To Start with, I purchased my 2000 Pontiac Sunfire SE 2 door with a five speed manual transmission in December of 2002.
Todays date is Feb. 2005. Since the date of purchase (just over 2 years), I have had several problems.
The First problem occurred just 3 months after I bought the car. This problem is with the headlamp wire harness. The problem was that the daytime running lights would not function and the service light on the dashboard would come on. The problem was in the wire harness where an "open circuit" was found. This meant that a wire was cracked and not making a complete circuit. The solution was to cut the broken wire out and replace it with a new wire. So this problem was fixed for a cost of $254.
The second problem that I encountered with the car was in January of 2004. This was a fuel gauge problem. The problem was the gauge was erratic. This means that the fuel gauge was not giving a "true reading". The cause was a faulty fuel sending unit that is located on the inside of the fuel tank. This problem was fixed at a cost of $365.
The third problem that I encountered was another head light problem. This time the problem was that I had no low beam lights working at all. The diagnostic team worked for 4.5 hours before they could find the actually cause of this problem. Once again, the cause was broken and cracked wires in the headlamp wire harness. The repair technicians once again cut the bad sections of the harness out and replaced it with good wire. This cost me another $334 to fix.
The fourth problem that I encountered was a factory recall involving the ignition circuits to start the car. The problem was that in some cases, the car would not start. This was sending too much voltage through the steering coulomb and cause an electrical fire. The solution was to add an external relay and extra wire harness to the start terminal of the starter. All of this cost was covered by the GM Dealer.
The fifth problem that I encountered was yet another head light problem. This time the headlamps would flicker on and off during normal operation. This left me to leave the car on the side of the highway (in the dark), not drivable until the daylight hours. The problem was that the left front headlamp socket (the part that plugs directly into the bulb) had melted and caused the wires to cross and short out. The repair was to cut (again) the wire harness and replace the light socket. This cost another $170 to fix.
The sixth problem that I encountered was a heater/air conditioner blower motor problem. This unit failed to function on the number 1 position. This problem was caused by a faulty motor resistor located on the blower motor assembly. The fix was to replace the resistor at a cost of $77.
The seventh problem that I have encountered is (you guessed it),another head light problem. This problem is that only the left head light is working on both low and high beams. The right light does not function at all. With this problem, the daytime running lights flash on and off numerous times, then shut off. The service light on the dash comes on, but no lights work. This problem has not been fixed yet, but I will be taking it to a GM Good-wrench service department soon. I can just assume that the harness is once again split somewhere.
Over all, this headlamp problem is re-occurring and is costing money out of my pocket (approximately $758 so far).
I have talked to several people (none of them I have met before) about these problems. Most of them have had headlamp problems similar to what I have described above.
None of the problems were covered by the warranty, except for the factory recall. There was no specific reason as to why these problems were not covered.
To this date, I have spent $1158 on un-necessary repairs. This car is only 5 model years old, with only 128000 kilometers on the odometer. These expenses are not including the usual maintenance fees such as brakes, tires, and oil changes (synthetic).