26th Mar 2010, 21:35
I have a '94 Sunbird LE, got it from my Grandma (go figure) about 8 years ago, it had 33k on it. The car now has 147k and my biggest problem has been the radiator and hoses.
When I initially got the car, the hoses were rusted out, obviously it had been sitting and neglected over the years, got those replaced and then had to get the radiator replaced. We bought a refurbished one trying to save money, however this one leaked and we had to purchase a new one. This was probably about 4 years ago.
Since then the biggest problem has been just little things, slight oil leaks, nothing to worry about.
Drove it around today and found out there is antifreeze leaking from somewhere by the oil filter. I really hope this is just a quick fix, can't afford to do to much to the good old thing. It's been my one and only car since I started driving, love it to bits and pieces! =(
27th Mar 2010, 20:44
Uh oh, I suspect a gasket of some kind (head gasket perhaps) unless the lower radiator hose is near the oil filter.
By the way, how did you get rubber hoses to rust out? Rubber gets dry rotted, it doesn't rust.
28th Mar 2010, 15:30
Sorry, I meant rotted. They kind of dried out though, it was a mess.
Found out the heater core went on the car. Glad it's nothing to serious.. not for a while anyways.
29th Apr 2011, 02:48
Have a 1994 Sunbird with 270,000 Km. Owned it since 1995 (5000 km), and now time to retire the bird.
For the most part it has been a reliable vehicle. The 3.1 V6 has never burned a drop of oil.
As per many of the other previous submitted comments, the car will tend to overheat. I never really tried to chase down the problem, other than changing the thermostat. But it is an annoying problem. Living in cold climate made the problem a little more bearable. But definitely would be major concern if I was living where it was hot.
Since I do as many repairs as possible myself, I did come across re-occurring issues. Went through 3 water pumps and 2 alternators, and a few serpentine belts. Brakes seemed to be good.
The last few years, driveability problems have been adding up. It will stall/choke out when slowing down after driving at 30-40 mph for periods of time. Once it stalls, it will start, but as soon as you put it into gear, it stalls. After sitting/cooling for 10-20 minutes, it is OK.
The only thing I did was replace the plugs/wires and fuel filter. Seemed to help a bit, but no cure. Sounding more and more like the fuel pump. But after doing some research, the stalling problem could also be the ECM or even the Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid. All these could attribute to the driveability issues this vehicle is encountering.
The 17 year old car is probably only worth $300 at this point, and definitely not worth chasing down a problem that could lead to mega $$$, just to say I figured it out, and then have something else go wrong. But in saying that, this car served me well above and beyond my expectations. I am sad that her time has come.