was standard, the 4-Speed Automatic included the enhanced traction control. Now it is only on cars with 4-Speed Automatic and the optional ABS. At the MSRP you mention, chances are it is there. Look on the cars window sticker where either the ABS is listed or the "C" option group is listed to be sure. There also should be a traction off switch to confirm. Might be on dash to left of steering wheel on Sunfire, but ask the salesperson to be sure.
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Member Posts: 421
    Thanks for your reply. The car was idling in the garage when the temperature gauge started going up. I know it isn't the thermostat, since while I was driving on the expressway, the temperature gauge was steady and below the halfway normal mark. I think you are right about it being the fan. Since the cooling fans are electronic now, is there a fuse or something that needs to be replaced?
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    The rate on the GMAC loan was 8.5%. Loan was in effect for about 4 to 5 weeks. Total cost of the loan including interest and changing the title was less than $100 and the return was the $1500 financing bonus.
    Make sure you have the old GM card to be able to use your $3000 GM earnings, the redemption allowance on the new GM Card program is $1000 for the Sunfire. Only reason I was able to use the full $3000 was a "special" program GM offered to select cardholders end of 2004.

    So far, no problems with the Sunfire other than a squeaky dash when the weather is cold.
  • mikey00mikey00 Member Posts: 462
    Thanks for the response. I was worried they may have some sort of set up fee or pay off early fee. As far as the GM card goes, I have 2 old ones, one in my wifes name and one in my name. We get max rebates on both. I got $6000 off my Alero when I bought it back in 2000 (just used my card). When GM first came out with the card you could get a max of $1000 a year for 7.5 years or $7500. They now lowered the old card to $500/year which is still $3500. My wifes card had $3000 on it but I couldn't combine them. I checked the rules and it clearly stated that only one the card owners or immediate family in the same household could use it. I called GM customer service and added my brother-in-laws name to the account which made him one of the owners. Within hours he was able to use the rebate to buy a car and he lives in another state.
    Problem with the Sunfire is I think all the incentives run out today. I decided to wait and see if they get any better considering the problems GM is having and the fact that it is almost over for the Sunfire. Would you happen to know the answer to my traction control and wiper question above? Keep me updated with any Sunfire issues.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Traction control is included with the 4 speed automatic and ABS and only the 4 speed auto with ABS to the best of my knowledge. I believe the standard wipers are 3 speed, 1-non-variable intermittent, 2-slow and 3-fast and the optional wiper is variable intermittent.
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Member Posts: 421
    I had a chance to look at my problem with the cooling fan this weekend. I found two fuses under the hood on the drivers side wheel well that controlled the cooling fan. I pulled out both fuses to make sure they were still good and all was okay. I started the engine and let it idle to regular temperature and the fan started up right before the half way "Normal" range. I turned the car off for about 10 min. and restarted it. The fan came on at about the same range and stayed on both times to where as the temp. stayed steady. Thanks to all for all of your help.
  • diver80diver80 Member Posts: 6
    i had the same problem on a 96 sunfire and it turned out to be a bad head gasket, it would run at normal temp for about 10-15 min then would run at the top end of the temp gauge. i replaced the head gasket and bled the whole system and it runs fine better then when i bought it, i did it all for less then 300
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I bet with the head gasket you had a "fast overheat". With a cooling fan not working it's usually a "slow overheat".

    Bad thermostats are also a "fast overheat".

    Good way to diagnose things.

    Glad you guys are solving these problems!
  • daughterdaughter Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire and do not have an owners manual for it. I noticed today that i did not have any directional and my fuse was not blown so i was told it was the flasher but i don't know where it is located on the car. I believe that it is in the bottom of the fuse box but need some clarification.
  • kagedudekagedude Member Posts: 407
    My coworker has a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire coupe. His tailight bulbs are both burnt out and he replaced it but its not working. The directionals work, but nothing when he steps on the brake (only the 3rd brake light works). I'm not familiar with the car and can only find the fuse box in the engine bay.

