1999 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L 4 cylinder from North America
Avoid at all costs
We recently purchased a used 1999 Sunfire for my 16 year old daughter. We took it to a local Pontiac dealership and paid $70 to have them look at it and see if there was anything seriously wrong with this. They found a few minor items, but nothing that concerned them enough for us not to buy it.
My daughter drove it for two weeks before it wouldn't start. After some diagnostics were ran, it was determined that the alternator was bad. I replaced that and the car ran for another whole week.
It then died again. It now was decided that the starter was bad. I purchased a starter and was about ready to replace it. I noticed that the current connection (s) on the starter were not tight. I tightened those up and the car started right up. It then ran for 1.5 days before completely dying while my daughter was driving down the road.
After towing it to the local Pontiac dealership (not the same one as previous mentioned) they say the engine is "internally locked" and they can replace it for $4,800. I think they are full of you know what.
I wouldn't recommend this piece of junk to anyone. If you're thinking of buying one of these, don't. Although I like Pontiac's (I'm an old Trans AM guy), I don't know why. I had nothing but trouble with the Trans AM and now this piece of junk Sunfire. I say avoid Pontiac products at all costs.
The engine should be replaced by a cage with a pair of running squirrels.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 16th July, 2003
Just a comment about your initial diagnostic. Although you did the right thing in having it checked out, why would you take it to a Pontiac dealership? First of all, they are always going to charge you more. But more importantly, you are not getting a very impartial opinion, even if you're not buying the car from them. What do you think they are going to say? "These Pontiacs are trash after 50K miles; don't buy it." I'm sure you never even met the actual person who looked the car over. The guy in the Polo shirt at the desk with clean hands told you "its fine; these are great cars" then sent you to another office where a lady took your 70 bucks.
Find more of a "mom & pop" type shop for a pre-purchase diagnostic. Even if they're less than honest, at least they are less motivated to "tow the line."