13th May 2002, 07:55

Sunbird is a car for maniacs. It looks great, and spare parts are cheap. Well, the engine is not very good, but if you want a reliable and really fast car buy a Honda...

15th May 2002, 20:40

The Sunbird isn't a BAD car, at least, if you only want the car to work well for the first 5 years. After that...well, the word 'expensive' comes to mind.

For me it was the radiator and the hoses, the fuel pump, the transmission, the alternator and a few other major parts. But it also seems to me that things always got worse when I would take it into the dealership to be fixed.

Be smart - go somewhere--anywhere else!!

11th Aug 2002, 10:32

Yes I also have a 90 sunbird, but my head gasket just went at 277000km costs a lot of money to fix that.

4th Dec 2002, 10:28

The first mistake you all made was buying a sunbird made before 1992. The only good one made before that year was the 1990 turbo gt and the only reason it was good was because it had a turbo. If you maintain cars as well as you say you do, mechanics and the like, and you would have bought a 92-94 cavalier or sunbird from the dealership, you probably wouldn't be having the problems you are now. Most of the problems can be solved by not driving the car like a moron and maintaining very well. Most likely the person that owned this car before you did neither of these things. I'm not saying they weren't made cheap and they don't have design flaws, but they were designed as cheap economy cars. Not expensive, elegant, luxurious race cars. Also, if you think these cars are a pain in the arse try owning a early generation quad 4 car. Weaklings would be reduced to tears.

PS Whoever said honda's are fast should have their head examined immediately by a highly trained professional.

29th Jan 2003, 10:16

I too have been cursed with ignorance when it comes to Pontiac Sun birds. I have had to replace the transmission, starter, head gasket, gasket cover (presently), and numerous other headaches have popped up at the most inopportune times. I am resolved that this car hates me, so I hate it back. It currently sits in my parking lot, awaiting it's most recent major surgery, while I stew and steam. I will never again buy a Pontiac.

7th Apr 2003, 09:06

I have a 1989 Pontiac Sunbird and I have to agree with the comments on this page. It looks really nice and all, but it is a piece of junk. I have replaced the alternator twice all 4 breaks and the body is falling apart. The most recent problem is stalling when the car is driven. In neutral it is fine, but once in drive... it dies. There is absolutely no heat whatsoever in the car. Oh yes, we replaced the rad too. The funniest thing in all this is that it only has 100 000kms on it. If anyone knows how to fix my heat problem, please let me know. Thanks (aubest@hotmail.com)

15th Apr 2003, 07:31

I bought my '90 Pontiac Sun-bird on Fri. for $500. I have replaced the battery, fuel filter, alternator, and am going to replace the fuel pump today. I have had the car 4 days and I hate it. I bought it as is so I am stuck.

18th Apr 2003, 02:41

I am going to say this... What kind of special person would buy a used old car and expect it to hold out... I worked at a car shop for a while HONDA'S and other used cars of the like all have problems. They are old. In my opinion, "there is nothing wrong with the car, Its the guy who was stupid enough to, but it." That said... I bought a 90 sunbird Le conv. 2.0 T... And I know that it will cost money and I am planning on it as a weekend car. My ex girlfriend has a 85 accord. Thing had more problems then the titanic, and ending up paying for the whole care over again in full (new) price... Can't teach an old dog new tricks my friends, the parts sounded like they were broken in and used to harsh... Tata.

24th Jun 2003, 11:42

I bought a '90 Sun bird in August and have been putting money into it every since. The original price was $1050 and I have put in about an other $$1600. All of the problems seemed to turn into major problems. First was the cooling system, then the water pump, then the brake system, then the heads and head gaskets, now the transmission. If I wouldn't know people that could help me fix it, I would have over $5000 tied up in this car. But it is a convertible. Maybe I might even get the air-conditioning fixed in it one of these days before I give it to one of my kids. Then they had better appreciate it. Oh I forgot, the over-head cam was also replaced.

24th Jul 2003, 16:51

My 1989 Pontiac Sunbird is fine and it has 162,000 miles. I've had it for about 4 months now, and the previous owner I believe probably took it to the dealership for all his repairs. In any event, it was meticulously cared for and I know that all the previous owners were part of the same family. People who drive with me tell me it runs great all the time.

I've replaced only routine things in the car; the only part that was unexpected and not routine was the alternator, which failed on one of the first trips I made after I bought it and had to be replaced. It's an economy car and it does its job - if the car has a history of being taken care of, then it should be fine as long as you do take care of it. This is true with most used cars, though some are more troublesome than others.

9th Oct 2003, 21:42

I give up. This car is a mistake. It should have never been designed.

1) Its a mechanics dream.

2) GM Purposely designed it so the weekend mechanic like me can't work on it.

Things I learned from my Sunbird

1) Never buy domestic again.

2) Stick with what works. Honda.

PS and to the guy that believes otherwise above. My 4 banger weekend toy Honda not only won't brake down. It's faster then any domestic sub $50K USD.

18th Dec 2003, 15:02

Head gasket on 90 sunbird went out at 100k. If there is anyone who has replaced one of these their-self, please let me know how it went. I'm getting ready to do this job next week & would love to hear comments. thank you.


6th Aug 2004, 21:57

I'm not sure what everyone on this message board is complaining about. I have a 1988 sunbird SE with 250,00km on it and I love it. If you think they were built to be hard to work on, you must not be much of a mechanic. Every job I've done on this car has been simple and quick, not to mention the parts costing next to nothing. ($30 for a brake booster, $15 for a muffler, $80 for a rad, $15 for brake pads, $50 for a driveshaft)

Several people mention needing new head gaskets. You are aware of course that as long as you don't get coolant mixing with your oil or a lack of compression that a leaking head gasket is no big deal. You can drive a car that leaks a quart of oil a week forever as long as you keep putting it in.

I drive this car at 150 kph to work every day and 1200 km to visit my family twice a month. It hasn't let me down yet and I have a feeling that if I continue to take care of it as I do, it never will.