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Pontiac Sunfire Electrical Problems



  • haha, thats too bad, but if i were u i would leave it so when u sell it it will have a low milage ;) that should be one of the few things that should never break on a car, says alot about the construction of the car :lemon:
  • Hello bikergtp,
    Thanks for the reply. The local GM dealership told me that one of the rear speakers had a short in it and that was my problem. The service mgr. said to replace the rear speakers and that would fix the problem.
    I am a Union electrician and that just doesn't make any sense to me.
    My front speakers have never missed a beat but the rear speakers just come and go, not when I hit bumps and such, just randomly kick in and out, one or both.
    I think theres a short in the wiring harness going to the rear speakers. I would sure like to hear from anyone that has replaced the rear speakers and that rectified the problem.
    Thanks biker, and Thanks in advance for any insight.
  • haha, thats too bad? What kind of helpful reply is that? So, you condone breaking the law huh? That doesn't surprise me. You are in a Pontiac Sunfire forum and you have no helpful comments. Go to POGO and play some games, seems like thats the extent of your knowledge. What do you drive? If its not a Sunfire then why are you here? Your opinion is nothing less than 5th grade. Have a great week!
  • Hi, my daughter's sunfire emergency flashers work, but the turn signals do not. We changed the light bulbs to see if that could be the problem and they still don't come on. The fuses are fine to. When the flashers are on you can here a click but when you turn the turn signals on it is quite. We were told it could be the relay but we can't find it anywhere any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks MaryAnn
  • The flasher is located under the dash, just above the break pedal. You need to remove the cover panel and then you will be able to see it. If you look WAY up there, a light green mounting case holds the flasher. It's easier to get to if you come from behind, and not just straight up. Use a screwdriver or something to push it toward the steering wheel and off of it's mount, and install the new flasher. If you didn't find a flasher encased in a mount, just tape it to something with electrical tape so it won't rattle around. :)
  • The flasher is located under the dash, just above the break pedal. You need to remove the cover panel and then you will be able to see it. If you look WAY up there, a light green mounting case holds the flasher. It's easier to get to if you come from behind, and not just straight up. Use a screwdriver or something to push it toward the steering wheel and off of it's mount, and install the new flasher. If you didn't find a flasher encased in a mount, just tape it to something with electrical tape so it won't rattle around. :D
  • Hi Pantsuit, Thank you for your answer, umm do you happen to have a picture of the flasher so my husband will no what it looks like. :) or where we could fined one.
  • 2002 Sunfire. Manual 5 speed. 2.2l engine. 2 back up lights dont work when car is put in reverse. Checked lightbulbs, both ok. Checked voltage, none. Checked fuse ok. any suggestions? Thanks
  • i have a 2003 Pontiac Sunfire 4 door sedan, 4 cyl. We had it about 2- 3 months when the Display light for the clock and the the lights lighting up the gear shift at night are both burned out and they are the only two lights not working every other light works great, i checked all fuses and they are in great shape , but this has me blocked and i'm curious if anyone can help me as to why or how it can be fixed ? :mad: :cry: :confuse:
  • Assume the lightbulbs are ok. Need to get a wiring diagram to trace the electrical system for he lights and to see if both are on the same circuit. Check to see if you have 12 volts at the light sockets. Probably not if the bulbs are ok. Then trace trhe wiring. But also check for ground problems. Make sure no corrosion on battery terminals and ground terminals under the hood.
  • pete61pete61 Posts: 1
    i have a 98 sunfire when i push on the brake the car stales but will start right back up if i keep the rpms up it will stay running and my abs light came on wont go off same as my air bag light can any one please help me out with this
  • Follow up.
    Problem was the "back up" switch mounted on the tranny. Easy to get at. Pull the left front wheel and you see a wiring harnass going to the tranny. Problem is that the alluminum housing gives away on the switch. Switch still will read ok on ohmmeter. Replace switch!! And problem is solved.
  • Hello. I have a 99 Pontiac Sunfire. This week I noticed when I started my car on Monday morning that my odometer was gone! Its digital and it disappeared. It remained gone till Tuesday morning when I arrived at work. Luckily, I was going in for an oil change that day and I talked to the mechanic there. He was very curious about the year of my car and mileage. He proceeded to tell me that in one week he had two Pontiac Sunfires come in with electrical problems. One of them had to be sent to a salvage yard. He found out that GM decided to save money when making the cars and used aluminum wiring with just a copper coating. The wiring gets easily damaged and corrodes very quickly. He said that once you start having electrical problems it will continue till your car is no good. He suggested that I get rid of it as soon as possible. Has anyone heard about this? Or have experienced the same electrical problems?

