1988 Pontiac Sunbird Reviews - Page 2 of 5

1988 Pontiac Sunbird SE 2.0 turbo from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Automatic
Distance when acquired100000 miles
Most recent distance155000 miles

Summary:

The best deal of my life at $500.00

Faults:

There has been very few things going wrong on this car It is really great. I got it with the intention of having it for a short while and now these three years and 55,000 miles later I am still in love with this car. There has been some the the standard problems, but nothing of the type that would make you say this is a terrible car... This car is a wonder. The car is starting to show her age, but so am I! and we are growing older gracefully. I do not push the car, I never have I don't drive it hard or very fast and the car has responded and has worked very well... What a great car!!

General Comments:

I wish they made this kind of car still.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd July, 2004

7th Mar 2005, 08:55

I am a new driver and I just got the Sunbird. She has been in my family for 16 years. This car drives like the day we got her. She Never broke down. I think that the Sunbird is the must depindable American car.

24th Oct 2006, 09:53

I too have had my Sunbird for a long time and as much as ppl tell me to get rid of it I can't it has its problems, but as far as I am concerned they are one of the best cars Pontiac has made.

23rd Mar 2007, 12:19

Well I just invested 500 dollars also on a 1988 Sunbird, I went from an Honda Civic and thought I made a mistake, but once I did a small tune up on it, it was the best thing that could have happened. Good to see that there are people out there that also like these cars.

1988 Pontiac Sunbird SE 2.0 Fuel injection from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.0 Fuel injection Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired3 miles
Most recent distance221200 miles
Previous carPlymouth Satellite

Summary:

Great bang for the buck, even after 15 years!

Faults:

Paint job was really shoddy- the paint began flaking off the car within a couple months of owning the car. Dealer repainted the car for free under warranty, and has held up awesomely since.

Transmission had a leak within the warranty period that was also repaired permanently for free.

Right channel of the cassette player went wacko (extreme distortion-radio worked fine) after about a year or so, it is still that way today. One of these days I am gonna get a new stereo for it.

Around 80-90K miles, the fuel injection system began acting up, causing the car to run very erratically. Mechanic spent several months trying to figure it out, it turned out to be a computer problem.

Heater core (made of plastic and aluminum) ruptured on a long trip in 1997, besides being a huge mess inside the car, it required some effort to replace, but is OK now.

Headliner adhesive gave way in 1999, replaced it myself cheaply.

Turn signal lever will not return to off position after turning left.

Around 190,000 miles the muffler (the second one) literally fell off the car as I was driving. Went to Midas and got it fixed once and for all!

At exactly 200,000 miles a tiny almost impossible-to-reach water hose behind the engine began leaking. I think that was a 'sign' (see below).

Shortly thereafter the gasket between the water neck/thermostat housing and the block sprung a leak. Easy $5 fix.

Water pump gave up the ghost (massive water leak) at 201,000 miles. Cost me $400 to fix : (

Front brakes replaced at 202,000 miles.

Exterior rubber parts (weatherstripping, trim items) are rotting off the car, but that is to be expected with a car this old.

In April 2003, the driver's seat came apart, making it impossible to sit normally without reclining all the way back. A trip to Pick-N-Pull scored me some nice seats from a 1988 Chevy Cavalier (the same basic car as this one) and I was back on the road.

At 221,000 miles, the stereo finally had some kind of electronic failure causing the right channel of the thing to completely conk out except for a garbled noise from the right side speakers.

I believe the car is on its third timing belt (replaced when the water pump was replaced, as the water pump is driven by the timing belt)

Engine is definitely tired, is beginning to burn a little oil and leak it as well.

The car also needs a complete strut job on all fours (they are the original ones).

General Comments:

When new this car had performance to spare!

15 years later, the zippiness of the car has diminished somewhat, but it is still a lot of fun to drive!

I was very happy with everything, except for the fact that the car did not have air conditioning.

The car still gets OK gas mileage (many newer cars in its class get far better mileage) ; I get about 425 miles from a tank of gas.

Once I get the struts replaced, it might improve the handling a bit and make it a little less bouncy...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th October, 2003

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 21 reviews