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Pontiac Sunfire Electrical Problems



  • When I start my Sunfire all looks normal. I start to drive and every light on the dashboard comes on saying there is problems with oil brakes etc. When I get to idol again the lights most often go out. New battery and repairshop has checked wiring and is beginning to think the cluster whatever that is. Any suggestions..I can't keep paying them to hunt and peck and get nowhere for too many more hours.. gets expensive


  • tk16tk16 Posts: 1
    My 1997 Sunfire won't start. When I turn the key, there is no power either. This happened the day after jump-starting my son's Explorer. Last time I jump started another car, this happened. I have checked the wires off the battery to the alternator, starter and ground wires. (I was told to check these " fusable-links?) When this happened before, I was charged over $200 to replace an $8 piece of wire, but I don't know what wire or if it's the same problem. Car will not respond to jump-start. All fusses in both fuse boxes are OK. Anyone know what the problem is or how I figure it out?
  • I'm having similar issues w/ my 2000 sunfire but not quite as bad. Although the battery and cables were replaced recently as well as spark plugs, last morning the car wouldn't start. I attempted to get it jump started but this wouldn't work. The lights, radio come on and it sounds like it wants to turn over, but doesn't. I believe it's the alternator. Have you replaced this part? I'll be hopefully finding out about mine today from the garage. Sunfires suck.
  • Hi. I have a 2003 Pontiac Sunfire. I bought my car in the summer of 2005, winter time came along, and my car would die and I would have to jump it. Only happened a couple times, I went to get it checked and they said to just replace the battery. I did... winter came back again the next year and what do ya know? Car dies. I have had to change the battery 4 times in 4 1/2 years. I wanted a second opinion because I was sick of buying all these batteries. They told me it was an electrical problem. They said something, a fuse, or something was draining my battery overnight. And I told them that it can not be, because my car works fine in the summer. They tell me that the battery gets cold and cant keep a charge. They couldn't find the "electrical" issue. Now, it's winter again, and it's ten times worse. I have to charge my battery and jump start it every single morning for the past 3 months!! It's draining... literally!
  • I just purchased a 2005 Sunfire and am looking for good sites for find other driver and enthusiasts.

    I am also looking for a blue bulb for the dome light. I know the replacement bulb is a Sylvania 906, but can't find any cross referencing to find the correct blue bulb.
  • martinj2martinj2 Posts: 1
    Hey Scott, I'm having the same problem with my Sunfire. "I pretty much narrowed it down to the alternator...I think. The problem that I'm having is that I've done the same thing, and troubleshooting gets expensive. Have you figured out something different than the alternator being the problem?
  • I have had my sunfire being rebuilt for over a month clutch, front steering, etc.and they had major problems with airbag module that seems to keep blowing and then it sets off lights. I am not sure what they did but they did have the dealer reset the computer and the lights stay out except the ABS.
  • keith46keith46 Posts: 15
    Heres one for you to look out for! Ive never used the cig lighter, brand new still had cover on it. I was driving to town and all of a sudden the thing bursted into flames! I kept slapping it out but it kept flaming back up, I drove directly to the Fire station and they ran out and disconnected my battery and put the fire out, no damage done. Crazy huh. Noone can figure it out, so I just took the fuse out of it and called it good. I love my car, it gets 41 MPG on the hwy. But have had some crazy things go wrong with it, you just never know. The Sunfires need lots of TLC. Pretty sure I have experienced it all. It is a good little car to get around in and great on gas for a change. However this car is 11 years old, thats when they made them get good gas milage, cause gas was lower. Oh the good old days.
  • When you turn the key the dash board lights flicker but won't turn over.
    When you take the key out it makes a clicking noise through the dash.
    Any suggestions, my dad will try. I have no job or money. Trying to get by. Sometimes the car would not start in the past. Also there is a constant buzz over my radio so I turn it up to drown it out, maybe it's related or not?
    Please HELP!
  • steve194steve194 Posts: 6
    trouble shooting a drain can be a real pain. but if you are willing to try something then this might help. electrical issues can be cause by starters, alternators, radios etc most things that have coils windings etc. try unplugging them one at a time and leave them overnight and see if it makes a difference. if not then try disconnecting the negative terminal hook a test light to the cable and then the neg terminal of the battery if there is a draw the test light should light up dim to bright depending on the draw. if it lights the start pulling fuses until the light goes out. and if all else fails just install a battery shut off switch on the neg or pos battery cable and shut if off every night. hope this helps. good luck.
  • karenrckarenrc Posts: 1
    Hi All,

    A few months ago, my 2004 Sunfire started acting up. I'd turn it off, open the door and the radio would stay on. When I wiggled the little toggle on the door frame, it would shut off. Not any more. Nor is there a warning chime if I leave the key in the ignition and open the driver's door and I found out the hard way today that there's no chime when I leave the headlights on. I've sprayed the toggle with WD-40 and change.

    Any suggestions? I could do without another dead battery!

    Karen in Keswick :o)
  • i accidentally started my sunfire without the alternator pluged in, i turned the car off pluged in the alt, and now it wont start.does any one know what has happend?. The anti theft light is on but it is not blinking. The car has gas and spark and turns over, but it just wont start.
  • :cry: I had never had any problems with my Sunfire until nearly a week ago. Went out of town (30 miles) to do xmas shopping and it drove great. Coming home the FUEL light went on (1/2 tank gas in tank) and then the TEMP light came on (wasn't hot or overheating). I had all the fluids checked and was told they are all fine.
    Anyone know what the problem might be? (reading around on this forum i'm wondering about fuses(?) bad wiring in sunfires(?) Where are the fuses in a 2005 Sunfire?...... that would be something I could check myself but as far as wiring.....
    Thank you in advance. I will appreciate any help!!!!
  • Been a wet week down here in san antonio and my 99 sunfire is acting up because of it I think...