    And today my odometer is gone again! Will it return I do not know.
    Good Luck with your cars!
  • seve2seve2 Posts: 1
    one morning my wife and i started out for work she had put the fan on low, And the dome light came on. So the only thing i could do was to pull the bulb out so my battery would not go dead, for the time she was at work,I would love some help on this
  • hykelhykel Posts: 1
    hey folks, i just started to have some issues with my heater fan, sometimes it wirks awesome, and lately it will just kinda slowly stop blowing, and then you kick it and it fires up for a few more seconds, is it a relay or something or is my fan just dead, hoping someone can give me an idea cause i dont wanna spend alot of time working on it while its minus 20
  • The way you describe it sounds like the fan is seizing (not sure about spelling) up. You have to take the fan out. Then disassemble the fan. Clean the bearrings and fan posts with alcohol rub. Add lubricant that is good for cold weather as well. Reassemble and reinstall. Bit of wrok but it works. Just make sure you have the right lube.Get that at an autopart place. Otherwise yo have to do it again next year.
    If the relay is dead nothing will work.
  • Reverse lights. replace switch on tranny. Assume you have a 5 speed. switch is located in left side bottom of tranny. you have to pull front left wheel. Is easy visible and easy to replace. Old switch in aluminum housing and gives way.. New switch in copper housing.
  • my lights on the dash all come on some times what would case that, also my abs and traction control lights are on
  • Just bought a 2000 pontiac sunfire SE last week, lucky me. Got it for a pretty cheap price, especially since it has 160K on the odometer. Runs fairly sound for the mileage and the engine is in check. However, aside from routine repairs like getting a couple blinkers replaced, I have found that my instrument cluster panel (i.e. all the guages) does not light up, at all. Additionally, neither does the odometer. I had it checked at a pontiac dealer garage (yea, expensive but they know their stuff) and found that they need to rip into the dash and rework computer/wiring behind there-- total cost of labor and parts: over 500 (total divided equally between labor/parts). Naturally, the quote was declined because I am merely a college student on limited funds. So, all that was done was that the computer was reprogrammed and they said that it will work now, but that it may shut off at any time in the future. In other words, I probably need to tote along a flashlight in the car at night "just in case."
    Question is: has anyone else had an issue such as this? If so, where did you get it fixed and how much did it cost you?? I personally think I am getting screwed in the whole matter, at least with repect to the labor costs.
  • I have a 97 Pontiac Sunfire SE. My left signal light went out, so I had it replaced. Just a day after, it stopped working again. I put a new bulb on Thursday, and now, Saturday, it's busted yet again. It has a burnt smell, and the plastic at the bottom of the bulb seemed to have melted. What could the problem be? Any input would be much appreciated! Thank you! (By the way, I went to Autozone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly, looking for a socket, just in case that would solve the problem, and none of them carry the left signal socket.) :cry:
  • Ok so here we are I have an 2002 sunfire with 71000 miles on it and i've been having electrical issues. I took the car in because the battery was always drained and i was told it needed an alternator. I had the alternator replaced and still the same issue. I had the alternator changed again and the battery. Still the same. The i had a pcm and some wiring done. I was told there a short some where . Still same issues now the check engine light, trac off light and service lights are on and the car still starts as if the battery is almost dead! Can anyone help me?
  • Sometimes a "short" or "grounded out" wire is not actually the problem, when it could seem like it's obviously it. a poorly grounded negative can be just as bad, if not worse causing harm to alternators, batteries, ignitions, computers, basically everything. Here's what you can do.

    If you have any experience with electrical, and a voltage meter, then this could be easy. If you don't, then I'll try to explain it to you so you can explain it to someone else so they can say "wow that's easy."

