4th Dec 2003, 13:57
Why did you get all that stuff replaced if it wasn't the problem? If the engine passed a pressure test and if the cooling system held a pressure, then why in the world would you replace the head gasket? Why replace the radiator if nothing was wrong with it? Obviously something was wrong with the car, perhaps the mechanic you took it to was not very good.
16th Mar 2004, 22:31
Have you driven and owned every single Sunbird ever made? If not, then DON'T say "they are all lemons" jeez I hate it when people say that.
18th Mar 2004, 18:41
We also bought a 1994 Sun bird with 140,000 km on it. We have had trouble with over heating. We has the radiator flushed, thermalstates replaced, and water pump and head gaskets replaced, and to no avail, we still have over heating problems, that even the dealership can`t seem to find out why this continues to happen.
As for the body, it`s completely rusted out, it was rust checked for 5 years by it`s previous owners, than they stopped. We live in an area where roads are salted in the winter, I think this is the last winter my old sun bird will see!
21st Mar 2004, 20:31
WHY, WHY, WHY did you replace all that expensive stuff without knowing they were the problem!!! Ahhhh, that's why people hate their cars, they replace a bunch of stuff when it isn't the problem!
When you got the head gaskets replaced, did you check the head (s) for warpage? There are not many things to cause overheating, FIX IT or else the engine will be ruined.
29th Sep 2004, 12:06
I am the owner of a 94 model Sunbird in Israel. My car also had a lot of heating and water problems. This country is hot and heating problems in traffic were especially bad.
In GM garage they told me this car needs all the water of Tiberias Lake (where Jesus lived).
All the repairs along the years cost so much money.
Finally the automatic gear died and I decided to throw away the car.
I'll just buy now a Mazda or Mitsubishi. Is not worth repairing the car anymore. Bye Bye GM!!!
27th Mar 2005, 18:25
I have a 1991 Pontiac SunBird and just for all you folks that have one, all I can say is don't bother putting money into the cooling system for overheating or no heat problems!
I have replaced the heater core, radiator, all heater hoses, radiator caps, multiple themostats (7 to date) the head gasket and just recently the head itself. It it running OK now, but still no heat, unless your standing still. And even when the temp gauge is reading near over heating, there is still no heat. The temp gauge is all over the place, reading cool, then hot, then in between. I have my mechanic baffled and even the dealer has thrown his arms up and given up.
17th Aug 2005, 14:05
I bought a '94 LE Sedan at 72,000 miles, and was happy I didn't need to take public transportation, but the car overheated every time I drove it, I got it at a car dealer. I was finally told the heater core was replaced. I had my share with my car overheating, I flushed the radiator constantly, pressure checked and re-sealed, the radiator housing unit I just replaced recently because of the overheating it rusted out one side of the unit, and ended up taking it to this place and they torched off the top, to save me money, and put on a dinky little 13 pound radiator cap cover, as well as I have my radiator fan directly connected when car goes on to start position, I have no problems and case resolved, I have now 136,050 miles, wish I owned it for more time, owned 3 years, in San Diego, CA.
27th Dec 2005, 22:31
Overheating is a big problem on these cars, so instead of whining about it I have some ideas and quick tricks about how to fix these problems.
1) dexcool coolant in my opinion is a bad thing. after a while if you look into your resevoir you will see that there is a chalky build up of orange mass were the coolant is. if it is like that in your resevoir, its probably like that inside your engine and hoses.
A solution? yes there is a solution. prestone sells a YELLOW antifreeze that is compatible with all other coolants and systems.
2) as mentioned before, hot wire your colling fan to always be on, or do what I did, wire it with a switch inside your dash so that you can turn it on or off whenever you need it. with the fan always on, if it is cold outside, your heater core won't do much good, cause your coolant won't heat up enough. so simply switch it off and the coolant will get hot enough to heat the heater core, which heats the cabin air.
Those are just some quick fixes I have done to help this problem on my car. DEXCOOL (orange) is bad stuff remember that kids :D.
23rd Feb 2006, 11:38
Hmph. reading these comments makes me rather sad - I thought my little Sunbird was the only one with all these problems.. but reading these, they're all full of the same mishaps! : (
2nd Mar 2006, 03:19
Well my 92 sunbird convertible that is in mint condition is having the same overheating issues. I have the 2.0 4 cylinder ohc engine. I have tried everything to keep that car from getting hot. I've replaced the whole cooling system rigged the fan (etc.) but it still overheats. This time the head gasket blew. I am sick of dropping money into this engine. I was told that the 4 cylinder engines were notorious for coolant problems because of Gm's design flaw in the head itself. What should I do? I love the car. It looks brand new. How hard would it be to replace the entire engine with the more reliable 3.1 V6? Can someone help?
31st May 2006, 04:42
As a mechanic, I can pretty much safely say that Sunbirds / Sunfires / Cavaliers, etc. are indeed all lemons. They are poorly engineered, build quality is laughable, and the kind of things that need replacement maybe once in a lifetime on the car such as timing chains (not timing belts) are frequently needing replacement.
Electrics are another trouble spot, fuel pumps, computers, sensors etc. fail more than is reasonable. Overheating due to defective sensors, thermostats heater cores etc. Engine wear such as pistons, crankshaft, cam, etc. - very common. Interior parts poorly assembled, possibly due to badly designed fasteners.
Don't get me wrong; I see many, many cars on the job, there are other makes and models that are just as questionably built, but many others in a similar price range that are very well constructed and designed also. I own a Pontiac myself - '85 Trans-Am, that sees some drag race duty too; by the way, it has some bad things about it too; I am not trying to condemn the entire make here, but people that say that Sunfires, etc. are lemons, they are on to something. Also, people that say that just because someone has a lemon (of any car), and that not all (or a significant number of the cars) are lemons, does not necessarily mean that these people have owned a number of said cars, or serviced them, to be able to make such claims themselves. Talk to someone who's been there!