    My question is where is the fuse box located at for the rear lights? Thanks.
  • hodgsonhodgson Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire GT with the LD9 2.4l
    lemme see, where to start, bought it year and a half ago it drove NIICEE for 2 months.. then the motor blew. had to take my warranty company to court and finally won and got a new motor over a year later FINALLY get it back. drive it home, very nicely, not over 55 and over 4000 rpm, then next day went to go DOWNHILL and get fuel and food. and boom. motor blew again. Just got it back again last night. and the electric fan doesn't work, when going up hills the thing misfires like a mofo, check engine light flashes, I am just praying for the thing to blow up catch on fire and burn to the ground.
  • dontshopthewaldontshopthewal Member Posts: 49
    Today in my local newspaper, there was an article on the 2005 Sunfire which stated that it would be replaced with the Pontiac Pursuit this fall. The Pursuit will be on the same platform as the Chevy Cobalt. Anyone else heard about it?
  • butkusbutkus Member Posts: 2
    I am looking at a '98 Sunfire, are they rated poorly or do you think they are good for me to get back and forth to work for about 18 months?
  • butkusbutkus Member Posts: 2
    Anyone know the rating of Pontiac Sunfire? I am looking at buying a 1998 with 84,000 miles for $2700.
  • trw979strw979s Member Posts: 1
    hey- I have a pontiac sunfire convertible, and well the the top got unlatched on the highway and blew backwards, and the bars are now bent so it wouldnt go down or up right... and does not fit correctly. How do I get the bars fixed ?? anyone know??
  • dontshopthewaldontshopthewal Member Posts: 49
    I don't know if this will help, but in my 2004 Chevy Cavalier, the fuse box is located on the driver side of the dash- the very left. That side is a removable cover.. I don't know if it is like that in Sunfires, though.
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Member Posts: 421
    We have a 98 Sunfire with 78K and it has been very reliable for us. Right now the only problem that I am having is trying to find out why the cooling fan isn't working like it should. I just drained the cooling system about two months ago, since it was the original coolant, when the car was running hot. I know it's not the thermostat since the temperature needle only movies up in city driving. I checked both fuses and they seem to be fine. This weekend I will try replacing the cooling temperature sensor and pray that was the problem. The only thing that I don't like about our sunfire is the brake pads have to be replaced, in the front, about every year or so. From what I've heard, this is normal for this car. Go figure. :shades:
  • darlinddarlind Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1996 Pontiac Sunfire. My sister-in-law came to pick it up so that my niece could get her license in it. The car would not start. My father-in-law jumped the car off. No problems with the next three starts. Fourth time she tried to start the car it almost did not. She kept trying and finally started. Went somewhere else it, when she tried to start it, the car would never start back up. Brother-in-law replaced battery. He said that the battery that was in there was smoking. After replacing the old battery with the new one it still would not start. He was able to start it with bypassing the starter with a screwdriver and drive it home. Now, it will not even turn over at all. Battery is not dead. Lights come home, but the engine will not even think about turning over. I think that this car might have a factory installed alarm system on it. There is an alarm system light that appears when the switch is turned. I have contacted the dealer, they were no help except to tell me to bring it in and they would take a look at it, but it would cost me. My husband hooked it up to a computer, but it showed no codes. I bought a manual for this car today, but it has nothing in it about where the theft system or where its wires are located. Nothing at all about a theft system. All of the other things that it could be have been checked out. The dealer said something about the car might need re programming! Any advise or help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!! Any advise about what could be possibly causing this? Any advise about the alarm system, where it might be located, etc? :sick: :confuse: :(
  • dsterry0578dsterry0578 Member Posts: 2
    My wipers did the same exact thing on my 1997 Sunfire. I went to the local junk yard and got the wiper assembly including the motor for $30. I went home and replaced it, now it works perfectly and it's been over a year. It wasn't that hard and it only took about 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • dissatisfieddissatisfied Member Posts: 2