    Since you have a new alternator and a new battery, this should help you find out EXACTLY what's wrong with it and you can save a LOT of money with costly "let's see if this works" type repairs.

    First off, take the voltometer, (not a test light, those are pointless at this point) and test the voltage of the battery with the engine off, between the two terminals. If it's above 11, you're fine. Wait an hour, then check the voltage again, if it has gone down say... more than half a volt, you've got a short circuit. if it hasn't changed more than a few hundreths of a volt, then so far so good.

    Start the vehicle, and leave it running for the duration of these tests.

    2. Test the voltage between the two battery terminals. If it's more than 13.8, you're ok, 14 and up is preferred. lower than 12 indicates a dead alternator, dead/dying battery, or a big electrical problem if those have been replaced already. If this is the case, bring your car to a parts store, most of them like Advance Auto and such will test these for free. If the voltage difference is below 13.5 it means you could have a bad ground or charging wire somewhere so we move on to step 3.

    (Keep engine running)
    3. Now comes the fun part, test between the alternator's positive terminal, the one separate red wire coming off of the alternator housing, and the positive terminal on the battery. If there's a difference of more than .1 volts there's a problem with that wire. It's the one that charges the battery, and a common culprit.

    4. Test between the frame (any unpainted bolt on the frame will do for this) and the negative battery terminal. Once again, a .1 volt difference is bad. This means that the negative battery terminal is not properly grounded to the frame.
    After that, test between the negative battery terminal and the engine block to test that wire. Just make sure it's an unpainted surface when testing.
    Lastly for the ground wires, test between the alternator housing and negative battery terminal. You're basically looking for a sharp increase in the voltage difference to indicate that the electricity isn't flowing between any of the grounded parts, the negative terminal, frame, engine, and alternator housing.

    I replaced my battery, and my alternator, and the garages said "everything seems fine" but THIS was how I found out that I had a bad ground wire which gave me an increase in everything electrical after I fixed it, and solved the problems.

    If it's not the wires, and you're getting 14+ volts between battery terminals, with less than the indicated differences in voltage, then the problem is not with your charging system, the electricity isn't getting to the spark plugs correctly. Ignition Coils on these go fairly quickly, but if you haven't replaced the spark plugs and wires yet, I'd go with that first, then get the ignition coil looked at if the problem persists.

    Hope this helped, I had 2 dealerships and a garage tell me "generic electrical problems" and one gave me a huge estimate, but I fixed the problem myself with a 7 dollar cable from a parts store. If you're not having the same problem I did, then at least you know what it's not without having to "replace first, figure out problem later."
  • coming from exp of installing audio systems it could be a short considering stock speakers are usually pieces of junk or just some loose wires i would up grade just go to walmart and get some new ones there probably going to be about 30-45 bucks but the extra money is worth it
    they will last and the sound will be so much better :)
  • brian52brian52 Posts: 5
    where is the thermostat on my 2001 sunfire 2.2 L
  • jsakjsak Posts: 7
    uhm i would start with following the hoses off of my radiator maybe? one of them might just lead you to it wouldnt one think?
  • pamelacopamelaco Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire and there is a loud thumping sound in the dashboard above the glove compartment. this happens the entire time the car is on. Doesnt matter if the heat/air is on or off.
  • car runs fine
    but when u switch from park to drive theres a small power drain i can see with the dash lights
    and then when u first touch the gas pedal its even a more of a power lose but the car still runs fine
    on my dash when this all happens my day lights flash my stereo turns on and off my brake light comes on air bag light and seat belt light. then after a couple of seconds everything is fine.....or if a hit a bump in the road... i know it seems like a short... but were im thinking around the trany or the trany ground... any ideas?
  • brian52brian52 Posts: 5
    how do you change the back abs sensor on a 2001 sunfire 2.2 liter
  • raph94raph94 Posts: 1
    i have a 2002 sunfire 2.2L.when i start the car the headlights flash and then turn off and the service light came on. when i turn the headlight switch to on they don't work. all other lights on the car work including the drl and high beams. please help. what could the problem be.
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