1992 Pontiac Sunbird SE 3.1L V6


Economical American Muscle


When I first got it, the engine was revving too high at an idle. Turned out it was a broken engine temperature sensor. Slapped one in from another 3.1 my mechanic had in his garage for $20 no problem! Fixed.

One of the rad hoses sprung a leak while I was driving, so I replaced all of them. Not too expensive, things like this are expected with a car this "mature".

Struts have been replaced before I got the car.

Car had a rough idle, so I cleaned the throttle body out and it's perfect now. A lot quicker throttle response too!

Power locks work erraticly in cold weather. They RARELY work, but it doesn't bother me to do it myself.

General Comments:

I have only had this car a few months, but I consider myself lucky to have a car this amazing at a young age for such a cheap price. I got this car for $2500 Canadian in perfect condition. Paint is perfect, no rust, and EVERYTHING in this car works, minus the power locks. (YES the A/C works).

The interior of this car is very stylish for its age, and the seats are nice and cushy. I feel like I'm piloting an airplane with the red gauges. I love how this car looks on the outside also. It has a style that never goes bad. Well defined edges with a bit of muscle look. I like the looks a lot better than the newer Sunfires.

In terms of performance, this car HAULS! This car is literally as fast as my dad's Jaguar S-Type up until 80 km/h! I have found no car supposedly in the same caliber as mine, new or old, to have as impressive of acceleration. It's a very torquey engine, and it's the throatiest sounding V6 on the road. The handling is tight, but the car stil feels heavy somehow, not very light on its feet. Great in the snow, but a slip-slider in the rain if you take turns fast at all.

This car seems to have been built to last. Considering this car has almost 250,000 km on it, and the engine doesn't have a sign to show for it. Perfect emissions test, no leaks. The transmission also has had no problems, and still shifts super smoothly. I have had no problems with the brakes so far, but the ABS is a bit screwy at times.

If GM would make the new Sunfires with a v6 option and a more solid feel like the Sunbirds, I'd go for it in a second. I can't help, but feel they took a step down with the Sunfires...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th January, 2004

1992 Pontiac Sunbird SE Convertible 2.0 SOHC


Fun, cheap...convertible. ;-)


1) The passing gear did not work when I bought the car.

2) Brakes didn't work well when I bought it, so I replace the drums, rotors, shoes, and pads. That helped a lot.

3) Brakes started acting up again soon after fixing them. I bled the air out of the brake lines, which solved the problem for a couple of months. I never figured out the problem, so I just bled them every month or two.

4) Brakes sometimes would not stop correctly at low speeds, such as pulling into a parking spot (!). When I pushed the pedal, nothing would happen...then, all of a sudden, the car would just slam to a stop.

5) The car started leaking transmission fluid around 135,000 miles. I replaced the transmission-cooler line, which solved the problem.

6) The transmission started acting up somewhere around 136,000 miles. The car would shift gears too soon, causing my four-speed transmission to be in fourth gear soon after leaving my driveway, causing acceleration to be extremely sluggish (0-60 in around 30 seconds). I bought a repair manual and found out that the problem was being caused by the throttle control valve, which determined how hard you were pressing the gas. I adjusted it, which caused my car to accelerate better than it did when I bought it. A side-effect of fixing that problem was that I also fixed the passing-gear by doing the adjustment.

7) The last problem I had with this car was still there when I traded it in. Around the time I sold it, my driver side window started acting up on me. It would roll down just fine, but would stop about halfway when rolling it up. I would have to release the window switch for about thirty seconds, then hit it again. It would roll up another inch or two, then I would keep repeating until it was all the way up.

General Comments:

I do have lots of good things to say about this car.

First of all, I only paid $3,500 for it. It was my first car, and I felt like that was a bargain for a convertible. This car was in excellent shape, body-wise. It had a few paint-chips that had been touched up, no dings at all, and included all paperwork. I was the third owner, but, by reading the paperwork, I determined that the two previous owners were in the same family; possibly even mother and daughter. The original owners also took excellent care of the interior. My car was white, with white leather (vinyl?) interior, and a white top, and all looked excellent. The white interior looked great, with only minor cracking on the driver-side seat.

One advantage of this car was that the included radio was not hooked up (except for power), because the previous owner had an aftermarket stereo installed. This was evident by the fact that it had four blown Infinity Kappa speakers installed. Because of the price of the car, and the fact that it had no stereo, my mom offered to buy me a new stereo... so I got a Panasonic CD player, new Infinity speakers to replace the blown ones, and a pair of 10" MTX subwoofers. I later installed some red neon tubes in my car, which looked great with my top down. While I didn't feel that this car was all that impressive, I got a lot of attention with it. I guess neon lights and a loud stereo go a long way with high school students.

Overall, my experience with this car was excellent. I expected problems with it, but actually got fewer than I expected, so it worked out great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 14th December, 2003