1992 Pontiac Sunbird Reviews - Page 3 of 10

1992 Pontiac Sunbird LE 2.0L L4 OHC from North America

Model year1992
Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.0L L4 OHC Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired40020 miles
Most recent distance156000 miles
Previous carFord Taurus

Summary:

Good, fun car, but prone to cooling problems

Faults:

The alternator went bad at around 50,000 miles. Also replaced the drive belt and timing belt at this time.

This car has had a series of cooling system issues. Shortly after I purchased the car I had to replace all the radiator and heater hoses due to leaks. This was followed by a leaking thermostat housing gasket and a leaking overflow tank. The water pump started leaking at about 70,000 miles and had to be replaced. And for some reason this car eats thermostats - I have replaced it at least ten times in five years.

Simultaneously had an oil leak and vacuum leak at about 140,000 miles. The oil leak was caused by a split in the small rubber hose that connects the camshaft cover the the oil return tube. The vacuum leak was caused by a cracked freeze plug on the back of the intake manifold. The vacuum leak caused the cylinders to run hot and fried my spark plugs. Also replaced PCV valve - it was completely gunked up.

The second and most recent time (at about 150,000 miles) the water pump failed the impeller actually broke off the shaft, which of course caused the pump to completely fail. This in turn caused the engine to overheat, blowing the head gasket and cracking the cylinder head. A reconditioned cylinder head cost about $400 from the factory and good used ones are impossible to find.

The most recent problem was with the front brakes. The rubber brake hose on the passenger side had deteriorated internally, causing a clog, which caused the brake to stick. Replaced the hoses, calipers, rotors, and pads, and completely bled and changed brake fluid.

Other problems are minor: the power door lock on the passenger side sticks, windshield washer pump quit working, horn doesn't work, and muffler rusted out and had to be replaced.

General Comments:

This car is just fun to drive. It handles great unless the road is wet. It actually does pretty good on snow thanks to the front wheel drive and light weight.

The car has a nice growl and accelerates like it thinks it's a sports car, especially when it's already at highway speeds. The engine is responsive to performance upgrades, so it's fun to tinker with. I made a custom cold air intake and upgraded the muffler to a free flowing model. Also upgrade battery and spark plugs.

It gets amazing fuel economy considering the age and mileage. I get over 32 mpg highway.

The two door models have a distinctive style that has a classic sporty look. A few small upgrades will easily differentiate it from it's sister, the Cavalier. I made a custom front grill, blacked out the head and tail lights, and replaced and/or painted all the trim.

Despite all the problems it's had over the years, I love this car. Although admittedly I am a little biased because I taught myself how to work on cars on this one. If you can find one in good condition, definitely get it, just keep an eye on the cooling system!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th December, 2005

1992 Pontiac Sunbird SE 4 cylinder from North America

Model year1992
Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership1992
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 4 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
0.0 / 10
Distance when acquired6 miles
Most recent distance25638 miles
Previous carford aerostar

Summary:

This is a great starter car

Faults:

There are rust spots on all 4 doors, rust in the trunk by the wheels, had to fix the locks and get new radio. it has no pick-up. it seats 5 but to sit comfortably it becomes a 2 seater.

General Comments:

The car gets 27 miles to the gallon driving from Detroit to Pontiac. It handles really well. the engine hasn't been replaced nor has the transmission. Yes it is a 92 with 25,000 miles on it. it hasn't rolled over either.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th November, 2005

1992 Pontiac Sunbird SE 3.1 Gasoline from North America

Model year1992
Year of manufacture1991
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 3.1 Gasoline Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired119000 miles
Most recent distance123238 miles
Previous carChevrolet Corsica

Summary:

Peppy car with great take-off running on GREAT fuel economy!

Faults:

When I bought the car I was told the igniton module would need to be replaced. So I had the ignition module replaced, but it was no surprise if the module was bad then so was the crank sensor. A few months later a solenoid went out in the transmission causing the car to die when put into drive or reverse. We replaced it ourselves so it wasn't a high cost repair, only like $25.00 for the part.

The driver's seat vinyl has worn badly, but hey it's 13 years old and belonged to a kid that did a lot of getting in and out of it.

General Comments:

This car has great power for a small engine. Lots of pep and sounds mean with excellent take-off!

The interior is relatively comfortable for a 2 door coupe.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st July, 2005

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 31 reviews