    Started out that when I hit the brakes pedal, all the warning lights on the dash would come on until the brake pedal was released. Get home, shut the car off, and chocked it up to cluster problems that a lot of people experience with these cars. Next morning I come out to start the car and the anti-theft is blinking and car won't start. Call the dealership and they say its the bcm. I'm thinking..probably not since the brake pedal thing the night before..I get a ride to work from a friend since it won't start..Now, I go out this morning, reach up behind the dash and start feeling around the brake pedal..moved some wires around..and it starts..

    I'm thinking there is a short in the cluster/steering column harness that caused the antitheft to trigger. Anybody else ever see this?
  • your fuses are in the side of the dash that is against the drivers side door..there is a little pop out panel there..there is also a master fuse and relay box under the hood usually near the battery..

    sounds though like you are starting to experience guage cluster problems like a lot of us are..
  • hi, i have an 05 sunfire! the speedometer is the only thing acting up on it. all other gauges work fine! sometimes it will say i am going 110 and other times it will say im going ZERO! i know it is always off! when im going 25 it sould say seventy, any sugestions??
  • I just had this problem on exact year 2001 sunfire and had it fixed today, the rear speed sensor was the culprit, the sensor it self went bad, but on the sunfires, front speed sensors when they go bad you only have to replace the sensor, but on the rear of some but not all the rear ones are part of the wheel hub and you have to replace the whole wheel hub assembly, use only an honest garage to do this, prices for the part vary greatly, once replaced all three lights went off, traction control, abs and service light
  • rona3rona3 Posts: 1
    I have a 98 sunfire. I went to pick up my wife at work and went to start the car and it not start. A theft system light came on. and now I have to figure out how the get that light to go out. I sure don't want to tow it to the dealers. I do have the factory theft system built in the radio. I know that 's not the problem, because it's locked and I can't set it with the code.
    If anyone knows what to do, please let me know.
  • blazer6973547blazer6973547 Posts: 24
    edited March 2010
    when im in the car and all is good, then the wipers wont work, the headlights turn off and daytime running lights come on. wipers which are now stuck halfway up the window and can hear the wiper motor whining from not enough power, when i turn on and off the wipers or headlights the drivers power lock will unlock but not the other doors. after fooling around for a bit i figured out that if i turn the switch on for the wipers and repeatedly hit the door unlock button for about 5 or 10 seconds, then the wipers kick back in and the headlights come back on.

    not sure if this is related but the drivers side park light wont work and the bulb is good.....signal light works, just no park light

    any ideas?
  • i figured out that the problem was a crossed wire in the headlight harness, fixed it and now i dont have any of those issues. couple thousand kms later the alternator seems to be going cuz its running at 11.8 volts but never spits sputs or stalls and always starts up first try. i was going to change it but now im getting a strong electrical smell and wondering if that could be caused by the alternator or is it something more serious?
  • brian1cjbrian1cj Posts: 1
    Hi argus1,

    I've been all over the Internet searching for a problem with a 2005 Sunfire and you and I are (or were) in the same boat. The car does exactly what you describe where the temp gauge (now now the speedo) doesn't reset when the car is turned off.

    How did you resolve it? Did you replace the cluster? Did the mileage read from the computer or did it read what the new cluster said? If you needed to get it programmed, how did you go about doing that?
  • argus1argus1 Posts: 8
    Hi, I bought a rebuilt cluster at Advanced Auto Electronics ((804-427-1111) It cost $175 (you send back the old one). It was perfect - they are really nice people. My mechanic installed in in no time. The cluster picks up the cars real mileage from the computer. It's almost a year since I got it and still working perfectly. Good luck.
  • argus1argus1 Posts: 8
    Oh forgot to mention - no programming is necessary. Only need programming if you change the car computer. You are only changing the cluster and as I mentioned it automatically pics up mileage from computer.
  • The odometer on my 97 Sunfire GT stopped working. How do they work are the mechanical or electrical? What would be involved in testing or finding out what is wrong. This car is new to me

    Thanks for responding
  • pontiac 20000 sunfire turn signal only worked intermittantly now won"t keep working for more than 10-15 seconds. Fuses and bulbs ok.light comes on but no flash.
  • i have a problem with my 07 sunfire manually shift...when i start the car everything wrks ...but once i engage the gear n start driving all the warning lights come on but the car drives great...also i have to run the ac coz ma engine fan dont work..any ideas
  • The ignition fuse on my car keeps blowing......replaced ignition module....coil....spark plug wires and still same problem.....does anybody have any ideas......
  • The first and second stages do not work on the the fan, stage three and four work fine. How can I fix this problem.
  • I have a 1996 Ponitac Sunfire that I just bought under a month ago. Dealer sold it to me cheap because of the electric work that needs done. Turns out the damage was more extensive then I thought, but the engine runs great. Just drove it out to Kansas City from Indiana with no trouble at all. Until after I got here, that is. Tried starting it to go to work, and it turned over, revved up, then died. Got it to start up, shut it off, then came back about a minute later, and it wouldn't start. Same problem.

    Electric issues include: Every dash light coming on and staying on when driving. Very dim driver side headlight. Radio removed by dealer to help with elcetric issues. Ignition switch replaced about two weeks ago.

    This is the first time the engine has given me trouble. Any help would be very much appreciated
  • If only two stages on the fan work but the other two don't work, then you'll have to replace your blower motor regulator.
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