    I'm going to have to sorely disagree. I bought my 05 Sunfire 11/29/04 and everything was great, I couldn't have been happier with it. In April of this year I started having problems with the check engine light coming on. The first time it happened (6,724 miles) I took back to the dealership for service. They replaced the evaporative vent valve. The 2nd time ( one week later) after keeping it for 4 days, they couldn't figure out what the problem was so they reprogrammed it and gave it back to me. Round 3, again a week after getting it back the damn light came on. They kept it for almost 2 weeks before giving it back to me stating that the had fixed the problem this time. Round 4, I got my car back on Wednesday, by Friday the damn light had come back on again. I took it back to the dealership for the 4th time that following Monday, they kept it again for a about a week and a 1/2 and had replaced the purge fuel tank seal and purge canister. Now just 4 days after getting my car back, the light has come back on again. I am now following my states lemon law and have sent a notice to the manufacture for final repair. If they can not get it fixed this last and final time, Pontiac will have no choice but to give me a new vehicle. If anyone else has been experiencing this problem, please send me a msg. :mad: :sick: :lemon:
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    4 times to fix the same problem is a service competence problem, not a lemon vehicle problem IMO. Wish you the best in either getting the problem repaired or a buyback.
  • dontshopthewaldontshopthewal Member Posts: 49
    Anyone heard anything about the new Pursuit that is supposed to replace the Sunfire this fall?
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    The Pursuit is offered in Canada only. No plans to offer it in the US.
  • dontshopthewaldontshopthewal Member Posts: 49
    Thank you for clearing that up. My local paper reported the Pursuit would replace the Sunfire. I thought they were wrong, though. :)
  • carrolltoncarrollton Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Sunfire SE. 74K miles. When I turn the wheel at a very slow speed or starting position, I can feel a bumping in the steering wheel I think is coming from the right front. I have factory tires so nothing there is rubbing. I've checked the boots and struts which seem ok. I dont feel it once the car gets going. Could it be in the steering column? Anyone have this problem before? Other than that this car runs great.
  • carrolltoncarrollton Member Posts: 2
    Correction - I meant the problem is coming from the Left front of the car.
  • cindy10cindy10 Member Posts: 3
    One of my lights came on yesterday and I don't know what it means. (1995 Sunfire) It's a square with an arrow pointing down to what looks like either liquid or the ground. I checked all my fluids and all are ok. Anyone know? :confuse:
  • lrmmflrmmf Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1999 sunfire & I purchased it in 2002. Ever since I got it, I've hated it! The first thing to go was the radio. Sometimes it would just not start- that was cool. They said it was the key or something. I had the muffler hanger break, the crank case seal was leaking oil into the spark plugs which made driving fun- it was only running on 3 cylinders, the oxygen sensor was messed up, I've needed a new catalyctic converter, my trunk leaks into my back seat, and my favorite- THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS ALMOST ALWAYS ON!
  • beliverbeliver Member Posts: 155
    lrmmf: How many miles on this GM wonder car ? Let's see, Radio kaput ? It can happen. Just did on my brother's Lexus !! Won't start ? It COULD be the Key. Muffler hanger broke, NO big deal get out the old coathanger like they would do down at Bubba's "fix & go" shop. Can't see how a crankcase "seal" Gasket ? can allow oil to get to the plugs. Could you really mean the head gasket ? If OX sensor messed up you will for sure keep getting a "check engine" light. If under 70K the cat convt should have been covered under emissions warranty. Leaks happen, my 2004 Mustang had one on day one !! When or if did you have a tune -up on the beastie ? Sounds like a lot of neglected PM from the prior owner to me. Gotta stay on top of this stuff.

  • gkneebonegkneebone Member Posts: 3
    My traction control light comes on and the car shifts gears violently. lf l stop the car and restart it, the light goes out and it's ok again for a while.
    Any ideas, it has 85,000 kms.

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